NCI Well Connect: February 1, 2016
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Dear Steve, 

DID YOU KNOW that Japanese individuals are able to extract otherwise inaccessible nutrients from seaweed (the average Japanese person eats 14 grams of it a day) by virtue of ingesting a type of marine bacteria which then transfers its genes to gut bacteria?

Two dynamite eNewsletters per week, access to our 41 title library of Action Plans, and two free 15 minute wellness consults including genetic analysis? All for less than a dollar per week?

Read our free preview issue of today's full-length eNewsletter below and...

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Have a happy, healthy day. Steve and Bonnie
NCI Well Connect Highlights
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Steve Minsky
From Editor Steve Minsky
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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
Steve: Keeping Cancer Cells In Check
As you may or may not know, every one of us has cancer cells in our bodies. That is the way it has always been. 

Among the trillions of cells in the human body, inevitably everyone has some abnormal or atypical cells that possess some of the characteristics of cancer cells, most resolve themselves and never result in cancer.

Why cancer cells proliferate in some and not others is a multifactorial process that has to do with genetics, diet, lifestyle, nutrient deficiency, stress, physical activity, environment, medication intake, and more.

Now more than ever, it is imperative that we do as much as we can to keep rogue cell activity in check.

New research has discovered that cancerous cells "recruit" cells into tumors by extending a bridge of sorts and reeling in both healthy and cancerous cells (captured in the picture to the above right).
Researchers report that as little as five percent of cancerous cells are needed to form the tumors, a ratio that heretofore had been unknown.

Published in American Journal of Cancer Research, researchers explain that the findings could lead to a more precise identification of tumorigenic cells (those that form tumors) and testing which antibodies would be best equipped to eliminate them.

Until then, put in the work to make sure that every facet of wellness that you can control is addressed, especially if you have cancer in your family history. Getting a full wellness evaluation, screening for your genetic methylation pathway, and laying off the sugar is a good start!
Bonnie and Steve: 
A new study published in PLoS One found that vitamin B12 levels in the brain are significantly decreased in the elderly and are much lower in individuals with autism or schizophrenia, as compared to their peers at similar ages.

For example, children with autism under the age of 10 were found to have three times lower brain B12 levels, which is similar to levels for generally healthy adults in their 50s, indicating a premature decrease.

These are particularly significant findings because the differences found in brain B12 with aging, autism and schizophrenia are not seen in the blood, which is where B12 levels are usually measured.

The large deficits of brain B12 from individuals with autism and schizophrenia could help explain why patients suffering from these disorders experience neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

The study also found healthy elderly people in the age range of 61-80 have about three times lower levels of total brain B12 than younger age groups, which is a result of normal aging.

A form of B12 called methylcobalamin, or methyl B12, supports normal brain development by its control through a process known as epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Remarkably, the brain level of methyl B12 was found to be more than 10 times lower in healthy elderly people than in healthy younger people. A lower than normal level of methyl B12 in the brain could adversely affect neurodevelopment in younger years and could disrupt learning and memory later in life.

The researchers should have spoken to us! In our genetic methylation screening, we have found that many clients do not have the genetic capability to absorb their B-12, even the methyl form. This is crucial for current and future well-being. And it is so easily modifiable. Vegetarians are even more at risk for this because they do not get enough bioavailable B-12 from animal protein.
Bonnie: 5 Reasons to Eat Avocados Often
  1. They're great for your skin. The healthy fats help with elasticity and well-lubricated skin.
  2. Avocados satiate, thus helping to maintain balanced weight.
  3. Avocados are antiinflammatory, thus aiding arthritis or autoimmune issues.
  4. Avocados are loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.
  5. Avocados are natural liver cleansers.
Steve Minsky
Fine Points of Folate for Pregnancy
Low prenatal folate levels may be associated with a smaller total brain volume and poorer language and visuospatial performance in children at six to eight years, research in the British Journal of Nutrition found.

The researchers also discovered that higher homocysteine levels in the mother also predicted poorer language performance.

Mothers with adequate folate levels were more likely to use folic acid supplements prenatally and during early pregnancy. Higher prenatal homocysteine levels were associated with lower IQ in children at age six.

