Revisiting the Hygiene Hypothesis: Spotlight on Parasitic Hookworm Infections and Autoimmune and Allergic Disease

The hygiene hypothesis proposes that the rising incidence of autoimmune and allergic disease may be associated with improved sanitation, less incidence of childhood infections as well as chronic parasitic infections in the developed world.

Since Strachan first proposed the theory in 1989, the hygiene hypothesis may lead to novel therapies for autoimmune and allergic disease treatment and prevention, however; ongoing debate still exists as to whether infections help prevent or induce autoimmune disease (1).

Most viruses, bacteria and parasites can trigger autoimmunity through a variety of mechanisms juxtaposed on genetic, hormonal and environmental circumstances (2; 3; 4).

But could they possibly prevent autoimmune and allergic disease?

Necator americanus (hookworm) and other helminth infections such […]

The Importance of Supplementing Vitamins and Minerals While on Oral Contraceptives

While many women take oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, there are many other reasons women choose to take oral contraceptives. Treating hormonal imbalances, ovarian cysts, and irregular periods as well as preventing pregnancy are all scenarios where the benefit of taking oral contraceptives may outweigh the risks.

Considering many women begin taking oral contraceptives in early adolescence and continue their usage for many years, it is important to look at the possible nutritional effects of oral contraceptives on a woman’s body especially when it comes to the depletion of vital nutrients.

The World Health Organization (WHO) points out the influence of nutrient depletion caused by being on oral contraceptives is a great cause for concern and should be of high clinical relevance.  Oral contraceptives may affect levels of folic acid, vitamins B1B2, B6, […]

Milk, Does a Body Good…or Does It?

 

milk calcium
Does the calcium in milk really prevent fractures?

Studies are suggesting that the effects of milk on the body are perhaps not worth the calcium benefits it provides.

A recent 20-year Swedish study published in the British Medical Journal looked at the milk intake of two large cohorts involving 61,433 women and 45,339 men.

The results showed that high milk intake was associated with:

  • higher mortality in both men and women
  • higher fracture incidence in women.

Milk contains 18 of 22 essential nutrients, including calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D all of which are important for bone strength. The body is able to absorb these nutrients via the intestines through enzymes that digest lactose into D-galactose and D-glucose.

The […]