According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three Americans will develop diabetes by 2050, particularly type 2 diabetes. New research suggests vitamin K may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, perhaps by as much as 51%.
Vitamin K is found naturally in deep green foods like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, the less common Japanese fermented food natto is one of the best sources of this vitamin. A vitamin K deficiency is rare, according to The University of Maryland Medical center, because most people get enough from food and “in addition to being found in leafy green foods, the bacteria in your intestines can make vitamin K.”
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition printed a study from Spanish researchers who looked at data involving over 1,000 men and women around age 67. At the beginning of the study, no one had type 2 diabetes. At the conclusion of the study 131 people had developed it. Participants who developed type 2 diabetes had significantly less vitamin K at the beginning of the study. By deductive logic, researchers found that for every additional 100 mcg each participant had per day, his or her risk was decreased by 17%. Participants with the highest intake averaged a 51% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. “We conclude that dietary phylloquinone [a form of vitamin k] intake is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes,” they said.
University of Maryland Medical Center. (2013). Vitamin K. Retrieved June 26, 2013 from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-k
Ibarrola-Jurado, N., Salas-Salvadó, J., Martínez-González, M.A., Bulló, M. (2012) Dietary Phylloquinone Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Elderly Subjects at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.033498
A study from Greece: For one year, a cohort of postmenopausal women drank milk. Some of the group drank milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Others drank milk further fortified with vitamins K1 and K2. Bone Mineral Density (BMD) increased in both groups. But only subjects in the K group had “significant” BMD increases in the lower spine. Vitamin K boosts levels of a protein your body requires to utilize calcium in bones.
Why drink the milk? Take supplements of calcium and vitamins D and K, you’re likely to get similar results. But using the K1 and K2 forms of the vitamin is essential. K3 is synthetic. It won’t produce the same benefits. Almost all of our K intake is K1. The primary sources are leafy green vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, avocados, olive oil, whole wheat, and butter.
In one study from the Netherlands, researchers recruited 325 postmenopausal women without osteoporosis. Half the women received a placebo and half received vitamin K2, 45 milligrams per day.
The intervention period: three years.
Results: Bending strength, compression strength, and impact strength all improved in the K2 group, but not in the placebo group. Also, bone mineral content and femoral neck width increased in the K2 group, but not in the placebo group.
The detail about the femoral neck is a key point.
The femoral neck is a narrow section of the femur (thigh bone) located just below the ball-and-socket hip joint. When the femoral neck is fractured, the femur is often disconnected from the ball. In an aging population, that’s a common and very painful fracture.
Dietary sources of K2 include meat, liver, egg yolk, and fermented products such as yogurt and cheese. Vitamin K1 is mostly found in dark, leafy green vegetables and is converted to K2 in the intestine.
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Vitamin K is a potential cancer fighter. A high dietary intake of K2 may help reduce the risk of cancer–particularly prostate and lung cancers. In a recent study from the Mayo Clinic that included about 600 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients and 1,000 healthy control subjects, those with the highest dietary intake of vitamin K1 were 45 percent less likely to have the disease.
Many subjects with the highest intake also used supplements that contained vitamin K.
Dark leafy green vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, olive oil, and avocados are all rich in vitamin K1, which is converted into K2 in the intestine. Dietary K2 is mostly found in liver and egg yolk, and fermented products such as yogurt and cheese.
The lead author told Science Daily, “These findings add to a lot of other data that support a diet that includes plenty of green leafy vegetables in order to prevent many cancers as well as other diseases.”
Question: I have a fighter that broke his left fibula (about 2 ” above the lat malleolus) & had a plate inserted. He re-broke the bone under the plate again; rehabbed it and now has a fight here (San Jose) this weekend. He claims that the area feels very weak. What nutritionally would you recommend for him if anything?
Answer: Cal Matrix by Metagenics 2 tabs three times daily. www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com
Increase protein so that he gets his lean muscle mass amount in grams of protein per day.
Vitamin D3 10,000 daily for one week, then 5,000 daily.
Increase his Vitamin K either with lots of these various foods or supplements:
(mcg per 3½ oz)
Beef liver (92)
Green tea (712)
Turnip greens (650)
Whole wheat (17)
Varicose veins are caused by a variety of factors: genetic inclination, standing occupations, obesity, or multiple pregnancies.
In a 2007 study from France’s University of Nantes, researchers examined 36 healthy male subjects and 50 male subjects with varicose veins. They found a link between varicosis and inactivity of a protein called matrix GLA protein (MGP). And because MGP is properly activated only when vitamin K levels are adequate, researchers theorize that sufficient intake of the vitamin may play a role in the prevention of varicose veins.
The importance of vitamin K intake for circulatory health is already well known. Dr. Tucker recommends 5 to 15 mg of vitamin K per day – considerably higher than the recommended daily allowance.