In This Issue:

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the November 2006 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 Board of Internal Medicine

Brisk walking protects the brain from changes of aging.
It was once dogma than new neurons were not produced by the brain, a view changed by the publication of Fred Gage’s work at the Salk Institute in 1998.
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A November Journal of Gerontology study (link not yet available through pubmed or the journal’s website but the study is well described in the first link below) showed that walking around a gym for an hour at 3 miles per hour three times a week led to a substantial increase in brain volume in healthy adults 60 to 80 years old. Changes were apparent after only three months and were greatest in the frontal lobe (a seat of “executive function”) and the corpus callosum connecting the hemispheres. Decreases in brain volume have long been correlated with worsening memory and cognition, and can result from stress.

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Flaxseed component reduces risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women and slows the transformation of colon polyps into cancers

Flaxseed has a high concentration of plant lignans. In a study of 220 women with breast cancer and 237 controls, German researchers recently found that women with the highest levels of the plant lignan enterolactone had a 62% lower risk of developing premmenopausal breast cancer.  Try grinding flaxseed and add it to soups, smoothies etc. Prepare freshly in small batches and freeze leftovers to avoid rancidity. 

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Flaxseed lignans also slow the transformation of colorectal polyps into cancers.

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Meditation practice decreases the risk of death from either cardiovascular disease or cancer.

People who practice transcendental meditation (TM) even 15 to 20 minutes twice a day have a 30 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death and a 49% reduction in death from cancer.  Chronic stress may cause cognitive decline by causing hippocampal damage.

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Cola is linked to low bone density in older women.

A study of over 2500 men and women over age 60, showed that those women, but not men, who drank cola daily, when compared to those who drank cola less than once a month, had reduced bone density at the hip ranging from 2.1 % to 5.4 %. Women who are concerned about osteoporosis should avoid drinking cola regularly. Non-cola carbonated beverages were not associated with the harmful effect on bone.

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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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