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Since 1985,
Bringing the Wellness of Tomorrow, Today.
October 31, 2012
Dear Valued Subscriber,

Happy Halloween. It's not just scary because of ghosts and goblins. Deadlines loom for 2013 health insurance!


With increased frequency, insurance claims are being reimbursed for nutritional services when submitted with a doctor's prescription. Before you renew, we urge you to check with your healthcare provider to make sure they cover preventive services and medical nutrition therapy.


For information on best practices for reimbursement, please visit Reimbursement for Nutritional Counseling Services.


In addition, two pieces of The Affordable Care Act go into effect in 2013.


1) Flexible Spending Account (FSA) spending limits are capped at $2500. Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are not affected.


2) You can increases the threshold for itemized deductions for unreimbursed medical expenses from 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10% of adjusted gross income, except for individuals age 65 and older for tax years 2013 through 2016.


ALERT: Rudi's Bakery, a popular brand of gluten-free bread, issued a voluntary recall due to pieces of metal found in three lots of breads. Please visit this link for details.


Have a happy, healthy day. Bonnie and Steve Minsky


EASY Holiday Support Solutions

What should be one of the most fulfilling times of the year often becomes the most stressful. Bonnie created 5 EASY Support Solutions to assure that your holiday season is the happiest and healthiest it can be. 


The following information is free. Supplements and action plans are optional.


*EASY Holiday Support Solutions

(click on a plan for more info)

Mood Support 
50 Plan  |  100 Plan

Immune Support 

Detox Support 
50 Plan  |  100 Plan  |  175 Plan

Travel Support 
50 Plan

Weight Management 
*Well Connect subscribers qualify for a 10% discount by typing "WELL CONNECT" in the ordering instructions. 

*If you are not a Well Connect subscriber but want to be, we will take $30 off a one year subscription (49.99 from 79.99), and also give you 10% off your Holiday order. Type SUBSCRIBE in the ordering instructions.

Contact Steve at or 847-509-1336 for further details. 


This Week's Alert

Damaging Diet Soda Study, About to Go to Press, Is Discredited By One of Its Own at the Eleventh Hour.


Steve: We are not making up this horror story because it's Halloween. Last Wednesday, I got to preview a study that at long last, provided substantive data on the long-term risks of diet soda. Until last week, the longest safety study on aspartame was performed on 29 subjects for 18 weeks. The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed 125,000 men and women for a lifetime.


Just as quickly as I reviewed the details of the study and was ready to share them with you, an announcement came from Brigham and Women's Hospital, where the study took place: "It has come to our attention that the scientific leaders at Brigham and Women's Hospital did not have an opportunity, prior to today, to review the findings of the paper. Upon review of the findings, the consensus of our scientific leaders is that the data is weak, and that BWH Media Relations was premature in the promotion of this work. We apologize for the time you have invested in this story." 


Huh? Bonnie and I can say categorically that we have never seen anything like this before. Fishy is a gross understatement. Could it be that the "powers that be" stepped in at the eleventh hour to dilute the issue? It is very possible, because if the American public got a hold of the following comment from the authors of the study, just like with pink slime, it would not end well aspartame.


"We observed a positive association between diet soda and total aspartame intake and risks of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and multiple myeloma in men, and leukemia in both men and women."


Come again? When I read this sentence, my first thought was to question why aspartame, so staunchly defended for its safety record, would be allowed to show its true colors in a scientific journal. I assumed that because aspartame has lost its "top dog" status to sucralose as the preferred artificial sweetener, maybe the manufacturer wasn't as worried about a negative study affecting the bottom line.


Then, one of the authors of the study, Walter Willett, told NPR last Friday that the findings as presented were "scary" and should not be put on the evening news. Obviously, someone realized that the threat of class action lawsuits was enough of an impetus to make this story go away.


At least Willett saved some face by telling NPR that "I do think this finding is strong enough to justify further study on aspartame and cancer risk."


Here are the study details that got everyone so riled up:

  • It took only one serving per day of diet soda to raise the cancer risk. The more servings subjects' consumed, the greater the risk.
  • The authors explained how the carcinogenicity of aspartame is biologically plausible, especially in men. This is significant because outside of a few vociferous nutritional advocates, this is first time we have seen an explanation in a prestigious scientific journal.
  • The study also tracked subjects drinking regular sugar-sweetened soda. For men, the news was no better. Drinking one serving or more daily showed elevated non-Hodgkins lymphoma risk.
  • For those who drank no diet or sugar-sweetened soda, there was no elevated cancer risk.
  • The authors stated that a major strength of the study was they captured lifetime exposure because they assessed diet soda consumption since aspartame was first allowed in the food supply.

Where there is smoke, there is fire. The fact that there was so much effort put into squelching this study legitimizes its importance. Do we feel confident that more long-term studies looking into the cancer connection will bear fruit? Based upon the blow-back from this study, no. 


What does this say about the newer crop of artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose or erythritol? We reiterate what have said incessantly: never jump onto the newest food or medication when it becomes available, especially if a synthetic chemical or genetically modified food. More often than not, it does not end well.


And who in the media, except for NPR, has reported on this? Nobody.