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Inform Yourself About Cannabis & Join The Movement That’s Saving Lives

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We want to be healthy. We want our children to be healthy.

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We want to prevent disease, and we surely want to treat disease compassionately. We want nutritionally complete food and we want safe and effective medicine. Well, where do we all start?

Before we go any further here, let’s be clear, we’re talking about the responsible use of cannabis for parents, our children, and the children of the future. We are talking about the lack of access to safe medicine.

Let’s start with the Jamaican study.

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In Jamaica cannabis is culturally acceptable and considered to be a safe and effective way to relax and relieve stress, as well a natural medicine. A controlled study was done comparing the health of babies born from a group of women who were smoking and consuming cannabis in a tea and a group of women that were not using cannabis during pregnancy. The results are surprising.

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Not only were there no significant differences between the groups of newborns, but the newborns from the cannabis group scored a little higher in autonomic stability and reflexes at one month of age. These babies were actually more social than the babies from the non-using group and had significantly higher scores in: habituation to auditory and tactile stimuli, degree of alertness, capacity to be consoled, and self-regulation. [1]

They had less irritability, fewer startles and tremors, a higher and better quality of alertness, and were more rewarding for their caregivers than the neonates of the non-using group of mothers. At 5 years of age there were no significant differences anymore. Why would these children have scored higher in autonomic stability and reflexes at 30 days old, but then be scoring around the same at 5 years of age?

Science offers us answers.

breastfeed

Human breast milk contains cannabinoids including THC, some of the same cannabinoids that are found in cannabis. It’s no secret that
breast milk is better for infants and children than cow’s milk or formula, and cow’s milk is actually an acidic animal protein and a carcinogen that wreaks havoc on our bodies and the bodies of our children. Most formulas actually contain several carcinogens in their ingredients and most formulas also contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients as well. So if human breast milk contains the same cannabinoids that are found in cannabis, shouldn’t these huge corporations be adding cannabinoids to their formula instead of carcinogens?

Studies show that “the blocking of cannabinoid receptor activation during early development is considered to have ‘catastrophic’ effects.” So if the cannabinoids in human breast milk that are crucial to the development of an infant aren’t added to the infant formulas, where are babies getting them?

Well, they are not receiving cannabinoids at all.

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This isn’t something we should just be writing off either. It’s something that should have our full attention, as infant formulas are supposed to replace the nutrition our babies are getting from breast milk, and these corporations honestly fall far short of what should be their goal. And even worse, pregnant women are being offered medications with dangerous side effects instead of being offered natural options.

Benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, cause a 3-5% increase in babies born with a birth defect, defects including cleft lip and/or cleft palate. They are also highly associated with preterm delivery, low birth weight, and other perinatal outcomes. So why would women take medications with such terrible side effects while pregnant? Most women feel that there are no better alternatives. And it’s not any better for the developing fetus if mom is stressed out and anxious all of the time. In most of the US and Canada, a child can be taken away from their parents because of the mother’s decision to use cannabis while pregnant instead of toxic pharmaceutical medications. Children are routinely taken away from parents who use cannabis in their home. Children this year have died in foster custody and CPS custody after being taken away from pot-using parents who provided a safe and nurturing environment for their children. All year long I’ve been reading articles about families and hearing stories from friends and acquaintances that have had their children taken from them for using cannabis responsibly. Where is the justness? Drugs like Xanax, however, are considered to be safe and acceptable.

Pdms

One of the most important reasons for breast milk containing cannabinoids is the reaction in which a baby learns to suck out milk and start using their jaw muscles (a similar reaction to when a cannabis user develops the “munchies”). In a 2004 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology we learn that “[E]ndocannabinoids have been detected in maternal milk and activation of CB1 (cannabinoid receptor type 1) receptors appears to be critical for milk sucking … apparently activating oral-motor musculature”. This means that some infants experience failure to thrive which can lead to a whole host of other problems on a developmental level. This is outrageous.

And how do formula manufactures get our babies to consume their formulas when cannabinoids aren’t present? By making formula taste sweet, with ingredients like sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other dangerous sweeteners. According to Dr. Mercola, “the CDC found perchlorate, a chemical from rocket fuel, in 15 brands of infant formula, including two brands that accounted for 87 percent of the market share in 2000.” The top offenders included Similar and Enfamil. Other contaminants discovered in some infant formulas include:

  • Melamine (linked to kidney failure)
  • Dioxin
  • BPA
  • AGEs (advanced glycoprotein end products)
  • Genetically engineered ingredients

Cannabis Reverses and Treats Stress and Mental Illness

I am a parent who cares about doing everything right for my children so much that I easily slip into mindsets like depression, anger, stress, anxiety, guilt, and sleep deprivation if I’m stressed about the well-being of my children. My wife is one of those parents, and many of our friends are those parents. These emotions take us over and inhibit us from being the type of parents we want to be, the type of parents we feel like on the inside when we’re at peace. These emotions prevent us from responding the way we know we should to our children when they need our support and direction, and we know this, but we accept it as the vicious cycle it is.

We become frustrated and we raise our voice, when we know that talking louder or yelling isn’t going to benefit us or our kids. We leave the room while they’re crying even though we know it’s up to us to solve the problem of why they are upset, and to support them while they are going through the emotions. They just want to be held, but our backs and shoulders are tired, our necks are sore, and we get headaches. We sit down with them to play, but within minutes we’re fidgety, thinking about stuff we could be getting done, or for many parents, our minds are taking us back and forth to the barbaric and unnecessarily interventional hospital birth that was far from what we planned for our first baby, or a stressful visit to the pediatrician. We replay stressful scenarios in our heads using our imaginations to worry constantly.

