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How To Sleep Your Way To Better Health

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We spend all our lives worrying about what is going on while we are awake, yet most people do not realize the importance of what happens when we are not. Sleep is the time when our body repairs from the mental and physical stress of the day. Hormones are secreted, lipids are formed, and proteins are synthesized during the bedtime hours, yet an estimated 60 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or sleep deprivation. For millions of years, humans went to sleep at sundown and woke at sunrise. There was no switch to turn on artificial lights. All animals need to sleep, and we would be wise to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors.

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A 2013 study reported that there are over 2,000 genes that work differently whether we are awake or asleep.[1] Areas of DNA code for muscle repair and memory are active at night while other segments of DNA, such as adrenal hormones, are at work in the daytime. Our body functions in a totally different manner during sleep and awake time. Cells divide, tissues repair, and growth hormones are released during sleep. Sadly, the average time most Americans go to sleep is near midnight.

According to recent studies, a good night’s sleep improves learning. Whether it’s a new language, how to play the guitar, or how to perfect your golf swing, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative. Get adequate sleep to become a better spouse, parent, grandparent, child, boss, or employee.

 Poor Sleep is a Nightmare For Your Heart

An interesting study looked at sleep and cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. During 10-15 years of follow-up, short sleepers (less than 6 hours) had a 23% higher risk of coronary artery disease compared to normal sleepers (more than 7 hours), even after adjustment for all other possible factors. Short sleepers with poor sleep quality had a 79% higher risk of heart disease when compared to normal sleepers with good sleep quality. On a side note, sleeping longer than 9 hours provided no benefit.[2] Data from 1964 found those people who slept 7-8 hours had the lowest chance of dying over a 3-year follow-up.

Scientists have known for years that heart attacks are more frequent in the morning hours. The blaring alarm clock and stress of the day ahead tip some people over the edge into an unstable heart situation. But this next problem is very easy to change. The practice known as Daylight Savings Time is totally useless in this modern age and interferes with our circadian rhythm. It is not normal to change our sleep cycle by following this antiquated practice. A 2013 study identified men are at a 70% increased risk of having a heart attack on the day after the time change and 20% more likely in the first week. This is extraordinary. Considering the fact that recent presidents Bush, Clinton, Bush, LBJ, and Eisenhower all had cardiovascular disease, maybe the current president should look into abandoning Daylight Savings Time? It may just save his life.[3]

 Get Your Blood Pressure Under Control

Add hypertension to the list of bad outcomes from a lack of sleep. Yes, not getting your Zs can lead to high blood pressure. Practicing for years as a typical cardiologist, I was frustrated by seeing patients on five anti-hypertensive drugs, yet their blood pressure was not controlled. Not once did it ever cross my mind that poor sleep could be a factor. I certainly never counseled a patient regarding the need for sleep. I was only getting 5-6 hours per night and envied other doctors who could get away with less. Now I pity those doctors leading the sleep-deprived lifestyle. Anyway, back to hypertension.

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A study in 2006 demonstrated that poor sleep doubles the risk of hypertension. This study even corrected for other factors such as the fact that poor sleepers may be more stressed, or are likely to be smokers. A similar article from 2013 found middle-age nurses had a higher risk of hypertension when they had poor sleep patterns.[4] In early 2014, a story about how poor sleep increases the risk of stroke in women made front-page news. In fact, for young women, the risk of a stroke was 8x higher in those admitting to five hours of sleep or less. The study found 10% of women age 65 and older had a stroke within four years if they had poor sleep. Another study found women who frequently feel drowsy during the daytime are at 58 percent higher risk for heart disease compared to those who rarely or never experience this symptom.[5]

Poor sleep is also associated with elevated markers of inflammation, such as CRP, TNF-alpha, fibrinogen, and interleukins. As we discussed, inflammation is caused by all the unhealthy things in our lives, from nutrition and chemicals to poor sleep. The more inflammation, the higher the risk of heart disease.[6] This is major news, and is a call to action for women to get more sleep.

