One Overlooked Nutrient to Help Prevent Cancer

It’s been ignored for decades. So much so that it’s been nicknamed the “forgotten vitamin.” But now doctors are finally realizing this nutrient’s amazing health benefits—from building strong bones to protecting against cancer. It can even reverse atherosclerosis!

And yet, many Americans lack sufficient levels of this critical vitamin.

So what is this mystery nutrient? It’s vitamin K. And if it’s not on your radar, you aren’t alone. It hasn’t gotten the media hype that vitamin D has, and yet I believe that it’s just as important.

This powerful nutrient is the missing link in the prevention of calcium deposits in the arteries. Research shows that vitamin K escorts calcium out of the blood so it can be used to build bone and teeth. But when there’s not enough Vitamin K circulating in the blood, calcium is picked up by soft tissue all through the body.

This is especially risky when it occurs in the delicate endothelial tissue that lines the walls of your arteries. The tissue can calcify, causing the arteries to clog up. This significantly boosts the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack.

A recent study involving 564 post-menopausal women showed that biologically active vitamin K2 (menaquinone) reverses the buildup of deadly plaque.(1) And an earlier study of more than 4,800 men and women confirmed that getting enough vitamin K prevents aortic calcification and coronary heart disease (CHD).(2)

But vitamin K benefits more than just your arteries.

Low intake of vitamin K interferes with normal bone development. It also increases the risk of broken bones and osteoporosis. Both Dutch and Japanese researchers have used 45 mg of vitamin K daily to treat and successfully reverse osteoporosis in women.(3)

Vitamin K also reduces bone loss caused by cortisone, blood-thinning drugs, menopause and diabetes.

Researchers are also taking a hard look at evidence suggesting vitamin K can prevent and even treat certain types of cancer. In fact, the nutrient causes leukemia cells to self destruct in a process known as apoptosis.

Vitamin K has also proven effective in lowering the risk of liver cancer. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, people at high risk for liver cancer were given supplemental K and compared to a group that didn’t receive the nutrient. Less than 10% of the people receiving K developed liver cancer while 47% of those in the control group developed the devastating disease.(4)

Since many of us don’t get enough vitamin K in the foods we eat, I think it’s important that everyone take a supplement. But not all vitamin K supplements are created equally.

There are two main forms of vitamin K:

  • K1 – phylloquinone, also called phytonadione
  • K2 – menaquinone-7

Most of the studies that have been done on the benefits of vitamin K have found it is vitamin K2, not K1, which really packs a therapeutic punch. And that’s why K2 is my pick for patients in need of this vital nutrient.

For prevention, take 45 to 100 mcg of K2 once a day. If you’re at high risk for arterial disease, I recommend 500 mcg daily. To reverse osteoporosis, you can take 1,000 mcg of vitamin K2 in combination with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3.

Just be aware that if you take the blood-thinning drug Coumadin, it’s important to ask your physician to prescribe an anticoagulant that doesn’t interfere with vitamin K2.

If that can’t be done, ask if you can safely take a low-dose (45 mcg) vitamin K2 supplement.

 

References:

1. Beulens JW. High dietary menaquinone intake is associated with reduced coronary calcification. Atherosclerosis. 2009;203:489-493.

2. Geleijnse JM. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. Journal of Nutrition. 2004; 134: 3100-3105.

3. Koitaya N. “Effect of low dose vitamin K2 (MK-4) supplementation on bio-indices in postmenopausal Japanese women,” Journal of Nutritional Sciences and Vitaminology (Tokyo). 2009;55:15-21.

4. Habu D. Role of Vitamin K2 in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in women with viral cirrhosis of the liver. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2004;292:358-361.

Share/Save/BookmarkPrinter-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

About the author

author-picture

Dr. David Blyweiss is well-known across the world for his major advancements in alternative medicine.

He's traveled much of the world working closely with specialists to identify new plant life and natural products for possible human benefit.

In addition he has been successfully helping alternative medicine companies develop cutting-edge nutritional supplements for over 11 years. He's currently in private practice in Florida, serves on the advisory board for Advanced Natural Medicine, and is the senior supplement advisor at The Uniscience Group.


Comments

Anonymous's picture
1

anonymoose

Vitamin K2 actually comes in 2 forms as well...

mk4 - synthesized by animal tissue
mk7 - via fermented foods

mk4 has been studied more, and appears to be the more popular form.

http://wholehealthsource.blogspo...

Anonymous's picture
2

Edken

I have read about the benefits of vitamin K for years now. I was especially interested in it's role in bone remodeling as my mother has advanced osteoporosis. However, we all remember that vitamin K was originally known for augmenting the body's clotting ability. My mother has had two strokes. For this reason, I am afraid to recommend that she consume supplemental vitamin K. Are my concerns justified?

Thanks,
Ed

Anonymous's picture
3

Anonymous

WITHOUT DENYING THE USEFULNESS OF K2 I FIND IT DIFFICULT TO BELIEVE NATURE WOULD NECESSITATE ANY SUBSTANCE IN OUR LENGTHY EVOLUTION WITHOUT AN ACCOMPANYING SOURCE TO SECURE IT, WHICH THOSE WHO COMMENT ON K2 SEEM RELUCTANT TO MENTION.I EAT GREEN LEAFY VEGGIES EVERY DAY FOR THE K1 CONTENT AND MINERALS.IS THAT ADEQUATE ?. I DON'T KNOW, BUT I'M LISTENING.

Anonymous's picture
4

Lori

Leafy greens are great sources of K1. Here's a list of K2 sources.
http://connect.in.com/vitamin-k2...
Weston A Price did alot of traveling back in the 30s and looked at 14 (I believe) different cultures all over the world and their diets. None of these cultures had any "western" health issues, and being a dentist, he noted that none had dental problems either. But they all ate some kind of animal food, generally organs, tissues, etc., along with fermented or cultured foods. It appears these diets were abundant in K2, along with D3 and plenty of minerals. Interestingly, none of the cultures were vegetarian, and a change toward a western diet lead to changes in jaw structure and tooth problems within one generation. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is fascinating. K2 also appears to play a role in insulin production.
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articl...
More on cancer prevention:
http://www.ajcn.org/content/earl...
Apparently foods from grass fed animals are richer in K2.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <p> <strong> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2> <h3> <u> <em>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.


popitup