Or often, in the case of parents who’ve experienced great hardship or abuse as children, we start to think more about memories from our past that we may have buried or forgotten about. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is much more common than what is actually being recognized. I believe that when a lot of people hear “PTSD” they think of war veterans returning home with “flashbacks”, but PTSD can result from having Post-Natal Mood Disorders or depression and can affect us for the rest of our lives if we don’t pay attention to it, treat it, and work through it properly.

Most people that have used cannabis, whether or not they support it, will agree that it has relaxing properties. Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the many medicinal molecules in cannabis, actually helps us forget about bad experiences and helps us work through them and process them properly all the while removing damaged brain cells and helping us to become mentally stronger and more efficient.

It’s a simple remedy.

We inhale or consume cannabinoids, and we relax.  Suddenly that day dream of depression is replaced with an ear to ear grin. The attention problems that have us wanting to get up and do something else are overcome with patience and a fascination for building blocks and coloring books. Suddenly the stress that results in a loss of appetite and the anxiety that is a thick clammy blanket over our skin are hung out to dry as we become hungry and realize how incredible good food tastes when we feel this way. Everything in our life becomes simplified with the addition of a single plant.

Some people would argue that smoking cannabis is dangerous because the smoke itself, like tobacco smoke, contains hazardous chemical. Interestingly, studies show that smoking cannabis can actually be beneficial for our lungs in that it improves lung capacity and actually can retard or in some cases reverse lung, throat, and oral cancers. THC opens up our lungs to remove smoke and dirt, while nicotine does the complete opposite, causing our lungs to bunch up and make it harder to cough. Studies also show that we do not provide others with a “contact high” when we are smoking around them. To the best of my knowledge there are no studies to date on the effects of third-hand smoke from Cannabis, but it is not dangerous on the level that cigarette smoke is.

weedmaps

That being said, there is a simple way to inhale cannabinoids without burning them.
Vaporizers are cleaner and safer instruments for inhaling cannabinoids. Unlike joints, pipes, and bongs, vaporizers only release enough heat for the cannabis material to release the cannabinoids as you inhale them. For a lot of users, it’s a more preferred method to smoking because it’s not harsh on the lungs and doesn’t produce smoke. All in all it’s a safer and more responsible method when using around other people who don’t smoke and when using in front of children, but for most people vaporizing is a more expensive option. Until there are studies that show that the smoke from cannabis is dangerous, there is no reason to discriminate against one method or the other. Some users prefer not to inhale cannabinoids at all, while some people prefer only to inhale them.

cannabis-vaporizer

It would be easy for skeptical parents to say that parents who are using pot are not as responsible as parents who don’t use cannabis, but the fact is that it is irresponsible for any parent to raise their children in an environment where stress is present every day. We need to be accountable for our own actions and we shouldn’t make judgments about the decisions of other parents, especially when those decisions are clearly what best benefits the whole family. Children deserve happy parents, and if cannabis helps parents be happy and healthy, and reverse disease in the process, then everyone should be able to respect that.

Let’s look at an example of what happens in a society where we use judgments and control instead of compassion and common sense.

About 1% of our population has epilepsy. It one of the most common and chronic health conditions for women who are pregnant. Epileptic seizures typically become more frequent while pregnant because estrogen increases seizures. The Mayo Clinic has this information to offer about taking seizure medication:

“Any medication you take during pregnancy can affect your baby. Birth defects — including cleft palate, neural tube defects, skeletal abnormalities, and congenital heart and urinary tract defects — are the primary concern with seizure medications. In addition, taking certain seizure medications, such as those that contain valproate, or more than one seizure medication during pregnancy can increase the risk that your baby will have impaired cognitive development. Valproate products include valproate sodium (Depacon), divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote ER) and valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor). Other problems caused by seizure medications might include minor birth defects that affect the baby’s appearance, such as wide-set eyes or a short upper lip — though it isn’t clear whether this is related to the drugs or the disease.”

For babies whose mothers take seizure medication, the risk of birth defects is 4 to 8 percent — compared with 2 to 3 percent for all babies — according to the Epilepsy Foundation. The risk seems to be highest when more than one seizure medication is taken, particularly at high doses. Without medication, however, uncontrolled seizures might deprive the baby of oxygen. Seizures can also increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.

abc_depakote_pregnancy_090416_ms

This is what the Mayo Clinic says you can expect if you have epilepsy and become pregnant:

“Women who have epilepsy face a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications, including:

  • Severe morning sickness

  • Anemia

  • Vaginal bleeding during and after pregnancy

  • Premature separation of the placenta from the uterus (placental abruption)

  • High blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy (preeclampsia)

  • Premature birth

  • A low birth weight baby

  • Failure to progress during labour and delivery

  • Babies with congenital anomalies”

I hope you’re thinking what I’m thinking…there is absolutely no mention of cannabis. And not only would this medicine prevent these seizures, but it regulates hormone levels, reverses hemorrhoids and anal fissures, treats nausea while increasing appetite, speeds up and balances metabolism, and the list goes on.

Medicine made from cannabis is non-toxic.

