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The efficacy of a 2-month treatment with oral colostrum in the prevention of flu episodes compared with anti influenza vaccination was evaluated. Groups included healthy subjects without prophylaxis and those receiving both vaccination and colostrum. After 3 months of follow-up, the number of days with flu was 3 times higher in the non-colostrum subjects.

Gluten-Free Diet Bad for Gut Health

Thursday, 21 May 2009 by | Comments: 2

Comment: Spanish researchers recently found a gluten-free diet (GFD) led to reductions in beneficial gut bacteria populations and the ability of faecal samples to stimulate the host’s immunity (Br J Nutr. 2009). The effects of a GFD on the composition and immune function of the gut microbiota were analysed in 10 healthy subjects (mean age 30.3 years) over a period of one month.

Comment: Nearly 20 years ago, it was discovered that bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori were responsible for stomach ulcers. Since then, antibiotics have become the primary therapy used to combat the H. pylori infection, which affects approximately six percent of the world population and is also a primary cause of stomach cancer. But today the bacteria is growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

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There has been significant public debate about the susceptibility of research to biases of various kinds. The dialogue has extended to the peer-reviewed literature, scientific conferences, the mass media, government advisory bodies, and beyond. Whereas biases can come from myriad sources, the overwhelming focus of the discussion to date has been on industry-funded science.

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A large body of literature suggests that higher intakes of omega-6 (or n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) reduce risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, for the reasons outlined below, some individuals and groups have recommended substantial reductions in omega-6 PUFA intake. The purpose of this advisory is to review evidence on the relationship between omega-6 PUFAs and the risk of CHD and cardiovascular disease.

Maternal infection during pregnancy increases the risk of schizophrenia and other brain disorders of neurodevelopmental origin in the offspring. A multitude of infectious agents seem to be involved in this association. Therefore, it has been proposed that factors common to the immune response to a wide variety of bacterial and viral pathogens may be the critical link between prenatal infection and postnatal brain and behavioural pathology.

Comment: An herb recently found to kill pancreatic cancer cells also appears to inhibit development of pancreatic cancer as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties, according to researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. The data were presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009 in Denver.

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Comment: Mouse studies with human antibodies at Hopkins Children’s add weight to earlier research. A report on the research from investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Centre published online in the Journal of Neuroimmunology expands on a 2008 report from the same team showing that mothers of autistic children tested positive for foetal brain antibodies.

Regular consumption of fermented foods containing lactic acid bacteria, such as yoghurt has been found to have a beneficial effect on immune function. In human studies, yoghurt intake has been shown to stimulate the response of systemic natural killer cells when presented with their targets and enhance phagocytic activity of monocytes. In other studies, the stimulation of immune function by probiotic bacteria and classical yoghurt starter cultures has been demonstrated.

A new study indicates there may be yet another reason to reduce childhood obesity — it may help prevent allergies. The study published in the May issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that obese children and adolescents are at increased risk of having some kind of allergy, especially to a food. The study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), both parts of the National Institutes of Health.

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