Written by Vera Sharav
Note from the World Mercury Project Team: Following is Part One in a seven-part series of Vera Sharav’s in-depth exposé of the complex and widespread corruption that exists in the vaccination program. Her investigation has uncovered decades-long fraudulent activity that has permeated the vaccine industry. Sharav’s research is a must-read by those in our community because it explains the intricate groundwork that has led us to the debacle we are now living with – an epidemic of sick children.
The exponential increase in the autism / autism spectrum prevalence rate since 1985 (1 in 2,500) to 2016 (1 in 45) is evidence of an epidemic, not, as the deniers will have it, “an optical illusion” or “a statistical mirage”
“today a million and more Americans, almost all under thirty, have been formally diagnosed with autism…Most with an autism diagnosis will never [lead normal lives] or be responsible for their health and welfare. Both the increase and the burden it imposes are widely recognized by thousands of parents and frontline professionals such as nurses and teachers. Yet some of the most prominent and powerful people in medicine, the media, and government deny it.” [DENIAL: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future, Mark Blaxil and Dan Olmsted (2017)]
Are children’s rights to a normal life being sacrificed as collateral damage to protect high utilization of vaccines?
The focus of this appendix is how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the vaccine industry control vaccine safety assessments, control the science of vaccines and control the scientific and mass channels of information about vaccines. These primary stakeholders gained control by establishing an elaborate web of collaborating institutional partnerships which they fund. The collaborating institutional stakeholders include:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics,
- The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI, UK),
- The World Health Organization,
- WHO-Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS),
- The European Medicines Agency (EMA),
- The European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (ECDPC),
- The Brighton Collaboration and the Brighton Collaboration Foundation,
- The Cochrane Collaboration,
- The Institute of Medicine,
- The Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS),
- The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) which is bankrolled by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
- World Bank and others.
Numerous additional industry front groups are popping up on social media to spread vaccine propaganda, such as the European Health Parliament (EHP, situated in Brussels, created in 2017). EHP is bankrolled by Johnson and Johnson and is affiliated with Google, Politico and others. [Appendix 10 is being updated. It will publish shortly.]
All of these institutions became de facto stakeholders in promoting vaccination policies while presenting themselves as independent authoritative sources of information about vaccine safety.
Through this elaborate network of collaborative partnerships, industry gained global control of vaccine safety assessments – which are applied as the single standard, used mostly to rule out a causal relationshipbetween vaccination and serious adverse events following vaccination. These centrally controlled assessments are applied indiscriminately in all cases, disregarding individual human susceptibility factors.
One of the intended features of these collaborating partnerships is to camouflage the identity of the funding source for vaccine research and professed independent reviews of vaccine research. Medical journals, as the editor-in-chief of The Lancet, Dr. Richard Horton acknowledged, “devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.” Indeed, the BMJ (British Medical Journal) entered into undisclosed partnership agreements with both major vaccine manufacturers. In 2008, BMJ and Merck entered into partnership and in 2016, BMJ and GlaxoSmithKline formed a partnership as well. Additionally, vaccine stakeholders control the vast channels of propaganda – including Google, which has formed a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline.
The financial interest of these collaborating partnerships conflicts with the tenets of medical ethics and scientific integrity – such as transparency and independent assessment of the data. The consequences of these ill-suited partnerships are demonstrated by evidence of corrupt vaccine safety assessments; evidence of harm following vaccination is either concealed or defined as non-related; journal publications are corrupted by fraudulent reports, and honest scientific findings are suppressed. The entire web of vaccine stakeholder- collaborations is geared toward issuing uniform vaccine safety pronouncements that promote vaccination policies crafted to ensure high vaccination rates, translating to ever higher profit margins.
Much of the evidence is documented in thousands of internal CDC documents (some were obtained in 2011); additional CDC internal documents were obtained in July 2017. The evidence is also documented in transcripts of closed-door meetings, such as the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at Simpsonwood (2000); the Institute of Medicine Committee on Immunization Safety Review (2001); and the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI, 1990). These documents were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Evidence was also gathered in the course of a criminal investigation of Dr. Poul Thorsen by the U.S. Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
What Did CDC Officials Know About Thimerosal; When Did They Know It, & What Did They Do About It?