 Sleep Your Way to Weight Loss

 Struggling to lose a few pounds? Poor sleep could be your problem. Recent studies suggest an association between sleep duration and weight gain. Sleeping less than five hours, or more than nine hours per night, appears to increase the likelihood of weight gain. In one study, recurrent sleep deprivation in men increased their preferences for high-calorie foods and their overall calorie intake. In another study, women who slept less than six hours a night were more likely to gain 11 pounds (5 kg) compared with women who slept seven hours a night. One explanation may be sleep duration affects the hormones regulating hunger—ghrelin and leptin—and stimulates the appetite. Another contributing factor may be lack of sleep leads to fatigue and results in less physical activity. Obviously, the longer you are awake, the more time there is to eat.[7]

Poor Sleep Is Also Associated With:

  1. Memory loss and Alzheimer’s.8
  2. Decreased immune system function.9
  3. Anxiety and irritability.
  4. Dying younger. One study found that women with short sleep duration and poor sleep quality had over 3x the risk of dying as those who slept over 7 hours.10

The cause(s) of sleep problems needs to be addressed. They might be physical, mental, or both. Even counting grass-fed sheep is not going to work if you are in a bad relationship or having issues at work. Foods not on the Paleo plan negatively affect sleep quality. It doesn’t matter what time you drank your coffee; the caffeine effect can last over 24 hours. If you wake up in the middle of the night, it may be because your blood sugar is dropping and your body is craving more food – usually junk food.

 Action Plan: Twenty Ways To A Better Night Sleep

Go to sleep just after sundown and wake at sunrise. Edison invented electricity 125 years ago. Our bodies will never adapt to it.

  1. Get the electronics out of your bedroom. Cell phones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi, and computers produce electromagnetic fields. Pay attention to electronics on the other side of the headboard wall. Remove smart meters.
  2. Do not watch TV in bed at night. Read a book or magazine.
  3. Find your cave. Turn off all lights and invest in good window coverings.
  4. Keep it cool. Most people find it difficult to sleep at either temperature extreme.
  5. Go Paleo and lose weight. Obese people are more prone to sleep apnea, a condition associated with cardiovascular and mental problems.
  6. Get rid of the alarm clock. If you need to wake early, go to bed early.
  7. Get an organic mattress. A synthetic foam mattress is loaded with off-gassing petrochemicals, flame-retardants, and other POPs (persistent organic pollutants). These conventional mattresses harbor dust mites, a source of allergies and inflammation.
  8. Use a natural laundry detergent and give up the fabric softener and dryer sheets. Your body wants to breathe air, not chemicals. The nasal, sinus, and airway congestion caused by allergies of these items can inhibit your sleep. Instead buy Seventh Generation, Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, or other ecofriendly brands.
  9. Do not take pharmaceutical sleep aids. Studies show an increased risk of heart attacks, aortic dissection, and cancer.11
  10. Shower at night. This helps to relax your body and your mind. Showering or bathing also washes the chemicals you accumulated all day off the skin.
  11. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine can last in your system for up to 48 hours.
  12. Avoid sugar. This is a major stimulant, so get rid of the ice cream before bed.
  13. Breathing techniques. Check out the free app from Saagara. My patients love it.
  14. Many studies confirm exercise improves sleep. Just don’t do it too close to bedtime.12 Practice yoga and Pilates. The benefits of yoga just keep piling up, including better sleep.13
  15. Get the stress out. There is nothing you can do about life’s problems while in bed. You cannot cope with stress if you are sleep deprived.
  16. Get sunshine. This helps to set your internal sleep clock.
  17. Just say no to alcohol. It is a major inhibitor of quality sleep. Passing out drunk does not count.
  18. Sleep alone. If your partner snores or tosses and turns all night, something has to give, likely your health.
  19. Take natural supplements.

Natural Sleep Supplements:

  1. Magnesium

 Several studies show magnesium can improve sleep quality and reduce nocturnal awakenings. Along with contributing to a good night’s sleep, this nutrient helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.

  1. Melatonin

A hormone that regulates the normal sleep/wake cycle, melatonin is useful as an occasional sleep aid, and is especially effective against jet lag. According to research, the body naturally produces melatonin after the sun goes down, letting us know it’s time to fall asleep. Supplemental melatonin assists with this process. Cherries also appear to boost melatonin. Take 60-90 minutes before sleep.

  1. L-theanine

An amino-acid derivative found in green tea, theanine is known to trigger release in the brain of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter, which promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety. Unfortunately, the body has difficulty absorbing GABA, which is the reason experts recommend theanine. This is easily absorbed and boosts levels of GABA. Avoid green tea after 3 pm.

  1. Valerian

Many experts recommended this herb to reduce the amount of time it takes to nod off. According to the NIH, valerian has sedative properties, and it may increase the amount of GABA.

  1. 5-HTP

A compound derived from the amino acid L-tryptophan, 5-HTP acts as a precursor to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter essential for a good night’s sleep. A small 2009 study of eighteen people found those who took a product containing 5-HTP needed less time to fall asleep, slept longer, and reported improved sleep quality.

  1. Lavender

Aromatherapy with a couple sprays of lavender oil has many proponents. Several patients of mine are fans of this herb.

  1. Chamomile Tea

Most people find any herbal tea to be soothing at bedtime, but chamomile is known to work very well.

  1. Lemon Balm

In one study of people with minor sleep problems, 81% of those who took an herbal combination of valerian and lemon balm reported sleeping much better than those who took a placebo.

  1. Phenibut (β-Phenyl-γ-aminobutyric acid)

Phenibut is similar to GABA, but easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, allowing for better efficacy. This is a prescription drug in Russia. Phenibut should be used under the guidance of a physician, as it can be addictive.

  1. B vitamins

B12 as methylcobalamin and folate (B9) as methylfolate are critical for neurotransmitter formation (and many other functions). The vast majority of vitamins contain the cheap forms of B12 as cyanocobalamin and folate as folic acid. These synthetic variants do not work well in our bodies, given 50% of the population contain a genetic defect in methylation. Make sure you know your methylation genetics. Check with your natural doctor for dosing on B vitamins.

Your best bet is to speak with a natural doctor and see what supplements are right for you. If you are reading this article in the middle of the night, turn off your device and go to sleep.

YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Dr. Jack Wolfson Here.

Sources:

 [1] BMC Genomics. 2013 May 30;14:362.

2 SLEEP 2011;34(11):1487-1492.

3 Am J Cardiol. 2013 Mar 1;111(5):631-5.

4Am J Hypertens. 2013 Jul;26(7):903-11. Hypertension. 2006 May;47(5):833-9.

5 Yigiang Zhan. Sleep Medicine Volume 15, Issue 7, Pages 833–839, July 2014

6 Physiol Behav. 2010 Dec 2;101(5):693-8

7 Journal of Sleep Research. 2011;20:298.

8 Neurobiology of Aging, 2014.

9 World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Dec 28;19(48):9231-9.

10 PLoS One. 2014 Apr 3;9(4):e91965.

11 China Medical University in Taiwan.

12 J Adolesc Health. 2012 Dec;51(6):615-22.

13 J Clin Oncol. 2013 Sep 10;31(26):3233-41; J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2013 Jan;17(1):5-10.

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The Powerful Aspirin Alternative Your Doctor Never Told You About

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo,com where it was originally posted. Published here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Given the newly released cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines recommending against daily low-dose aspirin use, natural, safe and effective alternatives are needed now more than ever.

In a previous article titled “The Evidence Against Aspirin and For Natural Alternatives,” we discussed the clear and present danger linked with the use of aspirin as well as several clinically proven alternatives that feature significant side benefits as opposed to aspirin’s many known side effects.

Since writing this article, even more evidence has accumulated indicating that aspirin’s risks outweigh its benefits. Most notably, a 15-year Dutch study published in the journal Heart found that among 27,939 healthy female health professionals (average age 54) randomized to receive either 100 mg of aspirin every day or a placebo the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding outweighed the benefit of the intervention for colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention in those under 65 years of age. Most recently, last month, new cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines submitted jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Associated and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, earlier this year, contradict decades of routine medical advice by explicitly advising against the daily use of low-dose or baby aspirin (75-100 mg) as a preventive health strategy against stroke or heart attack, in most cases.

