Celebrating 30 Years
NCI Well Connect: June 1, 2015
Dear Steve, 


One of perks that comes with your membership, our award-winning eNewsletter, is free for you to preview today. Just keep reading or sign up here!


We can assist you with food cravings and food addiction. Simply fill out a short evaluation and our Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist Elizabeth Prebish will contact you to schedule a coaching session. This new service is free for NCI Well Connect Members and $45 for non-members. Contact us for more information.


DID YOU KNOW that the next evolution in bloodwork testing is upon us? From one finger prick, at one quarter the cost of standard bloodwork, you can get a full workup. Walgreens is currently beta testing in specific Walgreens stores in the Phoenix and San Francisco Bay areas. Here is the link.

Have a happy, healthy day. Steve and Bonnie
Today's NCI Well Connect -
Free Preview Issue
Steve Minsky
From Editor Steve Minsky
  • Alternative for Frappuccino?
  • Seasonal Immunity
  • Magnesium Deficiency: Ruler of All Maladies
  • Cream-Less Creamy Asparagus Soup
  • Two Minerals Reduce Esophageal Cancer Risk
  • Preserve Muscle Mass. Melt Adipose Tissue.
  • All Culturelle Products Are the Same
  • How Much Exercise Does it Take to Make a Difference?
  • Calming Naturally-Occurring Mineral in Our Water Supply
  • Cracking the Underarm Microbe Code
  • Simple Lip Balm
  • Pristine Bottled Water
  • eInspire
Food Cravings and Food Addiction
Mounting data is proving the clear and present danger food cravings and food addiction present to public health. The tools in which to help those suffering have come a long way.

We made the process as easy as possible for you.
  1. Fill out our online evaluation.
  2. Notify us by email or phone when completed.
  3. Our specialist in the field, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist Elizabeth Prebish, will contact you to set up a coaching session.
Elizabeth will give you techniques that fit your lifestyle to address and overcome cravings and addictions.

This service is available for free to NCI Well Connect Members and $45 to non-members. Please contact us if you would like to take the evaluation.
Understand Stress. Manage Stress.
Well Connect Feature
Seasonal Immunity 

Bonnie: It is not very often that a new medical term is discovered. "Seasonal Immunity" answers many questions that have vexed researchers for years.


Simply, our immune systems vary with the seasons, which could help explain why certain conditions such as mental illness, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis are aggravated in winter while people tend to be healthier in the summer.


The study, published in Nature Communications, shows that the activity of almost a quarter of our genes differs according to the time of year, with some more active in winter and others more active in summer. This seasonality also affects our immune cells and the composition of our blood and adipose tissue (fat).


They found that the thousands of genes were expressed differently in blood and adipose tissue depending on what time of year the samples were taken. Similarly, they identified seasonal differences in the types of cells found in the blood.


Interestingly, the pattern of seasonal activity was not reflected as strongly in Icelandic donors. The researchers speculate that this may be due to the near-24 hour daylight during summer and near-24 hour darkness in winter.


One gene of particular interest was ARNTL, which suppresses inflammation, was more active in the summer and less active in the winter.


A particularly surprising finding was that a set of genes associated to an individual's response to vaccination was more active in winter, suggesting that some vaccination programs might be more effective if carried out during winter months when the immune system is already 'primed' to respond.

Magnesium Deficiency: Ruler of All Maladies?
Steve: It's been a great couple of years for magnesium research and the data keeps on flowing. Doctors are even jumping on the mag bandwagon!


Dr. George Lundberg, Editor-at-Large for Medscape, wrote an opinion piece last week warning of magnesium deficiency and the woeful rate of testing for it in the US.


He states that magnesium is an essential mineral, vitally involved in more than 300 regulatory enzyme systems controlling muscle, nerve, bone, protein, DNA, glucose, and energy metabolism. "Magnesium is a really big deal," he exalts.


Moreover, Dr. Lundberg suggests magnesium deficiency has been blamed for various arrhythmias, hypertension, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, seizures, leg cramps, restless legs syndrome, kidney stones, myocardial infarction, headaches, premenstrual syndrome, fibromyalgia, chest pain, osteoporosis, altitude sickness, diabetes, fatigue, weakness, and other maladies.


Dr. Lundberg cites the World Health Organization report stating that 75% of Americans consume less magnesium than needed, suggesting that we may have a nationwide magnesium deficiency.


But what shocked us most is that he not only recommends that you eat your spinach and other magnesium-rich foods, but take magnesium supplements!