High CBD strains of cannabis controls seizures almost completely, and if the THC levels are lower than the CBD levels, there is no high experienced with smoking or consuming it. THC is the chemical in cannabis that becomes psychoactive when heated, and although also non-toxic, some people generate anxiety or experience paranoia from psychoactive THC, and with too high of a dose a person can experience temporary psychosis.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently apologized for his previous stance on medical marijuana and put together a documentary called “Weed” which follows the lives of several people, but namely a child named Charlotte who has Dravet’s Syndrome, a rare form of childhood epilepsy. Starting around the time she was a year of age, she started having seizures, soon averaging up to 300 seizures a week. Her parents were out of options when Charlotte’s doctors wanted to put her in a medically induced coma, when her father saw information online about another child where his seizures were being prevented with oil made from a high CBD strain of cannabis.

I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the film yet to watch it, but long story short she is now having an average of one seizure a week or less. And not only that, but the medicine is also restoring much of her cognitive function. Another aspect of cannabis that has been well studied and documented is that cannabis works with the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies to do amazing things for us, one being that cannabis cleans out our dusty old damaged brain cells while supercharging our mitochondria. These same cannabinoids also reverse inflammation, which in turn can reverse neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even Autism, especially in children.

Cannabis & Cancer

We’ve known for many years that using cannabis as a medicine alongside chemotherapy has many benefits including: pain relief, increase in appetite, regular sleep, fighting depression, etc….but it is relatively new to most people to hear that cannabis actually kills cancer cells. The US Government has known since as early as 1974 that cannabis kills cancer cells, but as soon as the DEA found this out they shut down the Lewis Lung Carcinoma study. Cancer has been increasingly more profitable for the pharmaceutical industry as the years have gone by, especially when considering that chemotherapy treatments in the US cost an average of $100,000 a year per person, and 1 in 2 people on this continent get cancer at some point in their lives. The US Government even went as far as to take out a patent on cannabis in 1999 as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant, while claiming at the same time that cannabis has no medicinal value and is as dangerous as heroin to ensure they can attack, arrest, and incarcerate people that choose to use it as a medicine while continuing to profit from cannabis prohibition.

Mykayla-and-her-mom-cannabis-is-my-medicine-and-it-cured-my-cancer

Most people, including children, see a complete reversal of their cancers in just a couple of months with no side effects from treatment. And sadly, the effort to silence the success of the children making these miraculous recoveries is tremendous. Take 3 year old Landon Riddle for example, who is in remission from leukemia thanks to the cannabis oil his mom has been giving him, but the doctors who are treating him have made it clear that Landon will be taken away from his mother unless he continues chemotherapy even though he’s in remission, the same chemo that caused him to go 25 days without eating at one point.

This should infuriate every parent, but for some reason it’s still happening to children all over the country. Another example would be Daniel Hauser, a 13 year old boy from Minnesota. There was a warrant out for his mother, as she had been forced to break laws to help her son hide from authorities who literally forced chemotherapy on him, something that he did not want or need in his body. There are many cases of children being ordered by courts to undergo chemotherapy. This is happening all over the continent.

So if we, or our children, suffer from seizures, cancer, or other chronic conditions, and we don’t live somewhere that respects our right to use this plant, what are the options?

There are many options obviously, and all of them carry with them extreme consequences. But a better question is why would anyone want to live anywhere in the world where a plant with this much potential is treated like a dangerous drug with no medical potential, so dangerous that people in the US have served as much as 30 years in prison for using it and selling it? A place where our older children are locked up and punished for simply following their own intuition, or just following peer pressure, and using the plant? This is a travesty.

Collectively, we’ve let ourselves be fooled. In the 1930’s Harry J. Aslinger came to the conclusion that making cannabis illegal would be very profitable for certain industries, and thus began an enormous campaign of propaganda and fear tactics to disseminate misinformation in all western countries. Keep in mind that hemp makes clean fuel, extremely strong fibres, durable building materials (hemp bricks are mold and fire resistant), nutritious food, potent medicine, greener paper production, cleaner plastic, than almost any other material on our planet. It’s completely renewable and can be grown again every year, where trees take hundreds of years to grow back. But the corporations that run this world are not interested in renewable, as we already know.

So what can we do to protect ourselves and our children from disease if our government won’t protect us from their own laws?

Sadly, the only option for a lot of parents is to move somewhere where cannabis is legal medicinally or recreationally. Some parents have been dropping everything to bring their children to Colorado in hopes of being able to use high CBD medicines safely and legally. Although they are still breaking Federal Law, Attorney General Eric Holder has stated that they will not be using resources to interfere with patients that are using it legally as a medicine. But he’s not a man recognized for telling the truth, and it is obvious that we cannot rely on our government to protect those of us who choose to use this plant when they are still killing and incarcerating men, women, and children to keep this plant illegal in the interest of profit.

Another option for us is to BE OUR MESSAGE.

We can choose not to keep this information to ourselves. We can choose not to feel like this issue is too taboo for general discussions. We can share this information with everyone we know, and ask them to support their fellow human beings in one of the most important issues of our time. We can fight by peacefully surrendering our wilful ignorance and decide for ourselves that this plant is going to be legal. We can donate money to families trying to relocate to legal states for their children. We can change the laws where we live by sharing information. We can make our own change instead of waiting for the times to change. We can do what’s right for our families and empower other families to do the same. We deserve to live free and happy.

