A Healthy Mind is Part of Active Wellness

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging families to talk about memory and cognition concerns sooner. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. As with virtually any disease, an early diagnosis may offer the opportunity for medical and/or lifestyle interventions that slow down the progression of symptoms. Early testing can also help determine if someone’s cognitive changes are truly the result of Alzheimer’s or another condition.

Here are 10 warning signs listed by the Alzheimer’s Association1:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life: One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is forgetting recently learned information. Other symptoms include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things that used to be handled alone.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems: Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. Focus may be lacking and simple tasks may take much longer to complete.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure: For example, sometimes people may get lost going to a familiar location, be unable to manage a budget at work or forget the rules of a favorite game.
  4. Confusion with time or place: People with Alzheimer’s find it difficult to track time. They may only understand something that is happening immediately. They may forget where they are or how they got there.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing: Following or joining a conversation may become challenging. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and be unable to continue. They may say the same thing over and over. They may call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to retrace their steps to find them again. They may put things in unusual places (e.g., putting a wallet in the refrigerator). When they can’t find things, they may accuse others of stealing.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment: For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. Their appearance may suffer as they become less aware of cleanliness and tidiness.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities: They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social situations because of the changes they have experienced.
  10. Changes in mood and personality: There may be an increase in feelings of confusion, suspicion and depression as well as fearfulness or anxiety. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in unfamiliar places.

Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of the elderly. Many people with early onset are in their 30s, 40s and 50s. In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 200,000 people have early onset.2 But, can Alzheimer’s be prevented? There are no clear-cut answers yet, but promising research is under way. The Alzheimer’s Association continues to fund studies exploring the influence of exercise, diet, social and mental stimulation, and other factors in the development of Alzheimer’s.3

Common sense dictates that the earlier we participate in an Active Wellness lifestyle, the better our chances of maintaining a Healthy Body and a Healthy Mind. The Nikken line of Kenzen® organic nutritional supplements is the natural way to support the foundation of our health. A fermented blend of 100% organic ingredients formulated to help you stay focused and mentally sharp, Kenzen Clarity is designed to help maximize your cognitive function.*

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1 https://alz.org/10-signs-symptoms-alzheimers-dementia.asp

2 https://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_early_onset.asp

3 https://alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_prevention_and_risk.asp

Continuous Improvement Resulting in Greater Good

In Japanese, the two characters that make up Kaizen—Kai and Zen—literally mean Change and Good. The character for Zen also means Kind. Kaizen therefore is the practice of continuous improvement, which results in the greater good. Originally introduced to the West in the 1980s, Kaizen now is recognized globally as an important aspect of organizational and corporate strategies for long-term success.

At Nikken, Team Kaizen members embody the concept of continuous improvement that helps not only the individual but also helps create a Healthy Society. Recipients of this award embody the spirit of Kaizen and are the role models for leadership with Nikken.

Although Kaizen is a competitive strategy in business, it is especially congruent with the Nikken approach to living a life of Active Wellness through the 5 Pillars of Health®—that is, to constantly seek improvement in the pursuit of Healthy Mind, Body, Family, Society and Finances.

Kaizen is based on certain guiding principles to manage and build a business:

  1. Good processes bring good results.
  2. Be personally and actively involved.
  3. Do the research so you can manage with concrete facts.
  4. Take action to contain and correct the root causes of problems.
  5. Work as a team.

Transfer these guiding principles to Team Kaizen and we have:

  1. Good work habits bring good results. Consistently retailing products and sponsoring new team members helps build checks.
  2. A good leader has a positive attitude.
  3. Becoming knowledgeable about Nikken products and income opportunity . leads to a strong belief in the Nikken Marketing Plan.
  4. When there are obstacles, overcome them. Find solutions, be a problem solver.
  5. Thrive in a team environment.

Kaizen is not just about building a successful Nikken business. It really is about personal growth, staying positive and ultimately, helping others.

Make Sure Good Health is Your Priority

Men, listen up! From infancy to old age, women tend to be healthier than men. Part of it is biological but part of it is due to men’s more cavalier attitude towards health. According to webMD, men tend to avoid the doctor and are less likely to acknowledge any health challenges.

Since June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, here are a half dozen tips to maintain good health:

  1. Routine check–ups are important to monitor heart health. The top cause of death among adult men in the U.S. is cardiovascular disease. According to the American Health Association, an estimated 2.8 million men experience stroke each year and hypertension is common even in young men.1
  2. Don’t smoke. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution and chemicals, as much as possible. According to the American Lung Association, more men are diagnosed with lung cancer each year, with smoking as the leading cause.
  3. Limit alcohol. Imbibe in moderation, which means up to two drinks a day for men 65 and younger and one drink for those older. One drink is 12 fluid ounces of beer, five fluid ounces of wine or 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof liquor.2 Men experience higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women, according to the Center for Disease Control. Alcohol abuse increases the risk for mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon cancers. It also interferes with testicular function and hormone production.3
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish and free-range chicken. Limit foods high in saturated and trans fat, sodium and sugar. The high sugar of diabetes acts like a slow poison on blood vessels and nerves, with heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure and amputations being the fallout for thousands of men.4
  5. Maintain a healthy weight. Overweight and obesity feed the diabetes epidemic and increase the risk of heart disease and various types of cancer.
  6. Use sunscreen. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, men aged 50 and older are at the highest risk for developing skin cancer, more than twice as likely as women.5 This higher risk is attributed to more frequent sun exposure and fewer visits to the doctor.

Nikken Active Wellness supports the overall health of both men and women. Our nutritional supplements address the maintenance of health from head to toe! For men, you simply can’t get better year round support than with Men’s Kenzen® Mega Daily 4.

1, 3, 5 https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/top-10-mens-health-issues/slideshow/1369/

2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/mens-health/art-20047764

4 https://www.webmd.com/men/features/6-top-health-threats-men#1

The ABCs of MCTs

No matter how much we weigh, each of us needs fat to maintain balance in our diets. Unfortunately, most of us are ingesting the wrong type of fats and far too much of it. MCTs, on the other hand, are a good source of fat that may also help reverse the effects of harmful fats.

MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. Triglycerides are the main constituents of natural fats and oils. High concentrations in the blood are indicators of a higher risk of stroke. In contrast, medium-chain triglycerides are composed of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone. MCTs are sometimes used to counter the effects of high triglycerides in the blood.

The name refers to the way carbon atoms are arranged in their chemical structure. Typically, fats found in the diet are long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) with 20 or more carbon chains.1 MCTs range from six to 12 carbon chains.2 Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs travel straight from the gut to the liver and do not require bile to break them down. LCTs require the break down first. In the liver, fats are broken down to be either used as fuel or stored as body fat.

Since MCTs enter our cells without having to be broken down, our bodies use them as instant sources of energy that pass through the blood-brain barrier to fuel the brain cells.3 In addition, MCTs may help burn calories more effectively. In one study, the thermogenic effect of a high-calorie diet containing 40 percent fat as MCTs was compared to one containing the same level of LCTs. The thermic effect (calories wasted six hours after a meal) of the MCTs was almost twice as high as the LCTs. With MCTs, 120 calories were used, compared to 66 calories from LCTs over the six hours. A follow-up study demonstrated that MCT oil given over a six day period can increase diet-induced thermogenesis by 50 percent.4

In another study, researchers compared the effects of single meals of 400 calories composed entirely of MCTs or LCTs. The thermogenic effect of MCTs over six hours was 300 percent higher than the LCTs meal. Since the MCTs went directly to the liver, they had no effect on the blood fat level. However, the LCTs elevated blood fats by 68 percent. Researchers concluded that “long-term substitution of medium chain triglycerides for long chain triglycerides [MCT for LCT] would produce weight loss if energy intake remained constant.”5

Athletes sometimes use MCTs for nutritional support during training, to increase exercise performance, for decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, and for weight loss.6 During exercise, rising lactate levels can negatively impact exercise performance. MCTs may help reduce lactate buildup when taken before exercising and may also help us use more fat instead of carbs for energy.7

One small Chinese study of 40 people with diabetes found that those who consumed MCTs daily had significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and insulin resistance, compared to those taking LCTs.8 Continuing studies are being done to see how MCTs may help us control blood sugar levels.

