Vitamin K may Protect from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

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Researchers from Mayo Clinic reported at the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that people who have a higher intake of vitamin K in their diet have a lower risk of developing Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The study enrolled 603 newly diagnosed Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma patients and 1007 matched cancer-free “controls.” They completed a food questionnaire about their usual intake of 120 food items two years prior to their cancer diagnosis (subjects) or at the time of their enrollment into the program (controls). They were also asked about supplements used and vitamin K was estimated from this data. Based upon the data, the risk of developing Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma was about 45% lower for participants who had vitamin K intakes in the top quartile (>108 ug/day) compared to subjects whose intake was in the bottom quartile (<39 ug/day). This association was consistent when accounting for age, gender, education, obesity, smoking history, alcohol use and intake of foods with high amounts of antioxidants. Although the association between dietary intake of vitamin K and development of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma was shown, the use of vitamin K supplements showed that increasing intake of vitamin K from supplements did protect against this type of cancer but there was a point beyond which there was no reduction in risk. They suggested that taking high does of supplements are unlikely to be helpful and that the protective effect observed may be due to vitamin K or to some other dietary or lifestyle factors beyond the scope of this study. However, these data add to the literature that supports a diet with lots of green leafy vegetables that prevent many cancers and other diseases.

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