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2011-07-29

Vitamin K May Improve Cognitive Health in the Elderly

You know that Sesame Street skit that goes, "...one of these things is not like the others, one of these things don't belong..." (or something like that). Isn't this wrong?! I never really gave it much thought until a few days ago (I'm sure it's discussed all over the internet if I were to look into it...I can't imagine I'm the only one), but why are we teaching kids to identify the thing that's different? ...and even worse, why do we suggest that the thing that's different "doesn't belong?!" I think this teaches racism, homophobia, starts religious wars, etc... instead of focusing on the things that made us different, let's focus only on those things that make us the same. It'll take a total reprogramming of the way we think, and it may take a generation or two before we see the social and global benefits from this way of thinking, but it'll be worth it.

Sesame Street and other kids shows (if you let your kids watch TV in the first place) should teach kids to identify those things that are similar. Show the kids a number of objects that are quite different from one another, and ask them to figure out what is common between all of them. I know I've seen similar exercises in some toddler's activity books...but this should be wide-spread... and drop the whole find the difference thing.

That's my rant for the day, and now that I got that off my chest, let's geek-out...

In a previous study, researchers showed vitamin K to preferentially accumulate in brain regions rich in white matter and to positively correlate with certain sphingolipids (like ceramides). In previous studies on rodents, vitamin K deficiency has resulted in behavioral disturbances. To gain insight on the role of vitamin K status on brain function, the authors of this new study investigated learning abilities, motor activity, and anxiety in distinct groups of 6-, 12-, and 20-month old rats that had been fed diets containing low, adequate, or high levels of vitamin K since weaning. 

Results revealed that a lifetime of consuming a low-vitamin K diet resulted in cognitive deficits in the 20-month old rats, with those in the low-K group having impaired learning abilities compared to those in the high-K group. However, the low-K diet did not affect cognition at 6 and 12 months of age, nor did it affect motor activity or anxiety at any age.

Although this was an animal study, and much remains to be elucidated about the mechanism of action of vitamin K in cognition, this study points to vitamin K as an important nutritional factor contributing to cognitive health, especially as we age.

As more research is done on vitamin K, I believe you'll continue to hear more and more benefits of this severely under-rated nutrient. Here are some other recent studies on vitamin K (or other posts where vitamin K was discussed)...
A few years ago, vitamin D studies started to trickle in, and now we're seeing a full-on, double rainbow of studies. I see the same thing happening with vitamin K, and it's going to impress a number of you in the coming years.

Source: Lifelong Low-Phylloquinone Intake Is Associated with Cognitive Impairments in Old Rats


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1 comment:

  1. I agree....apparently, Sesame Street is full of underlying politically incorrect messages. I don't know if it's still on but don't let your kids watch this garbage. They're preparing the kids for Fox News and all that brainwashing stuff. Quite disgusting.

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