There was an absolutely fascinating article in New Scientist about 10 years go (can’t find it now) about how food allergies varied with geography. From what I recall peanut allergies were very rare in Southern European countries, but incidents of apple allergy were really high.
There was another article that found that areas where rates of parasitic infection are highest have the lowest rates of food allergies; and areas with the highest rates of food allergies have the lowest rates of parasitic infection. They hypothesized that parasites’ ability to remain in the body while avoiding being detected by the immune system may be connected to food allergies, and may suggest possible means of treating food allergies. Fascinating stuff…
In Japan, soaking in natural hot springs is a treasured pastime that’s steeped in thousands of years of tradition, and during my stay there, I visited a few. The experience opened my eyes (and pores) to a world of good-feeling benefits, many of which (but not all) are backed by a plethora of research.
I think heat is part of the stress relief. It doesn’t have to be a hot spring – a warm blanket/etc can do wonders. Wrapping up in one, insulating ourselves from what’s around – it’s a physical barrier.
As a parent with a background in science, I usually feel comfortable in the drugstore medicine aisle. I’ll stand there for 15 minutes comparing ingredients and prices, getting in every other parent’s way, and I’ll walk out feeling confident that what I have bought is a good value and will make my wee one feel at least a little bit better. Not so when I found myself faced with a daunting aisle of probiotics—live microorganisms that can confer health benefits—at my local health food store recently. I wanted to find some good bacteria to repopulate the gut of my toddler daughter, who was finishing up what seemed like her 80th dose of antibiotics in three months. I couldn’t even understand the labels, let alone fathom what I should buy. Did I want Lactobacillus GG? Bifidobacterium lactis? Lactobacillus acidophilus? What the hell were Lactobacillus anyway, and why does one small tub of them cost $28?
What really takes the (coconut) cake is that [coconut oil is] super affordable—a 14-ounce jar can cost as little as $7, making it the most wallet-friendly all-in-one product yet. Seriously, it’s a beauty product, household cleaner, and more. Check out these 76 ways to use coconut oil in your day-to-day life.
Turning what was once conventional wisdom on its head, a new study suggests that many, if not most peanut allergies can be prevented by feeding young children food containing peanuts beginning in infancy, rather than avoiding such foods.
The prevalence of peanut allergies among children has been rising steadily for years, especially in the West. It’s also starting to appear in Africa and Asia. In the U.S., for example, the number has more than quadrupled since 2002, growing from 0.4% in 1997 to 1.4% in 2008 to more than 2% in 2010. For Americans, it’s now the leading cause of food-related anaphylaxis and death.
Antibiotics are strong medicines that can kill bacteria. But we have overused antibiotics for many years. As a result, we now have bacteria that resist antibiotics. Resistant bacteria cause infections that are harder to cure and more costly to treat.
Antibiotic-resistant infections can strike anyone. They can be passed on to others. For example, more and more healthy young people are getting skin infections from MRSA, a bacteria that resists many common antibiotics. MRSA is spreading in households, daycare, schools, camps, dorms, gyms, team sports, and the military.
Try to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here’s what you need to know to help prevent resistance: