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Why We’re Not Anti-Vax, And Why We All Need To Stop Choosing “Sides” In The Vaccine Debate

You asked for it, and we’ve answered. Here’s our official stance on the “vaccine debate.”

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We often post articles on the potential health risks of certain vaccines and the ingredients within them, and in turn we receive a lot of comments and messages claiming we’re pushing an “anti-vaccine agenda.”

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People will see an article title on the CE website or our Facebook page that conveys an issue with a particular vaccine, such as our more recent article titled “If You Have a Teenager You Should Be Concerned: Big Pharma Was Just Caught Lying About the HPV Vaccine,” and then immediately categorize us as being “anti-vaxxers.”

Many of us identify as being anti-vaccines, just as many people identify as being anti-abortion, anti-religion, anti-war, anti-establishment, or whatever else we actively state we are staunchly, or sometimes blindly, against.

One of the issues with identifying with these labels is that whenever we take this approach, we’re often coming from a place of anger and hatred. All of a sudden, we allow our personal beliefs to trump science and the truth because they’re so heavily fuelled by our desire to express our personal opinions or be “right.”

Though it’s important to stand up for what you believe in, it’s equally as important to remain detached from those beliefs so they can change and adapt as we, as a collective, grow and evolve.

With that, we’d like to clarify our “stance” on vaccines. Collective Evolution is neither for nor against vaccines. We do not identify as being anti- or pro- vaccines, we are simply pro-informed choice, pro-science, and pro-humanity. We do not choose sides, because there should be no “sides” to choose from in the first place.

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Each vaccine is extremely different, posing different health benefits and risks, and to lump them all into one group just so we can label ourselves as being pro- or anti- vaccines will not help us progress as a society or help to advance science.

Just because vaccines have served us in the past doesn’t negate the fact that many of them pose some very serious health risks. Likewise, just because one vaccine poses severe side effects doesn’t mean that all vaccines pose the same health hazards.

When did we start letting our own personal beliefs and desire to choose a “side” trump scientific evidence?

Why We Need to Stop Identifying as Being Pro- or Anti- Vaccines

Maybe you’ve been asked which side of the debate you’re on, or maybe you’ve just noticed the growing number of people who claim they’re pro- or anti- vaxxers. The fact of the matter is, by choosing sides, we’re taking attention away from the science and increasing division.

When we label ourselves as anti-vaccines, we may start to only believe and research the problems within the vaccine industry, ignoring the benefits they’ve provided us in the past and confusing specific side effects of certain vaccines as being applicable to all vaccines. Likewise, when we claim to be “pro-vaccine,” we start to ignore the very real health risks associated with many vaccines.

Jennifer Margulis, PhD and co-author of the book The Vaccine-Friendly Plan, made an excellent point in questioning why it is that we don’t call someone anti-antibiotics if we question some of the safety issues associated with them or choose not to take them, yet if we raise health concerns over vaccines, we’re suddenly labelled as “anti-vaxxers.”

Some of the ingredients in certain vaccines have been proven to pose serious health risks, yet when we ask our doctors or even our peers about them, they often become defensive. These questions aren’t meant to hurt their feelings or threaten the medical field, but rather advance it. If we know that certain ingredients in vaccines can cause serious allergic reactions, side effects, autism, or even death, why are we just turning a blind eye toward them?

Doctors are also scrutinized for speaking out about vaccines, or categorized as “anti-vaxxers” for simply questioning the CDC’s aggressive vaccine schedule for every single child, regardless of risks, side effects, and standard of living. Children are also categorized as being unvaccinated when their parents decide to choose which vaccines they receive based on what diseases they’re at risk for and what side effects each vaccine presents. Even when they do receive some vaccinations, just not all, they’re deemed unfit to be around their peers.

Dr. Paul Thomas and science journalist Jennifer Margulis further elaborate on this subject in the following video:

This isn’t about right or wrong, nor should it be about pro- or anti- vaccines, but rather science. We rarely advance ourselves without making mistakes and altering the way we do things until we’re successful, and science isn’t any different. So, why is it that so many people ignore the studies that prove the potential side effects of certain vaccines? Why are so many people so quick to shut down the claims of concerned parents, or worse, families who have experienced vaccine injuries firsthand?

