NCI Well Connect Mid-Week Brief
April 22, 2015
Dear Steve,  

DID YOU KNOW that according to the National Institutes of Health, the average person passes gas about 14 times a day? Just think of it as our gut microbes "blowing off steam"!

EDITORIAL ERROR: In last week's piece on weight control, we made an editorial error. The sentence said, "Replace lean protein with starchy carbohydrates." What we meant to say was, "Replace starchy carbohydrates with lean protein." Here's the piece if you like toreread it. Thanks to all of you who pointed this out.
Carotenoids Quell Cancer Risk
Steve: Increasing evidence suggests that carotenoids, specific phytochemicals and micronutrients in fruit and vegetables, reduce breast cancer risk. Whether carotenoids are important early or late in carcinogenesis was unclear until now.

In subjects from the Nurse's Healthy study over a twenty year period, researchers in the latest issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that higher concentrations of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, and total carotenoids were associated with 18-28% lower risks of breast cancer compared to subjects with the lowest carotenoid intakes.

Associations were apparent for total carotenoids measured equal to or more than 10 years before diagnosis as well as those less than 10 years before diagnosis. In addition, carotenoid concentrations were strongly associated with less breast cancer recurrence and death. Finally, women with high plasma carotenoids were at reduced risk particularly for more aggressive breast cancer.

Wonderful news to be sure! What's very important about this study is that it did not differentiate whether the highest levels came from fruit, vegetables, or dietary supplements. It was simply the highest levels, period.

NCI Well Connect Members can access to the rest of our dynamite piece on phytochemicals and antioxidants. If you are interested in signing up, here's an example of what NCI Well Connect members receive. After signing up, we will email you today's issue.
Dietary Supplements Raise Cancer Risk?

After reading the aforementioned on carotenoids and the sheer number of recent, incredible, original studies on cancer alone, how silly does the following sound?

A study by University of Colorado researchers was presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting and was subsequently picked up by the national media because the headline was: "Dietary supplements shown to increase cancer risk."

However, when you look at the U of Colorado press release, it shows how pitiful the study really is.

  1. The study has not been published in a journal.
  2. There are very few specifics. They refer to beta-carotene and folic acid increasing cancer risk, but when pressed about the data they used, the writer of the press release said the research was not even original. They used studies from 1996, 2007, and 2011, each of which we are aware of and eviscerated long ago.

It is obvious this is another meta-analysis, to which the researchers skew the studies to meet their philosophy. Looks like the University of Colorado Cancer Center wants a little press, and like always with supplements, the national media eats it up.

Alternatively, another study presented this week at the same annual meeting was not picked up by the national media. However, the study from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute was original research, showing how a broccoli sprout extract supplement protected against oral cancer in a small group of healthy human volunteers. The promising results will be further explored in a larger human clinical trial later this year.

I do want to reiterate that for many reasons discussed at length in these very eNewsletters, dietary supplements should ALWAYS be taken under the supervision of a knowledgeable, licensed dietary health professional. You take medications by prescription. Why would you self-medicate with supplements? That said, I always feel the need to stand up for dietary supplements, because when taken properly, they are immeasurably beneficial for millions of people around the globe. 

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
(847) 498 3422

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