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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
April 17, 2013
Dear Valued Subscriber, 

 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you or anyone you know who has been affected by the tragedy in Boston. We hope this will not deter, but galvanize millions more to achieve their fitness dreams despite the hatred and madness.

 

Have a happy, healthy day. Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Pepsi Is Also Ruining Stevia.

 

First it was Cargill. Now PepsiCo is getting into the act. As we reported last month, the destruction of stevia as a tolerable, natural, non-caloric sweetener has begun.

 

PepsiCo has patented Rebaudioside D (Reb-D), a sweetness molecule from the stevia plant. PepsiCo envisions Reb-D not only as the future sweetener of its diet beverage line, but a valuable commodity for other food and beverage manufacturers wishing to use it for their products.   

 

PepsiCo could not be hassled with harvesting mass amounts of stevia in its current state. By genetically modifying it to produce extremely high amounts of Reb-D, the sweetness yield and profitability increases. The proprietary plant technology will also bring in lucrative royalties.

 

There is no way of knowing if Reb-D is safe. There are no safety studies. PepsiCo has submitted Reb-D for GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) approval with the FDA. Unfortunately, it does not take much for GRAS approval, so I guess we will have to take the wait and see approach. 

 

For the same reason we were reticent of its cousin, Reb-A, when you start to see Reb-D on ingredient labels, it should give you pause. As we reiterated in the Cargill piece below, the only stevia brand we recommend with confidence is Sweet Leaf.

 

 

Cargill is Going to Ruin Stevia (published in March)
It's not enough that Cargill has taken stevia and blended it with erythritol, a genetically modified corn sweetener (the product Truvia). Now they want to make a stevia product where they would not even have to grow the stevia plant. 

Cargill is developing and commercializing stevia extracts derived from a fermentation process, rather than through traditional extraction from the stevia plant. The intent is to produce sweeteners that are molecularly identical to stevia extracts, but without relying on the cultivation, processing and refining of stevia plants. 

Cargill claims that the process will allow it to select and produce specific components responsible for stevia's sweet taste. The process adapts fermentation technology to produce steviol glycosides through low-cost, sustainable carbohydrate feedstocks that can be sourced from anywhere around the globe. The feedstock is most likely corn. 

Because steviol glycosides were approved for use in foods and beverages in the US and Europe, Cargill will only have to prove substantial equivalence to bring its sweetness components to market.

This development is yet another reason to stick with the only stevia brand we endorse, Sweet Leaf.


Meds, Recalls, Supplements, Products Alert
fdaResveratrol Fails in Study
A recent study from Diabetes Care examined the metabolic effects of high-dose resveratrol in obese human subjects. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial, obese but otherwise healthy men were randomly assigned to 4 weeks of resveratrol or placebo treatment.
 
Insulin sensitivity, the primary outcome measure, deteriorated insignificantly in both groups. Endogenous glucose production and the turnover and oxidation rates of glucose remained unchanged. Resveratrol supplementation also had no effect on blood pressure, resting energy expenditure, oxidation rates of lipid, ectopic or visceral fat content, or inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers. 
 
According to the authors, the lack of effect raises doubt about the justification of resveratrol as a human nutritional supplement in metabolic disorders.
 
Steve: Not only does it raise a doubt, it shows that trans-resveratrol (the source used in this study), produced from fermentation instead of concentrate/extract, is ineffective. I can't wait for Big Pharma's synthetic resveratrol to come to market! 
 
The best way to get your resveratrol fix is to have an occasional glass of red wine and eat red grapes.
 
The rest of this report is available to NCI Well Connect subscribers. The highlights include:
  • Pharma reps are not telling doctors the whole story.
  • Dietary supplement recalls
  • Problems with polypharmacy
  • Yet another statin alert.
  • Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis
  • Strontium alert 
  • New, last resort heartburn therapy
  • Diabetes drugs and pancreatitis
  • Synthetic estrogen and its effects on the gallbladder.
  • Antibiotics and the heart.
  • More energy drink dangers revealed.
  • Two types of steroids under fire.
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