My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘mercury’

Should I Get the Flu Shot? Dr. Mark Hyman

by 

While we are all trying to enjoy the change of seasons and soak up the beauty of fall, one question persists among the masses.  Should I get the flu shot?

My team and I are constantly asked this question and while we can’t give a blanket statement for the general public, I wanted to take the opportunity in today’s blog to provide you with more information about the flu vaccine so you can make the best decision for you and your family with the help of your local medical doctor.

As a Functional Medicine physician I approach the flu, like all imbalances in the body, which is to say I don’t assume the human body is subject to illness when the proper diet and lifestyle precautions are taken.  When a patient is sick, some detective work is necessary to find out what missing pieces are interfering with the efficacy of their immune system.

My goal is to help every single one of you strengthen the integrity of your immune system so there is less risk of a virus affecting you, leaving you vulnerable to its aftermath of feeling sick and miserable.

See, when the immune system is compromised it has less ability to fight off the flu, or really any of the myriad viruses, bacteria or toxins we are perpetually faced with every minute of every day.

That is why my #1 priority is to help you support your immune system! In a previous year’s discussion of the flu, I provided information about the steps I wanted you to take to balance your system and achieve a robust immunity.

You can review my suggestions for preventing the flu and enjoying excellent immunity here: Prevent the Flu. Personally, I always start with food because it is the best medicine.

Functional Medicine is not a one-size-fits-all approach- it is patient-centered and honors each of our individual medical needs.Why does the pharmaceutical industry proclaim that everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated? For starters, Itake a look at how flu vaccines work.

The Vaccine:

Each year health officials inoculate this year’s virus into chickens.  Then, they take the created viral strains to use as the antigen-the agent which elicits an immune reaction in the human body so you create your own antibodies against the flu. Antibodies are the body’s way of fighting an illness.

It takes about two weeks after you are vaccinated for your body to create these antibodies. We assume scientists match the vaccine to the exact flu strain going around.  It’s an educated guess essentially and the efficacy of the vaccine lies in our ability to match the two correctly.

You can still get the flu if you have been vaccinated if the strain you caught doesn’t match that which was in your vaccine.  And you can still get the flu even if the strains were properly matched but your immune system was not intact!

This grey area is why a lot of controversy exists about whether or not the flu vaccine is effective.  To learn more about this, go to The CDC’s “Flu View” for weekly updated surveillances on the flu: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/.

What’s In It?

  • Egg proteins: Including avian contaminant viruses
  • Formaldehyde: Known carcinogen
  • Thimerosal: Mercury-based preservative (only in multi-dose vials)
  • Other heavy metals such as aluminum: Known neurotoxin
  • Sugar: The essence of all inflammatory disease
  • Triton X100: A detergent
  • Other additives known to cause allergic reactions

The biggest controversy about the ingredients in the shot surrounds the use of the preservative thimerosal.  Thimerosal contains mercury.  Exposure to mercury leads to systemic health problems running the gamut from neurological dysfunction (memory loss, confusion, inability to concentrate) to depression, renal failure, skin troubles and gastrointestinal disturbances.

I have written extensively on how grave a matter mercury and heavy metal toxicity is and why it is so important to screen forproper detoxification from heavy metal toxicity.

Pregnant women and infants are often advised to opt for the single dose mercury-free vaccines as once mercury is in the body it can enter the fetus via the placenta.  Studies have also reported that children can become symptomatic from mercury toxicity from as little exposure as 10 mcg/kg/day.

Many vaccines contain up to 25 mcg of mercury per dose so this is one area where I will state how important it is to look for a mercury-free vaccines.  Here are some options to ask your doctor about:

Types of Vaccines Available:

  • Single-dose vaccines such as Fluzone: Contains a purified, inert virus that is incapable of causing infection and tends to be free of mercury.
  • Nasal spray such as FluMist: Contains a small amount of a weakened live virus which might make this form slightly more effective but also poses a higher risk for side effects and complications.  These are mercury-free.  Not for pregnant women or children 6-24 months.
  • Some pre-filled syringes such as Afluria are mercury-free.
  • Multi-dose vaccines tend to contain the most mercury.

If mercury is such a problem, then why are we even using it?  Mercury is part of the preservative necessary when using multi-dose vaccines. The single-dose vaccine doesn’t require the preservative which is why this vaccine is preferred. It is also the least cost-effective for manufacturers to produce so until this changes.  YOU, the consumer, need to advocate for yourself.

How Safe is the Flu Vaccine?

While the CDC reports that safety is always being monitored to ensure risk from the vaccine is negligible, certain serious complications have been reported:

  • Allergic reactions (anaphylactic)
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome (can be fatal)
  • Neurological disorders

Always contact your local physician if you suspect any serious complications post injection.

While not everyone necessarily needs to get vaccinated, especially if you are generally healthy and follow my advice about boosting your immune system with a whole foods diet and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, there are still some people that might want to consider it.

The CDC recommends the following people for receiving the flu vaccine: Health-care workers with direct patient contact, pregnant women, caregivers of children younger than 6 months, and children and adults under age 24.

Ideal Candidates for the Vaccine:

  • Asthmatics
  • Immuno-compromised patients
  • Heart disease patients
  • Diabetics
  • Morbidly obese

Why Do We Get Sick?

Why do we get the flu in the first place?  Why is the integrity of our immune system compromised? What changes can we make in order to prevent illness from taking hold rather than suffer its nasty consequences?

Why confuse ourselves about the pros and cons of a vaccine’s worth, safety, and availability when we have so much in our medicinal arsenal to fight the flu’s onset?

Preventing the flu depends on improving the quality of our lifestyles to include more pleasure and relaxation, increasing access to fresh, nutrient-dense food, and limiting sugary and industrial junk food in our lives.

Taking care of the way we eat, keeping fit, getting enough sleep and taking a few nutritional supplements including a multivitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D can prevent most from ever getting sick in the first place. In fact I have never had the flu even though, as a doctor, I am in contact with it on a regular basis.

The influenza virus can be very uncomfortable and cause a major disruption in our busy lives.  It is important to remember that most healthy people will suffer a mere 3-5 days.

While the fever/chills, sore throat, headache, and fatigue are definitely not fun, they usually come and go without much major harm caused to the body.

In fact, most deaths are only associated with the flu via contraction of pneumonia and its influence on existing medical conditions. The flu’s mortality rate itself is much less common-in fact, more people die each year from malnutrition than from the flu!

So do yourself a favor and pay attention to your vitamin D status, optimize your diet by focusing on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, eat lean and clean protein and healthy anti-inflammatory fats from fish, nuts, and seeds, and healthy olive, grape seed, and coconut oils.

Stay well hydrated, practice common sense hygiene, and create time to rest and restore your energy.  And of course get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer this season!

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy flu-season.

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

Avatar of Mark Hyman, MD

About Mark Hyman, MD

MARK HYMAN, MD is dedicated to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illnessthrough a groundbreaking whole-systems medicine approach called Functional Medicine. He is a family physician, a four-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in his field. Through his private practice, education efforts, writing, research, and advocacy, he empowers others to stop managing symptoms and start treating the underlying causes of illness, thereby tackling our chronic-disease epidemic. More about Dr. Hyman or on Functional Medicine. Click here to view all Press and Media Releases

http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/10/23/should-i-get-the-flu-shot/?utm_source=WhatCounts+Publicaster+Edition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=drhyman+newsletter+issue+%2397&utm_content=Get+the+story

The Hidden Risks in This Heavily Promoted Seasonal Routine…

Story at-a-glance

  • Thimerosal, a widely used vaccine preservative that metabolizes to ethylmercury, contains close to 50% mercury by volume—and mercury is a well-known neurotoxin. Based on the amount of mercury in a standard flu shot, you have to weigh over 265 pounds in order for this exposure to mercury to be safe according to EPA guidelines
  • Getting your flu vaccination at a local pharmacy compounds the risks to your health, as most pharmacists are not trained or equipped to respond to acute adverse events that may occur after vaccination or follow-up on people they have vaccinated and report vaccine reactions to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
  • The flu vaccine may pose an immediate risk to your cardiovascular system due to the fact that vaccines provoke an acute inflammatory response in the body that can become chronic in some individuals
  • The inflammatory response is a MAJOR concern in pregnant women, as stimulating a woman’s immune system during pregnancy can increase health risks for the pregnant woman and some researchers think that it increases risks that the baby will develop neurological dysfunction anywhere from 7 to 14-fold! Other adverse perinatal health outcomes also have an inflammatory component, including preeclampsia and preterm birth

 

 

By Dr. Mercola

Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) is not contagious.

It is an autoimmune disorder that develops when a person’s own immune system attacks and damages the myelin sheath of the body’s nerves, causing muscle weakness and paralysis.

GBS symptoms can last for a few weeks or months or can become permanent.

In rare cases, people die from GBS, usually because they cannot breathe.

In the U.S., an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 people develop GBS annually.

Some healthy people, who develop GBS, have recently recovered from a viral or bacterial infection within the previous 4-8 weeks but others have recently been vaccinated.

The inactivated influenza vaccine has been associated with development of GBS since 1976, when an inactivated “swine flu” shot given to millions of healthy Americans caused GBS in several hundred previously healthy Americans and there were 30 deaths.

The CDC says: “In 1976 there was a small increased risk of GBS following vaccination with an influenza vaccine made to protect against a swine flu virus. The increased risk was approximately 1 additional case of GBS per 100,000 people who got the swine flu vaccine. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) conducted a thorough scientific review of this issue in 2003 and concluded that people who received the 1976 swine influenza vaccine had an increased risk for developing GBS.

Scientists have multiple theories on why this increased risk may have occurred, but the exact reason for this association remains unknown.”

