Frank wrote: The study suggests that one reason for the apparent increase in autoimmune disorders in recent years could be the decline of infectious diseases in certain countries. Because parasites often cause long-lasting infections, the researchers hypothesised that such infections could make persistent demands on the body and thereby reduce the likelihood that the immune system will attack healthy tissue.
Nitric oxide (or nitrogen monoxide), a labile and highly reactive gas, was until relatively recently considered primarily a member of a family of undesirable environmental pollutants and potential carcinogens. Interest in the physiological function of this molecule was potentiated by its identiﬁcation as the endothelium-derived relaxing factor mediating vascular smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation (139) and as a neu-ronal messenger molecule (47). Since then, it has been further identiﬁed as a major regulatory molecule of the immune system and a principal cytotoxic mediator of activated immune effector cells. In light of the signiﬁcant role it plays as a messenger molecule and regulator of cellular functions, nitric oxide was named ‘‘molecule of the year’’ in 1992 (32).
Formation of NO has now been demonstrated by a variety of cells and tissues, including vascular endothelial cells, neurons, platelets, neutrophils, adrenal cells, respiratory epithelial cells, ﬁbroblasts, muscle cells, and hepatocytes, as well as activated macrophages and macrophage-like cells (12, 130). As a cytotoxic/cytostatic effector molecule, NO has been shown to inhibit the growth and function of a diverse array of infectious disease agents, including various bacteria and fungi, as well as protozoan and helminthic parasites (200). The full range of its inﬂuence on parasitic infections, however, probably extends beyond its direct role in protective immunity to encompass its other physiologic effects as well. Thus, a better understanding of the function of NO and its derivatives in the protective mechanisms of the host and the parasitic mechanisms of the pathogen may reveal much about the delicate balance of the host-parasite relationship.
jimmylegs wrote:hey there, recently saw an article musing on the disparity in MS between the finnish and the sami of northern finland. also have recently been reading about the poor soil/groundwater selenium status, in addition to low national vitamin D, in finland. the finnish govt has been working to address both issues.
Results. The mortality from CHD was 17% lower in the Sami area than in the reference area [95% confidence interval (CI) for the difference: 4-29]. Subjects living in the low-mortality area showed higher serum-lipid-adjusted alpha-tocopherol
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