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Hiding Behind Genetics to Avoid Culpability for Environmental Causes of Autism

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Genetics is the darling of the biomedical research industry. For diseases ranging from cancer to skin disorders, investigators have been busily at work for decades trying to identify the conditions’ underlying genetic causes. However, these same investigators—and the reporters who communicate their findings to the public—are often strangely incurious about the role of environmental toxins as triggers of disease.

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story about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) published in October 2017 by the news website Vox furnishes an example of this genetics-as-the-explanation-for-everything perspective. Vox senior health correspondent Julia Belluz (a self-described “evidence enthusiast”) interviewed a small sample of five reportedly “cutting-edge” autism researchers, all of whom focus on autism genetics. Given the lack of disciplinary diversity in her selective sample, Belluz’s conclusion that genetic factors are the most “well-established” and “promising” explanation for autism comes as no surprise.

…environmental factors have been underestimated, and genetics overestimated, for their roles in autism-spectrum disorders.

Two of Belluz’s five interlocutors (geneticist Stephan Sanders and psychiatrist Lauren Weiss) are researchers at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), but neither one mentions a rigorous population-based study of 192 twin pairs published in the Archives of General Psychiatry by UCSF researcher Neil Risch and colleagues in 2011. Risch is the director of UCSF’s Institute for Human Genetics. The study’s results indicated that “environmental factors have been underestimated, and genetics overestimated, for their roles in autism-spectrum disorders.” Another study that involved families with two ASD-affected siblings (published in Nature Medicine in 2015) likewise highlighted “substantial genetic heterogeneity” in ASD, again suggesting that environmental or other shared risk factors trump heritability.

To be fair, Belluz’s discussion gives a nod to a “genes plus environment” perspective on autism causation by acknowledging that an “underlying genetic predisposition or mutation” generally needs to “collide” with environmental triggers in order to give rise to ASD. However, Belluz characterizes the research on environmental risk factors for ASD as “blurry,” “murky,” “mixed” and not “robust.” Belluz also cites a study that, according to her, views shared genetic variants in families as “probably more important” as an autism trigger than shared environments. However, the article actually emphasizes gene-environment interactions and concludes that “the amount of evidence supporting a significant contribution of environmental factors to autism risk” makes it clear that “the search for environmental factors should be reinforced.”

A pivotal paper published in early 2017 goes a step further, asserting that “The term ‘heritability,’ as it is used today in human behavioral genetics, is one of the most misleading in the history of science.” The paper’s two authors argue against the “deeply flawed” assumption that “genetic influences…can be separated from their environmental context.” According to these authors, “contemporary biology has demonstrated beyond any doubt that traits are produced by interactions between genetic and nongenetic factors that occur in each moment of developmental time. That is to say, there are simply no such things as gene-only influences [emphasis in original].” Stated another way, the paper suggests that “it makes little sense to attempt to quantify the relative importance of two different factors that interact with one another [dynamically] to produce an outcome.”

…meticulously demonstrated strong parallels between the brain effects of mercury intoxication and ASD brain pathology.

Belluz is willing to entertain the idea that environmental factors such as “air pollution, pesticides, antidepressants and viruses” may contribute to autism, but she categorically dismisses the possibility of any association between ASD and the dozen or so vaccines (containing 16 distinct antigens) currently included in the childhood vaccine schedule in the U.S. Belluz states, “Vaccines are the wrong explanation for autism, and we should let the idea go.” This attitude is frankly disingenuous (or worse), given what we know about the neurotoxicity of vaccine ingredients such as aluminum and the mercury-containing vaccine preservative thimerosal (still used in flu shots). Landmark papers published in 2004 and 2012 meticulously demonstrated strong parallels between the brain effects of mercury intoxication and ASD brain pathology. To discount these ideas, Belluz cites a fraudulent study coauthored by the criminal Danish researcher Poul Thorsen—a fugitive from justice who has been indicted for stealing research grant money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—and his unethical then-CDC colleague and girlfriend, Diana Schendel.

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…it is biologically plausible that the burdensome (in both number and frequency) vaccine schedule is triggering an immune overload that contributes to autism as well as other inflammatory diseases.

