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Insulin can boost your immune system, here’s how

Insulin, a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets, boosts immune health, according to a new study. Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI) scientists have identified a specific insulin signalling pathway that, when activated, revs up the response of T cells in the immune system to divide rapidly and secrete cytokines, chemical messenger proteins that activate the rest of the immune system. A fast and effective immune response protects us against disease and life-threatening infections by destroying infected cells or microbes, while a wrong or inefficient one can…

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Mums, take it easy. Maternal depression may affect child’s immune system

Turns out, depression in mothers may have long-term effects on their children’s stress and physical well-being. In a new study, researchers followed 125 children from birth to 10 years. At 10 years, mother’s and children’s cortisol (CT) and secretory immunoglobulin (s-IgA)–markers of stress and the immune system–were measured, mother-child interaction was observed, mothers and children underwent psychiatric diagnoses, and children’s externalizing and internalizing symptoms were reported. Depressed mothers had higher CT and s-IgA levels and displayed more negative parenting, characterised by negative effect, intrusion, and criticism. Children of depressed mothers…

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New system for monitoring foreign investment limits in listed firms

RBI to disallow investment if there is non-compliance. The Reserve Bank, in consultation with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has decided to put in place a new system for monitoring foreign investment limits. Necessary infrastructure and systems to kick-start the monitoring mechanism, according to RBI, will be made available by the depositories. All listed Indian companies are required to provide the specified data/information on foreign investment to the depositories. The requisite information should be furnished on or before May 15, the RBI said. The listed Indian companies in…

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Moms-to-be, take care of your health. Your immune system may influence baby’s brain

The state of a woman’s immune system during pregnancy may shape the connectivity of her child’s brain, suggests a study, emphasising the influence of maternal health on a child’s susceptibility to psychiatric disorders later in life. The findings showed that short and long-term brain functioning can be influenced by immune system activity during the third trimester of gestation. Infections, stress, illness, or allergies are commonly known to trigger immune responses. When the body’s immune system detects one of these factors, two proteins namely IL-6 and CRP are released as part…

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No Time to Sleep? You Could Be Hampering Your Immune System

Why do we need to rest? There’s always so much to do and we have such little time. We have deadlines to meet and goals to achieve that we often convince ourselves that four to five hours of sleep time is more than enough. Now just ask yourself one question – do you want to be at the best of your health and live long? Living a healthy and balanced life takes dedication and effort, and you shouldn’t take it for granted. What we often fail to understand is that…

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Doctors arm immune system to fight cervical cancer cells

Doctors were bewildered when they went through the case sheet of a woman who was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer nearly 10 years ago. More than a year after a full dose of radiotherapy, cancerhad spread to the lung. By then the disease should have claimed her life. Yet, she continues to visit them for periodic checks. Tests show she is free of the ailment. When diagnosed with cancer, her oncologist at the Cancer Institute (WIA) here had included her name for an experimental treatment – immunotherapy. Rather than directly…

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