All parents want to keep their children healthy and happy. But in today’s world, it’s rather difficult. From maneuvering around the toxic additives in cereal, to sorting out the endocrine disrupters in shampoo, the world of self-education on safe children’s products and lifestyles can be daunting. Here are some easy tips to keep in mind:
1. Get Dirty!
As a child I grew up in the countryside of West Virginia and my favorite past time, considering I was a tomboy, was to play in the dirt (much to my parents’s shagrin). My parents were both healthcare workers so I was exposed to the hospital often when visiting them as a child. My mother was a dietician so we were educated on the importance of food. Today, despite being a hospitalist who is around the most ill of patients, I am rarely if ever, sick. I credit this to a healthy diet and early dirt and germ exposure. Say what?
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Yes, studies are now showing that we have been over-sanitized. So consider ditching the antibacterial soaps and sterilized with bleach houses! Don’t worry. You don’t need to be messy or a slob, but you do need to understand how exposure to dirt is important to the development of the human body. As counterintuitive as it may sound, exposing a child’s young immune system to a wide array of bacterial biodomes is the correct way to naturally boost immunity. If not exposed young, when their immune system is being “educated” about what to defend itself against, this same adult may not be as competent at fighting off illness. Why? If they’ve never seen the bacteria or virus before, their body will have to start from scratch to build its immunity. These naturally occurring bacteria that live in the soil do help strengthen the immune system.
Moreover, these naturally occurring bacteria in the soil “set off” our serotonin receptors and increase serotonin levels that promote restful sleep and better moods. Studies are now showing that exposure to these germs help prevent children from developing allergies and asthma.(source) Autoimmune conditions have also been linked to high prevalence of antibiotics. We have destroyed the delicate gut biodome with antibiotics which wreak havoc on immunity, as nearly 75% of our immune cells are contained within the gut lining. Antibiotic use is at an all time high in western countries where it not only goes to patients, but factory farming as well. It is then fed back to the population. Incidentally autoimmune disorders are more common in developed countries. This goes hand in hand with the stripping of the soil because illness is produced when humans are not exposed to a wide array of natural and symbiotic microbes.
Recent evidence has also shown that “earthing,” or walking barefoot on the earth, can help reduce the disproportionate amount of positively charged ions that our body collects due to exposure to EMF, electricity, cell phones, computers, etc. Electrons on the earth’s surface help ground out this overload of protons and produce less anxiety and better sleep.
2. Diet, Diet & More Diet…Okay & Some Herbs Too
Children’s immune systems will eventually falter if overloaded with constant food additives, dyes, preservatives or sugar and devoid of nutrition. When the immune system is triggered, inflammation sets in and the body will have a much more difficult time fighting off any outside invaders. Sugar has been shown in many clinical trials to feed tumours and suppress immunity. Limit intake of sugar, food dyes and additives and food like substances. Instead, opt for organic (avoid pesticides which can cause leaky gut) fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, or eggs. To beat out pathogens, I recommend trying kefir water, kombucha, or even probiotic juices or lemonades. Kids love them!
Ensure that your child is taking a helpful probiotic. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in our guts and help regulate immunity. If the bacterial balance becomes disrupted, the child may be more susceptible to infections, therefore regular supplementation is recommended. Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are the two most important bacterial strains in a probiotic and can truly benefit a child’s immune system.
As far as herbs go, elderberry, astragulus, nettles, dandelion root, echinacea, zinc and a good multivitamin are invaluable in fighting off respiratory infections and in boosting immunity. Vitamin D and C are so efficient at increasing immunity that they both have been used in some cancer treatments.
