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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
December 11, 2013
Dear Valued Subscriber, 


Did you know that the new Lancet study that captured the interest of the media last week by "casting doubt on vitamin D supplements preventing disease" was another meta-analysis?


The pragmatic message relayed by this study summary is that low levels of vitamin D shows that you are in ill health. To this we agree. Yet, astonishingly, the authors would not admit that vitamin D supplements, the only way to raise D levels quickly without constant sun exposure, have shown any improvement in preventing disease. To this we do not agree. Simply read our email archive from the last year alone and the research is overwhelming in support of vitamin D supplementation.


We have a sinking feeling there is more where this came from. Many in the medical world cannot admit that a dirt cheap supplement may turn out to be one of the key cogs of improved public health this century!


Announcement: Metagenics Actifolate will no longer be available once our stock runs out. 5-formyltetrahydrofolate (folinic acid), one of the three folate sources in Actifolate, can only be attained by prescription. However, for those of you who take Actifolate, Metagenics Folapro is the ideal replacement because it still addresses the MTHFR genetic defect.


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


Medication and Food Alert.

The class of antibiotics called Fluoroquinolones (Cipro, Levaquin, and Zithromax or Z-Pak) contribute to severely high or low blood glucose levels, according to the hospital records of more than 78,000 adults with diabetes in a Clinical Infectious Diseases study.


Findings in an International Journal of Epidemiologystudy provide suggestive evidence that exposure to acetaminophen and/or antibiotics influences the development of common allergic diseases later in childhood.


Birth Control Pills

Women who have taken birth control pills for three years or more face twice the risk of developing the eye disease glaucoma, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Women who said they had used oral contraceptives for more than three years were two times as likely to report a diagnosis of glaucoma as women who had not taken the pill. It did not matter which kind of oral contraceptives the women used.


Bisphosphonates (taken for Osteoporosis)

A recent American Journal of Gastroenterology study found that oral bisphosphonate use may increase the risk for Barrett's esophagus by three-fold, especially among patients with GERD.


Merck, the maker of Fosomax, agreed to a $27 million class action settlement from hundreds of people who sued the company over allegations that its osteoporosis drug caused bones in the jaw to deteriorate.  


COX-2 Inhibitors (NSAID/Pain Medication)

An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that long-term physiologic doses of cyclooxygenase inhibitor use may impede the synthesis of the coenzymatically active form of vitamin B-6. This study provides a potential mechanism that could account for the poor vitamin B-6 status in human inflammation. Moreover, this study further raises concerns about the long-term clinical use of antiinflammatory NSAIDs in humans. Vitamin B-6 status should be carefully monitored in long-term NSAID users.



Researchers presenting at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting warned that gelatin allergy is a growing a problem. It can present significant issues because many vaccines, foods, and supplements contain gelatin.


Gelatin is a mixture of peptides and proteins produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from cow, pig, and fish. Patients with gelatin allergy do not react to meat because gelatin is derived from tendons and bones rather than the flesh. And gelatin in vaccines is more likely to cause an allergic reaction because it is concentrated, purified, and processed and has direct access to the immune system through injection.


Sucralose (Splenda)

Sucralose is a synthetic organochlorine sweetener that interacts with chemosensors in the alimentary tract that play a role in sweet taste sensation and hormone secretion. In rats, sucralose ingestion was shown to increase the expression of the efflux transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and two cytochrome P-450 (CYP) isozymes in the intestine. P-gp and CYP are key components of the presystemic detoxification system involved in first-pass drug metabolism. The effect of sucralose on first-pass drug metabolism in humans, however, has not yet been determined.


In rats, sucralose alters the microbial composition in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), with relatively greater reduction in beneficial bacteria. Although early studies asserted that sucralose passes through the GIT unchanged, subsequent analysis suggested that some of the ingested sweetener is metabolized in the GIT, as indicated by multiple peaks found in thin-layer radiochromatographic profiles of methanolic fecal extracts after oral sucralose administration. The identity and safety profile of these putative sucralose metabolites are not known at this time.


Sucralose and one of its hydrolysis products were found to be mutagenic at elevated concentrations in several testing methods. Cooking with sucralose at high temperatures was reported to generate chloropropanols, a potentially toxic class of compounds. Both human and rodent studies demonstrated that sucralose may alter glucose, insulin, and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) levels. Taken together, these findings indicate that sucralose is not a biologically inert compound.


These succinct comments were from the abstract of the November 13thJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews. We encourage you to read the entire study.


NCI Well Connect readers can access the latest research on statins, including their relationship to shingles and exercise. To subscribe, click here.

Help for the Holidays.
5 Supplements Anyone Can Take:
Share With Family Members, Friends, and Coworkers About Safely Adding to Their Daily Lifestyles.
Consult a licensed health professional if exceeding the following dosages.
  1. Magnesium Glycinate (200 to 400 mg.)
  2. Vitamin D3 (1000IU)
  3. Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidus Probiotic Strains (10 billion units)
  4. EPA/DHA fish oil (600mg EPA, 400 DHA) - avoid if taking blood-thinning medication
  5. Organic Superfruit and Vegetable Phytonutrient Powder - read labels to avoid food allergens or intolerants
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.