Hyperactive Immune Response, Low Levels of Regulatory Cytokines…and Developmental Disorders

In the last couple of months, I’ve written several times about maternal immune activation (MIA) and the detrimental effects on the fetus. Read here, for example, about the relationship of maternal infection to autism. Summarizing that research:  infecting pregnant mice with a virus (i.e. stimulating their inflammatory response) led to autistic-like behaviors in the pups.  … Read more

TNF-Inhibitors: WTF

Back on April 6 of this year, I wrote a post  about an FDA report on medications used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases.  As a reminder: “‘Drugs used to treat Crohn’s disease and other autoimmune disorders are among those with the greatest number of reported side effects filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration…’ … Read more

Salivary Bacteria and Inflammation

A really interesting new study looked at the bacterial contents of saliva and its relationship to the development of inflammatory bowel diseases.[i]  Salivary samples from healthy and IBD-afflicted individuals were given to germ-free mice.  After several weeks, the microbial content of the mice’ feces was examined, and amazingly, 20 different kinds of oral bacteria were … Read more

Helminths: More on Our Missing Old Friends

I just finished reading an interesting new article from the journal, Trends in Parasitology, “Can Parasitic Worms Cure the Modern World’s Ills?”[i]  A few highlights: The first subsection is entitled, “Worms Really May be Good for You, After All.”  (Um…yup.)   “…exposure to such persistent, tolerated infections…appears to be required early in life for induction of … Read more

Inflammaging: Yet Another Good Reason to Work on Biome Health

Inflammaging = age related chronic inflammation.  It’s become a really hot word – and it sums up a lot of new findings lately. This week, the big excitement is study just published in Frontiers in Immunology.[i]  Researchers in the Netherlands transplanted gut bacteria from young and old mice into young, germ-free mice, and measured immune … Read more