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“The 21st Century Cures Act” Is On Its Way – Here’s Why You Haven’t Heard About It

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The 21st Century Cures Act is going through the U.S. Congress right now, and it will likely pass into law unless some opposition materializes (it passed through the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee with a vote of 51 to 0).  The Act is a give-away to the pharmaceutical industry, removing many of the safety mechanisms in place that are supposed to keep the public protected from unsafe drugs and medical devices.

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The 21st Century Cures Act allows drugs to be rushed to the market, removes phase 3 testing as a requirement for drug approval, bases drug approval on biomarkers rather than actual health outcomes, and encourages the production of new antibiotics at a time when microbiome destruction is increasingly being linked to chronic diseases.

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Rushing Drugs to Market

With the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, drugs will be rushed to market with little testing required. A New York Times piece, “Don’t Weaken the F.D.A.’s Drug Approval Process” notes that the 21st Century Cures Act “could substantially lower the standards for approval of many medical products, potentially placing patients at unnecessary risk of injury or death.” The Act weakens an already weak regulatory process that is currently doing a poor job of protecting the public from adverse reactions to drugs and medical devices. (In the currently weak system, preventable medical errors in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and, “between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death.” source)

The End of Evidence Based Medicine

Modern medicine is supposed to be “evidence based medicine” backed up by replicable, placebo controlled scientific experiments that show that a drug or medical device effectively treats the disease or symptom that it is purported to treat. This standard of evidence will no longer exist if the 21st Century Cures Act passes into law. The Act will allow drug approval to be based on biomarkers and surrogate measures rather than health outcomes. This has been disastrous in the past and it will be even more disastrous in the future. For example, we’re now seeing that statins do well at reducing cholesterol, but despite improving that biomarker, they don’t improve health outcomes for large portions of the population (notably, the female portion of the population).

A New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) article, “The 21st Century Cures Act — Will It Take Us Back in Time?” notes that:

But though a drug’s effect on a biomarker can make approval quicker and less costly, especially if the comparator is placebo, it may not always predict the drug’s capacity to improve patient outcomes. Bevacizumab (Avastin) delayed tumor progression in advanced breast cancer but was shown not to benefit patients. Similarly, rosiglitazone (Avandia) lowered glycated hemoglobin levels in patients with diabetes even as it increased their risk of myocardial infarction. In 2013, patients began to receive a new drug for tuberculosis approved on the basis of a randomized trial relying on a surrogate measure of bacterial counts in the sputum — even though patients given the drug in that trial had a death rate four times that in the comparison group, mostly from tuberculosis.

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Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), one of the co-sponsors of the 21st Century Cures Act, bragged on Twitter that, “In 120yrs we have gone from #snakeoil to mapping the #humangenome. W/your help #Cures2015 is ready to take us further.”  But if pharmaceuticals are no longer required to have evidence that they improve health outcomes, how are they any better than snake oils? One only needs to look as far as the recent history of psychiatry to see that the line between snake oils and “evidence based medicine” is already woefully thin.  Removing regulatory and procedural requirements from the drug approval process, via the 21st Century Cures Act, will just encourage the production of more dangerous pharmaceuticals that are no better or safer than snake oil.

Diminishing requirements for evidence of efficacy is bad for the medical system too. Basing medicine on scientific inquiry and actual evidence of efficacy is a bedrock of medicine, and without it the medical system will lose credibility.

The Loss of Informed Consent

The 21st Century Cures Act will diminish another bedrock of modern medicine – informed consent. The NEJM article notes that:

“Informed consent by patients in drug trials has traditionally been sacrosanct, with exceptions made only when consent is impossible to obtain or contrary to a patient’s best interests. But another clause in the proposed law adds a new kind of exception: studies in which ‘the proposed clinical testing poses no more than minimal risk’ — a major departure from current human subject protections. It is not clear who gets to determine whether a given trial of a new drug poses ‘minimal risk.’”

Informed consent is crucial not only for the credibility of modern medicine, it is crucial for liberty.

Dangerous New Antibiotics

One of the least controversial, but in reality most dangerous, parts of the 21st Century Cures Act is its encouragement of new antibiotics. Before I go into why this part of the Act is dangerous, let me acknowledge that bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a huge problem, and antibiotic resistant infections are causing many deaths. Without being able to keep pathogenic bacteria in check, many medical procedures will be impossible, and many lives will be lost.  But we got into the predicament of bacteria being resistant to antibiotics by over-using antibiotics in both agriculture and medicine, and to encourage increased use of antibiotics will only perpetuate the problem. The solution to antibiotic resistance is prudent use of available antibiotics and finding sustainable ways to reduce harm caused by pathogenic bacteria (perhaps by using healthy bacteria to keep the unhealthy bacteria in check), not doubling down on the “kill all bacteria” tactic that led us to the problem of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections in the first place. Bacteria will continue to adapt in us and around us, and increasing the intensity of the war between us and bacteria is beyond foolish.  We will lose any war that we wage against bacteria because we need bacteria – they are not separate from us – and they play a larger role in human health than we can currently imagine.

A healthy and balanced microbiome (“the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space”) is crucial for all areas of health, and a disturbed microbiome has been linked to all of the diseases of modernity, including mental health disorders, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease, mysterious diseases like fibromyalgia, autism, etc. And while there is acknowledgement of the role that a healthy microbiome plays in these diseases, researchers and journalists alike have been loath to acknowledge the role antibiotics have played in contributing to these diseases of modernity. No one wants to be anti-antibiotic. Everyone knows that antibiotics have saved millions of lives, but that doesn’t mean they are without consequences. And the good that penicillin has done doesn’t mean that all antibiotics are equally safe or effective. I can make a pretty thorough argument that fluoroquinolone antibiotics, like Cipro/ciprofloxacin and Levaquin/levofloxacin, drugs that work by “inhibition of the enzymes topoisomerase II (DNA gyrase) and topoisomerase IV (both Type II topoisomerases), which are required for bacterial DNA replication, transcription, repair, and recombination,” are at least partially responsible for many of the diseases of modernity (more information can be found HERE, HERE and HERE). Fluoroquinolone antibiotics do not have the same safety profile as amoxicillin, and to assume that they do because both are categorized as antibiotics, is foolish on multiple levels.

The 21st Century Cures Act will encourage the production of new antibiotics, regardless of their safety profile or mechanism of action. Doctors Avorn and Kesselhem note in the NEJM that:

The proposed legislation would make immediate changes with respect to new antibiotics and antifungals by enabling their approval without conventional clinical trials, if needed to treat a “serious or life-threatening infection” in patients with an “unmet medical need.” In place of proof that the antimicrobial actually decreases morbidity or mortality, the FDA would be empowered to accept nontraditional efficacy measures drawn from small studies as well as “preclinical, pharmacologic, or pathophysiologic evidence; nonclinical susceptibility and pharmacokinetic data, data from phase 2 clinical trials; and such other confirmatory evidence as the secretary [of health and human services] determines appropriate to approve the drug.” Antimicrobials approved in this manner would carry disclaimers on their labeling, but there is no evidence that such a precaution would restrict prescribing to only the most appropriate patients. If passed in its current form, the bill would also provide hospitals with a financial bonus for administering costly new but unproven antibiotics, which could encourage their more widespread use. The bill gives the secretary of health and human services the authority to expand this nontraditional approval pathway to other drug categories as well, if “the public health would benefit from expansion.”

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Cipro and Levaquin, some of the most popular antibiotics on the market, cause a chronic illness known as fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome or, colloquially, “floxing,” that includes damage to connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, cartilage, fascia, etc.) throughout the body, damage to the nervous systems (central, peripheral, and autonomic), and more. Rather than putting mechanisms in place that help victims of iatrogenic antibiotic poisoning, or to prevent their pain and suffering in the first place, the 21st Century Cures Act opens the door for more damaging antibiotics to flood the market.

