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Chemo Drugs For Life Or Raw Milk? Ulcerative Colitis Cured?

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Below you can watch the full interview to hear Doug’s journey firsthand and learn how he cured himself with raw milk, fermented foods, and a high fat diet. (If you’re more of a reader, see the write-up underneath!) Doug went from pharmaceuticals, to steroids, to chemotherapy drugs, and then even faced surgery to remove his large intestine. Today he is completely symptom-free and has been for 2 years.

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How He Got Sick

Doug was once like any other teenager eating a “SAD” (Standard American Diet). He was a self-professed “human garbage disposal,” eating anything and everything in sight with no issue. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) was the reason he got out of bed each morning, and if you’ve ever seen MMA fighters in the act, you’ll know that a strong, healthy body is essential for success.

One fateful night, Doug got into a fist fight in the midst of defending someone very close to him. He ended up splitting his left hand open on the teeth of his opponent. As soon as he told me this, my eyes widened – we harbour some very dangerous bacteria in our mouths. That’s the last place you’d want touching your open wound!

My fears were confirmed when Doug told me what happened next. The cut, of course, became infected, so Doug went to the hospital for what he thought would be a simple round of antibiotics. He walked away with a script for doxycycline and a smile… until a few weeks later, when his hand turned green with the added bonus of leaking pus. Fun.

This time he went straight to the emergency room and was greeted with a shocking, “Prep him for surgery. We’re going to have to remove his fingers.”

A nurse stepped in moments before surgery and begged the team to save his hand. She suggested a pickline, funneled through a vein in his chest, with a daily IV antibiotic that would send the medicine all the way down his arm. Thankfully they listened, and every single day thereafter that incredible nurse was at his door to administer a fresh serving of IV vancomycin.

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The IV antibiotics saved his fingers but came at a costly price. Halfway through the treatment he collapsed with a 104* fever, which doctors feared could be caused by meningitis. He was rushed in for a spinal tap, cleared of meningitis, and continued his last month of IV therapy like a champ. Unfortunately, the secondary infections and fevers continued. His immune system was taking a huge hit from the constant administration of IV drugs that were destroying the microbiome of his gut. The next two years he was sick a lot, but grateful to have a hand, nonetheless.

Then one day, he came down with a flu unlike any other. It took weeks to get over, and although most symptoms disappeared with the virus, his stomach symptoms remained.

Every night thereafter, Doug was plagued with stabbing pain, nausea, diarrhea, no appetite, and blood in his stool. This went on for weeks until he actually began throwing up blood as well. He was losing weight quickly and knew something wasn’t right.

The Diagnosis

Doug made his way to a gastroenterologist, who he was confident would be able to diagnose and swiftly treat whatever was plaguing him. This was exactly what I thought when I went in for the treatment of my IBS. Unfortunately for me and Doug, we quickly learned that doctors knew just about as much as we did in terms of what was wreaking havoc in our guts.

Fecal test – negative for bacteria and parasites (so was mine, and yet check out the worm I passed with herbs!)

Endoscopy/Colonoscopy – positive for severe inflammation.

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“You have ulcerative colitis,” the doctor told him. “We don’t know what’s causing it, but we do have a protocol to treat it, so let’s get started.”

That protocol, unfortunately, was a guessing game of pharmaceuticals that left Doug in even worse pain, depressed, and desperate for answers.

Let’s Play A Game

1. Lialda, an anti-inflammatory drug, was first on the roster. Alongside Lialda was an anti-spasmodic that did nothing but make Doug’s symptoms worse.

In the interview above, Doug and I decided to take a look at the side effects of Lialda vs. the actual symptoms of ulcerative colitis. We discovered exactly what Doug did when he was wondering why he felt so bad: they were the same. Severe stomach pain, cramping, bloody diarrhea, nausea, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite. Doug experienced severe heart palpitations that scared him and his entire family. “This isn’t worth it,” he thought to himself. The side effects were worse than the disease!

2. Steroids were next on the list.

It started with 20mg of prednisone, then 40, then 60. Doug’s face blew up into the shape of a moon and he could not get to sleep no matter how hard he tried. He said the brain fog he experienced from these steroids was the worst of his entire life. The joint pain was unbearable.

3. Time to go with the big guns: chemotherapy drugs. 6MP to be exact.

“This was the darkest period of my entire life,” said Doug. “I was so depressed and weak, I could not get out of bed. I wanted to die.” He was 137 lbs and wasting away before his family’s eyes.

At this point, Doug was told he would have to either stay on these drugs for life (no matter how bad they made him feel), or he would have to have his entire large intestine removed.

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“The only other way is to cut out your large intestine. Once we do this, there’s no going back.”

