cov200hPublished in the Journal Allergy and Clinical Immunology July 2015, a research paper explores the relationship between anti-inflammatory lipids in food and risk of allergic responses.[1]

The Karolinska Institute in Sweden is a world famous research centre, and scientists there explored the notion that increasing omega three fatty acids through dietary ingestion may confer benefit in a subset of people, chosen by age. Specifically they wanted to see if eating oily fish would reduce the risk of rhinitis in school children – for those of you with school children of your own, you know already that this has an effect on them, and you!

The incidence of chronic illness, autoimmune disease and multiple conditions that manifest as inflammatory driven and functionally depleting states are exponentially rising, presenting clinicians with increasingly complicated cases to manage and resolve. Yet genetic drift alone cannot account for the rapid increase in incidence, and lifestyle and environmental pressures are recognised as strong candidates for cause and resolution.[1] Hence, it is increasingly rare that a single point of intervention of treatment or modality is adequate to mitigate risk or resolve problems of these illnesses and as such a multipoint approach is increasingly attractive and necessary.

Tagged under: , , , , , ,

Forty years ago in Poland, scientists isolated an unusual immune modulating substance derived from colostrum. It seemed to be potent at fighting infection, but equally potent at calming inflammation. At the time the researchers simply called it colostrinin, but after a sequence analysis of its peptides (short chains of amino acids bound by peptide bonds), they concluded that colostrinin contained at least 32 different peptides, many of which were rich in proline.

Having severe vitamin D deficiency may put people aged 65 years and older at more than twice the risk of having self-reported respiratory disease, according to an article published online May 6 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.[1] The author Dr Hirani had in 2010 identified a similar pattern in older member of the UK population, and described it as a public health problem.[2]

Fish oil rich in DHA and EPA is widely believed to help prevent disease by reducing inflammation, but until now, scientists were not entirely sure about its immune enhancing effects. A new report appearing in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology,[1] helps provide clarity on this by showing that DHA-rich fish oil enhances B cell activity, a white blood cell, challenging the notion that fish oil is only immunosuppressive. This discovery is important as it shows that fish oil does not necessarily reduce the overall immune response to lower inflammation, possibly opening the doors for the use of fish oil among those with compromised immune systems.

Tagged under: , ,

It will come as no surprise to practitioners and clinicians that something goes awry with our immune systems capacity for protection in the face of chronic stress. Ironically in short acute stress responses our immune system benefits from increase defence responses and allows most of us to present a more robust series of immune related decisions.

Back in the early 1990’s a team of researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine stating that psychological stress was associated in a dose-response manner with an increased risk of acute infectious respiratory illness, and that this risk was attributable to increased rates of infection, rather than to an increased frequency of symptoms post infection.[1]

One of the key naturopathic and Darwinian medicine concepts[i],[ii] is that suppression of a normal response by the body to a pathogen may reduce the effectiveness of outcome.

Naturopathic Medicine is a form of alternative medicine based on a belief in vitalism, which posits that a special energy called vital energy or vital force guides bodily processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and adaptation. Naturopathic philosophy favours a holistic approach, and, like conventional medicine seeks to find the least invasive measures necessary for symptom improvement or resolution, thus encouraging minimal use of surgery and unnecessary drugs.[iii]

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and repetitive and stereotyped behaviours. In addition to these core deficits, previous reports indicate that the prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms ranges widely in individuals with ASD, from 9 to 91% in different study population.[1]

The role of probiotics in the management and treatment of these alterations has been explored in a recent free access paper, published in Gastroenterology Research and Practice Oct 2011.[2]

Tagged under: , , , ,

Cultivated for 6,000 years, almonds are alleged to possess a range of potential health benefits that support cardiovascular health, diabetes, protein quality and related weight management benefits.

A recent study has suggested that almonds, specifically the skin of almonds, may support immune system function.[1] The role of foods in immune management is increasingly of interest to practitioners as well as patients. The change in our dietary intake of basic food stuffs has changed dramatically over the last 100 or so years and the impact of this on health and disease remains an area of considerable exploration.

Tagged under: , , , ,

Those of us living in the country and in contact with farms and farm animals are being blessed with an immune priming experience for free – other than the cost of washing the clothes!

The exposure to bacteria, fungi and other microbes confers to us a unique advantage in the reduction of asthma and atopy incidence compared to children who never have farmyard contact and has previously been reported as such.[1]

I can see some innovative farmers seeking to promote a day out at their farms as an immune priming experience in the future a sort of ‘Farm Yard Atopy Camp’ for all children under 5 with a guaranteed cowlick experience!

A dirty weekend away will start to lose its cachet amongst the older family members and represent a weekend of juvenile delights in which washing behind the ears will be postponed for a little while.

Tagged under: , , ,