What are MCTs?

MCTs are medium chain triglycerides. That’s the scientific name for a group of partially man-made fats. These fats deserve attention because they’re good for us and as more research continues to be conducted, MCTs are being used more frequently for their therapeutic value.1

MCTs are most commonly derived from either coconut or palm kernel oil that is extracted in the laboratory. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic contend that they have been shown to lower weight and decrease metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity and inflammatory markers. Their value in weight management is attributed to their unusual chemical structure that allows the body to digest them easily. Absorbed intact, MCTs are taken straight to the liver and used directly for energy. In this way, they are processed more like carbohydrates than like other fats. 2 The result is that instead of being stored as fat, the calories contained in MCTs are efficiently converted into fuel for immediate use by organs and muscles.3

MCTs have also been shown to suppress appetite. In one 14-day study, six healthy male volunteers were allowed unlimited access to one of three diets: a low MCT diet, a medium MCT and a high MCT diet. Caloric consumption was significantly lower on the high MCT diet. The researchers noted that substituting MCTs for other fats in a high-fat diet “can limit the excess energy intakes and weight gain produced by high-fat, energy-dense diets.”4 

These findings are of particular interest to nutritionists and dieticians who work with clients in need of weight loss. Calorie-restricted diets are often associated with lethargy or a decline in energy. Studies support the benefits of using MCTs in weight loss programs to boost energy levels and increase fatty acid metabolism to help in reducing fat deposits. In one eastern European study, researchers had 60 obese patients consume MCT oil. They concluded that MCTs offered benefits that “improve the long-term success of diet therapy of obese patients.”5

In recent years MCTs have gained in popularity with athletes who want to increase energy levels and enhance endurance during high-intensity exercise. These athletes are generally on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. According to webMD, athletes sometimes use MCTs for nutritional support during training, as well as for decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.1

Another promising use for MCTs is in support of cognitive function. Here’s how: When brain cells lose their ability to process glucose, the main source of energy, those brain cells die. PET scans show that areas of the brain that are weak in breaking down glucose, are able to use ketones (what the body produces when it breaks down fats for energy) as an alternative source of energy. Ketones easily cross the blood-brain barrier to provide instant energy to the brain. MCTs conveniently raise blood levels of ketones!6

MCTs are fats that are our friends. And we’ve made it easy to access these valuable fats by making it our second ingredient in the high-protein, low-carb Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix. MCTs are usually high in calories, but in our nutritional shake, they’re part of a 125-calorie serving, so you reap big benefits with a great low-calorie formula and enjoy the Nikken Active Wellness lifestyle.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-915-medium+chain+triglycerides.aspx

2http://www.clevelandclinicwellness.com/Features/Pages/MediumChainTriglycerides.aspx

3 Kaunitz, H. ,Dietary use of MCT in “Bilanzierte Ernaehrung in der Therapie,” K. Lang, W. Fekl, and G. Berg, eds. George Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, 1971.

4 Stubbs RJ, Harbron CG. ,“Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men,” Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1996 May;20(5):435-44.

5 Hainer V, Kunesova M, Stich V, Zak A, Parizkova J. ,“The role of oils containing triacylglycerols and medium-chain fatty acids in the dietary treatment of obesity,” “The effect on resting energy expenditure and serum lipids,” Cas Lek Cesk 1994 Jun 13;133(12):373-5.

6 Constantini, Lauren C, Barr, Linda J, Vogel, Janet L, Henderson, Samuel T, “Hypometabolism as a therapeutic target I Alzheimer’s disease,” BMC Neurosci., 2008; 9(suppl 2): S16.

Turmeric: Hot Topic of the Year!

If you like yellow curry, you’ve probably tasted turmeric. It’s commonly found in Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, Thai and other Asian cuisines, because it’s the primary spice in curry. In food and manufacturing, turmeric essential oil is used in perfumes and cosmetics, and its resin is used as a flavor enhancer and color component in foods. Its bright yellow color has been a source of natural dyes for centuries, and its root is widely used to make medicine. That’s just for starters.

