A common food additive, found in frozen meat and fried foods, may hinder the immune system’s ability to fight influenza and reduce the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, a study has found. The research may help explain why seasonal influenza continues to pose a major health threat worldwide. An estimated 290,000-650,000 people globally die from flu-related respiratory problems each year.
The research conducted in mice suggests that the food additive tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) affects the T cells, a vital component of the immune system. The additive tBHQ is used to prevent spoilage, with a maximum allowed concentration of 200 parts per million in food products.
“Our studies showed that mice on a tBHQ diet had a weakened immune response to influenza (flu) infection,” said Robert Freeborn, a PhD candidate at Michigan State University in the US.
“In our mouse model, tBHQ suppressed the function of two types of T cells, helper and killer T cells. Ultimately, this led to more severe symptoms during a subsequent influenza infection,” Freeborn said in a statement.
When a person is infected with influenza virus, helper T cells direct other parts of the immune system and help coordinate an appropriate response, while killer T cells hunt down infected cells and clear them from the body. In their experiments, the researchers found mice eating a tBHQ-spiked diet were slower to activate both helper T cells and killer T cells, resulting in slower clearance of the virus.
“Right now, my leading hypothesis is that tBHQ causes these effects by upregulating some proteins which are known to suppress the immune system,” said Freeborn.
“Expression of these proteins, CTLA-4 and IL-10, was upregulated in two different models we use in the lab. However, more work is necessary to determine if upregulation of these suppressive proteins is indeed causative for the effects of tBHQ during influenza infection,” he said.
When the mice were later re-infected with a different but related strain of influenza, those on the tBHQ diet had a longer illness and lost more weight. This suggests that tBHQ impaired the “memory response” that typically primes the immune system to fight a second infection, Freeborn said.
Since the memory response is central to how vaccines work, impairment of this function could potentially reduce the efficacy of the flu vaccine. T cells are involved in the immune response to a variety of diseases, so tBHQ could also play a role in other types of infectious diseases, Freeborn added.
“It can be hard to know if you are consuming tBHQ, as it is not always listed on ingredient labels,” said Freeborn, adding that this is often the case when tBHQ is used in food preparation, such as in the oil used to fry a chip.
“The best way to limit tBHQ exposure is to be cognizant about food choices. Since tBHQ is largely used to stabilize fats, a low-fat diet and cutting down on processed snacks will help reduce tBHQ consumption,” he said.
Common Causes of Neck and Shoulder Pain
If you have a 9 to 5 job that requires you to sit in front of a computer, chances are you have been bugged by neck and shoulder pain for many times already.The discomfort you feel may range anywhere from mild to severe. Moving the affected area may trigger the pain or cause it to worsen.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are the most commonly prescribed drugs to those who are suffering from neck and shoulder pain. The problem with the intake of these medications is they yield unfavorable side effects most especially when taken for a long period of time. The application of liniment may also be done, although the topically used product may cause skin irritation in some.
It’s for these reasons why considering a few home remedies for dealing with neck and shoulder pain is a good idea. Some of them include:
• Alternating hot and cold compress – Doing this for about 20 minutes several times a day can help get rid of the pain and inflammation in the affected areas. If you have the problem, you may also take a shower using cold and water alternately to attain relief.
• Mobilizing the neck and shoulder – Immobilizing the painful area for a long time may only do more harm than good. That’s why after about 48 hours or when the pain and inflammation have subsided a bit, gently mobilizing the neck and shoulder can help in restoring function as well as flexibility and strength of the muscles in the area.
Neck and shoulder pain can be due to several different reasons. When having the problem, it’s very important to pinpoint the cause so that it may be managed appropriately. Here are the common causes:
• Poor posture. Naturally, it’s very likely for you to suffer from neck and shoulder pain if your posture is not top-notch. No matter if you are standing up, sitting down or lying, proper posture is important in order to have the problem avoided.
• Overuse of the muscles and joints of the neck and shoulders. Repeated movements of the neck and shoulder can cause pain in these areas as the muscles get fatigued and the joints are given more work than they could normally handle.
