vitamin K - essential to human health

Does Vitamin K Help or Hurt Pancreatic Cancer Patients?

Even though anticoagulants that block vitamin K may help with pancreatic cancer, vitamin K, vitamin K2, and vitamin K3 help kill pancreatic cancer cells.

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat. Preliminary studies suggest vitamin K, vitamin K2, and vitamin K3 may also kill pancreatic cancer cells. Vitamin K is also used to prevent excess bleeding during surgery for pancreatic cancer.(437380)

If Vitamin K Blockers Increase Survival Times, Does Vitamin K Promote Cancer?

Warfarin is an anticoagulant drug used to prevent dangerous blood clots. It works by reducing levels of vitamin K, which is needed for clotting.(46)

Some research has linked the use of warfarin to increased survival in pancreatic cancer patients. In 2 studies, patients with pancreatic cancer who used low-dose warfarin had small but significant increases in survival times (2-5 months).(81)

However, warfarin's positive impact is most likely linked to reducing the risk of abnormal clots in veins and not on blocking vitamin K. Preliminary research actually indicates that vitamin K may offer therapeutic benefit for pancreatic cancer.(7381)

Evidence of Benefit

Vitamins K1 and K2 both inhibited cancer cell survival in lab studies on 4 human pancreatic cancer cell lines. When combined with chemotherapy, vitamin K improved the drug's ability to kill cancer cells. This suggests that less chemotherapy could be used with the same anticancer effect.(7382)

In animal experiments using transplanted pancreatic cancer cells, vitamin K3 killed and inhibited the growth and spread of pancreatic cancer cells.(43)

Pancreatic tumors often block bile ducts, which leads to low levels of vitamin-K dependent clotting factors.(80)
Common in pancreatic cancer patients.(81)
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