I was very happy to see Time Magazine's June 2014 front cover: "Eat Butter. Scientists Labeled Fat the Enemy. Why They Were Wrong." :)
Due to my husband's profession, a LOT of fairly heavy scientific journals come to our house. If you regularly read them, you can see that scientific knowledge is in flux, and will continue to be so as life processes are better and more minutely studied. Right now, reading about science is like looking through ever more powerful microscopes. Certainly, every week journals like the New England Journal of Medicine put out something no one has ever heard of before, and it will take years and years of rigorously controlled studies to validate or disprove stuff that's new this month.
Part of the problem is that it's hard to get grant money for subjects that are not 'glamorous,' and while visible fat in arteries is a glamorous subject (because of the frequency with which it is found during surgery, it's always right out there in front), vitamin K on the other hand doesn't yet have any street cred. At least not yet. If it ever does, the money will come rolling in (relatively speaking), and you will see and read about more research on the subject. But the 'truth' about its effectiveness will not be known for decades, even if hundreds of studies are published.
As to studying isolated groups like the Swiss population you mention, the ones with great teeth and circulatory systems, yeah, it seems to work for them, as it does for a famous Italian population that eats lots of fats, has high blood fats, and yet is long-lived and amazingly healthy.
However, these are populations that are genetically close due to relative isolation, and if they have lived where they are for centuries, the chances are that their environment has forced certain genetic changes on them that allow them to thrive and reproduce successfully. For example, a lactose-intolerant person born into these groups would not probably not survive or leave many offspring. What other special adaptations must they also have? Probably a lot. These people are effectively what is called an 'island population.' We have no idea what would happen if outsiders from an entirely different genetic pool and environment were given their diet and lifestyle.
But these things ARE worth studying, for the sake of conclusions that might one day turn out to be valid.
But what I find hard to understand are the so called claimed genetic differences. It kind of reminds me of the claims made about evolution with no real scientific evidence. We can say isolated groups have different genes due to their environment/diet etc, but this is not proved. We see birds adapting beaks for different environments but with regards to human beings I thought the general consensus was human evolution has basically stopped? The only thing which seems to continually adapt (thank goodness) is the immune system. I think genes can be very over simplified in science and be misleading. For example, science claims we have a common ancestor to Chimps because our genes are so closely matched. However, genetic experts tend to disagree because many of the 2% differences are control genes with makes us millions of genes different. I'm not saying such theories about human isolated groups is wrong, what I'm saying is science needs to be very specific about what it says. I do agree it's worth more study. I do know there was research on vitamin K2 with Mice which surprised everyone with the results regarding cardiovascular disease and cancers. I would have thought the excitement would be enough to drive research much further. Personally I think the biggest stumbling block of any current research is knowing the right levels for vitamins and minerals. We obviously need a normal baseline but where can we obtain this? We have no idea which population, if any, have normal levels of everything. To keep studying the effects of medications may be simply finding a way to fight against a deficiency which is easily overcome.
"I thought the general consensus was human evolution has basically stopped?"
Among those who do not believe in evolution, you betcha. It's an article of faith for them. But among scientists, far from it! Our advanced technology has perhaps freed us from certain evolutionary pressures, but with our short human lifespans, no one can yet see or say what the ultimate outcome of 'recent' environmental or society changes are, even of something so recent as the Industrial Revolution. No responsible, well-read scientist declares that evolution has stopped. If he is quoted as saying that, either he is not responsible--or a misquote or misunderstanding by the reporter is involved.
As you say, the interpretation of genetics can indeed be oversimplified--but only among non-scientists. Among scientists, it is still an expanding maze with many areas under investigation, and good researchers are very, very careful to present their observations only as hypotheses open to challenge and further investigation. That is the heart of the scientific method, and it does not lead to speedy, comforting conclusions that are set in stone.
Unfortunately, as E. O. Wilson noted in his wonderful book, "Consilience," at a point in human history when the liberal arts and the sciences should be working close together towards a meeting of the minds, they are instead further apart than ever, with a immense lack of understanding.
Our discussion here is a perfect example of that.
I think we perhaps see evolution as a different thing. I call tiny changes like we see in birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians as 'adaptations'. Evolution is the general term used for millions of small adaptations over millions of years, such as the claim that we came from fish over 300 million years ago. When too many adaptations occur, we see nature jump in and say "oops, nope, this is not sterile" as with the horse. I think the best example is the genetic engineering used in fruit flies which have relatively simple dna. We either get bent wings, no wings, no legs or death. I also don't believe that people who don't believe in evolution simply can't see it. I have tried so very hard to see it but I can't see the imaginary links. I don't live far from London and have visited the museums many times. On display is a small part of a skull, sometimes even just a tiny piece of jaw bone but above this is a full grown homo erectus. I don't care how clever someone thinks they are, to put a full grown being from a tiny piece of jaw bone is a lot of guess work. Getting them to be humble to admit this is the problem lol.