Monthly Archives: June 2006

Allergies and Cleanliness – Too much of a good thing?

In a paper published online in the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology researchers have shown that the concept of excessive cleanliness may hurt a child’s immune system and set them up for a lifetime of allergies. The study was on 58 wild rats and 10 wild mice versus 45 lab rats and 20 lab mice. They determined that the animals that lived in the wild had much higher levels of immunoglobulin-E than did the animals bred in captivity in clean conditions.

While this study alone does not prove that cleanliness is the cause, it is just another in a series of confirmatory research papers that suggest that trying to disinfect everything may not be beneficial for kids health. But then again ask any kid what they’d rather do, clean their room or play in the mud?

Acting on Genetic Data and Cancer

A group of 11 cousins had their stomachs removed after genetic testing revealed that they had a genetic “defect” that made them likely to get a rare form of stomach cancer that had killed a number of their uncles, aunts and parents. In all of my reading of the data on this procedure, no where did I see any talk about whether they were likely to get another form of cancer even though they removed they’re stomach. They may have had this procedure without any long-term benefit which will be quite sad.

What really strikes me is the lack of talk about trying to suppress the expression of the flawed gene. This concept is beginning to gain a great deal of emphasis as more and more scientists come to the realization that this is the way to go. One of the biggest purveyors of this idea is Dr. Bruce Ames of the University of California, Berkeley. If you’re interested in his work, do a Google search on him and be ready to be fascinated.

CFS – More than just a syndrome

Well, I’m finally back after a brief but needed respite.

The topic today relates to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) which many health care professionals have wrongly thought of it as a psychological disorder. A recent coroners report in the UK showed that a 32 year-old women had actually died from complications from CFS. A neuropathologist named Dominic O’Donovan said that the inflammation in her spinal cord was a clean sign that the CFS that she had been suffering from over the past 6 years was at fault.

Getting told that “it’s all in your head” when a disorder is really biochemical in nature must be a frustrating experience. When my daughter was first diagnosed with epilepsy, the doctor told us to just get use to it as we weren’t able to do much else ourselves as the doctor was the “epileptologist” and we were just parents. It would be nice if there were more doctors willing to listen and learn.