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Scientists Say You’ll Be Healthier If You Get Your Protein From Plants, Not Meat

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It’s very easy to come across conflicting information, especially in regards to the science of health and even more so when it comes to examining meat-based diets in comparison to plant-based ones. Plant-based diets can help prevent over over 60% of chronic disease deaths, yet people are still arguing whether veganism is a safe and sustainable diet.

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This is largely due to “food industry science,” which is full of bias and false information that’s constantly used in both our education and health care systems. This is neither a secret nor a conspiracy theory, as many people within these industries have come out publicly to address these issues and emphasize the same points.

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine” – Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (source)

A couple years ago, Dr Richard Horton, the current Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, which is considered to be one of the most reputable medical journals in the world, stated that half of all published literature may be false.

In his words, “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” (source)

These are important points to consider when talking about science and it’s extremely apparent in the food system, especially when discussing plant-based diets. We’ve been hammered with the idea that meat is necessary for good health, even in an age where an enormous amount of professionals and publications have proven the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet. It seems kind of fishy, especially given the fact that several billion animals are raised and killed for meat production annually, and that’s just in America alone.

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Plant-Based Diets Compared To Meat 

If we look at ‘mainstream’ science, scientists are only now starting to accept plant-based diets as a sustainable, healthy option and those doing the research are living, walking and talking examples of that.

For instance Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, a 100-year-old, and a recently retired heart surgeon who has been a vegan for half of his life explains that:

“Veganism is a very fine form of nutrition. It’s a little extreme to tell a person who is using flesh foods that you’re going to take everything entirely away from them. When I was in practice in medicine, I would tell the patients that the vegetable-based diet was the healthy way to go, and to keep away from the animal products as much as possible. People are very sensitive about what they eat. You can talk to people about exercising  relaxation, good mental attitude and they will accept that. But you talk to them about what they are eating and people are very sensitive about that. If an individual is willing to listen, I will try to explain to them on a scientific basis of how I think it’s better for them.” – Dr. Ellsworth Wareham (source)

Another example is Kim A. Williams, M.D., incoming president of the American College of Cardiology, who also adopted a vegan diet. He often sees patients who are overweight and struggling with hypertension, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. One of the things he advises them to do specifically is to go vegan. He is also the Chairman of Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. His enthusiasm for a planet-based diet comes from his interpretation of medical literature, having cited several studies proving that people who pursue vegetarian diets lived longer than meat eaters and have lower rates of death from heart disease, diabetes and kidney problems. (source)

According to Harvard Medical School, “studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.” (source)

There are a multitude of studies showing the benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets. For example, the American Dietetic Association weighed in with a position paper, concluding that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” (Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2009) (source)

These diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more. Research carried out by Dr. Dean Ornish, who found that patients who were put on a program that included a vegetarian diet had less coronary plaque and fewer cardiac events, is also commonly cited.

It’s also important to note that when it comes to science and making ‘associations,’ it’s crucial to use the Bradford Hill Criteria. We all know that correlation does not mean causation, and that sometimes, correlation could mean causation. When you have a large number of studies showing such strong correlations, it’s generally safe to assume that correlation in certain instances does mean causation. When it comes to plant based diets, there is no shortage of evidence that clearly outlines their health benefits. Obviously, the benefits of eating more plant based foods goes far beyond just correlation.

This trend is gaining more scientific inquiry as popularity grows. At least 542,000 people in Britain now follow a vegan diet –  up from 150,000 in 2006 – and another 521,000 vegetarians hope to reduce their consumption of animal products. It is evident that veganism has become one of the fastest growing lifestyle choices. (Source #2)

One of the most comprehensive studies ever performed on this subject is “The China Study” conducted by Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell. Their findings showed direct correlations between nutrition and heart-disease, diabetes, and cancer, proving that cultures that eat primarily plant-based diets have lower to no instances of these diseases and that switching to a plant-based diet can successfully reverse diseases already established in the body. The China Study is recognized as the most comprehensive nutritional study ever conducted on the relationship between diet and disease. I highly recommend watching the documentary Forks Over Knives (available on Netflix), which delves into this in more detail.

The list of studies goes on and on, and if you’d like to find more information, we recommend you research this subject yourself as there are far too many studies to include in this article.

