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Weeding Out Vaccine Toxins: MMR, Glyphosate, and the Health of a Generation

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By Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT, printed here with permission from The World Mercury Project.

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Glyphosate, often sold under the brand name “Roundup,” is the most widely used weed killer in the U.S. Glyphosate is a “non-selective herbicide,” which means it kills many plants, not just weeds. It kills them by interfering with the production of critical proteins necessary for growth.

In commercial agriculture, Roundup is used on “Roundup Ready” crops—crops that have been genetically modified to resist the powerful toxic effects of glyphosate. The list of Roundup Ready crops includes soy, corn, canola and sugar beets. It is important to remember that, while these plants have been modified to resist the harmful effects of glyphosate, the people and animals that eat them have not.

It is important to remember that, while these plants have been modified to resist the harmful effects of glyphosate, the people and animals that eat them have not.

In a series of articles, my colleague Anthony Samsel and I have been exploring the connection between glyphosate and a number of diseases, including multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. In our most recent article, “Glyphosate Pathways to Modern Diseases VI: Prions, Amyloidoses and Autoimmune Neurological Diseases,” we present evidence that glyphosate has made its way into several widely used vaccines. We describe how the glyphosate residue contained in vaccines might induce the kind of autoimmune responses typically observed in autism.

Interestingly, of all the vaccines we tested, MMR stood out as consistently having the highest level of glyphosate contamination. This fact may help explain why the MMR vaccine, which contains neither mercury nor aluminum, has been implicated so often in vaccine injury and autism.

How Might Glyphosate Make Its Way into Vaccines?

Vaccines can become contaminated in many ways. One potential source of contamination is the animal tissue (chicken embryo, fetal bovine serum, monkey kidney, etc.) that is used as a culture medium to grow the viruses contained in vaccines. The measles virus for the MMR is grown on gelatin made from the bones and ligaments of commercially raised cows and pigs, animals that have been fed a steady diet of Roundup Ready corn and soy feed. Gelatin is also used as a stabilizer in vaccines, creating another possible route of contamination.

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As Roundup producer Monsanto itself has reported, the residue from glyphosate tends to accumulate in the bones, marrow, and collagen-rich ligaments of animals. Anthony Samsel confirmed this finding in his own study of the bones, marrow, and other parts of pigs and cows, as well as the derived bovine gelatin.

To provide additional evidence that gelatin is the source of glyphosate contamination in vaccines, Samsel looked at a number of gelatin-based products, including Jell-O, gummi vitamins, and protein powders. He also looked at digestive enzymes such as trypsin and lipase. He found significant glyphosate residue in all of them. It should come as no surprise, then, that all of the vaccines that list gelatin and bovine serum as ingredients tested positive for glyphosate, while those that contained neither of these ingredients tested negative.

Glyphosate may be contributing to another source of vaccine contamination. In a recentstudy published in the International Journal of Vaccines and Vaccination, researchers were shocked to discover a variety of toxic metals in a number of common vaccines. Platinum, silver, bismuth, iron, and chromium all showed up in the MMR vaccine. The source of these contaminants is considered to be a mystery. It is interesting to note in this context that glyphosate was first patented as a pipe cleaner due to its remarkable ability to chelate metals. It may be the case that glyphosate is playing a role in extracting metals from containers during the manufacture of vaccines.

My research leads me to believe that synergistic toxicity between glyphosate and vaccines, particularly MMR, is a major factor in the growing autism epidemic. The severity of MMR-related adverse events, as reflected in the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, has increased steadily in recent years—along with the use of glyphosate on corn and soy crops in the U.S. Some of the reactions that have become significantly more common after 2002 compared to before 2002 are seizures, anaphylactic shock, asthma, autism, eczema, irregular heart rate, and ear infection. Of course, correlation does not prove causation; it is important to understand how glyphosate residues might disrupt the body’s immune system.

