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Eat Your Leafy Greens, Grandma!

October 26th, 2013 No comments

I bet you remember as a kid being told by your parents to “eat your veggies, even the greens.” But I bet you don’t remember your parents telling THEIR parents to eat their veggies. The vast effects from eating vegetables and having a healthy diet in younger developmental stages are enumerable, but consequences of diet on elderly populations are often overlooked.


Figure 1. Vitamin K can be naturally found in several leafy green vegetables, as shown above.

What is in these magical green veggies (lettuce, kale, spinach) anyway? Amongst other things, a notable compound present is vitamin K. This vitamin is most notably used in the body to promote protective blood clotting. However, other potential roles of vitamin K in the brain have been examined in rats. Vitamin K is present in high levels in the brain, and proteins that rely on vitamin K to function are also found in the brain. These same studies found evidence for vitamin K to specifically have effects in the aging brain. Older rats that were fed a vitamin K rich diet had better spatial learning memory than those fed a low vitamin K diet. This phenomenon was only observed in older rats, not the younger populations.  Read more…

Categories: Aging, Memory Tags: ,