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jerryking : bacteria   23

How to Get the Best From Your Immune System - Smarter Living Guides
2019 | The New York Times | By Matt Richtel.

**“An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System.”"

The immune system is much less about exercising power than it is about finding balance. You can help train and maintain it. Here’s how:
(A) What Is the Immune System?
Our great defense system helps ward off the most dangerous of invaders......It is a common misconception that the immune system goes to war with every foreign organism. That would lead to scorched earth, nuclear winter. Instead, the job of the immune system is to take stock, monitor, assess and judge potential threats...if an invader is deemed a threat, the immune system has a narrow job: destroy the threat while doing as little collateral damage as possible. This response from the immune system is called “inflammation.” .....inflammation can feel like a stuffy nose, sore throat, tummy ache, fever, fatigue or headache. Yes, the symptoms of an immune response feel lousy, but you must suffer a little to keep the rest of your body healthy over the long term. And for your health and daily well-being, the key is to keep your immune system from underperforming or getting out of hand.
(B) IT’S ABOUT BALANCE
The immune system, often seen as a ruthless defender, seeks a steady state, not a police state.....a fiercely delicate combination of a bouncer and a ballet dancer. In fact, many molecules in this complex system are designed to send a signal that it should withdraw, pause an attack and stand down. Without these molecules, the state of inflammation that helps destroy threats would lay your body to waste..... Instead of boosting your immune system, you should be supporting it. And you should try to never undermine its delicate structures.
(C) The Immune System and the Beast
Let's take a moment to understand how (and why) our immune system acts in the face of a threat.....Our immune system took shape roughly 480 million years ago. All jawed vertebrates going back to the shark share its key properties. One property is priority setting.....an acute threat, e.g. a lion attack, the body’s network focuses wholly on that threat....the body goes into an emergency state known colloquially as “fight or flight.” During these periods, the body fires off powerful chemicals, including:

Epinephrine, which creates a kind of high for the body to subvert fatigue.
Norepinephrine, which also helps to subvert fatigue.
Cortisol, which helps the body maintain essential functions, like blood flow.

When these hormones are at work, we can feel generally O.K.,but .... the release of these fight-or-flight hormones dampens our immune response. ...it causes the immune system to withdraw.
(D) WHY THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WITHDRAWS
During times of real, acute stress — like threat of being eaten by a lion — our bodies can ill afford to waste resources dealing with illness. Viruses and bacteria, while dangerous, pale in comparison to the gigantic beast with razor-sharp teeth chasing us across the savannah. In that moment, our body needs all our energy, non-essential functions be damned. Step one: survive lion. Step two: deal with head cold.
(E) Sleep Is a Magic Bullet
Both you and your immune system need rest. ...If you don’t sleep, you will die — sooner. Studies show that lack of sleep leads to premature death through diseases like cancer and heart disease, and the reasons have everything to do with the immune system,
(F) SLEEP KEEPS YOUR SYSTEM IN BALANCE
This might sound contradictory. How can sleep can weaken the immune system, but also lead to inflammation?

Your immune system does not work as a binary system. It is not either on or off. It is made up of many molecules that send different signals, some urging inflammation and others restraining it. Your goal is to create an environment that doesn’t require your immune system to lose its natural balance.

Sleeplessness tips your immune system out of balance, hinders homeostasis, and turns the once elegant system into reckless pinballs of powerful molecules bouncing off your body’s bumper rails, and sometimes through them.

More concretely, it is a hard pill to swallow knowing there is no pill to swallow. The most important steps to support your immune system require discipline and habit.
(G) Exercise, Food and Meditation
Ward off illness with these three staples of a healthy body. ...the best things you can do for yourself when you’re sick are rest, eat well, don’t turn little things into lions, and remember that your immune system, if given your support, will likely do a darn good job of keeping you at harmony with the world.
allergies  bacteria  books  defensive_tactics  exercise  food  habits  homeostasis  howto  immune_system  inflammation  meditation  mens'_health  mindfulness  priorities  self-discipline  sleep  sleeplessness  steady-state  threats  viruses 
june 2019 by jerryking
Gut feelings: How microbes may affect your mental health
MAY 24, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | PAUL TAYLOR.

......A growing body of research suggests that what’s happening in the gut may also have an impact on the brain.....In a study published in February, for instance, Belgian scientists reported that two types of gut bacteria tend to be depleted in people with depression. The significance of this study is still open to debate. Although the scientists found “an association” between the absence of certain gut microbes and depression, they didn’t actually prove one thing causes the other......adds support to earlier studies that demonstrated mood and behaviour could be altered by manipulating the gut’s microbial contents..[JCK: from David Brooks, "You have neurons spread through your innards, and there’s increasing attention on the vagus nerve, which emerges from the brain stem and wanders across the heart, lungs, kidney and gut. The vagus nerve is one of the pathways through which the body and brain talk to each other in an unconscious conversation. ].....It was once thought that depression resulted from a “chemical imbalance” in the brain. Based on this theory, patients should feel better by simply taking medications that restore the brain’s correct chemical balance.

