Bananas may best sports drinks

A banana might reasonably replace sports drinks for those of us who rely on carbohydrates to fuel exercise and speed recovery, said a study comparing the cellular effects of carbohydrates consumed during sports.

Scientists found that swallowing only water resulted in relatively high levels of inflammatory markers. These markers were lower if athletes consumed fruit or a sports drink.

But scientists found that athletes’ blood cells produced less of a genetic precursor of an enzyme known as COX-2 if they had eaten bananas — an effect seen if they had drunk the sports drink or only water. David Nieman, the director of the human performance lab at Appalachian State University, noted that is how anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen work.

Antacids in babies tied to later allergies

Infants who are given antacids are more likely to develop childhood allergies, perhaps because these drugs may alter their gut bacteria, a large study suggests. Early use of antibiotics also raised the chances of allergies in the study of nearly 800,000 children.

For children who received an antacid during their first six months, the chances of developing a food allergy doubled; the chances of developing a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis or hay fever were about 50 percent higher. For babies who received antibiotics, the chances doubled for asthma and were at least 50 percent higher for hay fever and anaphylaxis. The study in JAMA Pediatrics couldn’t prove causes, but the connection was striking.

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