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Avoiding allergies The tendency to have allergies is probably genetically determined. Stunting is the result of long-term nutrition al deprivation and often results in delayed mental development, poor school performance and reduced intellectual capacity. Students can save on their education by taking the Study. Treatment guidelines Starting treatment Side-effects Adherence Drug interactions and pharmacokinetics Treatment for women Resistance Changing treatment Treatment interruptions Treatment-experienced people New and experimental HIV treatments Outcomes and prognosis The search for a cure Bad science and bogus treatments. Store fresh produce properly to maintain freshness: Click here to cancel reply. Sneezing, and itchy eyes.
However, there have been recent increases in the incidence of allergic disorders that cannot be explained by genetic factors alone.
Four major environmental candidates are alterations in exposure to infectious diseases during early childhood, environmental pollution , allergen levels, and dietary changes.
The most common food allergy in the US population is a sensitivity to crustacea. Severe or life-threatening reactions may be triggered by other allergens, and are more common when combined with asthma. Rates of allergies differ between adults and children. Peanut allergies can sometimes be outgrown by children. Egg allergies affect one to two percent of children but are outgrown by about two-thirds of children by the age of 5.
Milk-protein allergies are most common in children. Beef contains a small amount of protein that is present in cow's milk. Those with tree nut allergies may be allergic to one or to many tree nuts, including pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, and walnuts. Allergens can be transferred from one food to another through genetic engineering ; however genetic modification can also remove allergens. Little research has been done on the natural variation of allergen concentrations in the unmodified crops.
Latex can trigger an IgE-mediated cutaneous, respiratory, and systemic reaction. The prevalence of latex allergy in the general population is believed to be less than one percent. In a hospital study, 1 in surgical patients 0. Researchers attribute this higher level to the exposure of healthcare workers to areas with significant airborne latex allergens, such as operating rooms, intensive-care units, and dental suites.
These latex-rich environments may sensitize healthcare workers who regularly inhale allergenic proteins. The most prevalent response to latex is an allergic contact dermatitis, a delayed hypersensitive reaction appearing as dry, crusted lesions. This reaction usually lasts 48—96 hours. Sweating or rubbing the area under the glove aggravates the lesions, possibly leading to ulcerations.
Latex and banana sensitivity may cross-react. Furthermore, those with latex allergy may also have sensitivities to avocado, kiwifruit, and chestnut. Only occasionally have these food-induced allergies induced systemic responses.
Researchers suspect that the cross-reactivity of latex with banana, avocado, kiwifruit, and chestnut occurs because latex proteins are structurally homologous with some other plant proteins. Another non-food protein reaction, urushiol-induced contact dermatitis , originates after contact with poison ivy , eastern poison oak , western poison oak , or poison sumac.
Urushiol , which is not itself a protein, acts as a hapten and chemically reacts with, binds to, and changes the shape of integral membrane proteins on exposed skin cells. The immune system does not recognize the affected cells as normal parts of the body, causing a T-cell -mediated immune response.
Estimates vary on the percentage of the population that will have an immune system response. Approximately 25 percent of the population will have a strong allergic response to urushiol. In general, approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of adults will develop a rash if they are exposed to. Allergic diseases are strongly familial: Some allergies, however, are not consistent along genealogies ; parents who are allergic to peanuts may have children who are allergic to ragweed.
It seems that the likelihood of developing allergies is inherited and related to an irregularity in the immune system, but the specific allergen is not. The risk of allergic sensitization and the development of allergies varies with age, with young children most at risk.
Overall, boys have a higher risk of developing allergies than girls,  although for some diseases, namely asthma in young adults, females are more likely to be affected. Ethnicity may play a role in some allergies; however, racial factors have been difficult to separate from environmental influences and changes due to migration.
Allergic diseases are caused by inappropriate immunological responses to harmless antigens driven by a TH2 -mediated immune response. Many bacteria and viruses elicit a TH1 -mediated immune response, which down-regulates TH2 responses. The first proposed mechanism of action of the hygiene hypothesis was that insufficient stimulation of the TH1 arm of the immune system leads to an overactive TH2 arm, which in turn leads to allergic disease.