MCTs clearly provide numerous health benefits for an Active Wellness lifestyle, but how easy are they to access and consume? Look no further than Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix. Read the labels for both Vanilla and Chocolate flavors and you will see that MCTs are the second ingredients for both flavors.

1, 2 https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-915/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts

4, 5 https://www.sharecare.com/health/fats-nutrients-diet/mtcs-and-ltcs-utilized

3, 6, 7, 8 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits?utm_source=Sailthru%20Email&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=authoritynutrition&utm_content=2018-05-14

Plain and Simple: Conquer the Desire for Sugar

Just as with any harmful addiction, breaking the sugar habit can be difficult. But as more health research comes to light, it truly is necessary to reduce sugar consumption, if not eliminate it completely from our diets.

Research continues to show that sugar reduction is among the top product claims sought after by consumers. A recent survey conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) shows that:

  • 48% of consumers say they are eliminating certain foods and beverages from their diets.1
  • 25% are using low-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar.2
  • 22% are switching from caloric beverages to low- and no-calorie options.3

Many consumers have a mixed opinion about low – and no-calorie sweeteners, but 63% now believe that these sweeteners help them reduce sugar consumption.4

Our previous blogs discussed healthy natural sweeteners The Healthiest Natural Sweetener vs. the unhealthy artificial sweeteners.

The increased focus on sugar consumption in relation to health has led to new regulatory guidelines in markets globally. In the United States, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented changes to labeling added sugars and dietary fibers on Nutrition Facts to make it more clear to consumers. Nikken began the transition to the new labeling requirements as early as last year. Below is an example of the differences in labeling.

Revised Nutrition Facts (Blog).png

Here are some tips for reducing sugar consumption in pursuit of Active Wellness:

  1. Eliminate sodas and other sugary beverages.
  2. Need a sugar fix? Eat a piece of fruit or a sweet vegetable, such as a carrot or beet.
  3. Frozen berries, grapes, cherries and bananas are delicious as sorbets when blended.
  4. Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Try to drink it “straight” or only with a little creamer—without any sweeteners. Lemon in tea is a flavorful replacement and you can train your taste buds to appreciate tangy over sweet.
  5. Be careful with “alternative” sweeteners, such as honey and molasses. They are still forms of sugar, high in calories and have limited nutritional value. Instead, choose no-calorie natural sweeteners such as monkfruit and stevia.
  6. Do you want something sweet without empty calories? Have a “milk shake” made with Kenzen Vital Balance® mixed with the milk of your choice: coconut, soy, almond, cashew or regular!
  7. Drink more water. A recent survey in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who drank just 1% more water daily cut sugar intake by one to four teaspoons.5
  8. Read labels. Packaged food contains lots of hidden sugar, so eat fresh food whenever possible. For example, instead of packaged oatmeal, buy oatmeal that requires cooking. The packaged oatmeal frequently has little to no fiber and instead contains added sugar and artificial flavoring.

Sugar is a bad habit, but the good news is, we can beat it!

1, 2, 3, 4 http://www.foodinsightorg/2017-food-and-health-survey

5 https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/g2480/low-sugar-diet/

You Can Do It!

Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning “continuous improvement through positive change.” Recipients of the Team Kaizen award exemplify the meaning of the word and have the opportunity to experience an extraordinary leadership position within Nikken. This is the first in a series of profiles of the 2018 Team Kaizen members in pursuit of Active Wellness.

2018 Team Kaizen members had to create at least one Quality Enrollment every month of 2017 and develop four or more new frontline Silvers last year. Fulfilling these qualifications required unwavering motivation. Here’s how Kimball Sargent and Geoff Avery-Foy stayed motivated, in Kimball’s own words:

“First, we 100% committed to building this business and making it our primary income.  The other was our burning desire to go to Japan. When we joined Nikken, the company had made a trip to Japan the year before and we were told there would be no more trips there. We were very sad about that. When we heard in January of 2017 that there was going to be a trip there, we decided failure was not an option.

“Every day my husband Geoff and I made at least five contacts or follow-ups. I am the person who is usually talking and meeting new people and he works hard on follow-up and providing support to our team. Regularly meeting new people and sharing the business as well as the products was essential.

“We needed a funnel of new people to introduce to the products and the business. I am a member of a BNI (business network international) group and another networking group. I attended these groups weekly and they provided me with new referrals on a weekly basis. This was crucial for us in bringing new people on the team.