Of course, aspirin is not alone as far as dangerous side effects are concerned. The entire non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) category of prescription and over-the-counter drugs is fraught with serious danger. Ibuprofen, for instance, is known to kill thousands each year, and is believed no less dangerous than Merck’s COX-2 inhibitor NSAID drug Vioxx which caused between 88,000-140,000 cases of serious heart disease in the five years it was on the market (1999-2004). Tylenol is so profoundly toxic to the liver that contributing writer Dr. Michael Murray recently asked in his Op-Ed piece, “Is it Time for the FDA to Remove Tylenol From the Market?” Just as serious are tylenol’s empathy destroying properties that were only identified four years ago.

Given the dire state of affairs associated with pharmaceutical intervention for chronic pain issues, what can folks do who don’t want to kill themselves along with their pain?

Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol) Puts Aspirin To Shame

When it comes to aspirin alternatives, one promising contender is pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant extracted from French maritime pine bark, backed by over 40 years of research, the most compelling of which we have aggregated on GreenMedInfo.com here: Pycnogenol Research. Amazingly, you will find research indexed there showing it may have value for over 80 health conditions.

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In 1999, a remarkable study published in the journal Thrombotic Research found that pycnogenol was superior (i.e. effective at a lower dosage) to aspirin at inhibiting smoking-induced clotting, without the significant (and potentially life-threatening) increase in bleeding time associated with aspirin use. The abstract is well worth reading in its entirety:

“The effects of a bioflavonoid mixture, Pycnogenol, were assessed on platelet function in humans. Cigarette smoking increased heart rate and blood pressure. These increases were not influenced by oral consumption of Pycnogenol or Aspirin just before smoking. However, increased platelet reactivity yielding aggregation 2 hours after smoking was prevented by 500 mg Aspirin or 100 mg Pycnogenol in 22 German heavy smokers. In a group of 16 American smokers, blood pressure increased after smoking. It was unchanged after intake of 500 mg Aspirin or 125 mg Pycnogenol. In another group of 19 American smokers, increased platelet aggregation was more significantly reduced by 200 than either 150 mg or 100 mg Pycnogenol supplementation. This study showed that a single, high dose, 200 mg Pycnogenol, remained effective for over 6 days against smoking-induced platelet aggregation. Smoking increased platelet aggregation that was prevented after administration of 500 mg Aspirin and 125 mg Pycnogenol. Thus, smoking-induced enhanced platelet aggregation was inhibited by 500 mg Aspirin as well as by a lower range of 100-125 mg Pycnogenol. Aspirin significantly (p<0.001) increased bleeding time from 167 to 236 seconds while Pycnogenol did not. These observations suggest an advantageous risk-benefit ratio for Pycnogenol.” [emphasis added]

As emphasized in bold above, pycnogenol unlike aspirin did not significantly increase bleeding time. This has profound implications, as aspirin’s potent anti-platelet/’blood thinning’ properties can also cause life-threatening hemorrhagic events. If this study is accurate and pycnogenol is more effective at decreasing pathologic platelet aggregation at a lower dose without causing the increased bleeding linked to aspirin, then it is clearly a superior natural alternative worthy of far more attention by the conventional medical establishment and research community than it presently receives.

Not Just A Drug Alternative

Pycnogenol, like so many other natural interventions, has a wide range of side benefits that may confer significant advantage when it comes to reducing cardiovascular disease risk. For instance, pycnogenol is also:

  • Blood Pressure Reducing/Endothelial Function Enhancer: A number of clinical studies indicate that pycnogenol is therapeutic for those suffering with hypertension. Pycnogenol actually addresses a root cause of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in general, namely, endothelial dysfunction (the inability of the inner lining of the blood vessels to function correctly, e.g. fully dilate).[1] It has been shown to prevent damage in microcirculation in hypertensive patients, as well as reducing the dose of blood pressure drugs in hypertensive patients,[2]including hypertensive diabetic patients.[3] It has even been found to reduce intraocular hypertension found in glaucoma patients.[4]
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: There is a growing appreciation among the medical community that inflammation contributes to cardiovascular disease. Several markers, including C-reactive protein are now being fore grounded as being at least as important in determining cardiovascular disease risk as various blood lipids and/or their ratios, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Pycnogenol has been found to reduce C-reactive protein in hypertensive patients.[5] Pycnogenol has been found to rapidly modulate downward (inhibit) both Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzyme activity in human subjects, resulting in reduced expression of these inflammation-promoting enzymes within 30 minutes post-ingestion.[6] Another observed anti-inflammatory effect of pycnogenol is its ability to down-regulate the class of inflammatory enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).[7] Pycnogenol has also been found to significantly inhibit NF-kappaB activation, a key body-wide regulator of inflammation levels whose overexpression and/or dysregulation may result in pathologic cardiovascular manifestations.[8] Finally, pycnogenol has been found to reduce fibrinogen levels, a glycoprotein that contributes to the formation of blood clots; fibrinogen has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.[9]
  • The Ideal Air Travel Companion: In a previous article entitled, “How Pine Bark Extract Could Save Air Travelers Lives,” we delve into a compelling body of research that indicates pycnogenol may be the perfect preventive remedy for preventing flight-associated thrombosis, edema, and concerns related to radiotoxicity and immune suppression.