“What about diet?” asked Doug. “Isn’t there something I can do?”

“No,” doctors replied. “If something bothers you, don’t eat it, but we believe diet has nothing to do with it.”

Doug made his way to the specialist’s office and was ready to give up his entire large intestine until the surgeon stopped him and said, “Look, you’re 21. Take my advice. Things can happen. Try to stick it out for a few months, and then come back to me.”

The Awakening

Doug went to the place we all come to when we’re lost (and the place you happen to be right now) – the internet. He scoured forums about Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. He tried every suggestion that seemed viable. He went on a vegan diet. Went macrobiotic, even. Nothing worked, and eating fibrous vegetables like leafy greens or grains such as brown rice just made the problem worse due to how damaged and irritated his gut lining was.

And then, someone said the two words that changed his life: raw milk.

Every single person on the forum laughed at the notion, but something in Doug’s intuition told him to give it a go. “I have nothing to lose. I can either try this crazy idea of raw milk. or lose my intestine,” he thought.

Doug started researching where to get the milk (www.realmilk.com), and realized that the FDA cracks down on this incredibly healing food because they know it will cut into their pharmaceutical profits. I highly suggest watching the documentary Farmageddon to see just how far our government will go to hide the benefits and prevent accessibility to this wonderful substance.

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He ordered a gallon from a brave, local farm, took his first sip, and was amazed. “It was completely different from the milk you get in the store,” he told me.

“In fact, pasteurized milk was one of my worst triggers. With raw milk I felt incredible.”

He saw that the milk had this interesting yellow colour to it, and later realized that this is because the cows were grass-fed on organic land. Cows fed fresh green forage, especially those grazing on grass, have been shown to have higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and essential fatty acids in their milk – the components that give it this rich color (1,2). Animal studies show that as little as 0.5 percent CLA in your diet could reduce tumors by over 50 percent, including the following types of cancer: breast, colorectal, lung, skin, and stomach (1, 2, 3). It’s also shown to lower body fat, increase lean body mass, and reduce inflammation, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease (1, 2, 3).

After 2-3 weeks, he started putting weight back on and was absolutely ecstatic. He began including raw cream and butter into his diet as well, and wondered what else the farm had to offer. He saw they offered “organic” produce and soon realized his milk was organic as well.

This, of course, opened the doors to the rabbit hole and he educated himself on GMOs, toxic food additives, pesticides, and so much more. This is a topic for another blog post, but essentially he completely cut out GMOs from his diet and went 100% organic. The difference was immediate.

Doug’s Healing Diet

At this point, Doug was knee-deep in research. He knew he wasn’t ready to digest irritating plant fiber, and knew that sugar, fruit, and carbs were some of his worst trigger foods due to candida and his leaky gut. He also knew that fats could be very healing to seal his damaged gut, so he went on a high fat paleo diet, eating predominately “low-FODMAP” foods.

The low-FODMAP diet is a scientifically proven diet plan which helps control symptoms of IBS and similar disorders. The theory is that eating foods high in FODMAPs increases the amount of liquid and gas in the small and large intestine, resulting in common IBS symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates found in a wide range of foods from apples to kidney beans – even honey! FODMAPs bring more water into the bowel because they are poorly absorbed in the gut and are fermented rapidly by bacteria in the bowel. Both of these distend the intestine (stretch its walls) and this causes the pain, bloating, and change in bowel habits.

doug's healing diet

Why no leafy greens for the first few months? As you saw above, Doug’s intestinal lining was absolutely destroyed. You can imagine how it felt to have fibrous foods scratching against the raw, inflamed lining. Thankfully, he was very diligent with his high-fat diet, and after many months was eventually able to introduce cooked greens back into his plan.

So what did he do for vegetables and fiber? Doug found out that he was also unable to deal with the fiber in vegetables because he had absolutely no good bacteria left over in his intestines from his previous antibiotic regimen. Here comes the magic of fermented vegetables: they were already partially broken down by the good bacteria fermenting them! He may not have had any probiotics in his intestines, but he sure could eat them and the vegetables that they love to pre-digest. This way, he not only got his daily intake of veggies – he also got a TON of the probiotics he desperately needed to repopulate his microbiome.

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You can read my article on the benefits of fermented foods here.

And now, the question you’ve been waiting for: WHY RAW MILK?

I know, I know. The internet has demonized dairy. And we should absolutely be against dead, pasteurized, factory-farmed dairy with no live enzymes to help us break it down. But here’s the scoop on this traditional food when it’s consumed raw, in its proper form.

Doug knew that his journey to dis-ease began when he was given extended IV antibiotic therapy. He connected the dots and realized that his gut was bombed by an indiscriminate weapon that killed everything in its sight. And while this meant his infection was gone, it also meant that his gut soldiers were gone as well. His microbiome was destroyed, and the bad bacteria had taken over.

