Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Tuesday is science news day in the WSJ. There were several interesting (to me) articles.

Gliadin is a component of gluten, which is a protein found in wheat and some other grains. Celiac disease is the inability to digest it. For some reason, this condition's incidence has increased almost 100 fold in the last 40 years. Anti-gliadin antibodies are found in 7% of the general  population but the incidence is 18-20% in individuals with autism or schizophrenia. Sometimes autistic children improve with an antigluten diet. Aside from gastrointestinal distress, celiac disease can cause fibromyalgia-like symptoms and depression. Who knows why we are becoming so sensitive.

C-sections: 32% of all deliveries in the US are now C-sections vs 10% in Europe. Aside from increased recovery time and pain, the mom is at increased risk for infection: 30 % for C-sections after labor has begun vs 10% for scheduled C-sections vs 3%  for vaginal births. In anticipation of this high rate of infections, moms are given antiboitics, preferably for the mom, before birth. But some physicians felt that this endangered the infant, so they waited after delivery. New studies show that the antibiotics don't harm the infant at  all.

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