NCI Well Connect: June 27, 2016
Dear Steve, 

DID YOU KNOW that new research in BMJ found that methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin, is associated with a slight increased risk of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) soon after the start of treatment? The drug, and its counterparts, is associated with a laundry list of side effects, including brain structural changes, dependence, insomnia and poor appetite.

Enjoy our award-winning, full-length eNewsletter, free today for your viewing pleasure. Other membership benefits: free analysis of 23andMe genetic results, access to our 42 title Action Plan library, and more!

Metagenics sent us a memo alerting us of a problem customers have had purchasing counterfeit and adulterated products from third party sources on the Internet. Read the memo here.

While Pure Encapsulations has not sent out a memo about this issue, they have alerted us to similar occurrences with their products.

We are not a third party vendor. We are an authorized vendor for Metagenics and Pure Encapsulations.

Have a happy, healthy day. Steve and Bonnie
NCI Well Connect Highlights
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, with an NCI Well Connect Membership at 40% OFF Here.
Well Connect Feature
Anxiety Strikes Women More
Bonnie: Women are almost twice as likely to experience anxiety as men, according to a review in this month's Brain and Behavior. The study also found that people from Western Europe and North America are more likely to suffer from anxiety than people from other cultures.

The review also highlighted how anxiety disorders often provide a double burden on people experiencing other health-related problems, such as heart disease, cancer and even pregnancy.

Anxiety disorders, which often manifest as excessive worry, fear and a tendency to avoid potentially stressful situations including social gatherings, are some of the most common mental health problems in the Western world. Young individuals, both male and female, under 35 years of age are disproportionately affected.

Managing anxiety is especially important for those with current or a family history of blood sugar disorders. A study from this month's Psychoneuroendocrinology has found a link between emotional stress and diabetes, with roots in the brain's ability to control anxiety.

That control lies with the brain's executive functions, processes that handle attention, inhibition, working memory and cognitive flexibility and are also involved in reasoning, problem-solving and planning. Such vulnerability can lead to more frequent anxiety, and anxiety is known to activate a metabolic pathway responsible for the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Chronic cytokine activation is associated with a greater likelihood of diabetes and high blood glucose.

When we are stressed or anxious or depressed, inflammation goes up. Luckily, the researchers listed several possible interventions, including mindfulness therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. "I'm a firm believer that mindfulness-based approaches to treatment are a great idea, for a lot of reasons," the lead research said.

We also think resolvins are an optimal choice!
Global Omega-3 Status
Bonnie and Steve: The map pictured to the right (larger image headlines today's eNewsletter) show the dire straits of North America's omega-3 status. Consumption is too low to prevent cardiovascular and cognitive health issues.

The map is based upon data derived from 293 studies on omega-3 levels around the world.

Beside public health impacts, it is believed that regular consumption of omega­-3 supplements in the range of 1,000 mg/day would save 12 billion a year in cardiovascular disease­-related healthcare costs in the European Union alone. Data has not been tabulated for North America as of yet.

One of the major reasons for this disparity is that the Western diet is very omega-6 heavy. This creates a stark fatty acid imbalances. This is precisely why our preferred eating style is the PaleoMediterranean, rich in omega-3 fat.

Optimal levels can be reached by eating omega-3 rich fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and cod several times a week. As modern eating habits prevent many people from adhering to this, food supplements and fortified foods are viable options.
Did You Know? Supps
Vitamin K as a Supplement?
Steve: We often are asked why we do not recommend vitamin K more as a supplement. Simply, the vitamin is easy to get in food.

Food Sources and Servings of Phylloquinone (vitamin K2) in micrograms:
  • Kale, raw 1 cup (chopped) 472
  • Swiss chard, raw 1 cup 299
  • Parsley, raw ¼ cup 246
  • Broccoli, cooked 1 cup (chopped) 220
  • Spinach, raw 1 cup 145
  • Watercress, raw 1 cup (chopped) 85
  • Leaf lettuce (green), raw 1 cup (shredded) 46
  • Soybean oil 1 Tablespoon 25
  • Canola oil 1 Tablespoon 10
  • Olive oil 1 Tablespoon 8
Menu Savvy
Does Vegetarianism Reduce Cancer Risk?
Bonnie: Few studies have examined lung, female breast, and prostate cancer risk in vegetarians. Moreover, little is known about the explanatory role of non-dietary factors associated with these diets. 

Researchers in the June issue of European Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed a large group from 1986 to 2006. Subjects were classified into vegetarians, pescetarians, 1 day per week, 2-5 days per week, and 6-7 days per week meat consumers.