How Might the Glyphosate in Vaccines Cause Autism?

In our recent article, Samsel and I describe how the measles virus in the MMR, which is grown on nutrients contaminated with glyphosate, could incorporate this glyphosate into its own proteins, as a coding error, in place of the amino acid glycine. Glyphosate is a glycine molecule with an additional methyl phosphonyl group attached to the nitrogen atom, and we have argued that a key mechanism of its insidious cumulative toxicity is its ability to substitute for glycine by mistake during protein synthesis.

Haemagglutinin is the main antigen produced by the measles virus that is responsible for inducing an antibody response to the vaccine. A glyphosate-contaminated haemagglutinin molecule from a measles virus will be much more allergenic than one that is free of glyphosate. When the measles virus from the vaccine gains access to the brain, the brain’s immune system acquires antibodies to this abnormal haemagglutinin molecule, and then, through molecular mimicry, these antibodies become autoantibodies to myelin basic protein, a basic component of the myelin sheath. This autoimmune attack on the nerve fibers in the brain disrupts neuronal communication channels, causing the symptoms of autism.

Vijendra K. Singh and his colleagues at Utah State University have published multiple papers, dating back to the 1990s, proposing that an autoimmune attack on the myelin sheath due to a viral infection may be a causative factor in autism. In their 2002 paper,“Abnormal Measles-Mumps-Rubella Antibodies and CNS Autoimmunity in Children with Autism,” they concluded that “an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism.” A paperpublished by Dr. William Shaw in 2017 discussed a set of triplets—two boys with autism and a girl with a seizure disorder—all of whom had high levels of glyphosate in their urine and a disrupted gut microbiome, which he proposed was a causative factor.

Gut Dysbiosis: a Primary Factor

Not all children will respond to a glyphosate-contaminated vaccine in the same way. A key factor that increases susceptibility of the brain to damage is an unhealthy gut microbiome, which leads to a leaky gut barrier and subsequently a leaky brain barrier, via a tight communication channel between the gut microbes and the brain. Prior chronic exposure to high levels of dietary glyphosate can set a child up for a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, together with many colleagues, published a seminal articlein the Lancet in 1998 on a case study of twelve children, all of whom had a gut disorder and all of whom suffered onset of gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms following MMR vaccine, with regression into an autism-like syndrome.” Parents of eight of the children cited MMR as the trigger for their child’s decline. Wakefield was among the first scientists to recognize the important role of a disrupted gut microbiome in the etiology of autism. Unfortunately, the Lancet paper was later retracted and other researchers were very slow to follow up on this important lead, although finally today an unhealthy gut is recognized as a key feature linked to autism.

Dr. Wakefield recognized that the children in his study suffered from a leaky gut barrier, as a consequence of damage to the lining of the small intestine. This lining is covered with millions of small projections called villi, creating a huge surface area for the absorption of nutrients. The cells that form these villi, called enterocytes, begin life as an undifferentiated stem cell in the “crypt” area of the intestines. From there, they proliferate and mature as they migrate up the walls of the crypt, and then settle in on the surface of the villi, where they absorb nutrients before dying and getting replaced by new arrivals in a constant renewal process, as illustrated in Figure 1.

Glyphosate, as an amino acid, is actively imported into cells along L-type amino acid transporters. Cells that proliferate, like enterocytes, express high levels of these transporters, and therefore preferentially take up glyphosate. In Celiac disease (gluten intolerance), the enterocytes are destroyed more quickly due to exposure to glyphosate and other toxic chemicals. This damage causes the cells to proliferate more quickly, in order to replace destroyed cells. Increased proliferation causes an increase in the uptake of glyphosate, creating a downward spiral.