The Ever-Increasing Power of the Pharmaceutical Industry

The current medical system lacks the mechanisms required to protect consumers from the dangers of pharmaceuticals. The FDA is failing to protect people from dangerous drugs, the justice system is failing to compensate people for harm done by dangerous drugs, doctors, pharmacists and even research scientists are so indoctrinated in the “there’s a pill for that” culture that they fail to question it, and the drug-consuming public ends up poisoned and sick because no one is keeping the pharmaceutical companies in check. All powerful entities need checks and balances, the pharmaceutical industry is no exception.  The 21st Century Cures Act gives the too-powerful pharmaceutical industry even more power, power that will undoubtedly be abused.

Pros and Cons

There are a couple good elements to the 21st Century Cures Act. It increases the NIH budget, which some can argue is an improvement. It also focuses on finding pharmaceutical solutions to rare diseases, which many people with rare diseases will find to be cause for hope.

I fear though, that people with rare diseases will be turned into guinea pigs because the pharmaceutical companies seeking cures for their rare diseases will have no limits put on what they can do to the people suffering from them.  I also find it objectionable that there is no mention in the Act of investigating the causes of “rare” diseases or “rare” adverse drug reactions.

The potential harm that can be brought on by the 21st Century Cures Act far outweighs its potential benefits, and I encourage all Americans reading this to contact your Congressional Representatives to voice your concerns about this bill.

Human Health is Too Important to Leave to Congress 

The human body is amazingly, beautifully, mind-bogglingly complex and intricate. New discoveries about our biology are being made every day. For example, it was recently discovered that the brain has a lymphatic system, a discovery that may have huge implications for human health. Additionally, the burgeoning fields of epigenetics and microbiome research have far more questions than answers within them, and exciting discoveries are being made within those fields every day. Though there are undoubtedly brilliant scientists working in the biological sciences, even they are far from knowing “enough” about unforeseen consequences of messing with a biological system (through use of a drug) that connects to all other biological systems.  Any doctor or scientist who is worth his/her title realizes how little anyone knows about the complex workings of the human body, is aware that medicine is constantly changing as new discoveries are made, and has humility about the consequences of what he/she doesn’t yet know.

If scientists can’t possibly know “enough” about human biology to produce pharmaceuticals that are exact and without side-effects (aka collateral damage), the shills and corporate-whores in Congress certainly don’t know “enough” about human health to legislate major changes that affect how medicine is implemented. They have that power though, and the 21st Century Cures Act is a consequential piece of legislation that is going to have major effects on the entire medical system if it is signed into law. Most of those effects are negative.

The 21st Century Cures Act diminishes the rocks on which modern medicine are based – informed consent, individual body autonomy, the Hippocratic Oath, and basing medicine on scientific evidence. The people of America, and the world, need to fight to keep those bedrocks in place. If all medical decisions, and all medical legislation, were made with informed consent, individual body autonomy, the Hippocratic Oath, and scientific evidence in mind, the world would be a much better place. Don’t assume for a second that current medical and legislative decisions are being made with those basic principles in mind. They are constantly being eroded.  Diligently protect them to the best of your ability – and call your Representatives.

Resources:

  1. New York Times, “Don’t Weaken the F.D.A.’s Drug Approval Process
  2. The New England Journal of Medicine, “The 21st Century Cures Act — Will It Take Us Back in Time?
  3. Medscape Medical News, “Bill Aims to Expand Drug Indications Minus Randomized Trials
  4. Modern Healthcare, “Beware a 21st Century Quackery Act
  5. Public Citizen, “Cures for the 21st Century: Five Simple Ideas Congress Has Ignored

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Alternative News

University of California Sued For Making Flu Shot Mandatory: Latest Updates

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A hearing will take on November 4th as to whether or not the University of California will be allowed to mandate the flu vaccine for all staff, faculty and students. This comes after they were sued after announcing the mandate this past summer.

