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journalFor some years the notion that adverse responses to environmental triggers may be increasing due to a change in the ongoing exposure to mild immune activating bacteria has been gaining credibility. From Strachans first proposals to now there has been a continuous evolution of the hygiene hypothesis.[1],[2]

  • Hygiene hypothesis – criticised as being too vague, including by Professor Strachan himself
  • Microbial hypothesis (avoiding an overemphasis on cleanliness) and the
  • Old friends hypothesis (implying that microbes that were beneficial for immune system development have been eliminated or replaced).
  • Biodiversity hypothesis expands the hygiene hypothesis to the living environment in general,
  • Biome depletion model views the hygiene hypothesis as an evolutionary mismatch that works in tandem with other mismatches, such as inflammatory diets or vitamin A, D or K deficiency, which undermine immune function in westernised societies.
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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]

Zinc My Cold!

Thursday, 24 February 2011 by

Nutritional Therapists have long been aware that the role of single nutrient therapy in the prevention or resolution of common rhino Viruses has had poor research conclusions but plenty of anecdotal support. In addition to Vit C Vit D and others the long-time favourite is Zinc.

The Cochrane reviews a well-respected albeit confrontational group that does meta-analysis of studies – sort of reinventing others work without having to do the study and then pronouncing a collective opinion have fallen on the side of the humble nutrient Zinc.[1]

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S0091674909X00102_cov200hDr Harri Hemila MD. PhD responded to the CAM article in Allergy and Clinical Immunology [1] stating-

Mainardi et al[1] reviewed the use and effects of complementary and alternative medicines on respiratory symptoms. They stated that early studies on vitamin C did not demonstrate an effect on the duration or intensity of the common cold, and as a support to this statement, they referred to 2 articles from 1975.[2,3]

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