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Aerotoxic Syndrome – Aviation’s Secret That Is Risking Your Health Every Time You Fly

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“To this day, the only thing filtering this toxic soup out of the
cabin are the lungs of the passengers and crew.”
 Aviation Attorney Alisa Brodkowitz

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Most airlines today are exceptionally efficient and proud of their safety records – they ensure their staff are highly trained with how to deal with emergencies, and their ground staff can spot a potential problem long before it happens. British Airways for example, have had zero crashes in the last 30 years – but there’s a very important aspect to safety that is being completely ignored by them and other airlines.

And that is regarding the air quality inside cabins.

Have a think about when you fly. Do you ever smell anything strange when you are on the plane, like a weird petrol type of smell? Do you ever feel really awful after you fly? Do you get a headache on board, feel dehydrated, or quickly develop a cold or flu a few days after a flight, and just intuitively know that flying isn’t particularly good for your health?

Well consider then what it might be like for the health of the cabin crew, or other frequent flyers. They may feel this way all the time. But something very serious is happening to cabin crew that is far more concerning than just suffering from regular colds and flus.

It has been reported that airline crew members are being made extremely ill and even dying from toxic fumes that are coming inside aircraft cabins during some flights.

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Please watch this short video below:

Cancers, depression and other chronic diseases are being reported in record numbers amongst crew, with many affecting young people. As well as having one of the most unhealthy careers,  flight crew also happen to have the most time off work compared to other industries.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said that the air is “safe and passengers have nothing to worry about,” but how can something that is affecting crew not also affect passengers, if we all breathe in the very same air?

What Is Aerotoxic Syndrome?

In 1999, three scientists investigating the ill health many aircrew suffered from came up with the name “Aerotoxic Syndrome” to describe the different symptoms being experienced after some flights. It was discovered that not only were there toxic chemicals present in modern synthetic jet engine oils, but that those toxins were passing unfiltered into the aircraft cabins, affecting the air that crew and passengers breathe in.

UK Pilot Richard Westgate died in December of 2012.  He had fallen ill many years before and felt that it was due to toxic fumes entering the cabin.

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Pilot Richard Westgate – Officially died from “organophosphate induced neurotoxicity”

According to online news source news.com.au:

Mr Westgate, who had flown for 15 years, had noted that on start-up, the engines would create puffs of smoke inside the plane followed by an oily smell.

After three years of flying his symptoms started, and progressively worsened to the point where he had severe chest pain, problems walking, and would fall off his bicycle for no reason. He underwent numerous tests and took a range of medications, and was even admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Overall, he saw 15 specialists. But it was only shortly before he was found dead in his hotel room that he was diagnosed with having symptoms related to exposure to plane fumes.

Organophosphates Can Leak Into Cabins During Flights

One of the chemicals giving rise to the most concern is tricresyl phosphate – TCP for short –  which is a member of the organophosphate family of chemicals, originally designed as nerve agents for warfare. This is added to the engine oil as an anti-wear agent, necessary because of the extreme temperatures at which the engines operate.

This wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that, back in 1962, a decision was made to change the way air is supplied to the passenger cabins.

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How Does The Cabin Air Become Toxic?

Since warm air is needed for engine propulsion and for passengers to breathe, it was decided to combine the two and bring the air through the engine to heat it, then ‘bleed’ it off and pass it unfiltered into the cabin. It is this ‘bleed air’ that has been the cause of so much controversy. Every modern jet airliner, apart from the new Boeing 787, uses the bleed air system. There are seals in the engine intended to keep oil out but unfortunately they require air pressure to keep the seal tight, and at times they allow contaminated air to pass into the cabin. Sometimes if the seal is worn or faulty or if the oil is leaking, large amounts can pass into the air supply and these are known in the industry as ‘fume events.’

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Facts About Bleed Air You Need To Know

  • Cabin breathing air on all aircraft apart from the Boeing 787 is taken directly from the engines and provided unfiltered to the aircraft. This is known as ‘bleed air.’
  • Bleed air is known to become contaminated with engine oils and/or hydraulic fluids.
  • Contaminated bleed air events have been recognised as occurring since the 1950s.
  • No aircraft currently flying has any form of detection system fitted to warn when these events occur.
  • Flight safety is being compromised by contaminated air events.
  • Crew and passengers have been reporting short and long term health effects as a consequence of exposure to contaminated air.
  • Contaminated air events are not rare and known to be under reported.* source
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Kal Barolia – British Airways Crew – described by his family as a ‘fit and healthy man’ died aged 44 unexpectedly at home.

How Will You Know If Your Flight Has Contaminated Air? 

Chances are you won’t know, because even when the crew know and report the fume event, no one is ever directed to tell the passengers. Signs to look out for include lots of people coughing (who weren’t coughing before take-off) and others fainting or becoming unwell. Sometimes a ‘mist’ can be seen in the cabin. Although some fume events are odourless, you should look out for the smell of engine oil, which is often described as a musty smell similar to sweaty socks or an old wet dog.

If you become aware that the air on your flight may be contaminated you should turn off the gasper fan above your head immediately, if there is one, tell a member of the cabin crew, and ask them to report it to the captain. See what British Airways says about contaminated flights here:

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Dee Passon BA Flight attendant for 20 years – Officially diagnosed with Areotoxic Syndrome

The Most Frequent Symptoms Reported Are: 

  • sore throats
  • cough
  • sore nose
  • nose bleeds
  • migraine headache
  • flu-like feeling
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue and breathing difficulties.

Neurological Symptoms Can Also Develop, Such As:

  • mental confusion
  • tremors
  • seizures
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks

Because these chemicals are neurotoxic they can interfere with electrical conduction in the body, resulting in cardiac problems. Some susceptible individuals may also experience a sudden rise in blood pressure, which can then lead to brain haemorrhaging. Chemical pneumonia can develop days or even weeks later as well, since the toxins are inhaled.

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Most Doctors Unaware And Many Deny Aerotoxic Syndrome

According to Aerotoxic.org:

Many general medical practitioners are unaware of Aerotoxic Syndrome and may diagnose sufferers with illnesses such as psychological or psychosomatic disorders (i.e., they’ll tell you “it’s all in your mind”), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), “mysterious” viral infections, sleep disorders, depression, stress or anxiety – or simply “jet lag,” which is caused by crossing time zones.

Although some of these disorders may form part of Aerotoxic Syndrome, such part-diagnoses on their own miss the root cause of the problem, which is exposure to toxic oil components in a confined space. Furthermore, any misdiagnosis is likely to lead to inappropriate treatments, which may make the condition even worse.

Aviation medicine specialists are aware of the problem but Aerotoxic Syndrome does not seem to have gained official acceptance among the majority of them. Hence, despite (or because of) their expert knowledge they are likely to seek other explanations – and there are plenty of neurological symptoms associated with aviation that have nothing to do with inhaling oil.

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Consider purchasing one of these masks for you and your family when flying – click here for more info.

How To Protect Yourself From Cabin Contamination

If you are concerned about this problem, purchase a face mask with a carbon-activated filter before your flight and wear it for the duration. According to health expert Raymond Francis, the best way to avoid getting ill is to take 1 gram of vitamin C every hour you are in the air.

If you think you were on a flight where there was leakage, you should write to the airline you travelled with and the CAA and report what you experienced. Accordingly, it’s always a good idea to ask for the aircraft registration and make a note of it.

The short-term symptoms of exposure to contaminated air vary widely depending on which chemicals and the amount you were exposed to, along with your current state of health.

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Are you cabin crew, or have friends who are? They need to know about this issue.

Crew Members And Frequent Flyers Most At Risk Of Aerotoxic Syndrome

Crew members and frequent flyers are most at risk, but any flight can suffer a fume event and there may be individuals on board with a genetic inability to detoxify certain chemicals (unbeknownst to them), so it is strongly advisable that everyone carry a face mask with them when they fly.

flying-with-a-baby

Rethink that long haul flight with a newborn or infant under 1 year

Also At Risk: Pregnant Women, Babies, Young Children And The Elderly

Those most at risk are pregnant women, babies and young children, the elderly, those recovering from serious illness, those who’ve undergone chemotherapy, asthmatics, and anyone with an underlying health condition (that they may not even be aware of).

After spending a long time discussing the dangers of flying with a top scientist – Dr Michael Kucera – who treats the Russian Astronauts, I personally do not recommend taking infants under the age of 12 months on long flights. There are several studies pointing to concerns about cancers being more prevalent in flight attendants. In particular, flight attendants and pilots are twice as likely to suffer from melanomas than the general population.

In addition to the potential toxins coming into the cabin, flying also exposes you to higher levels of radiation. The smaller the child, the more likely the radiation can harm their developing and delicate immune system.

The BBC reported this regarding cabin crew’s exposure to radiation from flying:

In the US, pilots and flight attendants have been officially classed as “radiation workers” by the Federal Aviation Administration since 1994. Staff regularly working on high-latitude flights are exposed to more radiation than workers in nuclear power plants. Despite this, the airlines don’t measure the radiation exposure of their staff, or set safe limits on the doses they can safely receive.

I would like to hope that someone is currently doing a study on how safe it is for infants to fly.

If you are ill after a flight make sure you take information with you on Aerotoxic Syndrome, as many doctors are still not at all aware of its existence and may think you are suffering from a ‘mystery virus.’ There is still no definitive test available to prove you have been affected by aircraft chemicals and diagnosis is usually made after ruling everything else out.

Choose The New Boeing Dreamliner’s When You Fly

I do have some good news to share and that is the new Dreamliner airbuses do not have a bleed-air system.  The air that comes into the cabin is brought in well away from the engines, and is not contaminated by the burnt oil from the jet engines.   When you fly, it would be best to try and choose a plane such as this.

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Zeolites have been proven in over 300 pub med studies to be effective in removing toxins from the body

Aerotoxic Syndrome Treatment

Unfortunately, there is very little in the way of treatment at this stage as more studies need to be done, but a sensible approach is to try to help your body detoxify as quickly as possible. You can also prepare a kit with the supplements listed below to take on flights with you.

  • Regular fresh air (or the use of a home oxygen machine especially a great idea for flight crew and frequent flyers)
  • Take Chlorella and or spirulina tablets with you on flights and take some every hour
  • Take Silver Hydrosol spray and take a few sprays up the nose and in throat every hour. This is something you can give to infants safely.
  • Avoiding other chemical exposures
  • Increasing antioxidant intake (through diet and/or supplements)
  • Take daily doses of Vitamin C (1000mg)
  • Take regular doses of pure body zeolite (a supplement that is known to chelate toxins),
  • Eating only organic food
  • Sitting in saunas when you can.
  • You might also like to look into taking mitochondrial supplements which help the cells and detox pathways to work more efficiently.

