Vitamin K may be one of the most overlooked vitamins when it comes to our overall health. It is one of the fat soluble vitamins, along with A, D, and E that are critical for many bodily functions. In particular, it is very important for heart health and studies have shown it do reduce arterial calcification and improve bone density. Unfortunately, many of us lack sufficient levels of Vitamin K. The main food source of Vitamin K is leafy green vegetables. However, there is another source – the beneficial intestinal bacteria that live within us. For much of human history this provided a significant proportion of Vitamin K. Here again is a problem of modern man and our diets. Many of us do not have adequate levels of the friendly flora in our guts. If you suffer from digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and acid reflux (to name a few) it is likely your personal bacteria are out of balance.

And now here’s the big “ah-hah” moment! We’ve all heard how our use of antibiotics kills the friendly flora, well here’s another. When experimental animals were given “FDA acceptable daily intake” amounts of sucralose (that’s Splenda) for 12 weeks, numbers of key beneficial flora were decreased significantly. Even after another 12 weeks of being off sucralose key levels remained significantly depressed. (Information courtesy of Nutrition & Healing September 2009 newsletter by Dr. Jonathan Wright.)

So – if you are having digestive problems and can’t figure out why, Splenda may be the culprit. And to be honest, any time you have something you can’t figure out, lay off all the artificial sweeteners for about 45 days and see what happens. They’ve been connected to all kinds of health maladies.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to