some slightly good news


Talked to my father in law, the horticulturist, today.

The good personal news is that after initially not understanding the peanut allergy, I got a gut level feeling he really is in tune with how serious the allergy is. FYI, peanut allergies are really rare in China, Taiwan, etc. because peanuts there are often boiled rather than roasted and therefore the normally stable peanut protein molecule is denatured and therefore not as allergy causing. At least that's what the allergist told us.

Okay, on to the slightly good overall news. After some discussion he committed to proposing research into developing a non-toxic, instant effect, easy to use product that would help identify the presence of peanut proteins. Something that can be used on people, surfaces and prepared foods.

It's not a cure but it would be another tool to use in prevention, taking some of the guesswork out.

On Aug 20, 2007

I'll be interested to see what you and your FIL are able to learn about the Chinese herbal preparation currently in trials in the US.

It has been difficult to locate much in the pharmacology literature about it, but being an herbal material, standardization of active components is likely to be extremely problematic until a pharmacological mechanism is identified.

Here's a thread you'll probably be interested in, in light of your request of your FIL: [url=""][/url]

I have to be honest, here, and tell you that as much as I would [i]love[/i] such a device, as a bioanalytical chemist, researcher, and PA-mom, I don't think it can currently be done. [img][/img] Oh sure, the technology exists (people in my DH's field and mine use it all the time).... but the accuracy and matrix effects are truly formidable. Even for analytical chemists like myself, food is the ultimate nightmare for sampling.

One other thing that I need to try to explain--

different preparation methods have been [i]proposed as a POSSIBLE explanation[/i] for the relatively low incidence of peanut allergy in Asia. But boiled peanuts are every bit as protein-packed. [b]HEATING peanut proteins does not denature them[/b]-- though it is thought that dry-roasting makes certain allergenic regions of some of seed storage proteins [i]more[/i] accessible, thereby increasing their sensitizing power.

Let me also add a warm (though somewhat belated, I realize LOL!) welcome to our on-line family. Sorry for [i]why[/i] you are here, of course... but glad to have you!


On Aug 21, 2007

I may have lost my other post so I won't repost exactly in case it's doubled.

I wouldn't be a great operator to relay back and forth the chem and hort info. Suffice to say we live in the same place so you could ask him directly at his lab sometime if you would either like to relay a problem or ask what he's doing. I both have aboslutely no knowledge of the subject and have to default to his knowledge so I don't have much to add myself.

If not, we should still get together and introduce the kids or maybe grab a meal together.

As far as the herbal formula I think a philosphical difference is at play. I should clarify that we, as a family with regard to a Chinese herbal formula, aren't looking standardization first and foremost. Perhaps it's the other side of the coin but we're interested in having a formula potentially tailored, one that also includes all the potential supportive functions not identified as a main mechanism. I understand that is what you're looking for and why, and I recognize that our approach and expectations are different.

With that in mind you may be continually disappointed in what we come up with in our 'research' of FAHF-2 because we are focusing on efficacy, safety and staying within the bounds of more traditional Chinese medicine. We will probably follow a course of things like recommended diets to correct hot/cold imbalance and maybe even exercise in addition to herbs.

We're not looking or expecting anything like a cure. Just another layer of potential protection along prevention, Benadryl and EpiPens. I'll update my blog with anything we have forthcoming and I would imagine we could only benefit from trading info but you may not find our direction or information useful since there's a good chance we'll be following an entire treatment path.

On Aug 21, 2007

Thanks for not misinterpreting what I was trying to say-- I think your enthusiasm for your project (and your unique perspective) are fantastic.

I actually think that a lot of the information about ethnobotanical medicinal use of plants (particularly in TCM and European apothecary tradition) have important pharmacological clues to mechanism. I realize that for most people, if it 'works' and is safe, that's more than enough.... but DH and I being scientists, we are naturally a lot more determined to know the details of the 'how' part of things. Professional hazard, I guess you could say.... [img][/img]

Actually, if your FIL has experience with Chinese medicinal herbology, I could stand to talk to him anyway. On another professional matter regarding my own work. [img][/img]

Drop me an e-mail sometime and maybe we can meet up around town.

On Aug 21, 2007

The two approaches needn't be mutually exclusive or at odds. My mother in law was a chemist at OSU and still used TCM as prescribed to her.

I need to rethink posting here if it's going to be disruptive and keep it to a blog.

On Aug 21, 2007


Originally posted by ijkchen: [b]The two approaches needn't be mutually exclusive or at odds. My mother in law was a chemist at OSU and still used TCM as prescribed to her.

I need to rethink posting here if it's going to be disruptive and keep it to a blog. [/b]

[i]disruptive[/i]??? Not sure what you meant by this.

I certainly hope you [i]will[/i] continue to post.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that TCM isn't a valid approach, if that's what you took from my post. It most certainly [i]is[/i]. I'm afraid this is why I initially didn't reply to your posts-- I was afradi that I could say [i]nothing[/i] that you wouldn't misinterpret as negativity. You would know that is [i]definitely not the case[/i] if you knew more about my professional life.

I was quite serious about being intrigued. (And about your FIL. I am working on a project involving an traditionally used herbal extract. For CHF.)