3. Go Outside!
Experts today have literally scared us into the dark when it comes to sun exposure. Yet, vitamin D REQUIRES sunlight to activate. As I previously stated above, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a number of cancers, including breast. Wearing sunscreen can block the body’s ability to activate Vitamin D. Moreover, many sunscreens contain toxic endocrine disruptors or carcinogenic substances that can be just as unhealthy as sun exposure. Many studies have linked incidence of rising skin cancer to outside factors besides sun exposure as more people are spending less time outdoors and are diligent in using sunscreen. Kids especially need vitamin D for proper bone development, growth, hormone and immune function. Be wise about sun exposure but don’t completely limit your child’s exposure. Try out some DIY sunscreen recipes or opt for an organic and natural brand like Badger Organic Baby Sunscreen.
4. Epsom Salt Baths For The Win
I am a huge fan of Espom salt, or magnesium sulfate in a bath. It’s often a remedy to migraines, fatigue, muscle pains, and boosts immunity. Due to depleted and stripped soil, many of us are now magnesium deficient. Unfortunately, allopathic medicine lab results are abysmally incorrect. They are only capable of measuring 1% of the total magnesium in the body because the other 99% is bound to proteins and hence, immeasurable. Magnesium is used in almost every reaction in the body and will help kids relax and sleep well at night.
There is also some supporting evidence that magnesium supplementation can help with allergies and skin reactions, like eczema or psoriasis. It is well known in the medical world that other electrolytes, specifically potassium, will not stay stable in the body if magnesium levels are also low.
5. Don’t Forget Proper Sleep & Stress Management
When we are overstressed, we often transfer that same energy and feelings onto our children. They not only have to contend with a fast paced world, but adult stresses as well. Children, in response to their outside stressors like the standard American diet and pesticides, release cortisol and epinephrine. Continual stress can burn our adrenals out and children are no exception. The adrenal glands, which sit above the kidneys, are responsible for making stress hormones. Imbalanced hormones from stress can lower a child’s immunity.
Be sure your children have creative downtime and plenty of sleep. Try to foster a calm and stress-free household. Happiness is a choice and children are very tuned into our nonverbal and verbal cues.
Children also need much more sleep than adults. Younger children need up to 12-14 hours. Its also important to make sure your children are sleeping with all the lights off. After the sun sets, they should not be in front of a television or Ipad. Pull the night lights too! We are surrounded by EMF as mentioned above, and subjecting our pineal glands to this at dusk can interfere with correct melatonin production.
6. Don’t Freak Out Over A Fever Or Other Natural Immune Reactions
Even the 1968 Merck Manual recommends NOT treating a fever until its up to 104! Okay, so I don’t expect most moms to wait that long, but I would advise at reaching for the Children’s Tylenol at the slightest sniffle or night sweat. Fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, or skin reactions are the body’s way of alerting us that there is a foreign offender inside. Without these symptoms, we would miss many root causes of illness. This is also your body’s natural immune system as most pathogens can’t withstand heat, emesis or other inflammatory reactions. Often times, children get better faster due to these natural immune reactions.
Avoid antibiotics and unnecessary vaccines. Antibiotic exposure in children is linked to diabetes and obesity due to the marked destruction of gut bacteria. The vaccine schedule has drastically increased and now children receive nearly 40 vaccines before the age of 4. This is detrimental to a child’s delicate immune system.
Always see your healthcare professional for any concerning symptoms. And remember, our minds, bodies and spirits are all connected. Keep all well for total health.
1. 1940 Merck Manual
4. Manual of Pediatric Therapeutics
New Research Adds Evidence That Weed Killer Glyphosate Disrupts Hormones
New research is adding worrisome evidence to concerns that the widely used weed killing chemical glyphosate may have the potential to interfere with human hormones.
In a paper published in the journal Chemosphere titled Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: A review, a trio of scientists concluded that glyphosate appears to have eight out of ten key characteristics associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals . The authors cautioned, however, that prospective cohort studies are still needed to more clearly understand the impacts of glyphosate on the human endocrine system.
The authors, Juan Munoz, Tammy Bleak and Gloria Calaf, each affiliated with the University of Tarapacá in Chile, said their paper is the first review to consolidate the mechanistic evidence on glyphosate as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC).