Since our bodies evolved to deal with a certain level of such pathogens, when they are not exposed to this level, the immune system will attack harmless antigens and thus normally benign microbial objects—like pollen—will trigger an immune response. The hygiene hypothesis was developed to explain the observation that hay fever and eczema , both allergic diseases, were less common in children from larger families, which were, it is presumed, exposed to more infectious agents through their siblings, than in children from families with only one child.
The hygiene hypothesis has been extensively investigated by immunologists and epidemiologists and has become an important theoretical framework for the study of allergic disorders. It is used to explain the increase in allergic diseases that have been seen since industrialization , and the higher incidence of allergic diseases in more developed countries.
The hygiene hypothesis has now expanded to include exposure to symbiotic bacteria and parasites as important modulators of immune system development, along with infectious agents. Epidemiological data support the hygiene hypothesis. Studies have shown that various immunological and autoimmune diseases are much less common in the developing world than the industrialized world and that immigrants to the industrialized world from the developing world increasingly develop immunological disorders in relation to the length of time since arrival in the industrialized world.
Chronic stress can aggravate allergic conditions. This has been attributed to a T helper 2 TH2 -predominant response driven by suppression of interleukin 12 by both the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenal axis.
Stress management in highly susceptible individuals may improve symptoms. International differences have been associated with the number of individuals within a population have allergy.
Allergic diseases are more common in industrialized countries than in countries that are more traditional or agricultural , and there is a higher rate of allergic disease in urban populations versus rural populations, although these differences are becoming less defined. Alterations in exposure to microorganisms is another plausible explanation, at present, for the increase in atopic allergy.
Gutworms and similar parasites are present in untreated drinking water in developing countries, and were present in the water of developed countries until the routine chlorination and purification of drinking water supplies. Without them, the immune system becomes unbalanced and oversensitive. In the early stages of allergy, a type I hypersensitivity reaction against an allergen encountered for the first time and presented by a professional antigen-presenting cell causes a response in a type of immune cell called a T H 2 lymphocyte ; a subset of T cells that produce a cytokine called interleukin-4 IL These T H 2 cells interact with other lymphocytes called B cells , whose role is production of antibodies.
Coupled with signals provided by IL-4, this interaction stimulates the B cell to begin production of a large amount of a particular type of antibody known as IgE. The IgE-coated cells, at this stage, are sensitized to the allergen.
If later exposure to the same allergen occurs, the allergen can bind to the IgE molecules held on the surface of the mast cells or basophils.
Cross-linking of the IgE and Fc receptors occurs when more than one IgE-receptor complex interacts with the same allergenic molecule, and activates the sensitized cell. Activated mast cells and basophils undergo a process called degranulation , during which they release histamine and other inflammatory chemical mediators cytokines , interleukins , leukotrienes , and prostaglandins from their granules into the surrounding tissue causing several systemic effects, such as vasodilation , mucous secretion, nerve stimulation, and smooth muscle contraction.
This results in rhinorrhea , itchiness, dyspnea, and anaphylaxis. Depending on the individual, allergen, and mode of introduction, the symptoms can be system-wide classical anaphylaxis , or localized to particular body systems; asthma is localized to the respiratory system and eczema is localized to the dermis.
After the chemical mediators of the acute response subside, late-phase responses can often occur. This is due to the migration of other leukocytes such as neutrophils , lymphocytes , eosinophils and macrophages to the initial site.
The reaction is usually seen 2—24 hours after the original reaction. Late-phase responses seen in asthma are slightly different from those seen in other allergic responses, although they are still caused by release of mediators from eosinophils and are still dependent on activity of T H 2 cells. Although allergic contact dermatitis is termed an "allergic" reaction which usually refers to type I hypersensitivity , its pathophysiology actually involves a reaction that more correctly corresponds to a type IV hypersensitivity reaction.