Dr. Deborah Gordon, M.D. explains it best:

Raw milk refers to unprocessed, untreated milk straight from the cow. The milk you buy from the local supermarket nowadays is a different substance altogether. It has been pasteurized, ultra-pasteurized, or homogenized. This liquid is not really milk. It is a chemically altered substance, heated to remove pathogens and bacteria and to prolong its shelf life. The resultant low-enzyme activity makes it difficult to digest, the altered fat content renders the vitamins and minerals difficult to absorb, and the residual drugs and antibiotics pose a threat to human health. On top of this, the naturally occurring beneficial bacteria have been destroyed.

The only reason commercial supermarket milk is pasteurized is because it would be incredibly dangerous to drink raw milk from a factory-farmed cow. Factory-farmed animals are routinely fed an unnatural, high-protein GMO soy and corn-based diet. This diet is so toxic to their biology that it causes severe illnesses that can only be combated by continually injecting the cows with antibiotics. These animals, kept in inhumane conditions far from their natural environment, are subject to enormous stress.

Raw milk from grass-fed cows is a whole new ball game.

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Dr. Gordon, M.D. continues to explain that, “Raw milk is an incredibly complex whole food, complete with digestive enzymes and its own antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic mechanisms conveniently built into a neat package. It is chock-full of both fat and water-soluble vitamins, a wide range of minerals and trace elements, all eight essential amino acids, more than 60 enzymes, and CLA—an omega-6 fatty acid with impressive effects on everything from insulin resistance to cancer to cardiovascular disease.”

In fact, The Weston A. Price Foundation conducted an informal survey of over 700 families, and determined that over eighty percent of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance no longer suffer from symptoms after switching to raw milk. (1)

Why is that? Because raw milk actually contains the enzymes and probiotics you need to digest it!

When you’re a child, you produce the enzyme lactase to digest the molecule lactose from your mother’s milk. As we grow, we no longer produce it. Therefore, we would need to consume live, enzyme-rich raw milk that already contains abundant lactase to be able to break down the lactose. And that’s exactly what happens.

Raw milk’s probiotic content was able to repopulate Doug’s gut, and the healing fats and enzymes worked wonders on his inflamed, broken lining.

And speaking of raw milk’s anti-parasitic mechanisms: parasites play a huge role in all disorders of the gut, because as soon as the “good” soldiers are gone, the bad guys can take over. While drinking raw milk and eating a clean diet, Doug passed many different parasites including candida, pinworms, and more.

Ditch The Drugs

Doug felt so much better from his new diet, fermented foods, and raw milk that he decided to give up his chemo drugs and anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals… against his doctor’s orders.

Once he did that, his healing came full circle. He had not a symptom left in sight.

He walked into the doctor’s office a brand new man with 50 pounds of healthy weight and muscle put back on. “Wow, you look great!” said his physician. “The drugs are working, I propose?”

“Nope. I’m off every single one.”

His doctor’s jaw fell to the floor. “You are crazy,” he said. “You need them. This is a chronic disease. It will come back.”

“I’m sorry doc, but your medicine did nothing but make me worse. I found what works for me, and I’m not looking back.” With that sentiment he walked out of the office, and today he has been symptom free for 2 years.

“I feel like a bionic human now.”

If you met Doug in person, you would never know he was ill. He is strong, loving, caring, positive, and let me tell you – sharp as a knife. That’s what happens when you get sick and don’t have the answers. You have to teach yourself the truth from square one. He is so knowledgeable about so many facets of health and diet, and I am honoured to be his friend. Today he still eats a high fat paleo diet, but was able to re-introduce many wonderful foods such as sweet potatoes, starches, fruit, and nightshades. He still avoids gluten and grains (following paleo wisdom) and still drinks his raw milk every day, in much lesser quantities. He makes sure to include at least one serving of fermented vegetables with his meals and says he will never forget how important it is to care for your gut and the soldiers living inside of it, keeping you healthy and fighting off the bad guys.

“The most important part of my healing was a positive frame of mind,” he told me as we closed our interview.

“I never, ever gave up. I refused. That’s truly what kept me alive. That’s what got me through the worst days. I always believed I would get better.”

And you can, too.

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Alternative News

12 Reasons Why Even Low Levels of Glyphosate Are Unsafe

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Decades of research have shown how Glyphosate is toxic in any amount, both for human and and the environment. This is not debatable.

  • Reflect On:

    Glyphosate is illegal in several dozen countries around the world due to health and environmental concerns. How can this product be approved for use when it's abundantly clear it's extremely unsafe, just like DDT was?