About the author:

Martin Wuest is a proud parent, husband, and an activist from Detroit, Michigan. Martin advocates strongly for the legalization and decriminalization of Cannabis. He works with others to raise awareness about the benefits of Cannabis and a plant-based diet for preventing and reversing diseases and developmental disorders. Martin works from home and spends most of his free time writing and gardening.

http://www.parents4pot.org/
http://ocdgrow.org/

Sources:

1.) http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/medical/can-babies.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1957518

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy/PR00123

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_the_United_States

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/1015/p1489.html

http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/livingwithepilepsy/gendertopics/womenshealthtopics/social-consequences-of-epilepsy-in-women.cfm

http://altering-perspectives.com/2013/11/effect-cannabis-pregnant-women-newborns.html

http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/mother-forced-to-give-son-chemo-even-though-he-is-in-remission/

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/05/19/minnesota.forced.chemo/

http://www.freedomisgreen.com/cannabinoids-breast-milk-and-development/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2881461/

http://www.naturalnews.com/036526_cannabinoids_breast_milk_THC.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/08/05/which-infant-formulas-contain-secret-toxic-chemicals.aspx

http://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/marijuana-info/marijuana-vs-cigarettes/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1668226

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Awareness

22 Out Of 25 Popular Burger Chains Just Failed Their Antibiotic Use Report

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recent study was done examining how well top fast food chains actually implemented their antibiotic use policies in their beef. 22 of 25 failed including McDonald's, Sonic, Burger King and In-N-Out.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you still eat fast food? If so, why do you find yourself doing so? What healthier choices can be made instead? If we want to see a healthier world, population and animal kingdom, we have to choose what we support more wisely.

The modern-day food industry seems to pay no attention to health. Thankfully, global consciousness is shifting in several ways including how we live as humans, view our health, our economy, education, politics, and the environment. You could say that humanity is going through one MASSIVE change.

Today, billions of animals in the United States alone are raised, tortured, and slaughtered for human consumption. This reckless production and consumption, in turn, has created enormous environmental and health problems that continue to accelerate. That being said, awareness on this issue (food) in particular, has come along way. We are seeing changes in the food guide, a shift towards plant-based diets, and more corporations catering to new choices people are making around food and health. This is a good thing!

One common trend helping to create change is the continues ‘bad press’ unhealthy players in the food industry are getting.

The latest news to come out regarding food quality within fast food comes from a report recently released by six major consumer and environmental groups. They graded America’s 25 largest burger chains and their use of antibiotics in their beef supply.

22 popular fast food restaurants completely failed, including giants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Sonic and In-N-Out.  The evaluation looked at each chain’s antibiotic use policies and whether these policies were truly implemented in their product. They also examined how transparent the chains were with their antibiotic use.

See the full list below.

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The Problem With Antibiotic Use

Antibiotics given to farm animals can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, among other things. This is actually one of the top threats to global public health, which is exemplified by the fact that each year, more than 2 million Americans alone suffer from these infections.

In September 1999, Albrecht and Schutte published “Homeopathy Versus Antibiotics in Metaphylaxis of Infectious Diseases: A Clinical Study in Pig Fattening and Its Significance to Consumers” in Alternative Therapies. The study compared outcomes for four randomly assigned groups of pigs that were given placebo, homeopathic treatment, a standard blend of antibiotics and other conventional drugs in a routine low prophylactic dose, or conventional drugs in a high therapeutic dose.

There were 1440 pigs involved in the study, which took place at an intensive livestock farm in Germany. The primary outcome measured was the incidence of respiratory disease, a common problem for pigs on such farms.

The results were astounding.

Homeopathic treatment was far superior to prophylactic doses of antibiotics in preventing respiratory disease. The prophylactic antibiotic treatment made it only 11 percent less likely (than placebo) that the pigs would become sick. But homeopathic remedies made it 40 percent less likely. When the antibiotics were raised to therapeutic levels, meaning a level that is only given when people or an animal was sick, it became 70 percent less likely that the pigs would become diseased.

The significance of this is that homeopathic treatment on animals would already be better than routine antibiotic treatment. When an animal is actually sick, the farmer would then have the choice to increase homeopathic or use a legitimately high-level dose of antibiotics. This, significantly less cost and significantly fewer antibiotics in meat.

The Takeaway

Simple, avoid fast food. There are many out there who seem to believe that people will always consume this food, but we fail to recognize that it’s not just our choice. The “food” these corporations offer is highly addictive to people, and that’s done on purpose.

If we can connect with caring about our health, quality of life and well-being of animals and the planet, these are places you must steer away from. In general, eating meat does not support the health and wellbeing of us nor animals, but this is a choice we each make.

Recommended Articles

A Native American Perspective On Veganism

Plant-Based Protein VS. Protein From Meat: Which One Is Better For You? 

Doctor Explains How Humans Have A “Strict” Vegan Physiology

Vegan Activist James Aspey Beautifully Shows How To Consciously Inform People

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

Internal Medicine Physician Shares What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

Animals – Why Do We Love One But Eat The Other? 

The Heart Disease Rates of Meat-Eaters Versus Vegetarians & Vegans

Were Those Who Roamed The Earth Before US Nearly All Vegetarian?

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Epigenetic Memories Are Passed Down 14 Successive Generations, Game-Changing Research Reveals

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    It's amazing how much information can be passed on to our offspring. Scientist have discovered that our DNA has memories, and these can also be passed down. We are talking about thoughts, feelings, emotions and perceptions.

  • Reflect On:

    Biological changes are shaped by our environment, as well as our thoughts, feelings, emotions and reaction to that environment. Our DNA can be changed with belief, the placebo is a great example. Thoughts feelings and emotions are huge in biology.

This article was written by the Greenmedinfo research group, from Greenmedinfo.com. Posted here with permission.

