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.

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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.

Confused About Abdominal Bloating? – No More!

Friday, 13 November 2009 by | Comments: 5
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adominalMichael Ash BSc(Hons).DO. ND. FDipION reviews the current understanding behind bloating and distension.

The unpleasant symptoms of bloating and abdominal distension are common and bothersome, affecting up to 96% of patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders (such as IBS) and an estimated 30% of the general population. Clear pathophysiologic explanations have been lacking and available treatment options can appear contradictory and ineffective. Treatments will be explored in a follow up review.

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cover_natureWhilst to nutritionists and most people who understand the role of nutrients in health, the idea that the bacteria in our gut impacts on disease risk seems almost common knowledge, there is still a shortage of hard science to back this up. In the international journal Nature, periodic examples of how science is catching up appear. In the Oct 29th edition an article out of Australia really adds some substance to the role of food and bacteria in health and disease.

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A Novel Approach to Chronic Infection in Autism Spectrum Disorders

An Interview with Peta Cohen, M.S., R.D., founder of Total Life Center in Northern New Jersey. Cohen specializes in treating children with autism using a biomedical / nutritional model. Cohen received her Masters in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and has been a Defeat Autism Now! practitioner for the past ten years.

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coverThe incidence of gastric events in normal seasonal flu is very low, almost never. The H1N1 swine Flu virus has differentiated itself from the seasonal flu not only in its speed of migration around the world, but also in the development of gut related events.

A new article  in the International journal GUT [1] explains how a well set up investigational group based in Chile – a country well exposed to the virus, followed the first 500 confirmed patients who were infected with the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus back in May 2009.

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