By Zen Honeycutt, Founding Executive Director Mom’s Across AmericaChildren’s Heath Defense Coalition Partner

Proponents of GMOs and Glyphosate-based herbicides and staunch believers in the EPA have long argued that low levels of glyphosate exposure are safe for humans. Even our own EPA tells us that Americans can consume 17 times more glyphosate in our drinking water than European residents. The EWG asserts that 160 ppb of glyphosate found in breakfast cereal is safe for a child to consume due to their own safety assessments, and yet renowned scientists and health advocates have long stated that no level is safe.  Confusion amongst consumers and the media is rampant.

Glyphosate is the declared active chemical ingredient in Roundup and Ranger Pro, which are both manufactured by Monsanto, the original manufacturer of Agent Orange and DDT. There are 750 brands of glyphosate-based herbicides.Glyphosate based herbicides are the most widely used in the world and residues of glyphosate have been found in tap water, children’s urine, breast milk, chips, snacks, beer, wine, cereals, eggs, oatmeal, wheat products, and most conventional foods tested.

The detection of glyphosate in these foods has set off alarms of concern in households and food manufacturers’ offices around the world. Lawsuits have sprung up against companies that make food products that claim to be “100% Natural” and yet contain glyphosate residues. These lawsuits have been successful. Debates, using the argument that “the dose makes the poison,” have been pushed by media. Speculation is that these media outlets are funded by advertisers that make or sell these chemicals or have sister companies that do, and threatening their profits would be unwise for all involved – except the consumers.

It is time to set the record straight

Here are 12 reasons why there is no safe level of glyphosate herbicide residue in our food or beverages.

  1. Babies, toddlers, and young children have kidneys and livers which are underdeveloped and do not have the ability to detox toxins the way adults doTheir bodies are less capable of eliminating toxins and therefore are particularly susceptible. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has stated that children, especially, should avoid pesticides because, “prenatal and early childhood exposure to pesticides is associated with pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems.”
  2. Glyphosate does not wash, dry or cook off, and has been shown to bioaccumulate in the bone marrow, tendons and muscle tissue. Bioaccumulation of low levels over time will result in levels which we cannot predict or determine; therefore there is no scientific basis to state that the low levels are not dangerous, as they can accumulate to high levels in an unforeseeable amount of time.
  3. “There is no current reliable way to determine the incidence of pesticide exposure and illness in US children.” -AAP  Children are exposed through food, air, contact with grass and pets. How much they are being exposed to daily from all these possibilities is simply not something that we have been able to determine. Therefore no one is capable of assessing what levels are safe from any one modality of exposure because an additional low level from other modalities could add up to a high level of exposure.
    1. Ultra-low levels of glyphosate herbicides have been proven to cause non-alcoholic liver disease in a long term animal study by Michael Antoniou, Giles Eric Seralini et al.  The levels the rats were exposed to, per kg of body weight, were far lower than what is allowed in our food supply. According to the Mayo Clinic 100 million, or 1 out of 3 Americans now have liver disease. These diagnoses are in some as young as 8 years old.
    2. Ultra-low levels of glyphosate have been shown to be  endocrine and hormone disrupting.Changes to hormones can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, autoimmune disease, cancer, mental and chronic illness.
    3. The  EPA Allowable Daily Intake Levels (ADIs) of glyphosate exposure were set for a 175-pound man, not a pregnant mother, infant, or child.
    4. Glyphosate alone has been shown to be chronically toxic causing organ and cell damage. Glyphosate herbicides final formulations, have been shown to be acutely toxic, causing immediate damage at low levels.
    5. The detection of glyphosate at low levels could mean the presence of the other toxic ingredients in glyphosate herbicides on our food. Until studies are done, one must practice the Precautionary Principle. The label on glyphosate herbicides does not specify the pesticide class or “other”/“inert” ingredients that may have significant acute toxicity and can account for up to 54% of the product.
    6. Regarding the label and low-level exposure: “Chronic toxicity information is not included, and labels are predominantly available in English. There is significant use of illegal pesticides(especially in immigrant communities), off-label use, and overuse, underscoring the importance of education, monitoring, and enforcement.” – AAP. Exposure to low levels of glyphosate herbicides can occur through pregnant wives or children hugging the father who is a pesticide applicator.  The chronic health impacts such as rashes which can, years later, result in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, are often ignored, especially by low income or non-English speaking users dependent on their pesticide application occupation for survival.
    7. The EPA has admitted to not having any long-term animal studies with blood analysis on the final formulation of any glyphosate herbicides.  The EPA cannot state that the final formulation is safe.
    8. For approval of pesticides and herbicides, the EPA only requires safety studies, by the manufacturer who benefits from the sales, on the one declared active chemical ingredient—in this case glyphosate. Glyphosate is never used alone.
    9. The main manufacturer, Monsanto, has been found to be guilty on all counts by a San Francisco Supreme Court Jury in the Johnson v Monsanto. This includes guilty of “malice and oppression” which means that the company executives knew that their glyphosate products could cause cancer and suppressed this information from the public.