Actress Jenny McCarthy was one of those concerned parents, as her child became autistic after being vaccinated. Jenny took matters into her own hands and cured her child’s autism using a bio-medical plan and detoxing her child from the heavy metals all of us are so often exposed to, including those within vaccines. McCarty raised an excellent point in a CNN interview (which you can watch here), suggesting a huge reason why the medical community denies the scientific evidence against some ingredients in certain vaccines is because vaccines are profitable.

This may not be much of a surprise to many, as Big Pharma is a money-making machine that typically puts profit before people. Doctors get paid to push drugs onto us, not to help us get off them and cure us. You can even figure out exactly how much your personal doctor gets paid to sell you drugs (read more about that in our CE article here). This isn’t a conspiracy, it’s the very basic motive of a profitable business, and Big Pharma represents very big business. 

In addition, we need to stop lumping all vaccines into one giant “vaccine category.” Vaccines are all very different, which is why so many of them exist. You don’t just get one vaccine and get all of the health benefits and risks associated with them. Each vaccine has different ingredients, meaning they have different properties and side effects as well.

It doesn’t make sense to be pro- or anti- vaccines for the sole reason that vaccines aren’t all the same, so we shouldn’t support or oppose every single one of them for the exact same reasons. 

There’s no war against vaccines, there’s just concerned parents, scientists, and human beings coming forward to question ingredients within these shots. So, what exactly are people so concerned about?

Evidence of Different Vaccines Posing Severe Health Risks

First of all, the correlation between vaccines and autism is very real, despite what many doctors, news outlets, and government organizations state. A study published by Dr. Brian Hooker, PhD, in the peer reviewed journal Translational Neurodegeneration, found up to a 340% increased risk of autism in African American boys receiving the Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. You can read more about this specific study in our CE article here.

Another study published in the International Journal of Toxicology outlines the biological plausibility of mercury’s role in neurodevelopmental disorders. It suggests that early mercury exposure could increase the risk of autism.

The Division on Autism and Development Disabilities even published a scientific paper on the potential link between mercury and autism, stating:

To sum up, there has been a great deal of information from different studies that seems to indicate that repetitive mercury exposure during pregnancy, through thimerosal, dental amalgam, and fish consumption, and after birth, through thimerosal-containing vaccinations and pollution, in genetically susceptible individuals is one potential factor in autism.

Of course, that doesn’t mean every case of autism is caused by vaccines, but there’s certainly enough evidence to suggest there is a correlation between autism and some vaccines, and that  this clearly deserves further research.

Plus, there are many studies that suggest there is no causal link between autism and vaccines, but those don’t negate the studies that have found one. It’s just very clear that more research needs to be conducted, and that we need to stop blindly denying scientific evidence just because it threatens our current belief systems.

In fact, the Italian court has recognized that the MMR vaccine has caused autism in the past. In one case, the Italian Health Ministry admitted the MMR vaccine specifically caused autism in a 9-year-old boy. You can read more about that case in our CE article here.

paper published in 2012 by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, argues severe adverse reactions to the chemicals (like aluminum) within vaccines are linked to life-threatening conditions associated with the heart and brain. The paper goes on to argue there is a relationship between autism and acute adverse reactions to vaccinations, particularly in regards to the MMR vaccine.

As Dr. Seneff explains:

Using standard log-likelihood ratio techniques, we identify several signs and symptoms that are significantly more prevalent in vaccine reports after 2000, including cellulitis, seizure, depression, fatigue, pain and death, which are also significantly associated with aluminum-containing vaccines. We propose that children with the autism diagnosis are especially vulnerable to toxic metals such as aluminum and mercury due to insufficient serum sulfate and glutathione. A strong correlation between autism and the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine is also observed, which may be partially explained via an increased sensitivity to acetaminophen administered to control fever.

