Archive for Strengthen your immune system
Is Type-2 Diabetes an Inflammatory Disease?
This is not a new theory. Inflammation in the human body can be a devastating process and is believed to contribute to most diseases known to man. This is a nice summary of the link between inflammation and Type 2 diabetes.
The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society Dr. Steven Shoelson of the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts, presented the first lecture entitled, “The I-kappa B Kinase Mediates Insulin Resistance in Diabetes and Obesity.” The provocative question at the outset was — is type-2 diabetes an inflammatory disease? Certainly, patients with type-2 diabetes exhibit circulating markers of an “acute phase response,” and some of these, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, may contribute to the pathophysiology of type-2 diabetes. However, is there a rationale for treating type-2 diabetic patients with anti-inflammatory drugs? Dr. Shoelson gave historical evidence — dating from 1876, but “rediscovered” as recently as 40 years ago — that high doses of aspirin (ASA) of the order of 10 g per day can attenuate hyperglycemia quite markedly. The Joslin investigators hypothesized that I-kappa B kinases (IKKs), key regulators of the NF-kappa B pathway of proinflammatory signaling, might be the target of ASA, since this dose is known to inhibit their activity. (Of note, much smaller doses are needed to inhibit the cyclooxygenase enzymes that are generally the target of ASA’s anti-inflammatory actions, but these doses of ASA do not appear to affect glycemia.)
CRP, Interleukin 6, and Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Inflammation plays a key role in many of today’s chronic diseases and lifestyle changes to lower overall inflammatory burden will cut across disease risk for a variety of diseases. Identifying and avoiding food allergies, choosing a more plant based diet over animal based, adequate fruit and veggie intake and exercise are just a few of the ways to lower inflammation. Of interesting note is that insulin is generally considered a proinflammatory hormone (with the exception of a few studies that suggest an anti-inflammatory action in certain instances)…it is possible that increasing inflammation is one way in which high insulin promotes diabetes.
Weight Loss Increases Adipose-Derived Anti-Inflammatory Adiponectin
Two things here. First, keep your ears open for adiponectin. It is a newly identified protein that may play a key role in hormone modulation of obesity and inflammation. Second, we see the tangled web that is woven in health and disease. As we gain adipose tissue, levels of adiponectin are reduced and inflammation may rise, leading to many other disease states. Once the dominoes of bad health begin to fall, the pieces are set in motion. On the other hand, on the road back to health, once these factors start working in our favor, many aspects of biochemistry fall back into place.
JCEM — Abstracts: Yang et al. 86 (8): 3815
Effect of proinflammatory interleukins on jejunal nutrient transport
This study indicates that, with systemic inflammation, more nutrients are absorbed. This would correspond well with the increased need for certain nutrients under times of stress. However, it would seem logical to extrapolate that, with prolonged inflammation, the intestines become too permeable and larger molecules can cross into the body that are not supposed to be there.
Active Transport of Nitrofurantoin into Human Milk
Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic that is commonly used in the United States. This study demonstrates that breastfeeding mothers on nitrofurantoin do have levels found in breast milk that is much higher than found in their bloodstreams. So now you have a newborn infant, desperately trying to establish a healthy flora for proper development of their immune system–being sterilized through nursing. Not a good situation. The bottom line is that, although many pharmaceutical drugs are accepted as “safe” during nursing, I firmly believe that a lactating woman should avoid all drugs unless life threatening.
Pharmacotherapy 21(6):669-675, 2001 – To determine the extent to which nitrofurantoin is transferred into human milk. Four healthy lactating women 8-26 weeks postpartum. Conclusions. Nitrofurantoin is actively transported into human milk, achieving concentrations in milk greatly exceeding those in serum. Concern is warranted for suckling infants younger than 1 month old, or for infants with a high frequency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency or sensitivity to nitrofurantoin.
Role of Intestinal Flora in the Development of Allergy
I’m really getting to the point where I will not include any more info on probiotics and allergies–there is enough research and anecdotal evidence in the medical literature to pretty much solidify the concept. No more groundshaking news in this department. Unfortunately, the “coming soon to a doctor’s office near you” commercial may still be several decades off.
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology Posted 02/10/2003 Marko Kalliomaki, Erika Isolauri Abstract and Introduction Purpose of Review: The frequency of allergic diseases is increasing worldwide. Experimental and clinical studies have linked a reduced number of early infections to this trend. The gastrointestinal system, which comprises the largest lymphoid tissue and microbial reservoir of the body, has received more attention during the last few years as a potential determiner in the development of atopic disease. Recent Findings: Alterations in intestinal microbiota have been detected both in infants suffering from allergic disease and in those later developing the disorder. Delay in the compositional development of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in gut microflora was a general finding in allergic children. In a subsequent study, perinatal administration of lactobacilli halved the later development of atopic eczema during the first 2 years of life. Specific strains of the healthy gut microbiota have been shown to induce the production of IL-10 and transforming growth factor-beta, which possess an important regulative role in the development of allergic type immune response. Probiotics also strengthen gut defence barrier mechanisms and reduce antigen load in the gut. Pattern recognition receptors in intestinal epithelial and antigen-presenting cells have been demonstrated to mediate a continuing dialogue between host and gut microbiota. Summary: Despite several promising findings, the exact role of gut normal microbiota in the development of allergy remains to be elucidated. For successful interventions, more data concerning a communication between host and specific microbial species are needed.
Mode of delivery and risk of allergic rhinitis and asthma
More info to pile onto the “probiotics are essential for human health and we indiscriminately destroy them with antibiotics without regards for downstream negative health effects” stack…
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Online
Mechanism converting stress into mononuclear cell activation
The explosion of the psychoneuroimmunology field began several years back with the findings of the interdigitations of the nervous system into the immune cells of the GI tract (the GALT, or gut activated lymphoid tissues), thus establishing the first identified connection between the GI and the nervous system. That field has only progressed and we are finding more connections between the brain’s emotional aspects and the immune system. This rat study helps to elucidate the link between the endocrine system (“adrenaline rush”) and activation of the immune system.
PNAS — Abstracts: Bierhaus et al. 100 (4): 1920
Differential effects of prostaglandin derived from omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids on COX-2 expression and IL-6 secretion
The whole concept that diet can influence the level of systemic inflammation is not followed by many in mainstream medicine and is rarely recommended. However, this article is just one of many that support the concept of an anti-inflammatory diet (and conversely, the pro-inflammatory diet). Dietary fats are a key foundation to this approach, with higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids (fish oils, olive oils, most nuts and seeds) over omega 6 fatty acids (corn oils, mass produced animal meats…).
PNAS — Abstracts: Bagga et al. 100 (4): 1751