No Statistics On How Often This Occurs

I’m sorry to say it, but no one knows exactly how often these fume events are occurring. However, in its 2007 report the UK Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) said that fume events occur on 1 flight in 100. However, on some aircraft types crews report that they experience fumes to some degree on every flight, and as the definition of ‘fume event’ is not agreed upon, it makes it impossible to give a true figure. (source)

Dr Susan Michaelis of the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE) says many are going unreported because experiencing toxic fumes is seen as ‘normal’ in the industry.

Dee Passon, a retired British Airways Cabin Service Director who left due to ill health related to her flying, agrees.

She says:

Cabin crew contact me frequently to say that they had fumes on their flight that were not reported. Even so, the CAA has between 25 and 50 fume events reported to it every month which is approximately 10,000 passengers being exposed to damaging chemicals every month on flights to and from the UK.

To say the air is ‘safe’ when they know it is getting contaminated this frequently is misleading to say the least.

The industry says that when tests of cabin air were carried out on behalf of the Government by Cranfield University levels of chemicals found were below current health & safety guidelines but when the Countess of Mar asked in the House of Lords last year what exposure standards existed for the mix of chemicals present in a fume event Lord Davies of Oldham replied “none.”

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Angel Fleet – Facebook group sharing tragic and suspicious deaths involving BA cabin crew.

”We have 23 serving staff and 42 retired staff who had passed away in 2014. Angel Fleet will be 1 year old on 22nd March and we’ve since found out about nearly 500 deaths.”

Dee Passon, Founder of Angel Fleet and ex BA crew.

What Is Being Done To Protect Staff?

Good question. Crews have long called for chemical detectors and filters to be fitted to commercial aircraft and up until now the industry and UK Government have said that action is not needed, but on February 20th a significant development occurred that changed everything and gave much more weight to the crews’ argument.

A statement by the Senior Coroner of Dorset, Sheriff Stanhope Payne, was made public on that date. In it he states that after a 2 year investigation into the death of British Airways pilot Richard Westgate, 43, it is his opinion that urgent action should be taken by both the CAA and British Airways to prevent future deaths.

Above: A very unconvincing performance from Airbus Consultant Professor Michael Bagshaw on why the industry has not acted to make the air safe for passengers & crew.

Why Aren’t The Airlines Doing Anything – Is This A Coverup?

It seems logical to assume that planes should just be made differently so that the engine oil does not leak into the cabins. But as it would be an incredibly expensive process – and not to mention it could open up a huge class action lawsuit – then it’s not surprising that nothing has been done.

With many people saying this problem has been going on since the late 60’s, it’s not too far-fetched to assume that perhaps this has been known and covered up by the airlines for decades.
According to David Learmount, Operations and safety editor of Flight International, the airlines are doing everything they can to deny this problem:

The industry has told its staff that the dangers of this problem are dramatically exaggerated and very rare. The reason the industry and its government backers can keep the lid on this issue is that the burden of proof about the damage these fumes can cause rests with the victims. The industry answers charges about health damage by denial and dissembling, which the system lets them do because of the rules about where the burden of proof lies.

The industry’s lawyers are masters of technical points of law that enable them to claim that the victims have no legal proof of the connection between a fume event and the symptoms that the victims suffer as a result. The lawyers can argue that the cause might lie elsewhere in the victim’s life, or in their metabolism, and this ‘negative’ allegation is very difficult to disprove.

There is a precise parallel here between the legal war fought for years between the tobacco industry and damaged smokers and the medical world who were looking for the proof of a connection between tobacco smoking and lung cancer.

Everybody knew that there was a connection, but the burden of proof was with the victims, and until a precise biomarker could establish that the cancer was initiated by the effects of tobacco-based chemicals in specific individuals who smoked, the industry could go on denying.

A thorough investigation into this subject has been published in a must read book by John Hoyte of the Aerotoxic Association entitled Aerotoxic Syndrome: Aviation’s Darkest Secret.

Tell Your Friends & Family Who Fly Regularly About This Issue

If you have any friends or loved ones that have a career in the aviation industry or are frequent flyers, please alert them to this article or direct them to the Aerotoxic Association. they need to know they are at risk of this syndrome and that they can take measures to protect themselves.

Flying doesn’t harm everyone (although it’s important to note, no long-term studies have been done to disprove this either) and it all depends on the current state of your health – or if the actual flight you are on is leaking jet oil into the cabin – but it does seem that this is a very urgent problem that must be dealt with properly by the aviation industry, before more lives are affected.

For the safety of everyone involved, including passengers, we need our pilots and flight staff to be healthy and to not suffer from dangerous neurological problems. I don’t know about you, but I find it very concerning that our pilots may be suffering from a syndrome that could affect the way they respond to serious and life threatening situations.

For those that are concerned about people being seriously harmed from their career in aviation, Angel Fleet is a Facebook group that posts information about cabin crew that have lost their lives, which many family members feel is connected to their aviation career and Aerotoxic Syndrome.

Matthew in Uniform 2

Matt Bass – Crew member of BA for 15 years. Fell ill a year before he passed away, died in his sleep at the age of 34

The Death of Matt Bass

Matt Bass was only 34 when he died. He had been a flight attendant for approximately 15 years. The forensic pathologist found that there was evidence of chronic exposure to organophosphates, the results were then examined in the US by one of, if not the, world’s leading authority on organophosphate poisoning and the results were confirmed. Visit Why Matt Bass died and you might also like to check out his family’s campaign.

gcaqe.org/index.html

aerotoxic.org

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Tragedy In The Alps – Could Crash Be a Victim Of Areotoxic Syndrome?

