A few Bananas a Day may keep Allergies Away

Eating bananas–three or four a day–may alleviate the symptoms of pollen allergies by improving sufferers’ immunity, according to a group of Tokyo University of Science researchers. Constituents of the banana may have what it takes to improve immunity in the human body, they say. The claim was recently made by group leader Prof. Akinori Taninaka at a meeting of the Japanese Society for Medical Use of Functional Foods in Otsu. The team provided mice allergic to pollen with a daily ration of about 10 grams of bananas for three weeks before comparing their physical condition with that of mice that had not been

given bananas. The experiment found that the volume of allergy-related substances in the banana-consuming mice decreased by more than 50 percent. Levels of acidocyte–a type of white blood cell that increases in number when a person or animal is suffering from pollen allergies–fell to that of healthy mice. “The 10 grams of bananas for a mouse is roughly the same as a person eating three or four bananas. We’ll check further to see if eating bananas can help ease allergy symptoms in people,” Taninaka said.  The Yomiuri Shimbun. (Dec. 15, 2010)  – Tokyo University of Science: The Tokyo Academy of Physics, the predecessor of the Tokyo University of Science, was founded in 1881 by 21 graduates of the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Science, University of Tokyo (then the Imperial University). Classes were offered only at night, in rented classrooms at an elementary school with equipment and materials borrowed from the founders’ alma mater and returned immediately after use. Despite these initial hardships, these young scientists (average age of 25 years) found the wherewithal to instruct students for no pay while working additional jobs, driven by their desire to serve as “a foundation for the development of the nation through the advancement of science.” In 1883, the Tokyo Academy of Physics was renamed the Tokyo College of Science, and one of its

founders, Hitoshi Terao, was appointed the first dean. Although the school was beginning to take shape as a university, it was beset by financial difficulties and was only saved by an association formed in 1885 by 16 of the 21 founders. The association’s rules included required donations of 30 yen per person, free lectures twice a week, and a 25-sen penalty for failing to show up for a lecture, regardless of the reason.Sources: The Yomiuri Shimbun  yomiuri.co.jp &  Tokyo University of Science  sut.ac.jp  ~  Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red. In popular culture and commerce, “banana” usually refers to soft, sweet “dessert” bananas. By contrast, Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains. Many varieties of bananas are perennial. Refer to the Musa article for a list of the varieties of bananas and plantains. They are native to tropicalSoutheast Asia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea.Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics. They are grown in at least 107 countries,primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber, banana wine and as ornamental plants. Although fruit of wild species (Musa balbisiana) have large, hard seeds,

virtually all culinary bananas are “seedless”, have only tiny seeds. Bananas are classified either as dessert bananas (meaning they are yellow and fully ripe when eaten) or as green cooking bananas. Almost all export bananas are of the dessert types; however, only about 10–15% of production is for export. The United States and European Union are the dominant importers. Bananas are naturally slightly radioactive, more so than most other fruits, because of their high potassium content, and the small amounts of the isotope potassium-40 found in naturally occurring potassium. Proponents of nuclear power sometimes refer to the banana equivalent dose of radiation to support their arguments. Banana shipments often set off the radiation monitors installed at US ports to detect illegal shipments of radiologic materials.Health benefits; Along with other fruits and vegetables, consumption of bananas is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer and in women, breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma.Individuals with a latex allergy may experience a reaction to bananas.Bananas contain considerable amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. The latter makes them of particular interest to athletes who use them to quickly replenish their electrolytes. In India, juice is extracted from the corm and used as a home remedy for jaundice, sometimes with the addition of honey, and for kidney stones.  ~ GoodNews International

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