Entries for month: June 2012

Food, Dirt and the Immune Sustem

In an op-ed in the New York Times (6/21, Subscription Publication), Jeff D. Leach, founder of the Human Food Project, writes, "The greatest social contribution of the farmers' market may be its role as a delivery vehicle for putting dirt back into the American diet." Leach cites "increasing evidence...that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us" and "kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies." He calls for "reintroducing some of the organisms from the mud and water of our natural world" to prevent "an overreaction of an otherwise healthy immune response that results in such chronic diseases as type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and a host of allergic disorders."

Black Pepper and Fat Cells

A number of previous studies have suggested that black pepper may help to fight fat. Korean researchers have elucidated the biological mechanism by which piperine — the pungent-tasting compound that gives black pepper its characteristic taste – blocks the formation of new fat cells.


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