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Iron Supplements Help Anemic Children Even If They Have Colds

In a recent study, giving iron supplements to anemic children when they have a cold or other upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) significantly improved their iron status without increasing stomach upset or other side effects, says a Penn State nutritionist. Dr. Namanjeet Ahluwalia, associate professor of nutrition and principle investigator on the research team, says, “Because of conflicting results from previous studies, physicians preferred to be cautious and generally withhold iron until a child was infection-free ? which could delay the benefits of treatment if a child is iron deficient.

Common human virus may be associated with colon cancer

An association between a common human virus and colon cancer has been established by a group of researchers in the U.S., suggesting a possible role for it in the development of cancer in the human intestinal tract. The so-called JC virus most likely infects humans through the upper respiratory tract and remains in a latent stage in most people throughout their lives, and, in some cases, causes minor sub-clinical problems. But in people whose immune systems are depressed, either through chemotherapy given to organ transplant recipients or an illness such as AIDS, JCV can become active and may contribute to cancer in the brain or cause the fatal demyelinating disease Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML).