In this issue...

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the January 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. Please send me feedback about the exceedingly rare (for the Tune Up) commercial plug for quercetin in the True North retail store under the second bullet; you can email to let me know if you find it helpful or upsettingly biased, etc. Archived prior issues of the Tune-Up may be found here.

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

Daytime "siestas" lower blood pressure and reduce coronary mortality by 37%!

A European study of 23,000 followed for 6 years revealed that regular nappers had a 37% reduction in cardiovascular mortality. A small (9 healthy volunteers average age 34) well-designed study showed decreases in blood pressure during the onset of naps, though not later during sleep.

Learn about napping and cardiovascular health
Learn about napping and coronary health

Quercetin (found in onions, apples, capers) lowers elevated blood pressure

This small (40 patients) well-designed study showed significant reductions of elevated blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension who were randomized to receive 730 mg of quercetin vs placebo daily for 28 days.  

Read this Quercetin study  

Quercetin is thought to act as an antioxidant. The following link is to the 2007 U.S. Department of Agriculture's Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) index of many foods:   Apples, fruits and dark chocolate dominate the top twenty in terms of typical serving size; while spices like cloves, cinnamon and curry powder have the most ORAC per gram. High quality quercetin capsules are newly available in True North's retail store.

Massage reduces post-operative pain

200 veterans who underwent major surgery followed by nightly massage for four nights experienced less intense pain, less unpleasantness and less anxiety than "controls". Opiate use and complications were not significantly different in the two groups.

Learn more about post-operative massage study

Co Q10 may protect from Parkinson's disease

Approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer from Parkinson's, a neurodegenerative disease thought to involve oxidative damage to vulnerable mitochondria of brain cells.

California investigators studied eighty patients and controls, some taking up to 1200 mg of CoQ10 (Vitaline). Those taking the higher dose showed 44% less decline in motor function, mental ability and ability to to carry out activities of normal living.

Read California CoQ10 study 

Less successful was a recent German study of 50 patients (and controls) taking 300 mg per day of a different form of CoQ10.

Read German CoQ10 study 

A model of experimentally produced PD in animals shows how CoQ10 may protect the brain.

Learn more about CoQ10 and the brain

Pinto beans reduce LDL cholesterol

Consuming ½ cup (130 gms) per day of pinto beans reduced LDL cholesterol in these two small studies.

Read Pinto Bean study 1
Read Pinto Bean study 2 

Garlic extract is active against MRSA

Please don't run out and smear yourself with garlic; but this 2004 study just came to our attention. A stable aqueous extract of garlic was shown to have anti-bacterial action against resistant strains of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). (Even 60 minutes has recently reported on MRSA's wide spread.)  The MRSA germ exists everywhere people gather, especially school sporting venues. The best defense is good hygiene such as frequent hand washing, cover open sores with a bandage, and avoid sharing personal items such as towels.

Learn more about Garlic extract and MRSA

Earlier studies have shown a potential role for culinary garlic at inhibiting bacteria, lowering LDL cholesterol and protecting against the development of gastric or colorectal cancer. Lightly cooked crushed garlic provides most of the health benefits of raw garlic. It might be prudent to stop garlic seven days before surgery to avoid excessive bleeding. Check out the database About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, in this case how it summarizes information on garlic:


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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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