Was The Germanwings Crash Due To Aerotoxic Syndrome?

Whilst we currently have little facts about what happened to the Germanwings Airbus A320 that crashed on March 2015, some concerning information has already raised suspicions that it could have been caused by Aerotoxic Syndrome. The Daily Mail reported:

However, the lack of a response by the crew member at the controls might also indicate he had passed out or had become incapacitated in some way.

Another piece of strange information is that the black box memory card appears to be ‘missing’.  The NY Times reported:

The official said that workers on the scene had found the casing of the second black box, the flight data recorder, which investigators had hoped would provide significant information about the flight, including its speed, altitude and direction. But he said that the crash had severely damaged the box, and that the vital memory chip inside it had been dislodged.

After the crash happened, other Germanwings staff refused to get on their scheduled flights.   The Guardian wrote:

Some Germanwings crews asked not to fly after the crash “for personal reasons”, and some flights yesterday were cancelled.

Collective Evolution has received anonymous information that staff have known about flume events happening which weren’t being reported properly and therefore immediately became suspicious of this crash.

The Daily Mail reported in an article titled Airbus with 150 passengers moments away from disaster after cockpit filled with toxic gases
back in 2012 about an event that effected another Germanwings flight:

An airplane carrying 150 terrified passengers nearly crashed at Cologne airport in Germany after the pilots were almost knocked unconscious by toxic fumes in the cockpit.

And budget airline Germanwings – a subsidiary of Lufthansa – has now been accused of deliberately playing down the frightening ordeal in a bid to avoid an investigation.

The near-fatal crash on 20 December 2010 was reported to the air safety authorities. However, an investigation was not launched.

Another online media source, The Local provided a damning report about how that event was not taken seriously, and  how Germanwings authorities lied about the health of those involved after what happened:

Friday’s Die Welt newspaper worked with public broadcaster NDR to dig up reports on the incident which could have ended in catastrophe – and yet was reported to the air safety authorities in such a harmless manner that no investigation was undertaken.

But pilot association Cockpit on Friday accused Germanwings of “irresponsible downplaying” of the incident.

Flight 753 from Vienna to Cologne on December 20, 2010 was starting to land when first the co-pilot and then the pilot became cripplingly nauseous and barely conscious, the report says.

“You land the bird, I can’t fly anymore,” the 26-year-old co-pilot told the 35-year-old captain before reaching for an oxygen mask. His arms and legs had gone numb and he had the feeling he could no longer think clearly.

Yet as he took the controls, the pilot felt tingling in his hands and feet, began to get tunnel vision and became badly dizzy – all this as the plane began decending at more than 400 kmph.

A medical examination afterwards showed the captain had a blood oxygen level of around 70 percent, while that of his co-pilot was less than 80 percent. Healthy people have a blood saturation level of nearly 100 percent, while 70 percent is close to the level at which people pass out, Die Welt.

The co-pilot wrote in his report that the plane would have crashed into the ground in Cologne with 144 passengers and five crew – and eight tonnes of fuel. The captain said he was in fear for his life.

Yet they managed to land the plane without incident, and accompanied by emergency teams, it taxied off the runway and came to a halt, whereupon passengers watched as the two men were driven in an ambulance, said Der Spiegel magazine.

Although Germanwings submitted a report to the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation (BFU), the incident did not appear in the BFU’s monthly bulletin and no further action was taken. Experts now believe this is because Germanwings – a subsidiary of Lufthansa – downplayed the event to avoid investigation.

There is an interesting thread found here: with discussions between people about Germanwings flights that have had toxic flumes leak into cabins and cockpits.

More information will be released in the following days about this tragic crash, but it must be said that this terrible accident could be a victim of Aerotoxic Syndrome and a cover up may of course entail.

The Full 60 minutes clip regarding Areotoxic Syndrome

Has Aerotoxic Syndrome Affected You?

If you are concerned that you have been made ill by exposure to organophosphates while flying, please take this document to show your doctor: gcaqe.org/documents/FAAmedicalprotocol.pdf. If your doctor does not respond in the way that you would like, I would highly suggest you find a doctor who specialises in Environmental Medicine – these are specialists that are educated in the field of toxic chemicals causing disease, and they will know how to test for organophosphates and can help you detoxify safely.

Please call this number if you are BA crew, and have experienced a flight with possible contaminated air: Bassa fume helpline is 0333 014 6569

A newly released film about this issue, made by former British Airways Captain, Tristan Loraine, currently showing in UK cinemas: A Dark Reflection   www.adarkreflection.com

I would strongly urge people to get an angelfleet sky mask for use each time you fly.  These are specially designed to filter out the organophosphates that come into the cabins are said to be causing the most harm to passengers and crew. If you have a friend who is a crew member, please show them this article.

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Awareness

Alternatives To Viagra That May Treat Erectile Dysfunction

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Erectile dysfunction is something that affects man men. It seems the only solution is medication, but their maybe other alternatives available.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there such a lack of resources when it comes to the research of alternatives methods for treat certain health problem?

For many men experiencing erectile dysfunction, a little blue pill known as Viagra can be a quick fix thanks to modern medicine. However, like many other quick fixes developed by the pharmaceutical industry, those benefits don’t come without some added risks. Pharmaceuticals often impose the “bandaid effect” on our bodies, covering up the problem rather than actually solving it through addressing the root cause of the health issue. 