In remaining fixated on genetics, Belluz also ignores multiple strands of evidence highlighting links between autism and immune system challenges. For example, it is biologically plausible that the burdensome (in both number and frequency) vaccine schedule is triggering an immune overload that contributes to autism as well as other inflammatory diseases. Other important research, carried out by the late neuroscientist Paul Patterson, has showed that challenges to a mother’s immune system—such as the influenza and Tdap (tetanus-diptheria-pertussis) vaccines now routinely given to pregnant women—can lead to “lifelong changes to the child’s immune system,” and this immune response can affect the child’s brain. In addition, an article on developmental immunotoxicity (defined as “environmentally induced disruption of normal immune development resulting in adverse outcomes”) by Cornell researcher Rodney Dietert observes that developmental immunotoxicity can occur at lower exposure levels than the exposure levels that usually produce immunotoxicity in adults and also can lead to dysfunction that remains latent “until it is triggered by a later-life event” such as vaccination.

Vox proudly states that its job is to provide “context” and “insight” so that readers can make sense of science and “everything else that matters.” Belluz herself laments the “transparency problem in medicine and health-regulatory affairs” (although she does so in an article that harshly castigates anyone who dares to question the safety of the HPV vaccine). While calling on journalists to “crack open stories about health the same way political reporters do on justice or defense,” Belluz’s discussion of autism genetics unfortunately trots out the same old tired refrain that has helped the pharmaceutical and chemical industries to evade culpability and simply blame the victim.

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10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Walk Everyday

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There are multiple health benefits to be gained by taking a simple walk every day. These benefits are measurable, and if you don't already have an active lifestyle it can be a great way to assist you with your health.

  • Reflect On:

    Reflect on how the human race has become extremely sedentary, and how disease rates continue to climb as a result of the modern human lifestyle.

The human experience has become extremely sedentary, the average human lifestyle in the western world has been linked to multiple diseases and is one of the main causes of why disease rates continue to climb, among many other factors that surround all aspects of human life, like big food, for example. With technology in place and jobs that require tremendous amounts of sitting, there is no doubt that it’s having a detrimental effect on our lives.

That being said, the world is clearly becoming way more health conscious. It’s like we needed this experience of unhealthy food, the corporate take-over of everything, and our motionless lifestyle to knock us out of it. We are seeing a health revolution take place, where more and more people are becoming health conscious, and are always being encouraged to be more active.

Ultimately, we can’t really blame the human experience for our lack of movement, it’s something that all of us have the time to incorporate into our lives in one way or another, and if you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy being too active, a simple walk every day can have tremendous amounts of benefits. As pointed out in the video below, by Bright Side.

If You Want To Increase The Benefits Even More, Walk Barefoot

It’s called grounding, or ‘earthing’ and it involves placing your feet directly on the ground, without shoes or socks as a barrier. Why? Because there is an intense negative charge carried by the Earth, it’s electron-rich, which serves as a good supply of antioxidants and free radical destroying electrons.

A study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health titled “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons” postulates that earthing could represent a potential treatment for a variety of chronic degenerative diseases.

That’s right, many positive health benefits occur as a result of walking barefoot, and these are measurable.

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The picture below represents improved facial circulation (right image) after 20 minutes of grounding, as documented by a Speckle Contrast Laser Imager (dark blue=lowest circulation; dark red=highest circulation). Image Source: Scientific Research Publishing

If you want to read more publications and access the in-depth science with regards to grounding, you can refer to the article linked above the picture.

10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Walk Barefoot On Earth 

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

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Nature Valley Ad Shows The Down Side Of Children Addicted To Technology

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Technology has impacted most of our lives in a really big way. We use it daily for everything we do pretty much. Kids today, unlike previous generations, use technology more than ever and spend much less time in nature.

  • Reflect On:

    How much is too much technology for young and developing minds? Is it time to reevaluate our children's relationship with technology and get them back into nature?

Technology has become a staple in most of our lives, really, could you imagine life without it? In the video posted below, Nature Valley asks 3 generations what it was that they did for fun as a kid, the answers from the youngest generation may or may not surprise you, but is it time to cut back on the technology and bring kids back to nature?

Technology is not bad per se, that isn’t the discussion here. This is about how we use it.

Before technology, children would look to nature for entertainment. They would play outside on the lawn, go sledding, build forts, and use their imagination to create their own entertainment. Nowadays it’s all too easy for kids to get sucked into technology, there are video games, tablets, computers, cell phones and television, all of which provide a type of escape from the real world. Although, there are many ways that technology is and has been used for good in the world, is the disconnect that it is causing children and adults to part from nature causing more harm?

With the rise of mental disorders and illnesses, is it possible that the answer to these issues is simply to get kids back into nature, more time with self, using their brains to build things, be creative and connect to the energy from the Earth? We already know how effective a simple walk or hike in nature is and how they both can literally change our brains. Nature appears to be much more important than we generally give it credit for.