Plant Protein Compared To Vegan Protein

“The protein in animal products is filled with fats and chemicals and all sorts of stuff that’s harmful to you. When I was competing and stuffing down all that stuff, I had lots of digestive problems, I was constipated and bloated, just miserable all the time. I don’t concern myself with protein anymore, because there is enough in what I eat. I am not only healthy, but I feel better about myself and how I relate to other creatures in the world.”  

Above are the words of Jim Morris, one of many competitive vegan bodybuilders, who has been vegan for most of his life. The last time we saw a vegan bodybuilder he was competing at this years Olympic Games in Brazil. His name is Kendrick Farris and he was the only American male weightlifter to compete in the Rio Olympics. You can read more about that here.

If someone tells you, “I need my protein,” and that’s why they eat meat, they are vastly misinformed. You don’t need protein from meat to be healthy; in fact, it is the complete opposite, as plant-based protein is a healthier alternative. Clearly, the bodybuilders adopting these vegan diets are a great example, but let’s look at what some of the ‘experts’ have to say.

According to Dr. Deepak Bhatt, a Harvard Medical School professor and Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Heart Latter,

“When it comes to getting protein in your diet, meat isn’t the only option. Mounting evidence shows that reducing meat and increasing plant-based protein is a healthier way to go. A diet with any type of meat raises the risk of heart disease and cancer, when compared with a vegetarian diet.” (source)

A more recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital followed more than 130,000 people for 36 years, monitoring illnesses, lifestyles, diets and mortality rates.

They found that substituting between 15g and 19g of animal protein, the equivalent of a single sausage, for legumes, pulses, nuts and other planet protein, significantly decreased the risk of early death. Replacing eggs with plant-based protein also lead to at 19 percent reduction in death risk.

Researchers found that a 10 percent higher intake of meat was associated with a two percent higher mortality rate and an eight percent higher chance of cardiovascular death.

According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, mentioned earlier in the article from The China Study,

“What I did during the early part of my career was nothing more than what traditional science would suggest. I made the observation that diets presumably higher in animal protein were associated with liver cancer in the Philippines. When coupled with the extraordinary report from India showing that casein fed to experimental rats at the usual levels of intake dramatically promoted liver cancer, it prompted my 27-year-long study The China Project, of how this effect worked. We did dozens of experiments to see if this was true and, further, how it worked.”

In the study, Campbell emphasized the fact that they used the traditional criteria to decide what is a carcinogen (in regards to animal-based proteins) from the government’s chemical carcinogenesis testing program. Campbell also stated that, “this is not a debatable subject and the implications of this conclusion are staggering in so many ways.”

It also showed, among others, that animal protein is very acidic, and leak, and body takes calcium and phosphorus from the bones to neutralize the acidity.

Below is a video of him explaining some of his findings.

So, Which One Is Better? 

Obviously, there is information on both sides. The main point to remember here is that protein isn’t the same.

Protein is built from building blocks known as amino acids, and our bodies make them in two different ways. Perhaps not everybody’s body is the same, and some can require what they need from scratch, or by modifying others.

A short list of amino acids known as theessential amino acids need to come from food. According to current education, which is largely funded by food corporations who control animal agriculture, preaches that animal sources of protein tend to deliver all the amino acids we need. What they leave out about the animal protein is what you just read above.

Other sources of protein lack one or more essential amino acids, but all a vegetarian or vegan individual needs to do is make sure they contain a variety of protein containing foods, which will help the body make more protein.

That being said, studies on caloric restriction and fasting have shown that a high protein intake, too much, is definitely something you don’t want. If you want to learn more about that, you can check out  Dr Valter Longo, or check out some more of our articles on fasting.

Certain meats have also been linked to several diseases. For example, research conducted at Harvard School of Public Health has found that eating even small amounts of red meat, especially processed red meat, on a regular basis is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or any other cause. Certain meats are also known to cause cancer, and several other diseases. Replacing these meats with healthier sources of protein reversed the effects.  (source)(source)

Processed foods/meat are also known to cause cancer.

While underconsumption of protein is harmful to the body, overconsumption comes with risks as well. In the United States, the average omnivore gets more than 1.5 times the optimal amount of protein, and most of that protein is from animal sources. This is bad news, because excess protein is turned into waste or turned into fat. This stored animal protein contributes to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation and cancer.

