IN THE NEWS: Immune system vs. gut bacteria: How vitamin A ‘keeps the peace’ with New findings about the role of vitamin A in mediating the relationship between gut bacteria and the immune system may prove “critical” for devising new therapies for autoimmune conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory diseases that affect the intestine. The gut bacteria are known to play a crucial role in keeping us healthy. Research has shown that the trillions of friendly microorganisms hosted by our guts can keep us lean, young, and healthy — both in body and mind. But how do gut bacteria do this? One answer involves the immune system. Various studies have been slowly unraveling the complex relationship between gut bacteria and immunity. They suggest that the interactions between the host’s gut and the bacteria that colonize our intestines help control how our body responds to illness. New research may have found an answer: vitamin A. A team of scientists, led by Shipra Vaishnava, an assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Brown University in Providence, RI, found that moderate levels of vitamin A in the intestine prevent the immune system from becoming overactive. Note: doing the dry winter the demand for vitamin A rises sharply. To maintain a healthy respiratory system along with a healthy immune system we recommend vitamin A and D be taken throughout the winter months. Probiotics are also helpful as this article indicates.
WELLNESS:Marvelous for Constipation, Almost Instantly Softens Stools Estimates suggest up to 20 percent of the general population experience chronic constipation, characterized by hard, dry and difficult to pass stools, and/or having less than three bowel movements per week. To prevent constipation, make sure you’re drinking enough water each day, and increase your fiber intake to 25 to 50 grams per 1,000 calories consumed. Four foods shown to have a beneficial impact on chronic constipation are fermented vegetables, artichoke, kiwi and kefir. Certain supplements can also help improve your regularity, including magnesium, organic psyllium husk, enzymes and probiotics. In your bathroom, consider using a foot stool to enhance elimination, and installing a bidet to optimize your hygiene and avoid the pain of wiping with toilet paper, which can aggravate many bowel-related problems.
CONDITION OF THE WEEK: Should You Get A Steroid Shot For Your Allergies?
If you’ve got allergies, you know the deal: For part of the year, you can venture outdoors breathing easily and seeing clearly. For the other, you’re stuck scratching your itchy eyes, sneezing constantly, and blowing your nose like crazy. Turns out, there’s a super-potent steroid shot that offers relief from what feels like a truckload of pollen to the face. And only a few hours later, you’ll be breathing better! Sounds promising, right? First things first: You get allergies when your body overreacts to a substance (like pollen or cat dander) in an attempt to protect you from it. (Cue the congestion and watery eyes.) A steroid shot is an aggressive remedy used to calm that response, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergy and immunology clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone Health. But while these steroid shots are extremely effective, they should only be administered “when all else fails,” warns Parikh. Cortisone can weaken your immune system, which could worsen an existing infection or make you more likely to get new infections. You should not use cortisone if you have a fungal infection. Some less serious side effects of cortisone may include: Acne, dry skin, or thinning skin, Bruising or discoloration of
FUNNY BONE: I eat my peas with honey. I’ve done it all my life. It makes the peas taste funny. But it keeps them on the knife!@@ Which word in the dictionary is spelled incorrectly? Incorrectly@@ If your parents never had children, chances are you won’t either.@@ Patient: Doctor, I think I need glasses. Teller: You certainly do! This is a bank.@@ Doctor: Nurse, how is that little girl doing who swallowed ten quarters last night? Nurse: No change yet.@@ What’s the difference between a general practitioner and a specialist? One treats what you have, the other thinks you have what he treats.@@ Funny Doctors’ Notes (These are sentences exactly as typed by medical secretaries) Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.–On the second day the knee was better and on the third day, it disappeared.–The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.–Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.–While in ER, Eva was examined, x-rated and sent home.–Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.–The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.