Bedford Allergy Support Group
In partnership with


Bedford Healthy Living Initiative

Newsletter—No 8 Winter 2007
‘It is not enough for a great nation to have added new years to life. Our objective must be to add new life to those years.’ J.F. Kennedy Stop Press – News from BASG The Bedford Healthy Living Initiative funding, which we have been using for the last five years, will end in March. After careful consideration, and due to time/financial constraints, we have decide to: 1. Have two meetings per year with a speaker. One will be the AGM. 2. Produce one newsletter a year in the winter, which will be available from libraries or on the website. We will not have funds to post them. We will of course still be available for information and support as needed, and will welcome your suggestions. Thank You and Good Luck Malcolm Fairbrother (pharmacist from Janssen’s on Ampthill Rd, Bedford), has retired to Cornwall. We would like to thank him for all his help and advice throughout the years. Congratulations, and good wishes for the future. One of our founder members, Val Saunders, was married last September. It was a wonderful day, and we all want to wish Val and Brian well for the future! Be happy, healthy, and have fun! Hayfever.
Extracted from The Guardian 12 December 2006

Trials of a new vaccine pill, to protect against the effects of grass pollen, are proving to be very successful. The new pill called ‘Grazax’ , dissolves under the tongue, needs to be taken eight weeks before the season’s start. This treatment has been developed from a monthly vaccination, which also was found to be successful. These are both available from the GP to those who cannot be treated successfully with other treatments.
Comment: This is very similar to the vaccines that Dr Jean Monro uses at Breakspear. Homoeopathic treatment, is also very effective for some people, ask at Janssens Chemist Ampthill Rd

Stress-Allergy Link Uncovered A new study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden confirms that there are important links between mental stress and the complex physical inflammation reactions characteristic of allergies. The study was conducted with two groups of students, (22 hay-fever/asthma sufferers, and 19 healthy students), observed under relaxed study conditions and again when studying for major exams. In both groups, T cells appeared to increase in response to mental stress (these cells are central to the immune system). Also in the allergic group, the blood concentrations of inflammatory cytokines had changed in a pattern associated with a reaction in the students. This was not seen in the healthy group. Extracted from CAM Sept 2006: Clinical & Experimental Allergy 2006, 36(8): 982-92
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------BASG Telephone Numbers/Contacts Franca Garrick, 51 Rowallan Drive, Bedford, MK41 8AS 01234 360941 Cynthia Bagchi, 39 Bushmead Ave., Bedford, MK40 3QW 01234 354499 Email: Website: BASG extracts information from various sources. It accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the material published or any advice given, although it is all checked carefully. We suggest that members check with their GP before altering or starting a new treatment

Food for Thought 1

Organic Diets Lower Children's Dietary

Exposure Pesticides




A study led by an Emory University researcher concludes that an organic diet given to children provides a "dramatic and immediate protective effect" against exposures to two pesticides that are commonly used in U.S. agricultural production. Organophosphorus pesticide residues are still routinely detected in food items that are commonly consumed by young children. The study was funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The full article is available at: docs/2005/8418/abstract.html Advanced Nutrition & Self-Help Resources: downloads

Simple tests to check for food sensitivities, lack of essential minerals or a struggling digestive system.

Herbal Remedy
Sutherlandia has been used for several hundred years in South Africa as a traditional herbal remedy. It is described as having anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and also appears to be anti-bacterial, anti- fungal, and anti-viral. It is also said to reduce anxiety. The Dove Clinic for Integrated Medicine reports its use in their summer 2006 newsletter, and is particularly interested by its use as an anti-inflammatory for rheumatoid arthritis. Tel 01962 718000 or search the web for links to this herb.