Until recently, it was believed that our genes dictate our destiny. That we are slated for the diseases that will ultimately beset us based upon the pre-wired indecipherable code written in stone in our genetic material. The burgeoning field of epigenetics, however, is overturning these tenets, and ushering in a school of thought where nurture, not nature, is seen to be the predominant influence when it comes to genetic expression and our freedom from or affliction by chronic disease.

Epigenetics: The Demise of Biological Determinism

Epigenetics, or the study of the physiological mechanisms that silence or activate genes, encompasses processes which alter gene function without changing the sequence of nucleotide base pairs in our DNA. Translated literally to mean “in addition to changes in genetic sequence,” epigenetics includes processes such as methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, sumolyation, and ubiquitylation which can be transmitted to daughter cells upon cell division (1). Methylation, for example, is the attachment of simple methyl group tags to DNA molecules, which can repress transcription of a gene when it occurs in the region of a gene promoter. This simple methyl group, or a carbon bound to three hydrogen molecules, effectively turns the gene off.

Post-translational modifications of histone proteins is another epigenetic process. Histones help to package and condense the DNA double helix into the cell nucleus in a complex called chromatin, which can be modified by enzymes, acetyl groups, and forms of RNA called small interfering RNAs and microRNAs (1). These chemical modifications of chromatin influence its three-dimensional structure, which in turn governs its accessibility for DNA transcription and dictates whether genes are expressed or not.

We inherit one allele, or variant, of each gene from our mother and the other from our father. If the result of epigenetic processes is imprinting, a phenomenon where one of the two alleles of a gene pair is turned off, this can generate a deleterious health outcome if the expressed allele is defective or increases our susceptibility to infections or toxicants (1). Studies link cancers of nearly all types, neurobehavioral and cognitive dysfunction, respiratory illnessesautoimmune disorders, reproductive anomalies, and cardiovascular disease to epigenetic mechanisms (1). For example, the cardiac antiarrhythmic drug procainamide and the antihypertensive agent hydralazine can cause lupus in some people by causing aberrant patterns of DNA methylation and disrupting signalling pathways (1).

Genes Load the Gun, Environment Pulls the Trigger

Pharmaceuticals, however, are not the only agents that can induce epigenetic disturbances. Whether you were born via vaginal birth or Cesarean section, breastfed or bottle-fed, raised with a pet in the house, or infected with certain childhood illnesses all influence your epigenetic expression. Whether you are sedentary, pray, smoke, mediate, do yoga, have an extensive network of social support or are alienated from your community—all of your lifestyle choices play into your risk for disease operating through mechanisms of epigenetics.

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In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that genetics account for only 10% of disease, with the remaining 90% owing to environmental variables (2). An article published in the Public Library of Science One (PLoS One) entitled “Genetic factors are not the major causes of chronic diseases” echoes these claims, citing that chronic disease is only 16.4% genetic, and 84.6% environmental (3). These concepts make sense in light of research on the exposome, the cumulative measure of all the environmental insults an individual incurs during their life course that determines susceptibility to disease (4)

In delineating the totality of exposures to which an individual is subjected over their lifetime, the exposome can be subdivided into three overlapping and intertwined domains. One segment of the exposome called the internal environment is comprised of processes innate to the body which impinge on the cellular milieu. This encompasses hormones and other cellular messengers, oxidative stress, inflammation, lipid peroxidation, bodily morphology, the gut microbiotaaging and biochemical stress (5).

Another portion of the exposome, the specific external environment, consists of exposures including pathogens, radiation, chemical contaminants and pollutants, and medical interventions, as well as dietary, lifestyle, and occupational elements (5). At an even broader sociocultural and ecological level is the segment of the exposome called the general external environment, which may circumscribe factors such as psychological stress, socioeconomic status, geopolitical variables, educational attainment, urban or rural residence, and climate (5).

Transgenerational Inheritance of Epigenetic Change: Endocrine Disruptors Trigger Infertility in Future Generations

Scientists formerly speculated that epigenetic changes disappear with each new generation during gametogenesis, the formation of sperm and ovum, and after fertilization. However, this theory was first challenged by research published in the journal Science which demonstrated that transient exposure of pregnant rats to the insecticide methoxychlor, an estrogenic compound, or the fungicide vinclozolin, an antiandrogenic compound, resulted in increased incidence of male infertility and decreased sperm production and viability in 90% of the males of four subsequent generations that were tracked (1).

Most notably, these reproductive effects were associated with derangements in DNA methylation patterns in the germ line, suggesting that epigenetic changes are passed on to future generations. The authors concluded, “The ability of an environmental factor (for example, endocrine disruptor) to reprogram the germ line and to promote a transgenerational disease state has significant implications for evolutionary biology and disease etiology” (6, p. 1466). This may suggest that the endocrine-disrupting, fragrance-laden personal care products and commercial cleaning supplies to which we are all exposed may trigger fertility problems in multiple future generations.

Transgenerational Inheritance of Traumatic Episodes: Parental Experience Shapes Traits of Offspring

In addition, traumatic experiences may be transmitted to future generations via epigenetics as a way to inform progeny about salient information needed for their survival (7). In one study, researchers wafted the cherry-like chemical acetophenone into the chambers of mice while administering electric shocks, conditioning the mice to fear the scent (7). This reaction was passed onto two successive generations, which shuddered significantly more in the presence of acetophenone despite never having encountered it compared to descendants of mice that had not received this conditioning (7).