Given the evidence for pycnogenol’s pleotrophic cardioprotective properties, we hope that pycnogenol will become more commonly recommended by health care practitioners as the medical paradigm continues to evolve past its reliance on synthetic chemicals, eventually (we hope) returning to natural, increasingly evidence-based interventions. However, it is important that we don’t fall prey to the one-disease-one-pill model, convincing ourselves to focus on popping pills – this time natural ones – as simply countermeasures or ‘insurance’ against the well-known harms associated with the standard American diet, lack of exercise and uncontrolled stress. The ultimate goal is to remove the need for pills altogether, focusing on preventing cardiovascular disease from the ground up and inside out, e.g. letting high quality food, clean water and air, and a healthy attitude nourish and sustain your health and well-being.


References

[1] Ximing Liu, Junping Wei, Fengsen Tan, Shengming Zhou, Gudrun Würthwein, Peter Rohdewald. Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract, improves endothelial function of hypertensive patients. Life Sci. 2004 Jan 2;74(7):855-62. PMID: 14659974

[2] Gianni Belcaro, Maria Rosaria Cesarone, Andrea Ricci, Umberto Cornelli, Peter Rodhewald, Andrea Ledda, Andrea Di Renzo, Stefano Stuard, Marisa Cacchio, Giulia Vinciguerra, Giuseppe Gizzi, Luciano Pellegrini, Mark Dugall, Filiberto Fano. Control of edema in hypertensive subjects treated with calcium antagonist (nifedipine) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors with Pycnogenol. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2006 Oct;12(4):440-4. PMID: 17000888

[3] Sherma Zibadi, Peter J Rohdewald, Danna Park, Ronald Ross Watson. Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes by Pycnogenol supplementation. Nutr Res. 2008 May;28(5):315-20. PMID: 19083426

[4] Robert D Steigerwalt, Belcaro Gianni, Morazzoni Paolo, Ezio Bombardelli, Carolina Burki, Frank Schönlau. Effects of Mirtogenol on ocular blood flow and intraocular hypertension in asymptomatic subjects. Mol Vis. 2008;14:1288-92. Epub 2008 Jul 10. PMID: 18618008

[5] Maria Rosaria Cesarone, Gianni Belcaro, Stefano Stuard, Frank Schönlau, Andrea Di Renzo, Maria Giovanna Grossi, Mark Dugall, Umberto Cornelli, Marisa Cacchio, Giuseppe Gizzi, Luciano Pellegrini. Kidney flow and function in hypertension: protective effects of pycnogenol in hypertensive participants–a controlled study. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Mar;15(1):41-6. Epub 2010 Jan 22. PMID: 20097689

[6] Angelika Schäfer, Zuzana Chovanová, Jana Muchová, Katarína Sumegová, Anna Liptáková, Zdenka Duracková, Petra Högger. Inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 activity by plasma of human volunteers after ingestion of French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). Biomed Pharmacother. 2006 Jan;60(1):5-9. Epub 2005 Oct 26. PMID: 16330178

[7] Tanja Grimm, Angelika Schäfer, Petra Högger. Antioxidant activity and inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases by metabolites of maritime pine bark extract (pycnogenol). Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2011 Jan;40(1):103-6. PMID: 14990359

