In this issue:

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the May 2007 True North Tune-Up. We continue to emphasize “up stream” strategies for health in the areas of nutrition, mind-body, and lifestyle. The 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

Even outdoor generators pose a carbon monoxide risk.
Our recent Maine storms and power outages have receded with winter. Still, in a recent study The Center for Disease Control (CDC) collected data from 10 Florida hospitals during the 2004 hurricane season. Almost half the non-fatal carbon monoxide poisonings occurred with generators operated outside of the home and garage.

Click here for more information

Chondroitin looks ineffective for osteoarthritis of the knee or hip.
Knee pain affects about 25% of adults and half is attributable to osteoarthritis.  Chondroitin has a $ billion annual market in the U.S. Researchers reviewed 20 trials of more than 3800 patients and concluded that symptomatic improvement was minimal or non-existent. They recommended against its use. The author of an accompanying editorial in the April 17 Annals of Internal Medicine, sent to more than 100,000 board certified internists, suggested that since chondroitin should not be considered dangerous, there is no harm in patients continuing to take the supplement if they think they have benefited from the supplement.

Click here for more information

If you are older than 64, a daily “drink” or two may be good for your heart.
A drink is defined as one 12 ounce beer, a 6 ounce glass of wine or an ounce of hard liquor. This study of almost 6000 older adults over 7-10 years found that if they consumed 1-6 drinks per week they were 16% less likely to die of heart failure or cardiovascular disease. If they drank 7-13 drinks per week they were 30%! Less likely. One must balance this benefit with other health problems related to alcohol such as  increased risk of breast cancer, liver and bleeding problems, and motor vehicle accidents. Heavy drinking can cause heart failure by damaging heart muscle and brain degeneration.

Click here for more information

A concise printable pocket guide on advising at risk patients is available from the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, a branch of the NIH, on a link in the first paragraph that follows.

Read printable pocket guide

Aerobic exercise increases brain volume in aging humans.
Older adults who exercised aerobically were shown to have sparing of both white and gray brain tissue compared to the “controls” who just did stretching and toning over a six month period. This supports the role of cardiovascular fitness supporting cognitive fitness.

Click here for more information

Pilot healing touch (reiki) study shows promise for cancer patients.
This small study of 13 cancer patients showed significant reductions in fatigue and anxiety scores when patients received touch therapy compared to rest.

Click here for more information

Preliminary findings also show that acupuncture and massage are helpful for postoperative cancer patients.

Click here for additional information


<<Back to Archives

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

Web solution by Digital Goat | Photography Credits