  • Reflect On:

    Why has vaccine hesitancy grown so much amongst scientists and doctors?

The University of California is one of many in the United States that have made the flu shot mandatory for all students, staff and faculty. Originally, Flu shots were required to be taken by November 1st of this year, according to UC, but Judge Richard Seabolt has halted their ability to do that until November 4th, when he will determine whether or not UC can or cannot mandate the flu vaccine.

Due to the growing amount of evidence that vaccines are not completely safe for everyone, let alone completely safe, attorney’s Rick Jaffe  Robert F. Kennedy Jr, renowned attorney and Chair of Children’s Health Defense are sued the University of California for mandating the flu shot. You can read a bit of their reasoning here.

According to Greg Glaser., general counsel at the Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC), “In this lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents over their new flu vaccine mandate, some of the world’s top experts have provided declarations opposing the flu shot mandate…Their declarations will have a s significant impact on decisions made regarding public health.”

Dr. Shira Miller, founder and president of PIC says “there’s data showing that the flu shot increases one’s chances of non-flu illness by 65% – meaning that not only does this mandate lack scientific justification, but it puts UC students, faculty and staff at a greater risk of other respiratory illnesses…The studies referenced in the UC Regents’ flu vaccine mandate suggest positive effects of the flu vaccine on the incidence of illness caused by flu viruses; however, that benefit may be outweighed by an increase in non-flu respiratory illnesses. And although the possibility has been studied, there is no evidence that the vaccine prevents the spread of influenza.”

UC will not take adverse action against any employee or student who comes to campus who has not had a flu shot. We will see what happens during the trial.

Jaffe states: The judge is obviously taking this motion very seriously, and that is a very good thing. He wanted more time to consider all the papers and write an opinion that will have enormous implications. Judge Seabolt gets to be the first judge in the country to weigh in on whether the state can mandate a vaccine during a pandemic where the vaccine doesn’t treat the pandemic disease and where there is reason to believe that the flu shot could actually increase COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths. That’s alot to think about. It seems like he’s trying to get it right, and that is certainly extremely encouraging, since in my view, the more anyone reasonable thinks about it, the worse the mandate looks because of the lack of proper procedure in its issuance, and the lack of proof that the vaccine won’t cause much more harm than good. So I am all for the judge taking all the time he needs on this.

There are many concerns with vaccines, and vaccine injury is one of them. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.

Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project stated at a World Health Organization (WHO) conference statesd that:

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…

Some Science:

A study published in the journal Vaccine found a greater risk of contracting coronavirus among individuals in the study who received the influenza vaccine. These studies were conducted prior to COVID 19, and apply to already circulating coronaviruses prior to the novel coronavirus.

  • 2018 CDC study (Rikin et al 2018) found that flu shots increase the risk of non-flu acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs), including coronavirus, in children.
  • A 2011 Australian study (Kelly et al 2011) found that flu shots doubled the risk for non-flu viral lung infections.
  • 2012 Hong Kong study (Cowling et al 2012) found that flu shots increase the risk for non-flu respiratory infections by 4.4 times.
  • 2017 study (Mawson et al 2017) found vaccinated children were 5.9 times more likely to suffer pneumonia than their unvaccinated peers.

A study recently published in Global Advances In Health & Medicine titled “Ascorbate as Prophylaxis and Therapy for COVID-19—Update From Shanghai and U.S. Medical Institutions outlines the following:

“Recently outlined A recent consensus statement from a group of renowned infectious disease clinicians observed that vaccine programs have proven ill-suited to the fast-changing viruses underlying these illnesses, with efficacy ranging from 19% to 54% in the past few years.”