[8] Tanja Grimm, Zuzana Chovanová, Jana Muchová, Katarína Sumegová, Anna Liptáková, Zdenka Duracková, Petra Högger. Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation and MMP-9 secretion by plasma of human volunteers after ingestion of maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). J Inflamm (Lond). 2006;3:1. Epub 2006 Jan 27. PMID: 16441890

[9] G Belcaro, M R Cesarone, S Errichi, C Zulli, B M Errichi, G Vinciguerra, A Ledda, A Di Renzo, S Stuard, M Dugall, L Pellegrini, G Gizzi, E Ippolito, A Ricci, M Cacchio, G Cipollone, I Ruffini, F Fano, M Hosoi, P Rohdewald. Variations in C-reactive protein, plasma free radicals and fibrinogen values in patients with osteoarthritis treated with Pycnogenol. Redox Rep. 2008;13(6):271-6. PMID: 19017467

Originally published: 2017-07-23

Article updated: 2019-04-11


Link to original article


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Long-Term Consequences of Mumps Vaccination: Many Unanswered Questions

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This is Part II of a two-part series on mumps. Part I discussed how mumps vaccination and the flawed mumps component of Merck’s MMR vaccine are fostering dangerous mumps outbreaks in adolescents and young adults.

It has been about five decades since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Merck’s first mumps vaccine. The company began launching combination MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines in the 1970s. Coincidentally—or not—an infertility crisis has been brewing over roughly the same time period, with dramatic declines in sperm counts and record-lowfertility levels. However, few investigators seem interested in assessing whether mumps outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations of teens and young adults could be having long-termeffects on fertility or other health indicators.

As described in Part I, childhood MMR vaccination has been an unmitigated disaster where mumps is concerned, deferring mumps infection to older ages and leaving adolescents and young adults vulnerable to serious reproductive complications. Public health reports show that the vast majority of mumps cases and outbreaks occur in youth who have been fully vaccinatedwith the prescribed two-dose MMR series, supporting a hypothesis of “waning immunity after the second dose.” FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials even admitthat mumps outbreaks in the post-vaccination era “typically involve young adults,” and that vaccination is failing to protect those who are college-age and above.

Myopically, many vaccine experts have called for a third MMR dose—or even “booster dosing throughout adulthood”—even though the FDA’s and CDC’s own research shows that MMR boosters in college-age youth barely last one year. As alleged in whistleblower lawsuits wending their way through the courts over the past eight years, Merck presented the FDA with a “falsely inflated efficacy rate” for the MMR’s mumps component, using animal antibodies and other fraudulent tactics to fool FDA—and the public—into believing that the vaccine was effective.

When infection arises after puberty, however, mumps is no laughing matter, presenting an increased risk of complications such as hearing loss, encephalitis and inflammation of the reproductive organs.

Mumps after puberty is no laughing matter

Around the time that the first mumps vaccine came on the market, the 1967 children’s classic The Great Brain humorously depicted mumps infection in childhood as a mere nuisance. The book’s young protagonist goes out of his way to intentionally infect himself with mumps so that he can beat his two brothers to the recovery finish line—and he experiences no adverse consequences other than his siblings’ annoyance.

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When infection arises after puberty, however, mumps is no laughing matter, presenting an increased risk of complications such as hearing loss, encephalitis and inflammation of the reproductive organs. About one in three postpubertal men with mumps develops orchitis(inflammation of the testes), which can damage sperm, affect testosterone production and contribute to subfertility and infertility. During a mumps outbreak in England in the mid-2000s, mumps orchitis accounted for 42% of all hospitalized mumps cases; the researchers attributed this outcome—which was the most common reason for hospitalization—to “the high attack rates in adolescents and young adults” that occurred “despite high coverage with two-dose MMR.” An analysis of a 2006 mumps outbreak in the U.S. reported that male patients were over three times more likely than female patients to experience complications, “due primarily to orchitis.”

An estimated 5% to 10% of postpubertal women will develop oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) following mumps infection. Oophoritis is associated with premature menopause and infertility, but mumps-related oophoritis has garnered little notice.

