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Can Cigarettes *Decrease* the Effect of Respiratory Allergies?

DiscoblogBy Rachel CernanskyMay 15, 2009 1:29 PM


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Cigarette smoke is clearly bad for your health in all kinds of ways, but it just may alleviate the symptoms of allergy sufferers, according to a new study recommended by the Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine. Dutch researchers have found that cigarette smoke reduces allergic response by blocking mast cell activity, the key factor in the body's immune system's response to allergens. The researchers treated mast cells—the tissue cells of the immune system—with a smoke-infused solution and found that it prevented the release of inflammation-inducing proteins as a response to allergens, all while leaving other mast cell immune functions unaffected. Although the research was conducted on mouse cells, researchers say the effect is likely to transfer to human mast cells. Perhaps tobacco companies will pick up the research where the Dutch team left off? Related Content: Discoblog: Researchers Discover Why Some People Can’t Smoke Just One Discoblog: Got Hay Fever? Try Ejaculating! Image: Wikimedia

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