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Vit D Balances the Innate Immune Response

logoA new study has concluded that one key part of the immune system, the ability of vitamin D to regulate anti-bactericidal proteins, is so important that it has been conserved through almost 60 million years of evolution and is shared only by primates, including humans – but no other known animal species. The genetic material – called an Alu short interspersed element – is part of what used to be thought of as “junk DNA” and makes up more than 90 percent of the human genome.

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dhssps-banner-home-leftA year-long pilot scheme (2007/08) in Northern Ireland found impressive health benefits for patients offered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) via the public health service.

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covtoc.dpComment: A recent report by the Food Standards Agency has raised a number of questions and as usual the opposing sides have found grist to their respective mills in the ongoing discussions. A letter in the journal Science on the 7th August 2009, reproduced below, offers a considered critique and overview of the merits of continuing to develop and consume organic food stuffs.

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cover_2009-08_thumbComment: The epidemiology of coeliac disease that once was thought to be in the rage of 1 in 10,000 is now known to be in the neighbourhood of 1 in 133, although not all individuals with the disease face the same set of symptoms that makes coeliac and other food-related conditions so dangerous and widespread.

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cover-mediumA combination of vitamin D3 and curcumin, from tumeric, may boost the immune system, and help it clear the protein plaques linked to Alzheimer’s, says a new study.

The new data, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, may lead to new approaches in preventing Alzheimer’s by using vitamin D3 alone or in combination with natural or synthetic curcumin to boost the immune system in protecting the brain against beta-amyloid.

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Comment: Everyone knows that vitamins “from A to zinc” are important for good health. Now, a new research study in the August 2009 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that zinc may be pointing the way to new therapeutic targets for fighting infections. Specifically, scientists from Florida found that zinc not only supports healthy immune function, but increases activation of the cells (T cells) responsible for destroying viruses and bacteria.

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Inorganic lead is undoubtedly one of the oldest occupational toxins and evidence of lead poisoning can be found dating back to Roman times. It is a contaminating metal that has received much attention as the causative agent of one of the significant silent types of poisoning in the modern world. Industrial lead production started at

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers embark on a long-term mission to improve overall health by unravelling the nuances of the gut.

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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.

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Comment: Of course, everyone would agree that all persons should be encouraged to eat a good diet, but we are far from achieving this goal, especially among the poor. In most cases, a simple way to improve micronutrient status is to take an MVM. However, even if one eats an ideal diet and takes an

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