Column # 395 March 24, 2023
For awhile now Dr. Kevin Stock has been running a series of short articles on how nutrition impacts teeth development in his “Saturday 7" weekly newsletter. Many of us don’t think about this topic often but Kevin does because his primary profession is dentistry. But he’s also a longtime student of nutrition and fitness. Consequently, every time he looks into a patient’s mouth he sees far more than most dentists.1
I would say that virtually everyone knows some youngsters and young mothers who are dining on the Standard American Diet (SAD). This is truly sad. Nearly all of the explanations of SAD are the same. Generally all of the explanations indicate that SAD consists of ultra-processed foods, added sugar, fat, and sodium. Then for proper nutrition “they” recommend fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean protein—but recommend against RED MEAT.
Ironically, all meat, red or white, from grass-fed and wild-caught animals is the best food on the planet for humans. So even those nutritionists who understand the deficiencies of ultra-processed foods, sugar, fat, and sodium miss the boat. For that reason, I think it is important to review Kevin’s condensed take on the subject of teeth and meat—word for word.
Most kids I see have this:
Most of the pediatric patients I see have narrow dental arches and vaulted palates.
It's a primary cause of crooked teeth and a red flag for an obstructed airway and sleep disordered breathing.
This is often the result of not eating enough meat, thereby missing the nutrition and stresses to fully develop the jaws and hold the mouth in correct oral posture = mouth shut, tongue to palate, breathing through the nose.
But this problem can start even earlier . . .
Can vitamins really impact facial growth:
In the 1970s, mothers taking the blood-thinning drug warfarin had babies with severely underdeveloped top jaws (now known as Binder's Syndrome).
These babies grew up to have small or absent sinuses, narrow dental arches, and severe malocclusion.
Warfarin works by inhibiting vitamin K recycling, thus interfering with normal blood clotting.
But vitamin K's job isn't just coagulation . . .
Vitamin K activates proteins for proper craniofacial development.
For example, vitamin K turns on Matrix GLA Protein (MGP), which prevents calcification of the nasal septum.
However, with a warfarin-induced deficiency of vitamin K, MGP isn't activated, the septum gets calcified, and the growth of the maxilla is stunted.
Interestingly, MGP has a high preference to be activated by vitamin K2 MK-4, a version found exclusively in animal foods.
WE KNOW severe vitamin K deficiency impairs craniofacial development, nasal breathing, and occlusion.
What WE DON'T KNOW (yet) is that most people, including mothers, fetuses, and children have at least a subtle / subclinical deficiency of K2 contributing to the high prevalence of malocclusion today.
Perinatal nutrition should emphasize animal foods (pastured beef, organs, butter, eggs) high in the fat-soluble bioavailable vitamins needed for proper growth and development.
● Newborns are typically vitamin K deficient.
● The transport of vitamin K across the placental barrier is highly selective for Vitamin K2 MK-4.
● Vitamin K2 MK-7 (found in fermented food like natto) is undetectable in umbilical cord blood, even when supplemented.
There appears to be no vegan way around this besides bioidentical synthetic MK-4 supplementation.
This isn’t the kind of nutritional information you’ll find everywhere. Yet Kevin’s Meat Health Academy is loaded with hundreds of in-depth nuggets similar to the short summary above. So, if you are into nutrition and want to help youngsters get on the right track, at the very least introduce them to Kevin’s “Saturday 7" newsletter. If they are smart, they’ll sign up for his Meat Health Academy.2 3
I can’t overstress the importance of proper nutrition early in life—earlier the better. What we can’t see in most people is the nutritional damage they have inflicted on themselves and their children early on. It’s unfortunate, but some of the nutritional-deficiency-damage in the formative years cannot be restored to perfect health later in life even with a switch to a perfectly healthy lifestyle.4
Yes, we all know that children and even young mothers figure they are bulletproof. But they are fools to believe that and, with that kind of thinking, they will pay a price later in life no matter who they are.
To your health.
Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.
For additional reading:
4. Carnivore Teeth by Ted Slanker