Effective management of allergic diseases relies on the ability to make an accurate diagnosis. Both methods are recommended, and they have similar diagnostic value. Skin prick tests and blood tests are equally cost-effective, and health economic evidence shows that both tests were cost-effective compared with no test. Allergy undergoes dynamic changes over time. Regular allergy testing of relevant allergens provides information on if and how patient management can be changed, in order to improve health and quality of life.
Annual testing is often the practice for determining whether allergy to milk, egg, soy, and wheat have been outgrown, and the testing interval is extended to 2—3 years for allergy to peanut, tree nuts, fish, and crustacean shellfish. Skin testing is also known as "puncture testing" and "prick testing" due to the series of tiny punctures or pricks made into the patient's skin. A small plastic or metal device is used to puncture or prick the skin.
Sometimes, the allergens are injected "intradermally" into the patient's skin, with a needle and syringe. Common areas for testing include the inside forearm and the back.
This response will range from slight reddening of the skin to a full-blown hive called "wheal and flare" in more sensitive patients similar to a mosquito bite. Increasingly, allergists are measuring and recording the diameter of the wheal and flare reaction. Interpretation by well-trained allergists is often guided by relevant literature. If a serious life-threatening anaphylactic reaction has brought a patient in for evaluation, some allergists will prefer an initial blood test prior to performing the skin prick test.
Skin tests may not be an option if the patient has widespread skin disease, or has taken antihistamines in the last several days. Patch testing is a method used to determine if a specific substance causes allergic inflammation of the skin. It tests for delayed reactions. It is used to help ascertain the cause of skin contact allergy, or contact dermatitis.
Adhesive patches, usually treated with a number of common allergic chemicals or skin sensitizers, are applied to the back. The skin is then examined for possible local reactions at least twice, usually at 48 hours after application of the patch, and again two or three days later. An allergy blood test is quick and simple, and can be ordered by a licensed health care provider e. Unlike skin-prick testing, a blood test can be performed irrespective of age, skin condition, medication, symptom, disease activity, and pregnancy.
Adults and children of any age can get an allergy blood test. For babies and very young children, a single needle stick for allergy blood testing is often more gentle than several skin pricks. An allergy blood test is available through most laboratories. A sample of the patient's blood is sent to a laboratory for analysis, and the results are sent back a few days later.
Multiple allergens can be detected with a single blood sample. Allergy blood tests are very safe, since the person is not exposed to any allergens during the testing procedure. The test measures the concentration of specific IgE antibodies in the blood.
Quantitative IgE test results increase the possibility of ranking how different substances may affect symptoms. A rule of thumb is that the higher the IgE antibody value, the greater the likelihood of symptoms. Allergens found at low levels that today do not result in symptoms can not help predict future symptom development.
The quantitative allergy blood result can help determine what a patient is allergic to, help predict and follow the disease development, estimate the risk of a severe reaction, and explain cross-reactivity. A low total IgE level is not adequate to rule out sensitization to commonly inhaled allergens. These methods have shown that patients with a high total IgE have a high probability of allergic sensitization, but further investigation with allergy tests for specific IgE antibodies for a carefully chosen of allergens is often warranted.
Challenge testing is when small amounts of a suspected allergen are introduced to the body orally, through inhalation, or via other routes.
Except for testing food and medication allergies, challenges are rarely performed. When this type of testing is chosen, it must be closely supervised by an allergist. This testing method is used most often with foods or medicines.
A patient with a suspected allergen is instructed to modify his diet to totally avoid that allergen for a set time. If the patient experiences significant improvement, he may then be "challenged" by reintroducing the allergen, to see if symptoms are reproduced.
There are other types of allergy testing methods that are unreliable, including applied kinesiology allergy testing through muscle relaxation , cytotoxicity testing, urine autoinjection, skin titration Rinkel method , and provocative and neutralization subcutaneous testing or sublingual provocation. Before a diagnosis of allergic disease can be confirmed, other possible causes of the presenting symptoms should be considered.