Early symptoms of GBS include sudden muscle weakness, fatigue and tingling sensations in the legs that can take days or weeks to spread to the arms and upper body and can become painful, eventually ending with either partial or total paralysis.

When there is total paralysis, GBS becomes life-threatening because it can impair breathing and interfere with the heart rate and cause high or low blood pressure that can lead to serious complications, such as heart attack and stroke.

It is important to recognize the early symptoms of GBS, whether you have been vaccinated or not, and seek immediate medical care.

Powerful Profile of a Vaccine Victim

While infants and young children are at greatest risk, NO ONE is exempt from the potential serious complications of vaccination, one of which is GBS.

In the video profile of vaccine injury above, Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), interviews a Connecticut artist and her mother, a former professor of nursing, who developed Guillaine-Barre syndrome after getting a seasonal flu shot in 2008 and today is permanently disabled with total body paralysis. This family has chosen to share their heartbreaking story to help those, who have had the same experience, feel less alone, and to educate others about what it means to be vaccine injured. What happened to this family is a potent reminder of just how important it is to make well-informed decisions about vaccinations.

Getting Flu Shot at Pharmacy is a Risky Proposition

While many have become used to vaccines being considered “routine,” there’s really nothing routine about them. Each and every vaccine carries an inherent risk of causing a reaction, injury or death that can be greater for some individuals than others. The seasonal flu vaccine is no exception when it comes to serious health risks, both short- and long-term, for some people.   This is why the trend of getting your flu shot at the local drugstore, grocery store or other non-medical setting is so troubling.

According to a recent article in NPR:

“In 2010, 18.4 percent of adults who were immunized received the flu vaccine at a supermarket or drugstore, just edging out workplace vaccinations for the second most popular venue, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

… [W]hile more people are going to the pharmacy, the number of Americans who get the flu vaccine each year has remained fairly constant at about 40 percent of all adults. Drugstores and supermarket pharmacies are eager to stake out a bigger piece of that market. Nationwide, the number of pharmacists trained to deliver vaccines has nearly quadrupled since 2007, from 40,000 to 150,000.”

While pharmacists are trained to administer the vaccine, they’re not necessarily trained to address a sudden and life threatening health emergency that may arise after the shot is given. It’s important to understand that ALL vaccines carry a risk for provoking an acute adverse reaction, such as fainting or having a seizure, which could be truly life threatening if you’re driving a car or crossing a street after you have left the store, for example.

All Vaccines Suppress Your Immune System

Vaccines can also be immune suppressive—that is, they can suppress your immune system, which may not return to normal for weeks to months. Here are just some of the ways vaccines can impair and alter your immune response:

  • Some components in vaccines are neurotoxic and may depress your immune response or cause brain and immune dysfunction, particularly heavy metals such as mercury preservatives and aluminum adjuvants
  • The lab altered vaccine viruses themselves may also affect your immune response in a negative way
  • Vaccines may alter your t-cell function and lead you to become chronically ill
  • Vaccines can trigger allergies or autoimmune disorders. Vaccines introduce large foreign protein molecules into your body. Your body can respond to these foreign particles in a way that causes an allergic reaction or triggers autoimmunty, especially in persons genetically or biologically vulnerable to allergy and autoimmunity

The flu vaccine may also pose an immediate risk to your cardiovascular system due to the fact that they elicit an inflammatory response. One 2007 study published in the Annals of Medicine concluded that:

Abnormalities in arterial function and LDL oxidation may persist for at least two weeks after a slight inflammatory reaction induced by influenza vaccination. These could explain in part the earlier reported increase in cardiovascular risk during the first weeks after an acute inflammatory disorder.”

Mercury is a Well-Known Neurotoxin

Thimerosal, which is 49 percent mercury by volume, is a widely used vaccine preservative.

It is present in many different vaccines used in the U.S., including the majority of seasonal flu vaccines, although there are a few million doses of thimerosal-free single dose vials of influenza vaccine manufactured by drug companies that are supposed to be reserved for infants and pregnant women.

However if you are pregnant or have an infant and want to get a flu shot, be aware that you may have to specifically insist on getting the thimerosal-free single vial version as many health practitioners and pharmacists are still clueless about the health risks associated with thimerosal.

Some don’t even know that thimerosal is a mercury derivative!

A typical dose of thimerosal-containing flu vaccine contains 25 micrograms thimerosal. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the safe limit for human exposure to mercury is 0.1 mcg per kilo of weight per day.

Since almost half of the thimerosal is mercury, this means that each flu shot contains just over 12 mcg’s of mercury, which would be considered unsafe for anyone weighing less than 120 kilos, or just under 265 pounds.

There’s really no debate about whether or not mercury is a neurotoxin. It’s a well-established fact that it is. It’s also well understood that mercury is particularly damaging to young, developing brains, and this is one of the core concerns about vaccines. If it’sunsafe to breathe or ingest mercury, why would it suddenly become harmless when injected directly into your body, bypassing all of your body’s natural detoxification pathways?