Mumps infections are often asymptomatic or produce nonspecific symptoms such as fever, while cases of orchitis may present with no other mumps symptoms. Nonetheless, public health officials advise clinicians that orchitis is an instant cue to test for mumps virus, and testing often reveals elevated mumps antibodies. In a case report of MMR failure, British clinicians isolated a novel genetic strain of mumps virus from the patient’s semen two weeks after the onset of orchitis and found mumps RNA in the semen 40 days later; they also noted “the appearance of anti-sperm antibodies,” with “potential long-term adverse effects on the patient’s fertility.”

In 2017, researchers who reviewed 185 studies conducted in Western nations found that sperm counts had plummeted by 50% to 60% between 1973 and 2011—an average decrease of 1.4% annually. Commenting on this work, one analyst estimated that 20% to 30% of young men in Europe and North America have sperm concentrations associated with a reduced ability to father a child. Given estimates that as much as 40% of reproductive problems have to do with the male partner, there is agreement on the importance of “finding and eliminating [the] hidden culprits in the environment” that most researchers believe are to blame.

An estimated 5% to 10% of postpubertal women will develop oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) following mumps infection. Oophoritis is associated with premature menopause and infertility, but mumps-related oophoritis has garnered little notice.

MMR’s and MMRV’s potential to impair fertility never studied

Merck has not evaluated either of its two MMR vaccines—the MMR-II and the MMR-plus-varicella (MMRV) vaccine—for their potential to impair fertility. Whether such testing would unearth direct effects on fertility (as appears to be possible with HPV vaccination in women) is thus unknown. However, mumps vaccination undeniably increases reproductive-age individuals’ risk of mumps infection and, in the process, increases the risk of fertility-altering complications. These facts alone should be attracting far more attention.

Unfortunately, because clinicians already tend to underdiagnose mumps infection and underestimate mumps complications, it is likely that they are failing to recognize possible vaccine-induced reproductive health consequences of mumps infection in their adolescent and young adult patients. In one university outbreak, “most physicians…did not suspect mumps,” and even when they became aware of the outbreak, “diagnosing mumps was not always straightforward.” Moreover, although differentiating between vaccine strains of mumps virus and wild types could provide valuable information, few clinicians have the capacity or inclination to perform testing of this type. A Japanese study of cerebrospinal fluid and saliva from patients with mumps complications found vaccine strain in nearly all of the samples and noted the information’s importance in helping determine whether the complications were vaccine-related.

Those who have sought to understand mumps vaccines’ poor performance point to a mixture of explanatory factors. These include waning immunity, the high population density and close quarters encountered in settings such as college campuses, incomplete vaccine-induced immunity to wild virus as well as viral evolution such that “the vaccine triggers a less potent reaction against today’s mumps viruses than those of 50 years ago.” However, some also quietly admit that individuals with “mild vaccine-modified disease” could be perpetuating the chain of transmission. This latter point ought to be raising questions about the logic and wisdom of administering further rounds of MMR boosters during outbreaks while ignoring the problems created by the doses already given.

… some individuals respond poorly to mumps vaccination and vaccine-induced antibody levels correlate poorly with protection from mumps infection, irrespective of the number of additional doses of mumps-containing vaccine they receive.

Most scientists appear to be either resigned to ongoing mumps outbreaks in vaccinated populations or actually accept periodic outbreaks as the cost of doing business. Publications by FDA and CDC researchers reveal these agencies’ awareness that some individuals respond poorly to mumps vaccination and that vaccine-induced antibody levels correlate poorly with protection from mumps infection, “irrespective of the number of additional doses of mumps-containing vaccine they receive.” Considering the effects on fertility, the generally abysmal track record of mumps vaccination and Merck’s fraudulent claims about efficacy, it is hard to fathom medical and public health experts’ complacency about current mumps vaccines and vaccine policies.


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Investigation Shows The MMR Vaccine Was Approved Based On Small Studies Showing Disturbing Results

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A FOIA request by Del Bigtree reveals that the 8 studies supporting the release of the MMR vaccine were only 6 weeks long, used only 800 children, and led to damaging respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses to many of the children.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we ready to collectively deal with the implications of ongoing revelations of industry malfeasance with regards to vaccines that for some may require a shift in long-held beliefs?

