FORGOT YOUR DETAILS?

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WHO logoSwine flu has killed 12 799 people worldwide since it first emerged in Mexico in March 2009, the World Health Organisation said on the 8th January 2010.

The latest data posted by the United Nations health agency marked an increase of 579 deaths from the previous update published nine days ago.

The Americas continues to report the biggest number of casualties with at least 6,880 deaths while in Europe, at least 2,554 people have died from the A(H1N1) virus

Is it a False Pandemic Though?

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Like previous epidemic and pandemic diseases, 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) may pose an increased risk of severe illness in pregnant women. To see if there were clinical experiences that matched this assumption a Californian investigation by their Department of Health reviewed demographic and clinical data reported from April 23 through August 11, 2009, for all H1N1-infected, reproductive-age women who were hospitalised or died. These included non-pregnant women, pregnant women, and postpartum women (those who had delivered ≤2 weeks previously).[1]

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cover_natureThe differing origins of gut dendritic cells — white blood cells that modulate immune responses — may explain how the intestinal immune system manages to destroy harmful pathogens while tolerating beneficial bacteria says an article by Sophie Laffont & Fiona Powrie in Nature journal out on Dec 10th 2009.

The immune system must protect the body from invading pathogens without mounting damaging responses to its own tissues. Dendritic cells, a rare population of white blood cells, have a crucial role in determining the nature of immune reactions and in fine-tuning the balance between tolerance (where the immune system ignores or tolerates an antigen) and the induction of inflammation to destroy pathogenic organisms.

Fatty Diet Suppresses Immune System

Monday, 21 December 2009 by | Comments: 2
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untitledFresh evidence that fatty food is bad for our health has come to light: mice fed a lard-based diet over a long period got worse at fighting bacteria in the blood, reveals a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy based at the University of Gothenberg in Sweden.

The mice fed the lard-based diet derived 60 per cent of their total calories from fat. They were compared with mice fed a low-fat diet, where no more than ten per cent of their calories came from fat. As expected, the mice on the high-fat diet got fatter. A more surprising result was that their immune system was less active. The white blood cells got worse at dealing with bacteria in the blood, which could have contributed to many dying of sepsis.

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coverA new twist to the hygiene hypothesis shows that allergic risk can also be modulated by microbial exposure before birth. Mice born to dams that were exposed to bacteria during pregnancy were less likely to develop allergic responses than those born to unexposed mothers. And maternal Toll-like receptor (TLR) signals were required for the transmission of protection.

TLRs are a type of pattern recognition receptor (PRR) and recognise molecules that are broadly shared by pathogens but distinguishable from host molecules, collectively referred to as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs).

Coeliac Disease – Local & Systemic Consequences

Wednesday, 09 December 2009 by | Comments: 1
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leaky gutCoeliac disease is an inflammatory disorder with autoimmune features that is characterised by destruction of the intestinal epithelium and remodelling of the intestinal mucosa following the ingestion of dietary gluten. The human gut is home to trillions of commensal microorganisms, and we are just beginning to understand how these microorganisms interact with, and influence, the host immune system. This may also include the late onset development of Coeliac Disease, or gluten intolerance.

All Immunity is Mucosal – The GUT is No 1

Monday, 30 November 2009 by | Comments: 3
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The Gut is The Formula 1 of Immunity

mi_cimageProperly regulated mucosal immunity is critical to overall health and well being. The cells found in the mucosal surfaces of the body meet on a daily basis, local challenges from foods, microbes and environmental pollutants. The result is a series of immunological decisions that on a single day exceed those made by the systemic immune system in a lifetime.

The immune system bound up in these tissues – mostly the ‘innate immune system’, must translate this infornatic onslaught to the ‘systemic immune system’  affecting the body as a whole. Immune tolerance or homeostasis in these tissues will help ensure adequate nourishment from passing ‘foreign’ food stuffs and so maintain bacterial/commensal balance. It is this bacterial balance that will ensure immunological tolerance so keeping the balance of power in the hands of health promoters (commensals) via this yin and yang relationship.

H1N1 – 3 Key Questions

Sunday, 29 November 2009 by
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cover_natureQuestion 1 – How does it kill?

H1N1 is a unique virus and unlike seasonal flu which damages the upper airway cells, H1N1 Novel Influenza damages the terminal air sacs called alveoli. These are found in the lower part of lungs.

Secondly a co-infection with bacteria such as S.aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae has presented in about one third of recorded deaths to date. The others appear at this stage to have succumbed to the virus alone. There does however, tend to be other underlying health problems such as diabetes, overweight, cardiovascular problems etc. The damage to the lung tissues involves the rupture of the alveoli allowing blood to fill the spaces usually reserved for gas exchanges.

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-Por.Media 7/2 coverVit D Essential for MS Patients

This collective review focuses on three major factors that influence the incidences of multiple sclerosis (MS) to include ultraviolet radiation (UVR), vitamin D3 supplementation, and vitamin D receptor gene (VDRG) polymorphisms.

In general, the rate of MS increases with latitude. Individuals tend to carry their original risk with them if they migrate to a different latitude after adolescence. It is important to emphasise that UVR increases the synthesis of vitamin D3, which has a known immune suppressant action via the VDRG. Clinical studies have pointed out that vitamin D deficiency may exacerbate the development of MS.

Herbal Adaptogens For Asthma and Adrenal Function

Wednesday, 25 November 2009 by | Comments: 17
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A Blend of Unique Herbs May Have Wide Clinical Application

Focus - Allergy Research Group NewsletterIn 2006  a landmark study from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, the Weifang Asthma Hospital and the Weifang School of Medicine in China reported on a novel blend of Chinese herbs (named ASHMI) that proved statistically as effective as steroids in alleviating asthma symptoms. Now we report more fully on these unique adaptogenic herbs, which may have far wider application than asthma alone. There were preliminary indications that this formula may in fact restore adrenal function, and thus be useful in relationship to many chronic illnesses associated with adrenal fatigue. Highlights of the new information we include in this article:

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