In this issue...

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the December 2007 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. This month is focused on brain health. 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

Stress is linked to senility

Stress has long been linked to cognitive decline. The mechanism (in a mice model of Alzheimer's) of how constant stress leads to the accumulation of protein tangles and cognitive decline has now been described.  

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Mindfulness meditation slows cognitive decline

Investigators using MRIs, showed that experienced meditators protect themselves from the anatomical changes of cognitive decline.

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Exercise protects the aging brain through increasing growth factors and decreasing inflammation

This recent review focuses on the hippocampus, the area damaged by oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with Alzheimer's. Exercise improves memory and learning, reduces neuro-degeneration and alleviates depression, especially in the elderly.

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Plant foods rich in polyphenols, and food preparation at lower heat lower risk of inflammatory chronic disease and Alzheimer's

Many of our chronic diseases are characterized by excess inflammatory signals leading to dysfunctionally acting and shaped proteins. The reviewers warn against irradiating or cooking at high heat. The main source of polyphenol antioxidants is nutritional, since they are found in a wide array of phytonutrient-bearing foods. For example, most legumes; fruits such as apples, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, grapes, pears, plums, raspberries, and strawberries; and vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, celery, onion and parsley are rich in polyphenol antioxidants. Red wine, chocolate, green tea, olive oil, bee pollen and many grains are alternative sources.  

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Slower (but full) brain development occurs in ADHD

NIH investigators, using MRI scans, looked at the brains of 223 children with ADHD and 223 normal "controls" and found that certain areas, particularly the pre-frontal area that involves cognitive functions like attention and motor planning, show a delay in anatomic development.

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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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