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A new study suggests that people with higher intakes of vitamin K from food may be less likely to develop or die of cancer, particularly lung or prostate cancers, than those who eat relatively few foods containing vitamin K.

A new study suggests that people with higher intakes of vitamin K from food may be less likely to develop or die of cancer, particularly lung or prostate cancers, than those who eat relatively few foods containing vitamin K. The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, appears to be the first to look at the association between vitamin K intake and the risk of developing or dying from cancer in general. A previous report had linked it to lower prostate cancer risk. The findings do not prove that consuming more vitamin K helps lower the risks of certain cancers. But they lay the foundation for future studies to try to answer that question, according to Dr. Jakob Linseisin and colleagues at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. Vitamin K exists in two natural forms: vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, found largely in green leafy vegetables, as well as some vegetable oils, such as canola and soybean oils; and vitamin K2, or menaquinone, for which meat and cheese are the primary dietary sources. In the current study, vitamin K2-which study participants most frequently got through cheese--was linked to the odds of developing or dying from cancer, whereas vitamin K1 was not. The findings are based on data from 24,340 German adults who were between the ages of 35 and 64, and cancer-free at the outset.

The researchers estimated the participants' usual vitamin K intake based on a detailed dietary questionnaire. Over the next decade, 1,755 participants were diagnosed with colon, breast, prostate or lung cancers, of whom 458 died during the study period. In general, the researchers found, the one quarter with the highest intakes of vitamin K2 were 28% less likely to have died of any one of the cancers than the one-quarter of men and women with the lowest intakes of the vitamin. That was with factors like age, weight, exercise habits, smoking and consumption of certain other nutrients, like fiber and calcium, taken into account. Of the one-quarter of study participants who got the least vitamin K2, 156-or 2.6%--died of one of the four cancers. That was true of 1.6% of participants with the highest intakes of the vitamin from food.
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Title Annotation:RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY
Publication:MondayMorning
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 5, 2010
Words:371
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