Some of the evidence suggests that Roundup, Monsanto’s well-known glyphosate-based herbicide, can alter the biosynthesis of the sexual hormones, according to the researchers.
EDCs may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones and are linked with developmental and reproductive problems as well as brain and immune system dysfunction.
The new paper follows publication earlier this year of an assortment of animal studies that indicated glyphosate exposures impact reproductive organs and threaten fertility.
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, sold in 140 countries. Introduced commercially in 1974 by Monsanto Co, the chemical is the active ingredient in popular products such as Roundup and hundreds of other weed killers used by consumers, municipalities, utilities, farmers, golf course operators, and others around the world.
Dana Barr, a professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, said the evidence “tends to overwhelmingly indicate that glyphosate has endocrine disrupting properties.”
“It’s not necessarily unexpected since glyphosate has some structural similarities with many other endocrine disrupting pesticides; however, it is more concerning because glyphosate use far surpasses other pesticides,” said Barr, who directs a program within a National Institutes of Health-funded human exposure research center housed at Emory. “Glyphosate is used on so many crops and in so many residential applications such that aggregate and cumulative exposures can be considerable.”
Phil Landrigan, director of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, and a professor of biology
at Boston College, said the review pulled together “strong evidence” that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor.
“The report is consistent with a larger body of literature indicating that glyphosate has a wide range of adverse health effects – findings that overturn Monsanto’s long-standing
EDCs have been a subject of concern since the 1990s after a series of publications suggested that some chemicals commonly used in pesticides, industrial solvents, plastics, detergents, and other substances could have the capacity to disrupt connections between hormones and their receptors.
Scientists generally recognized ten functional properties of agents that alter hormone action, referring to these as ten “key characteristics” of endocrine-disruptors. The ten characteristics are as follows:
- Alter hormone distribution of circulating levels of hormones
- Induce alterations in hormone metabolism or clearance
- Alter the fate of hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone receptor expression
- Antagonize hormone receptors
- Interact with or activate hormone receptors
- Alter signal transduction in hormone-responsive cells
- Induce epigenetic modifications in hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone synthesis
- Alter hormone transport across cell membranes
The authors of the new paper said a review of the mechanistic data showed that glyphosate met all of the key characteristics with the exception of two: “Regarding glyphosate, there is no evidence associated with the antagonistic capacity of hormonal receptors,” they said. As well, “there is no evidence of its impact on hormonal metabolism or clearance,” according to the authors.
Research over the last few decades has largely focused on links found between glyphosate and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL.) In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
More than 100,000 people have sued Monsanto in the United States alleging exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides caused them or their loved ones to develop NHL.
The plaintiffs in the nationwide litigation also claim Monsanto has long sought to hide the risks of its herbicides. Monsanto lost three out of three trials and its German owner Bayer AG has spent the last year and a half trying to settle the litigation out of court.
The authors of the new paper took note of the ubiquitous nature of glyphosate, saying “massive use” of the chemical has “led to a wide environmental diffusion,” including rising exposures tied to human consumption of the weed killer through food.
The researchers said that though regulators say the levels of glyphosate residue commonly found in foods are low enough to be safe, they “cannot rule out” a “potential risk” to people consuming foods containing contaminated with the chemical, particularly grains and other plant-based foods, which often have higher levels than milk, meat or fish products.
Canadian government researchers have also reported glyphosate residues in foods. One report issued in 2019 by scientists from Canada’s Agri-Food Laboratories at the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry found glyphosate in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.
Despite the concerns about glyphosate impacts on human health, including through dietary exposure, U.S. regulators have steadfastly defended the safety of the chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that it has not found ”any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.”
Positive Association Found Amongst COVID Deaths & Flu Shot Rates Worldwide In Elderly
- The Facts:
A recently published paper has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.
- Reflect On:
Why does vaccine hesitancy continue to grow worldwide? What's going on? What information/factors are contributing to this hesitancy?
What Happened: A recently published study in PeerJ by Christian Wehenkel, a Professor at Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango in Mexico, has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.
