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imagesIn June 2016 Cell Reports a well-respected science journal published a fascinating paper on the connection between short chain fatty acids and associated nutrient and immune function that collectively reduced food allergy risk and response in their mice population.[1]

For over 20 years (at the time of writing this)  I have been describing the need for a ‘threshold therapy’ approach to the effective manipulation of the common mucosal immune system, in particular the recruitment of metabolic by products derived from food metabolism and microbiome functionality – as well as the specific replacement or supraphysiological supplementation of retinoids or their precursor families, vitamin D and enhancement of SigA are important aspects of this collective approach. Each of the interventions are modest in application and very low in risk, but the collective threshold crossing effect can assist the immune system in its effective maturation and maintainence of tolerance. This can be difficult to demonstrate in studies and as such much of the supportive data requires cross professional communication and data digging. This neat study helps to add credibility to the multiple point intervention through the manipulation of a subset of dendritic cells to favour a regulatory inducing phenotyope. I look forward to seeing how this approach is escalated into human trials in the coming years.

GUT is one of my favourite journals, as they regularly explore the ‘alternative’ approaches to colon health management with a vigour that appeases the clinician in me, and a rigour that calms the scientist.

A paper published in early 2012[1] add’s further knowledge to the role that probiotics and the active components produced by lactic acid bacteria have on mucosal health and intestinal balance. An especially pleasing discovery – for an old long term user of this word – is their inclusion of the term dysbiosis, with a summary explanation in the opening paragraph, as there is no abstract. I have reproduced it below:

Inside our gastrointestinal tract live a family of specialised cells, co-dependent on bacteria and nutrients to send a calming message to the mucosal tissues. They have a number of variations in their make up but they are vital in their role as diplomats, passing sensitive information across the borders to provide a long term peaceful mission and maintain oral tolerance. Essentially they induce either protective immunity to infectious agents or tolerance to innocuous antigens, including food and commensal bacteria. This recent article out in the Journal of Clinical Investigation explores the current understanding of how these cells contribute to health and illness.[1]

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