If anything, the damage is likely to be far more profound!  The following video offers a powerful illustration of how mercury literally destroys brain neurons.

 

 

Why Did Vaccine Maker Fail to Reveal Massive Increase in Reactions?

On October 18, The Australian published an article questioning the omission of research showing a dramatic uptick in side effects from the flu vaccine in 2006. As you may recall, last year, Australia temporarily suspended all seasonal flu vaccinations for children under the age of five after noticing a 200 percent increase in unusual fevers and convulsions. At that time, CSL submitted updated research from 2006 showing a sharp rise in fevers linked to its vaccine, which they had omitted from the legally required product information sheets given to doctors.

The product sheets instead listed figures from 2005.

The 2005 information showed 22.5 per cent of children under three, and nearly 16 percent of children aged three to nine experienced fever as a side effect. Meanwhile the updated figures for 2006 showed the rate of unusual fevers had nearly DOUBLED, to 39.5 percent in children up to three, and 27 percent for three to nine-year olds.

According to The Australian:

“Both sets of results were published in 2009, but CSL has still not included the more alarming set of figures in the product information. The Medical Journal of Australia reported… that CSL did not give this information to Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, until last year when the spate of serious febrile convulsions in young children given the annual flu jab triggered a suspension on the use of such vaccines for children under five.”

The CSL’s explanation for the omission is that they didn’t think the 2006 figures were “clinically substantially different” to the 2005 figures.  Really? If a doubling of side effects is not substantially and clinically different, then what is?

Was Blend of Flu Viruses to Blame for Increase in Adverse Effects?

CSL now claims to have pinpointed the potential problem causing their H1N1 vaccine (Fluvax) to be so much more reactive than seasonal flu vaccines of the past. According to a September 3 article in The Australian:

“CSL followed World Health Organisation recommendations when it concocted its controversial Fluvax vaccine, which combined swine flu with two seasonal strains of influenza for the first time… CSL yesterday revealed a breakthrough in its 18-month scientific investigation…  It said the interim findings pointed to a problem with how the three virus strains interacted.

“Our scientific studies indicate that the interaction between the particular virus strains used in the 2010 . . . vaccine contributed to the reactions, but we are still working to understand the how and why,” a CSL spokeswoman told The Weekend Australian. “We have completed comprehensive investigations into our manufacturing operations (which) have not identified any change or deviation in our standard registered manufacturing process that could have contributed to the increased reactions.””

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has rebutted CSL’s conclusions stating that:

“None of the other manufacturers have seen the same sort of effects with these strains,” Dr [Ian] Barr [deputy director of the WHO’s influenza research laboratory in Melbourne] said. He ruled out testing the WHO’s flu-shot recipe — which tends to change each year — before new vaccines were used on people. “It’s just not possible because this is more or less a just-in-time vaccine,” he said.”

Both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Australian counterpart, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), have blamed the problem on manufacturing deficiencies, poor management, and inadequate cleaning and testing at the CSL facility. According to The Australian:

“The TGA said yesterday different manufacturing processes could explain why only CSL’s vaccine caused such widespread side-effects in children last year.”While the different brands of seasonal influenza vaccines use the same strains of virus, there are differences in manufacturing processes that may result in differences in the biology of the vaccines,” an administration spokeswoman said.

Finland Vows to Pay for Lifetime Medical Care for Kids Harmed by H1N1 Vaccine

The 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu vaccine wreaked uncommon havoc in many countries. For example, several European countries noticed a staggering uptick in narcolepsy —a rare and devastating sleeping disorder.  Unfortunately, vaccine makers are completely shielded from liability for any harm caused by a pandemic vaccine, which is what the H1N1 flu vaccine was, so the fact that this vaccine turned out to be so harmful is a red flag for everyone to carefully weigh potential benefits and risks, and not trust blindly when health officials and doctors give standard assurances of vaccine safety and effectiveness.

In a rare and welcome demonstration of compassion and respect for the vaccine injured, the Finnish government and major health insurance companies recently announced they will pay for lifetime medical care for all the children diagnosed with narcolepsy after receiving the swine flu vaccine.

As reported by Yahoo News:

“Finnish and international researchers recently found a conclusive link between the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine and new cases of narcolepsy… The Finnish Pharmaceutical Insurance Pool (LVP), which represents insurance companies, said… it would honor all insurance claims in this category… The Finnish government meanwhile agreed to cover any medical costs exceeding the insurance claims.

In Finland, 79 children between the ages of four and 19 developed narcolepsy after receiving the Pandemrix vaccine in 2009 and 2010. Of these cases, an unusually high number, 76, also suffered from bouts of cataplexy, suffering hallucinations or paralysing physical collapses, according to Finnish research.”

Flu Vaccine for Pregnant Women Now Called into Question

In the U.S., trivalent influenza vaccination is universally recommended for all pregnant women, but a new study now calls this practice into question. The study examined “the magnitude, time course, and variance in inflammatory responses following seasonal influenza virus vaccination among pregnant women.”  The women were assessed prior to, and at one day, two days, and one week following vaccination..