According to the study, “The results showed a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and IVR (influenza vaccination rate) of people ≥65 years-old. There is a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths from eastern to western regions in the world. Further exploration is needed to explain these findings, and additional work on this line of research may lead to prevention of deaths associated with COVID-19.”
To determine this association, data sets from 39 countries with more than half a million people were analyzed.
The study was published on October 1st, and two weeks later a note from the publisher appeared atop the paper emphasizing that correlation does not equal causation, and that this paper “should not be taken to suggest that receiving the influenza vaccination results in an increased risk of death for an individual with COVID-19 as there may be confounding factors at play.”
The paper provides evidence from others which have recently been published that ponder if the flu shot could increase ones chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19.
For example, this study published in April of 2020, reported a negative correlation between influenza vaccination rates (IVRs) and COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. Marín-Hernández, Schwartz & Nixon (2020) also showed epidemiological evidence of an association between higher influenza vaccine uptake by elderly people and lower percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Italy, which directly contradicts the author’s own findings and suggests that the flu shot may help prevent COVID-19 related deaths.
He goes on to mention another study:
In a study analyzing 92,664 clinically and molecularly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil, Fink et al. (2020) reported that patients who received a recent flu vaccine experienced on average 17% lower odds of death. Moreover, Pawlowski et al. (2020) analyzed the immunization records of 137,037 individuals who tested positive in a SARS-CoV-2 PCR. They found that polio, Hemophilus influenzae type-B, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13), geriatric flu, and hepatitis A/hepatitis B (HepA-HepB) vaccines, which had been administered in the past 1, 2, and 5 years, were associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.
So, its important to mention that correlations between the flu vaccine have also found that it may decrease ones chance of deaths from COVID-19.
But are there studies that have shown an increased chance of death or contracting other respiratory viruses as a result of getting the flu shot? Yes.
That’s also discussed in the paper. For example, he mentions a paper published in 2018:
In a study with 6,120 subjects, Wolff (2020) reported that influenza vaccination was significantly associated with a higher risk of some other respiratory diseases, due to virus interference. In a specific examination of non-influenza viruses, the odds of coronavirus infection (but not the COVID-19 virus) in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher, when compared to unvaccinated individuals (odds ratio = 1.36).
The study above found the flu shot to increase the risk of other coronaviruses among those who had been vaccinated for influenza by 36 percent. The study was conducted prior to COVID-19, so it’s not included and only applies to pre-existing coronaviruses. The study also found an even higher chance of contracting human metapneumovirus amongst those who had received the flu shot.
Below are some more studies regarding the flu shot and viral infections that hint to the same idea.
- A 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.
- A 2012 Hong Kong study (Cowling et al 2012) found that flu shots increase the risk for non-flu respiratory infections by 4.4 times.
- A 2017 study (Mawson et al 2017) found vaccinated children were 5.9 times more likely to suffer pneumonia than their unvaccinated peers.
Why This Is Important: We live in an age where vaccinations are heavily marketed. We’ve seen this with the flu shot time and time again and we are also living in an age where a push for more mandated vaccines seems to be growing.
Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) and also an assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.” In it, he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”
This is a touchy subject that dives into medical ethics and the connections that big pharmaceutical companies have with our federal health regulatory agencies and health associations. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry.
At a recent World Health Organization conference on vaccine safety, it was expressed that vaccine hesitancy is growing at quite a fast pace, especially among doctors who are now becoming hesitant to recommend certain vaccines on the schedule. You can read more about that and find links to the conference here.
We have to ask ourselves, why is this happening? Is it because people and professionals are becoming aware of certain information that warrants the freedom of choice? Should freedom of choice with regards to what we put in our body always remain? Are we really protecting the “herd” by taking these actions?
In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.
When it comes to the flu shot, I put more information and science as to why so many people seem to refuse it, in this article if interested.
