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Eczema’s Link to Asthma

Wednesday, 17 June 2009 by

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Researchers Discover How a Skin Disease May Trigger a Lung Complaint One of the prices humanity seems to pay for getting richer is the rise of asthma. This life-threatening, allergy-driven lung disease is common in wealthy countries, absent from poor ones and on the rise in those making the transition. But exactly what causes it

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It is critical that we stick with evidence based medicine when making decisions about making dietary suggestions to patients.  The literature does not point to arachidonic acid as the negative that the media portrays it as.  It is all about balance when we are looking at essential fatty acids.  If you would like to learn

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by inflammation of the synovial tissues in the joints. A number of papers related to dietary components that are associated with this inflammation are reviewed. In addition, the ecological approach is used to study the links between diet and RA. Multi-country data for prevalence of RA for females from eight and fifteen countries were compared statistically with components of national dietary supply.

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OBJECTIVE: Many studies have examined the role of diet in the management of established rheumatoid arthritis (RA), warranting several recent reviews. However, none have considered the possible link between diet and the onset of RA in detail. Studies investigated a possible effect of individual components of diet and the development of RA, but the lack of a systematic review means there is no unbiased assessment of the evidence.

METHODS: We systematically reviewed studies with comparison groups that examined dietary intake or biological markers prior to the onset of RA. Four electronic databases were searched to identify relevant reports. Six quality criteria were agreed, against which the studies were assessed. The main outcome measure was a diagnosis of RA according to the ARA 1958 or revised ACR 1987 classification criteria.

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The process of maintaining life for the individual is a constant struggle to preserve his/her integrity. This can come at a price when immunity is involved, namely systemic inflammation. Inflammation is not per se a negative phenomenon: it is the response of the immune system to the invasion of viruses or bacteria and other pathogens.

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The trace element zinc is essential for the immune system, and zinc deficiency affects multiple aspects of innate and adaptive immunity. There are remarkable parallels in the immunological changes during aging and zinc deficiency, including a reduction in the activity of the thymus and thymic hormones, a shift of the T helper cell balance toward

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The milieu and array of inflammatory cells and inflammatory mediators are crucially involved in the genesis, persistence and severity of pain following trauma, infection or nerve injury [1]. The mechanisms and pathways mediating pain and nociception (hyperalgesia) are transcriptionally regulated. The transcriptional mediator nuclear factor (NF)-κB plays a major role in regulating inflammatory responses, ostensibly via the control of gene expression/suppression. An association has recently emerged to establish a possible link between NF-kB and pain/nociception, purportedly through the regulation of the inflammatory loop and the secretion (biosynthesis) of pro-inflammatory mediators.

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Co-evolutionary development of the immune system together with infections and non-infectious environmental proteins (allergens) has generated biologically relevant thresholds and major directions to be taken by the immune system. The default healthy immune response to allergens is expected to be no response, however, detectable T cell and antibody (particularly IgG4 and IgG1) response has been demonstrated in sensitized, but clinically healthy individuals. If an immune response develops in healthy individuals, the immune system shows allergen-specific tolerance by using multiple mechanisms in order to keep the intensity of the inflammation low and tissue destruction small.

Flu Pandemic Underway

Tuesday, 16 June 2009 by
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Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), has officially declared the first global influenza pandemic in 41 years, for the A(H1N1) virus. “The world is now at the start of the 2009 pandemic,” she said. That makes it the fourth flu pandemic in a century, after 1918, 1957 and 1968. “The scientific criteria for a pandemic have been met,” she said; on 11 June the WHO moved to the topmost of its pandemic threat scale, phase 6, which indicates sustained community-level outbreaks in two or more countries in one other WHO region beyond initial community spread in one WHO region. “Further spread is considered inevitable,” she said.

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Most clinically useful antibiotics exhibit their selective toxicity by specifically blocking one or another type of bacterial macromolecular synthesis (e.g.protein, nucleic acid or cell wall synthesis) — acting on targets that are not present or accessible in animal/human cells. Since the 1940s, when drugs such as penicillin, streptomycin, and chloramphenicol were introduced widely as “miraculous” agents for treating bacterial infections, the emergence of strains resistant to these and subsequently-developed drugs has represented a continuing clinical challenge. The eventual appearance of strains simultaneously resistant to multiple antibiotics significantly worsened the problem. The latter was found to involve different resistance genes linked to each other on segments of DNA able to move efficiently from one bacterial cell to another by phenomena known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT).

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