Celebrating 30 Years
NCI Well Connect: October 12, 2015
Dear Steve, 

DID YOU KNOW that some hair dyes used in salons are considered mutagenic and carcinogenic? A study in the upcoming December issue of Food and Toxicology suggests that hairdressers occupationally exposed to hair dyes have a higher risk of developing bladder cancer. They surmise this is probably related to constant exposure. 

Researchers tested two commonly used commercial black hair dye formulas on human cells. They discovered that both were significantly cytotoxic and genotoxic to in concentrations much LOWER than those used in the commercial formulas.

Have a happy, healthy day. Steve and Bonnie
Today's NCI Well Connect
Steve Minsky
From Editor Steve Minsky
  • Altered Broccoli
  • Gene Activity May Alter Sexual Orientation
  • October Sale Items
  • Otherworldly Spices
  • 23andMe Results Stunning
  • Repairing a Broken Heart
  • Brand Buzz
  • Nip Neophobia In the Bud
  • The Three Day Water Rule
  • Brain Function Depends Upon How You Methylate
  • A Meditation Primer
  • Monetary Incentives for Wellness
  • eInspire
  • Action Plan of the Month Update
  • eNews Briefs- Chiropractic, Admired Lawbreaking, Teflon
  • Natural Foods Shopping List Update
  • NCI Well Connect Membership Benefits
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!
Bonnie and Steve: Through past eNewsletters, many of you understand that how we treat ourselves through diet and lifestyle has much do to with how our genes are expressed negatively or kept silent. The scientific term for this is 'epigenetics'.

Three recent studies that echo this are woven with a common thread: methylation.

Epigenetic Marks Lay Foundations for a Child's Future Abilities
Research published in the International Journal of Epidemiology provides new evidence that 'epigenetic processes' influence brain development to have an important influence on a child's later ability to learn and their cognitive performance. Researchers used umbilical cord tissue collected at birth and identified epigenetic marks in a key brain development gene (part of the methylation) that were linked to the child's ability to learn and their cognitive performance at ages 4 and 7 years. Epigenetic marks at birth were associated with aspects of socially disruptive behavior that have previously been linked with a reduced school performance. The findings provide substantial support for a role for epigenetics in mediating the long-term consequences of the early life environment on brain development and later cognitive performance.

Nutrition During Pregnancy Crucial for Fetus and Future Generations of the Fetus
A study from Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics states that variation in the quality or quantity of nutrients consumed by mothers during pregnancy, or infants during the first year of life, can exert permanent and powerful effects upon developing tissues. Optimal methylation is dependent upon specific nutrients (such as B-vitamins). In addition, researchers found that traits programmed by nutritional exposures in fetal life can be transmitted to further generations.

Methylation May Affect Sexual Orientation in the Womb
While researchers have presented evidence that homosexuality isn't a lifestyle choice, but is rooted in a person's biology and at least in part determined by genetics, finding these genes have been elusive.

A new study of 37 male twins, presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, found that epigenetic effects may have a major influence on sexual orientation.

As this is an extremely sensitive issue, the researchers caution that the study is still preliminary and based on a small sample.

During development, chromosomes are subject to chemical changes that can turn genes on or off (epigenetics). The best known example is methylation. Such "epi-marks" can be passed on to the next generation. Unerased epi-marks might lead to homosexuality when they are passed on from father to daughter or from mother to son. Specifically, inherited marks influence a fetus's sensitivity to hormones in the womb might "masculinize" the brains of girls and "feminize" those of boys, leading to same-sex attraction.

The team identified five regions in the genome where the methylation pattern appears very closely linked to sexual orientation. One gene is important for nerve conduction, whereas another has been implicated in immune functions.

Why identical twins end up with different methylation patterns isn't clear, but if their hypothesis is correct, the mothers' epi-marks might have been erased in one son, but not the other; or perhaps neither inherited any marks but one of them picked them up in the womb. Methylation may be determined by subtle differences in the environment each fetus experiences during gestation. Here is a link to the full study.
Steve Minsky
23andMe Raw Data Is Stunning
Steve: The data is starting to roll in and the results have nothing been short of fascinating.

If you have not read one of our eNewsletters in a while, we have begun testing the methylation cycle derived from raw data provided by the genetics company 23andMe. You can find details about how to go about this process below.