    Clearly, it is time for food and beverage manufacturers to have a zero tolerance for glyphosate residue levels and for the US EPA and regulatory agencies everywhere to stop ignoring the science and to revoke the license of glyphosate immediately.

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    Moms Across America is a 501c3 non profit organization whose motto is “Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids.”

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

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Awareness

Cannabis Oil Was Used To Treat Epilepsy 176 Years Ago

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Cannabis has been used to treat people with Epilepsy for more than 100 years. Numerous people including children have had tremendous success with it, but it's not disclosed within the mainstream as much as it should be.

  • Reflect On:

    The medicinal properties of cannabis have been known for a long time, so why is it so difficult for patients to access? Today, things are changing, but big pharma is taking it over for themselves. How will they grow it? What will they spray it with?

Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of a wide variety of oxidation associated diseases such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic issues such as strokes and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as cannabidiol are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH3, and COCH3. (Source)

The statement above comes from a patent owned by the United States government, which was assigned decades ago. Since then, countless amounts of studies have shown how the active constituents within cannabis, like cannabidiol for example,  completely obliterate cancer cells in the lab in vitro. As illustrated above, it has a wide variety of health applications, which begs the question when it comes to various diseases, why have we not seen any clinical trials? There are so many published studies warranting clinical trials when it comes to using cannabis to treat cancer, among several other diseases.

When the development of a drug shows even a quarter of the potential that cannabis has over the years, it seems that funding for clinical trials becomes instant. But when it comes to cannabis, which has obviously shown huge potential, we’ve seen nothing. I am more so referring to clinical trials with regards to cancer. Just imagine if we funded studies using natural remedies with the same amount of money we invest into pharmaceuticals. Would certain cancers be cured? Again, we don’t know, because the resources haven’t been adequately dished out, and if it did turn out that cannabis could obliterate multiple cancers in vivo (full living biological organisms), it would be against corporate interests.

However, this will likely change now that medical marijuana is being legalized across the world, the most recent example being Canada. This has brought up multiple concerns from citizens, as Big Pharma is now taking over the medical cannabis industry. How it’s grown, what pesticides are being put on it, and whether or not it’s genetically modified is still unknown. The truth is, pharmaceutical marijuana will not at all compare to marijuana that’s grown naturally in nature. If one were to study the medicinal properties comparing the two, I bet there would be a significant difference.

Big pharma is taking over the medical marijuana industry. Legalization in Canada and various US states was largely done in order to profit these big corporations who don’t really seem to care about our health at all. The main reason why cannabis has been illegal for so long is that powerful corporate interests have had a huge hand in keeping cannabis off the market. Cannabis can eliminate the need for many prescription drugs, for example, and these alone kill approximately 100,000 people a year, and that’s in the United States alone.

Cannabis & Epilepsy

Children and people with epilepsy have had a very hard time accessing medical marijuana to treat their condition. Again, this is largely because the use of it threatens corporate interests. This became even more evident a couple years ago when 12 year old Alexis Bortell sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions and The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). She needed access to clean, pure, natural cannabis for the treatment of her illnesses and medical conditions. The family had no choice but to relocate from Texas to Colorado and uproot their entire lives just to treat her severe epilepsy.

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The crazy thing about cannabis and epilepsy is the fact that it works, and that’s something that has been known for a number of years. Sure, it might take a lot of time to find the right strand, make it into oil, and get the dosage amounts exactly right, but that’s only because parents and doctors who are actively engaged in using this as medicine don’t have the resources to figure this out in an efficient way.

Cannabis and its ability to treat epilepsy has been known for a long time, probably much longer than we are aware of. Prior to Rockefeller creating medical education, it was probably used a lot. Rockefeller and other ‘philanthropists’ played a large role in shutting down all medical schools before they began funding and building their own medical education and treatment methods. During this process, an enormous amount of knowledge was lost, and the treatment methods that were most profitable became mainstream.

The first detailed modern description of cannabis as an anti-seizure medication was published in 1843 by W.B. O’Shaughnessy, a physician in the Bengal Army and Late Professor of Chemistry and Materia Medica at the Medical College of Calcutta. A perfect example of what I just referred to above with regards to medical education.

