Celebrating 30 Years
NCI Well Connect: August 31, 2015
Dear Steve, 

DID YOU KNOW that we can test you for celiac disease and gluten intolerance from a simple finger prick for under $100?

Doctors Data, a lab we have used for heavy metal testing for almost two decades, has introduced the Celiac Bloodspot Test, which you can complete from the comfort of your own home.

Ruling out celiac and gluten intolerance has never been easier. Contact us at 847-498-3422 for more info.

Today, you are reading our subscription-based eNewsletter, NCI Well Connect. Simply keep read to see what you've been missing!

August and September sale items are on sale together today only!

Please see Brand Buzz section for an ingredient change to Blue Diamond snacks.

Have a happy, healthy day. Steve and Bonnie
Today's NCI Well Connect
Steve Minsky
From Editor Steve Minsky
  • Bad News About Blue Diamond Nut Thins
  • Saturated Fat Vindicated Again
  • Avocado Salad Dressing
  • New Antifungal Therapy
  • Eat a Healthy Snack Before Grocery Shopping
  • Is Weight Solely an Indulgence and Willpower Issue?
  • Nutrient Nourishment for the Brain
  • Local Food Is a Lifestyle Choice
  • Stress Hormone's Link to Cognition
  • Genetic Predisposition Warrants Higher Fish Oil Intake
  • GF Falafel
  • Bean Stalks
  • eInspire
Read stories like these twice weekly from our award-winning eNewsletter, access two titles per month from our Action Plan Library, and book free wellness coaching sessions, all for one dollar per week with an NCI Well Connect Membership!
Well Connect Feature
Saturated Fat Vindicated Again
Bonnie: How many times have I said that in optimal portions, saturated fat is not the enemy?

The change in nutritional philosophy decades ago, recommending an eating style low in fat, created the obesity epidemic, because everyone replaced fat with carbohydrates, most of which were refined. Multiple studies over the years have now confirmed this.

A study from this month's BMJ states that consumption of saturated fats is not associated with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, or diabetes. In contrast, however, consumption of trans fats is associated with all-cause mortality, total CHD, and CHD mortality.

In addition, certain vegetable fats do create inflammation (soy and corn oil are the biggest offenders), but if kept in moderation, this is not a major issue.

Are we doomed to make the same mistake again if we now recommend low carb eating styles? If the message is that simple, yes we will make the same mistake. We need to be more specific. Eating styles low in refined carbohydrates is the message we need to espouse. Fruit, vegetables, and certain whole grains, however, are wonderful carbohydrates.
Intermittent Fasting Rejuvenates Cells
Bonnie: Fast Metabolism Diet (FMD), four days of a diet that mimics fasting, developed to minimize the burden of prolonged fasting (PF), extended longevity, lowered visceral fat, reduced cancer incidence and skin lesions, rejuvenated the immune system, and retarded bone mineral density loss in mice.  

Three FMD cycles decreased risk factors/biomarkers for aging, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer without major adverse effects, providing support for the use of FMDs to promote healthspan.

The study in the June issue of Cell Metabolism also included a pilot human trial, in which three cycles of the FMD diet were given to subjects once a month for five days decreased risk factors and biomarkers for aging, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer with no major adverse side effects, 

Strict fasting is hard for people to stick to, and it can also be dangerous, so the researchers developed a complex diet that triggers the same effects in the body.

The diet slashed the individual's caloric intake down to 34 to 54 percent of normal, with a specific composition of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and micronutrients. It decreased amounts of the hormone IGF-I, which is required during development to grow (so this should not be used in anyone before puberty), but it is a promoter of aging and has been linked to cancer susceptibility. It also increased the amount of the hormone IGFBP-, and reduced biomarkers/risk factors linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including glucose, trunk fat and C-reactive protein without negatively affecting muscle and bone mass.

According to the researchers, it's about reprogramming the body so it enters a slower aging mode, but also rejuvenating it through stem cell-based regeneration. It's not a typical diet because it isn't something you need to stay on. For 25 days a month, study participants went back to their regular eating habits -- good or bad -- once they finished the treatment.