In my own experience, disconnecting from technology and going camping on my own proved to be a very cathartic and healing experience for me. I’ve come to realize that although being immersed in nature regularly does have a lot of benefits, but even just making time for it at all can cause a positive impact. For many of us who live in cities, with the constant bombardment of noise and of course EMF frequencies etc., just disconnecting for a short period can make a huge difference.

The following video is a brilliant ad from Nature Valley, check it out.

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It’s easy to get emotional watching something like this as it shows just how far removed the newer generations are from what has been most natural to children for centuries, simply playing in nature. The children are essentially self-proclaimed tech addicts and get their entertainment by playing video games, watching videos or tv shows, texting etc. Is it time to go back to the basics and start evaluating how detrimental too much technology can be on young and developing brains? You can read more about this issue here, Is Your Child Struggling From Nature-Deficit Disorder?

Is it up to the parents to ensure they are setting proper boundaries with the amount of time their children are allowed to use technology? Or is this the future and something we should simply let happen as a natural part of evolution?

Much Love

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
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6 Proven Ways to Cleanse Your Liver & Release Pent Up Anger

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In Chinese Medicine our liver is directly connected to anger and unfortunately, we live in a world where our liver is regularly taxed by toxic chemicals. Thankfully there is plenty that you can do without medication to keep this vital organ healthy!

  • Reflect On:

    What toxins are you regularly exposed to and what steps are you currently taking to combat them?

A toxic liver can lead to anger. In Chinese medicine, our biggest detox organ – our liver – is the organ connected to anger. When we work at changing our lifestyles and daily habits, we begin to see it having a positive effect on our mood as well as general health.

When toxicity mounts we have a more difficult time controlling or letting go of our angry feelings. Toxic chemicals accumulate in our bodies because we live in a toxic world. We microwave in plastic, we cook food in Tephlon coated pans, we smoke, we take medication, and eat fried and processed foods.

These food-like products contain toxic chemical preservatives, glyphosate; GMOs and pesticides. Ingesting poison daily results in everything from immune deficiency, mood disorders, lowered mental performance, and even life-threatening cancer.

So, besides avoiding many of the contributors of liver toxicity – what can we do?

1. Eat less added sugar & address possible yeast overgrowth in the gut

Yeast can cause fermentation of food in place of digestion and cause bloating and gas. It can contribute to “leaky gut syndrome” – thus in turn can lead to the production of toxins that may affect the brain and nervous system. Yeast overgrowth can produce alcohol as its byproduct, acetaldehyde, giving us a “hangover” feeling. It can also lead to liver damage, and it prevents the proper detoxification of other pollutants, increasing the toxicity of other toxins.

2. Support the liver with botanicals

Plant medicine like Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root can help cleanse the liver. Both extracts are known to be pretty safe and well tolerated, and toxic or adverse effects observed in the reviewed clinical trials seem to be minimal. Only those with a ragweed, iodine or latex allergy should be cautious with dandelion. (Learn more about milk thistle)

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3. Drink organic aloe vera juice

High quality; raw organic aloe vera can be a phenomenal digestive aid. It seals the gut wall, aids in digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps the immune system, and detoxifies the liver, skin, and colon.

4. Cook with more turmeric & black pepper to help the body absorb nutrients better

Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which increases the bioavailability of food by decreasing activity in the intestinal tract and inhibiting the metabolism of certain enzymes. Better still, cook with lots of turmeric and black pepper together. The combination helps the body absorb more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.

This ingredient can heal gut wall permeability due to its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It also aids in digestion, strengthens the immune system, improves asthma, heals wounds, prevents the progression of memory loss, controls diabetes, improves liver function, lowers cholesterol, and fights cancer. (Note: A great supplement for this that I recommend for is Liver Health)

5. Incorporate liver cleansing foods into your diet

Incorporate liver cleansing foods such as green leafy veggies, avocados, apples, garlic, olive oil, citrus fruit, beets, and cruciferous vegetables into your weekly diet.

6. See An Acupuncturist

Used for thousands of years, acupuncture has been used to detox and balance the liver meridians to reduce anger and other emotional and psychiatric issues.  Simple needle-less acupressure is often used on children.


Learn more about my family’s healing journey (including everything that has worked for me and many of my clients) in my book Healing Without Hurting. And to receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety and more without medication SIGN UP HERE.

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
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