After 20.3 years of follow-up, researchers found no statistically significant association between meat consumption groups and the risk of lung cancer. As well, no significant associations were observed for postmenopausal breast and overall prostate cancer. After adjustment for confounders, individuals consuming meat 1 day per week were at a 75% increased risk of advanced prostate cancer compared with 6-7 days per week meat consumers.

Overall, vegetarians, pescetarians and 1 day per week meat consumers did not have a reduced risk of lung, postmenopausal breast and overall prostate cancer compared with individuals consuming meat on a daily basis after taking confounders into account.

"Don't Itch a Mosquito Bite" Is No Myth
Steve: Remember when your parents told you not to itch a mosquito bite? They had no idea how right they were!

There's a reason why mosquito bite sites are itchy, irritating nuisances. By touching the area, viral infections can spread much easier.

The new study from Immunity found that inflammation where the insect has bitten not only helps a virus such as Zika or dengue establish an infection in the body more quickly, but it also helps it to spread around the body, increasing the likelihood of severe illness.

When a mosquito bites, it injects saliva into the skin. The saliva triggers an immune response in which white blood cells called neutrophils and myeloid cells rush to the site. But instead of helping, some of these cells get infected and inadvertently replicate the virus.

In the absence of inflammation and agitation through itching the area, the viruses failed to replicate well.

Our "go to" for mosquito bites to limit itching and inflammation is peppermint essential oil. As soon as you realize there is a mosquito bite, take a Q-tip and dab a little of the essential oil on the bite. In almost every case, relief is realized almost immediately! We also like B&T Sting Stop.
Brand Buzz
Intelligently Active
Optimal Exercise for Young and Old
Steve: Genetics does not necessarily equate to destiny, and reinforce the importance of physical activity as a key factor to improve the bone health of children in the present and into later life.

While we have known for decades that physical activity during childhood builds up bone and confers lifelong benefits, we did not know whether the effects of activity depend on genetic risks for bone fragility.

According to a study that appeared in the May issue of Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, this was the first to show that physical activity can counteract the negative effects of genetic variants that associate with bone fragility in childhood.

Across the board, children had higher bone density scores if they had higher levels of physical activity. This even applied to those with a higher genetic risk for bone fragility. The benefits of activity were driven entirely by high-impact, weight-bearing activity, such as gymnastics and soccer, which involve sprinting, turning or jumping actions.

Tai Chi
Home-based Tai Chi may reduce the incidence of falls and injurious falls more than conventional lower extremity training in older persons, according to a study in the April issue of Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Tai chi can lower blood pressure in older people as effectively as drugs or aerobic exercise, according to findings presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.

Tai chi can improve the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis as much as, or more than, standard physical therapy, according to new research presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting.
Mental Minute
Kids With Food Allergies Linked to Poorer Mental Health
Steve: According to a study in the April issue of Allergy, emotional and behavioral problems, particularly symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ADHD, are common among adolescents with food allergy in the general population and, in the case of elevated levels of depressive symptoms, persist into young adulthood.

We see this often. Kids often blame themselves, feel more vulnerable because of the severity of symptoms that come with food allergies, and see themselves as outsiders socially.

I know this for a fact because until my Mom got into nutrition and discovered what my food allergies/intolerances were, I was an emotional mess. 

Thanks to her, I was lucky to find light at the end of the tunnel. Once you understand what is going on with you, go through the experience of cause and effect, and ultimately feel what it is like to be symptom-free, the emotional disturbances melt away.

In my case, I became so emboldened and passionate about my journey, I turned it into a career!

Healthcare professionals need to ask about food allergies/intolerances when assessing emotional and behavioral problems, explain the connection, and monitor mental health during the fragile transition to adulthood.
Magnificent Magnesium Update
Heart and Pregnancy Highlights
Steve: Higher serum levels of magnesium may reduce the risk of hypertension by almost 50% and the risk of coronary artery calcification by 42%, says a new study in Nutrition Journal
Researchers indicated that for every 0.17 mg/dL increase in serum magnesium level was associated with a 16% reduction in coronary artery calcification.

The study assessed magnesium levels in almost participants between age 30 and 75. None of the participants had any symptoms of cardiovascular disease and they followed the subjects for over a decade.

The results indicated that people with the highest average serum levels magnesium (greater than 2.18 mg/dl) had 48% lower odds of high blood pressure (hypertension), 69 % lower odds of type 2 diabetes, and 42% lower odds of coronary artery calcification, compared with people with lowest average levels (less than 1.97 mg/dl).

