Which Type of Vitamin K Decreases Cancer?

Consuming foods rich in vitamin K2 may reduce the risk of cancer, says a new study supporting the potential anti-cancer benefits of this nutrient.

Results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study found that the highest intakes of vitamin K2, but not vitamin K1, were associated with a reduced risk of both overall cancer and cancer mortality, with the latter reduced by about 30 percent.

There are two main forms of vitamin K: phylloquinone, also known as phytonadione, (vitamin K1) and menaquinones (vitamins K2). K1 is found in green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and spinach, and makes up about 90 percent of the vitamin K in a typical Western diet.  K2 makes up about 10 percent of Western vitamin K consumption and can be synthesized in the gut by microflora.

There are various forms of menaquinones, and these can also be found in the diet -- Menaquinone-4, for example, can be found in animal meat, while menaquinones-7, -8, and -9 are found in fermented food products like cheese. Natto is a rich source of menaquinone-7.

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