Adventure Gourmet Cookery School
Has run a special 1-day course for food intolerance at the Wyndham Centre, Letchworth. The school has an ongoing program of courses. Details. Greenfield Farm, Ickwell, Beds. Tel: 01767 627101

Reproductive health
In May 2006, Greenpeace released a report entitled, "Fragile: Our Reproductive Health and Chemical Exposure" which contains information about how household chemicals could be seriously harming people's reproductive health. The study claims sperm counts have fallen 50% in 50 years and that the rates of infertility and testicular cancer have doubled in 40 years. The study also states that "infertility may now affect 15-20% of couples in industrialized countries compared to 7-8% in the early 1960s." Extracted from Breakspear Bulletin 11. To view/download this report, visit:

Allergy Show London 2007
15-17th June Olympia, London. exhibitors are listed so far. More Info: Over 100

DVDs- Asthma Arthritis and Diabetes
These are packed with information on current research, treatments etc with input from experts in the fields of allergy, environmental, and nutritional medicine. Dr Jean Monro, Dr John Mansfield, and Professor Dame Julia Polak, are among the long list of contributors. Tel: 0800 078 7080;

ME again
About 25% of the 200,000 people suffering from ME in the UK, will remain long-term ill and severely disabled. These are people from all walks of life and may well end up isolated and housebound by their illness. The 25% group offer support, advice and contacts for those affected. Tel 01292 318611;

Homoeopathic Pharmacy
Remedies and advice available at: ‘Ainsworths’, 38 New Cavendish St, London, W1M 7LH. Tel: 0120 7935 5330

Gluten-Free Chips?
A lawsuit against McDonalds highlights the fact that some chips/wedges/hash brownies may contain wheat. If you are a sufferer please be sure that all food sources are free from gluten!

The Pioneer Group
This support group is for anybody living with a long-term illness or condition. It aims to encourage a more positive, confident, and active lifestyle and runs meetings and trips. Tel: Lesley Hutchings 01234 317351

‘The Diet Doctors-Inside and Out’ by Drs Wendy Denning and Vicky Edgson. ISBN 009191050-1 Picture guide to reveal what skin, nails, tongue, eyes, and hair reveal about your well-being. Useful information web addresses Near Bedford, sells clothes and accessories for allergic families

2 What doctors don’t tell you, easy to use; Tel: 0800 146054 CAM magazine publishers; Tel 01279 816300 Lots of information on all health-related topics Search for keywords, related health stories available Magazine for food sensitivity problems; Tel: 020 7722 2866 Goat based product for toddlers and young children; Tel:0800 328 5826 Organic virgin coconut oil; Tel 00353 1 287 3216 (International) Information about Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and its effect on life at work; Tel: 0114 272 3253

The importance of Vitamin D
With our busy and largely indoor modern lifestyles, it is likely that many of us are not getting sufficient sun exposure during the winter months and this is almost certainly a national problem. Furthermore, with all the news about sun damage and skin cancer, it may be that many of us are taking extra care not to be in the sun. In fact, by avoiding sunshine we may be doing ourselves a disservice, as we need it to make vitamin D. The importance of vitamin D cannot be too strongly stressed. It is essential for regulating calcium and phosphate absorption and metabolism. These actions form and maintain healthy bones. Vitamin D is also essential to maintain a healthy immune system and regulates cell growth and differentiation. Therefore vitamin D is important for all aspects of good health and protects against osteoporosis, bone fracture, cancer, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and susceptibility to infections. Vitamin D is made in our skin as well as coming from our diet. 80% of the body's vitamin D comes from the action of UVB (sun’s rays) on the cholesterol in our skin. Vitamin D from the diet comes from only a few foods including fish oils and eggs. The highest amount comes from herring, sardines, pilchards and rainbow trout. The requirement for vitamin D increases with age. People aged 19 - 50 require 5 mcg, which is equal to 200 international units (iu), per day. For those aged 51 to 70, 10 mcg or 400 iu, is recommended daily while for those over age 70, 15 mcg, which is 600 iu, is recommended A survey of nutrition in adults showed that the mean daily intake from food is only 3.7mcg for men and 2.8 mcg for women. In contrast, if a person gets 15 minutes of sunshine, this is equivalent to 10,000 iu of vitamin D! This can be stored and used over the winter months. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency has increased in the UK and today is a significant public health problem. Those particularly at risk are babies and toddlers who have been exclusively breast-fed. (Although breast milk is a perfect baby's nutrition, it has only a little vitamin D). People with dark skin living in this country are also at higher risk of deficiency as they have less UVB penetrating the skin. People with vitamin D insufficiency can be asymptomatic or may present with the insidious onset of non-specific musculoskeletal aches. Muscle weakness occurs and can be marked and is most noticeable in the thighs. There can also be generalized bone pain or local bone tenderness. Those with osteoporosis or osteomalacia will be prone to fractures. Many studies show a link between low vitamin D and colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer. There is also a link between lack of sunshine and vitamin D and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of falling in older people, and also prevents hip and non-vertebral fractures when compared with taking only calcium. The safe current recommendation for supplement is to have up to 1,000 iu per day. Extracted from Breakspear Bulletin 11