Thus, glyphosate residue in food sets a child up to fail following an MMR vaccine. Wheat, barley, oats, chick peas, lentils, and sugar cane are not glyphosate resistant, but glyphosate is frequently used as a desiccant or ripening agent for them right before harvest, and it is actively taken up by the seed. Some of the highest levels of glyphosate have been found as a contaminant in these non-GMO foods, so eating “non-GMO” is not adequate for glyphosate avoidance. Glyphosate is not allowed in organic agriculture, so buying USDA certified organic foods is the best option. Children with autism often suffer from gluten intolerance, and I believe glyphosate is a major causative factor in both conditions.

Figure 1: Schematic of the enterocytes in the villi lining the walls of the small intestine, which migrate upward from the crypt to the villus as they mature into functioning enterocytes from initial stem cells. These cells are especially vulnerable to glyphosate toxicity, leading to a leaky gut syndrome.

A Lost Generation

We have been misled for far too long by the claim that vaccines are “safe and effective.” It is not at all clear that inducing specific antibodies to a small set of infective agents, such as the measles virus, while weakening the immune system’s ability to fight off all the other infective agents in the environment, is the best way to deal with infectious disease. As we have seen, antibodies can become autoantibodies and attack the body’s own tissues, leading to chronic diseases that are often worse than the infectious diseases they protect from. Vaccinated children suffer from many debilitating neurological and autoimmune diseases in far greater numbers than unvaccinated children. The manufacture of vaccines is a tricky process, and along with the acknowledged toxic ingredients like mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde, they also have been found to contain contaminants like glyphosate and toxic metals that may well be the biggest contributors to severe adverse reactions.

As we have seen, antibodies can become autoantibodies and attack the body’s own tissues, leading to chronic diseases that are often worse than the infectious diseases they protect from.

Children today may already be a lost generation, but several policy changes need to take place in the immediate future to save subsequent generations from a similar fate. We need to repeal the 1986 legislation that protects pharmaceutical companies from liability when a child’s life is ruined by a vaccine. This will surely pressure them to try harder to keep impurities out of vaccines. We need to eliminate laws such as California’s SB277 that prevents unvaccinated children from enrolling in public or private schools, and be vigilant to ensure other states don’t follow suit. Then parents will be empowered to make decisions about the best path towards building a strong immune system in their child. Part of that program needs to be a switch to a 100 percent USDA certified organic diet, in order to protect children from the dangers posed by toxic herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Finally, we need to insist that our elected representatives pass laws that protect consumers from products like glyphosate, which are designed to disrupt processes that support life.

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER: Exposure to glyphosate may play an important role in the development of autism.

Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Glyphosate Exposure

1. Glyphosate is a “Probable” Carcinogen
In March of 2015, scientists at the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. The IARC report linked glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in humans and to cancer in laboratory animals, and indicated it can cause “DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells.”

2. Glyphosate is a Patented Antimicrobial Agent
Glyphosate disrupts the gut microbiome leading to the overgrowth of pathogens and inflammatory bowel disease.

3. Glyphosate Negatively Impacts the Brain
According to the National Pesticide Information Center at Oregon State University (NPIC), glyphosate exposure has been linked to developmental effects when administered to pregnant rats in high doses.

4. Glyphosate May Disrupt the Reproductive System

The Western world faces an epidemic in declining sperm quality.  The NPIC links high dose exposure in rats to negative reproductive effects.

5. Glyphosate May Be a Critical Factor the Autism Epidemic

Much evidence supports this, including disruption of the gut microbiome, chelation of important minerals like manganese and zinc, and extremely high correlations between time trends in autism and in the use of glyphosate on core crops.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff is a Senior Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She has a BS degree from MIT in biology and MS, EE and PhD degrees from MIT in electrical engineering and computer science.  She has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings. Her recent interests have focused on the role of toxic chemicals and micronutrient deficiencies in health and disease, with a special emphasis on the pervasive herbicide, Roundup, and the mineral, sulfur.  She has authored over thirty peer-reviewed journal papers over the past few years on these topics, and has delivered numerous slide presentations around the world.

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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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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.

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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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