When it comes to Viagra, choosing to take this little blue pill is sort of like choosing the blue pill in the Matrix. Sometimes we can become so blinded by the advantages of something that we forget about its potential side effects, and ultimately fail to address the real issue at hand. So, in hearing that this blue pill could seemingly fix your sex life again, many men choose to take it, while simultaneously ignoring the risks.

In reality, there are some pretty serious health risks associated with Viagra. Like many other pharmaceutical products, by ‘fixing’ one area of the body, you could be harming another.

The Viagra website states it can potentially cause some serious side effects, including:

  • Priapism, otherwise known as a long-term erection that can permanently damage your penis
  • Loss of vision in one of both eyes
  • Hearing loss, damage to hearing, or ringing in ears
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Heart attack or irregular heartbeat
  • Stroke
  • Death

Despite these potential risks, over 23 million men have been prescribed Viagra. This indicates there’s a huge number of men who experience erectile dysfunction, and it’s understandable they’d turn to Viagra given how normalized pharmaceuticals are in our society and how cruelly men who suffer from this problem are portrayed in the media.

Instead of going deeper and asking ourselves why our health problems occur, we tend to go to the pharmacy for a quick fix or ask our doctors to prescribe us some pills. However, just like any other health problem, erectile dysfunction is simply a symptom of your current state of being. Our health issues don’t just “happen to us,” they manifest as a result of our past and current health and wellbeing.

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Erectile dysfunction can occur due to high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, hormonal problems, alcohol abuse, smoking, cocaine use, pelvic injuries, spinal issues, radiation therapy around the pelvic region, obesity, and more.

These underlying causes of erectile dysfunction may explain why some of the side effects of Viagra can be so life-threatening in the first place. When men take those blue pills, they can get lost in the excitement of the experience and end up exerting themselves beyond their physical limitations. If these men already have preexisting conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure (which could all be the root causes of their erectile dysfunction), they could already be at risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.

Though the root problem could be considered more difficult to identify and treat than taking that little blue pill, it’s ultimately the only sustainable, long-term solution, and it could save your health (or even your life)!

However, if you are in need of a quick fix while you’re trying to figure out what that root cause could be, there are plenty of alternatives to Viagra that don’t pose the same health risks.

Here’s a list of all-natural alternatives to Viagra:

L-arginine and Pycnogenol

L-arginine is a non-essential amino acid that is important during times of trauma or stress. During these times, the body is unable to produce as much as it needs, and so taking this supplement while you’re stressed is often beneficial. What’s more, studies have found that taking this amino acid supplement can treat erectile function.

It has been found to perform well when taken in combination with pycnogenol. One study involving men experiencing erectile dysfunction found that taking these two supplements together restored participants’ sexual ability to 80% in about a month. After only a few months, 92.5% of the men experienced a normal erection.

Red Ginseng

This incredible herb has been used to improve erectile dysfunction for centuries, and as it turns out, there’s now science to support the herbal wisdom behind it.

2012 study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research concluded that red ginseng can be used as an alternative to erectile dysfunction medication, and another review published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) determined that red ginseng could improve erectile dysfunction and sexual performance, though further research is required.

Maca

Maca is well-known for being nature’s own powerful aphrodisiac. In a study on patients with mild erectile dysfunction, maca was found to produce a “small but significant effect” on both the participants’ general and sexual wellbeing.

You could try adding some maca to your morning smoothies or beverages, or even take a supplement. Plus, maca is an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, potassium, and copper, so you’ll be loading up on nutrients in addition to boosting your sex drive.

Saffron

That’s right: That expensive member of your herbs and spices cabinet can also aid men who suffer from erectile dysfunction! One study found that saffron works surprisingly quickly, showing “a positive effect on sexual function with increased number and duration of erectile events seen in patients with ED even only after taking it for ten days.”

Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is a plant often used in Ayurvedic medicine, as the root and fruits are said to benefit both male virility and general wellbeing. A study published in NCBI suggests that tribulus terrestris can be beneficial in treating men who experience erectile dysfunction.

Studies in primates, rabbits, and rats have yielded some promising results, with Tribulus terrestris being found to increase some sex hormones and effectively treating mild and moderate cases of erectile dysfunction.

Reduced Intake of Meat and Fried Foods

Some of the worst foods for your heart include meat and fried foods. Foods high in animal fat, sodium, and unhealthy oils pose serious risk to your heart and can also worsen your blood circulation, a necessary aspect of getting an erection in the first place.

As it turns out, erectile dysfunction could signify underlying heart problems, so eating “heart healthy” foods is a necessary component of good sexual health as well. Try swapping the animal protein for some plant-based protein, cutting the dairy, and ditching the fast food!

Essential Oils

There are a number of essential oils that can be used to reduce stress, increase sex drive/libido, and lower blood pressure, all of which could potentially affect erectile function. Ylang ylang, rose, and lavender essential oils are all really great at reducing stress and in some cases lowering blood pressure, too.

Spicier scents like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove can aid in increasing sex drive and improving sexual function, and nutmeg can also improve blood circulation, an important part of getting an erection.

Final Thoughts

As with many other pharmaceuticals, taking Viagra clearly has its advantages and disadvantages. Sure, it might improve your sex life in the short term, but at what cost? Maybe you’ll take Viagra and never experience any negative side effects, but at the end of the day, there’s no guarantee of that.

