Looking to justify that slice of provolone on your turkey sandwich? According to a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin K2, found in meat and dairy products, may decrease risk of prostate cancer. In the first study of its kind, researchers from the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, Germany, collected data from 11,319 men, ages 40–65, living in and around Heidelberg. For more than eight years, they analyzed subjects’ daily intake of vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 and the incidence of prostate cancer.

The relationship between increased intake of vitamin K2 from dairy—mainly cheese—and decreased rates of prostate cancer was especially strong. Researchers found no association between the vitamin-K1 intake and prostate-cancer rates. “We knew from in-vitro studies that the anticancer effects of vitamin K2 are more pronounced than those of vitamin K1. Thus, our result of a decreased risk of [advanced] prostate cancer with higher vitamin K2 intake fits our initial hypothesis,” says Jakob Linseisen, MD, senior author of the study. He cautions that the results are preliminary and hopes that “our results can stimulate further research on the anticancer activities of vitamin K2.”