Vitamin K could benefit hepatitis C patients

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Last month I told you about natural treatments and nutritional support for hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a common blood-borne infection that often develops into cirrhosis (a debilitating liver disease) and can transform into primary liver cancer. But according to a Japanese study, an increased intake of one vitamin may significantly lower the risk of liver cancer in patients with cirrhosis.

And as well see, this vitamin is also important for anyone with a family history of osteoporosis or arteriosclerosis.

Liver rescue

When researchers in the Graduate School of Medicine of Japan’s Osaka City University began their study of vitamin K use among women with cirrhosis of the liver, their goal was to evaluate potential advantages in using vitamin K to prevent bone loss. But the final analysis of data reaped an unexpected benefit, as reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Osaka team recruited a group of 40 women with viral cirrhosis. Most of the subjects also had hepatitis C. The average age for the group was about 60. For two years, 21 subjects took a daily 45 mg dose of vitamin K2. The other 19 women took a placebo. Of the women in the K2 group, only two developed liver cancer, while nine of the women in the placebo group developed cancer.

Larger studies will be needed to confirm any liver cancer preventive benefits of vitamin K2, but because of the length of the study, the researchers feel confident that K2 supplements may reduce the risk of liver cancer by as much as 20 percent in patients with viral cirrhosis. The study also found that vitamin K2 supplementation helped prevent bone loss in women with cirrhosis of the liver.

K for bones

Do we really need to take a vitamin K supplement?

World renowned alternative health specialist, Dr Jonathan V. Wright, provided this answer: If there’s a family history of osteoporosis, definitely. There’s also enough preliminary evidence to say that if there’s a family history of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), you probably should.

Dr Allan Spreen – alternative health expert – say that K intake also provides another kind of protection: An old study from the late 40s showed that vitamin K was clearly helpful against tooth decay. But the biggest news more recently has been concerning vitamin K as a strong bone-builder. It seems to not only help with poorly healing fractures, but at the same time helps prevent excess calcium from getting deposited in arterial walls.

The plant-based source of vitamin K (K1, or phylloquinone) seems to have no toxic effects in most any reasonable dose. But the synthetic form (K3, or menadione) has caused some liver toxicity and, rarely, a form of anaemia when taken in high doses. There’s also K2 (or menaquinones), but K1 and K2 are fine. As usual, it seems best to avoid synthetic forms, if possible. If the individual is on coumadin (blood thinner), he needs to talk with his doctor, as vitamin K can interfere with its effect.

Dr. Wright agrees that vitamins K1 and K2 are very safe, and recommends 5 to 15 mg per day. Note that the K2 dosage in the Osaka study was quite higher than that. Nevertheless, the supplement was well tolerated by the Osaka subjects.  
 
In the garden

As for dietary sources of vitamin K, Dr. Spreen tells me that dark, leafy green vegetables, such as kale and carrot tops, are the best for vitamin K1. The highest amounts of it are in chestnut leaves and fish meal. Spinach leaves, cabbage leaves and cauliflower are also right up there.

In addition to those sources, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, endive, and lettuce are also abundant in vitamin K1, as are olive oil and avocados. Vitamin K1 is converted into K2 in the intestine, but we get some amount of K2 in meat, liver and egg yolk, and fermented products such as yoghurt and cheese. And these sources reveal the basic difference between K1 and K2; K1 comes from plant sources, and K2 from animal sources.


Disclaimer: This article is part of the Daily Health's extensive research archive. The research and information contained in this article was accurate at the the time of publication but may have been updated since the date of publication. Consult our most recent articles for the latest research on alternative health and natural breakthroughs.

Bear in mind the material provided in this content is for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

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  • I have been diagnosed with several conditions; some solved with allopathic, some with homeopathic. LIV-52 seems to have helped; there are also raw foods like spinach, beans, white fish, watermelon and grapes and a minimum of eight ounces of water per day. The water can be replaced by real fruit popsicles, fruit ices etc, as long as they are 4oz or less. Hope this helps since I have had to try to decifer my way through a lot of information and guessing by the ten or so doctors that I have seen.

  • my name is samina i want to know that i am drinking grape fruit juice everyday before meal and i have a hepetitius c please tell me is that ok for me or please tell me any other treatment for hepetitius c thanks

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