I’ve put more information and science about the flu shot that goes more in depth and provides more sources in an article I published last year: “Reasons Why People Refuse The Flu Shot”

The Takeaway: Why do federal health authorities and state health affiliated organizations and institutions have a right to mandate a vaccine. What about the opinions of independent health organizations? Why do their voices constantly go unacknowledged and in some cases, ridiculed?

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Alternative News

World Doctors Alliance: “We Do Not Have A Medical Pandemic.” Fake News?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Formed under the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee,” an alliance of hundreds of doctors and scientists, the "World Doctors Alliance recently held a press conference sharing their views about the coronavirus.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are tens of thousands of doctors and scientists all over the world being ridiculed and in many cases censored for sharing their research and opinions?

Update/correction: The scientific community has determined that the virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, not a strain of seasonal flu, and it is far more deadly than the flu.

What Happened: Once again, doctors and scientists are and have been sharing the opinion that COVID-19 should not be classified as a pandemic virus due to the fact that it’s, in their opinion, nowhere near as dangerous as big media is making it out to be.

An organization made up of well over 500 German doctors and scientists called “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” who share the same perception discussed in this article have also created the “World Doctors Alliance.” Not long ago they held a press  sharing their perspective.

Below is a clip of one of the members, Dr. Elke De Klerk, founder of Doctors for Truth from the Netherlands sharing her thoughts. Below that you will find the press conference recently held by the alliance.

Many expert have been emphasizing that we are dealing with something no more dangerous than the flu. For example, approximately 40,000 scientists, doctors and more than half a million concerned citizens have now signed The Great Barrington Declaration. The declaration explains that “Covid-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.”

The CDC also released new infection/fatality estimates that show numbers on par with seasonal flu. This recent release also has many people and experts calling into question the severity of the virus, this was well after John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University  said that the infection fatality rate is close to 0 percent for people under the age of 45 years old.

The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled  “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%. You can read more about that and access their resources and reasoning here.

Then there is the controversy surrounding the PCR tests and the idea that a large majority of cases may actually be false positives. You can read more about that here and here. This as been coupled with the fact that many COVID deaths may not have actually been the result of COVID. You can read more about that here and here.

These groups are made up of veteran experts in the field, Nobel Laureates, Professors of Medicine, Doctors and more, yet all it takes is for an Anthony Fauci like figure to oppose their opinion, and this is the perspective that gets beamed across mainstream media outlets, radio and television while the opposing view is nothing but ridiculed and “debunked.” This is very bizarre to say the least, mainstream media alone has the power to make the majority seem like the minority, and the minority seem like the majority. They have a huge reach when it comes to regulating the perception of the masses.

The exampels listed above are a few of many.

Right now, the Great Barrington Declaration mentioned above and the idea of “heard immunity” is being heavily ridiculed in the mainstream, without any of the renowned scientists who support the declaration having an opportunity to share their opinion via mainstream media.

For the other side of the coin, here’s a perspective you can read from Health Feedback, a Facebook Fact-Checker, with regards to infection fatality rate. According to them it’s much higher than the flu, and COVID is very dangerous.

Below is a recent full press conference held by the alliance.

Is This Fake News? Nothing in this article is fake, these opinions are actually being shared by doctors and scientists around the world, and a lot of them. As far as what they are saying and the opinions expressed above, this is what’s come under the scrutiny of Facebook Fact-Checkers. It’s been emphasized during this pandemic that any type of information that does not come straight from federal health regulatory agencies and the World Health Organization is not to be trusted.

Here’s an article from Health Feedback, for example, explaining why low infection fatality numbers do not mean that the virus is not dangerous.

The organizations above have been speaking up regarding the censorship they’ve experienced from social media giants, and this has also been a common theme throughout this pandemic. Michael Levitt, a Biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University, criticized the WHO as well as Facebook for censoring different information and informed perspectives regarding the Coronavirus. According to him, “the level of stupidity” going on here is amazing.