Dietary avoidance is not effective as a preventative measure for allergies. Some foods during pregnancy have been linked to allergies in the child. Vegetable oil, nuts and fast food may increase the risk while fruits, vegetables and fish may decrease it.
Management of allergies typically involves avoiding what triggers the allergy and medications to improve the symptoms.
Several medications may be used to block the action of allergic mediators, or to prevent activation of cells and degranulation processes. These include antihistamines , glucocorticoids , epinephrine adrenaline , mast cell stabilizers , and antileukotriene agents are common treatments of allergic diseases.
Although rare, the severity of anaphylaxis often requires epinephrine injection, and where medical care is unavailable, a device known as an epinephrine autoinjector may be used. Allergen immunotherapy is useful for environmental allergies, allergies to insect bites, and asthma. Meta-analyses have found that injections of allergens under the skin is effective in the treatment in allergic rhinitis in children   and in asthma.
The evidence also supports the use of sublingual immunotherapy for rhinitis and asthma but it is less strong. An experimental treatment, enzyme potentiated desensitization EPD , has been tried for decades but is not generally accepted as effective. EPD has also been tried for the treatment of autoimmune diseases but evidence does not show effectiveness. A review found no effectiveness of homeopathic treatments and no difference compared with placebo. The authors concluded that, based on rigorous clinical trials of all types of homeopathy for childhood and adolescence ailments, there is no convincing evidence that supports the use of homeopathic treatments.
S, the evidence is relatively strong that saline nasal irrigation and butterbur are effective, when compared to other alternative medicine treatments, for which the scientific evidence is weak, negative, or nonexistent, such as honey, acupuncture, omega 3's, probiotics, astragalus, capsaicin, grape seed extract, Pycnogenol, quercetin, spirulina, stinging nettle, tinospora or guduchi. The allergic diseases—hay fever and asthma—have increased in the Western world over the past 2—3 decades.
Although genetic factors govern susceptibility to atopic disease, increases in atopy have occurred within too short a time frame to be explained by a genetic change in the population, thus pointing to environmental or lifestyle changes. It is thought that reduced bacterial and viral infections early in life direct the maturing immune system away from T H 1 type responses, leading to unrestrained T H 2 responses that allow for an increase in allergy. Changes in rates and types of infection alone however, have been unable to explain the observed increase in allergic disease, and recent evidence has focused attention on the importance of the gastrointestinal microbial environment.
The concept of "allergy" was originally introduced in by the Viennese pediatrician Clemens von Pirquet , after he noticed that patients who had received injections of horse serum or smallpox vaccine usually had quicker, more severe reactions to second injections. All forms of hypersensitivity used to be classified as allergies, and all were thought to be caused by an improper activation of the immune system.
Later, it became clear that several different disease mechanisms were implicated, with the common link to a disordered activation of the immune system. In , a new classification scheme was designed by Philip Gell and Robin Coombs that described four types of hypersensitivity reactions , known as Type I to Type IV hypersensitivity.
A major breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms of allergy was the discovery of the antibody class labeled immunoglobulin E IgE. IgE was simultaneously discovered in —67 by two independent groups: Radiometric assays include the radioallergosorbent test RAST test method, which uses IgE-binding anti-IgE antibodies labeled with radioactive isotopes for quantifying the levels of IgE antibody in the blood.
The term RAST became a colloquialism for all varieties of in vitro allergy tests. This is unfortunate because it is well recognized that there are well-performing tests and some that do not perform so well, yet they are all called RASTs, making it difficult to distinguish which is which.
For these reasons, it is now recommended that use of RAST as a generic descriptor of these tests be abandoned. An allergist is a physician specially trained to manage and treat allergies, asthma and the other allergic diseases. In the United States physicians holding certification by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology ABAI have successfully completed an accredited educational program and evaluation process, including a proctored examination to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and experience in patient care in allergy and immunology.
After completing medical school and graduating with a medical degree, a physician will undergo three years of training in internal medicine to become an internist or pediatrics to become a pediatrician.