If there’s any aluminum present in these vaccines — it’s not in the MMR vaccine, but is added to most others — that could present many issues. A paper published by Professor Christopher Shaw and Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic of the University of British Columbia showed vaccines with aluminum adjuvants increase the risk of developing autism, autoimmune diseases, and neurological problems later in life. A demonstrated neurotoxin, aluminum is the only approved adjuvant in the U.S. Its use presents the risk of brain inflammation, autoimmunity, and other adverse health consequences.

study published in the International Journal of Medicine revealed flu vaccines may result in inflammatory cardiovascular changes and increase risk for serious heart-related events, like a heart attack. The study states:

Together with an inflammatory reaction, influenza A vaccine induced platelet activation and sympathovagal imbalance towards adrenergic predominance. Significant correlations were found between CRP levels and HRV parameters, suggesting a pathophysiological link between inflammation and cardiac autonomic regulation. The vaccine-related platelet activation and cardiac autonomic dysfunction may transiently increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

Not to mention the flu shot is filled with tons of chemicals we shouldn’t be putting into our bodies anyways. Your body is likely strong enough to fight a common cold, and if it’s not, then you should focus on building your immune system without harming your body with this type of vaccination. Plus, the effectiveness is slim to none, as many people still get the flu even after being vaccinated. You can read more about the flu shot in our CE article here.

Perhaps the most controversial vaccine out there is Gardasil, the HPV vaccine that has caused some very serious reactions in teenagers, including death. You can read more about HPV vaccine injuries and deaths in our CE articles here and here.

A huge controversy regarding Gardasil is its claim that it can prevent cervical cancer, which turns out to be less than true. Dr. Dianne Harper is one of a select few specialists in OB/GYN (in the world) who helped design and carry out the Phase II and Phase III safety and effectiveness studies to get Gardasil approved.

Since Harper’s involvement in getting Gardasil approved, she has condemned the vaccine, stating that it is neither safe nor effective. She exposed that the tested length of the efficacy of the vaccines in preventing HPV infection is not long enough to prevent cervical cancer, which, as she states, can take decades to develop. She has also stated that vaccination will not decrease the number of cervical cancer cases, but a routine of regular pap smears will.

Of all the women who get an HPV infection, approximately 70% of those will clear that infection all by themselves in the first year. You don’t even have to detect it or treat it. Within two years, approximately 90% of those women will clear it all by themselves. By three years, you will have 10% of that original group of women left who still have an HPV infection, and 5% of this 10% will have progressed into a pre-cancerous lesion.

So, “now you have that small group of women who have pre-cancerous lesions and now let’s look at that moving into invasive carcinoma. What we know then is that amongst women with . . . [pre-cancerous] lesions . . . it takes five years for about twenty percent of them to become invasive carcinomas. That’s a pretty slow process. It takes about thirty years for forty percent of them to become invasive cervical carcinomas.” (source)

Despite all of this information on the risks of Gardasil and vaccine deaths as a result of getting them, you still have this massive fear campaign spearheaded by Big Pharma aimed at concerned parents, convincing them that HPV can cause cancer.

Another serious issue with vaccines in North America is the recommended vaccine schedule itself. Many parents completely support all of the vaccines administered to their children; their concerns lie within the schedule on which their children receive these shots. The timeline is very aggressive, lumping multiple vaccines into a short timeframe.

Many doctors have spoken out about the necessity of altering each child’s vaccine schedule to fit their own needs based on each individual kid’s risk factors. For example, Dr. Paul Thomas stated:

Until a large doubleblind study comparing unvaccinated children with vaccinated children is done, we cannot rule out the current American vaccination schedule as a contributing factor in autism. My own clinical experience has shown that waiting until age 3 is safer and healthier for children, significantly reducing the chance of neurological and immunological damage that may be triggered by this vaccine.

Dr. Thomas also suggests his patients follow “a slower, evidence-based vaccine schedule that calls for only one aluminum-containing shot at a time.” When you compare the current vaccine schedule in North America to those in other countries, even more medically advanced ones, they vastly differ.

Many people attribute this difference to Big Pharma’s stranglehold over the U.S. government, which would make sense. Big Pharma plays a huge role in the medical community and the drug approval process, and often strong-arms the government into shifting the law in their favour. This begs the question: Is the current vaccine schedule what’s good for our kids, or what’s profitable for Big Pharma?