Any ailment or disease that manifests in the body is always a sign of sickness or stress, and this includes erectile dysfunction; if everything is operating well in your body, then you will not run into any operational issues.

This applies for many health issues, and I encourage you to continue on your journey in searching for the root cause of all of your health problems!

Improve Your Energy, Sleep & Clarity!

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Scientists Share Facts About Vaccines At World Health Organization Conference For Vaccine Safety

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are so many people fighting against each other? Why are there "pro-vax" and "anti-vax" groups? Are these terms not useless? Do they prevent us from having discussions that need to be had and moving forward appropriately?

According to organizations like the American Medical Association as well as the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy among people, parents, and, as mentioned by scientists at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, health professionals and scientists continues to increase. This is no secret, as vaccines have become a very popular topic over the past few years alone. In fact, the World Health Organization has listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the biggest threats to global health security.

The issue of vaccine hesitancy is no secret, for example, one study (of many) published in the journal EbioMedicine outlines this point, stating in the introduction:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science (Larson et al., 2011). These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services (Group, 2014,Larson et al., 2014Dubé et al., 2013). VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

At the conference, this fact was emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced, as you can see, by the authors in the study above. At the conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.

She also stated,

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider, and if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

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She also brought up her belief that safety studies are incomplete, and that to continue to refer people to the same old science on safety is not adequately addressing their new concerns because better studies need to be done. Furthermore, she recommended that doctors and professionals forego name-calling with ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax”. She recommended encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety. After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. After all, that’s just good science, and it’s in everyone’s best interest.

Another interesting point that caught my attention was brought up by Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization. He brought up the topic of vaccine adjuvants like thimerosal or aluminum, for example. In certain vaccines, without these adjuvants the vaccine simply doesn’t work. Dr. Friede mentioned that there are clinical studies that blame adjuvants for adverse events seen as a result of administering vaccines, and how people in general often blame adverse reactions to vaccines being the result of the vaccine adjuvant. He mentioned aluminum specifically.

He showed concern given the fact that “without adjuvants, we are not going to have the next generation of vaccines.”

He also stated that,

When we add an adjuvant, it’s because it is essential. We do not add adjuvants to vaccines because we want to do so, but when we add them it adds to the complexity. And I give courses every year on ‘how do you develop vaccines’ and ‘how do you make vaccines’ and the first lesson is, while you are making your vaccine, if you can avoid using an adjuvant, please do so. Lesson two is, if you’re going to use an adjuvant, use one that has a history of safety, and lesson three is, if you’re not going to do that, think very carefully.

Furthermore, he criticized the assumption that if an adjuvant like aluminum appears to be safe for one vaccine, that it should be not be presumed to be safe for other vaccines. Dr. Friede said that current safety surveillance is quite effective at determining immediate effects (such as immediate injury to the arm at the injection site), but not as effective in identifying “systemic” long term adverse events.

When I heard him mention lesson two, that “if you’re going to use an adjuvant, use one that has a history of safety,” it instantly reminded me of aluminum because it’s an adjuvant used in multiple vaccines like the HPV vaccine, for example, but has no history of safety.

A study published as far back as 2011 in Current Medical Chemistry makes this quite clear, emphasizing that,

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. (source)

The key sentence here is that “their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor.” Based on what Dr. Friede said at the conference, it really makes you think.

A study published in BMC Med in 2015 found that “Evidence that aluminum-coated particles phagocytozed in the injected muscle and its draining lymph nodes 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.”

This brings me to another point made at the conference by many scientists in attendance, which was that according to some of them, vaccines seem to lack the appropriate safety testing. This is another big reason why people are so confused and have voiced their concerns about safety, as mentioned above by Professor Larson.

Marion Gruber, PhD and Director of the FDA Office of Vaccines Research and Review, questioned the scope of vaccine safety surveillance and monitoring during pre-licensing vaccine trials as well during the conference.

One source of confusion might be that ‘high-ranking’ health authorities sometimes making conflicting statements. For example, Soumya Swaminathan, MD and Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, stated at the conference,

I don’t think we can overemphasize the fact that we really don’t have very good safety monitoring systems in many countries and this adds to the miscommunication and the misapprehensions because we’re not able to give clear cut answers when people ask questions about deaths that have occurred due to particular vaccines… One should be able to give a very factual account of what exactly is happening, what the cause of deaths are, but in most cases there’s some obfuscation at that level and therefore there’s less and less trust then in the system.

Prior to this statement, in a promotional video released just days before the conference began, she stated that “we have vaccine safety systems, robust vaccine safety systems.”

She completely contradicted herself.

If you’d like access to the entire conference, you can do so at the World Health Organization’s website.

The Takeaway

The scientific community should never stop questioning, especially when it comes to medication. Based on the information that’s come out at this conference, it’s quite clear that there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the development of vaccines and vaccine safety overall. Discussion is always encouraging, as long as it’s peaceful and facts are presented like they were at this conference. It’s better to understand the reasons why a lot of people are hesitant about vaccination and appropriately respond, instead of simply using ridicule and hatred because that’s never effective and both parties cannot move forward that way. At the end of the day, scientists should never cease to question.

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Alternative News

Gulf War Illness Tied To Cipro Antibiotics

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Civilians suffering from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome (an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone – Cipro/Ciprofloxacin, Levaquin/Levofloxacin, Avelox/Moxifloxacin, Floxin/Ofloxacin and others) have noted the similarities between Gulf War illness and Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome for years.  It is beyond likely, it is probable, that they are one in the same.