NOTE: If I get enough interest, I will create a modified, safer FMD. Let me know!
Recipe du Jour
Avocado Salad Dressing
  1. Blend 1/4 cup lime juice and 1 jalapeno pepper (optional), roughly chopped, in a blender for 30 seconds.
  2. Add 1 medium avocado and 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Thin with 2 to 3 T. of water.
  5. Salt to taste.
Did You Know? Meds
New Antifungal Therapy Is Here
Steve: A newly developed antifungal, isavuconazole, is as effective as an existing antifungal, voriconazole, against invasive mold disease, according to clinical data presented at the 54th Interscience Conference of the American Society for Microbiology.

There is a growing need for new antifungal therapies like isavuconazole because serious fungal infections caused by Aspergillus and other molds are on the rise, while older fungal therapies have lost their effectiveness.

Isavuconazole had significantly fewer adverse events, particularly in the eye, skin, and liver, gall blabber, and bile duct organ classes.
Shrewd Shopper
Eat a Healthy Snack Before Grocery Shopping
Bonnie: Shoppers can be primed to buy more produce when they eat a healthy item before shopping. 

New research from Psychology & Marketing found that individuals who ate an apple sample before shopping bought 25% more fruits and vegetables than those who did not eat a sample and 28% more than those given a cookie! 

Researchers recommend a small healthy snack before shopping because not only will it help decrease hunger, it may also nudge you to select healthier items. 

Grocery stores can also encourage people to buy more produce by offering samples of fruits and vegetables to shoppers upon entering the store. Whole Foods is great at doing this.
Weight Solely an Indulgence and Willpower Issue
Steve: We know now that indulgence and willpower is only a very small part of the weight equation.

A bigger part of the equation, that is now coming to light, is how gut bacteria dictate our weight. Overabundance of a species called Firmicutes can create weight gain. 

Fecal transplantation from obese humans to normal weight mice caused the mice to become obese. We have also heard accounts of humans receiving fecal transplants from overweight humans that then become overweight themselves.

There are several reasons that Firmicutes overpopulate the gut, but none more important than sugar. Other than candida, Firmicutes are the most well-suited microbes to grow on sugars and refined carbohydrates. In fact, Firmicutes is an the most common bacteria found at sugar cane processing plants.

Taking probiotics, eating more beans (that encourage the growth of Bateroidetes, which balances out Firmicutes), getting adequate sleep, and eating more fiber help keep Firmicutes balanced.
Brand Buzz
Unfortunately, one of our main "go-to's" has changed its ingredients for the worse.

All Nut Thin and Artisan Cracker flavors have changed from natural butter flavor to natural flavor, which is corn maltodextrin. Ugh.

Those who avoid corn will have to turn to Absolutely Gluten-Free Crackers, Mary's Gone Crackers, Edward and Sons, or Beanitos depending on your individual needs.
Blue Diamond Nut Thins
Crunchy and delicious.
Gluten-free and vegetarian.
   Nate's Mediterranean Bites Kale Falafel
Bonnie's Bite
Nutrient Nourishment for the Brain

Omega­-3 Fish Oil
Omega-­3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish oil are king of the nutrients for cognitive health.

To clarify, when EPA and DHA supplements are given to individuals with mild cognitive impairment, the research is very positive. However, when patients with established Alzheimer's Disease are supplemented with EPA and DHA, it appears that no clear benefit is achieved.

In the few preventive studies performed over a long period of time in healthy subjects, research has definitely been favor of fish oil.

Of course, there are many other positive changes produced by fish oil, but today we are just focusing on the brain.

Omega­-3s and B-vitamins
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a link between omega-­3 levels and B vitamins against accelerated brain wasting (atrophy). Specifically, the trial indicated that high-­dose B vitamin supplementation slowed atrophy in people with mild cognitive impairment by 40% when omega­-3 levels were already high.

Vitamin E
Brain benefits of tocopherols and tocotrienols, the chemicals that make up vitamin E, are linked predominantly to their antioxidant effects, which play a key role protecting membranes for oxidation, and omega-­3 fatty acids from peroxidation. Over 90% of Americans are reportedly not consuming the RDA for vitamin E, with most getting less than half of the RDA.

Arguably the hottest mineral on the planet (should have been this way for decades). With between 70 and 80% of the US population not meeting their recommended intakes of magnesium, many health professionals are waking up to the importance of the mineral for enhancing many areas of memory related brain functions.

Lesser known, but important nutrients, will be covered in next month's Bonnie's Bite.
Locavore Tidbit
Local Food Is a Lifestyle Choice
Steve: More Americans than ever before are supporting their local food markets, and it's not just because they believe the food is fresher and tastes better. 