What all the talk centers around is the more than 600 purported health benefits. Since 1900 B.C. (the time of Ayurveda) turmeric in various forms (sliced, ground, powdered, tinctured, etc.) has been used to address a wide range of conditions. It’s touted to help the skin, pulmonary and gastrointestinal systems as well as the joints. It’s been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer activities.1

What is of particular interest to us is that turmeric is known to protect the brain in a variety of ways, because it is “a potent antioxidant that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier.” 2 Some specific brain boosting abilities are attributed to the natural chemical in turmeric called curcumin.

  • It is believed to improve memory and concentration by increasing blood flow and neurotransmitter formation.3
  • It increases the production of serotonin and dopamine, two of the brain chemicals that produce a feeling of contentment or happiness.4
  • It helps increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).5 BDNF is a protein that stimulates brain cell production.
  • The omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA is a major building block of the brain. Its deficiency is believed to be the cause of various neurological disorders. Curcumin enhances DHA synthesis and increases its levels in the brain.6

Although curcumin is known as an active component, the entire root or the whole turmeric plant serves a variety of purposes. For example, there is turmerone, a beneficial compound found in turmeric root. Studies and research have been conducted to show how turmerone stimulates the production of new neurons which can be useful for degenerative brain diseases, traumatic brain injury and stroke.7 Research in these areas with relation to the use of stem cells in the treatment of certain neurological conditions is fairly new, but scientists are making headway with the effects of turmerone on brain disorders.8

Turmeric (root) is the third ingredient in the organic fermented brain support blend that makes up the NikkenWellness™ Clarity formula.

1 Aggarwal BB, Sundaram C, Malani N, Ichikawa H., Curcumin: the Indian solid gold, Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:1-75. (PubMed ID 17569205) 

2 Orlando RA, Gonzales AM, Royer RE, Deck LM, Vander Jagt DL, A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization. 2012, PLoS ONE 7(3): e31869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031869

3 Awad, AS, Cerebrovasc Dis., J Stroke, 2011 Nov 20(6):541-8. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

4 Kulkarni, S.K., Bhutani, M.K. & Bishnoi, M., Antidepressant activity of curcumin: involvement of serotonin and dopamine system, Psychopharmacology (2008) 201:435.

5 Ying Su, Baoshan Ku, Lu Tie, Haiyan Yao, Wengao Jiang, Xing Ma, Xuejun Li, Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB, Brain Research Vol. 1122, Issue 1, 2006, pages 56 -64.

6 Wu, A, Noble, EE, Tyagi, E, Ying, Z, Zhuang, Y, Gomez-Pinilla, F, Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders, Biochim Biophys Acta, 2015 May: 1852(5): 951-61. Epub 2014 Dec 27.

7 Hucklenbroich, J. etal, Aromatic-turmerone induces neural stem cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo, Stem Cell Res Ther. 2014; 5(4):100.

8 Sun Young Park, Mei Ling Jin, Young Hun Kim, YoungHee Kim, San Joon Lee, Anti-inflammatory effects of aromatic-turmerone through blocking of NF-kB , JNK, and p38 MAPK signaling pathways in amyloid β-stimulated microglia, Intl Immunopharmacology, Vol 14, Issue 1, September 2012, Pages 13-20.

What is BMI?

Have you heard body builders at the gym comparing their BMIs? Or do you know someone who is body-obsessed and talks about BMI in every conversation? Here’s why knowing your BMI can be useful to you.

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is the ratio of a person’s weight to height squared. BMI can be used as a screening tool for body fatness but is not diagnostic. Because the calculation requires only height and weight, it is inexpensive and easy to use for clinicians as well as the general public.

BMI is not a perfect measure because it doesn’t assess body fat directly. Muscle and bone are denser than fat, so an athlete or muscular person might have a high BMI but not have too much fat. For the majority of the adult population, measuring BMI is considered by researchers to be a reliable way to determine whether a person has too much body fat.1

The most basic definition of overweight and obesity is having so much body fat that that it “presents a risk to health.”2 Measuring BMI is a widely used method for clinicians to determine who is overweight or obese. BMI is strongly correlated with metabolism rates and disease risks, which are more direct measures of body fatness.3

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides a body mass index calculator on their website. 4  

According to the NHLBI, here are the BMI categories:

Underweight = <18.5

Normal weight = 18.5-24.9

Overweight = 25-29.9

Obesity= 30 or >

Whether your BMI shows you to be underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese, check with your physician before undertaking any drastic changes to your diet.

Maintaining an Active Wellness lifestyle that incorporates exercise and organic nutritional supplements is the natural way to support fitness, boost energy levels and ignite your metabolism.

Support your overall goals for a healthy body and healthy mind with an assortment of Nikken Wellness™ products. Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix and Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix are just a couple!

1 Gallagher D, Visser M, Sepulveda D, Pierson RN, Harris T, Heymsfield SB. How useful is body mass index for comparison of body fatness across age, sex, and ethnic groups? Am J Epidemiol. 1996; 143:228-39.

2 World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight. Fact sheet Number 311. September 2006. Accessed January 25, 2012.

3 Flegal, K.M. & Graubard, B.I., 2009. Estimates of excess deaths associated with body mass index and other anthropometric variables. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 89(4), pp.1213–1219.

4 The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

 

Ten4_product-img_9-16.jpgjan15_kvb_chocolate_1.jpg

What are Brown Rice Solids?

Most health enthusiasts know it is more beneficial to eat brown rice than white rice. Brown rice by itself is rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. It also contains natural fibers that help digestion. Brown rice fits in perfectly with an Active Wellness lifestyle. But have you heard of brown rice solids?

Brown rice solids are basically functional protein ingredients that are processed from sprouted brown rice following organic methods. When the rich protein content that is distributed between the bran and endosperm layer is concentrated and dried, brown rice solids are generated. They provide a high level of naturally occurring nutrients, such as potassium and magnesium.

But what is the significance of the brown rice solids in the new formulation of our Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix? When a formula contains only four ingredients, each one plays a vital part in the efficacy of the product. Brown rice solids play an important role in the drink mix, not only for taste but to replace synthetic vitamins.

  • Brown rice solids are hypoallergenic, have a mildly sweet taste and are easily digestible.
  • Brown rice solids contain essential and non-essential amino acids and are a quickly oxidized natural energy source.
  • Brown rice solids provide a sustained supply of energy without experiencing the symptoms of low-blood sugar that can impede performance.
  • Brown rice solids contain a wealth of vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (folate) vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and vitamin K. Vitamins B and E are known for their energizing properties and vitamin K is important in its support of bone health.

Only four ingredients make up Kenzen Ten4®. As with labeling protocol, ingredients appear in descending order: Organic matcha green tea powder, organic brown rice solids, kiwi powder (fruit), organic stevia extract (leaf).

Even if you’ve never heard of brown rice solids before, Nikken has done the research to ensure you have access to the best in food technology.

Earn a $1,000 Bonus at Nikken!

You can earn money at Nikken. Become a Nikken Consultant and you can generate a home-based income either part time or full time. You can earn commission checks in addition to a 20 percent retail profit on sales of Active Wellness products. And, there are cash rewards and bonus incentives.

For example, this December is unlike any other December! Why? Because you are eligible for a one-time cash bonus of $1,000 when you achieve the rank of Silver Consultant with Nikken during this particular month of December.

No matter when you attain the rank of Silver Consultant, you jump into an exciting new world of entrepreneurship where your part-time income can turn into something much more. At the rank of Silver, you begin to maximize the Nikken Compensation Plan. At Silver and all higher ranks, you are eligible to earn the highly rewarding Leadership Bonus that is based on six percent of sales volume on your personal group’s commissionable volume down through two levels of qualified Silver or above Consultants.

