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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.

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coverThe onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases superimposed on a declining nervous system could enhance the motor and cognitive behavioural deficits that normally occur in senescence. It is likely that, in cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospitalisation and/or custodial care would be a likely outcome. This means that unless some way is found to reduce these age-related decrements in neuronal function, health care costs will continue to rise exponentially.

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vitamin-dA summary of 6 papers exploring the various relationships discovered between Vit D status, health and disease risk.

Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Glycmic Control in Diabetes

Regular dosing of vitamin D (2000 IU/day) in early childhood has been shown to reduce the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes (up to an 80% reduction projected over the next 30 years),

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coverThe optimal status for Vitamin D is unlikely to be met without the ingestion of Vit D supplements. This is in part because the minimum levels are being revised upwards and the suitable food sources are inadequate in nutrient density and are erratically consumed. In addition the change in sunbathing practices in the northern hemisphere has led to a widely recognised Vit D deficiency pandemic.

Children are especially vulnerable to the adverse consequences of Vit D deficiency during their growing years. Recognising the need for supplemental intervention a group of clinicians and scientists from Divisions of Adolescent Medicine and Endocrinology, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Biotics Research Corporation explored the effectiveness of differing forms of Vit D3 in the restoration of normal levels of Vit D status in children.

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Presented by Michael Holick, PhD, MD, Professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics
and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University Medical Center

Keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 34th European Symposium on Calcified Tissues, Copenhagen 5 May, 2007

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1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)) can modulate immune responses, but whether it directly affects B cell function is unknown. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, especially those with antinuclear Abs and increased disease activity, had decreased 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) levels, suggesting that vitamin D might play a role in regulating autoantibody production. To address this, we examined the effects of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) on B cell responses and found that it inhibited the ongoing proliferation of activated B cells and induced their apoptosis, whereas initial cell division was unimpeded.

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