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June 13, 2006, 0:12 AM CT

Pollen Beneficial For Northern Lakes

Pollen Beneficial For Northern Lakes
Mention the word pollen to most people and it triggers thoughts of their battle against allergic reactions. However, a University of Alberta researcher has found an important spin-off for this fine yellow dust-like powder.

Mark Graham, a PhD student from the Department of Biological Sciences at the U of A, has demonstrated for the first time the benefits of pollen on boreal lakes. Rich in nutrients, pollen is an essential component of plant fertilization but few think of its importance to fertilize lakes. Wind-dispersed pollen in early summer is not only visually striking, but it can represent a substantial pulse of nutrients to northern lakes.

Graham's research team found that plankton responded strongly to additions of pollen in experimental enclosures, located along the shorelines of three boreal lakes in northwestern Ontario's Experimental Lakes Area. "Specifically, pollen subsidized the lake water nutrient levels and in turn, promoted the abundance of plankton," said Graham, who is working with Dr. Rolf Vinebrooke in the U of A's Freshwater Biodiversity Laboratory. "Our findings strongly suggest that pollen is an important linkable between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in northern environments."

By increasing the availability of plankton, an important food resource for forage fish, the production of harvestable sport fish may also rise, all thanks to pollen.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

June 11, 2006, 12:49 AM CT

Mislabeled Stuffed Olives Contain Almonds

Mislabeled Stuffed Olives Contain Almonds
Olives stuffed with garlic: i love them! Perfect antipasti and fingerfood! Those of you in British Columbia, watch out though for jars of Sicilian Olives Stuffed with Garlic Cloves, distributed by Thrifty Foods. Another alert from the CFIA:.

Thrifty Foods, Parksville, is warning customers not to consume Sicilian Olives Stuffed with Garlic Cloves because they were mislabeled and contain olives stuffed with almonds which are not declared on the label.

If you have allergies to almonds, do not consume this product. You can return it for a full refund to the firm. for more information, call 250-248-8823 or Thrifty Foods customer service line 250-544-1234 or toll free 1-800-667-8280.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

May 23, 2006, 11:44 PM CT

Spacers Better Than Nebulizers For Childhood Asthma

Spacers Better Than Nebulizers For Childhood Asthma
Two therapy methods for asthma attacks -- spacers and nebulizers -- are equally effective in staving off hospital admissions, a new review shows. However, at least for children, spacers mean shorter stays in emergency departments.

The review authors, led by Christopher Cates, M.D., of the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada, analyzed information from 25 studies of 2,066 children ages 2 years and older, and 614 adults with asthma. All used either spacers or nebulizers to deliver beta-2 agonists, medications that help "open" the lungs to ease breathing in asthma attacks.

The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

A spacer is a holding chamber attached to devices for inhaling asthma medication. A nebulizer is an electrically powered machine that turns liquid medicine into a mist breathed directly into the lungs through a face mask or mouthpiece. Nebulizers are the traditional method for treating asthma attacks, and are still used more often in hospitals.

The authors found that spacers and nebulizers work equally well for treating non-life-threatening asthma attacks, in terms of need for inpatient admission and the number of days in the hospital.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

May 22, 2006, 0:18 AM CT

Benadryl vs Clarinex

Benadryl vs Clarinex
As per a research studyreported in the recent issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Benadryl appears to be more effective than Clarinex in relieving symptoms of moderate to severe hay fever.

"Benadryl provided significantly better overall allergy symptom relief than Clarinex," investigator Dr. James T. Angello told Reuters Health. "Even more noteworthy in this study is the finding that Benadryl relieved nasal congestion just as well as it reduced allergic rhinitis (i.e., hay fever) symptoms as a whole".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

May 22, 2006, 0:15 AM CT

Desensitization Protocol For Allergy To Clopidogrel

Desensitization Protocol For Allergy To Clopidogrel
A careful desensitization protocol can help patients overcome allergic reactions to anti-clotting medicine critical to preventing new blockages inside coronary stents, as per a research studybeing presented at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 29th Annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago, May 10-13. (Time of Presentation: Thursday, May 11, 10:39 a.m. Central Time).