According to Fact-Check.org:

A video posted by a European-based group called World Doctors Alliance falsely claims the novel coronavirus is “a normal flu virus” and there is no COVID-19 pandemic. Actually, COVID-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu, and some European nations are combatting a second wave of cases.

According to the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we remain in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, with an uptick in case numbers and hospitalizations straining the ability of medical centers in some areas to cope. Some European governments have imposed more restrictions to fight another wave of cases.

Yet on Oct. 10, Heiko Schöning, a German physician and head of a group known by the German acronym ACU2020, announced formation of an organization called World Doctors Alliance to challenge the veracity of the COVID-19 pandemic. The alliance website claims it is “abundantly clear that the ‘pandemic’ is basically over and has been since June 2020.”

An 18-minute video announcing the group’s formation was posted on the ACU2020 website but has since been taken down by YouTube for violating its terms of service. Still, portions of the video featuring two doctors challenging the science behind the pandemic are circulating on Facebook with false assertions and statistics.

Staking out the group’s position, Elke De Klerk, a Dutch general practitioner, says on the video, “We do not have a pandemic” and calls COVID-19 a “normal flu virus” – claims flatly rejected by the WHO, CDC, and other experts.

De Klerk claims the pandemic designation was based on poor testing, with the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, molecular test returning false positive results in “89 to 94%” of the cases. That’s not true.

While the false positive rate remains an area of continued examination, preliminary studies show the test’s false positive rate is far less than De Klerk claims. A recent article in the British medical publication The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, said estimates in the U.K. place the false positive rate in the 0.8 to 4% range, while false negatives could run as high as 33%.

As for the virus that causes COVID-19, scientists universally agree it is a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, not a strain of influenza.

While the death rate for COVID-19 remains uncertain, as we have reported, evidence suggests it is higher than for seasonal influenza.

In De Klerk’s own country, the Netherlands, there have been more than 6,800 deaths attributed to COVID-19 so far this year, compared to 2,900 due to flu and pneumonia in 2018-19.

In the U.S., where COVID-19 has caused more than 220,000 deaths, the worst flu season in the past decade killed an estimated 61,000 people in 2017-18, as we’ve reported. In fact, COVID-19 so far has killed more people in the U.S. than the past five flu seasons combined, and hundreds more die each day.

In addition, a CDC study released Oct. 20 found hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the Veterans Health Administration had a five times higher risk of death than patients with the flu.

You can read more from them here.

The Takeaway: It’s been quite intriguing to see so many scientists and doctors completely oppose the recommendations and claims made by the World Health Organization (WHO) since the beginning of this pandemic. What’s even more shocking for lots of people is the fact that many scientists and doctors have been completely censored for sharing their research and opinion regarding anything to do with COVID if it opposes the information and recommendations set out by the WHO.

It’s not hard to see why so many people are confused and so many of us have beliefs that completely differ from one another.

Should people not have the right to examine information and opinions and decide for themselves what is and what isn’t Should there be a digital fact checker patrolling the internet limiting peoples ability to see certain information? Do organizations like the WHO and our governments really make decisions that are in and for our best interests, or are there other interests being served here?

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Awareness

Our Body Makes Neurotransmitters, Should We Give It Nutrition Instead of Psych Meds?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    If our body is nutrient deficient or full of toxins, it can lead to cell death,  immunodeficiency, and physical and mental health illness. When diet and lifestyle is addressed remarkable changes can occur.

  • Reflect On:

    Have you ever tested your nutrient levels? How much time and care are you putting into your diet to ensure that your body is getting what it needs to thrive?

“Those with psychiatric symptoms aren’t missing certain chemicals. They are missing certain nutrients that make those chemicals.” – Healing Without Hurting

Our bodies are amazing machines. When we provide our cells with nutrient-dense whole food nutrition free of chemicals, additives, pesticides, and herbicides, our bodies flourish. If our body is nutrient deficient or full of toxins, it can lead to cell death,  immunodeficiency, and physical and mental health illness. According to the July 2017 edition of Nutrients, thirty-one to forty-five percent of the United States population has some nutritional deficiency. Before a psychiatrist prescribes a psychiatric medication, testing for levels of nutrients in the body is essential.

