Vitamin K May Protect Against Lymphoma

ROCHESTER, Minn., April 21 (UPI) -- Vitamin K -- found in green leafy vegetables -- may protect against non-Hodgkin lymphoma, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma -- cancer of the immune system -- was approximately 45 percent lower for those whose vitamin K intake was in the top quarter, vs. those whose intake of the vitamin was in the bottom quarter.

The fat-soluble vitamin known for its effect on blood clotting seems to play a role in inhibiting inflammatory cytokines which may play a role in the disease, the researchers said.

"These results are provocative, since they are the first work we have done on the connection between vitamin K and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and this is a fairly strong protective effect," lead investigator Dr. James Cerhan said in a statement. "However, as with all new findings, this will need to be replicated in other studies."

Vitamin K May Protect Against Lymphoma

Cerhan and colleagues surveyed the diets and supplements for the last two years of 603 newly diagnosed Non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients as well as 1,007 matched cancer-free controls.

The researchers cautioned vitamin K can interact with certain drugs -- such anti-coagulants or seizure medications -- and patients taking them need to follow their physician's recommendations on diet.