"Allergic reactions can be quite frightening to patients and physicians, and can lead to discontinuation of the medication," said the study's lead author, Nicholas E. Walker, MD, a cardiology fellow at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. "We showed we could successfully and safely desensitize patients who had just recently had a drug-eluting stent placed. That's a critical population to manage."

Perhaps two out of every hundred patients treated with the anti-clotting medicine clopidogrel develop an allergic reaction marked by rash, itching, hives, or swelling of the tongue and airway. A small number of patients even develop an anaphylactic reaction and go into shock.

Physicians generally discontinue a medicine that provokes an allergic reaction and prescribe an alternative. However, in the case of clopidogrel, substitute medications are either just as likely to provoke allergy symptoms or markedly less effective. Stopping the medicine may be riskier than continuing it: Patients who do not take clopidogrel after stenting--especially after receiving a drug-eluting stent--face approximately three times the risk of a blood clot blocking the stent and causing a heart attack.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

May 18, 2006, 11:40 PM CT

Codeine May Be No Cure For Cough

Codeine May Be No Cure For Cough
Researchers at the University of Manchester's North West Lung Centre have found that codeine - a standard ingredient in cough remedies - could be no more effective than an inactive placebo compound at treating cough.

Scientists at the Centre, which is based at Wythenshawe Hospital, studied a sample of patients with chronic lung disease. After coughing was induced with citric acid they were given either codeine or a placebo, and sent home wearing a lapel microphone to record their coughing during the day and night.

Lead researcher Dr. Jacyln Smith said: "Codeine has long been considered the standard anti-cough agent against which others are measured, but until now little has been known about its impact in patients with chronic lung diseases.

"After the placebo therapy the patients' coughing fell from an average of 8.27 seconds per hour to 7.22 seconds, and after codeine to 6.41 seconds.

"Eventhough there was a significant reduction after codeine, from a statistical standpoint there was really no difference between codeine and placebo - despite the fact that the dose of codeine used far exceeds that in over-the-counter cough remedies."

The findings were reported in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and seem to confirm some medics' view that reductions in coughing after codeine are attributable to a placebo effect.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

May 17, 2006, 11:38 PM CT

Tobacco Smoke Linked to Allergic Rhinitis in Infants

Tobacco Smoke Linked to Allergic Rhinitis in Infants
University of Cincinnati (UC) epidemiologists say it's environmental tobacco smoke-not the suspected visible mold-that drastically increases an infant's risk for developing allergic rhinitis by age 1.

Usually known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis occurs when a person's immune system mistakenly reacts to allergens (aggravating particles) in the air. The body then releases substances to protect itself, causing the allergy sufferer to experience persistent sneezing and a runny, blocked nose.

This is the first study to show a relationship between environmental tobacco smoke exposure and allergic rhinitis in year-old infants, the UC team reports in the recent issue of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology and an early online edition May 17.

"Prior studies have addressed risk factors for allergic rhinitis, but they failed to examine multiple environmental exposures, and some yielded contradictory results," says Jocelyn Biagini, lead author and an epidemiologist in UC's environmental health department.

The study evaluated the effects of numerous indoor exposures to such things as environmental tobacco smoke, visible mold, pets, siblings and the day-care environment on 633 infants under age one.

"We found that infants who were exposed to 20 or more cigarettes a day were three times more likely to develop allergic rhinitis by their first birthday than those who were not exposed," says Biagini.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

May 14, 2006, 11:07 AM CT

Inhalable Corticosteroids And Asthma Prevention

Inhalable Corticosteroids And Asthma Prevention
Your preschooler is having intermittent, sporadic fits of wheezing. Do you give inhaled corticosteroids in the hope that it will not develop into a full blown chronic asthma later on?