The brain is the greediest organ of our body, with some particular dietary requirements. It’s hardly surprising that nutritional deficiencies lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, memory deficiencies, attention, cognition issuessleep problems, and sensory processing disorders. The most common nutrient deficiencies leading to mental disorders are omega–3 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are precursors to neurotransmitters.

When diet and lifestyle is addressed, and an intervention is put in place to correct for deficiencies, there is a remarkable change. In a 2016 study in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, “patients reported multiple benefits across all conditions addressed and felt their emotional and or neurological symptoms diminished significantly.”

Other symptoms of nutritional deficiencies include weight gain due to a slower metabolism, fatigue, salt and sugar cravings, muscle weakness, diminished sex drive, hair loss, brittle hair and nails, and scaly skin. There are many causes of nutritional deficiencies including, eating a Standard American Diet (SAD) lacking essential nutrients, low absorption due to poor digestion, metabolic issues due to genetic mutations, lack of nutrients in our soil, and medications. And so, a vicious cycle ensues.

Common medications deplete vital nutrients essential to your health.” -Hyla Cass, MD.

The sad reality is that many people eat poorly-paying no attention to how their eating habits affect their mental health, and many are too quick to find the “quick fix” remedy. Our allopathic psychiatrists and doctors do not get training in a systems biology to treatment, nor are they encouraged to offer this advice. The lack of knowledge in this area is primarily because the pharmaceutical companies fund our medical schools. There is no money in good nutrition or healthy people.

Why We Need to Eat Enough Protein

Eating enough protein is vital. We can get adequate protein from many plant sources, as well as meat products. Everyone talks about how those with mental health issues need more dopamine or serotonin, which usually translates into more medication. However, if we look at the physiology behind how neurotransmitters are made in the first place, most of them depend on an adequate intake of protein. Protein is broken down into amino acids, and the amino acids are then converted to neurotransmitters with the help of other nutrients such as B vitamins and specific minerals.

Interestingly, medication does not increase the levels of these chemicals in the body; it only re-uptakes what is already there. So, if a person is deficient, the medication may do little to remedy the situation. If it recirculated back to the brain where there may be too much already, side-effects could occur.

Two of the most common brain chemicals involved with depression are dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, regulate mood. Serotonin deficiency can lead to depression. Hence why antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are typically the go-to medication treatment.

Serotonin is actually created by an amino acid called tryptophan. Niacin (vitamin B3) is part of the metabolizing process of forming serotonin from tryptophan. Therefore, niacin deficiency can also directly impact mood by affecting your production of serotonin. Dopamine is produced from the amino acid tyrosine and phenylalanine, both of which can be obtained from protein-rich foods.

Melatonin is an important hormone that helps to regulate our sleep cycle. The conversion of serotonin to melatonin is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, the coordinator of the body’s circadian rhythms. Many doctors, both holistic and conventional, often recommend it for sleep problems. Although generally safe in lower doses and limited time, supplementing this powerful hormone may have some side effects. Some of them include nightmares, grogginess, seizures, tics, headaches, nausea, diabetes, small testicles, and depression. To avoid synthetic substitutes, we can provide the brain’s pineal gland what it needs to make melatonin. The necessary nutrients include tryptophan, GABA, fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium.

As one can see, proper nutrition and getting enough nutrients is essential to our mental well-being. Instead of running to get a script, perhaps it is time to address the many other root causes of mental health issues, including nutritional deficiencies. To learn more about how to help you or your family overcome ADHD, autism, and mental health conditions, while at the same time improving your overall health, I am offering a FREE downloadable PDF of an online presentation I recently gave containing these tips and much more. Learn why eating protein is essential and why microbiome diversity is critical. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. And to purchase my award-winning book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

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