In this issue:

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the March 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.

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

Belief, disbelief and uncertainty activate different areas of the brain during MRIs!

This "functional" magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of 14 volunteers at UCLA revealed the varied anatomical locations of belief, disbelief and uncertainty. Such studies might help us understand the placebo effect, other mind-body practices or even aspects of interrogation. (More palatable than waterboarding?) I hope you find the abstract and the second link to the UCLA Newsroom as fascinating as we did.

Read UCLA MRI study

Learn more in UCLA Newsroom

Vitamin D and Calcium together prevent osteoporosis and fractures.

This excellent Lancet meta-analysis of 29 studies, including more than 60,000 people 50 years and older, confirms that taking calcium 1000-1200 mg per day and Vitamin D3 800 IU per day significantly reduce bone loss and fractures.

Read Lancet Vitamin D / Calcium study 

Meditation helps Congestive Heart Failure patients walk further.

Investigators at the University of Pennsylvania found that meditation practice  significantly improved the quality of life and functional capacity (walking distance in 6 minutes) in a pilot study of African-Americans with Congestive Heart Failure.

Learn about the University of Pennsylvania meditation study

Berries significantly reduce cardiac risk factors.

A study of 72 unmedicated middle-aged people with mild high blood pressure, high cholesterol and low levels of cardio-protective high density lipoprotein (HDL) showed that consuming a moderate amount of berries daily helped one or more cardiac risk factor.

Read study connecting berry consumption and cardiac risk 

Exercise is an antidote to depression and anxiety.

So say investigators at the University of Colorado who have developed a model to study exercise effects on the biochemistry of helplessness (Rats running on wheels!). The Tune Up seldom links to animal studies but the salutary effects of exercise on depression and anxiety is a promising subject of prior issues.

View University of Colorado exercise study

And for those of us for whom the spirit is willing but flesh is weak, the Mayo Clinic tips to stay motivated for fitness:

Read The Mayo Clinic fitness tips on line 


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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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