On the other hand, the protein contained in whole plant foods is connected to disease prevention. According to Michelle McMacken, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine:

“[T]he protein found in whole plant foods protects us from many chronic diseases. There is no need to track protein intake or use protein supplements with plant-based diets; if you are meeting your daily calorie needs, you will get plenty of protein. The longest-lived people on Earth, those living in the “Blue Zones,” get about 10% of their calories from protein, compared with the U.S. average of 15-20%.”

Obviously, there are is a great wealth of information out there, and what I’ve presented here is just a tidbit. There are also other factors to consider these days as well, such as industry influence over scientific publications, and more.

If you’d like to read a related CE article and learn more about a meat free diet, you can check out the article liked below:

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat 

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Awareness

Medical Medium: The Two Causes Of Chronic Illness & The Power Of Your Thoughts

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Medical Medium is one of the most influential figures in the alternative health movement, and he firmly believes that our thoughts and beliefs can play an integral role in our health and wellness.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or a loved one currently battling a chronic illness? If so, how do you view it and what are you doing to help your body overcome it?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, Anthony William (also commonly known as the Medical Medium) is the author of several New York Times bestselling books including Liver Rescue and Life-Changing Foods. He’s also the primary figure behind the now viral Global Celery Juice Movement–a subject that we covered in great detail earlier this year.

However, what really sets Anthony William apart in the alternative health world is that the source of his insights is far more “alternative” than most of his equally successful counterparts. You see, rather than regularly citing scientific studies or findings throughout each of his books, Anthony instead credits a higher source that he channels out of compassion and a desire to truly heal us all–something that many believe modern medicine struggles with. (To learn more about Anthony’s incredible story read this.)

Several of us connected to Collective Evolution, myself included, have put many of Anthony’s suggestions into practice and I can say from personal experience that I’m grateful to have done so. As just the adoption of daily morning celery juice alone has worked wonders at improving both my own health and the health of my mother in just a few short months.

As part of the upcoming Hay House Heal Summit, two new videos featuring Anthony have recently been released, both of which share a perspective on our health that is certainly worth considering.

The Two Causes Of Chronic Illness

As Anthony outlines in the video, chronic illness ultimately boils down to the presence of toxins and pathogens. Toxins are defined as poisonous substances that are products of the metabolic activities of a living organism, while pathogens are causative agents of disease.

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Whether it be through the food that we are eating, the air that we are breathing, the surfaces that we are touching, or the liquids that we are drinking, our bodies are regularly exposed to things that both build up toxins and/or present us with triggers of illness that are only made stronger by the existing toxins within our body for it to feed and thrive off of.

It therefore becomes imperative that we consider taking proactive measures–whether it be those recommended by the Medical Medium or otherwise–to both rid our body of existing toxins and minimize the amount of new toxins we expose it to. I’ve personally found being more conscious of the dietary choices that I make, and opting to make my own food with non-processed organic ingredients as often as possible, as incredibly helpful in doing exactly this, especially when paired with celery juice first thing in the morning to help flush out pre-existing and new toxins I’ve managed to take on.

The Power Of Your Thoughts

Within this video, Anthony touches upon an aspect of health that I’ve become particularly connected to over the past 3 years through my work with the documentary Heal. Heal is a film that features some of the greatest minds in the alternative health movement including Deepak Chopra, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Kelly Brogan and the Medical Medium himself in an exploration of the role that our thoughts can play in our ability or inability to heal from illness and disease. (Note: If you haven’t seen it, the film is available on Netflix.)

While toxins and pathogens may play the physical leading roles in the development of disease, many believe that our thoughts and beliefs may play just as critical a role.

Whether you or someone close to you is or has battled a chronic illness, we all know that they can be scary, frustrating, and a million other related adjectives making the development of negative beliefs seemingly natural. While completely controlling them may not be possible, as Anthony points out in this video, it’s certainly worth at least attempting to minimize them.

For proof of this, look no further than the integral role that placebos have played in many studies. It may not do all of the work when it comes to your healing, but cutting back on the less than pleasant beliefs and showing yourself some compassion can only help (even if just mentally) in your healing journey.