After testing the behavioural effects of various preparations of Cannabis indica in healthy fish, dogs, swines, vultures, crows, horses, deers, monkeys, goats, sheep, cows, and military assistants, he investigated the potential value of extracts of the plant in patients with different disorders, and reported remarkable anti-seizure effects in a 40-days-old baby girl with recurrent convulsive seizures. These observations were taken up by other physicians, including Sir William Gowers, who described the effectiveness of Cannabis Indica against seizures resistant to bromides. (source)

In the twentieth century the use of cannabis declined somewhat because cultivation of the plant was made illegal in many countries.

Below is a graph of  the number of articles retrieved in PubMed by using the search terms ‘cannabis and epilepsy’, grouped by year of publication.

One of Many Real World Examples

Alex Repetski, father of three year old daughter, Gwenevere, has spent a long time reading through studies and medical journals and researching CBD and its healing properties to help her with the tonic, myoclonic, and clinical seizures she was having — sometimes up to 50 a day. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and, as her EEGs revealed, was experiencing constant subclinical seizure activity throughout the day. It may not have looked like she was having a seizure from the outside, but at the brain level there were neurons firing constantly, and such activity can produce significant brain damage.

Gwenevere had a team of doctors that were trying an array of treatment methods to reduce the number of seizures she was having each day. At one point she was on 9 different medications. They kept hoping each subsequent medication would work, but nothing did. That’s when Alex decided to look into cannabis oil. “At that point, we really didn’t have anything to lose,” he said, as he recalled the struggle of trying to help his daughter achieve a better quality of life.

After acquiring the cannabis and reducing it down to its oil form, Alex proceeded with many rounds of trial and error, trying to find just the right dosage for Gwenevere. After five days, they noticed no seizures. Then another week went by, and then a month, and then two months of no seizures. Two Januaries ago, she went in for her 17th EEG after being on cannabis oil for 5 weeks.

This EEG was strikingly different from her previous ones. It seemed the cannabis oil had helped straighten out her brainwaves, working at the subclinical level. This was a huge moment for the Repetski family.

The Takeaway

Corporations have amassed so much power that plants and natural substances with unbelievable healing properties are being made illegal. Furthermore, many doctors are brainwashed to believe that this is still a controversial topic. And with legalization comes the takeover of this medicine by big pharmaceutical companies. If you want to know about the healing properties of cannabis, you don’t have to look far. It’s also important to acknowledge that theses benefits typically do not include smoking the plant, since that completely changes its chemical composition.

It’s very hard to find pure, healthy, and properly grown cannabis today. It requires a lot of research and a lot of work to find, which is in large part due to government regulations and big pharma. Anything that threatens corporate interests, no matter how helpful it can be for humanity, is often hidden from us or made illegal.

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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Awareness

Tylenol Damages The Brains of Children, Research Reveals

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Tylenol has a wide range of toxic side effects you should be aware of, especially if you are pregnant or use it with your children. Article written by William Parker, Ph.D for Greenmedinfo.com, published here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we keep taking Tylenol and other over-the-counter drugs when it's unquestionable that they do more harm than good? Why don't we ever look into healthy ways to alleviate our symptoms?

Original Article Link

A number of non-peer-reviewed articles have been written and published on the web claiming that there is literally nothing to fear from acetaminophen during pregnancy. There are two types of articles that fall into this category. First, reputable watchdog organizations have weighed in on the issue, declaring acetaminophen use during pregnancy and during childhood to be proven safe. In particular, the National Health Service of the UK and the Center for Accountability in Science have both strongly criticized the Spanish study from 2016 showing a link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and ADHD/autism.

The second type of article is generally written by a science writer working for an organization that runs a website. Often quoting one to three experts who claim that is perfectly safe and that pregnant women and families should not be concerned, many of these articles are published by reputable sources that are generally trustworthy. Typically, an expert is being asked to comment on one particular publication showing a link between acetaminophen use (usually during pregnancy) and some sort of neuropsychiatric problem (autism, lowered IQ, hyperactivity, and/or social/behavioral problems, depending on the study). There are several important things to consider when evaluating these articles:

1.  There are a number of University Professors who have studied the use of acetaminophen on the developing brain and who are keenly aware of the potential dangers. A partial list of these individuals is provided below.

2.  Being an expert in acetaminophen neurotoxicity during development means that considerable time has been invested in studying the issue. Any true expert in this issue will be aware of basic facts regarding acetaminophen neurotoxicity. These facts include the following:

(a) Studies in animal models (both in mice and in rats) demonstrate that acetaminophen use during a sensitive period of brain development causes long-term alterations in the brain and is manifested as problems with social function.

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(b)  Margaret McCarthy, Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland, has worked out the probable mechanism by which acetaminophen-induced brain damage occurs. Her research team has found that the male brain is considerably more sensitive to acetaminophen than the female brain, possibly accounting for the gender bias in autism.

