We like to stay on top of the latest news in functional medicine and nutrition. If you do too, you’ll find our monthly, easy-to-digest compilation of research and news articles right here. Check back regularly to find updates, or follow us through our newsletters and social media to ensure you don’t miss any.
Allergic Sensitization Can Occur Through The Skin
A damaged skin barrier, such as by eczema, can play a role in the initiation of new allergies. Our immune system normally encounters foreign molecules after they have been broken down in the digestive tract. Specialized immune cells in the gut and lungs also help to ensure only appropriate molecules enter our circulation. When eczema is present, however, allergenic molecules enter our bodies directly, potentially creating an inappropriate immune response that manifests as food sensitivity or allergy, or environmental allergy.
Mom’s Fluoride Exposure Associates with Lower IQ in Kids
It’s a contentious topic – so much so that JAMA had to give these data extra scrutiny before publication: Fluoride exposure and IQ scores. New data show that increased fluoride exposure in mothers is associated with lower IQ scores in their male children. No association was found in their daughters in this study. The authors also raise the possibility that IQ may not be the only negatively-associated health outcome. As a precaution, we recommend avoiding fluoride ingestion and reserving fluoride use for specific dental needs, used topically on teeth only and rinsed out afterwards.
Vitamin K From Foods Improves Warfarin Effectiveness
More on warfarin and vitamin K: Those taking vitamin-K antagonist anticoagulants such as warfarin are often (mis)advised to limit their intake of green vegetables for their vitamin K content. Careful, consistent intake is important – to which the medication dose can be tailored. Now, research published in JAMA shows that consuming more green veggies and other vitamin K-rich foods (equivalent of 150mcg vitamin K daily) may even stabilize anticoagulation for patients taking warfarin – ie. Improve the effectiveness of the medication.
Osteocalcin as a Mediator of the Stress Response
A surprising mediator of the stress response comes from bone. New research published in Cell Metabolism shows that osteocalcin, a hormone produced by bone tissue, induces the stress (fight-or-flight) response in mice. Osteocalcin receptors appear on many neurons on the nervous system, including the basolateral amygdala in the brain. These findings may lead to new thinking about how people’s osteocalcin levels, and not simply the more well-known mediators adrenaline and noradrenaline, may relate to their stress response.