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Immune System

BUSINESS
September 9, 2009 | W.J. Hennigan
Pharmacy chain CVS Caremark Corp. will repay about $2.8 million to consumers who bought a dietary supplement that was falsely marketed as a product that could prevent illness, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday. CVS touted its AirShield tablets and powders as a way to fight off the flu and boost the immune system, but there is no evidence that the products could do either, the commission said. As part of the $2.78-million settlement, CVS agreed to no longer make those claims, and it has changed the products' packaging.
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HEALTH
August 17, 2009 | Shara Yurkiewicz
If you want to live longer -- avoid heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer -- then pick and choose your foods with care to quiet down parts of your immune system. That's the principle promoted by the founders and followers of anti-inflammatory diets, designed to reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Dozens of books filled with diets and recipes have flooded the market in the last few years, including popular ones by dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone and Zone Diet creator Barry Sears.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2009 | Jia-Rui Chong
First came the stomachaches and low fevers. Then Lance Cpl. Cory Belken broke out in a rash. His temperature shot up to 104.6 degrees. The young man became delirious, telling his mother, Barbara Skaggs, that he wanted to go to the smoking section even though he had never smoked. His blood pressure dropped.
NATIONAL
June 1, 2009 | Associated Press
Doctors have overcome 30 years of false starts and found success with a new way to fight cancer: using the body's natural defender, the immune system. The approach is called a cancer vaccine, although it treats the disease rather than prevents it. Researchers at a cancer conference in Orlando said Sunday that one such vaccine kept a common form of lymphoma from worsening for more than a year.
SCIENCE
February 28, 2009 | Mary Engel
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is one of the fastest-evolving entities known. That's why no one has yet been able to come up with a vaccine: The virus mutates so rapidly that what works today in one person may not work tomorrow or in others. A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature confirms that dizzying pace of evolution on a global scale.
SCIENCE
December 20, 2008 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Instead of infiltrating breaks in the skin, HIV appears to attack normal, healthy genital tissue in women, researchers have found. It had been thought that HIV sought breaks in the skin, such as a herpes sore, to gain access to immune-system cells deeper in the tissue. The findings were presented this week at a meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.
SCIENCE
November 13, 2008 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Maugh is a Times staff writer.
Heart transplant patients are as much as 25% more likely to survive if the sex of the donor is the same as the patient's, researchers said Wednesday. The results surprised experts because, for most types of transplants, sex differences are irrelevant as long as a good immunocompatability is achieved.
HEALTH
October 13, 2008 | Jay Blahnik, Special to The Times
Does exercise increase the chance of getting sick? It seems that, whenever I ramp up my exercise program, I get colds and sinus infections more often. I was wondering if you could shed some light on this. Babette Palm Springs The answer seems to depend on how hard, how intensely and how often you work out. Research shows that positive changes occur in the immune system during moderate exercise. Immune cells appear to circulate through the body more quickly, and there may even be a temporary boost in the production of macrophages, which are cells that attack bacteria.
SCIENCE
August 18, 2008 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
Most deaths in the 1918 influenza pandemic were due not to the virus alone but to common bacterial infections that took advantage of victims' weakened immune systems, according to two new studies that could change the nation's strategy against the next pandemic. "We have to realize that it isn't just antivirals that we need," said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and coauthor of one study. "We need to make sure that we're prepared to treat people with antibiotics," said Fauci, whose study will be released online this month by the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
HEALTH
May 19, 2008 | Regina Nuzzo, Special to The Times
Swapping spit: The term takes on a more refined meaning at the new dating site ScientificMatch.com. A prerequisite for signing up -- in addition to having a bit of cash to spare -- involves swishing a cotton swab inside your cheek and mailing a juicy sample of skin cells and saliva. What do you get in return for your DNA-laden drool? A chance at genetic and olfactory harmony. ScientificMatch.
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