In the United Kingdom, allergy is a subspecialty of general medicine or pediatrics. Allergy services may also be delivered by immunologists. A Royal College of Physicians report presented a case for improvement of what were felt to be inadequate allergy services in the UK.
It concluded likewise in that allergy services were insufficient to deal with what the Lords referred to as an "allergy epidemic" and its social cost; it made several recommendations. Low-allergen foods are being developed, as are improvements in skin prick test predictions; evaluation of the atopy patch test; in wasp sting outcomes predictions and a rapidly disintegrating epinephrine tablet, and anti- IL-5 for eosinophilic diseases.
Aerobiology is the study of the biological particles passively dispersed through the air. One aim is the prevention of allergies due to pollen.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the medical journal of this title, see Allergy journal. Allergy prevention in children. Archived from the original on 18 June Retrieved 19 June The human and animal immune system is a truly amazing constellation of responses to attacks from outside the body. It has many facets, a number of which can change to optimize the response to these unwanted intrusions.
Towards the end of Louis Pasteur 's life, he confessed that germs may not be the cause of disease after all, but may simply be another symptom of disease. He had come to realize that germs seem to lead to illness primarily when the person's immune and defense system, what biologists call "host resistance" is not strong enough to combat them.
The "cause" of disease is not simply a bacteria but also the factors that compromise host resistance, including the person's hereditary endowment, his nutritional state, the stresses in his life, and his psychological state. The term "autoimmune disease" refers to a varied group of more than 80 serious, chronic illnesses that involve almost every human organ system.
It includes diseases of the nervous, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems as well as skin and other connective tissues, eyes blood, and blood vessel. In all of these diseases, the underlying problem is similar--the body's immune system becomes misdirected, attacking the very organs it was designed to protect. The immune system is a scapegoat for a variety of ills in this wide-ranging but tendentious guide to approaching diseases like lupus, Crohn's disease, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Every mother human or mammal that breast feeds her baby, passes all of the immunity gained throughout her lifetime on to her infant. A healthy immune system removes toxins and damaged cellular material. This compelling memoir of a life-or-death struggle with immune deficiency and the medical profession illuminates that dark side of medicine where unfounded beliefs substitute for scientific knowledge.
You must read this book if you have unexplained medical problems such as debilitating fatigue and pain -you can't think clearly because of brain fog - your doctor implies that it's all in your head - you want help and inspiration to find the cause and a solution. Winning My Battle Against Toxins, Illness and The Medical Establishment is the personal and compelling story of Judith Lopez and her experiences with medical mismanagement and malpractice.
Judith documents her struggle with a mystery malady that was life threatening. All the while her doctors sought to discount chronic fatigue syndrome, yeast syndrome, and environmental illnesses as merely sociogenic problems, the result of a mass hysteria or psychosomatic illness.
After a twenty year battle with an illness the medical community proclaimed to be non-existent, Judith finally connected with Doctor Vincent Marinkovich, a Stanford professor and authority on clinical immunology and allergy, who was able to understand and treat her symptoms.
Immune Dysfunction is a powerful and engaging medical memoir and highly recommended reading for anyone suffering from any form of environmentally generated illness whose physicians are trying to palm off as a form of hysteria or mental illness, as well as medical students, health workers, and practicing physicians concerned with the proper diagnosis and treatment of the rapidly growing numbers of men, women, and children who are experiencing environmentally driven immune system dysfunctions.
Unprecedented exposure to chemical contaminants, pollution, toxic products and stress has increased unhealthy conditions, from arthritis and cancer to heart disease, and even the symptoms of aging. Its no wonder so many people are suffering from fatigue and chronic illness, as well as chronic infections with viruses, bacteria and fungi.
You can learn how to protect yourself from the forces that can damage your body and wear down your immune system. Standard Western Medicine strives to suppress the immune response , working against the body. If there is a fever, lower it, if inflammation is present provide steroids to remove it and of course if Western Medicine thinks a bacteria or virus is present or doesn't know what is wrong, a dose of antibiotics is provided.