“Working with our team members regularly was another key to our success. We spent the most time with the teammates who committed to going Silver and putting new people in front of us. The team is everything in this business and we are very grateful to everyone on our team who worked so hard and helped us achieve Team Kaizen.”

Already looking forward to qualifying for Team Kaizen 2019, Kimball says, “Geoff and I, along with our team, have decided that we are going to have a huge representation on Team Kaizen 2019. In 2005, I traveled to Italy to speak at a conference and my husband couldn’t afford to go. So I want to see Italy with him and we want to work with our teammates and earn the ultimate honor of being a part of Team Kaizen. The trip is amazing and maybe even better is getting to work with the other Kaizen members and the Nikken Leadership Team to promote the best networking company in the world. Reaching Team Kaizen 2018 let us know that we can achieve any goal that we set our minds to with Nikken, if we work consistently, have fun and don’t give up. The sky is the limit.”

Do you want to qualify for Team Kaizen? Here’s Kimball and Geoff’s 10-step plan to follow:

  1. Set your goal and your intention.
  2. Decide that failure is not an option.
  3. Create a visual that you will see daily that you have achieved the goal.
  4. Write your goal daily as if you have already achieved it, every morning first thing and every night before bed.
  5. Create a daily plan for contacting and following up with your new friends and your business partners and customers.
  6. Have regular events in your area.
  7. Attend the big events and bring your team members.
  8. Reach out to your sponsor and other successful Nikken Consultants for mentoring.
  9. Work with everyone on your team as if they were first level to you as long as they are working as hard as you do.
  10. Have fun, don’t give up and keep working until the goal is achieved.

Kimball says, “You can do this. You Can Do It!”

Staircase (1).jpeg

 

2018 Magnetic Health Science Foundation Grants

Nikken International Chairman Emeritus Mr. Toshizo (Tom) Watanabe is a Founding Member and Managing Director of the Magnetic Health Science Foundation (left). He is pictured with Dr. Makoto Kotani, President of the Magnetic Health Science Foundation (middle), and Mr. Yoji Takeuchi, President of Nikken Japan.

The Magnetic Health Science Foundation held its 24th Research Grant Presentation Ceremony and Academic Lecture in Tokyo in March of this year. Among 22 applicants, 12 studies were selected for research grants totaling approximately 10 million yen.

Guest Lecturer Takenori Uozumia, Director of the Dementia Center at the University of Occupational Environmental Health presented on “The Usefulness of Magnetic Stimulation for Dementia.” His talk focused on the combination of drug therapy and noninvasive repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy as a possible means of improving cognitive function in the early stage of dementia.

Examples of studies selected for grants include the effects of light and magnetic exposure on enzyme activities, the effects of magnetic stimulation on motor function after stroke, magnetic biosensing through skin, and repetitive magnetic stimulation for the prevention and therapy of essential hypertension. Grants fell into the categories of “Basic Research,” “Application Research” and “Specific Research.”

Basic Research grant recipients are Associate Professor Yoko Akiyama of the Graduate School of Engineering at Osaka University and Associate Professor Yoshihisa Fujiwara of the Graduate School of Science at Hiroshima University.

Application Research grant recipients are Research Associate Kenta Fujimura of the School of Health Sciences at Fujita Health University, Professor Naoki Ohmiya of the Department of Gastroenterology at Fujita Health University, Assistant Professor Yuichiro Shirota of the Department of Neurology at the University of Tokyo Hospital, Professor Katsuo Usuda of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Kanazawa Medical University, Doctoral candidate Masataka Tanaka of the Department of Neurosurgery at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Visiting Research Fellow Kazuyori Yagyu of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Senior Lecturer Junya Fujino of the Medical Institute of Developmental Disabilities Research at Showa University and Professor Yoshitaka Kitamoto of the Department of Innovative and Engineered Materials at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Specific Research grant recipients are Professor Hikari Kirimoto of the Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences at Hiroshima University and Associate Professor Katsuhiko Hata of the Department of Sports and Medical Science at Kokushikan University.

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 1.43.05 PM.pngCongratulations are due to all 2018 grant recipients and we look forward to their new findings in Magnetic Health Science.