A not very well known fact is that we get vitamin K not only from the diet, but also from the bacteria that we co-exist with in our intestines. Vitamin K activity is provided by a group of compounds called vitamers. This is why newborns are given supplemental vitamin K: their digestive tract is sterile at birth and it takes time to acquire the microbes that make vitamin K. A recent study looked into more detail about how vitamin K is produced by the human microbiome, and possible links with diabetes risk markers.
When listening to news reports of conflict among different groups within the world, one can lose sight of the fact that humans share so much in common. 99.9% of our genome is identical. Despite the apparent aggression among some people/groups, there is less than 0.1% difference among persons on the planet. We may look different – hair and eye color, body shape, skin color. We may adopt different beliefs and cultures – religions, languages, clothing. But truly, we share so much in common.
Nutrition shouldn’t cause anxiety and despair. Eating should be an enjoyable way to achieve good health. Yet, as the Heath brothers describe in their book “Switch”, the effort is overwhelming because we cannot decipher a Food Pyramid any better than a Food Rhombus or Food Rooster. MyPlate provides advice on servings but it isn’t inspirational. Our bathroom scales are more likely to cause us to push away from the table and quit the ‘clean plate club’.
Pregnancy is a unique window of opportunity. Nutrition during pregnancy, and up to the child’s second birthday, shapes the life of a child – including the ability to learn, to grow, and long-term health. Two new studies emphasize the importance of maternal nutrition during pregnancy. More importantly, they also demonstrate the need for education, and sometimes changes in policy.