You still have a few weeks left to qualify for the $1,000 bonus! If you are already a Senior or Executive, talk to your sponsor or an upline leader, review your game plan and ramp up your efforts to find and sign up new Consultants and Registered Customers!*

*See the Consultant’s Average Income Sheet at www.nikken.com/join-nikken

Too Many Gastronomic Temptations?

As the holiday season progresses, we have to be realistic about keeping our digestive systems working properly, knowing that we’ll fall off the wagon a little in the area of food and beverage consumption.

Two of the biggest culprits over the holidays are overeating and over-drinking. Both excesses involve copious amounts of sugar, something that we know we should avoid. Both add empty calories and carbs to the diet, and alcohol also has a dehydrating effect on the body. Then there’s the extra sodium used in meat marinades, brines and gravies, which produces a dehydrating effect as well.

In addition, there are enticing carbs in the form of potatoes and pasta, bread and muffins, to name just a few. Carbs that contain gluten may produce a feeling of bloat—that feeling of an expanding waistline after only a single big meal is not a figment of the imagination.

To maintain a lifestyle of Active Wellness, the digestive system needs to work efficiently to keep us on-the-go. If we’re “going” too much, our bodies aren’t absorbing enough nutrients to provide the natural energy we need. If we’re “going” too infrequently, sluggishness sets in. Eating too much of the wrong food and too few of the right nutrients can produce either effect, depending on our individual digestive tracts.

What’s a body to do? The answer is thankfully simple.

Nikken produces a nutritional supplement that takes the guesswork out of your daily digestive patterns. The name of our nutritional supplement is long, but there’s a reason for that. Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 (link to product in shopping cart) helps the body to process the four major food groups—carbs, proteins, fats and fiber—with a total of 20 enzymes . This is no small feat of formulation. If you take the time to check other nutritional supplements, you’ll find they commonly contain enzymes to process two or three of the food groups at best.

You’ll also find our recurring theme with Nikken Wellness™ products: there are specific ingredients that are NOT included, because they’re of no benefit in a nutritional supplement. Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 therefore does not contain dairy, preservatives, salt, sucrose, soy, wheat, yeast, corn, nuts, gluten, artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors. Even if you’re a vegan or on a gluten-free diet, you’re good to go with Kenzen Digestion Complex 4 -20.

Take one capsule before each meal and let’s enjoy our feasts and try not to fall off the wagon.

How Much Did You Gain Over Thanksgiving?

Okay, be honest. How much weight did you gain this past week? Popular belief finds that the average American gains around five to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This starts off with approximately a little over a pound gained over Thanksgiving week. If it doesn’t sound like much to you, you’re probably one of those fortunate people with a fast metabolism that kicks into high gear once you get back on your regular eating regimen.

Unfortunately, many people—especially those who are middle-aged and older—gain a few pounds over the holidays every year and never take the weight off. Not to be an alarmist but multiply two by 10 and that’s 20 pounds in a decade! There’s no better time than right now to jump into Active Wellness!

Here are half a dozen tips for fighting the battle of the holiday bulge:

  • Drink water—lots of it. Water not only helps you feel full but it also helps your digestive system work more efficiently. A bonus of drinking more water than you might be accustomed to is an improvement in your skin, especially if you drink filtered water!
  • Don’t deprive yourself and abruptly cut out everything you think of as fattening. Instead, cut out a third of everything. Portion control is key. Too often, we think of what to eat rather than how much to eat.
  • Increase your consumption of green, leafy vegetables. They’re bulky and therefore filling, and they contain very few calories. In addition, you reap the benefits of their inherent vitamins and minerals, which are sources of natural energy.
  • Decrease your consumption of “white” foods, such as bread, rice, pasta and potato. Replace with organic whole grains.
  • Ditch anything that’s “ready-made” for the microwave. Chances are it contains too much sodium and some kind of preservative. Our bodies absolutely despise preservatives.
  • If you’re generally sedentary, take a brisk 15 to 30 minute walk every day. If you’re already on a good exercise regimen, increase whatever you do by two to five minutes. The trick is to be consistent.