The study suggests that certain characteristics of the parental sensory environment experienced before conception can remodel the sensory nervous system and neuroanatomy in subsequently conceived generations (7). Alterations in brain structures that process olfactory stimuli were observed, as well as enhanced representation of the receptor that perceives the odor compared to control mice and their progeny (7). These changes were conveyed by epigenetic mechanisms, as illustrated by evidence that the acetophenone-sensing genes in fearful mice were hypomethylated, which may have enhanced expression of odorant-receptor genes during development leading to acetophenone sensitivity (7).

The Human Experience of Famine and Tragedy Spans Generations

The mouse study, which illustrates how germ cells (egg and sperm) exhibit dynamic plasticity and adaptability in response to environmental signals, is mirrored by human studies. For instance, exposures to certain stressors such as starvation during the gestational period are associated with poor health outcomes for offspring. Women who undergo famine before conception of her offspring have been demonstrated to give birth to children with lower self-reported mental health and quality of life, for example (8).

Studies similarly highlight that, “Maternal famine exposure around the time of conception has been related to prevalence of major affective disorders, antisocial personality disorders, schizophrenia, decreased intracranial volume, and congenital abnormalities of the central nervous system” (8). Gestational exposure to the Dutch Famine of the mid-twentieth century is also associated with lower perceived health (9), as well as enhanced incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and obesity in offspring (8). Maternal undernourishment during pregnancy leads to neonatal adiposity, which is a predictor of future obesity (10), in the grandchildren (11).

The impact of epigenetics is also exemplified by research on the intergenerational effects of trauma, which illuminates that descendants of people who survived the Holocaust exhibit abnormal stresshormone profiles, and low cortisol production in particular (12). Because of their impaired cortisol response and altered stress reactivity, children of Holocaust survivors are often at enhanced risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression (13).

Intrauterine exposure to maternal stress in the form of intimate partner violence during pregnancy can also lead to changes in the methylation status of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) of their adolescent offspring (14). These studies suggest that an individual’s experience of trauma can predispose their descendants to mental illness, behavioral problems, and psychological abnormalities due to “transgenerational epigenetic programming of genes operating in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis,” a complex set of interactions among endocrine glands which determine stress response and resilience (14).

Body Cells Pass Genetic Information Directly Into Sperm Cells

Not only that, but studies are illuminating that genetic information can be transferred through the germ line cells of a species in real time. These paradigm-shifting findings overturn conventional logic which postulates that genetic change occurs over the protracted time scale of hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. In a relatively recent study, exosomes were found to be the medium through which information was transferred from somatic cells to gametes.

This experiment entailed xenotransplantation, a process where living cells from one species are grafted into a recipient of another species. Specifically, human melanoma tumor cells genetically engineered to express genes for a fluorescent tracer enzyme called EGFP-encoding plasmid were transplanted into mice. The experimenters found that information-containing molecules containing the EGFP tracer were released into the animals’ blood (15). Exosomes, or “specialized membranous nano-sized vesicles derived from endocytic compartments that are released by many cell types” were found among the EGFP trackable molecules (16, p. 447).

Exosomes, which are synthesized by all plant and animal cells, contain distinct protein repertoires and are created when inward budding occurs from the membrane of multivesicular bodies (MVBs), a type of organelle that serves as a membrane-bound sorting compartment within eukaryotic cells (16). Exosomes contain microRNA (miRNA) and small RNA, types of non-coding RNA involved in regulating gene expression (16). In this study, exosomes delivered RNAs to mature sperm cells (spermatozoa) and remained stored there (15).

The researchers highlight that this kind of RNA can behave as a “transgenerational determinant of inheritable epigenetic variations and that spermatozoal RNA can carry and deliver information that cause phenotypic variations in the progeny” (15). In other words, the RNA carried to sperm cells by exosomes can preside over gene expression in a way that changes the observable traits and disease risk of the offspring as well as its morphology, development, and physiology.

This study was the first to elucidate RNA-mediated transfer of information from somatic to germ cells, which fundamentally overturns what is known as the Weisman barrier, a principle which states that the movement of hereditary information from genes to body cells is unidirectional, and that the information transmitted by egg and sperm to future generations remains independent of somatic cells and parental experience (15).

Further, this may bear implications for cancer risk, as exosomes contain vast amounts of genetic information which can be source of lateral gene transfer (17) and are abundantly liberated from tumor cells (18). This can be reconciled with the fact that exosome-resembling vesicles have been observed in various mammals (15), including humans, in close proximity to sperm in anatomical structures such as the epididymis as well as in seminal fluid (19). These exosomes may thereafter be propagated to future generations with fertilization and augment cancer risk in the offspring (20).

The researchers concluded that sperm cells can act as the final repositories of somatic cell-derived information, which suggests that epigenetic insults to our body cells can be relayed to future generations. This notion is confirmatory of the evolutionary theory of “soft inheritance” proposed by French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, whereby characteristics acquired over the life of an organism are transmitted to offspring, a concept which modern genetics previously rejected before the epigenetics arrived on the scene. In this way, the sperm are able to spontaneously assimilate exogenous DNA and RNA molecules, behaving both as vector of their native genome and of extrachromosomal foreign genetic material which is “then delivered to oocytes at fertilization with the ensuing generation of phenotypically modified animals” (15).

Epigenetic Changes Endure Longer Than Ever Predicted

In a recent study, nematode worms were manipulated to harbor a transgene for a fluorescent protein, which made the worms glow under ultraviolet light when the gene was activated (21). When the worms were incubated under the ambient temperature of 20° Celsius (68° Fahrenheit), negligible glowing was observed, indicating low activity of the transgene (21). However, transferring the worms to a warmer climate of 25°C (77° F) stimulated expression of the gene, as the worms glowed brightly (21).

