Prophecy as I always say is for amateurs, but it makes a fun posting and our viewers seem to like it.
So here we go for 2014- How did I score? — The below is from my 2014 predictions and the results –I originally posted the predictions on Jan 05 2014.
And here are the 2014 predictions — and My Results
1. Pope continues on his People’s Pope Agenda until a huge event shakes the Vatican. – True he is continuing his reforms ,, and the people are liking him, but nothing huge shakes up the Vatican , just some of the same issues plaguing the Vatican.– I get a 1/2 pt.
2. Severe drought in the Southeast will redevelop in late spring– No wrong
3. A bad January for US weather will welcome a February Spring –No fairly Bad to Average balance of the Winter
4.There will be unusual large meteorites entering the earth atmosphere- Yes there were several ,, including a Monster in Russia which injured a thousand people
5. There will be a huge unknown explosion in Brazil. No wrong
6. Winter Games will not go well for Putin. — Generally the games went well, But Putin got major Heat from the huge price-tag of the Games – 1/2 pt.
7. Japan will suffer another 7.5 or larger earthquake , further damaging Fukushima. Nope- wrong
8. A very powerful hurricane season will fully make up for the passive 2013 season in the Atlantic basin.- No wrong extremely light season
9. Unexpected temperature drop ( world average) surprise climate change scientists, but its just part of the Change, yes sort of right — cooler than it has been especially Midwest and the Eastern part of the US. — say 1/2 right
10.I finally predict we will make it to see 2015- 100% right , unless something huge hits the fan in the last 10 days of 2014.
Final Score for 2014 3.5 right and 6.5 wrong — or a correct % of 35–well that sucks
Now the new predictions for 2015
1. There will be a huge scandal in the world of American Lottery — The criminals won’t probably surprise you.
2. Hacking on the internet will stop millions from buying products on-line and banking on-line will sharply decline.
3. Warm- wet winter for US ,, following by a very cool spring and hot summer.
4.Three bigger than life movie stars will die within weeks of each other.
5.Because of the decline in Oil prices – Russia’s economy will start to fall apart , and a world-wide recession will start the end of 2015
6. War drums will start sounding — players will be Russia, China, Iran , Israel and of course the US.
7. More large meteors will continue to hit the earth. One will hit close to major world city and kill two thousand people.
8. World knowledge about the damage Fukushima has done to mankind will continue to grow.
9. Chicago Cubs will win the World Series
10. Ebola will start spreading again around the world moving into India and Southeast Asia. Maybe a new and more dangerous strain.
Well sleep tight – I predict you have a 100% chance the sun will rise tomorrow.
Most spices have powerful medicinal properties, which is precisely why they’ve been used to promote healing for thousands of years prior to the advent of modern, synthetic drug-based medicine.
One such spice is turmeric, the yellow-pigmented “curry spice” often used in Indian cuisine. Turmeric contains curcumin, the polyphenol identified as its primary active component and which exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.1
Curcumin is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, which is one reason why it holds promise as a neuroprotective agent in a wide range of neurological disorders. Researchers have investigated curcumin for its potential role in improving Parkinson’s disease.
Preliminary results indicate that it may hold even more promise than the drugs currently used for this disorder, many of which (ironically) have serious neurotoxic side effects, including dyskinesia – a movement disorder identical to the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease caused by a steady depletion of dopamine-producing nerve cells, particularly in the area of your brain referred to as the substantia nigra. Most of the current drug treatments for Parkinson’s disease, known as dopamine agonists, focus on replenishing dopamine.
Although such treatments provide symptomatic relief during early Parkinson’s disease, they are ineffective in the long term where they may actually increase symptoms such as tremor, postural instability and cognitive deficits that are common with this disease. They are also associated with motor complications and a laundry list of other strange and disturbing side effects, including:
Causing or worsening psychosis Unusual tiredness or weakness
Orthostatic hypotension (a dizzy spell caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure) Dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, or fainting
Increased orgasmic intensity Twitching, twisting, or other unusual body movements
Weight loss Pathological addiction (gambling, shopping, internet pornography, hypersexuality)
As researchers noted in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design:2
“Most of the current pharmacotherapeutic approaches in PD [Parkinson’s disease] are aimed at replenishing the striatal dopamine. Although these drugs provide symptomatic relief during early PD, many patients develop motor complications with long-term treatment. Further, PD medications do not effectively tackle tremor, postural instability and cognitive deficits.
Most importantly, most of these drugs do not exhibit neuroprotective effects in patients. Consequently, novel therapies involving natural antioxidants and plant products/molecules with neuroprotective properties are being exploited for adjunctive therapy.”
Unlike Parkinson’s drugs, curcumin is neuroprotective and several studies strongly support its use for the treatment of Parkinson’s. For example:
Curcumin showed neuroprotective properties in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease; the beneficial effect was thought to be related, in part, to its antioxidant capabilities and its ability to penetrate the brain.3
Curcumin alleviated the effects of glutathione depletion, which causes oxidative stress, mitochondria dysfunction and cell death – and is a feature of early Parkinson’s disease.4
The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway is involved in dopaminergic neuronal degeneration, which is in turn associated with Parkinson’s. Curcumin prevents dopaminergic neuronal death through inhibition of the JNK pathway, and thereby offers a neuroprotective effect that may be beneficial for Parkinson’s.5
Slow-wriggling alpha-synuclein proteins can cause clumping, which is the first step for diseases such as Parkinson’s. Curcumin helps prevent the proteins from clumping.6
Curcumin Is a Powerful Ally for Your Brain Health
For years now turmeric, and its active ingredient curcumin, have shown powerful benefits to your brain health. One of the ways that it works, similar to vitamin D, is modulating large numbers of your genes; in fact, curcumin has been shown to influence more than 700 genes.
The potential healing power of this spice, which is an important part of Eastern cultural traditions including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, perhaps first came about when it was noticed that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease among older adults in India is more than four times lower than the rate in the United States.
Why such a significant difference?
Some researchers believe the answer for this drastic disparity in Alzheimer’s disease prevalence is a direct result of curcumin. Research has shown that curcumin may help inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as break up existing plaques. People with Alzheimer’s tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains, and curcumin is perhaps most known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The compound can inhibit both the activity and the inflammatory metabolic byproducts of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX) enzymes, as well as other enzymes and hormones that modulate inflammation.
And that’s not all. The growing interest in curcumin over the past 50 years is understandable when you consider the many health benefits researchers have found when studying this spice. According to an ever-expanding clinical body of studies, curcumin may help:
Support healthy cholesterol levels Prevent low-density lipoprotein oxidation Inhibit platelet aggregation
Suppress thrombosis and myocardial infarction Suppress symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes Suppress symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Suppress symptoms of multiple sclerosis Suppress symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease Inhibit HIV replication
Suppress tumor formation Enhance wound healing Protect against liver damage
Increase bile secretion Protect against cataracts Protect against pulmonary toxicity and fibrosis
Two More Important Tools for Parkinson’s: Vitamin D and Omega-3
There is a correlation between insufficient levels of vitamin D and the development of early Parkinson’s disease, and research has suggested that long-term deficiency may play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. There are three major points you want to remember about vitamin D:
Your best source for this vitamin is exposure to the sun, without sunblock on your skin, until your skin turns the lightest shade of pink. While this isn’t always possible due to the change of the seasons and your geographic location (and your skin color), this is the ideal to aim for. A safe tanning bed is the next best option, followed by oral vitamin D3 supplementation.
If you do supplement with vitamin D, you’ll only want to supplement with natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Do NOT use the synthetic and highly inferior vitamin D2, which is the one most doctors will give you in a prescription most of the time unless you ask specifically for D3.
Get your vitamin D blood levels checked! The only way to determine the correct dose is to have your blood tested since there are so many variables that influence your vitamin D status. I recommend using Lab Corp in the U.S. Getting the correct test is the first step in this process, as there are TWO vitamin D tests currently being offered: 1,25(OH)D and 25(OH)D.
From my perspective, the preferred test your doctor needs to order is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is the better marker of overall D status. This is the marker that is most strongly associated with overall health. You’ll want to optimize your levels according to the chart below. If you currently have Parkinson’s disease you will want to keep your vitamin D level in the higher 70-100 ng/ml range to help fight the disease.
vitamin d levels
Animal-based omega-3 fats are also a powerful defense against Parkinson’s, as they contain two fatty acids crucial to human health, DHA and EPA. Most of the neurological benefits of omega-3 oils are derived from the DHA component rather than the EPA component.
In fact, DHA is one of the major building blocks of your brain. About half of your brain and eyes are made up of fat, much of which is DHA — making it an essential nutrient for optimal brain and eye function. Your brain activity actually depends greatly upon the functions provided by its outer, fatty waxy membrane to act as an electrical nerve-conduction cable. In your brain alone, DHA may help to ward off Parkinson’s by:
Reducing brain inflammation
Stimulating neuron growth, and development and repair of synapses. (Your brain is a vast complex system of nerve cells sending and receiving electrical impulses across junctions called synapses. The small space between the two cells is where the action occurs. One neuron may synapse with as many as 1,000 other neurons.)
DHA protects your brain’s function by supporting optimal glutamate function. Glutamate and GABA are considered your brain’s ‘workhorse’ neurotransmitters. They work together to control your brain’s overall level of excitability, which controls many body processes.
I believe krill oil is your best option for getting animal-based omega-3 fats because of the fact that the omega-3 is attached to phospholipids that dramatically increase its absorption, especially into brain tissue.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease is related to lifestyle factors, including the following:
Environmental toxins and pesticides Aspartame consumption
Petroleum-based hydrocarbon solvents, like paint and glue Deficiencies in vitamin D and vitamin B folate
Excess iron in your body Pasteurized milk
In addition to avoiding these toxic exposures, I recommend lifestyle adjustments including:
Exercise regularly, including high-intensity exercise like Peak Fitness. It’s one of the best ways to protect against the onset of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Get plenty of sunshine to optimize your vitamin D levels
Avoid pesticide and insecticide exposure (as well as exposure to other environmental toxins like solvents)
Eat more organic vegetables, which are high in folate, the natural form of folic acid (folate after all comes from foliage)
Make sure your body has healthy levels of iron and manganese (neither too much nor too little of either)
Consider supplementing coenzyme Q10, which may help to fight the disease. But remember, the oxidized form of coenzyme Q10 called ubiquinone or plain CoQ10 is actually found in elevated levels in neurodegenerative conditions involving enhanced oxidative stress, as it is a residual marker of lipid peroxidation (brain rancidity). This is why ubiquinol, the reduced form that is capable of donating electrons to quench brain-damaging free radicals, while at the same time providing a boost to brain mitochondrial function, is the only logical choice in Parkinson’s disease and related neurodegenerative conditions.
As for getting the full benefits that curcumin has to offer, look for a turmeric extract that contains 100 percent certified organic ingredients, with at least 95 percent curcuminoids. The formula should be free of fillers, additives and excipients (a substance added to the supplement as a processing or stability aid), and the manufacturer should use safe production practices at all stages: planting, cultivation, selective harvesting, and then producing and packaging the final product.
Unfortunately, at the present time there really are no formulations available for the use against cancer. This is because relatively high doses are required and curcumin is not absorbed that well. There is much work being done to provide a bioavailable formulation in the near future.
In the event you need higher doses (such as in the case of treating cancer), use the curcumin powder and make a microemulsion of it by combining a tablespoon of the powder and mixing it into 1-2 egg yolks and a teaspoon or two of melted coconut oil. Then use a high-speed hand blender to emulsify the powder (be careful when doing so as curcumin is a very potent yellow pigment and can permanently discolor surfaces if you aren’t careful).
Another strategy that can help increase absorption is to put one tablespoon of the curcumin powder into a quart of boiling water. It must be boiling when you add the powder; it will not work as well if you put it in room temperature water and heat the water and curcumin. After boiling it for 10 minutes you will have created a 12 percent solution that you can drink once it has cooled down. It will have a woody taste. The curcumin will gradually fall out of the solution, however. In about six hours it will be a 6 percent solution, so it’s best to drink the water within four hours.
A little over three years ago, I was introduced to high intensity interval training, commonly referred to as HIIT, when I met Phil Campbell at a fitness camp in Mexico. I refer to it as Peak Fitness Training.
Since then, researchers have repeatedly confirmed the superior health benefits of HIIT compared to traditional and typically performed aerobic workouts.
For example, high-intensity interval-type training gives a natural boost to human growth hormone (HGH) production—which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor—and has been shown to significantly improve insulin sensitivity, boost fat loss, and increase muscle growth.
Anaerobic HIIT can be performed on a recumbent bike or an elliptical machine, or sprinting outdoors (with proper guidelines to avoid injury).
While there are a large number of variations, the HIIT routine I recommend involves going all out for 30 seconds and then resting for 90 seconds between sprints. Total workout is typically 8 repetitions. In all, you’ll be done in about 20 minutes, and you only need to perform HIIT two or three times a week.
But researchers such as Dr. Izumi Tabata have shown that even shorter workouts can work, as long as the intensity is high enough.1
The video above shows a modified high intensity workout from the DVD Mash Up Conditioning. It demonstrates 30 seconds of high intensity followed by 30 seconds of recovery with repeated intervals. There are 3 different levels demonstrated at the same time in the video.
I personally modified the Peak 8 to a Peak 6 this year as it was sometimes just too strenuous for me to do all 8 and. So by listening to my body and cutting it back to 6 reps I can now easily tolerate the workout and go full out and I no longer dread doing them.
Another tweak is to incorporate Butyenko breathing into the workout and do most of the workout by only breathing through my nose. This raises the challenge to another level. I will discuss more of the benefits of this in a future article but I do believe it has many benefits.
I then finish my Peak 6 workout with Power Plate stretches, 10 pull ups, 10 dips and 20 inverted pushups, and call it a day. I personally have never tried the Tabata protocol as it seems too intimidating and I’m not sure I could do it, but it is yet another option that people can use.
Can You Get Fit in Just Four Minutes, Four Times a Week?
After monitoring the Japanese speed skating team in the early 90’s, Dr. Tabata noticed that extremely hard but intermittent exercise appeared to be at least as effective as standard workouts that require several hours a week. The training protocol he came up with as a result requires a mere four minutes, four times a week. The caveat? Extremei ntensity.
Dr. Tabata’s HIIT protocol calls for just 20 seconds of all-out drop-dead effort, followed by a mere 10 seconds of rest. This intense cycle is repeated eight times. According to Dr. Tabata:2
“All-out effort at 170 percent of your VO2 max is the criterion of the protocol. If you feel OK afterwards you’ve not done it properly. The first three repetitions will feel easy but the last two will feel impossibly hard. In the original plan the aim was to get to eight, but some only lasted six or seven.”
When performed four times per week for six weeks, participants in one experiment increased their anaerobic capacity by 28 percent, and their VO2 max (an indicator of cardiovascular health) and maximal aerobic power by 15 percent. This is in contrast to the control group, who performed an hour of steady cardiovascular exercise on a stationary bike five times a week. These participants improved their VO2 max by just 10 percent, and their regimen had no effect on their anaerobic capacity.
Dr. Tabata also has forthcoming research findings showing that his protocol reduces your risk of diabetes, which other HIIT studies have already suggested. And, according to the featured article:3
“Another soon-to-be-published finding, which Tabata describes as ‘rather significant,’ shows that the Tabata protocol burns an extra 150 calories in the 12 hours after exercise, even at rest, due to the effect of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. So while it is used by most people to get fit – or by fit people to get even fitter – it also burns fat.”
As Little as Three Minutes of HIIT Per Week Can Improve Your Health, Previous Study Suggests
Dr. Tabata’s claims may sound crazy, but previous research has also found that performing high intensity exercises for just minutes per week can significantly improve important health indices. One such study found that just three minutes of HIIT per week for four weeks improved participants’ insulin sensitivity an average of 24 percent. This truly is amazing, and while aerobic fitness is indeed important, improving and maintaining good insulin sensitivity is perhaps one of the most important aspects of optimal health.
Other research has also demonstrated that 20 minutes of high intensity training, two to three times a week, can yield greater results than slow and steady conventional aerobics done five times a week. But the fact that you can improve your insulin sensitivity by nearly 25 percent with a time investment of less than ONE HOUR A MONTH really shows that you can significantly improve your health without having to eliminate hours of other commitments from your calendar.
As I mentioned previously I have not even attempted this protocol as I know how hard Peak 8 is with a 90 second recovery. I shudder to think how painful the Tabata protocol is with only 10 seconds to recover. That said, I believe that while it’s theoretically possible to reap valuable results with as little as three minutes once a week, it might be more beneficial to do these exercises two or three times a week for a total of four minutes of intense exertion, especially if you are not doing strength training.
You do not need to do them more often than that however. In fact, doing HIIT more frequently than two or three times a week can be counterproductive, as your body needs to recover between these intense sessions. If you feel the urge to do more, make sure you’re really pushing yourself as hard as you can during those two or three weekly sessions, rather than increasing the frequency. Remember, intensity is KEY for reaping all the benefits interval training can offer. To perform it correctly, you’ll want to raise your heart rate to your anaerobic threshold, and to do that, you have to give it your all for those 20 to 30 seconds. Phil Campbell suggests that it needs to be even higher than your maximum calculated heart rate, which is about 220 minus your age.
Why High Intensity Interval Training May Be Ideal for Most
Contrary to popular belief, extended extreme cardio actually sets in motion inflammatory mechanisms that damage your heart. So while your heart is indeed designed to work very hard, and will be strengthened from doing so, it’s only designed to do so intermittently, and for short periods—not for an hour or more at a time. This is the natural body mechanics you tap into when you perform HIIT.
Repeatedly and consistently overwhelming your heart by long distance marathon running, for example, can actually prematurely age your heart and make you more vulnerable to irregular heart rhythm. This is why you sometimes hear of seasoned endurance athletes dropping dead from cardiac arrest during a race.
Compelling and ever-mounting research shows that the ideal form of exercise is short bursts of high intensity exercise. Not only does it beat conventional cardio as the most effective and efficient form of exercise, it also provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), aka the “fitness hormone.”
What Makes HIIT so Effective?
Your body has three types of muscle fibers: slow, fast, and super-fast twitch muscles. Slow twitch muscles are the red muscles, which are activated by traditional strength training and cardio exercises. The latter two (fast and super-fast) are white muscle fibers, and these are only activated during high intensity interval exercises or sprints.
According to fitness expert Phil Campbell, author of Ready, Set, Go, getting cardiovascular benefits requires working all three types of muscle fibers and their associated energy systems — and this cannot be done with traditional cardio, which only activates your red, slow twitch muscles. If your fitness routine doesn’t work your white muscle, you aren’t really working your heart in the most beneficial way. The reason for this is because your heart has two different metabolic processes:
The aerobic, which requires oxygen for fuel, and
The anaerobic, which does not require any oxygen
Traditional strength training and cardio exercises work primarily the aerobic process, while high intensity interval exercises work both your aerobic AND your anaerobic processes, which is what you need for optimal cardiovascular benefit. This is why you may not see the results you desire even when you’re spending an hour on the treadmill several times a week. Interestingly enough, when it comes to high intensity exercises, less really is more. You can get all the benefits you need in just a 20-minute session, start to finish, performed two or a max of three times per week.
How to Properly Perform Peak Fitness Exercises
If you are using exercise equipment, I recommend using a recumbent bicycle or an elliptical machine for your high-intensity interval training, although you certainly can use a treadmill, or sprint anywhere outdoors. Just beware that if you sprint outside, you must be very careful about stretching prior to sprinting.
I personally prefer and recommend the Peak Fitness approach of 30 seconds of maximum effort followed by 90 seconds of recuperation, opposed to Dr. Tabata’s more intense routine of 20 seconds of exertion and only 10 seconds of recovery. But some might like his strategy more. His approach may be better suited to fitter athletes who want to kick it up another notch, but may be too intense for most people. For a demonstration using an elliptical machine, please see the following video. Here are the core principles:
Warm up for three minutes
Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. You should be gasping for breath and feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds. It is better to use lower resistance and higher repetitions to increase your heart rate
Recover for 90 seconds, still moving, but at slower pace and decreased resistance
Repeat the high-intensity exercise and recovery 7 more times. (When you’re first starting out, depending on your level of fitness, you may only be able to do two or three repetitions of the high-intensity intervals. As you get fitter, just keep adding repetitions until you’re doing eight during your 20-minute session)
Cool down for a few minutes afterward by cutting down your intensity by 50-80 percent
By the end of your 30-second high-intensity period you will want to reach these markers:
It will be relatively hard to breathe and talk because you are in oxygen debt.
You will start to sweat. Typically this occurs in the second or third repetition unless you have a thyroid issue and don’t sweat much normally.
Your body temperature will rise.
Lactic acid increases and you will feel a muscle “burn.”
Some Suggestions to Take Into Consideration
Remember, while your body needs regular amounts of stress like exercise to stay healthy, if you give it more than you can handle your health can actually deteriorate. So it’s crucial to listen to your body and integrate the feedback into your exercise intensity and frequency.
When you work out it is wise to really push as hard as you possibly can a few times a week, but you need to wisely gauge your body’s tolerance to this stress. When you’re first starting out, depending on your level of fitness, you may only be able to do two or three repetitions of Peak Fitness. That’s okay! As you get fitter, just keep adding repetitions until you’re doing eight. And if six is what your body is telling you, then stop there.
If you have a history of heart disease or any medical concern please get clearance from your health care professional to start this. Most people of average fitness will be able to do it though; it is only a matter of how much time it will take you to build up to the full 8 reps, depending on your level of intensity.
For Optimal Health, Add Variety to Your Exercise Program
In addition to doing high intensity interval exercises a couple of times a week, it’s wise to alternate a wide variety of exercises in order to truly optimize your health. Without variety, your body will quickly adapt and the benefits will begin to plateau. As a general rule, as soon as an exercise becomes easy to complete, you need to increase the intensity and/or try another exercise to keep challenging your body. I recommend incorporating the following types of exercise into your program on days when you’re not doing high intensity anaerobic training:
Strength Training: If you want, you can increase the intensity by slowing it down. You need enough repetitions to exhaust your muscles. The weight should be heavy enough that this can be done in fewer than 12 repetitions, yet light enough to do a minimum of four repetitions. It is also important NOT to exercise the same muscle groups every day. They need at least two days of rest to recover, repair and rebuild.
For more information about using super slow weight training as a form of high-intensity interval exercise, please see my interview with Dr. Doug McGuff.
Core Exercises: Your body has 29 core muscles located mostly in your back, abdomen and pelvis. This group of muscles provides the foundation for movement throughout your entire body, and strengthening them can help protect and support your back, make your spine and body less prone to injury and help you gain greater balance and stability.
Exercise programs like Pilates, yoga, and Foundation Training are great for strengthening your core muscles, as are specific exercises you can learn from a personal trainer.
Stretching: My favorite type of stretching is Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) developed by Aaron Mattes. With AIS, you hold each stretch for only two seconds, which works with your body’s natural physiological makeup to improve circulation and increase the elasticity of muscle joints. This technique also allows your body to repair itself and prepare for daily activity. You can also use devices like the Power Plate to help you stretch.
Of all age groups, infants are the most vulnerable to fluoride toxicity. Due to their small size, infants receive up to 400% more fluoride (per pound of body weight) than adults consuming the same level of fluoride in water.
A new study published in The Lancet1 shows that for every life saved by mammography screening, three women will be overdiagnosed and treated for a cancer that might never have given them trouble in their lifetimes.
This cost to women’s well-being is worth considering, the study panel said, because:
•99 percent of patients diagnosed with a screen-detected breast cancer will undergo surgery
•About 70 percent will receive radiotherapy
•70 percent will receive adjuvant endocrine therapy, and
•25 percent will undergo toxic chemotherapy
For Every Life Saved, Three are Overdiagnosed and Treated Unnecessarily
The featured analysis was done by an independent panel in the UK, convened “to reach conclusions about the benefits and harms of breast screening on the basis of a review of published work and oral and written evidence presented by experts in the subject.”
The review included both randomized trials and observational studies. The focus was on the British setting, where women between the ages of 50 and 70 are screened every three years.
In the US, the typical recommendation calls for women over the age of 40 to be screened annually, even though the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated their recommendation in 2009, advising women should wait until the age of 50 to get screened, and only get a mammogram every other year thereafter.
The recommendation was widely criticized and outright rejected by some American cancer organizations and doctors, so while mammograms among women in their 40’s have declined slightly since 2009,2 many are still sticking with the old guidelines.
What this means is that the findings from the featured review are actually an underestimation when applied to American women, as screening in the US has, and still tends to begin a decade earlier, and the frequency is three times as great (annually instead of every three years).
According to the authors:
“Since the estimates provided are from studies with many limitations and whose relevance to present-day screening programs can be questioned, they have substantial uncertainty and should be regarded only as an approximate guide.
If these figures are used directly, for every 10,000 UK women aged 50 years invited to screening for the next 20 years, 43 deaths from breast cancer would be prevented and 129 cases of breast cancer, invasive and non-invasive, would be overdiagnosed; that is one breast cancer death prevented for about every three overdiagnosed cases identified and treated.
…Evidence from a focus group organized by Cancer Research UK and attended by some members of the Panel showed that many women feel that accepting the offer of breast screening is worthwhile, which agrees with the results of previous similar studies. Information should be made available in a transparent and objective way to women invited to screening so that they can make informed decisions.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Having the facts with which to make decisions about your health is key. And when it comes to annual mammograms, it’s important to know that you’re FAR more likely to be harmed by the procedure than having your life saved by it. Many women will undoubtedly still be willing to take that risk, but having this information will probably make some women think twice, and propel them to start looking for safer, more effective alternatives to an annual dose of radiation…
Maybe that person is you, or your wife, mother, or daughter. I would encourage you to share this information with the women in your life, to help them make a more educated decision. As Karsten Jorgensen, a researcher at the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen told NBC News:3
“Cancer charities and public health authorities have been misleading women for the past two decades by giving too rosy a picture of the benefits. It’s important they have at least acknowledged screening causes substantial harms.”
Gold Standard Medical Review Found 10 Women Harmed for Every Life Saved by Mammography
In the past few years, a number of studies have tried to ascertain the true value of mammography, and so far, the results have been dismal. Last year, a review by the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews4 found that mammography breast cancer screening led to 30 percent overdiagnosis and overtreatment, or an absolute risk increase of 0.5 percent. Meanwhile, the absolute risk reduction for dying from breast cancer was 0.05 percent.
Seriously, if I tried to sell you a product that had a 0.05 percent chance of saving your life, would you buy it? Especially if I told you your chances of undergoing unnecessary surgery or toxic treatment was ten times higher than the possibility of it saving your life? According to the authors:
“This means that for every 2,000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will have her life prolonged and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily. Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress for many months because of false positive findings. It is thus not clear whether screening does more good than harm.”
False positives from mammograms – a diagnosis of cancer when it turns not to be cancer – are notorious in the industry, causing women needless anxiety, pain and, often, invasive and disfiguring surgical procedures. If a mammogram detects an abnormal spot in a woman’s breast, the next step is typically a biopsy. This involves taking a small amount of tissue from the breast, which is then looked at by a pathologist under a microscope to determine if cancer is present. The problem is that early stage cancer like ductal carcinoma in situ, or D.C.I.S., can be very hard to diagnose, and pathologists have a wide range of experience and expertise.
There are no diagnostic standards for D.C.I.S., and there are no requirements that the pathologists doing the readings have specialized expertise. As Dr. Shahla Masood, the head of pathology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Jacksonville, told the New York Times:5
“There are studies that show that diagnosing these borderline breast lesions occasionally comes down to the flip of a coin.”
Unconscionable Marketing Tactics Arise as Science Fails: Mammogram Parties!
In related news, the cancer industry and those who profit from it have taken shrewd marketing for their American clients to a whole new level. A recent article carrying the unbelievable headline: Mammogram Parties: Overlake Makes Breast Health A Good Time,6 shows that there’s apparently no level too low when it comes to keeping a profitable scheme going.
Knowing that the consequences of mammography can be harrowing, with misdiagnosis and overtreatment involving invasive surgery and/or toxic cancer treatment outnumbering lives saved by anywhere from 3-1 to 10-1, why on earth would you take it this lightly? According to the article:
“Overlake Medical Center is helping women host Mammogram Parties for their friends and family. The women meet at one of Overlake’s Bellevue or Issaquah breast screening locations, and relax in robes with wine and cheese or tea and cookies, while taking turns getting examined by a radiologist. Like any party, the hostess gets a gift, according to the medical center.”
The article then goes on to state that women in their 40’s should have annual or bi-annual mammograms – which again is an outdated recommendation.
It’s important to understand that mammograms are a major source of revenue. It’s a huge part of the entire cancer industry. We’re talking about something that half of the entire population is guided to buy on an annual basis for half of their entire lifetime. Even reducing the recommendation from annual mammograms to every other year means cutting the revenue that could be generated from each woman in half.
In light of the fact that your chances of being harmed by the test are three to 10 times greater than your life being saved by it, trying to lure you in with wine and cheese seems downright unconscionable, in my opinion. There are cases where a mammogram is probably warranted, but to urge women to get screened annually using a test that increases their risk of developing cancer in the future and overall harms more women than it saves, without fully informing them of these significant trade-offs, is just not good medicine.
Mammograms Raises Cancer Risk, Especially in Women with Genetic Mutation
Many have tried to stop me from warning you about the risks of mammography, despite the fact that I’m not just spouting my own opinions. Studies have repeatedly detailed these dangers, and now we can add yet another to the growing list of research blaming ionizing cancer screens for increasing cancer rates.
Results published in the British Medical Journal7 (BMJ) in September show that women carrying a specific gene mutation called BRCA1/2 are at significantly increased risk of breast cancer directly resulting from low doses of ionizing radiation, such as that from mammograms. Women carrying this mutation who were exposed to diagnostic radiation before the age of 30 were twice as likely to develop breast cancer, compared to those who did not have the mutated gene. They also found that the radiation-induced cancer was dose-responsive, meaning the greater the dose, the higher the risk of cancer developing. The authors concluded that:
“In this large European study among carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations, exposure to diagnostic radiation before age 30 was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer at dose levels considerably lower than those at which increases have been found in other cohorts exposed to radiation. The results of this study support the use of non-ionizing radiation imaging techniques (such as magnetic resonance imaging) as the main tool for surveillance in young women with BRCA1/2 mutations.”
David Liu, PHD commented on the study in an article for Foodconsumer.com:8
“The study abstract did not say how radiation exposure affects the risk of breast cancer after age 30. Prior evidence has suggested that mammogram screening also has a cancer causing effect on the breast cancer risk, particularly in women with BRCA 1/2 mutations. It’s just that women who are younger are at a higher risk if they are exposed to the same dose of radiation.
Ionizing radiation has been recognized as a human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. Ironically, such a cancer-causing agent is used to diagnose and treat many types of cancers including breast cancer. In reality, radiotherapy kills cancer cells and in the meantime cause carcinogenesis in healthy cells that can lead to future cancers.
John Gofman, Ph. D. M.D. late nuclear physician, said medical radiation is involved in 75 percent of breast cancer cases. Exposure to radiation on the chest also increases risk of ischemic heart disease, which is less publicized than the cancer-causing effect… An authoritative organization says that two most important risk factors for breast cancer are medical radiation and hormone therapy. Other risk factors such as exposure to pesticides are minor players.”
Cancer Prevention Begins with Your Lifestyle Choices
Mammograms are portrayed as the best form of “prevention” a woman can get. But early diagnosis is not the same as prevention. And cancer screening that does more harm than good can hardly qualify as the best you can hope for…
I believe the vast majority of all cancers could be prevented by strictly applying basic, common-sense healthy lifestyle strategies, such as the ones below:
•Avoid sugar, especially fructose. All forms of sugar are detrimental to health in general and promote cancer. Fructose, however, is clearly one of the most harmful and should be avoided as much as possible.
•Optimize your vitamin D. Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body and is one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters. Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis (cell death). If you have cancer, your vitamin D level should be between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I’m aware of, with no adverse effects. I suggest you try watching my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to learn more.
•Limit your protein. Newer research has emphasized the importance of the mTOR pathways. When these are active, cancer growth is accelerated. The best way to quiet this pathway is by limiting your protein to one gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass, or roughly a bit less than half a gram of protein per every pound of lean body weight. For most people this ranges between 40 and 70 grams of protein a day, which is about 2/3 to half of what they are currently eating.
•Avoid unfermented soy products. Unfermented soy is high in plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, also known as isoflavones. In some studies, soy appears to work in concert with human estrogen to increase breast cell proliferation, which increases the chances for mutations and cancerous cells.
•Improve your insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity. The best way to do this is by avoiding sugar and grains and restricting carbs to mostly fiber vegetables. Also making sure you are exercising, especially with Peak Fitness.
•Exercise regularly. One of the primary reasons exercise works to lower your cancer risk is because it drives your insulin levels down, and controlling your insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks. It’s also been suggested that apoptosis is triggered by exercise, causing cancer cells to die. Studies have also found that the number of tumors decrease along with body fat, which may be an additional factor. This is because exercise helps lower your estrogen levels, which explains why exercise appears to be particularly potent against breast cancer.
•Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising. It’s important to lose excess body fat because fat produces estrogen.
•Drink a pint to a quart of organic green vegetable juice daily. Please review my juicing instructions for more detailed information.
•Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.
•Curcumin. This is the active ingredient in turmeric and in high concentrations can be very useful adjunct in the treatment of cancer. For example, it has demonstrated major therapeutic potential in preventing breast cancer metastasis.9 It’s important to know that curcumin is generally not absorbed that well, so I’ve provided several absorption tips here.
•Avoid drinking alcohol, or at least limit your alcoholic drinks to one per day.
•Avoid electromagnetic fields as much as possible. Even electric blankets can increase your cancer risk.
•Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy, especially if you have risk factors for breast cancer. Breast cancer is an estrogen-related cancer, and according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer rates for women dropped in tandem with decreased use of hormone replacement therapy. (There are similar risks for younger women who use oral contraceptives. Birth control pills, which are also comprised of synthetic hormones, have been linked to cervical and breast cancers.)
If you are experiencing excessive menopausal symptoms, you may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy instead, which uses hormones that are molecularly identical to the ones your body produces and do not wreak havoc on your system. This is a much safer alternative.
•Avoid BPA, phthalates and other xenoestrogens. These are estrogen-like compounds that have been linked to increased breast cancer risk
•Make sure you’re not iodine deficient, as there’s compelling evidence linking iodine deficiency with certain forms of cancer. Dr. David Brownstein,10 author of the book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, is a proponent of iodine for breast cancer. It actually has potent anticancer properties and has been shown to cause cell death in breast and thyroid cancer cells.
For more information, I recommend reading Dr. Brownstein’s book. I have been researching iodine for some time ever since I interviewed Dr. Brownstein as I do believe that the bulk of what he states is spot on. However, I am not at all convinced that his dosage recommendations are correct. I believe they are too high.
•Avoid charring your meats. Charcoal or flame broiled meat is linked with increased breast cancer risk. Acrylamide – a carcinogen created when starchy foods are baked, roasted or fried – has been found to increase cancer risk as well.
When Consumer Reports speaks, people listen – and this time the consumer advocacy agency is advising you on where to get your care – or not – if you need to go to the hospital. It’s the first time Consumer Reports has investigated hospital safety,1 and the results show hospital ratings don’t always match public opinions. Some of the most well-known hospitals got the worst ratings.
Except for the Mayo Clinic’s various campuses, which have exceptionally good scores, others like Mass General and Mount Sinai in New York, didn’t rate as well as you might expect. One hospital, Sacred Heart of Chicago, scoring an abysmal 16 on a 100-point safety scale was ranked the most dangerous in the country. A clinic in Billings, Montana scored the highest. Hospitals were ranked according to six critera:2
Communications about safety issues
The degree to which you come right back in the hospital after you’ve been discharged
Situations in which too many imaging tests that expose you to radiation are being done
Common complications in unsafe hospital
Death rates for several conditions
An Epidemic of Health Care Harm…
“Infections, surgical mistakes, and other medical harm contributes to the deaths of 180,000 hospital patients a year, according to projections based on a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Another 1.4 million are seriously hurt by their hospital care. And those figures apply only to Medicare patients.
What happens to other people is less clear because most hospital errors go unreported and hospitals report on only a fraction of things that can go wrong.
‘There is an epidemic of health-care harm,’ says Rosemary Gibson, a patient-safety advocate and author. More than 2.25 million Americans will probably die from medical harm in this decade, she says. ‘That’s like wiping out the entire populations of North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It’s a man-made disaster.’
… ‘Hospitals haven’t given safety the attention it deserves,’ says Peter Pronovost, M.D., senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Nor has the government, he says. ‘Medical harm is probably one of the three leading causes of death in the U.S., but the government doesn’t adequately track it as it does deaths from automobiles, plane crashes, and cancer. It’s appalling.'”
The above was written in Consumer Reports:3 To review the full listing of their safety scores, you need to be a Consumer Reports subscriber. However, there are also other sources that can help you evaluate the safety of a hospital, such as:
Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score
On Calling the Kettle Black…
Statistics like these make safety allegations against alternative forms of health care, including the use of herbal remedies and supplements in lieu of drugs, all the more ludicrous. Natural health modalities have repeatedly come under attack as being inherently risky. Risky compared to what? Clearly, these people do not know what they’re talking about when they claim conventional health care is superior to natural, holistic modalities.
Superior in what way? Putting you out of your misery quicker?
One such misguided person is Dick Durbin, current state senator of my home state, Illinois, which, as we now know is also home to the most dangerous hospital in the United States. I find this to be particularly ironic since Senator Durbin is a staunch pro-pharma supporter who time and again has tried to destroy alternative health and eliminate supplements. Earlier this summer, he tried to sneak in a last-minute anti-supplement amendment into an FDA bill. Fortunately, over 100,000 Americans called their Congressmen within 24 hours to defeat the amendment.
The Alliance for Natural Health reported:4
“One of the things we found alarming in this amendment saga was the amount of misinformation in Sen. Durbin’s speech on the Senate floor… Sen. Durbin [said], ‘No one tests dietary supplements… Companies that make these products may test them if they wish, there’s no requirement under law that they test them, and there’s certainly no agency of government that tests dietary supplements… There’s just no testing involved.’
This is completely untrue – supplement companies, by law, must comply with the Dietary Supplement Current Good Manufacturing Practices5 (CGMPs) and must conduct testing throughout the production process as well as testing the finished product for quality control. As with the pharmaceutical industry, the burden is on supplement companies to test their own products, because in the end they are liable should FDA choose to take enforcement action against them.
One reason we are so concerned about legislation like Sen. Durbin’s is that it is clearly intended to put us on a slippery slope toward a supplement pre-approval system – similar to the system being used by the European Union, where only those vitamins and minerals on the approved list may be used in food supplements, and only in very limited amounts. For example, if a supplement contains more beta carotene than is present in half a large carrot, it is banned. A regulatory framework like the EU’s is exactly what Sen. Durbin wants.”
Supplements Industry has an Unmatched Safety Record
Durbin is still on the war path against supplements, despite the fact that recent investigations in the US and the UK have concluded that supplements and herbal remedies have a sterling safety record. The UK-based, international campaign group, the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl) recently revealed data6 showing that compared to supplements, an individual is:
Around 900 times more likely to die from food poisoning
Nearly 300,000 times more likely to die from a preventable medical injury during a UK hospital stay, which is comparable to the individual risk of dying that active military face in Iraq or Afghanistan
Additionally, the data shows that adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs are:
62,000 times more likely to kill you than food supplements
7,750 times more likely to kill you than herbal remedies
The data, which was collected from official sources in the UK and EU, demonstrate that both food supplements and herbal remedies are in the ‘super-safe’ category of individual risk – meaning risk of death from their consumption is less than 1 in 10 million.
Similarly, the latest data from the U.S. National Poison Data System (2010 report),7 NO deaths were attributable to vitamin and mineral supplements that year. And, as noted by Orthomolecular Medicine News Service last year,8 Americans easily take more than 60 billion doses of nutritional supplements every year, and with zero related deaths this is an outstanding safety record:
“Well over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet daily, that makes 165,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of over 60 billion doses annually. Since many persons take far more than just one single vitamin or mineral tablet, actual consumption is considerably higher, and the safety of nutritional supplements is all the more remarkable.
Over 60 billion doses of vitamin and mineral supplements per year in the USA, and not a single fatality. Not one. If vitamin and mineral supplements are allegedly so ‘dangerous,’ as the FDA and news media so often claim, then where are the bodies?”
Senators Durbin, Blumenthal “Deeply Concerned” about Poor Manufacturing Standards
While supplements may be one of the safest industries, there’s certainly room for improvement, especially when it comes to quality standards. The good news is that even when quality is lacking, the risk you take relates more to the fact that the product will not provide you with the same benefits as a high-quality product might, as opposed to posing a life-threatening risk to your health – like drugs do. Still, the fact that you’re more likely to die from drowning in your bathtub than from a supplement or herbal remedy, supplements are still being attacked as “dangerous.”
If Senator Durbin truly cared about the safety of individuals, then he should be spending more time addressing the abysmal safety record of our hospitals, and the rampant prescriptions of dangerous drugs. Especially since the most dangerous hospital in the US is right in his backyard. But no. He’s got smaller fish to fry.
Senators Durbin and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) recently sent off letters to the Natural Products Association (NPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), stating:
“We are deeply concerned about the poor manufacturing standards that expose consumers to potentially serious health risks. To ensure consumer safety, we are eager to hear of the industry’s plans for improving the successful adoption of current manufacturing practices.”
The hubbub stems from a June 30 article in the Chicago Tribune, which claims:9
“Federal inspections of companies that make dietary supplements – from multivitamins and calcium chews to capsules of echinacea and bodybuilding powders – reveal serious and widespread manufacturing problems in a $28 billion industry that sells products consumed by half of all Americans. In the last four years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found violations of manufacturing rules in half of the nearly 450 dietary supplement firms it has inspected, according to agency officials.”
The article goes on to describe how supplements are produced in “unsanitary factories.” One New Jersey-based protein powder manufacturer is alleged to have been mixing powders and supplements in “a facility infested with rodents, rodent feces and urine.”
Serious supplement adverse events are so rare that media and supplement critics repeatedly roll out Total Body Formula’s problems from back in 2008 (as Dateline NBC did in its March 18, 2012, broadcast) to beat the anti-supplement drum. The Tribune’s reporter has a history of launching attacks against “alternative” medicine. The reporter’s inclusion of deaths linked to cough syrup made by a Panamanian pharmaceutical company in 2006 adds further proof of bias.
Beware the Double Standards
I’d like to remind everyone that the FDA allows all manner of contaminations in the processed foods you consume every day, and it thinks nothing of it.
For example, up to six percent of chips are allowed to have rot from pre- or post-harvest infection. Acceptable levels of mold go as low as 15 percent in canned tomatoes to as high as 45 percent for ketchup. Up to 30 fly eggs per every 100 grams of tomato sauce is okay, as is two maggots per every 100 grams of tomato juice. The FDA also will not mandate action unless 10 or more whole or equivalent Drosophila flies and 35 of its eggs are found per 8 ounces of raisins.
Ground turkey is allowed up to 49.9% positive testing for salmonella under USDA guidelines, with ground chicken allowed up to 44.6%. When it comes to food, a certain amount of bugs and other contaminants is considered safe by the FDA. I absolutely agree that the supplement industry needs to work hard to ensure high-quality products of high purity.
However, there’s no need to try to shut down the entire industry as unsafe, as all available data attests to the contrary! Can you get ill from a supplement or herb? Yes. But your chances of suffering a serious side effect or death from a drug is astronomically higher. Again, your risk of dying from an adverse drug effect is 62,000 times higher than that of a supplement. Your chances of dying from food poisoning is also FAR greater than having a lethal reaction to a supplement.
In the end it comes down to keeping things in perspective. If Congress wants to protect us from health care harm, they need to get their priorities in order. In response to Senator Durbin’s letter, the Natural Products Association replied, in part:10
“As the leading representative of the dietary supplement industry with over 1,900 members, including suppliers and retailers of vitamins and other dietary supplements, NPA has been the leader in educating the dietary supplement industry about current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). GMP compliance is a serious issue and NPA has taken major steps to ensure our members are in compliance. NPA agrees consumers should have access to products that are safe and wholesome and we do not make excuses for any instances of non-compliance.
However, NPA believes the FDA’s reckless comments in the Chicago Tribune article distort the full picture of our membership’s overall safety record. In fact, supplements have an excellent safety record, but we appreciate this opportunity to provide more information to you…”
Although I do not promote the use of many supplements in general, believing it is far better to get your nutrition from food, there are exceptions to this rule, and if you choose to use them in lieu of drug therapy, you’re certainly reducing your risk of serious side effects. It is prudent, however, to make sure you’re using a high-quality product. Not only will this protect you from any potential harmful effects from contaminants, but such products will also offer the greatest possible benefits so that you’re not wasting your money on an ineffective product.
Big businesses have been buying up emerging supplement manufacturers similar to what we’ve witnessed in the organic industry. Nearly 70 percent of American adults are now taking supplements, and you can bet the drug industry and a few politicians will work hard to make this another model of control and profits for a few elite businesses. I’d recommend keeping close tabs on CT Sen. Richard Blumenthal and IL Sen. Dick Durbin. If you live in Illinois, please ask him about his inaccurate statements on the senate floor.
According to the featured report by US News Health1, a new influenza A variant strain of swine flu, H3N2v, has been identified in children and adults recently in direct contact with pigs at country fairs. The CDC case count of detected human infections in the US with the H3N2-variant currently stands at 154.2
Fortunately, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the virus is still principally limited to swine, and poses a very limited threat as it appears to spread to humans only with great difficulty, and appears to cause only mild disease when it does.
Influenza A viruses infect humans, swine and wild birds. Transmission of avian-origin influenza A viruses (H5N1 and H7N7) and swine origin influenza A viruses (H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2) between humans and animals does occur.
In August 2011, two cases of swine-origin influenza A (H3N2) virus infection were identified in two children under five years old in different states, and both had been given seasonal influenza vaccine in 2010 (which contained the pandemic H1N1 swine flu virus strain) and had had recent contact with pigs before they got sick.
According to the CDC3, the swine-origin H3N2 influenza virus the two young children became infected with last year was a new “reassortment” virus variant that contained “genes of the swine-origin influenza A (H3N2) virus circulating in North American pigs since 1998 and the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus that might have been transmitted to pigs from humans during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.”
Six months later, the FDA selected the H3N2 influenza A virus strain to be one of the three strains included in this year’s seasonal influenza vaccine, along with the pandemic H1N1 influenza A virus strain and an influenza B strain (B/Wisconsin1/2010-like virus). According to the US News Health media report:
“The reason the CDC is concerned about this particular virus is that it contains an element seen in the pandemic 2009 swine flu strain, H1N1, which may make it more likely for the virus to spread from person-to-person,” US News Health reports.4
“All 29 cases were infected with strains of H3N2 ‘that contained the matrix (m) gene from the influenza A H1N1 pandemic virus,’ Bresee explained. ‘This ‘m’ gene may confer increased transmissibility to and among humans, compared with other variant influenzas viruses.’
In addition, the virus appears to have become more active recently, the CDC said. ‘The virus was first detected in humans in July 2011, and since then there have been 29 total cases of H3N2 variant virus detected, including the 16 cases occurring in the last three weeks,’ Bresee said.
…Each of the recent 16 cases were among people who had direct contact with pigs. In 15 cases, contact happened at a county fair… Fortunately, sustained person-to-person transmission of the virus hasn’t happened yet, he added.” [Emphasis mine]
According to this media report (which does not explain the discrepancy between a detection of “29 cases” with the detected “154 cases” the CDC is reporting), symptoms of the H3N2 flu are similar to seasonal flu. However it’s well worth noting that not one of the recent 16 cases required hospitalization. And no deaths have resulted from it so far. Last year, three people with underlying disease did require hospitalization.
Since this strain is a pig virus, the CDC sensibly advises limiting your contact with swine, and avoiding all contact with sick swine. If you do have contact with swine, make sure you wash your hands, and do not eat or drink in the vicinity of the animals.
Why is This New Pig Virus in the 2012 Seasonal Flu Vaccine?
According to an August 13 press release by the US Food and Drug Administration5, the 2012-2013 influenza vaccine formulation for all six manufacturers licensed to produce and distribute the vaccines in the United States will contain the following formulation:
•A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus
•A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus
The big question is whether the mass use of H1N1 influenza vaccine in the U.S. in the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 flu season somehow contributed to the reassortment of the swine-origin H1N1 and H3N2 influenza A viruses to create the new variant H3N2 influenza viral infections detected in the past year. I don’t have a solid answer to this question, but it’s worth at least considering…
There are inactivated, injectable vaccines, and live virus, inhaled vaccine. Live viruses in vaccines are shed for a period of time in body fluids6, so live influenza vaccine strain viruses could theoretically recombine with other influenza viruses to create new variant versions.
Multiple Faux Pandemics “In the Works”?
This new swine variant virus isn’t the only contender for the next pandemic. Just last month I wrote about renewed fears about the bird flu virus, H5N1 – yet another animal virus that doesn’t easily spread among humans, but is feared to have the capability to mutate and give rise to a human pandemic.
While it’s prudent to be aware that influenza viruses can be transmitted between animals and humans and a pandemic could occur, what we’ve repeatedly seen is that this slim possibility is massively over-sold, allowing drug companies to rake in billions of dollars for inadequately tested vaccines and other dangerous and/or ineffective anti-viral drugs.
In recent years we’ve seen a number of media hyped flu pandemics that never materialized. Sadly, each time a greater number of people ended up being harmed by the drugs and vaccines than died from the “pandemic” virus:
•The non-existent 1976 swine flu pandemic: In 1976 the U.S. acted out the first swine flu pandemic scare, devising a vaccine program in which 45 million people were vaccinated for a swine flu epidemic that never came. The hastily created mass vaccination program resulted in hundreds of Guillain-Barre Syndrome paralysis victims and 25 deaths for a flu pandemic that failed to materialize. Within a few months, claims totaling $1.3 billion had been filed by victims, who were permanently disabled from the vaccine, and more people died from the vaccine than from the virus itself.
•The 2005 bird flu hoax: Headlines warned the U.S. was facing a cataclysmic extermination event, with a calculated two million Americans succumbing to the bird flu. The best case scenario called for the death of 200,000 Americans. Then, as now, constant references to the tragedy of 1918 heightened the fear factor to a fever pitch, despite the fact that the scientific data did not support the aggressively hyped claims that instilled fear and panic in a lot of Americans.
The formula public health officials used to project the numbers of people who would die from the proposed 2005 bird flu pandemic as that they translated the minuscule number of deaths of bird handlers that had occurred worldwide into an impending extermination-level event from a virus that did not – and still does not – readily spread from birds to humans, nor between humans.
Most of the people who acquire bird-origin influenza virus infection were, and still are, bird handlers in continuous contact with sick birds. However, when it comes to keeping the public in constant fear of infectious diseases, often common sense is thrown out the window…
•Bird flu hoax repeats: In 2006, 2007, and again in 2008, media hyped warnings over the bird flu were repeatedly exposed as little more than orchestrated efforts to instill fear and line the pocketbooks of the pharmaceutical industry and various special interest groups connected with the pharmaceutical industry.
•The 2009 swine flu hoax: After four consecutive years of bird flu warnings that just refused to come to fruition, the H1N1 swine flu became front-page news again. This turned out to be yet another faux threat that cost tax payers billions of dollars, and in which fast tracked pandemic H1N1 vaccines were pushed on millions of people. The 2009 H1N1 vaccine was one of the most reactive flu vaccines ever created and, just like its 1976 predecessor, harmed far more people than the virus itself.
Remember? H1N1 Vaccine was Not Only Ineffective, But Unusually Dangerous…
As you may recall, the fast-tracked pandemic 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu vaccine turned out to be particularly reactive – far more reactive than previous seasonal flu vaccines. Will this season’s trivalent flu vaccine – containing two swine origin influenza A viruses – pandemic H1N1 and H3N2 – usher in a repeat performance?
One of the most disturbing side effects of some of the marketed pandemic H1N1 vaccines was narcolepsy; a very rare and disabling neurological disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. About 70 percent of narcolepsy cases also involve cataplexy – the sudden loss of voluntary muscle control – along with vivid hallucinations and total paralysis at the beginning or end of the narcoleptic attack.
The 2009 season was a perfect example of how dangerous it can be to blindly trust public health authorities and vaccine makers, and how badly things can go wrong. As you know, health authorities around the globe fiercely maintain that vaccines are safe, regardless of what’s happening in the real world. Time and again, serious side effects from vaccines are overlooked and swept under the rug as being “coincidental.”
In the case of the H1N1 pandemic vaccine, the adverse events were so serious, and so widespread that the tragic reality could not be ignored. There’s no discussion about whether or not narcolepsy was caused by the vaccine; it’s been proven to be a vaccine injury by experts in multiple countries.
For example, according to Swedish findings, children and adolescents vaccinated with Pandemrix during the 2009-10 season had a close to 660 percent increase in risk for narcolepsy! Finland also noticed a dramatic increase in the condition following vaccination with Pandemrix. There, an interim report issued in January of last year found that the H1N1 vaccine increased the risk of narcolepsy by a staggering 900 percent in children and adolescents below the age of 19.7 France, Germany and Norway also reported cases of the rare sleeping disorder, causing the EU to launch an investigation as well.
Why are Vaccines Capable of Causing Serious Reactions?
It is very clear that vaccines do not cause problems for everyone who receives them, but when they do, it can be an unmitigated disaster. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has identified a brilliant strategy to help assess children who may be at higher risk for developing side effects from vaccines of all kinds. In her extensive experience it is often related to poor gut flora, which is typically transferred from the mother who was compromised due to an unbalanced diet, antibiotics and/or birth control pills. She maintains that children with compromised gut flora are at the highest risk for developing these infections and can often suffer neurological damage.
Dr. Campbell-McBride suggests there are simple tests that can be done to evaluate whether a child has compromised gut flora or other risk factors BEFORE they are vaccinated. If they are at risk, then a comprehensive protocol may help reverse the problem before any vaccines are administered. This is all carefully described in her wonderful book Gut and Psychology Syndrome.
However, there is no guarantee that if you follow these guidelines or others attempting to minimize vaccine risks, that a vaccine reaction, injury or death will not occur. It is always important to remember that vaccines are pharmaceutical products, which carry risks that can be greater for some than others for many reasons, including genetic and biological high risk factors that have not been identified yet.
Total Video Length: 1:13:21
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Evidence Shows Flu Shots Simply Don’t Work
Flu vaccinations keep coming up short in study after study – way short – when it comes to having any measurable impact on what matters most, which is reducing illness and mortality from the flu. Here are several other examples providing evidence that flu vaccines may not prevent influenza or influenza-related complications leading to death, like pneumonia, in ANY age group:
•A study published in the October 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine8 found that vaccinating young children against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. The researchers concluded that “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting” examined.
•A 2008 study published in the Lancet9 found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. This also supports an earlier study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine10.
•Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine11 also confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia in the elderly, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.
•In 2007, researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health published this conclusion in the Lancet Infectious Diseases:12
“We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality, have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits.”
•A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews13 in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children under 2. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.
Be Aware: Vaccine Makers are Immune Against Lawsuits from Vaccine Damage
As many of you already know, in 1986 Congress gave vaccine manufacturers partial liability protection from vaccine injury lawsuits. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 created a no-fault federal vaccine injury compensation program as an alternative to a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers and pediatricians when vaccines injure or cause the death of a person.
At the time of the law’s creation in 1986, Congress said they were committed to setting up a fair, expedited, non-adversarial, less traumatic, less expensive no-fault compensation mechanism alternative to civil litigation. At the insistence of parents of DPT vaccine injured children, who founded the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) in 1982, Congress also acknowledged that any legislation providing liability protection for drug companies and pediatricians must also be equally committed to preventing vaccine harm.
The 1986 law contains strong safety provisions, including first-time mandates for doctors and all vaccine providers to record in the medical record and report serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths after vaccination to the government and give parents written benefit and risk information before a child or adult is vaccinated.
But few of the safety provisions have been enforced and obtaining compensation has become a highly adversarial, time-consuming, traumatic and expensive process for families of vaccine injured children. Far too many vaccine victims have been denied compensation. Meanwhile, vaccine makers and doctors have enjoyed liability protection.
To add insult to injury, last year the U.S. Supreme Court called vaccines “unavoidably unsafe” and gave drug companies total liability protection for injuries and deaths caused by government mandated vaccines. The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) called the decision a “betrayal” of the American consumer.
In a 6-2 decision, the Court majority voted to reject substantial evidence that the 1986 law was fully intended to protect an American’s right to sue a pharmaceutical corporation for injuries that could have been prevented if the company had elected to make a safer vaccine. Now, the Supreme Court has left anyone who gets injured by a flu vaccine or any other vaccine with no way to hold drug companies accountable in front of a jury in a U.S. court of law, and facing a long shot at receiving federal compensation for any vaccine injuries suffered.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court decision removes all financial incentive for multi-national drug corporations making big profits in the huge U.S. market to make vaccines as safe as they can be!
However, there is still a federal requirement in the 1986 law that doctors and all vaccine providers must warn EVERYONE choosing to get vaccinated of the dangers of the vaccine before they receive it. This is informed consent. You have a right to know the potential risks you or your minor child are taking with a medical intervention or use of a pharmaceutical product and the right to make an informed and voluntary choice about whether or not to take the risk.
What You Need to Know about Informed Consent
Informed consent is especially important when it comes to vaccination because no one can predict whether you or your child will be one of the children who has a devastating vaccine reaction, such as brain inflammation, paralysis, immune dysregulation, permanent brain damage, or even death. Furthermore, doctors have been notoriously lax when it comes to providing patients with full disclosure of potential side effects.
All Americans should know that if your doctor does not provide the CDC Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) sheet, or directly discuss the potential symptoms of side effects of the vaccination you or your child is about to receive BEFORE vaccination takes place, it is a violation of federal law.
Remember, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 requires doctors and other vaccine providers to:
•Give written vaccine benefit and risk information to the person or guardian of the person before vaccination takes place (and, ethically, a doctor should be willing to discuss and answer all questions the patient or parent has about vaccination)
•Keep a permanent record of all vaccines given and the manufacturer’s name and lot number
•Enter serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths that occur after vaccination in the patient’s permanent medical record
•File an official report of all serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following vaccination to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
If a vaccine provider fails to inform, record or report, it is a violation of federal law, and I would encourage anyone who is injured from a vaccine, who did not receive the proper warnings, to use the legal system to hold the physician responsible.
Understand the Risks You Take Before You Take Them…
If you want a clear illustration of what could happen to you or someone you love as a result of a flu vaccine, take a look at this video profile of a former professor of nursing, who was left completely disabled after a seasonal flu shot. This is a risk every single person should be aware of prior to making the decision to get a flu shot.
How to Protect Yourself Against Influenza
So the question is, why do we continue doing something that has been proven ineffective and risky? As Eisnstein said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
This certainly could be said to apply to the practice of getting a flu shot every year and expecting to be protected against the flu without taking a health risk.
While the media is sure to continue hyping potential pandemic influenzas, remember that a healthy immune system is your best and primary defense against any viral threat. The following simple guidelines will help you keep your immune system in optimal working order so that you’re far less likely to acquire influenza or other respiratory infections to begin with or, if you do, your immune system will deal with it without complications:
•Optimize your vitamin D levels. As I’ve previously reported, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds. This is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take. I would STRONGLY urge you to have your vitamin D level monitored to confirm your levels are therapeutic at 50-70 ng/ml year-round.
An inexpensive option to get your vitamin D levels checked on a regular basis is to join the GrassrootsHealth D*action Project.
•Avoid Sugar, Fructose and Processed Foods. Sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately. 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 High Quality 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. Remember that antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary and cause more harm than good. Instead, identify a simple chemical-free soap that you can switch your family to.
•Use Natural Antibiotics. Examples include 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 avoiding hospitals unless you’re having an emergency, as hospitals are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds and could be one of the likeliest places you could be exposed to any new bug. Also keep in mind that virtually all vaccinations will reduce the effective functioning of your immune system, NOT make it stronger!
It is known that being physically active is one of best ways people with arthritis can improve their health. However, a new study shows that more than half of women and 40 percent of men with arthritis are mostly sedentary.
Researchers asked more than 1000 people with radiographic knee osteoarthritis to wear an accelerometer in order to measure their physical activity for one week. Participants were deemed inactive if they failed to sustain a 10-minute period of moderate-to-vigorous activity over the entire week of wearing the accelerometer.
According to Science Daily:
“A substantial 40.1 percent of men and 56.5 percent of women studied were found to be inactive. While more than half of men engaged in significantly more moderate-to-vigorous activity than women, the majority of men who didn’t fall into this category were spending their time in no to very light activity.”
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
An estimated 27 million U.S. adults suffer from osteoarthritis, according to the latest statistics available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that usually affects your distal joints, or the joints at the end of your fingers and toes, and is generally attributed to wear-and-tear on your joints due to lifestyle, diet and aging.
Contrary to popular belief, if you have osteoarthritis exercise is absolutely crucial to your well-being. Unfortunately, many people with joint pain shun exercise, and a new study found that the number of exercisers with osteoarthritis is even lower than was thought.
If You Have Osteoarthritis, Buck the Trend of Being Inactive
A new study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine outfitted over 111 adults with knee osteoarthritis with an accelerometer to measure their activity for one week. Over 40 percent of men and 56 percent of women were deemed inactive, which means they did not engage in even one 10-minute period of moderate-to-vigorous activity all week. The recommended physical activity guidelines — 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity, low-impact activity — were met by only 12.9 percent of men and 7.7 percent of women.
The lead researcher told Science Daily:
“The fact that so many people with arthritis are inactive should be a wake-up call to physicians.”
Indeed, if physicians could instill the importance of exercise to their arthritis patients, many would benefit immensely.
How Does Exercise Benefit Osteoarthritis?
Most people have little appreciation for how powerful exercise can be in preserving bone density and joint function, which can help prevent and alleviate osteoarthritis as you age. The notion that exercise is detrimental to your joints is a misconception; there is no evidence to support this belief. It’s simply a myth that you can ‘wear down’ your knees just from average levels of exercise and/or normal activity.
Instead, the evidence points to exercise having a positive impact on joint tissues — if you exercise sufficiently to lose weight, or maintain an ideal weight, you can in fact reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Arthritis rates are more than twice as high in obese people as those who are normal weight, because the extra weight puts more pressure on your joints. This can not only lead to osteoarthritis, it can also make the condition exponentially worse. You will want to jumpstart your weight loss by eating a healthier diet based on the principles of my nutrition plan, and then continue with appropriate exercise. (Making proper dietary choices is also one of the most profound ways to reduce inflammation, which is important if you have osteoarthritis,)
Whether you need to lose weight or not, however, exercise can help by reducing your joint pain and making it easier for you to perform daily tasks. This is important, as the pain of osteoarthritis has a tendency to lead to decreased activity, which in turn promotes muscle weakness, joint contractures, and loss of range of motion. This, in turn, can lead to more pain and loss of function, and even less activity.
Exercise can help you to break free from this devastating cycle.
How to Exercise Safely With Osteoarthritis
Your program should include a range of activities, just as I recommend for any exerciser. Weight training, high-intensity cardio, stretching and core work can all be integrated into your routine. My most highly recommended form of exercise is Peak Fitness, and this program can be used by virtually everyone. However, if you’ve already developed osteoarthritis in your knee, you’ll want to incorporate exercises that strengthen the quadriceps muscle at the front of your thigh. And, rather than running or other high-impact exercise, you may be better off with non-weight-bearing exercises like swimming and bicycling.
People with arthritis must be careful to avoid activities that aggravate joint pain. You should avoid any exercise that strains a significantly unstable joint.
If you find that you’re in pain for longer than one hour after your exercise session, you should slow down or choose another form of exercise. Assistive devices are also helpful to decrease the pressure on affected joints during your workout. You may also want to work with a physical therapist or qualified personal trainer who can develop a safe range of activities for you.
What Can You do for Pain?
Pain during movement is one of the most common and debilitating symptoms of osteoarthritis. Typically this is a result of your bones starting to come into contact with each other as cartilage and synovial fluid is reduced. If you don’t take action it can become progressively worse until you are unable to carry out your normal daily activities.
You’ve probably heard that glucosamine and chondroitin (two animal products marketed as food supplements) can help relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. However, the results from studies evaluating these supplements have been mixed, and many do not appear to be getting any significant relief from either glucosamine or chondroitin.
Further, while generally considered to be free of side effects, some people do experience gastrointestinal upset from it. Chondroitin molecules are large, making it difficult for your body to digest, which could be what causes problems for some people. It’s also not clear, even after many studies, whether glucosamine affects blood sugar levels. In my opinion, people with diabetes or hypoglycemia should be cautious about taking glucosamine, and should carefully monitor their blood sugar levels if taking it.
Also, only a small fraction of the glucosamine you take is actually utilized by your body. In the case of pills and capsules, the studies demonstrate that only about 15-20% is absorbed.
As such, there do appear to be much better options for osteoarthritis pain, namely:
Eggshell membrane: The eggshell membrane is the unique protective barrier between the egg white and the mineralized eggshell. The membrane contains elastin, a protein that supports cartilage health, and collagen, a fibrous protein that supports cartilage and connective tissue strength and elasticity.
It also contains transforming growth factor-b – A protein that supports tissue rejuvenation, along with other amino acids and structural components that support the stability and flexibility of your joints by providing them with the building blocks needed to build cartilage.
Hyaluronic acid (HA): Hyaluronic acid is a key component of your cartilage, responsible for moving nutrients into your cells and moving waste out. One of its most important biological functions is the retention of water… second only to providing nutrients and removing waste from cells that lack a direct blood supply, such as cartilage cells.
Unfortunately, the process of normal aging reduces the amount of HA synthesized by your body. Oral hyaluronic acid supplementation may effectively help most people cushion their joints after just 2 to 4 months.
Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this Indian herb is one treatment I’ve found to be particularly useful against arthritic inflammation and associated pain. With sustained use, boswellia may help maintain steady blood flow to your joints, supporting your joint tissues’ ability to boost flexibility and strength.
Turmeric / curcumin: A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that taking turmeric extracts each day for six weeks was just as effective as ibuprofen for relieving knee osteoarthritis pain. This is most likely related to the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin — the pigment that gives the turmeric spice its yellow-orange color.
Animal-based omega-3 fats: These are excellent for arthritis because omega-3s are well known to help reduce inflammation. Look for a high-quality, animal-based source such as krill oil.
I suggest you avoid anti-inflammatory drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and analgesics, like Tylenol, which are often recommended to osteoarthritis patients, as chronic use of these types of medications is associated with significant, and very serious, side effects such as kidney and/or liver damage.
One More Essential Tip if You Have Osteoarthritis …
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with cartilage loss in your knees, and this is one of the hallmarks of osteoarthritis. The remedy, to make sure your vitamin D levels are optimized, is simple. It involves getting your blood levels tested, then optimizing them using safe sun exposure, indoor tanning on a safe tanning bed, supplementation with vitamin D3, or a combination of the above.
I’m thrilled to share this interview with you as Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride presents a truly fascinating and elegant description of the foundational conditions that contribute to autism, along with a pragmatic approach to help circumvent and stem the autism epidemic, which has been a perplexing puzzle for most of us.
Dr. Campbell is a medical doctor with a postgraduate degree in neurology. She worked as a neurologist and a neurosurgeon for several years before starting a family. When her first-born son was diagnosed autistic at the age of three, she was surprised to realize that her own profession had no answers…
Back in 1984, when she graduated from medical school, autism was an exceptionally rare disorder, with a prevalence of about 1 in 10,000.
“By the time I graduated from medical school I had never seen an autistic individual,” she says. “… To be honest, the first autistic child that I encountered was my own… Five years ago we were diagnosing one child in 150, which is almost a 40-fold increase in incidence. Now in Britain and some countries, we are diagnosing one child in 66.”
The rates are similar in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand as well. She quickly delved into research, looking for an answer for her son, and ended up getting a second postgraduate degree in human nutrition. As a result of her work, her son fully recovered and is no longer autistic.
Although originally from Russia, where she received her medical training, she moved to the UK about 20 years ago, and now has a clinic in Cambridge, England, where she treats children and adults with autism, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders, immune disorders, and digestive problems.
Early Treatment is Key
The treatment she developed is simply called the GAPS Nutritional Program, and as Dr. Campbell explains, the younger the child is when you start the treatment, the better the results.
“When we start the GAPS treatment at the age of 2, 3, 4, up to 5, you give your child a real chance to completely recover from autism, from ADHD, ADD, dyslexia and dyspraxia—and that larger group of children who do not fit into any diagnostic box… These are the children with whom doctors usually procrastinate. They ask the parents to bring the child in six months and again in six months to observe the child in order to just give the child a diagnosis and a very precious, very valuable time gets wasted that way while the child could have been helped,” she says.
It All Starts in the Gut…
Dr. Campbell is convinced that autistic children are in fact born with perfectly normal brains and perfectly normal sensory organs.
See Dr. Natasha Campbell-
McBride and Me Speak
We are both scheduled to speak at the Weston Price Foundation Conference Nov 11-13th.
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“What happens in these children [is that] they do not develop normal gut flora from birth…” she says. “Gut flora is a hugely important part of our human physiology. Recently research in Scandinavia has demonstrated that 90 percent of all cells and all genetic material in a human body is our own gut flora. We are just a shell… a habitat for this mass of microbes inside us. We ignore them at our own peril.
…As a result, their digestive system—instead of being a source of nourishment for these children—becomes a major source of toxicity. These pathogenic microbes inside their digestive tract damage the integrity of the gut wall. So all sort of toxins and microbes flood into the bloodstream of the child, and get into the brain of the child. That usually happens in the second year of life in children who were breast fed because breastfeeding provides a protection against this abnormal gut flora. In children who were not breastfed, I see the symptoms of autism developing in the first year of life.
So breastfeeding is crucial to protect these children.”
Brain Toxicity Leads to Symptoms of Autism
Children use all of their sensory organs to collect information from their environment, which is then passed to the brain for processing. This is a fundamental part of learning.
However, in children with Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), the toxicity flowing from their gut throughout their bodies and into their brains, clogs the brain with toxicity, preventing it from performing its normal function and process sensory information…
“Sensory information turns into this mush; into a noise in the child’s brain, and from this noise the child cannot learn. They cannot decipher anything useful,” she explains.
“That’s why they don’t learn how to communicate. They don’t learn how to understand language, how to use language, how to develop all the natural instinctive behaviors and coping behaviors that normal children develop. The second year of life is crucial in the maturation of the brain of the baby. That’s when communication skills develop and how instinctive behaviors develop and play skills develop in children and coping behaviors develop.
If the child’s brain is clogged with toxicity, the child misses that window of opportunity of learning and starts developing autism depending on the mixture of toxins, depending on how severe the whole condition is, and how severely abnormal the gut flora is in the child.”
GAPS may manifest as a conglomerate of symptoms that can fit the diagnosis of either autism, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD) without hyperactivity, dyslexia, dyspraxia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, just to name a few possibilities…
How has Children’s Gut Flora Become so Drastically Altered?
If the epidemic of autism and other learning disorders originate in the gut, what has changed in the past 25 years to alter children’s gut flora into such an abnormal state?
Dr. Campbell explains:
“As far as science knows, the baby inside the mother’s womb during nine months of gestation is sterile. The baby’s gut is sterile. The baby acquires its gut flora at the time of birth, when the baby goes through the birth canal of the mother. So whatever lives in mom’s birth canal, in mom’s vagina, becomes the baby’s gut flora.
So what lives in mom’s vagina? It’s a very richly populated area of a woman’s body. The vaginal flora comes from the bowel. So if the mother has abnormal gut flora, she will have abnormal flora in her birth canal. Fathers are not exempt because fathers also have gut flora, and that gut flora populates their groin and they share their groin flora with the mother on a regular basis.
… I always collect health history from the mother, the father, and preferably even grandparents of the child. I find that we have a growing and a deepening epidemic of abnormalities in the gut flora, which began since Second World War when antibiotics were discovered. Every course of broad spectrum antibiotics wipes out the beneficial species of microbes in the gut, which leaves the pathogens in there uncontrolled.”
The Massive Importance of Fermented Foods and Probiotics
This is why it’s so important to ‘reseed’ your gut with fermented foods and probiotics when you’re taking an antibiotic. If you aren’t eating fermented foods, you most likely need to supplement with a probiotic on a regular basis, especially if you’re eating a lot of processed foods.
“In parallel with beneficial microbes in the healthy gut, scientists have found thousands of different species of downright pathogenic disease-causing microbes; bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes. But as long as the good ones predominate in your gut, they control all the pathogens… They keep them in small colonies and they don’t allow them to proliferate.
Every course of antibiotics tends to wipe out the beneficial bacteria and that gives a window of opportunity for the pathogens to proliferate, to grow uncontrolled, and to occupy new niches in your gut. The beneficial flora recovers, but different species of it take between two weeks to two months to recover in the gut and that’s a window of opportunity for various pathogens to overgrow.
What I see in the families of autistic children is that 100 percent of mom’s of autistic children have abnormal gut flora and health problems related to that. But then I look at grandmothers on the mother’s side, and I find that the grandmothers also have abnormal gut flora, but much milder.”
In essence, what we have is a generational build-up of abnormal gut flora, with each generation becoming ever more prone to being further harmed from the use of antibiotics—and vaccines as well, which I’ll discuss in a moment.
Bottle-Feeding and Antibiotics Exact a Heavy Toll
Adding injury to insult is the significant decrease in breastfeeding. We now know that breastfed babies develop entirely different gut flora compared to bottle-fed babies. Infant formula never was, and never will be a healthy replacement to breast milk, for a number of reasons; altered gut flora being one of them.
Dr. Campbell discovered that a large percentage of the mothers of autistic children were bottle-fed. Then, as they received many courses of antibiotics throughout their childhood, the abnormalities in their gut flora further deepened.
“Ever since antibiotics were prescribed, particularly from the 50s and 60s, they were prescribed for every cough and sneeze. They really over-prescribed antibiotics. And with every course of antibiotics, the abnormalities in the gut flora would get deeper and deeper in these girls.
And then, at the age of 15, 16, these ladies were put on a contraceptive pill… [which] have a devastating effect on the gut flora. Nowadays ladies are taking it for quite a few years before they’re ready to start their family.”
So, to recap, bottle-feeding along with over-use of antibiotics and use of the contraceptive pill set the stage for increasingly abnormal gut flora with each passing generation. Then, add to that a diet of processed junk food and excessive consumption of high fructose corn syrup and you have a prescription for disaster in terms of intestinal health.
It’s important to realize that processed foods and sugar almost exclusively feed pathogens in your digestive system, allowing them to proliferate.
“Many of these modern factors created a whole plethora of young ladies in our modern world who have quite deeply abnormal gut flora by the time they are ready to have their first child. This is the abnormal gut flora that they are passing through their children,” she explains.
“So these babies acquire abnormal gut flora from the start and while the baby is breastfed the baby is receiving protection because whatever is in the mother’s blood will be in her milk. Women who have abnormal gut flora would have immune factors in their blood, which they have developed against their own gut flora to protect them. These immune factors will be in their milk.
While the baby is breastfed, despite the fact that the baby has acquired abnormal gut flora from the mom, there will be some protection. But as soon as the breastfeeding stops that protection stops as well. That is the time when the abnormalities in the gut flora really flourish and the child starts sliding down into autism or ADHD or ADD or any other learning disability or physical problems such as diabetes type 1, for example, and celiac disease or other autoimmune conditions, or… asthma, eczema and other physical problems. That’s where this epidemic comes from.”
Changes are Urgently Needed
Unfortunately, all the factors that create abnormal gut flora are getting increasingly more prevalent, across the globe. This means that the next generation of young women having children will have even worse gut flora than their mothers, so the proportion of GAPS children being born predisposed to develop autism will be even higher!
“Our authorities need to understand that, and they need to be ready for that,” Dr. Campbell warns.
The Role of Vaccines
As Dr. Campbell explains, babies are born not only with a sterile gut, but also with immature immune systems. And establishment of normal gut flora in the first 20 days or so of life plays a crucial role in appropriate maturation of your baby’s immune system. Hence, babies who develop abnormal gut flora are left with compromised immune systems.
“Vaccinations have been developed, originally, for children with perfectly healthy immune systems,” she says. “GAPS children are NOT fit to be vaccinated with the standard vaccination protocol.”
Her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome contains an entire chapter outlining what health care professionals need to do to improve the vaccination strategy, because the standard vaccination protocol is bound to damage GAPS babies.
“It’s a matter of the last straw breaking the camel’s back,” she explains. “So if the child is damaged enough, the vaccine can provide that last straw. But if it doesn’t provide that last straw in a particular child, then it will get the child closer to the breaking point.”
She also points out another risk factor of vaccines:
“What we also have to understand is that the pharmaceutical industry cannot patent natural viruses, natural bacteria or any microbe that nature has created. They have to genetically modify them before they can patent them,” she says.
“So these vaccines contain genetically modified viruses, genetically modified microbes. We still haven’t got enough data to know what exactly they’re doing to the human body, and what exactly these genes are doing to our gut flora in these children.”
How to Identify GAPS
Fortunately, it is possible to identify GAPS within the first weeks of your baby’s life, which can help you make better informed decisions about vaccinations, and about how to proceed to set your child on the path to a healthy life.
One of the KEY issues is to screen all children BEFORE they are immunized, and if they have the metabolic characteristics of GAPS, they should NOT be immunized until that is reversed. This simple measure could prevent unnecessary and tragic trauma in hundreds of thousands of families. In all likelihood there are far more children being harmed by vaccines than being helped at this point. By simply modifying the process one could radically reduce the risk of a child developing an illness on the autism spectrum.
Dr. Campbell describes the entire process in her book.
In her practice, she starts out by collecting a complete health history of the parents, and their gut health is assessed. Then, within the first few days of life, the stool of the child can be analyzed to determine the state of her gut flora, followed by a urine test to check for metabolites, which can give you a picture of the state of your child’s immune system.
“Now we have excellent tests that find chemicals produced by various species of microbes in the gut,” she says. “… So by analyzing urine, indirectly we can say what kind of species of microbes are sitting in the gut of the child, or what kind of chemicals they are producing.”
“… If the child has abnormal gut flora we can assume that the child has a compromised immunity, and these children must not be vaccinated with the standard vaccination protocol because they simply get damaged by it. They should not be vaccinated.”
The non-invasive tests described in her book are now available in most laboratories around the world, and typically run around $80-100 each in the US. This is peanuts compared to the incredible expense of treating an autistic child once the damage is done.
“Our children are being used as a market for selling vaccines,” Dr. Campbell says. “The children are vaccinated in our Western world, I’m afraid, not for the sake of saving the child but for the sake of making money… It’s an extremely sad and worrying situation.”
Siblings are Also at High-Risk for Vaccine Damage
Another group of children that may also over-react to vaccinations are siblings of children with autism, severe hyperactivity, obsessive compulsive disorder, mental conditions, or type 1diabetes.
“Younger siblings of autistic children, and younger siblings of children with all these disabilities should not be vaccinated with the standard vaccination protocol,” she warns.
“The immune tests that I was talking about can be repeated every six months or every year for these children. Whenever the child is considered to be perfectly healthy and the immune system shows itself to be perfectly well functioning, only then can a vaccination be considered for these children because we simply cannot take the risk.”
Strategies to Restore Health to Children with GAPS and Autism
Dr. Campbell has developed a very effective treatment for GAP children, called GAPS Nutritional Protocol. It is described in great detail in her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which is designed to be a self-help book.
“[P]robably tens of thousands of people now, around the world, are saving their children with this program,” she says. “… The majority of these people just bought the book, read it, followed the program, and got fantastic results.”
In summary, the protocol consists of three elements:
Diet—the GAPS diet consists of easily-digestible foods that are dense in nutrition, including fermented foods.
According to Dr. Campbell: “On average, people adhere to the diet a couple of years. It takes two years to drive out the pathogenic flora, to reestablish normal flora in the gut, to heal and seal the damaged gut lining in these people and turn the gut back to being a major source of nourishment for the person instead of being a source of toxicity.”
Food supplements, including: probiotics and vitamins D and A in the form of cod liver oil, although sun exposure is also an important part for GAPS patients, for proper vitamin D production.
Detoxification—The GAPS nutritional protocol will naturally clear out most toxins. Dr. Campbell does not use any kind of drugs or chemicals to remove toxins as it can be too drastic for some, and can produce damaging side effects. Instead she recommends juicing as a gentle but effective way of removing toxic build-up, as well as baths with Epsom salt, sea salt, seaweed powder, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda.
Dr. Campbell discusses many additional and priceless details relating to this protocol, so please, set aside some time to listen to the interview in its entirety, or read through the transcript.
See Dr. Natasha Campbell-
McBride and Me Speak
We are both scheduled to speak at the Weston Price Foundation Conference Nov 11-13th.
Please click here for more details.
Hurry! Early bird discount expires August 1st.
I have always found that the best health strategy is prevention, and I’m sure many would agree. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Now that we’ve identified a way to help prevent autism and related neurological and physical damage from manifesting, I can’t urge you enough to take this information to heart, and to pay close attention to your gut health well before planning your pregnancy, and to take the simple and relatively inexpensive precautions described by Dr. Campbell that can significantly reduce the chances of your child being harmed.
The avalanche of autism must be curbed—and quickly! And for now the burden rests on you, the parent, to take control of your and your child’s health, and to arm yourself with information that can have life-altering ramifications.
If you’re pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or know someone who is, I can’t recommend Dr. Campbell’s book enough. Buy it for yourself, or as a gift.
You can also find more information on Dr. Campbell’s website: www.GAPS.me, and on her blog at www.doctor-natasha.com.
“We have an absolute epidemic of GAPS – Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Gut and Physiology Syndrome, and the number of sufferers are growing,” she says. “I’m completely overwhelmed by demands for consultations, and people all over the world need GAPS practitioners…
So I am preparing a training course for medical practitioners and health practitioners. The first wave of training will be done in September-October in Seattle, Chicago, New York and Dallas.
We will cover the U.S. with a good number of GAPS trained practitioners. This will be people who will be able to take you through the diet, through the whole protocol, and they will run local GAPS groups where all the patients and other GAPS people will be able to come weekly or fortnightly to exchange recipes, exchange news, help each other, give each other moral support and learn more about GAPS.”
Once she’s done the trainings in the US, she will continue on to Europe and other parts of the world. If you’re a doctor, nutritionist, dietician, osteopath, homeopath or other health practitioner and you’re interested in becoming a certified GAPS practitioner, please see this link for more information.