But now researchers believe that there may be many different causes of depression, which is characterized by both structural and activity changes in the brain. Some evidence also suggests inflammation may play a role. “There are probably multiple types of depression that all masquerade as a single entity,” Sinyor explains. “And that’s the reason why we have many treatments that work, but certain treatments work for some people while other treatments work for others.”

Both Collins and Sinyor think it’s possible that research may eventually lead to new bacterial-based treatments for depression and other mental-health disorders.
bacteria  clinical_depression  digestive_systems  gastrointestinal  guts  human_anatomy  human_behavior  human_brains  mens'_health  mental_health  microbes  microbiome 
may 2019 by jerryking
A Lady’s Many Scents - The New York Times
By Jen Gunter
Feb. 7, 2019

Pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, douching: Is your body’s natural odor a “fixable” problem?
bacteria  gynecology  hygiene  intimacy  personal_grooming  personal_care_products  sexuality  smell  women 
february 2019 by jerryking
Gut Feeling: To Stay Healthy, Keep Your Body’s Microbes in Line - WSJ
By Jo Craven McGinty
Aug. 17, 2018

the human body hosts a variety of microbes.....they helps digest our food, regulate our immune system and feed the cells that line the gut. But if its mix of microbes gets out of whack, the same organisms that ensure our health can make us sick.....“Not only irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, but cardiovascular disease, even Parkinson’s, autism and multiple sclerosis,”.... illnesses—as well as obesity—have been transferred to mice by implanting (i.e. fecal transplants) the rodents with samples of the microbiomes of humans who suffer from the disorders.....The first step in understanding the microbiome is to document the assembly of microbes, and each person’s appears to be unique......Not all of the organisms in the human microbiome have been identified, but one of the better known is E. coli, a sometimes deadly bacteria that provided early evidence that microbes could be beneficial in treating human disease.

In World War I, a special kind of E. coli was found in a German soldier who, unlike his comrades, didn’t develop infectious diarrhea while stationed in an area of Europe where the disease was endemic.

E. coli Nissle, named for the professor who isolated the strain in 1917, became the active ingredient in a drug used to treat diarrhea, ulcerative colitis and other gastrointestinal disorders.
autism  bacteria  digestive_systems  E._coli  germs  gut_feelings  guts  microbes  microbiome  pathogens  mens'_health  gastrointestinal  human_anatomy 
august 2018 by jerryking
Bacteria to the rescue: Indiscriminately killing germs eliminates the ones that are helping us - The Globe and Mail
WENCY LEUNG
The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016

Toronto microbiologist Jason Tetro in his new book, The Germ Files: The Surprising Ways Microbes Can Improve Your Health and Life (And How to Protect Yourself from the Bad Ones).

As Tetro explains, antibiotics and antimicrobial products kill germs indiscriminately, destroying the ones that keep us healthy along with those that cause harm. Rather than wipe out entire populations of bacteria, yeasts and fungi, scientists are now searching for ways to bring them into better balance, allowing them to live among us, and within us, harmoniously.
germs  bacteria  mens'_health  digestive_systems  colons  books  TPL  antimicrobial_resistance  immune_system  antibiotics  self-protection 
february 2016 by jerryking
We will pay for antibiotic abuse - The Globe and Mail
ANDRÉ PICARD
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 14 2014

We’re racing back to the preantibiotic age because microbes, from Mycobacterium tuberculosis through to Staphylococcus aureus, are developing resistance to the drugs we have and there is nothing much new in the pipeline.

It’s difficult to overstate how grave the problem is, in medical, social or political terms. To give you a sense: Britain has declared antimicrobial resistance to be a threat to the country’s security and economy on par with terrorism and climate change.

constant exposure to antibiotics also fuels resistance, and as a result, we’re seeing the emergence of all manner of superbugs – bacteria that don’t respond to available antibiotics.
pharmaceutical_industry  André_Picard  antibiotics  bacteria  antimicrobial_resistance 
october 2014 by jerryking
Stone Age cave dwellers had healthier mouths than we do - The Globe and Mail
PAUL TAYLOR

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Feb. 21 2013

Think of your mouth as being in a constant state of disease..."There is a very low diversity of bacterial species and a high prevalence of disease-causing pathogens."...In fact, our teeth and gums are generally in worse shape than our cave-dwelling ancestors....What's to blame? Our shift to a carbohydrate-rich diet – especially the increased consumption of processed sugar – fostered the growth of certain bacteria that cause gum disease and dental decay, "Hunter-gatherers in general had really good teeth. You see quite a bit of wear because of the highly abrasive nature of their diet, but you see almost no signs of pathology," said Cooper.

"That all changes with farming and the increased consumption of domesticated cereals," added Cooper.

