In This Issue:

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the January 2006 issue of the True North Tune- Up.  We continue to emphasize “up stream” strategies for health in the areas of nutrition, mind-body, and lifestyle. (This month saving money too.) The studies are from peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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

Exercise reduces the risk of dementia.
Among 1740 adults over 65 followed for 6 years, dementia developed in 158.  Those who exercised three or more times a week developed dementia at 62% the incidence of those who exercised fewer than three times a week. While this does not prove a causal connection, the association suggests that low levels of exercise cause a 30-40 percent reduction in risk for dementia.

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Exercise might be especially important in those with family members who have been affected with dementia, as a study this month of Swedish twins shows a role for inheritance in from 58 to 79 percent of cases.

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EPA bans cookware chemicals.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is used to make things like microwavable popcorn bags, french fry containers, frying pans, stain and stick-resistant. PFOA is an exclusively manmade synthetic chemical, now found in the blood of 95% of Americans. The EPA Federal Register document cites rodent studies (scroll halfway down the next link) showing  PFOA causing liver, immune, developmental problems and cancers.  

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In December 2005 DuPont agreed to pay $12 million in fines to resolve federal charges that it hid data about the danger.  Interestingly, a full page add in the NY Times this week by DuPont asserts that Teflon is safe.  Teflon is a trademarked polytetrafluroethylene (PTFE) resin related to PFOA. Teflon cookware appears to have residues of PFOA 1/300th that of microwavable popcorn bags.

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Broccoli, cabbage, garlic, gingko biloba may prevent cancers.
Some evidence-based medicine types went to a lot of trouble obtaining this graphically-displayed data (see figure 1).

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Turmeric shows promise in preventing chronic diseases.
A reviewer of1500 studies of turmeric concluded that this safe food additive can shield us from a host of widespread diseases including heart, cancer, neurodegenerative and eye disorders.  The review appears this month in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, which is highly respected by top hospital-based nutrition teams.

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When it pays to buy organic.
The Environmental Working Group’s review was cited in the February 2006 Consumer Reports.  If you are trying to limit your food shopping bill this link will help you prioritize.  One can click through to the science that supports choosing organic particularly when it comes to the “Dirty Dozen”: apples, peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach and strawberries.  The link also shows those foods which test low in potentially toxic pesticide residues. The link surpassed my expectations. Explore it. Note that the “Dirty Dozen” are all plant produce and bioaccumulation in animal flesh, especially fat, may be more significant.

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On February 2, 2006 True North will host an event to benefit the Maine Women's Fund, to be held at 202 US Route One in Falmouth. Featuring presentations by Dr. Bethany Hays, MD, True North's Medical Director ("More Than Menopause: Hormones, Health and You") and True North practitioners Amy Kustra, MD and Susan Fekety, MSN, CNM ("The Emerging Woman: Health Care for the Teens and Twenties"). The Maine Women's Fund and True North support the women and girls of Maine to develop their potential. For more information or to register, call (207) 781-4488.

Don't miss a chance to hear author and physician Larry Dossey, MD speak on "Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine." Dr. Dossey will speak on February 17, 2006 at USM's Hannaford Hall at 7:30 pm. This event will be hosted by CHIME, Beacon Hospice. True North is a co-sponsor of this event. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Jacob Watson at (207) 347-6740.

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.


(207) 781-4488

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