In 1974, the FDA convened a panel of experts to conduct a comprehensive review of the safety and effectiveness of over-the-counter medicines. One facet of the review was OTC drugs that contained mercury whose function was to kill bacteria to prevent infection. In 1980, the Advisory Review Panel submitted its report to the FDA, having reviewed 18 products containing mercury. It found the products either unsafe or ineffective. The report cited several studies demonstrating human hypersensitivity to thimerosal:
“mercury compounds as a class are of dubious value for anti-microbial use. Mercury inhibits the growth of bacteria, but does not act swiftly to kill them.”
“The Panel concludes that thimerosal is not safe for OTC topical use because of its potential for cell damage if applied to broken skin, and its allergy potential. It is not effective as a topical antimicrobial because its bacteriostatic action can be reversed.”
After the determination by the FDA advisory committee, Eli Lilly chose to cease production of Thimerosal-containing products. Despite the evidence, Thimerosal continued to be added to vaccines. In 1990, Professor Hans Wigzell, Rector of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, and member Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, wrote “Difficult to Substitute Mercury as a Preservative in Bacterial Vaccines”, in which he recommended that:
“a study [be conducted] to show if there is a difference in general toxicity when uptake of mercury is from the stomach-intestines or after injections…This should be studied in relation to the tremendous large number of subjects vaccinated with preparations containing thimerosal sodium; Our goal is to develop, as soon as possible, vaccines completely free of mercury.”
In 1991, Dr. Maurice Hilleman, an internationally renowned Merck vaccinologist, wrote a memo to the president of Merck’s vaccine division stating:
“6-month-old children who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish. When viewed in this way, the mercury load appears rather large. The key issue is whether thimerosal, in the amount given with the vaccine, does or does not constitute a safety hazard. However, perception of hazard may be equally important.” 
The FDA delayed issuing its final rule on thimerosal until 1998, stating: “safety and effectiveness have not been established for the ingredients (mercury based preservatives)… manufacturers have not submitted the necessary data in response to earlier opportunities.”The rule, however, applied only to OTC products.
In 1991, Dr. Peter Aaby, Director of the Bandim Health Project, a demographic surveillance system (in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa), which is affiliated with the Statens Serum Institute, identified non-specific adverse vaccine effects which go beyond the specific protective effects of the targeted disease. He noted that these non-specific effects can be beneficial or harmful. Dr. Aaby has conducted a series of comparative “natural studies” of vaccinated and unvaccinated children in high-mortality regions in rural Africa, that consistently confirmed that:
“Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.”
The First Large-Scale Scientifically Sound CDC Epidemiological Study
The 1999 CDC study sought to determine the relative risk for infants following exposure to thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines was conducted by Dr. Thomas Verstraeten and three CDC colleagues who examined the evidence documented in CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). They analyzed the medical records of 400,000 infants born between 1991 and 1997 that were maintained by four HMOs and assessed the risk of autism for the children at different ages.
This was a scientifically solid study; it provided scientific documentation that: exposure to thimerosal during the first month of life increased the relative risk of autism by 7.6 i.e., 760%.
The VSD data revealed additional risks as well: 1.8 increased relative risk for a neurodevelopmental disorder; 2.1 relative risk for speech disorder; and 5-fold increased relative risk for a nonorganic sleep disorder. The evidence documents that infants exposed to vaccines laced with thimerosal during the first month of life are at an alarmingly high increased risk of serious harm.
In December 1999, Dr. Verstraeten sent an email to his co-authors and CDC colleagues, Dr. Robert Davis and Dr. Frank DeStefano; the subject line was “it just won’t go away”. The email attachments included four tables with relative risk data and the Abstract of their study findings, that he was submitting for a presentation, at the high level (by invitation only) meeting, convened by CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, at Simpsonwood Retreat Center in Georgia (2000).
The title of their study: “Increased Risk Of Developmental Neurologic Impairment After High Exposure To Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine In First Month Of Life.”
The meeting was chaired by Richard Johnston, M.D., an immunologist and pediatrician (University of Colorado) who stated:
“The data on its toxicity (shows) it can cause neurologic and renal toxicity, including death. We learned [sic] a number of important things about aluminum, and I think they also are important in our considerations today.”
“Aluminum salts are important in the formulating process of vaccines, both in antigen stabilization and absorption of endotoxin. Aluminum and mercury are often simultaneously administered to infants, both at the same site and at different sites.”