Don’t forget that our food sources are often short of vitamins and minerals. Supplements can be the answer, particularly if you are suffering long-term illness or seeking optimum health.

News from PCT Podiatry, Continence and Wheelchair Services
Referral to these services is by contact with GP, district nurse, health visitor, or other health professional e.g. physiotherapist or with Social services. Also contact the child’s school, for wheelchair/continence service. More information from: PALS Patients Advice and Liaison Service - 01525 636882.


BASG Meetings for 2007
Meetings and talks take a lot of organisation. Please publicise, come along and bring a friend.

Tuesday 27th March

AGM followed by ‘Acupuncture as a modality in Physiotherapy’ Ashia Jamal - Physiotherapist Venue: Harowden Room, Bunyan Meeting Free Church, Mill Street, Bedford (free street parking)

7.30pm Talk at 8.00pm

Monday 9th July

‘Food Allergy and Intolerance' (demonstration of test) Sue Bedford Venue - Central Library, Harpur Square, Bedford.

2 - 4 pm

Tuesday 17th July

You are invited to join Cynthia in the Harrowden Room, Bunyan Meeting Free Church, Mill Street, Bedford for One hour of silent prayer for World Peace. (or pray wherever you may be) This is a global event for more information see

Between 12 noon and 1pm

ME Support Group Mrs Carolyn Morris 01234 403664 ( 1 1 a m - 8 p m ) ME in Children/Young people Support Group 01908 373300 MS Group Mrs Valerie Woods 01234 325781 Parents Asthma Support Group Cathy Smith 01234 795740 Autism Bedfordshire Linda Bulled 01234 350704 autismbeds@ Autism & Aspergers Beds. Dorothy McDowell 07958 030068 ADD&ADHD Support Monica Harris 01908 676779 Dyslexia Association 01582 752444 Arthritis Care Mrs Jeanette Hayes 01582 862345 Colitis and Crohn’s Disease Richard Driscoll 01727 844296 Lupus UK Paula Gosling 01234 505222 Stroke Support John Farmer 01525 717181 Cancer Research Mrs Sue Butler 01234 354183 Eating Disorders Claire Beeken 01582 457474 Long Term Illness Kate Parsons 01234 351150 Alzheimer’s Society 01234 327380 Breast Cancer Support Adriana 01234 214455 Endometriosis 01234 303066 Anaphylactic Allergic Children Kate Frost 01525 633410 Breakspear Hospital 01442 266244 Mercury-free & Metal-free dentistry: Drs G&L Munro-Hall 01234 826722, 07050 611333 National Groups Action Against Allergy 02088 922711 British Allergy Foundation 02083 038525 Hyperactive Children Society Sally Bunday 01243 551313 Buteyko Asthma Control 0800 138573 Multiple Chemical Sensitivity 01704 547418 NHS Direct 0845 46 47 Pesticides PAN UK 02072748895 GM Food British Homeopathic Association 02075 667800