The University of California is currently being sued for mandating the flu shot for all staff, faculty and students. A judge has prevented them from doing so as a result until a decision has been made. You can read more about that here.
In South Korea, 48 people have now died after receiving the flu shot this season causing a lot of controversy. You can read more about that here.
The Takeaway: 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.
Should these statistics alone warrant the freedom of choice? Should the government have the ability to force us into measures, or would it simply be better for them to present the science, make recommendations and urge people to follow them? When the citizenry is forced and coerced into certain actions, sometimes under the guise of good-will, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of uproar and people who disagree. Why are these people silenced? Why are they censored? Why are they ridiculed? Why don’t independent health organizations receive the same voice and reach that government and state “owned” or organizations do? What’s going on here? Do we really live in a free, open and transparent world or are we simply subjected to massive amounts of perception manipulation?
When it come to the flu shot there is plenty of information on both sides of the coin that point to its effectiveness, and on the other hand there is information that points to the complete opposite. When something is not 100 percent clear, freedom of choice in all places should always remain, in my opinion.
Some South Korean Doctors & Politicians Call To Stop Flu Shots After 48 People Die
- The Facts:
The number of South Koreans who have died after getting flu shots has risen to 48, but health authorities in South Korea have found no link between the vaccine and the deaths.
- Reflect On:
Is the flu shot as safe as it's marketed to be?
What Happened: It’s that time of year and flu shot programs are rolling out across the globe. The number of South Koreans who have died after getting the flu shot has now risen to 48 and some South Korean doctors and politicians have called to stop flu shots as a result, according to Reuters. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has decided not to stop the program, and that flu vaccines would continue to be given and will reduce the chance of having simultaneous epidemics in the era of COVID-19.
Health authorities in South Korea have explained that they’ve found no direct link between these deaths and the shots. KDCA Director Jeong Eun-kyung said, “After reviewing death cases so far, it is not the time to suspend a flu vaccination programme since vaccination is very crucial this year, considering…the COVID-19 outbreaks.”
According to Reuters, “Some initial autopsy results from the police and the National Forensic Service showed that 13 people died of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and other disorders not caused by the vaccination.”
The South Korean government is hopeful to vaccinate approximately 30 million of the country’s 54 million people.
Concerns Some People Have With The Flu Shot: One concern many people seem to have is the worry of a severe adverse reaction.
Dr. Alvin Moss, MD and professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine emphasizes in this video:
The flu vaccine happens to be the vaccine that causes the most injury in this country. The vaccine injury compensation program, 40 percent of all vaccinations in this country are flu shots, but 60 percent of all the compensations are for the flu vaccine. So a disproportionate number of vaccine related injuries are the flu shot.
Moss is one of many who believe that the flu vaccine is not as effective as it’s been marketed to be. For example, 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.
Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.” In it, he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”
These are just a few examples out of many claiming that the flu shot has not really been effective, opposing others that claim it is. Mercury that’s still present in some flu shots also seems to be a concern.
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 that more doctors are starting to be hesitant when it comes to recommending vaccines.
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…
This is no secret, and actions against mandates are being taken. The University of California was recently sued for making the flu shot mandatory. That trial will begin soon, and you can read more about it here, and find information regarding the claim that the flu shot can help in the times of COVID-19.
The Takeaway: We are living in an age of extreme censorship of information, no matter how credible or how much evidence is provided, information that goes against the grain always seems to receive a harsh backlash from mainstream media as well as social media outlets. Why is there a digital fact checker patrolling the internet? Should people not have the right to examine information openly and freely and determine for themselves what is and what isn’t?
As far as vaccines are concerned, despite the fact that there are many safety issues the scientific community is bringing up, a push for vaccine mandates continues and the idea that we are protecting other people is usually the narrative that’s pushed hard. Vaccine skepticism is growing at a fast pace among people of all professions, and people aren’t stupid. There’s a reason why more and more people are starting to question what we’ve been told for years, and those reasons should be acknowledged and openly discussed amongst people on both sides of the coin.
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