This way of doing things can be effective in the immediate term, and important in life threatening situations, but potentially devastating in the long term especially when over-used. Because, what eventually happens, is that immune system becomes weak and ineffective or damaged and over-reactive and disease is pushed deeper into the body to come back stronger and more difficult to get rid of at a later date.
A Holistic health care practitioner will not want to suppress symptoms unless they view it to be absolutely necessary, because those symptoms are a sign the immune system is working and doing its job. Alexander Fleming, the scientist who discovered penicillin, cautioned against the overuse of antibiotics.
Although the suppressive therapies are hard on the body, they do not compare with the rampant idiocy of using antibiotics for viral infections. Thankfully some measure of sanity appears to be returning to the medical profession. More and more doctors are avoiding prescribing antibiotics for colds and flus. Several critical observations must be made here. First, antibiotics are totally ineffective against viruses. The excuse most often heard for prescribing antibiotics in a viral illness is to prophylactically protect the body against a secondary bacterial infection.
This is an idea proven to be false decades ago. In the United States, of the 5 most common antibiotics prescribed, three are broad spectrum. Second, the basis of antibiotics is mold. Through millions of years of evolution, bacteria and mold have coexisted in nature - in the soil, plants and animals. When one of them developed an evolutionary edge over the other and began to shift the balance in favor of itself, the other must have rapidly learned to defend itself against this new attack.
If this were not true, we would only have either bacteria or molds but not both. By using mold, we thought we could slay one step ahead of bacteria in the evolutionary scale because we're so smart.
Well, the yolk is on us, the bacteria are winning, and at a record pace. So in our attempt to wipe out bacteria, we forced them into a revolutionary evolutionary change and we damaged our immunity so badly that we become easy prey for viruses.
Additional side effects of antibiotics are immune suppression and the increased susceptibility to parasites. The long term effects of the breakdown of the immune system can be seen in increased infections, auto-immune disorders and tumor formation. In "Beyond Antibiotics" Drs. Schmidt, Smith, and Sehnert explore the problems presented by the overuse of these drugs. More importantly, they show how to build immunity, improve resistance to infections, and avoid antibiotics when possible.
The scientific community and the general public have ignored the insights of the late Pasteur and have ignored the importance of host resistance in preventing illness more on Louis Pasteur.
The SARS epidemic is only one of an ongoing series of new emerging diseases. Lawrence Wilson -" Factors that impair the immune system include nutrient deficiencies, contaminated air, water and food, unhealthful lifestyles and too much exposure to harmful microbes.
Your immune system is constantly on the prowl for pathogens and foreign antigen agents of cellular damage, toxicity and disease. These antigens include viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi and even pre-cancerous cells. To neutralize these pathogens, the body needs a ready supply of glutathione. We cant avoid illness and aging altogether, but by keeping our intracellular glutathione levels elevated, we also keep our immune system on full alert and fully armed.
Wulf Droge MD - "The human immune system is extremely dependent on adequate glutathione levels to perform properly. Even a partial depletion of the intracellular glutathione pool has a dramatic consequence for the process of blast transformation and proliferation, and for the generation of cytotoxic T cells. We have all heard stories of apparently miraculous recoveries from terminal cancer, but are any of these accounts true? Medical journals have published thousands of case histories about seemingly incurable patients who have seen their cancers disappear in the absence of medical treatment.
These examples of spontaneous regression demonstrate the power of the human immune system. It can cure cancer. Studies confirm that the eight essential biologically active sugars can accomplish amazing results. The following are just a few examples of the exciting possibilities of Glyconutrition:.
Homeopathy as a properly practiced art , stimulates an accelerated immune system response. Back in the early 's homeopathy carved out a reputation for itself with the extraordinary results its treating patients during epidemics. The battle of Leipzig in caused an outbreak of typhus which Hahnemann treated.
During the winter of a cholera epidemic broke out in Europe. This fact has been established by basic physiology research in the s and the s.
