IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!! | High Sierra Topix  

IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby Harlen » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:24 pm

I won't.



User avatar
Harlen
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Location: California
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby longri » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:38 pm

Harlen wrote:This has become funny and entertaining, although Longri, in a polite and suitably restrained manner, shows his concern for the condition of our asses. Thanks, mine's fine. So far so good, even though I was inspired just yesterday to snap up a few of the dreaded PO leaves. I'll keep you posted- any pruritus ani, you'll be the first to know!

Mrphil, what's a "Tide pod," and what, if any, are the supposed benefits of eating them? We have "tide pools" down here, and I eat some of the kelp and shellfish for fun and nutrition, but I reckon you are on about something else?


Harlen, you misunderstood my post. I was simply pointing out that there is a high risk of significant negative side-effects with the treatment, whether it works as hoped or not. If someone got an itchy rear due to intentionally eating poison oak I'd think it was funny.

As for the Tide pods I wasn't sure exactly what mrphil meant. I guessed he was referring to the fact that Tide, being an excellent detergent and also quite abrasive, is an effective way to remove the oil from your skin. But maybe he was joking about eating them since that's been an issue with some children.

It would be wonderful if there were better science about this. I've never seen a proposed mechanism for why eating P.O. would result in desensitization. But that doesn't mean there isn't a mechanism, at least for some people in some circumstances.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby Harlen » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:48 pm

Harlen, you misunderstood my post.


Not at all; and you are right that the 18 of 21 stat. re. side effects is the most "statistically significant." The next most significant was the stat. regarding the number of the test pop. whose reaction was lessened following ingestion of the urushiol oil. I still find it funny though, fearing for ones arse that is. I was never told of any side effects by the botanist friend that put me onto eating oak, and I've never had any. I wonder about the difference between the straight urushiol oil versus chewing a spring leaf or two? It's interesting to note that deer and goats browse P.O. with no apparent ill effects; I heard somewhere that it is one of the deer's staple forage plants. If so, then what selective value does the P.O. toxicity have? Perhaps as an insect deterrent? It would be interesting to research that question.
User avatar
Harlen
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Location: California
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby rlown » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:03 pm

To be clear on the Tide pod challenge: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to- ... 59a544f312

First, it was the “gallon challenge” and the “cinnamon challenge.”

Then some teenagers started playing the “bath-salt challenge.”

They have dared each other to pour salt in their hands and hold ice till it burns, douse themselves in rubbing alcohol and set themselves ablaze, and throw boiling water on unsuspecting peers.

Now videos circulating on social media are showing kids biting into brightly colored liquid laundry detergent packets. Or cooking them in frying pans, then chewing them up before spewing the soap from their mouths.

Experts say the game, dubbed the “Tide pod challenge,” is dangerous.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6622
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby Harlen » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:05 pm

Got it Russ, another case of Natural Selection in action.

I went ahead and dedicated a long hour to reading up on Scientific studies on the evolution of urushiol in plants-see some of the results below:

The urushiol compound in poison ivy is not a defensive measure; rather, it helps the plant to retain water. It is frequently eaten by animals such as deer and bears.


This is fascinating indeed, but I could find no other reference to this adaptation.

Another source states:
Black-tailed deer, mule deer, California ground squirrels, western gray squirrels, and other indigenous fauna feed on the leaves of the plant.[6] It is rich in phosphorus, calcium, and sulfur.[6] Bird species use the berries for food, and utilize the plant structure for shelter.[6] Neither native animals, nor horses, livestock, or canine pets demonstrate reactions to urushiol.


The short article below has some additional points in P.O.'s favor:

baynature.org/article/poison-oak-has-a-good-side-too/ [Sorry, I haven't yet figured out how to add the immediate access to articles. ]

The really time-consuming, scientific articles come up with the search: "evolution of urushiol in plants." In some of these articles the studies suggest that urushiol has adaptive value contra herbivorous insects, but rather than simply "urushiol," they break it down into constituent molecular elements, and the struggle to keep up with it deepens.

A disagreeable angle to the P.O. study was the new knowledge that it is a carbon-loving plant, and it thrives, and will thrive further as CO2 level rises in our atmosphere. One study said that the toxicity also has risen, and will continue to rise along with the CO2.

*I have traded this hour on P.O. for the fun hour I had promised myself- that was to look up great clutch hits in major league baseball, and to review the career of one of my favorite players- Ichiro Suzuki- I love his amazing speed and throwing arm! I hope someone out there appreciates my sacrifice. :smirk:
User avatar
Harlen
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Location: California
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby Tom_H » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:53 am

Immune implies that you can never catch a disease or react to an antigen. Some people don't have allergic reactions to some antigens, but that doesn't make them immune. The body can develop allergic reactions to a biological or chemical antigen after many years of having not done so.

It is indeed possible to build up a resistance to something you have previously been allergic to by slowly titrating the substance into the body. This is exactly what allergy shots are. They just inject you with whatever it is that you're allergic to. They start with a minuscule amount and slowly increase the amount over a period of time. Doing something like eating poison oak leaves on your own could theoretically work; it could also kill you dead as a rock. Things used in allergy shots have undergone numerous placebo controlled double blind trials. The results have been peer reviewed by medical professionals and replicated in identical trials by completely independent research physicians. People take allergy shots under the supervision of allergists, immunologists, pulmonologists, and endocrinologists. Patients are monitored after each injection because there always is the risk of anaphylactic shock and death. Again, doing this on your own could work. It also carries a huge risk of sudden death.
User avatar
Tom_H
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:11 pm
Location: Camas, WA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby rlown » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:26 am

Harlen wrote:
baynature.org/article/poison-oak-has-a-good-side-too/ [Sorry, I haven't yet figured out how to add the immediate access to articles. ]



Okay.. to post a link, all you have to do is bring up the link on a page, copy the link, paste the link and voila.

https://baynature.org/article/poison-oa ... -side-too/
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6622
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby longri » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:16 am

Harlen wrote:It's interesting to note that deer and goats browse P.O. with no apparent ill effects; I heard somewhere that it is one of the deer's staple forage plants. If so, then what selective value does the P.O. toxicity have? Perhaps as an insect deterrent? It would be interesting to research that question.


I believe that only humans are allergic to urushiol and similar molecules (e.g. the ones found in some mangos). It's not toxic even to us. So postulating the selective pressure due to toxicity or allergenic response is probably the wrong way to look at it. It's very likely that our reaction to it is just a fluke and has nothing to do with why it's there. Maybe it just makes the sap a little stickier or something like that.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby longri » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:24 am

Tom_H wrote:It is indeed possible to build up a resistance to something you have previously been allergic to by slowly titrating the substance into the body. This is exactly what allergy shots are. They just inject you with whatever it is that you're allergic to. They start with a minuscule amount and slowly increase the amount over a period of time....


My wife used to get those all of the time but the shots are designed to deal with allergies that induce IgE response. Poison Oak elicits a different type of immune response. So it may be a mistake to generalize and assume that the desensitization method used for one type of allergic reaction applies to the other.

Can you link to any clear example of a successful desensitization therapy for an allergy of the same type as P.O.?
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Postby freestone » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:50 am

I would assume that if there was a way to safely desensitize humans from PO exposure, the pharmaceutical industry would have done so long ago.
User avatar
freestone
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 657
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:42 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Experience: Level 1 Hiker

PreviousNext

Return to The Campfire



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests