Boost Brain Function: PRPS Are Beneficial Neuro-Cytokines That Protect The Brain

Can proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs) protect your brain and even boost brain function? Studies in vitro on animals and humans support that idea. The neuro-protective cytokines in PRPs have a remarkably stabilizing effect on cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease patients. In vitro studies show that PRPs inhibit fibrils and amyloid plaques.[1] PRPs also modulate intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), by regulating glutathione metabolism and antioxidant enzymes.[2] Gene expression analysis found that PRPs down-regulate genes involved in inflammatory pathways and increase levels of an Amyloid-beta (Aβ) hydrolyzing enzyme.[3] When given orally to mice, PRPs improve motor and sensory activities.[4] When mice are given either PRPs or plain colostrum, the PRP supplemented mice swim faster to a hidden platform.[5] PRPs also improve spatial learning and memory in older rats.[6]

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Antibiotics – Unintended Consequences; Microbiota and Immunity Suffer

Your gastrointestinal tract is home to complex microbial populations, which, collectively, are referred to as the microbiota. The relation between the microbiota and you – the host is meant to be symbiotic, with you providing a warm moist physical niche and suitable food to intestinal bacteria and then if all works well you in turn gain benefit from the enhancement of resistance to infection and the improved facilitation of the absorption of ingested food [1],[2]

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Is this a Perfect Functional Meal for Mucosal Tolerance?

Stewed apples as medicine

 

Functional and pathological digestive tract conditions reflect a change in the relationship between the host microbiota and the mucosal immune and nervous system. These result in a wide range of distressing symptoms for which there are a variety of strategies, but no single intervention of consistent benefit. A component of patient care we sometimes overlook is that of the application of therapeutically relevant foods. For over 20 years I have been using a tried and tested formula that contemporary scientific research is now explaining why it has proven so effective for many patients.

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Do Almonds Have Immune Modulating Properties?

Cultivated for 6,000 years, almonds are alleged to possess a range of potential health benefits that support cardiovascular health, diabetes, protein quality and related weight management benefits.

A recent study has suggested that almonds, specifically the skin of almonds, may support immune system function.[1] The role of foods in immune management is increasingly of interest to practitioners as well as patients. The change in our dietary intake of basic food stuffs has changed dramatically over the last 100 or so years and the impact of this on health and disease remains an area of considerable exploration.

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Asthma and Bugs a Marriage Blessed in Muck

Those of us living in the country and in contact with farms and farm animals are being blessed with an immune priming experience for free – other than the cost of washing the clothes!

The exposure to bacteria, fungi and other microbes confers to us a unique advantage in the reduction of asthma and atopy incidence compared to children who never have farmyard contact and has previously been reported as such.[1]

I can see some innovative farmers seeking to promote a day out at their farms as an immune priming experience in the future a sort of ‘Farm Yard Atopy Camp’ for all children under 5 with a guaranteed cowlick experience!

A dirty weekend away will start to lose its cachet amongst the older family members and represent a weekend of juvenile delights in which washing behind the ears will be postponed for a little while.

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Mechanism of Fatty Acids Anti Inflammatory Effects – Explained?

Most Nutritional Therapists are comfortable in the concept and application of concentrated essential fatty acids especially fish oils as a means of altering abnormal inflammatory pathways in the body. Some EFA’s are perceived to be anti-inflammatory and others pro-inflammatory. Whilst the simplistic dichotomy of interpretation (Omega 3 Anti/Omega 6 Pro) has kept many a student content that they have mastered the art of complex fatty acid biochemistry – the reality is that cell membranes operate in a state of competitive inhibition with fatty acids of all carbon chain lengths and their role is highly sophisticated and complementary.

So…the paper out in the journal Cell this month (Sept 2010) from the lab of Prof. Olefsky at the University of California is a really exciting addition to the extensive research available – in that it elegantly describes a key anti-inflammatory mechanism using a G-protein coupled receptor.[1]

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Massage Beneficially Impacts Immune Response.

There are very few people that do not like to have a massage, and those of us that do – me, me, me, now have an extra justification for throwing yourself onto the nearest couch and shouting “fetch the oil, I’m ready for basting”.

Published in the Sept Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010 a paper suggests that a single session of Swedish Massage Therapy produces measurable biologic effects.[1] The intervention tested was 45 minutes of Swedish Massage Therapy versus a light touch control condition, using highly specified and identical protocols.

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Dendritic Cells Aid Intestinal Homeostasis and Disease

Inside our gastrointestinal tract live a family of specialised cells, co-dependent on bacteria and nutrients to send a calming message to the mucosal tissues. They have a number of variations in their make up but they are vital in their role as diplomats, passing sensitive information across the borders to provide a long term peaceful mission and maintain oral tolerance. Essentially they induce either protective immunity to infectious agents or tolerance to innocuous antigens, including food and commensal bacteria. This recent article out in the Journal of Clinical Investigation explores the current understanding of how these cells contribute to health and illness.[1]

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Vegas, Pregnancy, Immunity and Allergy Prevention!

The saying is ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’, or if you are English ‘what happens in Blackpool….’ but the same cannot be said about what happens in utero, as increasing evidence supports the understanding that the maternal nutritional environment and early feeding affects the health of the foetus beyond infancy and into adulthood.[1],[2] An article in Nature’s Mucosal Immunology this month explores some of the key events in foetal and neonatal immune management.[3] It stimulated a revisit to the area of what to consider for parents to be and mums of young children when they ask ‘is there anything I can do to prevent or reduce the risk of allergy or atopy in my child’.

The first moments, weeks and months of life can determine the health outcomes of an individual over the duration of their lifetime and this knowledge represents a significant choice for prospective parents. Fortunately the remarkable adaptability of the immune and central nervous system means that there are numerous opportunities in the early years of life to positively influence health outcomes even if the early stages were less than optimal.

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Is There A Rural/Urban Gradient In The Prevalence Of Eczema? A Systematic Review And What Can Be Done About It?

One in 10 schoolchildren in the western world suffers from eczema and even developing nations have also seen an increasing trend in the last few decades. There are many proposals to explain the increased incidence, one area of relevance is the environmental impact. Falling under the often misused ‘hygeine hypothesis’ title it has been proposed that there is a reflective difference in the gradient between rural and urban children. Implying the environmental impact on the developing immune system of children is different and therefore less protective in the urban setting.

This concept has now been studied in a recent article in the British Journal of Dermatology.[1] By conducting a Medline and Embase data base review studies that compared the incidence between the two environments were reviewed. Some 26 papers were assessed with 19 demonstrating a higher risk for eczema in an urbanised area, of these 11 were regarded as being statistically significant. A further 6 studies showed a lower risk of eczema in an urbanised area, of which just 1 was statistically significant.

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