For many clients, the results have reaffirmed why they have been so vigilant about managing their diets and lifestyles. They are keeping genetic deficiencies from expressing themselves negatively. For others, the results have provided the final push to reach their goals.

Interesting Factoid
Of the clients that have we have screened so far, only one result has come back with zero genetic deficiencies.

We are finding that genetic screening for the methylation cycle is important for all ages, but especially for those in their fertility years.

The greatest thrill we get from this is that any genetic deficiency we test for now and in the future can be addressed with diet, nutrients, and lifestyle.
GeneticTestingBrain Function Depends Upon How You Methylate?
Bonnie and Steve: We are so excited to announce that one of the major nutritional conundrums which has evaded us, is no longer. We can now evaluate your complete methylation cycle, the most important pathway for detoxification of chemicals, hormones, and other unwanted environmental byproducts.

In the past, we have tried to cover all bases to help your metabolic pathway, but we did not have the entire map at our disposal. Now, we can pinpoint exactly if and where your metabolic cycle is impaired. Even better, we can fix it to make sure it is running smoothly.

Methylation is important for each and every one of us because the last thing we want is to have toxins recycling within our bodies with no way to escape. This can contribute to carcinogenesis, weight gain, autoimmune disorders, just to name a few.

The process takes 5 simple steps:
  1. Pay to have your genetic kit sent to your home from the lab 23andMe. You can get the test for $79.99 instead of $99 at this link because of your relationship with us. We have no financial interest in 23andMe.
  2. When you receive your genetic kit, follow the instructions to prepare your sample (saliva sample) and send back to 23andMe via the US Postal Service.
  3. 23andMe will email you when your results are complete.
  4. Download your raw data from 23andMe and and email the file to us. Contact us if you need help with this step.
  5. When we get your raw data file, we will upload it into our methylation database and contact you when the results are complete to make an appointment.
Why Is This Such an Incredible Opportunity?
  • In addition to the methylation data that we analyze, 23andMe maps your entire genome. This is crucial if we offer further genetic analysis on other bodily functions or for other health care providers who may require your genetic info.
  • You only need your genome mapped once! $79 is quite a deal.
  • 23andMe provides you with information about your ancestry. This is 23andMe's specialty. We do not delve into this aspect of your genetic results. It is completely private to you.
  • Many of you have heard us refer to the MTHFR genetic mutation for pregnancy, neurological function, and detoxification. MTHFR is included in the panel, as well as every other major gene associated with the methylation pathway.
Why Did We Decide to Finally Use Genetic Testing?
  • While we feel that much of the information about the humane genome is "not ready for prime time," we feel extremely confident that the genes associated with the methylation pathway have more than enough clinical data. The pharmaceutical industry has done most of the work for us by putting billions of dollars into researching genetics and methylation so they can find out who can best metabolize and avoid side effects from their drugs!
  • As better research comes along, having your genetic information allows us to contact you when, for instance, a genetic bone health panel comes along. How can you beat that service?
This may all seem overwhelming. As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have about the process.

Putting Your Methylation Results Into Practice

Going over the results should only take about 15 minutes. This is free for NCI Well Connect Members. For non-Well Connect members, the fee is $45.

To start the process, just go to 23andMe and click on the link:http://www.23andme.com/bonnieminsky. Then, let us know when your results are ready!
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.

New Celiac Disease, Gluten Testing
Biopsy-Free, Syringe-Free
We can now test you for celiac disease and gluten intolerance from a simple finger prick for under $100!

Doctors Data, a lab we have used for heavy metal testing for almost two decades, has introduced the Celiac Bloodspot Test, which you can complete from the comfort of your home.

Ruling out celiac and gluten intolerance has never been easier. Contact us at 847-498-3422 for more info.
ActionPlanAction Plan of the Month -
Recent Updates
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). 


We update our Action Plans regularly. Sometimes we just add a study or two. In other instances, we make major changes. Here is a list of what has been updated over the last week:

  • Blood Sugar Balance
  • Build the Optimal Youth Athlete
  • Heathy Bones
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Optimal Pregnancy
  • Sleep Well
  • Sports Nutrition

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 and get your free copy, click here.

eNewsBriefseNews Briefs
WCMembershipGet Your NCI Well Connect Membership Now!
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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, 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!

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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.

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.

Do not hesitate to contact us to serve all of your out-of town needs.

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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