According to a new study presented at the American Sociology Association Annual meeting, people are shopping farmers markets and joining food coops at record numbers because they enjoy knowing who grows their food.

"Locavores" are also driven to eat locally grown produce and meat because their commitment to do so makes them feel a part of something greater than themselves -- a community that shares their passion for a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable environment. 

For these enthusiasts, supporting the local food movement is a sort of civic duty, an act to preserve their local economy against the threats of globalization and big-box stores.

Researchers said the local food market is what sociologists call a "moralized market," that is a market in which people combine economic activities with their social values. Local food markets were more likely to develop in areas where residents had a strong commitment to civic participation, health and the environment.

For someone who has participated in a neighborhood CSA for almost 10 years, I know this to be true.
Understanding Lab Tests
Stress Hormone's Link to Cognition
Bonnie: Measuring cortisol in saliva may help identify healthy older people with cognitive impairment, a new study from Neurology hints.

The study team observed that higher evening cortisol levels in saliva were associated with lower total brain volume and poorer global cognitive function in older dementia-free individuals. On the other hand, higher morning saliva cortisol levels seemed to correlate with greater white matter volume and some aspects of cognitive function. 

High levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been found in people with depression, and the theory is that cortisol has a toxic effect on the hippocampus area of the brain, which plays an important role in memory.

The best method of testing for cortisol by far is saliva.
Super Sprowtz Music Video
Wild Card
Genetic Predisposition Warrants Higher DHA Intake
Steve: Carriers of the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) allele metabolize docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplements (from fish oil or algae) far more poorly than are noncarriers. This effect is exacerbated in overweight individuals because DHA metabolism changes with increased weight.

Researchers in the June issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that APOE4 carriers with Body Mass Index equal to or more than 25.5 may need higher intakes of DHA for cognitive, cardiovascular, and other health benefits than do noncarriers.

APOE4 is one of the short list of genes that has stout research behind, especially for the brain and heart. This gene is easier to assess from a testing standpoint.
"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.-Anatole France
New Celiac Disease, Gluten Testing
Biopsy-Free, Syringe-Free
We can now test you for celiac disease and gluten intolerance from a simple finger prick for under $100!

Doctors Data, a lab we have used for heavy metal testing for almost two decades, has introduced the Celiac Bloodspot Test, which you can complete from the comfort of your home.

Ruling out celiac and gluten intolerance has never been easier. Contact us at 847-498-3422 for more info.
Action Plan of the Month -
Pain Relief Diet
One of the perks of being a NCI Well Connect Member is that you have monthly access to our Action Plan Library (38 plans: total value over $275). 


The perk comes in handy when you are looking for pain relief without medication. Of course, food should be the first place to look. Our Pain Relief Diet Action Plan guides you through eliminating and re-introducing certain groups of food that are known triggers for inflammation and pain.


Action Plans are free by email request for NCI Well Connect Members or can be ordered separately. To activate your NCI Well Connect Membership today and get your free copy, click here.

eNews Briefs
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Get Back to Wellness
We have a multitude of options for simple fine-tuning or the toughest cases.
  • Balanced Eating 101 (focus on eating style only)
  • Full Wellness Evaluation (with bloodwork)
  • NCI Well Connect Membership
  • Food/Med/Supplement Interaction Evaluation
  • Food Intolerance Screening (with menu plan only)
  • Dietary Supplement Update
  • Wellness and Lifestyle Coaching Sessions
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  • Workplace Wellness Evaluations
  • Chiropractic and Acupuncture

Consulting prices range from $45 to $225. Contact us at 847-498-3422 or email for details.

Movement Videos
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Natural Food Shopping List
Are you completely overwhelmed with finding trustworthy foods that fit your individualized eating style? Don't fret.Natural Foods Shopping List does the work for you.

Natural Foods Shopping List consists of food items that meet our strict criteria for safety, clean ingredients, and of course, palatability.

We are always open to your recommendations. As long as it meets our criteria, we will add it to the list.

Natural Foods Shopping List is revised quarterly and updates are available online to NCI Well Connect Members. The latest update is from March 1, 2015.
Thirty years of serving your wellness needs. We appreciate your continued patronage and support.

Have a happy, healthy day,
Bonnie, Steve, and all of us at Nutritional Concepts

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