When concluding the piece, Lundberg exhorted, "I supplement my balanced diet with an additional 400 mg of magnesium daily. I feel terrific-better than before magnesium. I know that is subjective as all hell, but what better way would you like your patients to feel than terrific?"


Now for the most recent magnesium data...the following is usually reserved for NCI Well Connect Members, but is available to you today with our free preview issue.





Researchers in this month's Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found a significant association between very low magnesium intake and depression, especially in younger adults.


Imbalances of the microbiota-gut-brain connection induced by those consuming a magnesium-deficient diet contributes to the development of depressive-like behavior, as stated in the February issue of Acta Neuropsychiatry.


Athletic Performance

A study in the April issue of Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed a positive effect with an acute dose of magnesium supplementation in relation to net strength and force gains with bench press, and reducing resting blood pressure, particularly before and after intense exercise.


Type 2 Diabetes

Among women with a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes, those with magnesium intake in the lowest 30% were significantly associated with increased risk, according to a study in the March issue of The Journal of Nutrition.


Magnesium in Man: Implications for Health and Disease

This piece in the January issue Physiological Reviews argues that as the second most abundant intracellular cation after potassium, magnesium is involved in over 600 (not 300) enzymatic reactions including energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Besides magnesium-deficient diets, magnesium deficiency can be the consequence of the use of certain types of drugs, such as diuretics, epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, calcineurin inhibitors, and proton pump inhibitors.



New research from last week's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that subjects with the highest 20% of magnesium intake (868 mg/day) had a 19% reduced risk of stroke compared to those with the lowest 20% of intake (626 mg/day).


Gestational Diabetes

A first-of-its-kind study appearing in this week's American Journal of Clinical Nutritionexamined the effects of magnesium supplementation (250 mg/day) on metabolic status and pregnancy outcomes in those affected by gestational diabetes.


Changes in fasting plasma glucose, serum insulin concentration, and beta-cell function in supplemented women were significantly improved from those of women in the placebo group. Changes in serum triglycerides and C-reactive protein were significantly improved between the supplemented women and placebo group. Magnesium supplementation resulted in a lower incidence of newborn hyperbilirubinemia and newborn hospitalization.

Recipe du Jour -
Cream-Less Asparagus Summer Soup
Juicing is out. Souping is in. How about this amazing summer soup recipe!

-2 bunches asparagus (about 2-1/4 pounds)
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
-2 medium yellow onions, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
-6 cups low sodium organic chicken or veggie broth
-Sea salt
-Freshly ground black pepper
-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
-1/4 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
- Handful fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill or basil (optional, for garnish)

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, cut the tips off of the asparagus spears and set aside. Cut the remaining spears into 1/2-inch pieces.

Add the chopped asparagus (except for the tips) to the pot, along with the chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes until vegetables are very tender.
Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the reserved asparagus tips for a few minutes until tender-crisp. Drain and refresh under cold water or in an ice bath. Set aside.

Purée the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth. (Alternatively, use a standard blender to purée the soup in batches, then return the soup to the pot.) If necessary, pass the soup through a fine sieve to remove the fibers (the best way is to place the sieve over a large bowl, then use a ladle to push the soup through in circular motions). Return the soup to the pot and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the lemon juice and grated Pecorino-Romano. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if desired (you may need up to a teaspoon more salt).

Ladle the soup into bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, fresh chopped herbs, more grated Pecorino-Romano and freshly ground black pepper if desired. Serves 4-6
Did You Know? Supps
Two Minerals Reduce Esophageal Cancer Risk
Steve: A study in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the mineral intake of a large cohort of individuals at high risk for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

Two minerals that had the strongest effect in reducing ESCC risk were in subjects with high calcium and zinc intake.

Please note that supplemental calcium and zinc should be prescribed by a knowledgeable health professional. Too much or too little of these minerals can have adverse effects. 
Menu Savvy
Best Way to Preserve Muscle During and After Body Mass Reduction

A study from The Journal of Nutrition concluded that whey protein is the best source of protein to supplement one's diet when reducing body mass. The whey was found to be best at not only accelerating loss of adipose (fat) tissue, but maintaining optimal lean muscle mass.


Steve: If at all possible, make sure the whey protein is organic and grass-fed. The product should read "from concentrate," which means that it contains all of its natural properties and is not denatured, isolated, or hydrolyzed.