The Symptoms

The VA defines Gulf War Illness as “chronic, unexplained symptoms existing for 6 months or more” that are at least ten percent disabling.  The CDC case definition of Gulf War Illness “requires chronic symptoms in two of three domains of fatigue, cognitive-mood, and musculoskeletal.”

Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome is a chronic, unexplained illness with symptoms lasting for months, years, or, as the updated warning label notes, permanently.  The symptoms of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome are too numerous to list, but a cursory glance at the warning label for Cipro/Ciprofloxacin will tell you that the effects include musculoskeletal problems and central nervous system issues.  Additionally, as  pharmaceuticals that damage mitochondria, the energy centers of cells, severe fatigue is often induced by Fluoroquinolones.

A 1998 study entitled, “Chronic Multisymptom Illness Affecting Air Force Veterans of the Gulf War,” found that the most commonly reported symptoms of Gulf War Illness are sinus congestion, headache, fatigue, joint pain, difficulty remembering or concentrating, joint stiffness, difficulty sleeping, abdominal pain, trouble finding words, (feeling) moody or irritable, rash or sores, numbness or tingling and muscle pain.

A 2011 study conducted by the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation found that the most commonly reported symptoms of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome are tendon, joint, and muscle pain, fatigue, popping/cracking joints, weakness, neuropathic pain, paresthesia (tingling), muscle twitching, depression, anxiety, insomnia, back pain, memory loss, tinnitus, muscle wasting.

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The symptoms are similar enough to raise a few eyebrows.  It should be noted that when a chronic, multi-symptom illness suddenly sickens a patient or a soldier, and he or she goes from being healthy and active to suddenly being exhausted and unable to move or think, it is difficult to pinpoint and describe exactly what is going wrong in his or her body.  Thus, even if the symptoms are identical, they may not be described in an identical way because of context and differing areas of focus.

For victims of fluoroquinolones, it is as if a bomb went off in the body of the victim, yet all tests come back “normal” so in addition to physical pain and suffering that the soldier/patient is going through, he or she has to suffer through dismissal and denial from medical professionals as well.  Neither Gulf War Illness nor Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome are detected by traditional medical tests and thus both diseases are systematically denied.  All blood and urine markers come back within the normal ranges, yet the patient or soldier is suddenly incapable of 90% of what he or she used to be able to do.  When a large number of patients or soldiers (nearly 30% of the soldiers serving in the Gulf reported symptoms.  Exact numbers of civilian patients suffering from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome are unknown because of delayed reactions, misdiagnosing the illness, tolerance thresholds, etc.) experience adverse reactions that are undetectable using the tests available, there is something wrong with the tests.  The patients and soldiers aren’t lying and their loss of abilities isn’t “in their heads.”

Exposure to the same Poison

Another glaring similarity between Gulf War Illness and Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome is that everyone with either syndrome took a Fluoroquinolone.

Per a Veteran of the Marines who commented on healthboards.com about the use of Ciprofloxacin by soldiers in the Gulf:

“The Ciprofloxacin 500 mg were ordered to be taken twice a day. The Marines were the only service that I know for sure were given these orders. We were ordered to start them before the air war, and the order to stop taking them was giver at 0645 Feb 28th 1991 by General Myatt 1st Marine div commander. We were forced to take Cipro 500mg twice a day for 40 plus days. so the Marines were given NAPP (nerve agent protection pills) or pyridiostigmine bromide to protect us from nerve agent, and We were ordered to take the Cipro to protect from anthrax. We were part of the human research trial conducted by the Bayer corporation in the creation of their new anthrax pills. At that time they had no idea of the side effects of flouroquinolones. That’s the class of medications that Cipro falls into. After the Gulf War the FDA and Bayer co. started releasing the list of side effects.  You do need to know what was done to you so you will have to do your own research. Good luck to all of you and Semper Fi.”

By definition, everyone who suffers from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome has taken a fluoroquinolone – Cipro/Ciprofloxacin, Levaquin/Levofloxacin, Avelox/Moxifloxacin or Floxin/Ofloxacin.  Civilians are also part of the “human research trial conducted by the Bayer corporation” as well as Johnson & Johnson, Merck and multiple generic drug manufacturers who peddle fluoroquinolones as “safe” antibiotics.

The Case Against Fluoroquinolones

Of course, there were multiple chemicals and poisons that Gulf War Veterans were exposed to in the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War and thus it has been difficult to pinpoint an exact cause of Gulf War Illness.  The ruling out of the following possible causes should certainly be questioned thoroughly, but “depleted uranium, anthrax vaccine, fuels, solvents, sand and particulates, infectious diseases, and chemical agent resistant coating” have been found not to cause Gulf War Illness.  Other potential causes of Gulf War Illness include oil fires, multiple vaccines, pesticides, and, of course, fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro).  (It should be noted that non-deployed military personnel who served during the Gulf War period, but who were not deployed in the Middle East, have also been afflicted with Gulf War Illness and thus toxins that both deployed and non-deployed personnel have been exposed to should be the focus of investigations into the causes of Gulf War Illness.)