There are several factors at play here. First, most of you know how important it is for women to have optimal folate levels prenatally and during pregnancy. In 60 to 70 percent of women, regular folic acid in supplements and fortified in foods is sufficient. However, because of genetic analysis, 30 to 40 percent of women have genetic deficiencies in breaking down folic acid into absorbable folate. This is a crucial piece of knowledge for the mother and child because it can be easily remedied by an activated form of folate called 5-MTHF.

Finally, the high homocysteine levels in pregnant women is a huge issue because once again, through genetic methylation screening, we can see who has trouble breaking down homocysteine and who does not. This can be easily addressed through nutrient modification.
Do Zika Virus Therapies Exist?
Bonnie: No, they do not. And do not believe any miracle cures you see on the Internet or television.

While Zika is very similar to yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and west nile viruses, scientists do not fully understand why Zika is so dangerous to fetuses.

What we do know is Zika is transmitted by a species of mosquito that bites during daylight hours.

A vaccine could be ready later this year. Brazil is also trying a highly controversial tactic by releasing genetically modified mosquitos that will supposedly make the species self-destruct by making the males sterile. Of course, nobody knows the impact this will have on the environment long-term.

Until we can better ascertain how the virus functions, the only recommendations we can make are, if your pregnant, avoid the hot spot areas of the world. Obviously, optimal health status when pregnant can be nothing but beneficial.

We will be closely monitoring this issue from a public health and nutritional perspective. 
BrandBuzzBrand Buzz
Very few yeast-free breads taste good. This one does. 
Just pour in water.
Great alternative milk source for smoothies and coffee drinks.
Small, Frequent Meals Don't Deliver
Bonnie: Consumption of small, frequent meals is often suggested as an effective approach to control appetite and food intake and might be a strategy for healthy weight maintenance. Scientific evidence is limited to support this, however. 

A study from this month's The Journal of Nutrition found that when subjects with normal eating frequency were compared with those with high eating frequency, overall appetite and weight effects were similar in both groups.

As suspected, the research still backs three meals a day with a possible mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon balanced snack depending on individuals needs.
Safe Way to Keep Fresh Food Pathogen-Free
Steve: Blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) have strong antibacterial effects on food-borne pathogens.

Acidic foods such as fresh-­cut fruits and ready-to-­eat meat like sushi and cold cuts can be preserved under blue LEDs with chilling temperatures without further chemical treatments commonly needed for food preservation. 

Exposure to illumination from blue LED light can start a process within the cells that ultimately causes them to die. Listeria, E.coli, and Salmonella under blue LED illumination. 

This could be huge as there is increasing demand for fresh, minimally ­processed foods without relying on chemicals such as acidulants and artificial preservatives to preserve food products.
-4 to 5 handfuls warm tortilla or Beanitos Restaurant Style Bean Chips*
-1 1/2 cups cooked black beans**
-1 cup thinly sliced cabbage or romaine lettuce
-Queso Dip (or butternut squash puree as a vegan option)
-Guacamole or Edamame guacamole (see below)
-Your favorite chunky-style salsa
-1 jalapeño, sliced into thin circles
-1/4 cup chopped cilantro Hot sauce (optional)

You know how nachos work, so you can pile this on however you like and leave off or add whatever you want. Put the warm chips out in a thin layer on a tray or giant plate.

Scatter the black beans and cabbage over that, then drizzle the queso all over the chips. Glob on nice spoonfuls of guacamole and salsa all over the platter then sprinkle with the jalapeño and cilantro. Drizzle over some hot sauce if desired.

* Warming not required, but this shows commitment to the nacho cause. Just throw the chips in a microwave for a few seconds, or cover and put in a 250°F oven for 10 minutes.

** Or a 15-ounce can of beans, rinsed and drained.

Makes for 4 to 6 people (adapted from Rodale Wellness)

Edamame Guacamole Dip
-3/4 cups thawed frozen shelled edamame
-2 T. fresh lime juice
-1 firm ripe avocado
-2 T. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
-1 tsp. minced garlic or shallot

Directions: In a food processor, combine edamame and lime juice and pulse to a coarse puree. Add all other ingredients and pulse a few times until the chunks of avocado remain. Salt to taste. Yields 1 1/2 cups
Bonnie and Steve: If one or more of these boxes are yellow or red, then you have genetic deficiencies that may impair your ability to break down and move toxins from your body. You can prevent impairment with diet, lifestyle, and nutrient modification.

