In This Issue:

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the January 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 prolonged function and happiness,

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

“Virgin” olive oil improves cardiovascular risk.
European investigators found that when 200 men and controls were given a daily dose of 25 ml (less than an ounce) of “virgin” (first-press) olive oil, their HDL (“good”) cholesterol improved and markers of oxidative stress decreased. Experts for years have known that virgin olive oil contains a high content of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid which has beneficial heart effects. This study shows an added beneficial effect of polyphenols. No hard endpoints of heart attacks or deaths were studied, though the results were published in the highly regarded Annals of Internal Medicine, which is sent monthly to about 115,000 internists. Keep in mind that olive oil has a lower burning point than other cooking oils so it can get smoky at lower temperatures. “Extra-virgin” has higher, more desirable, levels of anti-oxidants than “virgin” olive oil, which is harvested at a time when the olives have higher acid content (less than 3% versus less than 1%).

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Vitamin and mineral supplements may be an inexpensive strategy to prevent chronic diseases of aging like cancer.
Bruce Ames, PhD is one of the most cited scientific authors in the world. See Ames thinks that relative insufficiencies of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals play a major role in the prevalent  chronic diseases of our society. He thinks pennies’ worth of supplements can prolong function and decrease the need for expensive treatments of questionable efficacy. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences recently showcased his theory.

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Conflict of interest statement: Bruce N. Ames is a founder of Juvenon, a company that has licensed the University of California patent (Bruce N. Ames and T. Hagen, inventors) on acetyl carnitine plus lipoic acid for rejuvenating old mitochondria. Juvenon sells acetyl carnitine plus lipoic acid supplements and does clinical trials on them. Bruce N. Ames' founder's stock was put in a nonprofit foundation at the founding in 1999. He is director of Juvenon's Scientific Advisory Board, but he has no stock in the company and does not receive any remuneration from them.

Physical activity three times a week protects aging eyes.
Wisconsin ophthalmologists studied the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) among 3,874 men and women aged from 43 through 86. They found that those who exercised three times or more per week developed AMD at 30 percent the rate of those who did not. AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in developed countries. It affects more than 10 million Americans and about a quarter of those over age 90.

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Yoga improves flexibility, balance, quality of life, sense of well-being, and energy while reducing fatigue.
This randomized controlled trial studied cognition, quality of life, energy, fatigue, mood, flexibility and balance. Middle aged and elderly attended weekly yoga sessions and they were encouraged to practice at home over a six month period. All parameters studied, except cognition, were improved by practicing yoga when compared to those who just walked or were on a “wait list.”

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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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