The DNA analysis revealed that as agriculture took hold, there was a marked decrease in bacterial diversity and certain disease-causing microbes became more prevalent, including Porphyromonas gingivalis which contributes to gum disease.The composition of oral bacteria underwent another dramatic shift with the industrial revolution and the introduction of processed sugar and flour. There was a further decrease in diversity, and a rise in bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans, which causes dental caries commonly known as cavities......Diet has influenced the bacteria that inhabit the human body "and we can see that in the oral cavity," said Cooper. "One can pretty safely deduce that same thing has happened in the gastrointestinal system, which is arguably even more important in terms of the role of bacteria in human health."

Indeed, a growing body of medical research suggests that the loss of beneficial bacteria is associated with a range of modern systemic diseases, from diabetes and heart disease, to obesity and autism. And perhaps most important of all, a diverse gut bacteria is necessary to train the immune systems of young children.
evolution  bacteria  diets  dental  guts  disease  pathogens  digestive_systems  microbes  microbiome  gums  gastrointestinal  hunter-gatherers  immune_system  human_evolution 
february 2013 by jerryking
TV remotes among dirtiest items in hotels: study
June 19, 2012 | Reuters.

A study on contamination levels in hotel rooms led by the University of Houston, presented on Sunday at the American Society of Microbiology, reported that two of the most contaminated items were TV remote controls and bedside lamp switches.

Just as badly contaminated were surfaces more likely to be dirty, such as bathroom toilet seats and sinks, the study said...The researchers sampled 18 surfaces in each hotel room, testing the total levels of bacteria and fecal bacteria on each one. Fecal bacteria was found on 81 per cent of all surfaces.
hotels  travel  mens'_health  bacteria  bathrooms  sanitation  packing 
june 2012 by jerryking
Gut Infections Are Growing Much More Lethal - NYTimes.com
By DENISE GRADY
Published: March 19, 2012

Gastrointestinal infections are killing more and more people in the United States and have become a particular threat to the elderly, according to new data released last week. Deaths from the infections more than doubled from 1999 to 2007, to more than 17,000 a year from 7,000 a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Of those who died, 83 percent were over age 65.

Two thirds of the deaths were caused by a bacterium, Clostridium difficile, which people often contract in hospitals and nursing homes, particularly when they have been taking antibiotics. The bacteria have grown increasingly virulent and resistant to treatment in recent years.

But researchers were surprised to discover that the second leading cause of death from this type of illness was the norovirus. It causes a highly contagious infection, sometimes called winter vomiting illness, that can spread rapidly on cruise ships and in prisons, dormitories and hospitals.
bacteria  mens'_health  digestive_systems  colons  colorectal  viruses  virulence  guts  lethality  microbes  microbiome  infections  Clostridium_difficile  gastrointestinal 
march 2012 by jerryking
Bioterrorism and Handling Product Recall
Excerpt taken from Inescapable data: harnessing the power of convergence
By Chris Stakutis, John Webster.

The better the tracking of goods, the more efficient (and more narrow) a product recall can be. Real-time data collection and integrated computer systems are at the heart of compliant manufacturers. The cost of noncompliance or archaic tracking systems can be exceedingly high. ConAgra in 2002 had to recall more than 18.6 million pounds of beef suspected of E. coli contamination rather than 354,000 pounds because they could not produce sufficient evidence of tracking detail. ConAgra subsequently exited the beef industry.
product_recalls  bioterrorism  massive_data_sets  excerpts  bacteria  traceability  tracking  manufacturers  ConAgra  E._coli  beef 
march 2012 by jerryking
Bacteria 1, F.D.A.: 0 - NYTimes.com
December 27, 2011, 9:00 pm
Bacteria 1, F.D.A.: 0
By MARK BITTMAN
product_recalls  FDA  bacteria  antibiotics  Mark_Bittman 
december 2011 by jerryking
Sherbourne Common: Clean, green, brainy and blue - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 29, 2011 |G&M|LISA ROCHON. With Sherbourne Common, the
mandate was to heal a neglected part of the waterfront by providing a
neighbourhood-wide water-treatment facility immediately below the park’s
surface...Invisible to the eye, located below the public washrooms, are
the brains of the sewage-treatment facility: a series of disinfecting
machines that use UV light – not the chlorine of yesteryear – to clean
water from the lake and the run-off of surrounding roads, highways &
bldgs. In North America, where dirty water tainted with E. coli
bacteria can be found flowing like nasty rivers into our lakes, this
cleaning process is a rare phenomenon....Without $27-M in funding from
the federal govt., Sherbourne Common would have never happened – and
Toronto would be without a new public asset on previously underused
lands...Sherbourne Common will earn dividends in enhanced tourism for
Toronto, invigorate neighbourhood economies, and rebrand the city as a
place with an intelligent future.
parks  Toronto  green  sewage  wastewater-treatment  bacteria  E._coli 
august 2011 by jerryking

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