Women who received magnesium sulfate during labor were less likely to develop maternal fever, a condition that can lead to a variety of complications in newborns including difficulty breathing, seizures, cerebral palsy and a condition known as "floppy baby syndrome," characterized by inadequate muscle tone, according to a study presented at the Anesthesiology Annual Meeting.

Researchers studied data from live births at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago between 2007 and 2014. Nearly 63,000 deliveries met the study criteria.

The study is the first-of-its-kind to focus on the association between magnesium sulfate and maternal fever.
Genetic Wellness Testing & Analysis

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, as well as absorb vitamins A & D. The great thing is that you can prevent impairment with diet, lifestyle, and nutrient modification.

For example, if you cannot adequately convert Beta Carotene from food into absorbable vitamin A (retinol), this greatly increases your risk for the eye disease Macular Degeneration. Food and supplement modification addresses this issue.

The graphic on top is the methylation cycle. The bottom graphic is genes associated with vitamins A & D. If you have not done your 23andMe genetic test, yet, what are you waiting for?

Video: Avoid the Grilling Gremlins
Wild Card
Lower Cortisol, the Stress Hormone, in 45 Minutes or Less
Bonnie: Whether you're Van Gogh or a stick-figure sketcher, a new study in this month's Art Therapy found that making art can significantly reduce stress-related hormones in your body.

Cortisol was one such the hormone measured in the study through saliva samples. The higher a person's cortisol level, the more stressed a person is likely to be.

Cortisol levels were taken before and after the art-making period.

Materials available to the participants included markers and paper, modeling clay and collage materials. There were no directions given and every participant could use any of the materials they chose to create any work of art they desired.

The researchers found that 75 percent of the participants' cortisol levels lowered during their 45 minutes of making art. 
"You are not defeated when you lose. You are defeated when you quit."
-Paulo Coelho
UP4 Acidophilus Discontinued

Bonnie and Steve: Much to our chagrin, UAS Life Sciences has discontinued UP4 Acidophilus (yellow label). Their reasoning was: "it's not a big seller" and "customers want multiple strains per capsule".

When we mentioned that in many instances, those who suffer from yeast imbalances need and can only tolerate acidophilus, they had no credible response. The cold reality is that even supplement manufacturers go with what sells, not what serves the best interest of its diverse customers.

Luckily, we have options to cater to your individual needs.
  1. If you no longer struggle with yeast imbalance, you can switch to UP4 Daily (lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus).
  2. For everyone else, we contract manufactured our own Acidophilus product: Well Probiotic L. Acidophilus. We will ship this product with refrigeration during the warmer months. but you can store it exactly as you did with UP4 Acidophilus (just refrigerate after opening).
We have never been about "what sells". Unfortunately, we are penalized for this as evidenced by the discontinuation of certain Twinlab products and now this.

We will continue to focus solely on what's best for your individual needs, as well as our own, because everyone here, in addition to our friends and families, all use the same products you do!
Well Connect Coaching Sessions
23andMe, Pure Genomics 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 you want us to analyze your genetic methylation and vitamin A &D pathways.
To schedule your free appointment with Steve, email or phone 847-498-3422. An appointment with Bonnie is $45.
ActionPlanAction Plan of the Month:
Eye-Mazing Vision Protection
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 (42 plans: total value $300). 

This comes in handy for those who leave no stone unturned when it comes to protecting their vision and eye health.

Our Eye-Mazing Vision Protection Action Plan is impeccably well researched and covers all the pressing issues with eyes, including Age-related Macular Degeneration, Dry Eye, and more. Of course, none of what we focus on include medications or procedures, just lifestyle choices and nutrients.

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
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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 honored with the Constant Contact All Star 9 years in a row.
  2. Self-Help Action Plans. Access to two titles per month from our self-help Action Plan Library. There are currently 42 Action Plan titles to date on all aspects of wellness, including the new Eye-Mazing Vision Protection Action Plan. You can view the list here.
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  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 at 40% OFF today!

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Our Wellness Menu
We have a multitude of options for simple fine-tuning or the toughest cases.
  • Full Wellness Evaluation (with bloodwork)
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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 a few times per year and is available online to NCI Well Connect Members. The latest update is from March, 2016.
Serving your individual wellness needs. We appreciate your patronage and support.

Have a happy, healthy day,
Bonnie, Steve, Carolyn, Lilo, Elizabeth, and Jeannie
(847) 498 3422 - main 

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