In addition, this temperature-induced alteration in gene expression was found to persist for at least 14 generations, representing the preservation of epigenetic memories of environmental change across an unprecedented number of generations (21). In other words, the worms transmitted memories of past environmental conditions to their descendants, through the vehicle of epigenetic change, as a way to prepare their offspring for prevailing environmental conditions and ensure their survivability.

Future Directions: Where Do We Go From Here?

Taken cumulatively, the aforementioned research challenges traditional Mendelian laws of genetics, which postulate that genetic inheritance occurs exclusively through sexual reproduction and that traits are passed to offspring through the chromosomes contained in germ line cells, and never through somatic (bodily) cells. Effectively, this proves the existence of non-Mendelian transgenerational inheritance, where traits separate from chromosomal genes are transmitted to progeny, resulting in persistent phenotypes that endure across generations (22).

This research imparts new meaning to the principle of seven generation stewardship taught by Native Americans, which mandates that we consider the welfare of seven generations to come in each of our decisions. Not only should we embody this approach in practices of environmental sustainability, but we would be wise to consider how the conditions to which we subject our bodies—the pollution and toxicants which permeate the landscape and pervade our bodies, the nutrient-devoid soil that engenders micronutrient-poor food, the disruptions to our circadian rhythm due to the ubiquity of electronic devices, our divorce from nature and the demise of our tribal affiliations—may translate into ill health effects and diminished quality of life for a previously unfathomed number of subsequent generations.

Hazards of modern agriculture, the industrial revolution, and contemporary living are the “known or suspected drivers behind epigenetic processes…including heavy metals, pesticides, diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, hormones, radioactivity, viruses, bacteria, and basic nutrients” (1, p. A160). Serendipitously, however, many inputs such as exercise, mindfulness, and bioactive components in fruits and vegetables such as sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables, resveratrol from red grapes, genistein from soy, diallyl sulphide from garlic, curcumin from turmeric, betaine from beets, and green tea catechin can favorably modify epigenetic phenomena “either by directly inhibiting enzymes that catalyze DNA methylation or histone modifications, or by altering the availability of substrates necessary for those enzymatic reactions” (23, p. 8).

This quintessentially underscores that the air we breathe, the food we eat, the thoughts we allow, the toxins to which we are exposed, and the experiences we undergo may persevere in our descendants and remain in our progeny long after we are gone. We must be cognizant of the effects of our actions, as they elicit a ripple effect through the proverbial sands of time.

You can join the Greenmedinfo newsletter here for updates and more information about the world of health

References

1. Weinhold, B. (2006). Epigenetics: The Science of Change. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(3), A160-A167.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Exposome and Exposomics. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/exposome/

3. Rappaport, S.M. (2016). Genetic factors are not the major causes of chronic diseases. PLoS One, 11(4), e0154387.

4. Vrijheid, M. (2014). The exposome: a new paradigm to study the impact of environment on health. Thorax, 69(9), 876-878. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-204949.

5. Wild, C.P. (2012). The exposome: from concept to utility. International Journal of Epidemiology, 41, 24–32. doi:10.1093/ije/dyr236

6. Anway, M.D. et al. (2005). Epigenetic transgenerational actions of endocrine disruptors and male fertility. Science, 308(5727), 1466-1469.

7. Dias, B.G., & Ressler, K.J. (2014). Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations. Nature Neuroscience, 17(1), 89-98.

8. Stein, A.D. et al. (2009). Maternal exposure to the Dutch Famine before conception and during pregnancy: quality of life and depressive symptoms in adult offspring. Epidemiology, 20(6), doi:  10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181b5f227.

9. Roseboom, T.J. et al. (2003). Perceived health of adults after prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine. Paediatrics Perinatal Epidemiology, 17, 391–397.

10. Badon, S.E. et al. (2014). Gestational Weight Gain and Neonatal Adiposity in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Study-North American Region. Obesity (Silver Spring), 22(7), 1731–1738.

11. Veenendaal, M.V. et al. (2013). Transgenerational effects of prenatal exposure to the 1944-45 Dutch famine. BJOG, 120(5), 548-53. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.

12. Yehuda, R., & Bierer, L.M. (2008). Transgenerational transmission of cortisol and PTSD risk. Progress in Brain Research, 167, 121-135.

13. Aviad-Wilcheck, Y. et al. (2013). The effects of the survival characteristics of parent Holocaust survivors on offsprings’ anxiety and depression symptoms. The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 50(3), 210-216.

14. Radke, K.M. et al. (2011). Transgenerational impact of intimate partner violence on methylation in the promoter of the glucocorticoid receptor. Translational Psychiatry, 1, e21. doi: 10.1038/tp.2011.21.

15. Cossetti, C. et al. (2014). Soma-to-Germline Transmission of RNA in Mice Xenografted with Human Tumour Cells: Possible Transport by Exosomes. PLoS One, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101629.

16. Zomer, A. et al. (2010). Exosomes: Fit to deliver small RNA. Communicative and Integrative Biology, 3(5), 447–450.

17. Balaj, L. et al. (2011) Tumour microvesicles contain retrotransposon elements and amplified oncogene sequences. Natural Communications, 2, 180.