The analysis showed significant increases in C-reactive protein (CRP) and other markers of inflammation following the vaccinations. According to the authors:

“Trivalent influenza virus vaccination elicits a measurable inflammatory response among pregnant women … There was considerable variability in magnitude of response; coefficients of variation for change at two days post-vaccination ranged from 122 percent to 728 percent, with the greatest variability in IL-6 responses at this timepoint.

… As adverse perinatal health outcomes including preeclampsia and preterm birth have an inflammatory component, a tendency toward greater inflammatory responding to immune triggers may predict risk of adverse outcomes, providing insight into biological mechanisms underlying risk… further research is needed to confirm that the mild inflammatory response elicited by vaccination is benign in pregnancy.”

Are Flu Vaccines Increasing Inflammation in Pregnant Women to Dangerous Levels?

The issue of inflammation is very important, and may be a crucial concern for pregnant women and infants. Pregnant women experiencing acute inflammation, whether from natural infection or from a vaccination, may well suffer an increased risk of their unborn child suffering health damage as a result.

It has always been a principle in medicine that one should not expose pregnant women to unnecessary risks from smoking or ingesting drugs or alcohol or other toxins because the risk to the unborn child is too great. Until a decade ago, most women were not routinely advised by doctors to get vaccinated during pregnancy but, today, there is a big push by the CDC and medical trade organizations to vaccinate all pregnant women in any trimester. The really big push began in earnest during the much-hyped pandemic “swine flu” influenza scare of 2009, a flu that turned out to be less severe than most annual “flu seasons.”

Researchers are now questioning the assumed safety of giving flu shots to pregnant women because stimulating a woman’s immune system during midterm and later term pregnancy may significantly increase the risk that her baby will develop autism during childhood and schizophrenia sometime during the teenage years and afterward. This risk is not minor. According to Dr. Blaylock, it’s a well-accepted fact within neuroscience that eliciting an immune response during pregnancy increases the risk of autism and schizophrenia in her offspring seven- to 14-fold!

In fact, a number of neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems can occur in babies born to women immunologically stimulatedduring pregnancy. For example, in one study done by Dr. Laura Hewitson, a professor of obstetrics at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center, found that a single vaccine used in human babies, when used in newborn monkeys, caused significant abnormalities in brainstem development.

It’s true that serious flu infections or E. coli infections during pregnancy are a major risk for all these complications, but a woman’s risk of actually becoming infected is quite small.

Two years ago, I interviewed Dr. Blaylock, a board certified neurosurgeon and author of Excitotoxins: the Taste that Kills, on this topic. At the time, we were discussing the swine flu and H1N1 vaccine, but one particular segment relates to the issue of vaccinations during pregnancy in general. As stated above, vaccines elicit an inflammatory response, and according to Dr. Blaylock, this is of considerable concern for pregnant women.

Based on the data Dr. Blaylock shared in that interview, pregnant women had about a 99.97 percent chance of NOT becoming so ill from the swine flu that they would require any type of hospital care. Put another way, a pregnant woman only had a 0.03 percent chance of contracting a life-threatening case of influenza. These statistics would likely be applicable for most “regular” flu seasons as well. With the risk of suffering complications from naturally-acquired influenza being so low, why is the US government insisting on vaccinating ALL pregnant women; thereby significantly increasing the risk to ALL unborn infants?

What Your Obstetrician Doesn’t Know about Vaccines Can Jeopardize Your Baby

Each year, the CDC and medical trade associations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urge pregnant women and young children to get a flu shot because, they say, pregnant women and young children are “particularly at risk” for flu complications and death. However, the statistics simply do not support this recommendation.

Neither does the science…

Unfortunately, many obstetricians and pediatricians strongly recommend the flu vaccine to their pregnant patients because they simply don’t know any better.

Doctors typically do not read neuroscience journals, perhaps because they don’t have the time or because it is a lot easier to just blindly trust and follow the CDC or AAP “recommendations” without every checking them out.  But the link between inflammatory cytokine production during pregnancy and subsequent health problems in infants and young children is well explained in the medical literature; it’s been published in well-respected journals and is already accepted within the field of neuroscience.

 

 

How to Protect Yourself Against the Flu Without Vaccination

Fortunately, avoiding a serious case of the flu doesn’t require a flu vaccine. By following these simple guidelines, you can keep your immune system in optimal working order so that you’re far less likely to acquire the infection to begin with or, if you do get sick with the flu, you are better prepared to move through it without complications and soon return to good health.

Ideally, you’ll want to get all your vitamin D from sun exposure or a safe tanning bed, but as a last resort you can take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. According to the latest review by Carole Baggerly (Grassrootshealth.org), adults need about 8,000 IU’s a day.

  • Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods. Sugar impairs the function of your immune system almost immediately, and as you likely know, a healthy immune system is one of the most important keys to fighting off viruses and other illness. Be aware that sugar is present in foods you may not suspect, like ketchup and fruit juice.
  • Get Enough Rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you’re tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Be sure to check out my article Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep for some great tips to help you get quality rest.
  • Have Effective Tools to Address Stress . We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique, which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma.
  • Exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads.
  • Take a Good Source of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the omega-3 found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. It is also vitally important to avoid damaged omega-6 oils that are trans fats and in processed foods as it will seriously damage your immune response.
  • Wash Your Hands. Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Be sure you don’t use antibacterial soap for this — antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, and they cause far more harm than good. Instead, identify a simple chemical-free soap that you can switch your family to.
  • Use Natural Antibiotics. Examples include colloidal silver, oil of oregano, and garlic. These work like broad-spectrum antibiotics against bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in your body. And unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they do not appear to lead to resistance.
  • Avoid Hospitals.  I’d recommend you stay away from hospitals unless you’re having an emergency and need expert medical care, as hospitals are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds. The best place to get plenty of rest and recover from illness that is not life-threatening is usually in the comfort of your own home.

What You Can Do to Make a Difference

While it seems “old-fashioned,” the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.

Vaccine Awareness WeekTHINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.

Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.

Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org not only gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community, but when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Contact Your Elected Officials

Write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. Call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don’t let them forget you!

It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what’s really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the “real life” experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.

Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down.  Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mass vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or  government officials for making independent vaccine choices.

Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want,  I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/31/flu-vaccination-epa-safety-limit-for-mercury.aspx

Mercury Contamination in Corn Syrup?

You’ve got to see this, especially the classic ads for sugar and lard!

Fifty different brands of high fructose corn syrup containing foods were tested for mercury.

Mercury Testing Recommended Before Pregnancy

Recent testing of mercury concentrations in three national brands of canned tuna found that “55% of all tuna examined was above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety level for human consumption.” And the problem appears to be getting worse. Previous studies on canned tuna, in 1993 and 2004, showed concerning levels of mercury contamination, but not as bad as it is now. See my profile of the paper in my 2-min. videoWhich brand of tuna has the most mercury?

Given the average level of mercury pollution found in canned tuna, researchers suggest that your average 9 year old would exceed the EPA limit even if they only ate a can of tuna every 6 weeks! They conclude: “These results indicate that stricter regulation of the canned tuna industry is necessary to ensure the safety of sensitive populations such as pregnant women, infants, and children.”

Some question whether the federal safety limits are even sufficiently protective. A recent review from researchers at Harvard and elsewhere on the adverse effects of mercury in fish proposed that the exposure limits set in the United States should be cut in half. Already, current regulations in the United States allow up to 10 times as much mercury in fish as the EPA limit allows, and so our fish is allowed to have 20 times more mercury than may be considered safe.

Because the EPA safety limit on mercury in fish may not sufficiently protect pregnant women in the United States, a recommendation has been put forth that fish-eating women may want to get tested for mercury before considering getting pregnant. It’s a simple test. Since mercury basically contaminates our whole body, all they need is a hair sample. See more details in my 2-min. video Hair Testing for Mercury Before Consider Pregnancy.

Studies on children of the neurobehavioral toxicity of mercury suggest that no level of mercury exposure can truly be considered safe, but pressure from the fish industry may be preventing safety limits from dropping further. In my video Nerves of Mercury I profile a famous study published in the Journal of Pediatrics showing brain damage in adolescents at below the mercury limits placed on fish in this country. As one former EPA toxicologist told theWall Street Journal, “They really consider the fish industry to be their clients, rather than the U.S. public.”

Mercury is not just a problem for children. Mercury and other toxic pollutants in fish is thought to be why the consumption of dark fish (such as salmon, swordfish, bluefish, mackerel, and sardines) may increase one’s risk of atrial fibrillation, an irregularity of heart beat rhythm associated with stroke, dementia, heart failure, and a shortened lifespan. See my 2-min. video Red Fish, White Fish; Dark Fish, Atrial Fibrillation. Also check out Fish Fog, which discusses the link between fish consumption and neurobehavioral abnormalities in adults. For more information on industrial pollutants in fish, see Xenoestrogens & Sperm Counts and Fish Intake Biomarker.

There are also natural toxins that can bioaccumulate up the aquatic food chain. See my 2-min. video Amnesic Seafood Poisoning about a rare toxin called domoic acid. It can turn up in tuna and other seafood and can cause anterograde amnesia, the loss of short-term memory popularized in the movie Memento. Even drugs can build up in fish. In my 1-min. video A Fine Kettle of Fluoxetine, I follow up on my earlier video Prozac Residues in Fish about the occurrence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in fish fillets.

For more on canned tuna specifically, see Carcinogenic PutrescineThe Effect of Canned Tuna on Future Wages,Amalgam Fillings vs. Canned Tuna, and Mercury in Vaccinations vs. Tuna.

