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ATOPY DERMATITIS: A FORM OF ALLERGY WHERE THE HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTION OCCURS AT A LOCATION DIFFERENT FROM THE INITIAL CONTACT POINT BETWEEN THE OFFENDING AGENT ( ALLERGEN)

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ATOPY DERMATITIS: A FORM OF ALLERGY WHERE THE HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTION OCCURS AT A LOCATION DIFFERENT FROM THE INITIAL CONTACT POINT BETWEEN THE OFFENDING AGENT ( ALLERGEN)

Post by pmmutiti on Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:15 pm

Atopy Dermatitis

An atopic disease is a form of allergy where the hypersensitivity reaction occurs at a location different from the initial contact point between the body and the offending agent (allergen). For example, food taken by mouth may cause an allergic skin reaction - atopic dermatitis. The incidence of atopic diseases such as dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma is rising in industrialized countries and now affects about 20% of the population.

A team of researchers from the University of Turku and Tufts University in Boston now report that the increase in atopic diseases is closely tied in with an increase in the consumption of omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid) which have pushed the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (alpha-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids) fatty acids in the diet to an unfavorably high level (10:1 or higher). An increasing dietary intake of linoleic acid has been linked to a rise in atopic diseases in both Germany and Japan. A recent study of Finnish and Swedish school children found that children with a high ratio of eicosapentaenoic acid to linoleic acid had a lower prevalence of atopic diseases while children with allergies tended to have a lower level of docosahexaenoic acid in their blood.

The researchers point out that the metabolic products (Eicosanoids) of omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation while the metabolites of omega-3 acids dampens inflammation. They also point to several clinical trials, which have shown that supplementation with fish oil, or alpha-linolenic acid can reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and asthma. They conclude that an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils and alpha-linolenic acid) may alleviate atopic diseases caused by an excessive intake of omega-6 fatty acids.


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Peter Mwaura Mutiti : Teaching old blood cells new tricks:
When you hear someone mention circulation you probably think of the heart and major arteries—and for good reason. Circulatory disorders such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are major risk factors for heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

But there’s more to it than that. With all the attention on the heart and arteries, it’s easy to overlook serious health problems affecting the smallest components of the circulatory system—microscopic blood vessels called microcapillaries, where the critical exchange of oxygen and nutrients actually takes place. If blood isn’t flowing through this web properly, it can trigger all sorts of health problems, many of which may not seem related to circulation at all.

A number of factors contribute to poor circulation as we age. Arteries and veins become stiff and congested as cholesterol and calcium plaques accumulate and restrict blood flow. Spasms in the smooth muscles surrounding the circulatory arteries and veins can also choke off circulation. These same processes also occur in our microcapillaries, reducing microcirculation and impairing the critical exchange of nutrients and gases in tissues and major organs.

This problem only gets worse as we get older because of changes in the composition and structure of blood cells. As you reach middle age, the blood starts to thicken and congeal as platelets and blood proteins make cells sticky. Plus, the spleen—the organ that removes old, damaged blood cells from circulation—begins to slow down with age, which means new, healthy blood cells are replaced at a sharply reduced rate. And to make matters even worse, as blood cells age, they become stiff and no longer appear round and evenly shaped. This makes it harder for them to pass smoothly through the capillaries. In fact, the angular, jagged shape of the old cells can damage the fragile microcapillaries even further.

Eventually, these age-related changes take their toll on the microcapillaries, reducing circulation to the tissues and blocking the flow of nutrients and oxygen. Removal of carbon dioxide and other metabolic waste products is also hindered. This leads to a slow buildup of metabolic garbage that can gradually bury the cells in their own waste products. In time, the cells, poisoned by their own metabolic byproducts, begin to waste away and ultimately cease to function altogether.

The combined effect of poor circulation and old blood contributes to a host of symptoms, including deep fatigue, fuzzy thinking, frequent infections, and lowered sex drive—all conditions usually considered just “normal parts of aging.”

If circulation doesn’t improve, it can lead to more serious conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. But giving your body a fresh supply of healthy blood may target all of these problems and more.
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