Ask The Pharmacist: Preventing prostate cancer
Couples have plans, but after the C word is dropped, those plans change to unite them in the medical process. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most widespread cancer among men, affecting one in seven every year. Prostate cancer is also the third leading cause of cancer death, after lung and colorectal cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
The good news today is some significant strides are being made in the prevention of prostate cancer, as well as the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. In fact, we've now learned that one remarkable nutrient can have wondrous cancer fighting and preventative properties for all kinds of cancers. You might have thought vitamin C or D3, but you’d be wrong; it’s actually vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 is proving to be a marvelous ally in the war on prostate cancer. In fact, K2, along with vitamin D3, work harmoniously together for a wide range of diseases. Higher levels of K2 and higher intake of K2 are associated with lower prostate cancer risk, and vitamin K2 deficiency status has been found in most men with aggressive prostate cancers.
Researchers for the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) have also found that increasing one’s intake of vitamin K2 may lower the risk of getting prostate cancer dramatically by up to 35 percent. With a one in seven risk of developing prostate cancer within their lifetime, this is an encouraging discovery.
But because we’re talking about a vitamin, I’m sure you won’t see commercials about it. And K2 is not something you have to buy; it’s commonly found in foods that most of us already enjoy, like salads, green vegetables, green superfoods, as well as some meats and cheeses. There are also supplements that are sold without prescription at health food stores; however, I encourage you to ask your physician if these are right for you, as K2 can interfere with blood-thinning medications.
For people on the healing process with cancer, their number one goal is to stop the spread of cancer to other organs and tissues, termed metastasis. When prostate cancer is caught early on, before it has spread to many other organs, the interventions are more useful.
Vitamin K2 has also proven to have neuroprotective effects upon the brain, preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia, to shuttle calcium out of the arteries and to the bones, where it hardens and strengthens them, helps wounds and bones to heal faster, improves the skin and, can you believe it, reverses wrinkles, as well.
Vitamin K2 is found in foods such as dairy products, meat, and dark leafy greens like salads, Swiss chard, spinach and other greens. It is found in very high concentration in a popular Asian fermented soy dish called Natto. Other foods high in vitamin K2 include ground beef, liver, chicken as well as cheese, egg yolks and butter.
Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.