Do helminth parasites protect against atopy and allergic disease?


Allergic diseases are rare in areas with high helminth parasite exposure and common where helminth exposure is lacking or significantly reduced, such as urban areas of developing countries and industrialized nations. Studies suggest that helminths induce a systemic immuno-modulatory network, including regulatory T cells and anti-inflammatory IL-10,which might play a key role in the protection against the allergic phenotype. Here, we review the current cross-sectional, birth cohort, and intervention study evidence for a protective effect of helminth infection on allergy. There is increasing evidence for a causal relationship between helminth infection and reduced skin prick test responsiveness to allergens. Cross-sectional studies have shown a consistent negative relationship, and these results have been confirmed in several, although not all, intervention studies. The immunological basis for this protective effect is less clear. Recent studies do not support the mast-cell IgE saturation hypothesis, but suggest that protection is associated with IL-10 production. As for allergic disease, cross-sectional studies support a negative relationship between clinical asthma and infection with some helminth species, particularly hookworm, but more studies are required to draw conclusions for eczema and rhinitis. In addition, none of the few intervention studies to date have demonstrated an increase in clinical allergy after helminth reatment, and further studies are needed. Furthermore, we are only beginning to understand the host genetic factors that are potentially involved. A genetically predetermined T-helper type 2 cell-dominated cytokine milieu reduces parasite burden and may enhance host survival in an environment where helminth parasites are prevalent. Lack of parasite exposure in such hosts might lead to hypersensitivity to seemingly minor environmental allergen stimuli. Large birth cohort studies in helminth-endemic areas that use epidemiological, genetic, and immunological tools are required to further examine how helminth parasites affect the development of atopy and allergic disease. Intervention studies with hookworm in parasite-naı¨ve allergic individuals are currently ongoing in the United Kingdom to test the above hypotheses further.



The effect of alendronate sodium on carotid artery intima-media thickness and lipid profile in women withpostmenopausal osteoporosis


Objective: Observational and experimental studies support that osteoporosis and atherosclerosis are two related phenomena. The aim of the present study was to investigate the probable effect of alendronate sodium, which is used in the treatment of osteoporosis, on carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT), the lipid profile, and apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) levels, which are known to have a role in the atherosclerotic process.

Methods: Carotid artery IMT was measured in 39 women in whom alendronate 70 mg/week was started due to osteoporosis and in 33 control participants at the start and the 6th and 12th months of the study. Triglyceride, highdensity lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, ApoA-I, and ApoB levels were also measured at the same time points, and ApoB/ApoA-I rates were calculated.

Results: Among the basal values, only the ApoA-I level was significantly lower in the alendronate group (P G 0.01). IMT measurement results (mean [SE]) of the alendronate group were 0.622 [0.015], 0.616 [0.014], and 0.597 [0.013] mm; those of the control group were 0.600 [0.010], 0.611 [0.011], and 0.620 [0.011] mm, respectively. In both groups, the difference between the start and 12-month values was significant (P G 0.05). A significant difference was not determined in the triglyceride and lipid measurement results between the groups and also within groups. ApoA and ApoB levels at the start and the 12th month of the study were as follows: 159.8 [3.6], 162.2 [3.4] (P 9 0.05) and 96.2 [4.2], 101.5 [4.5] (P 9 0.05) in the control group and 145.1 [4.0], 173.7 [4.3] (P G 0.05) and 98.7 [3.9], 84.6 [3.3] (P G 0.05) in the alendronate group, respectively. The ratios of ApoB/ApoA-I were 0.611 [0.029] is to 0.636 [0.031] (P 9 0.05) in the control group and 0.703 [0.04] is to 0.498 [0.0] (P G 0.05) in the alendronate group.

Conclusions: We concluded that alendronate sodium resulted in a significant decrease in IMT during a 1-year period compared with matched controls. Also, alendronate was associated with a positive effect on the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio.


The TOR pathway comes of age


Studies in a variety of model organisms indicate that nutrient signaling is tightly coupled to longevity. In nutrient replete conditions, organisms develop, grow, and age quickly. When nutrients become sparse as with dietary restriction, growth and development decline, stress response pathways become induced and organisms live longer. Considerable effort has been devoted to understanding the molecular events mediating lifespan extension by dietary restriction. One central focus has been on nutrient-responsive signal transduction pathways including insulin/IGF-1, AMP kinase, protein kinase A and the TOR pathway. Here we describe the increasingly prominent links between TOR signaling and aging in invertebrates. Longevity studies in mammals are not published to date. Instead, we highlight studies in mouse models, which indicate that dampening the TOR pathway leads to widespread protection from an array of age-related diseases.




O objetivo da presente revisão é apresentar os principais tópicos discutidos na literatura quanto à associação da nutrição com o ciclo menstrual, contribuindo para a implementação do atendimento nutricional de mulheres. São revisados aspectos referentes à fisiologia da menstruação, alterações metabólicas durante o ciclo menstrual e comportamentos alimentares associados a ele. Considerando-se o ciclo menstrual dividido em duas fases, a folicular e a lútea, é nesta última que são descritas mais alterações, como retenção de água, elevação de peso, aumento de demanda energética, modificações no perfil lipídico e no metabolismo de vitamina D, cálcio, magnésio e ferro, hipersensibilidade emocional, dores generalizadas e mudança do comportamento alimentar. Em relação a este último item, podem ocorrer maior ingestão energética e o desenvolvimento de compulsões alimentares, principalmente por chocolate, doces e alimentos muito salgados. É fundamental que todos os aspectos citados sejam investigados durante a consulta nutricional, a fim de serem adotadas condutas mais

Aspectos nutricionais relacionados ao ciclo menstrual