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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
November 20, 2013
Dear Valued Subscriber,


Many of our hotmail subscribers were blocked from reading Monday's eNewsletter. If you would like to read it, please click here. We apologize for the inconvenience.


And the winner is? Nearly 60% of you decided that the best place for our 33 year-old Hostess cupcake is the Museum of Science and Industry. We will start to explore this option and keep you posted on our progress. Thanks for your participation.


Have a happy, healthy day. Bonnie and Steve Minsky.


Is It Normal Memory Loss or Something Worse?
Researchers from Cornell's College of Human Ecology and Institute for Human Neuroscience have published a study assessing a method to distinguish memory declines associated with healthy aging from serious declines associated with degenerative diseases years before symptoms emerge.
Data to form their model came from 2 large studies of older adults. They employed a theory-driven mathematical model to detect unique patterns of errors on neuropsychological tests and compared the patterns for separate memory processes: reconstructive memory, which is recalling an event by piecing together clues about its meaning; and recollective memory, which is recalling a word or event exactly.
The researchers found that declines in reconstructive memory were associated with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's dementia, but not with healthy aging. Declines in recollective memory are a feature of normal aging.
The investigators concluded that over a period of 1 to 6 years, declines in reconstructive memory processes were reliable predictors of future progression from healthy aging to mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's dementia.
Something's Fishy With the New Cholesterol Guidelines.
A dual effort by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology to update cholesterol guidelines has caused a schism among cardiologists and has royally confused the public.
The intent of the guidelines was to assure more people who would benefit from statins were going to be on them, while fewer people who wouldn't benefit from statins were not going to be on them. But an online calculator meant to help doctors assess risks and treatment options is already a major embarrassment.


The calculator appears to greatly overestimate risk, so much so that it could mistakenly suggest that millions more people are candidates for statin drugs. The problems were identified a year ago by two Harvard Medical School professors, but the guidelines committee chose to ignore them.


Aside from this blunder, 90% of the guidelines focus on statins as opposed to lifestyle recommendations. The guidelines summarily dismiss the wonderful research on safer cholesterol-lowering options such as plant sterols/stanols and red yeast rice.


Not surprisingly, Big Pharma got what they wanted. The guidelines bring stroke patients or those at risk of stroke into the mix, which assures millions more will now be taking statins. 


We agree with one of the committee's conclusions: there is no evidence that hitting specific cholesterol targets makes a difference in heart health. No one has ever asked in a rigorous study if a person's risk is lower with an LDL of 70 than 90 or 100, for example.


This begs the question: does cholesterol even matter for heart health?


NCI Well Connect subscribers can find out the answer to this question, as well as access to the most up-to-date, non-pharmacologic heart guidelines from Scripp's "Controversies in Nutrition" symposium that Bonnie attended in San Diego last week.


Here's a sneak peek: According to renowned statin researcher Beatrice Polomb, MD, PhD, of UC San Diego, who are the only group of individuals who will usually see a greater benefit than risk on a statin? Males under the age of 75 who have real diagnosed cardiovascular disease, and only if they show no overt side effects from the statin. So for the rest of you who are worried about cholesterol, statins are unnecessary.


Subscribe to NCI Well Connect to access this five part series, including a brand new heart-healthy eating style.

Thanksgiving Resources.
Whether you are preparing Thanksgiving or bringing food to someone else's house, here are helpful links for a healthier holiday.
Capitalize on Well Rewards Before 2013 Ends.


For the fourth year in a row, our NCI Well Rewards Loyalty Program was a success. It will be back for 2014. Before the year ends, make sure you stock up on your supplements because:
  1. Your 2013 reward points reset to zero at 5PM on 12/31/2013.
  2. The more reward points you have accrued throughout the year, the larger the discounts become.   
  3. For details about NCI Well Rewards Loyalty Program, click here.