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Dust from homes with dogs may prevent asthma, allergies
Date: 2013-12-17 00:00:00

Following a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, there are new findings that suggest dust from homes with dogs may be beneficial in protection from the effects of asthma and allergies. Studying the immune responses of mice in lab tests, the research team found that dog-associated dust played a significant role in reducing allergy inflammation.

The team was made up of scientists from the University of Michigan, Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and the University of California, San Francisco. Their collaborative effort was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

In the lab test, the researchers took dust from the home of a dog owner and exposed half of their mice to it, leaving the other half unprotected when they doused them in asthma-related irritants such as cockroach allergen. The group of mice introduced to dog dust showed lower airway inflammation and less mucus production than the mice that received no dust at all. What they discovered was that microbes in the dog dust were actually restructuring the organisms living in the mice's guts. This affected the mice's immune response and their ability to combat certain allergens.

They found that the bacteria Lactobacillus johnsonii was responsible for the increased resistance to the allergens, as they fed a live form of it to the unexposed mice and saw their immune systems responded similarly to those of the dust-exposed mice.

These results have the potential to create new strategies for treating and preventing allergy infections and asthma.

Asthma and allergies in America... Full Story

Link found between blood cancer in women and airborne allergens
Date: 2013-12-17 00:00:00

A research team looking into the interaction between cancer and the immune system has discovered a link between blood cancer risk in women and a history of airborne allergies. The lack of an association with men suggested that a possible gender-specific function in chronic stimulation of the immune system might lead to the development of blood-related cancers.

Published in the American Journal of Hematology, the study showed the immune system's probable role in causing cancer and is a central point of scientific interest. Materials for the study were gathered from previous lab tests on voluntary participants.

To get their results, Mazyar Shadman, Ph.D., and his team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center drew on a large sample of men and women who were part of the VITamins and Lifestyle study, which examined the association between cancer risk and supplement use. The participants, aged 50 to 76 years old, answered a questionnaire that centered on three major factors: diet, health history and cancer risk factors, and medication and supplement use. They also provided personal information such as age, race/ethnicity, diet, medical history and family history of lymphoma.

Finding the link... Full Story

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