In this issue:

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the February 2008 issue of True North's Tune-Up. We continue to emphasize "up stream" strategies for health in the areas of nutrition, mind-body, and lifestyle. Studies are from peer-reviewed scientific journals. Archived prior issues of the Tune-Up may be found at

To your health,

B. Joseph Semmes, MD
Director of Research, True North
Diplomate, American Boards of Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine (ABIM) and Emergency Medicine

Pedometer use leads to a 27% increase in walking, lower body mass and lower blood pressure

Stanford University investigators reviewed more than 26 studies involving more than 2700 adults, (85% women, average age 49) on the use of pedometers. They found that pedometer use was enhanced by setting daily step goals. Systolic blood pressure on average dropped 3.8 mm.

Read this pedometer study

Omega 3s, Fish, protect from dementia

Recent Dutch and Norwegian studies shows a correlation between Omega 3 serum level, fish consumption and cognitive performance. The third bullet is a non-scientific NY Times front page story showing that 5 of 20 NY sushi restaurants had bad levels of mercury in their blue fin tuna. Makes sense as these largest of tuna are high in the food chain. The last link, for you biochemists, provides insight into the possible mechanism of how Omega 3 fish oils protect from dementia.

Read Omega 3 study

Read Omega 3 "Zutphen Elderly Study"

Read NY Times sushi story

Learn about Omega 3 mechanism

Polyunsaturated fatty acids in walnuts and flaxseed are linked to lower rates of peripheral neuropathy in adults with diabetes

This study of more than 1000 diabetic over age 40 suggests that alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega 3 fatty acid present in seed oils, canola, walnuts, flaxseed, and greens, is linked to lower rates of peripheral neuropathy. This nerve pain or numbness especially in the feet occurs in more than 25% of adult diabetics.

View peripheral neuropathy study

Read OPTILIP study

Walnuts have long been shown to prevent coronary artery disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S. Follow the link for a 2002 free full text review from The Journal of Nutrition.

Physical activity slows aging

A twin study of over 2400 whites in the UK found that leisure time activity (exercise) slow aging. The biomarker for slowed aging, a delay in shortening of white cell telomeres, was estimated to provide each exerciser with the equivalent of 9 more years of life.  

Read UK study on physical activity and aging

Exercise improves function, protects from falls and fractures

In the elderly, falls often lead to injury, loss of independence, illness and death. A well designed Cochrane review of more than 30 studies involving more than 2800 participants showed significant improvement for balance, gait, and coordination from strength training and a range of other exercises.

Read Cochrane review


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Information provided in the True North Tune-Up is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The information and links in this e-publication are intended to provide general education on the topics listed, but you should not use the information or links to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare practitioner. True North advises you to always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioner prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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