Mercury’s toxic properties have been apparent for centuries. Nonetheless, from the time of the first Emperor of China on, doctors have been fascinated with the metal’s purported curative properties. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, health practitioners blithely used mercury as a medical treatment for everything from syphilis to teething discomfort to dysentery.
As early as the 1820s, some healers began to object to the practice of “giving poison as medicine,” but, in many branches of medicine, physicians remained enthusiastic. In the late 1890s, for example, the prestigious scientific journal The Lancet published case studies broadcasting doctors’ seemingly successful use of mercury for the treatment of heart disease. Referring to a mercurous chloride compound called calomel (also called the “blue pill”), Dr. Arthur Foxwell in Birmingham praised, in September 1895, mercury’s “unique” virtues as a cardiac tonic capable of “freeing” a sluggish heart of “half its labour.”
Over a century later, the medical perspective on mercury and heart disease has come to look quite different. Although many researchers have focused heavily on mercury’s neurotoxicity in children, others acknowledge that, in adults, the cardiovascular system may be exquisitely vulnerable to mercury’s toxic effects. A simple search using the terms “mercury” and “heart disease” in PubMed (the National Institutes of Health database) pulls up ample documentation detailing a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease in individuals who have higher blood levels of mercury. Mercury damages the cardiovascular system even at low concentrations of exposure.
Effects of Mercury on the Heart
Researchers who acknowledge that mercury exposure increases cardiovascular risk often profess ignorance about the underlying cellular mechanisms of harm. However, a trio of relatively recent articles makes it apparent that scientists actually know quite a bit about how mercury exerts its cardiotoxic effects. Two of the reports, published in 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension and in 2014 in the Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases & Diagnosis, are authored by Vanderbilt University professor and hypertension expert Mark Houston, who has published extensively on hypertension and heart disease since the 1980s. Dr. Houston began turning his attention to the ramifications of mercury exposure for heart disease a decade ago. A newer study, a review by Italian researcher Giuseppe Genchi and colleagues that appeared in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2017, also reviews mercury’s overall toxicity and specific cardiovascular effects.
It should not be surprising that many of the biological mechanisms that explain mercury’s deleterious impacts on the brain (recently summarized here by World Mercury Project) likewise create problems for the heart. Dr. Houston’s two articles list 22 different vascular biological effects of mercury that he further distills into the eight categories shown in the table below. According to Houston, “the clinical consequences of these and other pathophysiologic mechanisms explain the wide variety of cardiovascular diseases caused by mercury.” These conditions include: hypertension, diastolic dysfunction, generalized atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, reduced heart rate variability, sudden cardiac death, cerebrovascular accidents, carotid artery obstruction and left ventricular hypertrophy.
Vascular Biologic Effects of Mercury
|Increased oxidative stress
Vascular smooth muscle proliferation and migration
Dyslipidemia (oxidation of high-density lipoprotein and paraxonase)
Increased oxidative stress: Mercury prompts increased production of free radicals (a type of reactive oxygen species or ROS) and also inactivates antioxidant defenses, including compromising the activity of the important antioxidant glutathione. “Oxidative stress” is the term used to describe these disturbances in ROS equilibrium. As Genchi and coauthors observe, “Glutathione…is the most potent intracellular and mitochondrial antioxidant for protecting against oxidative stress, inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.” In fact, clinicians consider increased oxidative stress as a predictive biomarkerfor cardiac pathology: “When the finely regulated signaling pathways of [ROS] molecules become uninhibited, it may lead to the initiation and progression of atherosclerotic disease.”
Vascular inflammation: Among its many inflammatory effects, mercury alters arachidonic acid metabolism. Arachidonic acid metabolites are a type of fatty acid compound. With mercury-induced inflammation, these metabolites make the vascular endothelium—which plays a central role in vascular homeostasis—more “leaky.”
Thrombosis: Mercury induces thrombosis (blood clotting), in part, by promoting abnormal coagulation and clumping of platelets as well as changes in platelet shape. Back in 1946, clinicians who tested the suitability of mercury-containing gelatin solutions as “plasma substitutes” in 39 patients initially were baffled to observe thrombosis of the injected veins as a significant and frequent “untoward effect.” The physicians stated, “Because of the high incidence and considerable extent of venous thrombosis it seemed likely that the [gelatin] solutions contained a thrombosing substance”; they ultimately concluded that the mercurial preservatives in the gelatin solutions were the “probable cause.”
