With mold contamination of homes an ongoing concern – and a special threat to the 2.5 million foreclosed houses in the U.S., shuttered with little ventilation – scientists are reporting a new method to detect and identify low levels of airborne mold. The report, which describes a simple, fast method that could provide an early indication of potential contamination, appears in ACS’ Continue reading
Gas pump handles are swarming with loads of bacteria and viruses. They have been identified as the dirtiest surface Americans encounter on the way to work, according to a recently released study by Kimberley-Clark Professional, a unit of personal hygiene giant Kimberley-Clark Corp. Continue reading
Illnesses caused by mold exposure are a growing problem that few people are aware of, including most primary care physicians, and can develop into serious chronic illness and a syndrome called Mixed Mold Toxicosis. Continue reading
Ever wonder what’s really found in Chicken McNuggets? Some of the ingredients, it turns out, seem to belong more to an industrial factory of some kind, not a food retailer. According to the McDonald’s Corporation, its famous Chicken McNuggets are made with ingredients including autolyzed yeast extract (which contain free glutamate, similar to MSG), sodium phosphates and sodium aluminum phosphate. But that’s not the freaky part. According to McDonald’s own website, Chicken McNuggets are also made with “hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness” and “Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.” (http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutr…)
At least two of these ingredients are artificially synthesized industrial chemicals. TBHQ, a petroleum derivative, is used as a stabilizer in perfumes, resins, varnishes Continue reading
For allergy sufferers, April fool’s Day means something better than a good laugh. It means the start of the daily Gottlieb Allergy Count, a helpful predictor of how they should manage their symptoms.
On Friday, April 1, at 5 a.m., Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, will climb the stairs to the rooftop of the Gottlieb Professional Building in Melrose Park where he maintains a special pollen-catching machine. As he has for the past decade, Dr. Leija will carry samples down to his office, which he will examine under a microscope and formulate the official allergy count for the Midwest. He will do this every business day for the next six months through October, the end of the pollen-reporting season.
“It has been a very wet winter so there will be many Continue reading
U.S. researchers say vitamin D may help treat and prevent allergic reaction to mold in cystic fibrosis patients.
Researchers led by Dr. Jay Kolls of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans suggest vitamin D might be used to treat and even prevent allergy to the common airborne mold — Aspergillus fumigatus.
A. fumigatus, tolerated by most people, can cause severe complications for patients with cystic fibrosis and asthma. As many as 15 percent of patients with cystic fibrosis will develop a severe allergic response — known as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, finds aspergillosis patients had a heightened response by immune cells — type 2 T helper cells — that was linked to the presence of the protein OX40L.
This response was correlated with lower levels of vitamin D. Patients who did not suffer from aspergillosis had higher levels of vitamin D.
“We found that adding vitamin D substantially reduced the production of the protein driving the allergic response and also increased production of the protein that promotes tolerance,” Kolls says in a statement. “Based on our results, we have strong rationale for a clinical trial of vitamin D to determine whether it can prevent or treat allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis in patients with cystic fibrosis.”