(c) There are (as of January 2017) a total of 8 published studies evaluating the long terms effects on children of acetaminophen use during pregnancy or during childhood. Two of these (one in 2014, one in 2016) were published in JAMA Pediatrics, one of the most highly respected pediatric journals. All studies point toward acetaminophen use being associated with long-term problems with neurological function. Each study design has included some attempt to control for indication. In all studies, acetaminophen use rather than indication has been identified as the key factor associated with cognitive problems. A formal meta-analysis is not currently possible because of the varied outcome measures and study designs, but all 8 studies point in the same direction: Acetaminophen is neurotoxic to the developing brain. The studies are not “cherry picked”, selecting only those which find an effect. All studies point toward a neurotoxic effect of acetaminophen in the developing brain.

(d)   Acetaminophen substantially alters brain chemistry and temporarily impairs awareness of social issues in adult humans.

(e)  Testing of acetaminophen safety in children did not include any evaluation of brain function, and no long-term studies were ever conducted. The primary manufacturer of acetaminophen in the US acknowledges that the drug has never been shown to be safe for brain development when used during pregnancy or in childhood. All safety tests were performed with the assumption that any side effects would be acute in nature (e.g., bleeding or acute organ damage). This assumption was based on observations made with acetaminophen in adults and with aspirin in children. It was not based on any experience with acetaminophen use in children.

3.     Having prescribed tens of thousands of doses of acetaminophen does not make anyone an expert on the neurotoxicity of acetaminophen, any more than eating thousands of pounds of chips makes somebody an expert in the effects of an inflammatory diet. Credentials and certifications that allow physicians to prescribe acetaminophen do not make them experts, and elevated positions in the medical community do not qualify anybody as an expert on the effects of acetaminophen. If somebody does not know those basic facts listed above, then they are not an expert on the neurotoxicity of acetaminophen. Usually, the experts will have published one or more peer-reviewed manuscripts on the topic. Those are the people to ask when an expert is needed.

4.     It is tempting to point accusing fingers at physicians who say that acetaminophen is safe when they literally have no grasp whatsoever of the relevant scientific literature. However, this would be a mistake. I have tracked down a few of these individuals who were quoted in a very public format, and one individual, in particular, didn’t even remember having made a comment on the topic. The most likely explanation is that a reporter asked them if acetaminophen was safe, and their response based on their training (not on the knowledge of the literature) was that it is safe. After all, if they didn’t think it was safe, they would not be administering it dozens of times per day. So, if a reporter asks a physician if something is safe, and they provide their knowledge based on what they have been taught and how they practice, then it is hard to blame them. The reporter didn’t ask them to spend days or even weeks reviewing the literature in detail, but rather assumed that any physician administering something dozens of times per day would know the literature. (This is a false assumption. No physician has the time to study all current literature on every drug they administer.) So, in a nutshell, a tragic propagation of incorrect information is occurring despite the best of intentions of all parties involved.

5.     Unless an organization such as the National Health Service has the time to review a topic thoroughly, they should remain silent on an issue. It took a team of us two years to put together our summary of the evidence, both direct and circumstantial, regarding the potential neurotoxicity of acetaminophen during development. It took the NHS only days to publish their recent criticism of the 2016 Spanish study. Offering questionable criticisms of a single paper without reviewing the literature to see how that publication fits into the big picture is a disservice to the public being served.

6. Reading the published quotes from many “experts” who exonerate acetaminophen, it is apparent that the logic falls into one of two categories.

(a) Everybody is doing it, so it must be OK.

(b) This single study is not perfect, so no change in practice should be made.

Neither of these criticisms is logically sound, of course. These two criticisms are often combined and were, in fact, part of the critical comments directed toward the first paper showing that acetaminophen probably has substantial neurotoxicity during development (published in 2008 by Steve Shultz). Further, the evaluation of study weaknesses is usually skewed and not entirely valid. Since the idea that acetaminophen is safe is being embraced, then any merit in the paper is often undermined to make the case. This is certainly true of the published (peer reviewed) criticisms of the 2008 Shultz paper.

7.     Many on-line sources support the view that acetaminophen can be very dangerous to the developing brain. Probably the most reliable source, the FDA, is remaining silent on the topic until something more definitive is done. The FDA knows that this is extremely urgent, but unfortunately, our FDA is not linked well (in a practical manner) with our NIH, and thus they can’t dictate research priorities.

