Health & Medicine

Infants exposed to antibiotics may be at higher risk for food allergies

A study from the University of South Carolina found that children who receive a dose of antibiotics in their first year of life are at greater risk for developing food allergies later in life than infants who do not receive antibiotics.

The researchers looked at about 1,500 cases of children with food allergies and about 6,000 cases of children without food allergies and found that children prescribed antibiotics within the first year of life were 21 percent more likely to be diagnosed with a food allergy than children who hadn’t received an antibiotic prescription, according to a news release about the study. The work was published recently in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology.

The study’s results suggest a potential link between the rise in antibiotic prescriptions for young children and increasing diagnoses of food allergies in children, the researchers said in the release.

Black women lack support after cancer treatment

Studies have shown that 21 percent of African American women with breast cancer don’t survive five years past their diagnosis, compared to only 8 percent of Caucasian women. New research from Thomas Jefferson University took an in-depth look at that disparity and found that the amount of support that black women get during their recovery may have an impact on their survival rates.

The authors of the study, published this week in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer, interviewed 60 African American breast cancer survivors and found a few common themes. Many women felt that their doctors didn’t adequately prepare them to deal with survivor challenges after treatment completion, according to a news release about the study. The women also talked about issues such as feeling fatigued or losing their sense of femininity.

“Combating cancer disparities in the African American community will take a multifaceted approach,” said co-author Patricia K. Bradley in the release. “This research is the first step toward bridging the gap in care after initial cancer treatment is completed.”

CrossFit-style workouts could harm immune system

The popular, high-intensity workout CrossFit could be hurting people’s immune function, found a study by the Catholic University of Brasilia published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology.

Researchers analyzed people who had at least six months of experience with the workout, which features kettle bells, tire flipping and ring pullups. The subjects underwent two high-intensity days of CrossFit training while the scientists tracked their muscle power, levels of inflammatory cytokines and levels of metabolic markers before, during and after the workouts, according to a news release on the study.

They found the workouts were actually suppressing normal immune function by reducing the levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins produced by white blood cells that dampen inflammation, according to the release. The study didn’t directly address why CrossFit would be more likely than any other exercise to reduce immune function, but researchers noted that the level of intensity and duration of exercise without breaks could be a factor.

The researchers recommend that people who are ill or recovering from illness not participate in CrossFit-style workouts. They also recommend that healthy people who participate in CrossFit decrease their training intensity after two consecutive days.

Sammy Caiola: 916-321-1636, @SammyCaiola