18. Azmi, A.S., Bao, B., & Sarkar, F.H. (2013). Exosomes in cancer development, metastasis, and drug resistance: a comprehensive review. Cancer Metastasis Review, 32, 623-643

19. Poliakov, A. et al. (2009). Structural heterogeneity and protein composition of exosomes-like vesicles (prostasomes) in human semen. Prostate, 69, 159-167.

20. Cheng, R.Y. et al. (2004) Epigenetic and gene expression changes related to transgenerational carcinogenesis. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 40, 1–11.

21. Klosin, A. et al. (2017). Transgenerational transmission of environmental information in C. elegans. Science, 356(6335).

22. Lim, J.P., & Brunet, A. (2013). Bridging the transgenerational gap with epigenetic memory. Trends in Genetics, 29(3), 176-186. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2012.12.008

23. Choi, S.-W., & Friso, S. (2010). Epigenetics: A New Bridge between Nutrition and Health Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, 1(1), 8-16. doi:10.3945/an.110.1004.

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Brain Imaging Shows Autistic Brains Contain HIGH Amounts of Aluminum

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study published early in 2018 identified very high amounts of aluminum lodged in the brains of multiple people with autism.

  • Reflect On:

    We know little about where the heavy metals used as adjuvants in vaccines end up in the body. We now know that injected aluminum doesn't exit the body like aluminum intake from other sources. When injected, it ends up in the brain.

A study published earlier in 2018 should have made headlines everywhere, as it discovered historically high amounts of aluminum in autistic brains. The study was conducted by some of the worlds leading scientists in the field.

Five people were used in the study, four males and one female, all between the ages of 14-50. Each of their brains contained unsafe and high amounts of aluminum compared to patients with other diseases where high brain aluminum content is common, like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.

Of course, this caused people to downplay the study, citing a low sample group, but that’s not entirely a valid argument given the reason why this study was conducted. As cited in the study above, recent studies on animals, published within the past few years, have supported a strong connection between aluminum, and aluminum adjuvants used in human vaccinations, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD.)

Studies have also shown that injected aluminum does not exit the body, and can be detected inside the brain even a year after injection. That being said, when we take aluminum in from sources such as food, the body does a great job of getting it out, but there is a threshold. It’s important to acknowledge that the aluminum found in the brain, could be due to the presence of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines. This latest study also identified the location of aluminum in these tissues, and where they end up. This particular study was done on humans, which builds upon, and still supports, the findings of the animal studies.

This is also important because the majority of studies that previously examined human exposure to aluminum have only used hair, blood and urine samples. The study also makes a clear statement regarding vaccines, stating that “Paediatric vaccines that include an aluminum adjuvant are an indirect measure of infant exposure to aluminum and their burgeoning use has been directly correlated with increasing prevalence of ASD.”

 Aluminum, in this case, was found in all four lobes of the brain.

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The aluminum content of brain tissues from donors with a diagnosis of ASD was extremely high (Table 1). While there was significant inter-tissue, inter-lobe and inter-subject variability the mean aluminium content for each lobe across all 5 individuals was towards the higher end of all previous (historical) measurements of brain aluminium content, including iatrogenic disorders such as dialysisencephalopathy[13][15][16][17][18][19]. All 4 male donors had significantly higher concentrations of brain aluminum than the single female donor. We recorded some of the highest values for brain aluminum content ever measured in healthy or diseased tissues in these male ASD donors

We Know, And Have Known, Aluminum Is Not Safe, Yet We Ignore It

When we talk about the ‘safe’ amount of aluminum here, there is no such thing. Aluminum is extremely toxic to any biological process, it’s not meant for us which is why it stayed deep within the Earth until we took it out. It has no place within us, and that’s simply due to the fact that it causes nothing but havoc. This makes it odd that we would put them in vaccinations despite the fact that for 100 years there has been no appropriate safety testing.

Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science’s understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans.

The quote above comes from a study published in 2011, it’s 2018 now and we’ve come along way in our understanding. We are starting to see even more research confirming the statement above.

Almost every study you read regarding previous studies on aluminum adjuvants within vaccines emphasized how the nature of its bioaccumulation is unknown, and a serious matter. We now know that it goes throughout the body, into distant organs eventually ends up in the brain.

Another fairly recent study from 2015 points out:

Evidence that aluminum-coated particles phagocytozed in the injected muscle and its draining lymph notes can disseminate within phagocytes throughout the body and slowly accumulate in the brain further suggests that alum safety should be evaluated in the long term.(source)

The pictures below come from the recent 2018 study and show ‘bright spots’ that indicate heavy metals in the brain.

 

The more recent study discussed in this article is adding to that evidence. Below you can watch one of the most recent interviews with Dr. Eric Exly, one of the world’s foremost leading authors on the subject, and one of the authors of this most recent study. He is a Biologist (University of Stirling) with a Ph.D. in the ecotoxicology of aluminum. You can read more about his background here.

Take Away

People need to understand that despite media bullying, it’s ok to question vaccine safety, and there is plenty of reason to. There are many concerns, and heavy metals are one of them. In fact, the persistence and abundant presence of heavy metals in our environment, foods and medications is a concern, one that has been the clear cause for a variety of health ailments, yet it’s one that’s hardly addressed by the medical industry.

You can detox from this with items such as Spirulina, and waters that contain a high Silica content. There are studies that show various methods of detoxing can be used to get this lodged aluminum, or some of it, out of your body, organs and brain. This is where educating yourself regarding the medicinal value of food and nutrition is a key Perhaps this can be a motivation to better your diet, especially if you have, are someone, or know someone with an ASD diagnosis.

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