Changes in vascular smooth muscle cells: Mercury stimulates proliferation and changes in the size of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), versatile cells that line the walls of arteries and veins. VSMCs play a role “in all the physiological functions in the vascular wall,” including regulation of blood pressure. VSMCs are also “the main cellular determinants of arterial wall pathology.” Genchi et al. point out that exposure to mercury compounds correlates strongly with hypertension. Mercury’s effects on VSMCs have prompted calls to explicitly consider mercury as an “environmental risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”
Endothelial dysfunction: The vascular endothelium is “indispensable for the regulation of vascular tone and the maintenance of vascular homeostasis.” Even at very low levels of exposure, mercury promotes endothelial dysfunction. When the vascular endothelium stops working properly, it loses its ability to regulate vascular tone and perform other essential jobs. Clinicians consider endothelial dysfunction as an independent predictor of cardiac events because it represents a “key early step in the development of atherosclerosis and…plaque progression and the occurrence of atherosclerotic complications.”
Dyslipidemia: Heart disease experts have long viewed dyslipidemia (abnormal lipid profiles) as closely related to coronary heart disease as well as metabolic syndrome. Recent studies have confirmed that chronic exposure to organic mercury induces dyslipidemia and contributes to the development of atherosclerotic plaques. According to Dr. Houston and Genchi’s team, mercury disrupts lipids, in part, by inactivating paraoxonase, an antioxidative enzyme that plays an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. Paraoxonase is a major component of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and mercury-induced inactivation of paraoxonase, makes HDL cholesterol dysfunctional.
Immune dysfunction: Macrophages (a type of immune system cell called phagocytes) play a key role in innate immunity by swallowing, killing and digesting invaders. Exposure to mercury lowers immune function in part by reducing phagocytic activity. Where cardiovascular disease is concerned, macrophages play a role “in both the progression and regression of inflammation” in atherosclerotic lesions. Researchers recently have noted the importance of understanding how pathological factors such as mercury exposure affect macrophage activity so as to improve cardiovascular disease outcomes. A 2016 study by a group of European researchers, which found an association between a heart condition called Takotsubo syndrome (TS) and “hypersensitivity” to mercury and other metals, noted that TS patients displayed “pathological immune reactivity.”
Mitochondrial dysfunction: Scientists have extensively documented mercury’s adverse effects on the mitochondria. Toxicologists have shown that normal human brain cells, for example, preferentially take up organic ethylmercury, damaging the cells’ mitochondria and setting off a cascade that leads to cell death. The maladaptive mitochondrial responses triggered by mercury also play a major role in the development of abnormalities related to cardiovascular disease, including dyslipidemia, hypertension and various cardiac pathologies.
Chelation Therapy: At the close of their article, Genchi and coauthors recommend chelation therapy as a strategy to get rid of mercury and thereby “avoid further distribution and penetration [of mercury] in tissues.” Chelating agents bind to unwanted metals and minerals in the blood and enable urinary excretion. Clinicians started trying out the synthetic amino acid EDTA for the treatment of angina and other forms of atherosclerotic disease beginning in the 1950s, after they observed that EDTA not only chelated lead effectively but also improved and stabilized cardiovascular function.
From 2003–2012, the National Institutes of Health funded the first large-scale study of EDTA chelation therapy—the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT)—to examine its safety and efficacy in individuals who had experienced prior heart attacks. Using a rigorous randomized placebo-controlled, double-blind study design, TACT found that EDTA infusions safely reduced the risk of subsequent cardiac events, with particularly pronounced therapeutic benefits in individuals with diabetes. Commenting on what made the TACT study unique, investigators noted that whereas “the association of metals with cardiovascular disease is not new…this knowledge has been held in [discipline-specific] silos…[that] the cardiologist does not often visit.” They added that the TACT results “have unveiled an exciting area of new…research with the underlying concept that xenobiotic metals may be a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”
The evidence base for EDTA is most substantial for lead and cadmium. Genchi and coauthors describe other synthetic chelating agents, including DMSA and DMPS, that can chelate and immobilize organic and inorganic forms of mercury, specifically. However, dental expert Dr. Hal Huggins and cardiologist Dr. Thomas Levy (who coauthored the book Uninformed Consent: The Hidden Dangers in Dental Care) discourage use of DMPS, which they describe as a “sledge hammer to the immune system.” On the other hand, Huggins and Levy view oral DMSA as acceptable, if used appropriately.
Studies have reported that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also can benefit from DMSA chelation therapy, which is not surprising given mercury’s role in contributing to ASD. One study carried out with 65 ASD children in the U.S. found that a single round of DMSA had significant behavioral effects that correlated with increased excretion of mercury and other toxic metals as well as changes in glutathione status. Another studyinvolving 44 Egyptian children with ASD generated similar results. Some autism expertshave urged caution in using overly aggressive synthetic chelation agents, however.
Taking Mercury Seriously
Dr. Houston and Genchi’s team both comment on the sizeable body burden of mercury that is accumulating in humans of our time (13 milligrams in the average 165-pound individual). In light of the myriad “intake pathways” of mercury (via air, water, food, vaccines, other pharmaceuticals and cosmetics), it behooves the public health community to take seriously the relationship between mercury exposure and cardiovascular disease risks, particularly because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and around the world. At a minimum, it is vital that clinicians evaluate mercury toxicity “in any patient with hypertension, coronary heart disease, cerebral vascular disease, or other vascular diseases and in patients who have a clinical history of exposure or clinical evidence on examination of mercury overload.”
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Thousands Gather To Mark The 33rd Anniversary of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act
Government’s gift to Pharma of liability-free vaccines puts children’s health at risk states Children’s Health Defense (CHD) Chairman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Washington, DC – Thousands of advocates for children’s health will gather Thursday at the Vaccine Injury Epidemic (VIE) Event on the National Mall to mark the 33rd anniversary of National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). The rally on Nov. 14th will spotlight the devastating impact NCVIA has had upon the state of children’s health. While children continue to be injured by vaccines daily, vaccine makers cannot be held accountable, thereby eliminating incentive for vaccine safety.
In his remarks, RFK, Jr. will address the ramifications of NCVIA and honor those whose lives have been impacted by vaccine injury and death. “It’s time to call out Congress, the CDC, and drug companies for allowing industry profits to trump children’s health,” said Kennedy. “There is no crisis more urgent than the epidemics of chronic health conditions among our nation’s children.”
Following NCVIA’s passage creating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), the childhood vaccine market sparked a gold rush for Pharma as more vaccines for routine childhood illnesses were developed. Coterminous with the burgeoning vaccine schedule, chronic health conditions in children rose from 12% to 54%. As vaccine industry profits grew to $50 billion annually, so did diagnoses of asthma, autism, ADHD, allergies, anxiety, depression, diabetes, obsessive-compulsive disorder and auto-immune diseases. Here are the facts:
- An HHS-funded study found only 1% of vaccine injuries are reported.
- Despite NVICP’s high burden of proof and two out of three claims dismissed, over $4.2 billion has been paid for claims of vaccine injury or death.
- The vaccine-injured find NVICP to be a years-long, litigious program with no jury, discovery and precedent. While medical bills mount, the injured are up against DOJ lawyers and HHS “Special Masters” that act as judges.
- The Department of Justice and the NVICP are accused of fraud and obstruction of justice in the Autism Omnibus Proceeding.
- The Institute of Medicine reports that the vaccine schedule as recommended has never been studied for long-term health effects despite independent research suggesting that unvaccinated children are healthier.
- Modern medicine acknowledges that not everyone responds the same to vaccination and the “one size fits all” vaccine policy is not science based.
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.
How To Clear Seriously Blocked Sinuses Naturally In 1 Minute
- The Facts:
Three simple steps you can take to clear blocked sinuses that seem to work for many people.
- Reflect On:
Are you healthy? What natural things do you do when "flu season" comes around to give your immune system a boost?
Having clogged sinuses isn’t fun. You can’t breath, you can’t smell, your head hurts, and your voice sounds funny. Finding relief when you have clogged sinuses is usually like finding a million dollars on the ground — it’s amazing!
The causes for nasal congestion can range greatly, and you don’t have to be sick to be congested. Many people will experience congestion from allergies, temperatures, dust, smoking, spicy food, and air particles.
Recently I was at Contact in the Desert in California and I found myself having clogged sinuses from the blowing sand and dry air. Within two days, I couldn’t breathe at all out of one side of my nose and my sinuses got blocked up, causing my face and head to hurt. I needed a solution.
After trying to blow my nose over and over again, I turned to the internet for relief. Sure enough, Google came through.
I found a video by Dr. Adam that quickly and easily explained how to clear sinuses in about one minute using just your fingers — and no, they don’t have to go in your nose. Sure enough, I had relief from the pain the blockage was causing, and I could breathe!
Some might be wondering why I didn’t take sinus or cold medication to get relief. The answer is simple: I don’t like taking medication for anything unless I absolutely have to. I know many of you are on the same page and like to do things naturally. Many cold medications just mask symptoms and come with negative side effects that are worth avoiding if possible.
How to Clear Your Sinuses Fast!
You simply need to sit down and get your hands ready for the following steps. The video below offers a visual demonstration, so I recommend checking that out too.
1. While sitting with your head and body on about a 45 degree angle, turn your head sideways and rub your sternocleidomastoid muscle downward four or five times. You can find the muscle right beneath your ear running down your neck to your collarbone. See image. Do this on both sides of your neck to help relax your neck.
2. Take your index fingers, locate the hard, bony part of the upper sides of your nose, and move downward toward the soft part on the side of your nose where the bone ends. Begin massaging this area in a circular motion with as much pressure as you can for about 20 seconds. Once completed, rub the muscles from the side of your nose down and toward your cheekbones to relax them.
3. Take your index fingers and run them under the inside orbit bone above your eyes until you find a notch in the bone called the super orbital notch. It is usually just above the centre of the eye. Massage that notch in a circular motion with as much pressure as you can handle for about 20 seconds. Once done, massage your forward with both hands starting in the centre of your forehead and pulling outwards towards your temples.
That’s it! Once you have gone through this process you should notice a lot of relief in your sinuses and should be able to blow your nose quite easily. You may have to repeat this process again, but play with it and see what works for you.
Below is a video from Dr. Adam explaining the entire process. I have also included another helpful method that worked well for me as well.
This method is simpler but may not be as effective for everyone. As always, do what works best for you.
1. Push your tongue flat into the roof of your mouth, with decent pressure, for one second.
2. Then, take your thumb and press the area right between your eyebrows above your nose for one second.
3. Alternate between steps one and two over and over again for about 20-30 seconds. Note: You are not pressing the points at the same time, simply alternating between them.
Repeat this process as necessary to help clear your sinuses.
If you’ve had blocked sinuses, you probably don’t want it to happen often, so prevention is the key! Here are a few ways you can avoid blocked sinuses.
Eat a well-balanced diet – Eating healthy foods promotes good health. What you put into your body to digest is what determines your health. If you want your immune system working well, take care with quality food and keep your gut performing well.
Get regular exercise – Regular exercise also helps improve overall health and the immune system.
Quit smoking – It goes without saying, but cigarettes are not good for us and the smoke can irritate sinuses.
Use a humidifier – If you find your house dry, use a humidifier to help dampen the air. You can also hop in a warm shower and breathe in the steam. It’s best to use a chlorine filter on your shower head so you aren’t breathing in toxic chemicals from chlorine.
Cut out antibiotics – Antibiotics don’t do anything for viral infections, which is usually why people get clogged sinuses when they are sick. Antibiotics wreak havoc on your health. Only take them when they are absolutely necessary!
Keep a clean home – Dust and poor air quality can also cause blocked sinuses. Vacuum and wipe down surfaces of your home regularly. Decrease clutter and areas where dust can collect and stay.
Cannabis Might Reverse Heart Failure, University of Hawaii Study Finds
- The Facts:
New research is showing that TRPV1, a cannabinoid receptor found abundantly in the heart may be key in slowing down and potentially even reversing heart failure.
- Reflect On:
With so many medical applications and the potential to treat and even cure a wide variety of diseases, why has there been such a lack of research, funding and clinical trials when it comes to medical marijuana?
Cannabis could potentially slow and even reverse heart failure via TRPV1, a cannabinoid receptor. This is according to research led by a team at the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). Alexander Stokes, a JABSOM assistant professor in cell and molecular biology, said “the potential medical benefits of using cannabis-based therapies for the treatment of heart disease are promising.”
TRPV1 is showing long-term effective reversal of heart failure when the substance is administered orally. The key here is orally, this doesn’t mean that you can smoke cannabis and it will be good for your heart, in fact, it may very well have a negative effect if you do that. “TRPV1 has primarily been studied as a pain receptor,” said Stokes. “The receptors are abundant in the heart, and we are excited to show that if we inhibit its function with oral doses of drugs, we can reverse some effects of heart failure.”