8.     Here is a list (not comprehensive) of experts regarding the neurotoxicity of acetaminophen during brain development.

a) First, I’ll thank the wonderful team of individuals who helped put together our comprehensive review on this topic. Shu Lin, a professor with me in Duke’s Surgery Department, is a very dear and long-time friend of mine who has supported me through countless projects over the past 22 years. Staci Bilbo, director for research on Autism at Harvard, is a friend and collaborator who has helped me understand what causes inflammation and the role of inflammation in brain dysfunction. Chi Dang Hornik, a pediatric pharmacist at Duke, contributed greatly to our understanding of the frequency of acetaminophen administration and the available formulations of the drug. Many thanks to Martha Herbert. As a Harvard professor and clinician, she has a great appreciation for the clinical data obtained from patients with autism. Cindy Nevison, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, rounds out our team, providing critical information about the epidemiology of autism. (Thanks also to our interns (Rasika Rao and Lauren Gentry) and research analyst (Zoie Holzknecht) who were a tremendous help in compiling information and preparing that information for publication.)

b) Margaret McCarthy, chair of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland, it the most knowledgeable person I know regarding the biochemistry of the human brain and how that is affected by acetaminophen and other drugs in that class.

c) Chittaranjan Andrade, Chair of Psychopharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India, has written a peer reviewed paper on the topic of acetaminophen induced brain damage. He nicely summarized a number of studies looking at the connection between acetaminophen and neurological damage. His final conclusion is that the drug is probably more associated with ADHD than autism, but the conclusion was limited to exposure during pregnancy and his work was conducted before some critical studies were published in 2016.

d) Henrik Viberg is a professor in the Department of Organismal Biology at Uppsala University in Sweden. He has studied how exposure of mice to acetaminophen during development can cause long term brain damage.

e) In 2015, a group of scientists working with Laurence de Fays at the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products in Brussels acknowledged the clinical studies and the studies in animal models which indicated that acetaminophen could be dangerous to the developing fetus, but concluded that paracetamol is “still to be considered safe in pregnancy”. At the same time, they state that “additional carefully designed studies are necessary to confirm or disprove the association (between acetaminophen and brain damage to children)”, and that “care should be taken to avoid raising poorly founded concerns among pregnant females”. We very strongly agree with the conclusion that more studies are needed, but very strongly disagree with the conclusion that women should be kept in the dark about the matter. It is important to point out that several more studies have come out since Laurence de Fays’ report. One of those is a 2016 manuscript in JAMA Pediatrics(see the next expert), a highly reputable peer reviewed journal, which addresses the concerns raised by de Fays, so it is possible that de Fays’ group may now have a different opinion.

f) A team of scientists and doctors working with Evie Stergiakouli at the University of Bristol analyzed data from a prospective birth cohort, and concluded that “children exposed to acetaminophen prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral difficulties”. They found considerable evidence indicating that the association was not due to the confounding factors that concerned de Fays’ group (previous expert).

g) Jordi Julvez at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, Spain worked with a team of a dozen clinicians and scientists to publish their 2016 study linking acetaminophen with autism and ADHD.

h) Amany A. Abdin, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Tanta University, Egypt, wrote a review of the acetaminophen/autism connection and published it in the journal Biochemistry and Pharmacology: Open Access. Her conclusion in 2013 was that the drug is not safe and that the acetaminophen/autism connection should receive attention.

i) The original paper that identified a connection between neuropsychiatric disorders and acetaminophen was published by Steve Shultz while at the University of California at San Diego. Coauthors on the paper included Hillary Klonoff-Cohen, currently an Endowed Professor and Director of the MPH program at the University of Illinois.

j) Four scientists, including research scientist Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen and professors Hedvig Nordeng and Eivind Ystrom in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo, coauthored a study showing a connection between adverse neurodevelopment and acetaminophen use during pregnancy.

k) Jorn Olsen, Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA, published one of the more recent papers (2016) showing a connection between autism and acetaminophen use during pregnancy.

l) Five professors (John M. D. Thompson, Karen E. Waldie, Clare R. Wall, Rinky Murphy, and Edwin A. Mitchell) from four different departments at The University of Auckland published their findings in PLOSone in 2014 which “strengthen the contention that acetaminophen exposure in pregnancy increases the risk of ADHD-like behaviours. Our study also supports earlier claims that findings are specific to acetaminophen.”

For evidence-based research on the dangers of acetaminophen, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard.\

Read their related article on Tylenol: 

Tylenol Kills Emotions As Well As Pain, Study Reveals

Sign Up For The Greenmedinfo Newsletter HERE.


William Parker is an Associate Professor at Duke University, where he has worked in the Department of Surgery since 1993.  William is currently investigating a number of issues associated with inflammation and Western society, including vitamin D deficiency, heart disease and alteration of the symbionts of the human body (“biota alteration”). He has been interested in “natural” immune function for some time, which has led him down a path that includes the first studies of immune function in wild rats and the discovery of the function of the human appendix.

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