If the above videos resonated with you, I encourage you to sign up for the FREE Hay House Heal Online Summit taking place from October 23rd – 29th. It’s not only slated to feature the complete interview lessons with the Medical Medium that the above two clips were taken from, but it also features several other lessons with impactful health figures like Bruce Lipton, PhD., Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, Chris Wark, Dr. Joe Dispenza and many more all set on helping you empower the powerful healer that lies within us all.

Sign up now and receive immediate access to 4 free lessons (including one with the Medical Medium) before the Summit begins on October 23rd!

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Alternative News

Thousands Protest In Switzerland As The Population Is Now Exposed To 5G Wireless Radiation

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A large portion of the Switzerland population is now exposed to 5G, and thousands of people showed up on the Swiss house of Parliament in Bern to protest.

  • Reflect On:

    With undeniable evidence showing this type of technology has disastrous health effects, what's really going on? People are aware of this, but governments continue to ignore all of this information.

Frank Clegg, the former President of Microsoft Canada, has released an insider’s view educational video regarding the health and safety concerns of 5G and wireless technologies. You can watch that video here. The main takeaway of his video is that there are numerous health concerns concerning wireless radiation, especially with regards to 5G, and that this type of technology is linked to a number of diseases, and yet it’s being implemented without any safety testing.

His words echo the message of thousands of scientists who have published numerous papers on not just 5G, but EMF radiation in general and how over-exposure from our computers, cell phones, cell phone towers and wifi signals are creating a disturbing health epidemic around the world.

You would think with more than 10,000 peer reviewed publications on the subject that the industry and our government health regulatory agencies would do some safety testing  before rolling it out, but no, they haven’t. To be honest, with so much science already making things quite clear, if they did any type of appropriate safety testing there is truly no way they would be able to rollout this technology. It would be a huge profit loss, which is why we don’t hear anything about the negative health consequences of this type of technology.

I’d like to point readers toward a fairly recent publication by Dr. Martin L. Pall, PhD and Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, who says the following in his report “5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health! Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct Types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposures and the Mechanism that Causes Them”:

“Putting in tens of millions of 5G antennae without a single biological test of safety has got to be about the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world.”

If you want to learn more about 5G technology and the health concerns regarding electromagnetic radiation of this kind, the Environmental Health Trust is a great place to start.

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Switzerland

What’s happening in Switzerland might go global–it’s something that seems to be rolling out in North America at least. Switzerland’s population is now officially exposed to the new 5G networks.

As a result, thousands of people showed up in protest.

Yahoo News reports:

The protesters, many carrying placards, gathered in front of the Swiss parliament building, in a bid to stop the construction of more 5G-compatible antennae.

“The fact that so many people turned out today is a strong sign against the uncontrolled introduction of 5G,” said Tamlin Schibler Ulmann, co-president of Frequencia, the group that organised the rally.

[C]ritics in Switzerland argue that the electromagnetic radiation the new system emits poses unprecedented health and environmental risks compared to previous generations of mobile technology.

Online petitions have helped persuade several Swiss cantons — in Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg and Neuchatel — to postpone the construction of antennae as a precaution.

The Swiss Federation of Doctors (FMH) has also argued for a cautious approach to the new technology.

The first injuries due to 5G are already being reported in Switzerland, according to Physicians for Safe Technology.

Paul Bischoff, a tech journalist and privacy advocate, recently compiled data regarding telecom’s political contributions to influence policies that benefit their industry.

Internet service providers in the United States have spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying since 1998, and 2018 was the biggest year so far with a total spend of more than $80 million.

Comparitech researchers compiled and analyzed 51 ISPs’ lobbying expenses from the US Senate’s Lobbying Disclosure Act database, which dates back to 1998.

Here are the highlights of our analysis:

  • 2018 was the biggest year yet for ISP lobbying at $80 million.
  • Top spenders include AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, which have amassed lobbying expenses of $341 million, $265 million, and $200 million, respectively since 1998.
  • Since 2011, yearly spending on lobbying across all ISPs hasn’t strayed below $72 million.
  • The largest amount spent by any provider in any year was AT&T in 1999, at almost $23 million. AT&T’s acquisition of Ameritech Corp accounted for much of this, and the merger eventually led to the creation of America’s largest telecom company.
  • Total spend from 2016 to 2019 is set to exceed lobbying expenses between 2012 and 2015, which totaled $295 million.
  • Lobbying in favor of mergers and acquisitions accounted for many of the biggest expenses for individual ISPs in a single year.
  • $1.2 billion has been spent by ISPs on lobbying since 1998.

It’s Obvious That 5G Technology Is Not Safe. Here Are Some Related CE Articles On The Topic With More Information

Ex VP of Microsoft Canada Explains How 5G Wireless Radiation Could Be A Huge Health Hazard

5G Is The “Stupidest Idea in The History of the World” – Says Washington State Professor

5G Technician Reveals The Damage He Believes 5G Will Cause

Brussels Becomes First Major City to Halt 5G Due to Health Effects

Devonshire, UK Halts The Installation of 5G Over Serious Health Concerns

Top Cancer Research Advisor Compares Wireless Radiation To Cigarettes

EMF Frequencies Used For Crowd Control Weapons Form The Foundation of 5G Network

The Takeaway & What You Can Do

Many of us have already started participating in protests, and many steps are being taken to stop 5G. Products and services are being banned, and the amount of awareness that’s been created within the past five years is promising. People are becoming aware of this stuff, and with awareness comes action, like the examples used in this article. Ten years ago, the world was silent on such issues. Today, we are making it difficult for services and products to make a profit, and approval processes have become stricter. We are definitely moving forward.

So, what can you do? You could purchase some EMF protective clothing and bedding, or you could even paint your home with EMF protective paint. You can unplug your computer when not in use, turn off your cell phone, and unplug all your electronic devices before you go to sleep. You could have a wired internet connection, which is actually much faster than any wireless connection. You can live a healthy lifestyle, and you can use mind-body healing techniques to help you.

Years ago many actions taken by governments and corporations went unnoticed. We are no doubt making things difficult for them, so let’s keep moving forward.

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Alternative News

The Mental Health Morass: Good for Pharma, Bad for Youth

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When several hundred Colorado high school students walked out of a post-school-shooting vigil last May to protest the event’s politicization, their departing chant was, “mental health, mental health.” While this response may have unsettled the event’s organizers, it was unsurprising in the context of widespread media accounts of an “epidemic of anguish” among American youth. According to this narrative, not only is “the increase in mental health issues among [U.S.] teens and young adults…nothing short of staggering,” but around the globe, mental illness is set to become the “next major global health challenge” and “pandemic of the 21st century.”

Without making light of the problem or minimizing anyone’s personal suffering, it is clear that one entity that stands to benefit mightily from a deepening mental health crisis is the pharmaceutical industry. Psychiatric medications have long been “growth superstars”—generating billions in sales for companies like Pfizer and Eli Lilly “as the U.S. became Prozac Nation, antipsychotics also became antidepressants, and ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder] a byword.” Already in the mid-2000s, a Harvard economist reported that spending on psychotropic drugs had substantially outpaced overall prescription drug spending—no mean feat given the drug market’s exponential growth.

Outsized drug company profits and clever marketing tactics have prompted many to question the industry’s “oversized role in determining how mental illness is treated.” Even in conventional medical circles, clinicians acknowledge the need for “radical change in the paradigm and practices of mental health care,” including interventions that emphasize prevention and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities. These sorts of recommendations are urgently needed—not least for the young people for whom there is scant evidence of psychotropic medication safety or efficacy.

Overlapping trends

Modern psychiatry situates an alphabet soup of diagnoses under the broad rubric of “mental, emotional and behavioral” (MEB) disorders. It is no longer uncommon for children and adolescents to receive one or more of these diagnoses: anxiety disorder; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; autism spectrum disorder; bipolar disorder; conduct disorder; depression; disruptive behavior disorder; drug abuse or dependence; eating disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorder; oppositional defiant disorder; pervasive developmental disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; and schizophrenia.

The proliferation of mental health diagnoses in young people overlaps considerably with trends in diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, mental health diagnoses frequently intersect with physical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, which are more often present in children with mental disorders than in children without such disorders. Pediatric hospital admissions for non-behavioral disorders result in higher costs and longer stays when they are comorbid with behavioral disorders.

One of the few large-scale surveys to focus on MEB disorders in children (rather than adults) was the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), conducted from 2001 to 2004. The NCS-A found that half of U.S. youth (ages 13-18) had been diagnosed with at least one MEB disorder—including one in five with behavior disorders and three in ten with anxiety disorders—with the impairments rated as “severe” in roughly one-fourth of the affected teens. For many of the young people, onset and diagnosis occurred well before adolescence. Reviewing the evidence, the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine reported in 2009 that “early MEB disorders should be considered as commonplace as a fractured limb: not inevitable but not at all unusual.”

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The impact

Recent research has documented some of the impact of these “commonplace” diagnoses in young people. Between 2011 and 2015, for example, visits by U.S. youth to psychiatric emergency departments increased by 28%. By age group, the largest increase—54%—was seen in adolescents (as compared to younger children or youth in their early 20s), in whom the researchers also reported a 2.5-fold increase in suicide-related visits. As of 2010, mood disorders (which include both bipolar and depressive disorders) were the most frequent principal diagnosis given to hospitalized children ages 1-17—up 80% since 1997. The hospitalization rate for bipolar disorders increased fourfold between the two time points (1997–2010), especially in the 10-14 and 15-17 age groups.

Researchers describe comorbid ADHD as “nearly universal” among youth with bipolar disorder, with ADHD and anxiety disorders viewed as common precursors of bipolar disorder. The trend toward increased diagnosis of both ADHD and bipolar disorder has prompted increased use by young people of both inpatient and outpatient mental health services as well as an exponential increase in the prescribing of medication. In office-based settings, where mental health care for young people has increased more rapidly than for adults, psychotropic medication prescriptions for younger patients are often provided by physicians with no psychiatric training.

For both ADHD and bipolar disorder, pharmacologic treatment relies heavily on powerful psychostimulants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Reporting on data collected in 2011–2012, researchers noted that a large proportion (44%) of very young children diagnosed with ADHD (2- to 5-year-olds) were taking medication, most commonly central nervous system stimulants. Nationally, a survey of children with special health care needs conducted in 2009–2010 found that 74% of ADHD-diagnosed children ages 4-17 had received medication in the past week.

Both the scientific community and mainstream media have raised questions about whether widespread administration of mind-altering psychostimulants to young children is safe or “meaningfully beneficial.” In 2016, a Washington Post reporter cited CDC findings when noting that “The long-term effects of those [ADHD] drugs on a young brain and body have not been well studied, and the side effects can be numerous, including poor appetite, sleeplessness, irritability and slowed growth.” Other risks of these freely prescribed drugs include the potential to actually worsen mania, foster addiction or lead to further medication. In the push for increased treatment, clinicians have largely ignored these risks.

In some states, special education funding policies create financial incentives to actively identify and medicate children with ADHD. In those states, children are “about 15 percent more likely to report having ADHD and…about 22 percent more likely to be taking medication for ADHD.” As a medical ethicist has commented, these patterns raise questions about the “muddier” aspects of psychiatric diagnosis and the variability “as regards who and what drive [diagnostic] practices.”

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders have also raised serious concerns—particularly about their potential to promote suicidality, aggression or other unwanted outcomes in children and adolescents. In 2016, the Nordic Cochrane Centre systematically reviewed clinical study reports from 70 trials of SSRIs and similar drugs and described substantial under-reporting of harms. Even with the under-reporting, the reviewed evidence linked the drugs to a doubling in the risk of suicidality and aggression in children and adolescents.

Why is this happening?

Researchers have floated many hypotheses about the underlying causes of the burgeoning youth mental health crisis. But while the mainstream media have been more than willing to give airtime to social explanations such as smartphone use and academic stress, the public has seen far less discussion of other plausible factors such as the gut-brain connection. For example, there is a complex interplay between the gut microbiome, the immune response and vaccination—and experimental evidence links vaccines and vaccine adjuvants to adverse mental health symptoms. There is also ample experimental evidence showing that gut microbiota disruptions caused by subchronic and chronic exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides can increase anxiety and depression-like behaviors at virtually any age. Moreover, research findings are suggestive of potential transgenerational effects of both vaccines and glyphosate. Rather than acquiesce to the perpetuation of hair-splitting mental health diagnoses—and the pharmaceutical “solutions” that always seem to follow close behind—it would seem wise to scrutinize these pervasive environmental threats while keeping in mind the age-old question of cui bono.

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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