Friday, August 04, 2017

Perhaps we can say adieu to colds and the flu

Get the blueberries!
A new study shows that a particular gut microbe can prevent severe flu infections in mice, likely by breaking down naturally occurring compounds — called flavonoids — commonly found in foods such as black tea, red wine and blueberries.

So this is good news for your mice. Mice seem to get all the breaks.

The thinking, of course, is that his is also good for humans like yourself. Science Magazine suggests: Eat more plants for influenza resilience. 

The magazine also says, rather ominously for those who like pills: "Antibiotic treatment worsens influenza in mice, possibly because the concomitant loss of the microbiota interrupts the production of bioactive metabolites."

Show this to your doctor, and don't cough on people in the waiting room.

Now the bacterium doing this good stuff is Clostridium orbiscindens, which degrades flavonoids – compounds that influence color and flavor and produces a metabolite that, in turn, boosts the production of interferon, a key signalling mechanism for the immune system.

I don't know where you get clostridium orbiscindens if you don't have any. Maybe in the backyard.

Now to another story I can't really explain to you, although I'm going to fake it. 
A molecule found in our immune systems is being touted as a cure for the common cold. Antimicrobial peptides — which occur naturally in humans and animals — kill the rhinovirus, the main cause of colds, researchers have found.
Researcher Dr. Peter Barlow said: “It represents a major step towards finding a treatment.”

Nothing to sneeze at.

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