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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Food Allergies: Through the Eyes of Parents


 Being the parent of a child with life-threatening food allergies can be challenging. 
 
"Food Allergies: Through the Eyes of Parents" is a video series that provides parents’ views on life with a food allergy. They discuss the stress of managing life with food allergy, the different faces of anaphylaxis, and the use of Epipens. These videos are an excellent resource for parents and extended family members.  

Videos can be viewed at: www.caaec.ca.

(Please note that every video begins with the same introduction of the families, keep watching past the introduction as the content is different.)




Monday, October 24, 2016

Congratulations Dr. Becker!



Dr. Allan Becker was awarded The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI) Distinguished Member Award in October 2016. 

This award pays special homage to an exemplary member of the CSACI. Dr. Becker is recognized for his outstanding achievements in the allergy, asthma and immunology field. His accomplishments serve as an inspiration and example for others to follow. Congratulations on receiving this prestigious and well deserved award Dr. Becker!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dr. Estelle Simons becomes a member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame!!!

Image may contain: 1 person , people smiling , eyeglasses and closeupDr. Estelle Simons, already rich in honours and awards for her scientific accomplishments in understanding allergies, is now a member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
The professor of pediatrics and child health, and immunology, is the fifth U of M professor to receive this honour, which will be bestowed upon her at a ceremony on May 4, 2017 in Qu├ębec City.

Dr. Simons founded the Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the U of M in 1975 and served as its head until 2005. In this time, she held many other esteemed positions, such as Chief Examiner in Clinical Immunology for the Royal College, and Chair of the Allergy Section of the Canadian Paediatric Society.

To date, her scientific legacy includes 580 peer-reviewed publications and eight textbooks. Her work has touched many facets of immunology but media interview her most often about her work on the most dangerous animal – the mosquito.

Earlier in her career, four decades ago, Simons pioneered a new means to investigate the effectiveness of allergy medications used to treat diseases such as asthma. Her work brought a paradigm shift that has had an immeasurable effect on mitigating the impact of allergic diseases around the globe.

ABOUT DR. ESTELLE SIMONS -
Recently named Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Estelle Simons began her academic career at the U of M, earning her BSc and MD (Honours) here. Dr. Simons then trained in Pediatrics and in Allergy/Immunology at the University of Washington.

She was one of the first pediatrician Clinician Scientists in Canada, holding the Medical Research Council of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Scientist Award from 1975-1981, and the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation/University of Manitoba Bruce Chown Professorship until 2001.
Her research focuses on development of a non-invasive epinephrine (adrenalin) formulation for treatment of anaphylactic episodes. With her colleagues, she is developing a rapidly-dissolving drug tablet that could be placed under a patient’s tongue.

Her many awards include the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Service, the AAAAI Distinguished Clinician Award, and the WAO Scientific Achievement Award. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Congratulations and thank you for your years of service and research!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

4 Surprising Foods That Affect Your Baby During and After Pregnancy




Here is an interesting article recently featured in Vogue Magazine.

Click the link below for the original article:


Your body goes through a host of changes in pregnancy—as does your diet. You shore up on nutrients you need more of (folate, iron), cut back on options you need less of (refined sugars, caffeine), give up most things raw (fish, cheese), and toast your future little one with sparkling water. In some ways, the pre- and postnatal diet is clean eating at its best. And while many of these food-based principles have been around for decades, researchers continue to examine new associations between maternal nutrition and newborn health—including a number of recent findings that might alter what you decide to put on your plate or skip. Here, four surprising dietary recommendations to have on your radar and discuss with your ob-gyn at checkup time.

1. Consider tabling artificial sweeteners.
 
A new study published this month in JAMA Pediatrics found that women who consumed at least one artificially sweetened beverage per day during pregnancy were twice as likely to have an overweight child at 1 year of age compared to those who skipped these beverages. “One possible explanation is that our metabolism is programmed in utero, and consistent exposure to these artificial sweeteners could change how your body reacts to actual sugar, causing increased weight gain,” says Meghan Azad, PhD, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics and child health at the University of Manitoba. The findings, which are part of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study, did not show any correlation with fetal body weight, which suggests the effects of artificial sweeteners could surface later in life and possibly have a lasting impact.

2. Up your intake of PUFAs and probiotics.
 
Studies show that eating polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and probiotics might decrease risk for allergies. “Newborns first acquire their gut microbiome from their mothers during birth,” explains Azad. This mini ecosystem is filled with microorganisms that keep our immune system robust. PUFAs can improve how certain cells respond to foreign substances while probiotics optimize beneficial bacteria to defend against pathogens. Good sources for PUFAs include walnut oil and flaxseed; for probiotics, look for yogurt and kefir that contain live and active cultures.

3. Embrace all the spices you want.
 
For years, women were told to eat bland foods while breast-feeding, for fear that spicy ones might discourage a baby from feeding well. Recent studies debunk that theory: In fact, newborns tend to feed longer when their mothers have a diet that includes aromatic flavors, such as garlic and vanilla. “Babies will [nurse] longer when they’re exposed to all sorts of flavors,” says Julie Mennella, PhD, a biopsychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center who has authored numerous studies on the subject. “Their sensory and brain development is geared toward this—babies are really open to learning about new foods.” And the more varied your meals are, the most likely it is your baby will accept novel foods, too.

4. Don’t skimp on choline.
 
Folate, iron, and calcium usually top the list of pregnancy super-nutrients. But recent studies show most women—including those in high-income countries—do not get adequate levels of choline, a key nutrient that’s important for fetal brain development, says nutritionist Linda Sebelia, RD, an adjunct professor at the University of Rhode Island. Good sources include eggs, tofu, lean beef, and Brussels sprouts. Aim for 450 milligrams a day if you’re pregnant and 550 milligrams a day if you’re breast-feeding.