“Forgotten” Vitamin Destroys Cancer Cells

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

This “forgotten” vitamin can prevent cancer and destroy certain types of cancer cells.

Its anti-cancer properties were first discovered by accident.

Researchers in Japan were studying this vitamin’s role in the prevention of bone loss in women with cirrhosis.

It’s well known that those with cirrhosis of the liver due to viral infection (like Hepatitis C, for example) are at a much higher risk of developing cancer.

The study followed 40 women over the span of two years. One group supplemented with 45 mg a day of this vitamin. The other did not. Almost half (47%) of the women in the placebo group developed liver cancer. But here’s what amazed the researchers: The rate of liver cancer in the group of women taking this vitamin was less than 10%!1

Preventing liver cancer isn’t the only thing this vitamin can do.

Another study, published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, found this vitamin can literally kill off leukemia, pancreatic and ovarian cancer cells.2,3 It does this by programming the cells to “self destruct.”

And to think, this vitamin hasn’t been given much attention for almost a century.

I’m talking about vitamin K.

For decades, it’s only been thought of as a blood coagulant. Most doctors overlook its significance and the critical roles it plays in your body.

Truth is vitamin K is one of the most unique vitamins of all. It is produced in your gut by “good” bacteria.

Normally, you get your daily requirement through a combination of diet and what your body produces.

And that’s good news. It’s pretty easy to incorporate vitamin K-rich foods into your diet.

Here’s a quick list*:

Food (1 Cup Serving Size)

Vitamin K (mcg)

Food (1 Cup Serving Size)

Vitamin K (mcg/100g)

Spinach

1,027

Collard Greens

836

Kale

1,062

Mustard Greens

419

Broccoli

220

Beet Greens

697

Brussels Sprouts

218

Asparagus

144

Turnip Greens

851

Sauerkraut

135

Egg Yolk, Raw

15.5

Ground Beef

8

Raw Chicken Liver

12.6

Barbeque Chicken

22

*(source: USDA.Gov)

It’s most common in dark, leafy greens. But you can get smaller amounts of vitamin K in organ meats such as chicken liver and in raw eggs. You can also take a supplement.

If you are taking a blood-thinning agent like warfarin (brand name Coumadin), talk to your doctor first. The blood clotting benefits of vitamin K can interfere with these drugs if not properly monitored.

You can find it at your local health food store. I recommend you take 45 to 90 mcg a day. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, so take it with a meal to improve absorption.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

  1. Habu D, Shiomi S, Tamori A, et al. Role of vitamin K2 in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in women with viral cirrhosis of the liver. JAMA. 2004 Jul 21;292(3):358-61.
  2. Shibayama-Imazu T, Sakairi S, Watanabe A, Aiuchi T, Nakajo S, Nakaya K. Vitamin K(2) selectively induced apoptosis in ovarian TYK-nu and pancreatic MIA PaCa-2 cells out of eight solid tumor cell lines through a mechanism different  geranylgeraniol. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2003 Jan;129(1):1-11.
  3. Miyazawa K, Yaguchi M, Funato K, et al. Apoptosis/differentiation-inducing effects of vitamin K2 on HL-60 cells: dichotomous nature of vitamin K2 in leukemia cells. Leukemia. 2001 Jul;15(7):1111-7.