Far Infrared Sauna Therapy
It is always the right time to experience Far Infrared Sauna Therapy.


Aside from the fact that you are taking one hour out of your busy lives to relax, Far Infrared Therapy offers numerous therapeutic benefits, most importantly enhanced detoxification. Many clients use it to relieve painful joints, rev up metabolism, and remove buildup of heavy metals.


A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that increased frequency of sauna bathing reduced the risk of sudden cardiac death, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.

Contact us to schedule a session.

WildCardWild Card
More Time or More Money?
Steve: Valuing your time more than the pursuit of money is linked to greater happiness, according to new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

In six studies with more than 4,600 participants, researchers found slightly more than half tended to value their time than money, and that choice was a fairly consistent trait both for daily interactions and major life events.

Older people also were more likely to say they valued their time compared to younger people. As people age, they often want to spend time in more meaningful ways than just making money.

A participant's gender or income didn't affect whether they were more likely to value time or money, although the study didn't include participants living at the poverty level who may have to prioritize money to survive.
"The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison."
-Ann Wigmore
Wellness Session of the Month
23andMe, Pure Genomics Methylation Cycle Evaluation

One of the perks of being a NCI Well Connect Member is that you have two free 15 minute wellness coaching sessions.


The perk comes in handy when want us to analyze your methylation cycle.


To schedule your free appointment with Steve, email or phone 847-498-3422. An appointment with Bonnie is $45.

ActionPlanAction Plan of the Month:
Cancer Prevention
One of the perks of being a NCI Well Connect Member is that you can request two titles monthly from our our Action Plan Library (41 plans: total value $300). 

This comes in handy when you are seeking out sensible and credible cancer prevention paradigms.

Our Nutrition and Lifestyle Therapies for Cancer Prevention Action Plan took years in the making after seeing what works best for our clients.

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 at 40% OFF and get your free copy, click here.
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NCI Well Connect Membership is open to clients and non-clients of our practice!

One Year Membership Includes:
  1. Weekly eNewsletters (84 issues). We publish our long-form issue on Monday and a Mid-Week Brief on Wednesday. Our eNewsletter has been awarded Constant Contact All Star status seven years in a row to date.
  2. Self-Help Action Plans. Access to two titles per month from our self-help Action Plan Library. There are currently 41 Action Plan titles to date on all aspects of wellness, including the new Irritable Bowel Syndrome Action Plan. You can view the list here.
  3. Natural Foods Shopping List. Updated quarterly, our Natural Foods Shopping List includes only the most meticulously vetted, highest quality food and beverage products that we recommend to our clients. These include gluten-free, corn-free, and kosher pareve items.
  4. Free 15 Minute Wellness Coaching Sessions (visits with Bonnie are separate) on topics such as 23andMe genetic results, Immune System, Detox, Shedding Weight, Food Cravings and Food Addiction, and any other topic of your choosing.

The approximate cost for all of this? One dollar a week! Quite a bargain for this volume of expert wellness advice.

Click here and activate your membership today!

Our Wellness Menu
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
  • Genetic Methylation Evaluation - NEW
  • Food/Med/Supplement Interaction Evaluation
  • Food Intolerance Screening and Menu Plan Implementation (separate fees)
  • Dietary Supplement Update
  • Wellness and Lifestyle Coaching Sessions
  • Far Infrared Sauna Treatment
  • Grocery Shopping Tours and Pantry Advice
  • Workplace Wellness Evaluations
  • Chiropractic and Acupuncture

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

NFSLNatural 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.

Natural Foods Shopping List is revised frequently and is available online to NCI Well Connect Members. The latest update is from October 1, 2015. We just added an index for easier usability!
Snowbirds & Out-of-Towners
Whether you leave Chicago for the winter or live out of state, don't be a stranger. Stay connected!
  • If you need Bonnie's guidance, she is only a phone call away.
  • Read our eNewsletters to reinforce your wellness plan.
  • If you need to order supplements, we ship anywhere in the United States. We use green and recycled shipping materials. We ship probiotics that require refrigeration.
Serving your individual wellness needs. We appreciate your patronage and support.

Have a happy, healthy day,
Bonnie, Steve, and all of us at Nutritional Concepts
(847) 498 3422 - main 

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