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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
July 16, 2014
Dear Valued Subscriber,

Did you know that the top two causes of disability in the US are arthritis pain and back/spine problems? Both are preventable and treatable through diet, lifestyle, and complementary therapies.

Have a happy, healthy week. Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Is Research Turning Against Moderate Alcohol Consumption for Heart Health?

The evidence is mounting that even low levels of alcohol consumption don't help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.


The latest report from BMJ is a unique take on existing data, which has all been observational because randomized controlled trials are unethical for a substance that is the fifth leading risk factor for death and disability.


Researchers compared rates of coronary heart disease and stroke in subjects who were or were not carriers of a genetic variant known to be associated with lower levels of alcohol consumption. Carriers of this variant feel the effects of alcohol at much lower levels of consumption and so tend to drink less than people who are not carriers.


Across all levels of alcohol consumption, carriers of the genetic variant had reduced odds of developing coronary heart diseases and stroke, as compared with noncarriers.


Steve: This lends support to a growing number of studies that are challenging the view that alcohol, in moderation, may be part of a heart-healthy diet. While we are still reserving our judgement until more data comes out, it is compelling.


On another alcohol-related note, one conundrum confounding wine drinkers may have been solved. This is available to subscribers of NCI Well Connect, which is 40% OFF in July.


Those who get headaches from drinking...


Second Study in a Month Lauds Organic Produce.

The largest study of its kind states that organic foods and crops have a plethora of advantages over their conventional counterparts. 


The study in BMJ looked at an unprecedented 343 peer-reviewed publications comparing the nutritional quality and safety of organic and conventional plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, and grains. 


Without synthetic chemical pesticides applied on conventional crops, organic plants tend to produce more phenols and polyphenols to defend against pest attacks and related injuries.

  • Organic crops had 18 to 69 percent higher concentrations of antioxidant compounds. Thus, consumers who switch to organic fruit, vegetables, and cereals would get 20 to 40 percent more antioxidants. That's the equivalent of about two extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with no increase in caloric intake.
  • Pesticide residues were three to four times more likely in conventional foods than organic ones, as organic farmers are not allowed to apply toxic, synthetic pesticides.
  • Conventional crops had roughly twice as much cadmium, a toxic heavy metal contaminant, as organic crops. A doubling of cadmium from food could push some individuals over safe daily intake levels. 

Bonnie: We recommend organic produce because it is better for the environment and we want our clients to avoid pesticide exposure. The extra nutritional benefit is icing on the cake!