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They say that specific variety, which is high in vitamin K2, appeared to increase levels of key proteins involved in bone turnover.

Professor Sumantra Ray, lasix electrolyte depletion at the NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health in Cambridge, said: “This study shows that while calcium and vitamin D are known to be extremely important for bone health, there are other key factors at play, such as vitamin K2.”

The study involved 66 female volunteers, who were randomly allocated to eat a daily portion of Jarlsberg or Camembert.

After six weeks, the Camembert group switched to eating Jarlsberg for a further six weeks.

Both cheeses have similar fat and protein contents but Jarlsberg is rich in vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone. Vitamin K is important for bone health and low intake has been associated with increased risk of fractures.

Blood tests showed that levels of key proteins and a peptide involved in bone turnover increased in participants who ate the Norwegian cow’s milk cheese but remained unchanged or fell among those eating Camembert.

Prof Ray added: “This is a small study in young and healthy people designed to explore novel pathways linking diet and bone health. The results need to be interpreted with great caution as the study participants will not necessarily be representative of other groups.”

“And it’s not a recommendation to eat a particular type of cheese.”

The findings are in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health.

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