Fish aren’t the only source of toxic heavy metals, though. Mercury has been found in both high fructose corn syrup-containing products (see Mercury in Corn Syrup?) and Ayurvedic dietary supplements (Get the Lead Out).

-Michael Greger, M.D.

http://nutritionfacts.org/2012/07/27/mercury-testing-recommended-before-pregnancy/?utm_source=NutritionFacts.org&utm_campaign=01e5f60041-RSS_BLOG_DAILY&utm_medium=email

Image credit: veer66 / Flickr

57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan as Taught to Nurses

57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan

From NursingDegree.net

Vegans are frequently misunderstood as fringe eaters with an unnatural passion for animal rights. While many vegans do feel passionately about animals, its time for others to see that a vegan diet and lifestyle go way beyond animal rights. Following a healthy, balanced vegan diet ensures a host of health benefits as well as prevention of some of the major diseases striking people in North America. Read these blogs to find out about the health benefits or going vegan or just provide better information to your patients.

Nutrition

All of the following nutritional benefits come from a vegan diet full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products.

  1. Reduced saturated fats. Dairy products and meats contain a large amount ofsaturated fats. By reducing the amount of saturated fats from your diet, you’ll improve your health tremendously, especially when it comes to cardiovascular health.
  2. Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide energy for your body. When you don’t have enough carbohydrates, your body will burn muscle tissue.
  3. Fiber. A diet high in fiber (as vegan eating usually is) leads to healthier bowel movements. High fiber diets help fight against colon cancer.
  4. Magnesium. Aiding in the absorption of calcium, magnesium is an often overlooked vitamin in importance to a healthy diet. Nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium.
  5. Potassium. Potassium balances water and acidity in your body and stimulates the kidneys to eliminate toxins. Diets high in potassium have shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  6. Folate. This B vitamin is an important part of a healthy diet. Folate helps with cell repair, generating red and white blood cells, and metabolizing amino acids.
  7. Antioxidants. For protection against cell damage, antioxidants are one of the best ways to help your body. Many researchers also believe that antioxidants helpprotect your body against forming some types of cancer.
  8. Vitamin C. Besides boosting your immune system, Vitamin C also helps keep your gums healthy and helps your bruises heal faster. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant.
  9. Vitamin E. This powerful vitamin has benefits for your heart, skin, eyes, brain, and may even help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. A diet high in grains, nuts, and dark leafy greens is full of Vitamin E.
  10. Phytochemicals. Plant-based foods provide phytochemicals, which help to prevent and heal the body from cancer, boost protective enzymes, and work with antioxidants in the body.
  11. Protein. That protein is good for your body is no surprise. It may be a surprise to learn that most Americans eat too much protein and in forms such as red meat that are not healthy ways of getting protein. Beans, nuts, peas, lentils, and soy products are all great ways to get the right amount of protein in a vegan diet.

Disease Prevention

Eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent a number of diseases. Find out from the list below what you could potentially avoid just by switching to a healthy, balanced vegan way of eating.

  1. Cardiovascular disease. Eating nuts and whole grains, while eliminating dairy products and meat, will improve your cardiovascular health. A British study indicates that a vegan diet reduces the risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegan diets go far in preventing heart attack and stroke.
  2. Cholesterol. Eliminating any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol from your diet. Your heart will thank you for that.
  3. Blood pressure. A diet rich in whole grains is beneficial to your health in many ways, including lowering high blood pressure.
  4. Type 2 diabetes. Not only is a vegan diet a weapon against Type 2 diabetes, it is also “easier to follow than the standard diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association.” Read more about it here.
  5. Prostate cancer. A major study showed that men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progress of the cancer or may have even reversed the illness.
  6. Colon cancer. Eating a diet consisting of whole grains, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, can greatly reduce your chances of colon cancer.
  7. Breast cancer. Countries where women eat very little meat and animal products have a much lower rate of breast cancer than do the women in countries that consume more animal products.
  8. Macular degeneration. Diets with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, can help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration.
  9. Cataracts. Much the same way macular degeneration is headed off by a vegan diet, cataracts are also thought to be prevented through the intake of the same fruits and vegetables. Produce high in antioxidants are also believed to help prevent cataracts.
  10. Arthritis. Eliminating dairy consumption has long been connected with alleviating arthritis symptoms, but a new study indicates that a combination of gluten-free and vegan diet is very promising for improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
  11. Osteoporosis. Bone health depends on a balance of neither too much or too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium. With a healthy vegan diet, all four of these points set a perfect scenario for preventing osteoporosis.

Physical Benefits

In addition to good nutrition and disease prevention, eating vegan also provides many physical benefits. Find out how a vegan diet makes your body stronger, more attractive, and more energetic.

  1. Body Mass Index. Several population studies show that a diet without meat leads to lower BMIs–usually an indicator of a healthy weight and lack of fat on the body.
  2. Weight loss. A healthy weight loss is a typical result of a smart vegan diet. Eating vegan eliminates most of the unhealthy foods that tend to cause weight issues. Read more about weight loss and a vegan diet here.
  3. Energy. When following a healthy vegan diet, you will find your energy is much higher. This blog post in Happy Healthy Long Life describes how NFL tight-endTony Gonzalez started eating vegan and gained energy–while playing football.
  4. Healthy skin. The nuts and vitamins A and E from vegetables play a big role in healthy skin, so vegans will usually have good skin health. Many people who switch to a vegan diet will notice a remarkable reduction in blemishes as well.
  5. Longer life. Several studies indicate that those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle live an average of three to six years longer than those who do not.
  6. Body odor. Eliminating dairy and red meat from the diet significantly reduces body odor. Going vegan means smelling better.
  7. Bad breath. Vegans frequently experience a reduction in bad breath. Imagine waking up in the morning and not having morning breath.
  8. Hair. Many who follow vegan diets report that their hair becomes stronger, has more body, and looks healthier.
  9. Nails. Healthy vegan diets are also responsible for much stronger, healthier nails. Nail health is said to be an indicator of overall health.
  10. PMS. When switching to a vegan diet, many women tell how PMS symptoms become much less intense or disappear altogether. The elimination of dairy is thought to help with those suffering with PMS.
  11. Migraines. Migraine suffers who go on vegan diets frequently discover relief from their migraines. Read more about the food-migraine connection in this article.
  12. Allergies. Reduction in dairy, meat, and eggs is often tied to alleviation of allergy symptoms. Many vegans report much fewer runny noses and congestion problems.

Too Much in the American Diet

The typical American diet not only consists of too much food, it also relies on too much of unnecessary food products or toxins. The following list explains how a vegan diet can eliminate these problems.

  1. Animal proteins. The average American eats twice as much protein as necessary for a healthy diet and much of that is from red meat. Getting protein from beans and grains is much healthier and reduces the risk for osteoporosis (see above).
  2. Cow’s milk dairy. The human body is not designed to digest cow milk and cow milk dairy products, yet the idea of milk being healthy is pushed through advertising. As many as 75% of people in the world may be lactose intolerant and many people suffer from undiagnosed milk allergies or sensitivities. By eliminating cow’s milk from your diet, you are improving your overall health.
  3. Eggs. Many nutritionists believe that the number of eggs in the American diet is too high. While sometimes disputed, it has been shown that eggs can raise cholesterol levels.
  4. Mercury. Most of the fish and shellfish consumed has mercury in it. While some fish have less than others, it is almost impossible not to be putting mercury in your body when you eat fish.
  5. Sugar. Most people have heard that Americans consume way too much sugar. Relying on other sweeteners that are not synthetic, processed, or derived from animal products is a healthier way to eat. Many vegans do not eat processed sugar due to the fact that most of the cane sugar is refined through activated charcoal, most of which comes from animal bones.

Other Benefits

In addition to the health benefits above, following a vegan lifestyle and diet also provides these benefits as well. From helping the environment to avoiding serious bacterial infections, learn other benefits to eating the vegan way below.

  1. Animals. Many people begin a vegan diet out of concern for animals. Whether opposed to the conditions of animals intended for food or eating animals in general, going vegan will help your conscience rest easily.
  2. Environment. Growing plants takes much fewer resources than growing animals. By eating vegan, you can help reduce the toll on the environment.
  3. E. coliE. coli comes from eating contaminated red meat and is the leading cause of bloody diarrhea. Young children, those with compromised immune systems, and elderly people can become extremely ill or die from E. coli. Eating vegan means completely avoiding the risk of E. coli infection.
  4. Salmonella. Another gastrointestinal illness from animal products, salmonella food poisoning is closely related to E. coli. The most frequent way people contract salmonella food poisoning is through contact with raw eggs or raw chicken meat from chickens infected with salmonella. Again, going vegan means eliminating this risk altogether.
  5. Mad cow disease. It’s safe to say that most people would want to avoid contracting a fatal, non-treatable disease. One way to ensure you don’t get Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is by not eating animals infected with mad cow disease. While the incidence of mad cow disease is not reportedly so high in North America, it does exist.
  6. Global food supply. Feeding grain to animals meant as food sources reduces the amount of food that is available to underdeveloped nations. Many people will go hungry while that same food they could be eating is given to animals raised for slaughter. Eating vegan ensures that you have removed yourself from the participation of this imbalance.
  7. Hormone consumption. Eating animals that have been given hormones to speed growth (a common practice in the meat industry) means those hormones go into your body. Not only can this disrupt the natural balance of your hormones, but some of the hormones given to animals have shown to cause tumor growth in humans.
  8. Antibiotics. Antibiotics are frequently given to feed animals, which can lead to bacterial resistance. Many of the antibiotics used to treat human infections are also used in feed animals.

Read the rest at:  http://www.nursingdegree.net/blog/19/57-health-benefits-of-going-vegan/

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: