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Undeniable Evidence Links Popular Sunscreens To Cancer – How Ironic?

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 Palestinian Children Visit The Beach For The First TimeCancer rates are increasingly on the rise as we continue to surround ourselves with an extremely toxic environment. Everything from GMOs to pesticides and cosmetics, our world is full of cancer causing agents that are now being exposed. People are beginning to wake up and take back control of their own health. Researching and actually looking into things rather than blindly believing mass marketing and media seems to be the new trend.

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It’s ironic how people combat potential dangers from long term Sun exposure by rubbing several known toxic chemicals all over their bodies. Skin cancer used to be rare, but today one in every five Americans develop skin cancer; that’s around 3.5 million people diagnosed every year, and the incidence of melanoma has increased over 1000% in the last 20 + years. All of this comes with the increased use of sunscreen and the mass marketing of sunscreen coupled with the mass fear that seems to plague the planet with regards to sun exposure.

There is already sufficient evidence which suggests that sunscreen use promotes the spread of cancer, rather than preventing it. Personally, I have never used sunscreen in my life. For most of my childhood up to my late teens, I was in the Sun for a minimum of 6 hours a day almost every day of the week. I admit I might have a bias because of my experience with the sun but nonetheless, personal experience is personal proof. Considering the Sun provides life to our planet, it is only natural to assume that there is nothing to fear in regards to sun exposure.

Multiple studies from across the world have examined sunscreen, its contents and what happens with regards to penetration and absorption after applying it to your skin. One example comes out of the faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada (0). The purpose of the study was to develop a method for quantifying common sunscreen agents. Results demonstrated a significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin. Basically, all of these chemicals are entering multiple tissues within the body. This is something that cannot be denied. So what are some of the main toxic chemicals contained in top name brand sunscreens? Before we go into that, I wanted to share this video with you.

Below I will provide evidence for only TWO ingredients in popular name brand sunscreen. Please keep in mind that there are a myriad of chemicals contained within popular sunscreens, and a majority of them (just like the ones I have outlined) have studies which link them to harmful effects on human health and cancer. I wanted to keep this article shorter, but I encourage you to further your own research on the matter.

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Oxybenzone

Oxybenzone is contained in multiple top brand sunscreen products. It’s used as a UV-B and short-wave UV-A filter and has been available for over 40 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates a prevalence of 96.8 percent oxybenzone exposure in the general US population.

A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (1) determined that the substance could be harmful to the homeostasis of the epidermis. Another study done by the Department of Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology at the University of Goettingen (2) observed regulatory effects on receptor expression for oxybenzone that indicate endocrine disruption (hormone disruption).

A study out of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Zurich determined that oxybenzone, which blocks ultraviolet light, may mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and promotes the growth of cancer cells (5).

A study out of the Queensland Cancer Fund Laboratories at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia recognized the significance of systemic absorption of sunscreens prompted by multiple studies. Researchers discovered that oxybenzone inhibited cell growth and DNA synthesis and retarded cycle progression in the first of the four phases of the cell cycle(3). This takes place during eukaryotic cell division, a very significant step that leads to the synthesizing of mRNA and proteins in preparation for the steps leading towards mitosis. They determined that sunscreen causes mitochondrial stress and changes in drug uptake in certain cell lines.

A study published in the Journal of Health Science by the National Institute of Health Sciences in Japan examined UV stabilizers used in food packages as plastic additives (4). They found that some UV stabilizers in sunscreen products have estrogenicity in an MCF-7 breast cancer cell assay as well as an immature rat uterotrophic assay. They tested a total of 11 UV stabilizers. 20 kinds of benzophenones were tested using the same assay to demonstrate their estrogenic activity.

A study published by the Department of Chemistry at the University of California determined that  oxybenzone produces excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death (as illustrated in an earlier study presented in this article) and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease(6).

Another study out of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Zurich shows a large array of developmental and reproductive toxicity (7).

A study published by the Department of Biological Systems Engineering by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln looked at how commercial sunscreens are penetration enhancers. They determined that the active ingredients within sunscreen, including oxybenzone enhance dermal penetration of the herbicides (8). This study came about because of the fact that agricultural workers are often encouraged to use sunscreen to decrease the risk of UV-related skin cancer.

The list goes on and on, and the studies seem to be never ending. There is sufficient evidence to indicate that oxybenzone is a hormone disruptor, and it clearly penetrates deeply into this skin. Like many other skin care products, there is a lot of controversy around this. The fact that major financial institutions who own the pharmaceutical and medical industry produce these sunscreens poses further suspicions.

Titanium Dioxide

Titanium Dioxide is another common ingredient within sunscreen, predominately baby sunscreen (9).  As illustrated earlier in the article, what goes on your skin goes into your skin. Specifically with titanium dioxide, studies have shown that large concentrations are absorbed into the epidermis and dermis (12).  Particularly with sunscreen, researchers have conducted experiments that show chemicals contained within sunscreen penetrate the skin at a high percentage. Do you really want something like titanium dioxide inside of your body? How about inside your baby? Titanium dioxide was recently classified as being possibly carcinogenic to humans by the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (10). Titanium dioxide also meets the classifications of a carcinogen by the National Office of WHMIS.

The normal titanium levels in the blood of males between 24 to 66 years of age were found to be 11.2 micrograms. This obviously increases with sunscreen usage. A study out of Germany determined that oral administration of this chemical results in gastro-intestinal absorption. (11).

Oral administration of titanium dioxide nano-particles caused a wide distribution in the liver, spleen and kidneys as well as causing lung tissue and heart tissue injury during an animal study done by the National Centre for NanoScience (13).  Another study done by the National Institute of Health in Portugal found that the carcinogenic effects of titanium dioxide nano-particles induce tumour-like phenotypes in human gastric epithelial cells (14).

A 2009 study conducted by the VaxDesign Corporation illustrated that titanium dioxide provoked inflammation of an in vitro human immune construct (15). Another study done by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology by Yamagata University in Japan found that titanium dioxide converted benign mouse fibrosarcoma cells into aggressive tumour cells (16).

A study conducted by the Finish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, Finland illustrated that titanium dioxide has genotoxic effects (17), and that it also induces DNA damage and reduced cell viability. Another study out of Taiwan determined that titanium dioxide can induce oxidative damage to human bronchial epithelial cells (18)

I’m going to stop here with titanium dioxide; there are many more studies but I hope I’ve clearly shown that it can definitely pose a risk to our health. It’s evident that people should be more aware of what chemicals are in the sunscreens that they are applying on their bodies.

Other Chemicals

There are a large assortment of other chemicals within many popular name brand sunscreens of which the story is no different. Multiple studies are available for a majority of chemicals contained within name brand sunscreens that can have harmful effects on human health.  The fact that multiple studies indicate a majority of chemicals enter into the body should encourage people to further investigate what they do to it. Most people don’t realize that applying cosmetics is almost the same as eating it, either way they still get into your body and into your bloodstream through the skin. This article outlines only two of the main ingredients found in popular sunscreen brands; I encourage you to seek out alternative ways to protect your skin from sun burn. If you are interested in the other chemicals within sunscreen, there are many studies which provide information on the matter.

Cell toxicity studies done by Dr. Yinfa Ma, Curator Professor of Chemistry at Missouri S&T, and his graduate student, Qingbo Yang, suggest that when exposed to sunlight zinc oxide (a common ingredient in sunscreen) undergoes a chemical reaction that may release unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals seek to bond with other molecules, but in the process, they can damage cells or the DNA contained within those cells. This in turn could increase the risk of skin cancer (22).

The Sun is Good For You? What About Sun Burns? Concluding Remarks

As many of you probably already know, humans require sunlight exposure for vitamin D. Sunburns do indeed cause a concern, and there are many studies that link sun burns to melanoma. Due to different factors such as cultural changes and fear mongering our skin is not used to large amounts of sun exposure like it was in the past. If you spend a large portion of your time in the sun, your skin adapts to build a natural immunity. We are naturally built to receive sunlight, and we have gone backwards with this regard. There are alternative ways to protect yourself from sunburns. You can buy natural sunscreens without the harmful chemicals. Questioning big name advertisements is crucial to our health in these times of information awareness.

The depletion of the ozone layer only happens seasonally, in winter and spring. We are generally not out in the sun at this time, and do not usually apply sunscreen. Depletion is also heavier over Antarctica and the Arctic as well as the equator, yet cancer rates are not higher in those geographic regions (19). There are people who get melanoma who are less exposed to the sun than others. Research also shows that incidence of melanoma increases in people who are not exposed to the sun. The lack of vitamin D has a strong correlation to melanoma instances.

Only 10 percent of all cancer cases are attributed to all forms of radiation, and UV is a very small part of that (20). When we think of skin cancer we automatically want to blame the Sun, but what about other causes of skin cancer that are out there such as arsenic which is found in a number of things we ingest or work around (21). Not to mention pesticides, leather preservatives and glass.

Sunscreens are a huge contributor to toxins in the body, being absorbed within seconds of application. Is it not important to know what you are putting into your body? We now live in a culture where we fear the Sun, which is ironic considering the Sun has created all life on Earth. Its important to remember that fear eventually manifests as reality. The Sun has many health benefits so using natural products will ensure that you receive these benefits while keeping your skin safe, ensuring that you aren’t absorbing the dangerous chemicals found in most sunscreen’s today.

Sources:

(0) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15063329

(1) http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v106/n3/abs/5610617a.html

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15458797

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10333769

(4) http://jhs.pharm.or.jp/data/49%283%29/49_205.pdf

(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11333184

(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17015167

(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15458796

(8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15020197

(9) http://m.johnsonsbaby.com/baby/products/face_body_spf40

(10) http://www.ccohs.ca/headlines/text186.html

(11) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10723775

(12) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8961584

(13) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17197136

(14)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24051123

(15)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19769402

(16)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19815711

(17)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19755445

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/pick-your-poison-–-sunscreens-vs-sunburns-1#_edn14

(19)https://research.noaa.gov/SecureContentAdd/tabid/405/Default.aspx

(20)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515569/

(21) http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/arsenic

(22)http://phys.org/news/2012-05-sunscreen-ingredient-pose-skin-cancer.html

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Awareness

How To Clear Seriously Blocked Sinuses Naturally In 1 Minute

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Three simple steps you can take to clear blocked sinuses that seem to work for many people.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you healthy? What natural things do you do when "flu season" comes around to give your immune system a boost?

Having clogged sinuses isn’t fun. You can’t breath, you can’t smell, your head hurts, and your voice sounds funny. Finding relief when you have clogged sinuses is usually like finding a million dollars on the ground — it’s amazing!

The causes for nasal congestion can range greatly, and you don’t have to be sick to be congested. Many people will experience congestion from allergies, temperatures, dust, smoking, spicy food, and air particles.

Recently I was at Contact in the Desert in California and I found myself having clogged sinuses from the blowing sand and dry air. Within two days, I couldn’t breathe at all out of one side of my nose and my sinuses got blocked up, causing my face and head to hurt. I needed a solution.

After trying to blow my nose over and over again, I turned to the internet for relief. Sure enough, Google came through.

I found a video by Dr. Adam that quickly and easily explained how to clear sinuses in about one minute using just your fingers — and no, they don’t have to go in your nose. Sure enough, I had relief from the pain the blockage was causing, and I could breathe!

Some might be wondering why I didn’t take sinus or cold medication to get relief. The answer is simple: I don’t like taking medication for anything unless I absolutely have to. I know many of you are on the same page and like to do things naturally. Many cold medications just mask symptoms and come with negative side effects that are worth avoiding if possible.

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How to Clear Your Sinuses Fast!

You simply need to sit down and get your hands ready for the following steps. The video below offers a visual demonstration, so I recommend checking that out too.

1. While sitting with your head and body on about a 45 degree angle, turn your head sideways and rub your sternocleidomastoid muscle downward four or five times. You can find the muscle right beneath your ear running down your neck to your collarbone. See image. Do this on both sides of your neck to help relax your neck.

2. Take your index fingers, locate the hard, bony part of the upper sides of your nose, and move downward toward the soft part on the side of your nose where the bone ends. Begin massaging this area in a circular motion with as much pressure as you can for about 20 seconds. Once completed, rub the muscles from the side of your nose down and toward your cheekbones to relax them.

3. Take your index fingers and run them under the inside orbit bone above your eyes until you find a notch in the bone called the super orbital notch. It is usually just above the centre of the eye. Massage that notch in a circular motion with as much pressure as you can handle for about 20 seconds. Once done, massage your forward with both hands starting in the centre of your forehead and pulling outwards towards your temples.

That’s it! Once you have gone through this process you should notice a lot of relief in your sinuses and should be able to blow your nose quite easily. You may have to repeat this process again, but play with it and see what works for you.

Below is a video from Dr. Adam explaining the entire process. I have also included another helpful method that worked well for me as well.

Alternative Method

This method is simpler but may not be as effective for everyone. As always, do what works best for you.

1. Push your tongue flat into the roof of your mouth, with decent pressure, for one second.

2. Then, take your thumb and press the area right between your eyebrows above your nose for one second.

3. Alternate between steps one and two over and over again for about 20-30 seconds. Note: You are not pressing the points at the same time, simply alternating between them.

Repeat this process as necessary to help clear your sinuses.

Prevention

If you’ve had blocked sinuses, you probably don’t want it to happen often, so prevention is the key! Here are a few ways you can avoid blocked sinuses.

Eat a well-balanced diet – Eating healthy foods promotes good health. What you put into your body to digest is what determines your health. If you want your immune system working well, take care with quality food and keep your gut performing well.

Get regular exercise – Regular exercise also helps improve overall health and the immune system.

Quit smoking – It goes without saying, but cigarettes are not good for us and the smoke can irritate sinuses.

Use a humidifier – If you find your house dry, use a humidifier to help dampen the air. You can also hop in a warm shower and breathe in the steam. It’s best to use a chlorine filter on your shower head so you aren’t breathing in toxic chemicals from chlorine.

Cut out antibiotics – Antibiotics don’t do anything for viral infections, which is usually why people get clogged sinuses when they are sick. Antibiotics wreak havoc on your health. Only take them when they are absolutely necessary!

Keep a clean home – Dust and poor air quality can also cause blocked sinuses. Vacuum and wipe down surfaces of your home regularly. Decrease clutter and areas where dust can collect and stay.

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Alternative News

Cannabis Might Reverse Heart Failure, University of Hawaii Study Finds

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    New research is showing that TRPV1, a cannabinoid receptor found abundantly in the heart may be key in slowing down and potentially even reversing heart failure.

  • Reflect On:

    With so many medical applications and the potential to treat and even cure a wide variety of diseases, why has there been such a lack of research, funding and clinical trials when it comes to medical marijuana?

Cannabis could potentially slow and even reverse heart failure via TRPV1, a cannabinoid receptor. This is according to research led by a team at the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).  Alexander Stokes, a JABSOM assistant professor in cell and molecular biology, said “the potential medical benefits of using cannabis-based therapies for the treatment of heart disease are promising.”

TRPV1 is showing long-term effective reversal of heart failure when the substance is administered orally. The key here is orally, this doesn’t mean that you can smoke cannabis and it will be good for your heart, in fact, it may very well have a negative effect if you do that. “TRPV1 has primarily been studied as a pain receptor,” said Stokes. “The receptors are abundant in the heart, and we are excited to show that if we inhibit its function with oral doses of drugs, we can reverse some effects of heart failure.”

The findings were published in the journal Channels.

A Big Topic Right Now

The topic of medical marijuana is a big one right now, especially in Canada where it was recently legalized. For years, there’s been a negative stigma attached to the substance, and when one dives deep into the subject it’s quite easy to see why. Cannabis, often called marijuana, has potential to treat and possibly even cure a wide range of diseases, but because of prohibition, the studies examining the medicinal aspects of the herb have been very limited. This is very unfortunate, for a number of reasons, and also very suspicious.

If we look at cancer, for example, multiple studies have clearly shown its potential to completely destroy cancer cells, many in vitro studies have clearly demonstrated this potential, without question. They’re not hard to find and have been published in abundance. Here is a video of Dr. Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist at Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, explaining how THC (the main psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant) can completely kill cancer cells. THC is simply one constituent of cannabis. It has been shown to be effective for multiple diseases as well, while other diseases are better treated with CBD, another constituent within cannabis. This begs the question, why have there been no, or at least so few, clinical trials set up as a result?

This hasn’t stopped people taking matters into their own hands though. There are numerous examples all over the internet of people claiming that cannabis oil, for example, cured their cancer. But from a scientific perspective this isn’t evidence, it’s simply anecdotal and as a result of a lack of research we cannot officially say cannabis kills cancer. We can only say that it has tremendous potential and that a lot more research is needed.

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Pharma vs Cannabis

When a pharmaceutical drug shows even less than half of the potential that marijuana has shown, clinical trials are set up right away. Just imagine if the same resources that are poured into conventional cancer treatments were given to medical marijuana’s potential to treat cancer, among a wide range of other diseases. If that were to happen, we would know much more. But the lack of research continues. Is it because if scientists were to discover what strain, method of delivery and all of the other factors that require more research that are needed to treat disease, cannabis could become an effective treatment for cancer? What would happen to conventional treatments? Would people have to pay for their treatment if it was disclosed how to, for example, make cannabis oil in the right way for a specific cancer? Maybe this has something to do with it?

Big pharma would lose billions. It’s definitely something to think about.

What’s happening right now with the legalization of marijuana is that components of it are allowed to be studied. It seems that drugs will be developed to synthesize certain components of the plant, and the drugs themselves can then be patented. This is how big pharma will ultimately make money off of medical marijuana.

The Challenge With Government Control Of Cannabis

It’s great to see people with Parkinson’s, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Epilepsy, cancer and more have tremendous success with medical marijuana. What’s unfortunate is that mainstream medical marijuana will be in the hands of big pharma, it already is. We will not know how it’s grown, how it’s been manipulated, and what’s been changed. It’s simply being used for profit, because at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about in our current infrastructure. We have a sick care industry, not a health care industry.

A free, open and caring society, a health care industry that truly cares about health could use multiple natural substances to completely wipe out the need for any pharmaceutical drug. There are massive amounts of foods, herbs and plants that, if studied in full, could completely eliminate our dependence on the corporation.

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”

– Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal  (source)

Important Thoughts To Consider About Cannabis

The other side of the coin is that heavy cannabis use, although not lethal, can be dangerous and potentially damaging to young brains that are not fully developed, and perhaps to those who use it on a regular basis in ways we do not yet understand.

It’s not as harmful as alcohol abuse or smoking cigarettes, but there is still a lot that we don’t know. Legalization in Canada at least have led to the idea that it’s completely safe and beneficial for everybody. This is also, most likely, not true.  We need to get past the idea that it’s something healthy for everybody, and even healthy to smoke cannabis on a regular basis. But when it comes to the medicinal aspects of cannabis, for several diseases, there is a very serious discussion to be had here as it’s again, already helping many people around the world with their cancer, with their epilepsy, etc.

With many people losing trust in the medical industry, it’s easy to see why they are turning to growing their own cannabis, testing doses, and methods of delivery, etc. For some, it’s a shot in the dark but worth a try.

We are not advocating that it’s healthy to use cannabis recreationally and that it will not have any negative effects, we are simply stating that it’s a head scratcher how such a potent medical plant that clearly has multiple medical applications has been ignored and prohibited from research and professionally treating many diseases with it.

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Awareness

America’s Fifty-Fold Increase in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – What’s Going On?

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), considered a neurobiological condition, is an often “long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions), and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.” Although the specific obsessions and compulsions vary widely from person to person, the common denominator is that they “create stress and interfere with daily life.”

U.S. researchers estimate that OCD affects 1%-2% of children and up to 3% of adolescents and adults. The current lifetime prevalence estimate of around 2.7% is 54 times higher than the estimated pre-1980s prevalence (for the U.S. population as a whole) of around 0.05% (1 in 2000). In a retrospective hospital-based study that looked at OCD prevalence over time, researchers who examined psychiatric discharge diagnoses from 1969 to 1990 reported that something changed in the 1980s, with a marked increase in the frequency of OCD diagnoses over the decade.

Reflecting the disorder’s growing prominence, the American Psychiatric Association’s 2013 diagnostic manual revisions eliminated OCD as a subcategory of “anxiety disorders” and gave the diagnosis its own category of “obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.” OCD experts now urge busy neurologists “to be aware of OCD…and to have a high index of suspicion for this disorder.”

OCD is just one of numerous neurodevelopmental disorders that have gone from relatively rare to common since the late 1980s—over the same time frame in which the childhood vaccine schedule exploded. There are at least three reasons to suspect a potential vaccine-OCD link:

  1. Proper brain function depends on a well-regulated immune system.
  2. Vaccination’s acknowledged aim is to “perturb the immune system.”
  3. Immune dysregulation is a documented contributor to OCD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

As Duke University researchers have stated, “the immune system, both in the central nervous system (CNS) and in the periphery, is crucial in shaping and influencing normal brain functions, and any disruption of immune function could adversely impact the brain too.”

Not only OCD

Studies show that OCD is more severe when it is early-onset; when diagnosed before puberty, children have “a longer duration of illness [and] higher rates of comorbid tics” as well as more frequent compulsions and greater psychosocial difficulties. In addition to comorbid tics, OCD often presents alongside autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other diagnoses that are not only increasingly common in American children but often persist into adulthood. In a study of adults with OCD, three out of four (75%) had one or more other neuropsychiatric diagnoses. Researchers also believe that some types of OCD may be closely related to PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections).

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Compared to girls, boys tend toward a greater neuroinflammatory response, reflecting sex differences in how the brain’s principal immune cells (the microglia) function. This may be one of the reasons why early-onset OCD is two to three times more common in boys. (In early adulthood, however, OCD symptoms appear more frequently in women.) In this respect, OCD is no different from a number of other neurodevelopmental and health conditions, including ASD, that also disproportionately affect boys.

The Yale study

In 2017, researchers from the Yale Child Study Center published a retrospective case-control study in Frontiers in Psychiatry that considered a possible association between prior vaccination and increased incidence of seven neuropsychiatric disorders, including OCD. Recall that at the start of the 1980s, children received three vaccines for seven illnesses (totaling two dozen doses by age 18), whereas fully vaccinated children now get almost six dozen doses for sixteen conditions.

The Yale researchers looked at a national sample of privately insured children and adolescents (ages 6-15) for the six-year period from January 2002 through December 2007. They found that for four diagnoses—OCD, anorexia nervosa, anxiety disorder and tic disorder—the affected children were more likely than matched controls to have received a flu shot in the preceding 12 months. In addition:

  • For OCD, flu shots just three or six months prior also increased the risk.
  • There was an association between OCD and hepatitis A vaccination.
  • Children with OCD, anorexia or a tic disorder were more heavily vaccinated overall compared to children without these disorders.

All three vaccines marketed in the U.S. for hepatitis A—GlaxoSmithKline’s Havrix and Twinrix and Merck’s Vaqta—list anorexia as adverse reactions reported during clinical trials. The Yale authors considered the “high comorbidity rates” between OCD and anorexia significant and also highlighted that OCD and anorexia have a number of “immune-mediated mechanisms” in common.

OCD is also frequently comorbid with a variety of autoimmune diseases. A recent Swedish study reported that individuals with OCD had a 43% increased risk of any autoimmune disease (compared to those without OCD), and “significantly elevated” risks for autoimmune conditions “across all organ systems”:

  • Moisture-producing glands: Sjögren’s syndrome (94% increased risk)
  • Small intestine: Celiac disease (76%)
  • Peripheral nervous system: Guillain-Barré syndrome (71%)
  • Gastrointestinal tract: Crohn’s disease (66%)
  • Thyroid: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (59%)
  • Pancreas: Type 1 diabetes mellitus (56%)
  • Platelets: Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (51%)
  • Large intestine: Ulcerative colitis (41%)
  • Central nervous system: Multiple sclerosis (41%)
  • Skin: Psoriasis vulgaris (32%)

Beware the adjuvants

Given the extensive overlap between OCD and autoimmunity, the growing body of research that links vaccine adjuvants to autoimmunity is relevant for OCD. In fact, adjuvants—intended to intensify the immune response to a vaccine (immunogenicity)—present vaccine makers with a dilemma: “[I]ncreased vaccine reactogenicity [adverse reactions to vaccination] is the inevitable price for improved immunogenicity.”

Pointing to their influenza vaccination findings, the authors of the Yale study note that six European countries and China linked H1N1 influenza vaccination in 2009 to autoimmune narcolepsy, and some speculated that the H1N1 vaccine’s adjuvant—a squalene-based oil emulsion called AS03—was the culprit. Researchers caution:

A major recurring concern is the potential association between oil emulsion adjuvants and autoimmune disease induction as seen in animal and fish models. A single intradermal injection of a range of oil emulsions, including squalene emulsions, induces adjuvant arthritis in susceptible murine and rat models. […] There is a theoretical risk that any humans who share similar genetic susceptibility features to these models could similarly be prone to develop adjuvant arthritis, lupus, autoimmune hepatitis, uveitis or some other form of autoimmune disease after exposure to oil emulsion adjuvants alone or when combined with other potent innate immune activators [emphasis added].

Aluminum-based vaccine adjuvants—and especially the proprietary AAHS [amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate] adjuvant that Merck includes in its Gardasil 9, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines—are also a prominent suspect in the autoimmunity epidemic. Researchers who compared AAHS to two other types of aluminum adjuvants found that AAHS was “substantially” different from the other two in revving up the immune system. As Italian researchers have stated, “the specific mechanism of action of each single adjuvant may have different effects on the course of different diseases.”

Hear no evil, see no evil

Pharmacotherapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is a “first-line” treatment for OCD; because remission is uncommon, “long-term management is often necessary.” Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline—two of the four companies that lead the U.S. vaccine market—make some of the top-selling SSRIs prescribed for individuals with OCD; the two pharma behemoths completed a joint venture in 2019 to integrate their consumer health care businesses. From their point of view, OCD represents an attractive market.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, the federal government and the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program turned down citizen requests to add asthma, autism, tics and several neuropsychiatric disorders—including PANDAS—to the Program’s Vaccine Injury Table. The feds’ refusal was not terribly surprising: very few new injuries have made it onto the Table since the Program came into being in 1986, despite the large number of vaccines piled onto the childhood schedule after that year. The government’s resolute refusal to conduct needed studies and its denial of even the possibility of vaccine culpability for conditions such as OCD leaves individuals no choice but to ferret out answers on their own.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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