Amidst a rash of efforts to bring forward mandatory vaccination in pockets of the United States is the recent move in New York City to declare a public health emergency Tuesday over a measles outbreak and order mandatory vaccinations in one neighborhood for people who may have been exposed to the virus.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the unusual order to address what he said was a measles “crisis” in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section, where more than 250 people have gotten measles since September. The order applies to anyone living, working or going to school in four zip codes in the neighborhood. The declaration requires all unvaccinated people who may have been exposed to the virus to get the vaccine, including children over 6 months old. People who ignore the order could be fined $1,000.

Challenging Assumptions

This kind of invasive move gives rise to several serious questions, including challenging many of the assumptions that are necessarily made to justify such a move.

Assumption #1: People who may have been infected with the measles should get vaccinated immediately. De Blasio wants people who may have been infected with the measles to get vaccinated. The assumption here is that the vaccine would actually help someone who has the virus by preventing them from getting the measles or preventing them from spreading it to others. But this just doesn’t stand to reason. If someone is already infected, getting a measles vaccine will not prevent the outbreak. That’s not what a vaccine is designed for. And while the person is going through the 2-week period it takes for the vaccine to take hold, it’s quite possible that this will weaken the immune response to the actual measles infection the person has. Quarantining people suspected of being infected would be the sensible response, not vaccinating. If they happen to have the measles, no problem. Once they recover they will then be immune for life.

Assumption #2: The MMR Vaccine Can Create Herd Immunity. There is an article in the Huffington post entitled ‘I’m No Anti-Vaxxer, But the Measles Vaccine Can’t Prevent Outbreaks,’ in which Dr. Gregory Poland, who strongly advocates for vaccines, notes that outbreaks are often initiated and spread by people who have been fully vaccinated against the measles–over 50% in the case of a 2011 outbreak in Quebec. How is this possible? While this Quebec outbreak happened within a community that supposedly had achieved herd-immunity status of over 95% vaccinated, the facts are, as the article notes, that “9 per cent of children having two doses of the vaccine, as public health authorities now recommend, will have lost their immunity after just seven and a half years. As more time passes, more lose their immunity.” Therefore, herd immunity for measles is simply impossible to achieve with this vaccine.

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Assumption #3: The MMR Vaccine, in de Blasio’s words, is ‘safe, effective, and life-saving.’ The claim that the MMR vaccine is ‘life-saving’ does not stand up to simple statistics, as we detail in our article ‘Statistics Show The MMR Vaccine Kills More People Than The Measles Does.’ Whether it is effective, we have already seen that it is incapable of creating herd immunity, wanes over time, does not work at all for some people, and in some of the latest outbreaks the majority of people infected were fully vaccinated. Is it safe? This is the important question we cover in the next section.

The Studies That Stand Behind The Approval Of the MMR Vaccine

The pharmaceutical industry, as well as governmental regulatory bodies like the CDC and the FDA, assure the public that they take the safety of vaccines seriously, and that there is irrefutable science behind the notion that vaccines are safe in terms of the studies that their approval is based on.

However, a Freedom of Information Act request by Del Bigtree has revealed absolutely startling information about the studies that supported the approval of the MMR vaccines that have been injected into our children. To begin with, only 8 studies were conducted and the total combined number of children participating in the studies was only a little over 800! Furthermore, the studies only recorded symptoms for the first 6 weeks after the vaccines were given, unlike many other drug studies that follow symptoms for 5 years or more. And finally, the study revealed serious side-effects in those receiving the vaccine, including a highly significant number of participants who suffered upper respiratory illness and gastrointestinal illness, which has been linked to autism.

In our latest episode of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, Joe, Arjun and I discussed New York’s mandatory vaccination order as well as Del Bigtree’s analysis of the MMR studies he received and the reason that Big Pharma not only does not want to do proper, large-scale studies on the safety of vaccines, but they also want to try to prevent other researchers like Dr. Christopher Exley from doing so as well.

You can watch the full episode of The Collective Evolution Show where we talk about this subject in more detail here.

You can go here to see the full episode of ‘The Highwire’ where Del Bigtree breaks down the MMR studies in question.

The Takeaway

The veils of illusion that have been masking the truth are lifting as our consciousness awakens. Transparency is coming, though how long it takes will depend on our continued efforts to dig for and spread the truth far and wide.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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