The findings were published in the journal Channels.
A Big Topic Right Now
The topic of medical marijuana is a big one right now, especially in Canada where it was recently legalized. For years, there’s been a negative stigma attached to the substance, and when one dives deep into the subject it’s quite easy to see why. Cannabis, often called marijuana, has potential to treat and possibly even cure a wide range of diseases, but because of prohibition, the studies examining the medicinal aspects of the herb have been very limited. This is very unfortunate, for a number of reasons, and also very suspicious.
If we look at cancer, for example, multiple studies have clearly shown its potential to completely destroy cancer cells, many in vitro studies have clearly demonstrated this potential, without question. They’re not hard to find and have been published in abundance. Here is a video of Dr. Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist at Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, explaining how THC (the main psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant) can completely kill cancer cells. THC is simply one constituent of cannabis. It has been shown to be effective for multiple diseases as well, while other diseases are better treated with CBD, another constituent within cannabis. This begs the question, why have there been no, or at least so few, clinical trials set up as a result?
This hasn’t stopped people taking matters into their own hands though. There are numerous examples all over the internet of people claiming that cannabis oil, for example, cured their cancer. But from a scientific perspective this isn’t evidence, it’s simply anecdotal and as a result of a lack of research we cannot officially say cannabis kills cancer. We can only say that it has tremendous potential and that a lot more research is needed.
Pharma vs Cannabis
When a pharmaceutical drug shows even less than half of the potential that marijuana has shown, clinical trials are set up right away. Just imagine if the same resources that are poured into conventional cancer treatments were given to medical marijuana’s potential to treat cancer, among a wide range of other diseases. If that were to happen, we would know much more. But the lack of research continues. Is it because if scientists were to discover what strain, method of delivery and all of the other factors that require more research that are needed to treat disease, cannabis could become an effective treatment for cancer? What would happen to conventional treatments? Would people have to pay for their treatment if it was disclosed how to, for example, make cannabis oil in the right way for a specific cancer? Maybe this has something to do with it?
Big pharma would lose billions. It’s definitely something to think about.
What’s happening right now with the legalization of marijuana is that components of it are allowed to be studied. It seems that drugs will be developed to synthesize certain components of the plant, and the drugs themselves can then be patented. This is how big pharma will ultimately make money off of medical marijuana.
The Challenge With Government Control Of Cannabis
It’s great to see people with Parkinson’s, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Epilepsy, cancer and more have tremendous success with medical marijuana. What’s unfortunate is that mainstream medical marijuana will be in the hands of big pharma, it already is. We will not know how it’s grown, how it’s been manipulated, and what’s been changed. It’s simply being used for profit, because at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about in our current infrastructure. We have a sick care industry, not a health care industry.
A free, open and caring society, a health care industry that truly cares about health could use multiple natural substances to completely wipe out the need for any pharmaceutical drug. There are massive amounts of foods, herbs and plants that, if studied in full, could completely eliminate our dependence on the corporation.
“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”
– Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal (source)
Important Thoughts To Consider About Cannabis
The other side of the coin is that heavy cannabis use, although not lethal, can be dangerous and potentially damaging to young brains that are not fully developed, and perhaps to those who use it on a regular basis in ways we do not yet understand.
It’s not as harmful as alcohol abuse or smoking cigarettes, but there is still a lot that we don’t know. Legalization in Canada at least have led to the idea that it’s completely safe and beneficial for everybody. This is also, most likely, not true. We need to get past the idea that it’s something healthy for everybody, and even healthy to smoke cannabis on a regular basis. But when it comes to the medicinal aspects of cannabis, for several diseases, there is a very serious discussion to be had here as it’s again, already helping many people around the world with their cancer, with their epilepsy, etc.
With many people losing trust in the medical industry, it’s easy to see why they are turning to growing their own cannabis, testing doses, and methods of delivery, etc. For some, it’s a shot in the dark but worth a try.
We are not advocating that it’s healthy to use cannabis recreationally and that it will not have any negative effects, we are simply stating that it’s a head scratcher how such a potent medical plant that clearly has multiple medical applications has been ignored and prohibited from research and professionally treating many diseases with it.
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