The Air Force Times article is one of the first official mentions of the relationship between Cipro and Gulf War Illness.  Officially, the link hasn’t been examined (though some very smart researchers are building a case as you read this).  Why Cipro hasn’t been looked at as a potential cause of Gulf War Illness is a question that I don’t know the answer to.  Perhaps it’s because most people think that all antibiotics are as safe as penicillin.  Perhaps it’s because most people have a tolerance threshold for fluoroquinolones and don’t react negatively to the first prescription that they receive.  Perhaps it’s because even today, more than 30 years after Cipro was patented by Bayer, the exact mechanism by which fluoroquinolones operate is still officially unknown (1).  Perhaps it’s because it is unthinkable that a commonly used antibiotic could cause a chronic syndrome of pain and suffering.  Perhaps it’s because the tests that show the damage done by fluoroquinolones aren’t used by the VA or civilian doctors’ offices.  Perhaps it’s because fluoroquinolones are the perfect drug – they take an acute problem – an infection, and convert it into a chronic disease-state that is systematically misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, an autoimmune disease, leaky gut syndrome, insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc. and turns formerly healthy people into lifetime customers of the medical establishment / pharmaceutical companies.  Perhaps it is simply widespread ignorance about the way these dangerous drugs work.

The Cliffs Notes version of how fluoroquinolones work is as follows:

The fluoroquinolone depletes liver enzymes that metabolize drugs (CYP450) (2).  When the enzymes are depleted sufficiently, the fluoroquinolone forms a poisonous adduct to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) (3, 4), which destroys and depletes mtDNA (5).  While the mtDNA is being destroyed, the fluoroquinolone is also binding to cellular magnesium. (6, 7)  The mitochondria reacts to being assaulted by producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) (8, 9).  Some of the ROS, specifically hydrogen peroxide, combines with the excess calcium (there is a balance in cells of magnesium and calcium and the binding of the magnesium results in an excess of calcium) to induce the expression of CD95L/Fas Ligand (5) which then causes cell death (apoptosis) and immune system dysfunction (10) which leads the body to attack itself – like an autoimmune disease.

Damage is caused by every single step in the process.  Additional damage may be done by the fluorine atom that is added to fluoroquinolones to make them more potent.  It should be noted that the complexity of these cellular interactions is too vast to write up in this article.

Every symptom of Gulf War Illness is consistent with mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress (11), both of which have been shown to be brought on by fluoroquinolones.

Though the tests used in typical medical practice show no reason for victims of fluoroquinolones to be ill, that fact simply shows that the wrong tests are being used.  Tests of mitochondrial function, antioxidant/oxidant ratios and DNA will show the damage that is done by fluoroquinolones.  The way to determine whether Cipro is the cause of Gulf War Illness is to conduct a DNA mass spectrogram analysis on afflicted Gulf War Veterans.  If the DNA mass spectrogram analysis shows that quinolone molecules have adducted to the DNA of the Veterans, that’s a smoking gun of damage done by Cipro.

Millions of civilians have also been hurt by fluoroquinolones.  I can connect fluoroquinolones to almost every chronic disease that has increased in prevalence since the introduction of fluoroquinolones to the mass population in the mid-1980s.  Additionally, DNA is damaged and thus the effects are intergenerational and many of the chronic diseases that plague children can be linked to fluoroquinolone use by parents.

Some very well-respected researchers are working on more furthering  the case that Cipro is responsible for Gulf War Illness.  If any Gulf War Veterans want to take on Bayer before those studies are released, the way to do so is through obtaining a DNA mass spectrogram analysis and having it analyzed by a toxicologist.  It is proof of damage and it is necessary.  When that proof is obtained, I encourage all Gulf War Veterans to use it to fight those who poisoned them – Bayer and their corroborators in the DOD and the FDA.

To any Gulf War Veterans who read this – you are soldiers and you are warriors.  I know that you have been weakened, but you are still alive and those of you who can fight, should, because a grave injustice has been done to you.  It is an injustice that is also being inflicted on innocent civilians.  There is nothing okay about the poisoning of our military men and women, or the American public, with chemotherapy drugs masquerading as antibiotics.  I encourage you to fight Bayer and their corroborators like what they are – domestic terrorists.  It is a fight that you can win.  The truth, and a significant amount evidence, are on your side.

Post Script:  The author’s web site, with more information about fluoroquinolones, is www.floxiehope.com.  Further information about fluoroquinolones can be found through the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation – www.saferpills.org.

Numbered Sources:

  1. Inorganic Chemistry, “New uses for old drugs: attempts to convert quinolone antibacterials into potential anticancer agents containing ruthenium.
  2. FDA Warning Label for Ciprofloxacin
  3. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, “The Mechanism of Inhibition of Topoisomerase IV by Quinolone Antibacterials.”
  4. Findings of Toxicologist Joe King
  5. The Journal of Immunology, “Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species Control T Cell Activation by Regulating IL-2 and IL-4 Expression: MechanismN of Ciprofloxacin Mediated Immunosuppression
  6. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, “Effects of Magnesium Complexation by Fluoroquinolones on their Antibacterial Properties
  7. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, Biochemistry, “Quinolone Binding to DNA Mediated by Magnesium Ions”
  8. Science Translational Medicine, “Bactericidal Antibiotics Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Damage in Mammalian Cells
  9. Journal of Young Pharmacists, “Oxidative Stress Induced by Fluoroquinolones on Treatment for Complicated Urinary Tract Infections in Indian Patients
  10. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, “Ciprofloxacin Induces an Immunomodulatory Stress Response in Human T Lymphocytes
  11. Nature Precedings, “Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Injury in Chronic Multisymptom Conditions:  From Gulf War Illness to Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

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