Your gut, your digestive wall, is the biggest and the most important immune organ in your body. There is a very tight conversation and a relationship going on between the gut flora microbiome that lives inside your digestive system, and your immune system Your gut flora the state of the gut flora and the composition of microbes in your gut flora has a profound effect on what forms of immune cells you will be producing on any given day, what they're going to be doing, and how balanced your immune system is.
Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A. The intestinal lining becomes porous when it is inflamed, oxidized, toxic, and lacking in energy. This is called 'leaky gut. One of the many problems that result is a priming of the "systemic immune system" to attack molecules and tissues it should not be attacking.
This means that the immune system you are more familiar with white cells, antibodies, immunoglobulins, etc. This is the main reason why we develop "autoimmune" problems, such as arthritis, lupus, thyroiditis, etc. Trends in Immunology ; After all, it also needs energy to function. This also means that being obese and prediabetic compromises our immune system.
By improving insulin resistance improves the immune system. Enzymes are proteins that facilitate chemical reactions in living organisms. They are required for every single chemical action that takes place in your body. All of your tissues, muscles, bones, organs and cells are run by enzymes. Your digestive system, immune system, bloodstream, liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas, as well as your ability to see, think, feel and breathe, all depend on enzymes.
Systemic enzymes , sometimes called metabolic or proteolytic enzymes , are produced by the pancreas to repair the body In fact, they are a necessary component of all other functions in the body besides digestion, and your body is unable to produce enough of them because we eat cooked foods. Animal studies have shown that an increase in fat intake can decrease the number of natural killer NK cells found in the blood and spleen.
NK cells are an integral part of the natural immune response to virus infections and certain types of cancer. Researchers at Oxford University now report that fish oil significantly decreases NK cell activity in healthy human subjects. Their clinical trial involved 48 men and women aged 55 to 75 years. The participants were randomized to receive one of six supplements for 12 weeks. The supplements were all provided in the form of capsules, three of which were to be taken with each meal.
All the participants had blood samples taken four weeks before start of supplementation, immediately before start of supplementation, and then every four weeks during the trial as well as after a four-week washout period.
The researchers found no changes in killer cell activity except in the group taking fish oil. Here they observed an average decline of 20 per cent after 8 weeks and 48 per cent after 12 weeks. The decline was completely reversed after the washout period. The researchers conclude that an excessive EPA intake could have adverse effects for people at risk of viral infections and some cancers.
The British researchers' speculation about fish oils perhaps affecting the effectiveness of NK cells in killing cancer cells is at odds with the results of many other studies. There are at least a dozen studies that show a clear protective effect of fish or fish oil against breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. Its been around for thousands of years. Every traditional healing culture in the world has a ginseng or ginseng-type plant in its medicine chest. Daily ginseng was a necessary matter of life throughout all of Chinas long history. At the turn of the 20th century, virtually every Chinese person used ginseng to some extent for their well being, especially as a wellness tonic. Ginseng was also highly esteemed by every Native American culture. At the Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Jilin Province where ginseng is grown , researchers in the pharmacology department evaluated the effects of ginseng on immune responses.
The immune responses of mice were tested with different dosages of extracts obtained either from the leaf or the root of ginseng. Significant changes in the response of the reticuloendothelial RES system were found, especially with moderate doses of the root extracts. Larger doses did not improve the response. RES cells are the immune system components that devour foreign organisms without leaving their original sites in the liver, spleen and other tissues of the body.
Ginseng - the most extensively studied herb on earth! Lin Yutang, a Chinese research scientist who spent a lifetime learning about ginseng, summed up his work by saying that "The magic tonic and building qualities of ginseng are the most enduring, the most energy-giving, restorative qualities known to mankind, yet it is distinguished by the slowness and gentleness of its action".
More modern research has been done on ginseng than all other herbs combined. At the turn of the 21st century ginseng is being intensively studied by athletic performance experts as well as medical science. According to the British Journal of Biomedical Science, allicin is considered to be the most potent antibacterial agent in crushed garlic extracts.