If you’d like to read more about vaccine safety, check out the following CE articles:

The Top 6 Reasons Why Parents Should Never Be Forced To Vaccinate Their Children

If You Have A Teenager You Should Be Concerned: Big Pharma Was Just Caught Lying About The HPV Vaccine

Flu Vaccines in Pregnancy and Childhood: What You Need to Know

Pediatric Vaccines Market To Become Worth More Than $40 Billion USD Globally By 2022

New In Vivo Studies Find Most Common Vaccine Ingredient – Alhydrogel (Aluminum) – In Distant Organs & The Brain

What Bill Nye Gets Wrong About Vaccines & Alternative Medicine

Final Thoughts 

The general purpose of a vaccine is to provide immunity against one or several diseases, which is really awesome. What’s not awesome are the potential side effects associated with some of the ingredients added to these vaccines, and the rapid timeline on which they’re administered to American children.

It’s not about demonizing doctors or vaccine makers, it’s about shedding light on some of the potential dangers of specific vaccines and their ingredients. Your doctors aren’t all out to get your children, they’re simply following the recommended schedule as stated by the CDC. It’s important to remember that your doctors aren’t in school anymore, either. They’re not constantly being educated about the newest discoveries in the medical industry, which is why it’s so important to do your own research.

We’re not suggesting you become your own doctor, but rather, to at least be aware of the potential issues related to certain medical practices, including vaccinations, so you can ask your doctor the right questions. If your doctor doesn’t know how to answer your questions, or refuses to, then perhaps you need to find a new doctor!

Even if you do educate yourself on all of the advantages and risks associated with each vaccine and you choose to vaccinate your child with however many shots, that’s fine too. We’re not telling you not to get vaccinated, we’re simply encouraging people to make informed decisions and trying to empower people to feel confident in asking any questions they have to their doctors so they can make the best choices for their families.

We encourage you to stop choosing sides and look at issues from a more well-rounded, unbiased perspective. When we choose sides, we often ignore the evidence that’s stacked against us because we feel an emotional connection to our viewpoint. Take politics, for example; people choose to be “left” or “right” winged, and all of a sudden they start blindly defending their party and ignoring the issues within it.

Just look at the last election: So many people literally denied Hillary Clinton’s crimes and wrongdoings because they so badly wanted Trump to lose. The same is happening within the vaccinations debate: anti-vaxxers forget that not all vaccines and their makers are evil, and pro-vaxxers blindly deny scientific evidence that suggests vaccines could be harming us.

It’s not about expressing hatred toward the medical industry, either. Science has helped us advance significantly over the past century, allowing us to live longer and healthier lives. However, the medical industry has never been, and probably will never be, perfect. We make mistakes and try controversial treatment methods, all in our search for medical treatments.

Just look at psychiatry. We used to lock pretty much anyone up in psychiatric wards and literally torture them. We used electroshock therapy and performed lobotomies as psychiatric treatments, and although those were cruel, they helped psychiatry get to where it is today.

When it comes to vaccines, there’s no denying they’ve played a significant role in progressing our health to where it is today. However, we’re living in a very different time, and the science clearly suggests some of these ingredients are not healthy for our bodies.

So, are we going to keep inspiring division amongst ourselves by choosing sides and continue to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to the health risks of vaccines, or are we going to actually accept and admit there’s a problem here? Remember, there should only be one side when it comes to the vaccine debate, and that side is science. 

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Awareness

My 400 Days Without Candy & What I Learned About Sugar Addiction

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At the end of 2017 I decided to temporarily say goodbye to my dietary Achilles heel.

While I’m certainly not suggesting that I am some beacon of ideal healthy eating, I have always been someone who, for the most part, makes what I’ve found to be healthy choices. Except for my one glaring weakness… candy.

In particular, the really sour and heavily sugar coated kind, but you’d be hard pressed to find me turning down even those better classified as sweet, with all of their sugar fused within the confines of the chew. Cherry Blasters, Sour Patch Kids, Fuzzy Peaches, Sour Punch Straws, you name it, I ate it, and usually with a big smile on my face.

But no matter how much my tastebuds loved this stuff, I’ve always known that it’s not good for me (I can’t imagine that there is anyone out there who actually thinks it is), so I decided to listen to my body, just as I had already done with a number of my other dietary changes. I opted to no longer ignore the stomach and headaches that would often come shortly after my sugary indulgences and give it up.

What started as a one month challenge quickly evolved into a three month challenge, followed by a one year challenge, and then a 400 day challenge simply because I liked the sound of the number. Here’s some of what I learned from this journey:

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The First Days Are Undeniably The Hardest

The old adage that it takes approximately 21 days to break a bad habit or make a new one in this case certainly held true. It was right around the 3 week point that I started to find myself far less tempted and far less frequently on the search for something to satisfy my sweet tooth. And believe it or not, the longer I went on, the less appealing the idea of eating candy became. It almost felt as if the memory in my tastebuds that had controlled so many of my past decisions had gradually faded away.

Mindset Is Everything

While I will fully admit that my quest to 400 was helped by it naturally feeding into another one of my “addictions” (a great joy in setting records and tracking analytics), I found that so much of the temptation to consume these sugary, salty and greasy foods really was incredibly temporary. Challenge yourself to at least not let it win once and you’ll likely see just how quickly its strength can fade.

It Paid Dividends

While I didn’t completely cut sugar out of my diet, as many people have so admirably done and documented about, I can say that cutting back even as much as I did felt really good for me. Some may be quick to chalk it up to the placebo effect, and understandably so, but I can honestly say that the above mentioned stomach and head aches occurred far less often over the 400 day span.

Real-Time Analysis: After The First Bite

Having now officially consumed my first piece of candy since 2017, believe it or not, it tastes different. Is it still tasty and did it satisfy me at some level? Absolutely. But it also tastes way more sugary and foreign to my body than it once did. It’s as if my body really wanted to make it clear by saying, “are you sure you want to bring this stuff back into the picture?”

Side Note: For those that are curious, since it’s the most common question I’ve been asked since embarking on this journey, the candy I chose to eat as my first piece was a Vegan Wild Cherry Belt by Squish Candies. (And no I’m not getting paid to brand-drop, and no I don’t make any commission should you choose to buy any at that link… unfortunately LOL).

Where I Go From Here

While I don’t see myself going completely cold turkey on candy again, I also cannot see myself consuming it nearly as much as I once did. And I do so happily, not out of punishment. While I’m also certainly not qualified to be giving out dietary advice, I am comfortable challenging all of you to give up something you know to not be good for you. See how your body feels both without it and after you re-introduce it.


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

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Alternative News

Big News: Costco To Become First Major Retailer To Stop Selling Roundup Herbicide?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to the non profit group Moms Across America, Costco is set to stop selling Roundup herbicide.

  • Reflect On:

    Despite the fact that harmful products continue to be approved across North America, the ultimate power to stop their use is us. When we become aware, we stop buying, and their profits drop. We are the ones that use it. Vote with your dollar.

It’s hard to even know where to start with the herbicide Roundup. Despite years of science exposing the inarguable health and environmental consequences of Roundup, federal health regulatory agencies in North America are still approving the herbicide, while multiple other countries have banned it and made its use illegal, citing various health and environmental concerns. Sri Lanka, for example, banned it five years ago due to its link to deadly kidney disease.

Furthermore, the countries approving it are doing so with massive amounts of corruption. These approvals come as a result of corrupt regulatory agencies here in Canada as well as the US, specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The list of examples is very long when it comes to corruption and government connections to corporations like Monsanto, the corporation that created and sells Roundup. This is the only way these products get approved. It’s not science, it’s simply because of lobbying efforts and shady politics.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

The latest approvals of glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup, came from within Canada as well as Europe.

EU regulators recently decided to relicense glyphosate, a decision that was based on an assessment plagiarized from industry reports. It’s quite backwards that, for years, health regulators have been relying on the scientific reports from the companies that manufacture these products instead of seeking out independent scientific studies.

A group of MEPs decided to commission an investigation into claims that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (bFr) copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies. You can read more about that here.

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In addition, Monsanto colluded with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stifle cancer research that had any connection to their products.

The corruption is never-ending when it comes to the link between corporations and government agencies. In fact, only a few years ago, more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the Spider Papers.

Related CE Article: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Explains How Big Pharma Completely Owns Congress

Costco

The corruption that plagues our federal regulatory agencies runs deep, and no matter how obvious the science becomes, like the dangers of Roundup, products that negatively impact our health seem to often get approved anyways. But something special on planet Earth is happening, and that’s massive awareness. We are finally starting to see through the veil that’s been blinding the masses in so many different areas within human life.

Sure, these products may continue to get approved, but we are the ones who are constantly choosing to do so. We don’t have to buy them, and that is why awareness is key.

Zen Honeycutt, the leader of Moms Across America, announced this week that Costco will not be selling the glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup Ready.

In a live video update posted on Facebook, Honeycutt stated that she received word that Costco was no longer selling Roundup or glyphosate-based herbicides.

While she’s allegedly not received any official word yet from Costco, she stated that she has talked to various people at the headquarters and regional offices confirming this news. This is huge news because, according to a 2015 article in National Geographic, Roundup is the second-best-selling herbicide in the U.S. for home lawn and garden use. Under a lucrative contract with Monsanto, Scotts Miracle-Gro owns the exclusive right to market Roundup in North America and much of Europe. Scotts distributes about $154 million worth (5.5 percent of the company’s total sales) of Roundup each year to retail giants including Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart.

So let’s hope it’s true.

I asked for an official statement and was told that usually, Costco does not issue press releases, etc discussing which items they have discontinued. Despite not hearing back from the Costco PR department, I decided to announce the information anyway. I told them that the 89,000 people who signed a petition to Costco, Home Depot, and Lowe’s deserved to have an answer. I knew that they would be happy to know that Costco was doing the right thing. – Honeycutt (source)

It’s weird how this is even a debate in some circles. This has been known for a very long time, and we’ve seen similar happenings with DDT in the past.

“Children today are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Our assessment of the latest science leaves little room for doubt; pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.” – October 2012 report by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) (source)(source)

Glyphosate is really getting a bad name, as this new information regarding Costco is coming off the heels of some bad press for Monsanto (Bayer) as the case regarding school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit claiming that glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial. There are thousands upon thousands of similar pending cases. Any jury that reviews all of the scientific evidence will not be able to rule in favor of Monsanto, and Johnson’s case was a great example that showed glyphosate caused his cancer.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, it’s us who decide to use these products. Obviously, we’ve been misled and made to trust our federal regulatory agencies who are supposedly in charge of protecting us from these harmful products. It’s the complete opposite, and what these agencies do is actually quite criminal. This is why conscious media is so important. The same powers that control these corporations have a tight grip on mainstream media as well.

This is why this issue goes largely ignored, and the fact that so many people rely on mainstream media for information about what’s really happening in the world with regards to health, environment, finance, politics, etc. is why a lot of people are still completely unaware of important issues. This is also why governments have started a war on ‘fake news,’ which seems to be a cover for protecting corporate and government interests.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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New Study Links Acetaminophen (Tylenol) To Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity

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Another damning study indicates it is simply time to pull the plug on this outdated drug.

The study just published in JAMA Pediatrics once again indicated that women who take acetaminophen during pregnancy are more likely to have a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The researchers also found that prenatal exposure to the medication was associated with a higher risk of having children who exhibit other emotional or behavioral symptoms.

Recent detailed analysis of clinical studies on acetaminophen (Tylenol) have concluded that this popular drug was ineffective for low back pain and provided no significant clinical relief of hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain, while quadrupling the risk for liver damage.

All together, the results from all of these analyses further calls into question whether this drug should still be on the over-the-counter market or at all.

Background Data:

Acetaminophen is the only remaining member of the class of drugs known as “aniline analgesics” that is still on the market, as the rest were discontinued long ago. Acetaminophen only blocks the feelings of pain and reduces fever, it exerts no significant anti-inflammatory or therapeutic action.

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It is well-known that acetaminophen is very hard on the liver. About 40% of regular acetaminophen users show signs of liver damage. Acetaminophen reduces the liver’s store of the important detoxifying aid and antioxidant glutathione. When acetaminophen is combined with alcoholic drinks or other compounds toxic to the liver including other medications, its negative effects on the liver are multiplied. It should definitely not be used in anyone with impaired liver function and given the stress the liver experiences during pregnancy, it appears unwise to use it while carrying a child for both mother and the developing fetus.

Acetaminophen is often the drug of choice in children to relieve fever. However, use for fever in the first year of life is associated with an increase in the incidence of asthma and other allergic symptoms later in childhood. Asthma appears to be another disease process that is influenced greatly by antioxidant mechanisms. Acetaminophen severely depletes glutathione levels not only in the liver, but presumably other tissues as well, and should definitely not be used in people with asthma.

Each year acetaminophen causes over 100,000 calls to poison control centers; 50,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and more than 450 deaths from liver failure. In addition, regular use of acetaminophen is linked to a higher likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease, infertility, and hearing loss (especially in men under 50 years of age). Acetaminophen use during pregnancy has also been linked to the development of ADHD confirming animal studies showing acetaminophen use in pregnancy can disrupt normal brain development.

New Data:

To more closely assess the associations between maternal prenatal acetaminophen use and behavioral issues in their children, researchers in the United Kingdom collected and analyzed data 7,796 mothers along with their children. The data included acetaminophen use and behavioral assessments of the children were 7 years old. From this data the estimated risk ratios for behavioral problems in children after prenatal exposure to acetaminophen was determined.

The results showed that prenatal acetaminophen use at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy was associated with a 42% increased risk of the child having conduct problems and hyperactivity symptoms, while maternal acetaminophen use at 32 weeks was also associated with a 29% increased risk of the child having emotional symptoms and a 46% increase in total behavioral difficulties.

Obviously, the researchers concluded “Children exposed to acetaminophen prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral difficulties, and the associations do not appear to be explained by unmeasured behavioral or social factors linked to acetaminophen use.”

Comment:

The results from this study and others are clear. Stay away from acetaminophen. Most people consider acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) as being an extremely safe pain reliever for both children and adults. The reality is that it can be extremely dangerous and causes significant side effects. The FDA has done a poor job alerting the public to the dangers of acetaminophen. In my opinion, it is a drug that serves no real medical purpose in the 21stcentury. Bottom line, it is time to pull it from the market.

As far as alternatives to acetaminophen during pregnancy, I would recommend ginger. Historically, the majority of complaints for which ginger (Zingiber officinale) was used concerned the gastrointestinal system as well as pain and inflammation. Several double-blind studies have shown ginger to yield positive results in a variety of gastrointestinal issues, especially those related to nausea and vomiting including severe morning sickness. In regards to pain and inflammation, dozens of clinical studies have supported this use with positive results in various forms of arthritis, chronic low back pain, muscle pain, and painful menstruation.

Ginger powder, ginger tea or a shot of fresh ginger juice added to any fresh fruit or vegetable juice is certainly a much better option to acetaminophen anytime, but especially during pregnancy.

My overall interpretation of the study is that depletion of glutathione caused by acetaminophen leaves cells, especially brain cells, susceptible to damage. I believe that future studies will not only show more evidence of a link to ADHD, but also autism as well. Glutathione is absolutely critical in protecting cellular function. Any factor that depletes glutathione is obviously going to alter proper development. In addition to acetaminophen, the following factors can deplete glutathione:

To boost your glutathione level it is important to focus on a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. Their rich source of antioxidant phytochemicals and nutrients spare the use of glutathione and help to keep cellular levels high.

For additional related research use the following links: 


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Reference

Stergiakouli E, Thapar A, Smith GD. Association of Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy with Behavioral Problems in Childhood. Evidence Against Confounding. JAMA Pediatrics. Published online August 15, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1775


Dr. Murray is one of the world’s leading authorities on natural medicine. He has published over 40 books featuring natural approaches to health. His research into the health benefits of proper nutrition is the foundation for a best-selling line of dietary supplements from Natural Factors, where he is Director of Product Development. He is a graduate, former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. Please Click Here to receive a Free 5 Interview Collection from Dr Murray’s Natural Medicine Summit with the Top Leaders in the Field of Natural Medicine. Sign up for his newsletter and receive a free copy of his book on Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia.

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