As per latest research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, eventhough symptoms may be alleviated while the child is under therapy, there seems to be little effect on the child's chances of contracting a more chronic form later on.

Our data suggest that inhaled corticosteroids have little therapeutic effect on the processes that determine the progression of the disease from its initial, intermittent stages to a more chronic form, as described in the epidemiology literature".

Interesting though, is that they noted those children who used Flovent, an inhalable corticosteroid made by GlaxoSmithKline, grew about a centimeter less than those who did not. After a year of observation, the Flovent kids seems to be catching up, but as per the researchers, there is still no determinitive data of the log-term effects of Flovent on height.

For a more through discussion of the study, read WebMD's Easing Kids' Breathing Before Asthma.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

May 14, 2006, 11:02 AM CT

Ionic Air Purifiers Aggravates Asthma

Ionic Air Purifiers Aggravates Asthma
With more and more people having respiratory problems, whether as a result of asthma, pollen allergies or simply as a reaction to pollutants, air purifiers for domestic use are becoming a big market.

Some of the more common typers of air cleaners use either HEPA filters or ionization technology. Air purifiers which use ionization electrically charges the air particles and draws them to metals plates that captures them, and therefore circumvents the issues of filter-change, motor-noise and draft associated with devices that use HEPA filters.

However, a review of ionizing air purifiers published by Consumer Reports indicate that, ironically, these devices may even aggravate respiratory problems. The root of the problem is that these gadgets emit ozone as a by-product. What's wrong about ozone?

Experts agree that an ozone concentration more than 80 ppb for eight hours or longer can cause coughing, wheezing, and chest pain while worsening asthma and deadening your sense of smell. It also raises sensitivity to pollen, mold, and other respiratory allergy triggers, and may cause permanent lung damage.

As per their survey, only 2 out of the 7 room air cleaners tested performed well in eliminating smoke, dust and pollen. And worse, the 5 poorly rated ones were also found to emit ozone higher than the acceptable levels. And if you believe that by getting the more expensive one, you're on the safe side, well, think again. Or better, check out the Consumer Report's ratings for Room Air Cleaners.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

May 9, 2006, 11:40 PM CT

Grapefruit Juicecould beDangerous With Some Drugs

Grapefruit Juicecould beDangerous With Some Drugs Image courtesy of
New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified and established the substance in grapefruit juice that causes potentially dangerous interactions with certain medications.

For almost a decade, people have been told by their doctors and pharmacists to avoid grapefruit juice if they are being treated with certain medications, including some drugs that control blood pressure or lower cholesterol. Studies have shown that grapefruit juice can cause more of these drugs to enter the blood stream, resulting in undesirable and even dangerous side effects.

The drugs affected by grapefruit juice commonly have some difficulty entering the body after they are consumed because an intestinal enzyme, CYP3A, partially destroys them as they are absorbed. Grapefruit juice, but not other usually consumed fruit juices, inhibits this enzyme, allowing more of these drugs to enter the body.

It was originally assumed that the ingredients responsible for drug interactions were the flavonoids that give grapefruit juice its bitter taste.

The new study shows that a group of chemicals called furanocoumarins are the likely culprit.

"This is the best evidence to date that furanocoumarins are the active ingredients in grapefruit juice that cause the interaction with medications," said Dr. Paul Watkins, the Dr. Verne S. Caviness distinguished professor of medicine and director of UNC's General Clinical Research Center (GCRC). Watkins led the study team.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

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Did you know?
Scientists at Yale have brought to light a mechanism that regulates the way an internal organelle, the Golgi apparatus, duplicates as cells prepare to divide, according to a report in Science Express.Graham Warren, professor of cell biology, and colleagues at Yale study Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite that causes Sleeping Sickness. Like a number of parasites, it is exceptionally streamlined and has only one of each internal organelle, making it ideal for studying processes of more complex organisms that have a number of copies in each cell. Archives of allergy news blog

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