In This Issue:

Dear Readers,

We hope you find the True North Tune-Up useful. The studies are from primary sources, peer-reviewed scientific journals with rare exceptions. This month I borrowed advice from the Harvard Health Newsletter’s Simple Switches for Healthy Eating.

To your health,
B. Joseph Semmes, MD
Director of Research, True North
Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Severe chronic pain patients improve in 1 day using functional MRI (fMRI) biofeedback training!
Wow! This highly technical study in 8 chronic refractory pain patients and matched controls showed that all 8 improved and 5 of 8 were more than 50% improved with just one day’s training.  The small number of patients makes this a preliminary finding; and it looks expensive. This work is fascinating and potentially a very important break-through.

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Harvard’s Simple Switches for Healthy Eating

Instead of: Try:
Butter, solid margarine, or lard Olive oil, canola oil, or margarine without trans fats
Cream-based sauces Tomato-based sauces
White pasta Whole-wheat pasta
Smoked, cured, salted or canned meat or fish Fresh or frozen meat or fish, without added salt
Sugared soda or juice Water or juice mixed with sparkling water
Fries or onion rings Roasted vegetables
Dips high in saturated fats Hummus, peanut butter, or seasoned low-fat yogurt
Cookies Graham crackers or oatmeal cookies
Fried foods Grilled, broiled, steamed, poached, or roasted foods
Skipping breakfast Eating oatmeal, whole-grain breads, or bran cereals

(Harvard Medical School charges $20 for the 50 page guide listed alphabetically on the link under... Healthy Eating…)

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Loneliness raises blood pressure, risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, in people over 50.
This University of Chicago study of 228 adults from 50 to 68 published in April’s Psychology and Aging (The study abstract is not available on Pub Med) showed that blood pressure was as much as 30 mm higher in those who were lonely. The magnitude of the worsening would wipe out all potential gain from exercise and weight-control.

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Social isolation doubles the death rate for breast cancer patients.
The importance of family and friends are borne out by the Nurses’ Health Study looking at 2835 women over 10 years. Social isolation was a huge risk factor compared to social integration. Breast cancer mortality risk was increased more than 5 times if patients lacked an adult child. Participation in religious and community activities was not protective.

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No financial conflicts of interest to declare. -JS


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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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