All Culturelle LGG Products Are the Same

Bonnie: Our favorite Lactobacillus GG (LGG) strain is made by Culturelle. They discovered the strain and it is by far the most well-researched. However, Culturelle makes six different kinds of LGG products, five of which we DO NOT like.


I hate to break it to all of you who have seen Culturelle at Costco. It's not the product we recommend. The only product Culturelle makes that is free of sucrose, maltodextrin, and dairy is the Vegetarian Health & Wellness Capsules. It contains a dairy-free strain of LGG with inulin in a vegicap.


Please make sure you scrutinize the label. If it does not say the exact words "Culturelle Health & Wellness Vegetarian Capsules," do not buy it.

Brand Buzz
Carbon-neutral; BPA-free package; One of the purest water sources on earth.    
Iceland Glacial Mineral Water
Once-in-a-while, dairy-free Frappuccino alternative with coconut milk.
Certified organic coconut oil and beeswax.
Intelligently Active
It Doesn't Take Much Exercise to Make a Difference

Steve: Good news on the exercise front, including those who do a little and those who do lot, with a new study from JAMA Internal Medicine showing that any amount of leisure-time physical activity is associated with a significantly lower risk of death when compared with no physical activity at all.


Those who did a little, such as those individuals who did less than the amount outlined in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, still had a 20% lower mortality risk compared with individuals who did no exercise at all. Those who achieved the minimum recommended physical-activity target-defined as 7.5 to less than 15 hours per week-had a 31% lower risk of dying compared with the physically inactive.


Compared with those who did no exercise at all, individuals who performed approximately 22.5 to 40 hours had a near 40% reduction in the risk of dying.

Mental Minute
Naturally-Occurring Lithium in the Water Supply

Bonnie: Once a year, most of us get a breakdown of the chemical and mineral content of our municipal water supply. Have you ever really scrutinized the document? You may want to look for lithium the next time you get it in the mail.

Lithium, the trace mineral used to treat bipolar disorder, is naturally present in groundwater. Research has shown that the higher the level of lithium in the water, the better off the population is mentally.

Aside from the fact that areas with high concentrations report low suicide and violence rates, lithium promotes brain cell growth and prevents neuronal damage.

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.

Wild Card

Cracking the Underarm Microbe Code

Underarm smell is caused by bacteria on the skin breaking down naturally secreted molecules contained within sweat. Now, researchers have studied the underarm microbiome and identified a unique set of enzymes in the bacterium Staphylococcus hominis that is effective at breaking down sweat molecules into compounds known as thioalcohols, an important component of the characteristic body odor smell. The findings were presented at the Society for General Microbiology's Annual Conference.


Traditional deodorants and antiperspirants act by non-selectively killing underarm bacteria or by blocking our sweat glands, respectively. This new research can be used to produce compounds that specifically target thioalcohol production, leaving the underarm microbiota intact.


Steve: There is already one company, AOBiome, who makes a probiotic mist that has been wildly popular with those who have the guts to go without antiperspirants and deodorants for a few weeks while they try the mist. Dare you!

"Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value."
-Albert Einstein
Action Plan of the Month
How to Eat Well While Dining Out -
New & Improved Edition

One of the perks of being a NCI Well Connect Member is that you have monthly access to our Action Plan Library (38 plans: total value over $275). 


The perk comes in handy when you're dining out. Our How to Eat Well While Dining Out Action Plan is your complete, indispensable guide to navigating the menus of any kind of restaurant you frequent. Yes, even fast food restaurants are included. You won't want to be without it!


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.

eNews Briefs
Like What You See? Get Your NCI Well Connect Membership Today
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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 38 Action Plan titles to date on all aspects of wellness, including the new and improved How to Eat Healthy While Dining Out. 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 on topics such as Immune System, Detox, Shedding Weight, and Food Cravings and Food Addiction.

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 for 40% OFF!

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Get Back to Wellness
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
  • Food/Med/Supplement Interaction Evaluation
  • Food Intolerance Screening (with menu plan only)
  • Dietary Supplement Update
  • Wellness and Lifestyle Coaching Sessions
  • Far Infrared Sauna Treatment
  • Grocery Shopping Tours and Pantry Raids
  • Workplace Wellness Evaluations
  • Chiropractic and Acupuncture

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

Movement Videos
Qi Gong
Tai Chi
Natural 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.

We are always open to your recommendations. As long as it meets our criteria, we will add it to the list.

Natural Foods Shopping List is revised quarterly and updates are available online to NCI Well Connect Members. The latest update is from March 1, 2015.
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

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