• A pinched neck or shoulder nerve. When there’s compression of the nerve in the neck or shoulder or too much pressure is applied to it, a condition called pinched nerve may occur. The pain felt also usually runs down on one side of your arm.
• Frozen neck or shoulder. A frozen neck or shoulder usually stems from the lack of movement due to pain and inflammation brought about by an injury. As more and more movement is introduced, the problem gradually goes away.
• Swelling of a tendon in the neck or shoulder area. Medically known as tendonitis, the swelling of a tendon (a band that attaches a muscle to a bone) can cause pain in the neck and shoulder, also causing the said areas to be frozen.
• Inflammation of the bursa. This condition which is also referred to as bursitis is brought about by overuse, trauma, gout, arthritis and infection, thus causing the bursa (sac surrounding the shoulder joint) to get inflamed.
• Whiplash and osteoarthritis. Both whiplash (injury to the neck due to forceful and rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck joint) and osteoarthritis (degeneration of the cartilage of a joint) may also result in neck and shoulder pain.
• Inflammation of the lymph nodes found in the neck. There are instances when pain in the neck and shoulders is brought about by an infection, causing the lymph nodes in the neck to get inflamed and tender.
How to Remove Uric Acid Crystallization in Joints (Gout and Joint pain)
Gout and pain in the joints are known conditions that affect a lot people. Some go for supplements and over-the-counter medicine for relief.
What many do not know is that many healthy remedies are available to help in dealing with these conditions. Besides being convenient and effective, natural ways also offer added health benefits to the body.
What you will read next is a great and healthy way to remove uric acid crystallization in joints.
Cucumber is one produce you would always want to the grocery for. Making a juice out of it is great at bringing down the temperature of the body. Besides its being a an effective alkalizing agent, it also works well In the removal of the uric acid that has been crystalized in the joints which usually happens in the case of gout.
When drinking this juice, a slight pain might be felt. This is good because this is a sign that healing is taking place. This happens when the old toxins that will be removed are being stirred.
You might want to add want to add ginger and celery. They work well in the reduction of inflammation when the body undergoes a cleansing process.
To prepare this mix you will need the following:
• 2 ribs of celery
• 1 average sized cucumber
• A slice of lemon
• 1 inch young ginger root
Make sure that you have prepared all the necessary ingredients. Clean them well. You may use some vegetable wash or wash them thoroughly.
First, make small cucumber pieces. Slice them in such a way that they will fit into your juicer. Know your juicer’s capacity. Then check the rib of the celery. Make sure that you got rid of the dirt that has accumulated on it. After that, take the lemon and cut it into half. This is all you need. Put the other half in the fridge. Lastly, get the ginger root and carve it out.
Enjoy the drink and deal with the crystalized uric acid. Drink as often as needed.
Endogamy may up infertility risk in Indian men
A team of researchers have identified that deletions of the Y chromosomes, responsible for the production of sperms, can cause infertility in Indian men.
The study, published in the journal, ‘Scientific Reports’, illustrates how the ethnicity, endogamy and long-time geographical isolation of Indian populations might have played a major role in the high frequencies of deletion events.
According to the researchers, including K Thangaraj from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, deletions in the A Zoospermia Factor (AZF) regions on the human Y chromosome are reported as one of the most common causes of severe testiculopathy and spermatogenic defects leading to male infertility.
For the study, the researchers screened blood samples of 973 infertile men, consisting of 771 azoospermia (complete absence of sperm), 105 oligozoospermia (low sperm count) and 97 oligoteratozoospermia (low sperm count with abnormal shape and size) patients.
The deletion screening was carried out using AZF-specific markers.
The experiments were carried in accordance with the relevant guidelines and regulations approved for research on human samples.
The study revealed deletion events in a total of 29.4 per cent of infertile Indian men. Of these, non-allelic homologous recombination events accounted for 25.8 per cent.
Indian populations are unique in their origin and have been practicing endogamy for the last two thousand years, and therefore it is important to add a study of the frequencies of AZF deletions on the Y chromosome and their association with fertility in Indian idiopathic infertile men to similar studies from other parts of the world, the researchers said.