In some situations, antibiotics are lifesavers. In others, however, they do more harm than good. For instance, when antibiotics are used too much or for the wrong illnesses, the drugs only end up killing helpful microbes and spawning drug-resistant superbugs. To figure out the proper times to use antibiotics, doctors need to carefully weigh the risks and benefits of each situation. But, sadly, that calculation is extremely tricky—if not impossible—because scientists still aren’t sure what all of the risks are.
A 46-year-old man who underwent a bone marrow transplant has suddenly contracted an allergy to kiwi fruit. Scientists say it’s the first evidence that allergies can be carried to a patient from a donor’s stem cells.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Human Biology suggests that people with previous tattoo experience may have a better immune response to new tattoos than those being inked for the first time. That’s the finding if you read the open access journal article, anyway. If you stick to the headlines of recent writeups of the study, your takeaway was probably that tattoos are an effective way of preventing the common cold. (sorry to break it to you, but they’re probably not).
The immune system of an adult is shaped by both genetic factors and every microbe we’ve ever been in contact with. The result is a unique set of things we can recognize, called an immunorepertoire. Environmental influences—things like infections and age—are thought to account for at least half of the differences in our individual immunorepertoires.
It’s widely assumed that swapping cigarette puffing for vapor huffing is better for health—after all, electronic cigarettes that heat up and atomize a liquid concoction can skip all the hazards of combustion and smoke. But researchers are still scrambling to understand the health effects of e-cig use (aka vaping) and to track down the variable and undisclosed components of those vaporized mixtures. The most recent data hints at unexpected health effects unique to e-cig use.
It seems the flavoring and other additives are the biggest issue. Most non-tobacco vape substances I’ve seen have been pure extracts without any additives. Now its possible things left over from the extraction process might be an issue but there’s not much research on that yet probably due to the legalities of it. Cinnamaldehyde has very strong irritant properties (it directly activates one of the main sensors of nasty chemicals)…
If it suppresses the immune system, I wonder if vaping would actually be beneficial for those with autoimmune diseases? We automatically think of a weak immune system as “bad”, but some people’s immune system is so strong that it’s hurting/killing them.
The major point of the study was to determine if regular, annual flu shots could actually be compromising the body’s ability to target the stalk. If a vaccine was released that targeted something else, that may well give the body the leg-up it needs to out-compete the native-grown immune response.
Remember that a vaccine isn’t telling the body how to react. The vaccine merely introduces to the immune system some aspect of the virus so that when the virus really shows up, the machinery is primed and ready to go.
Unfortunately for us, the destroyed bits of virus that make up the current flu shot are reacted to by going for the easiest target, i.e. the heads. A vaccine consisting of just the stalks with something that stimulates the immune cells to grab on, would do the trick. But that’s where the hard work lies.
Although exercise is good for you, when that exercise is extremely intense – for example during the training and completion of a hard race – the immune system is supressed, leaving an open window for infection
The article doesn’t mention it, but I’ve heard there is research which looked at ultra marathon and long distance triathlon (Ironman). This research suggested that doing these events can take years off your life due to the stress and level of activity on your organs.
Keep in mind that the supplement suggested to be used in future studies is going to be clinical, not off the shelf. If you are interested in better vitamin D intake, I’d advise sources other than supplements as there’s a lot of fraud in supplements. Unless you’re lactose intolerant, milk is cheap and easily accessible.