vitamin K - essential to human health

Treating Leukemia with Vitamin K

Vitamin K2 may be able to help prevent or treat different types of leukemia.

Leukemia is cancer of the blood. There are no clinical trials using vitamin K to treat leukemia. However, case studies and a small multicenter clinical trial show vitamin K2 has helped some leukemia patients.(71)

There are acute and chronic versions of two different types of leukemia. Both arise in the bone marrow where new blood cells develop:(59)

Table 7: Types of Cells Involved in Leukemia Development
Leukemia Type Arises From
Myelogenous leukemia

From the marrow cells that normally would form:

  • Red blood cells
  • White blood cells that ingest germs
  • Platelets
Lymphocytic leukemia From the marrow cells that normally form the type of immune system white blood cells that respond to infections.

Acute leukemia progresses rapidly and is mostly composed of nonfunctioning immature blood cells (e.g., myeloblasts and lymphoblasts). Both chronic and acute forms of leukemia will cause severe anemia and increase vulnerability to infections if left untreated.(59)

Chronic myelogenous leukemia cells function almost like normal cells. There are typically less red blood cell types and the white blood cell types gradually increase to abnormally high levels.(59)

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia produces non-functioning lymphocytes. They gradually overtake the normal blood cells and weaken the immune system.(59)

Evidence of Vitamin K2 Benefits in Treating Leukemia

Some studies suggest vitamin K2 may help treat various forms of leukemia:(71)

  • Vitamin K2 was given to a 72 year old female patient after her leukemia recurred after standard chemotherapy treatment. Vitamin K2 effectively induced full remission after 2 months.
  • Treatment with 90 mg/day of vitamin K2 for 6 weeks significantly lowered an acute myeloid leukemia patient's myeloblast cell count. After 10 months of stable cell counts, the vitamin K2 dose was reduced by half.
  • In a clinical study conducted at 11 independent facilities involving 47 leukemia patients, oral or intravenous (IV) vitamin K2 produced significant therapeutic benefits. Ten of the 14 patients receiving conventional medications at the same time had reduced numbers of nonfunctioning blast cells. 44% of those on vitamin K2 alone showed improvement of anemic conditions. The majority of study participants received 45 mg/day of vitamin K2.

Clinical research suggests vitamin K2 may also be able to help people with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), when combined with vitamin D3. MDS increases the risk of developing leukemia.(60)

Dosage ranged from 20-135 mg/day for oral doses and 10-50 mg/day if administered by IV.(71)
20 mg/day.(71)
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