“However [sic] there is absolutely no data, including animal data, about the potential for synergy, additively or antagonism, all of which can occur in binary metal mixtures that relate and allow us to draw any conclusions from the simultaneous exposure to these two salts in vaccines…” [p. 19-20]
Dr. Verstraeten began his presentation by stating: “what I will present to you is the study that nobody thought we should do.” The study categorized the cumulative effect of thimerosal-containing vaccines administered to infants after one month of life and assessed the subsequent risk of degenerative and developmental neurologic disorders, and renal disorders before the age of six. Dr. Verstraeten stated that ALL of these relative risks were statistically significant.
And he noted that: “mercury at one month of age is not the same as mercury at three months, at 12 months, prenatal mercury, later mercury. There is a whole range of plausible outcomes from mercury.” When asked about the risk of aluminum, he stated: “the results were almost identical to ethylmercury because the amount of aluminum goes along almost exactly with the mercury one.”
Following the presentation, Dr. Roger Bernier (Associate Director for Science NIP) stated: “We have asked you to keep this information confidential….Consider this embargoed information.”[p. 113]
It is clear from the EIS transcript that the response to Dr. Verstraeten’s research findings differed between pediatricians, who were genuinely concerned about the hazards of both Thimerosal and aluminum, whereas officials of government and non-government organizations (NGOs, that are dependent on government and industry support, such as the World Health Organization), focused on the threat to vaccination policy and the risk of litigation were intent on burying the data and maintaining secrecy about the findings.
Pediatricians focused on the risks, public health: Dr. William Weil, represented the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) stated:
“moving from one month or one day of birth to six months of birth changes enormously the potential for toxicity. There are just a host of neurodevelopmental data that would suggest that we’ve got a serious problem. the potential for aluminum and central nervous system toxicity was established by dialysis data. To think there isn’t some possible problem here is unreal.”[p.24]
“Although the data presents a number of uncertainties, there is adequate consistency, biological plausibility, a lack of relationship with phenomenon not expected to be related, and a potential causal role that is as good as any other hypothesized etiology of explanation of the noted associations.
In addition, the possibility that the associations could be causal has major significance for public and professional acceptance of Thimerosal containing vaccines. I think that is a critical issue. Finally, lack of further study would be horrendous grist for the anti-vaccination bill. That’s why we need to go on, and urgently I would add.” [pg. 187 & 188]
“The number of dose related relationships are linear and statistically significant. You can play with this all you want. They are linear. They are statistically significant.” [p.207]
[Dr. Weil may well have been informed by the following research report: Aluminum Neurotoxicity in Preterm Infants Receiving Intravenous-Feeding Solutions in the NEJM(1997) whose authors concluded: “In preterm infants, prolonged intravenous feeding with solutions containing aluminum is associated with impaired neurologic development.” More on aluminum vaccine adjuvants below.]
Dr. Johnson: “This association leads me to favor a recommendation that infants up to two years old not be immunized with Thimerosal-containing vaccines if suitable alternative preparations are available… I do not want [my] grandson to get a Thimerosal containing vaccine until we know better what is going on.” [p. 198]
Dr. Robert Brent [a Scientific Adviser to an industry front-group] focused entirely on protecting corporations from lawsuits:
“The medical/legal findings in this study, causal or not, are horrendous and therefore, it is important that the suggested epidemiological, pharmacokinetic, and animal studies be performed. If an allegation was made that a child’s neurobehavioral findings were caused by Thimerosal containing vaccines, you could readily find junk scientist who would support the claim with “a reasonable degree of certainty”.
But you will not find a scientist with any integrity who would say the reverse with the data that is available. And that is true. So we are in a bad position from the standpoint of defending any lawsuits if they were initiated and I am concerned.” [pg. 229, emphasis added]
*[Dr. Brent was a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) a food and chemical industry front group which the Center for Science in the Public Interest described as, “Voodoo Science, Twisted Consumerism”]
Dr. John Clements, who represented the WHO at the EIS conference, expressed alarm about the direction of the research, which he viewed as posing a threat to vaccination uptake if the information reaches the public:
“I am really concerned that we have taken off like a boat going down one arm of the mangrove swamp at high speed, when in fact there was not enough discussion really early on about which way the boat should go at all. And I really [don’t] want to risk offending everyone in the room by saying that perhaps this study should not have been done at all, because the outcome of it could have, to some extent, been predicted…, and we have all reached this point now where we are left hanging, even though I hear the majority of consultants say to the Board that they are not convinced there is a causality direct link between thimerosal and various neurological outcomes. I know how we handle it from here is extremely problematic.” [Emphasis added]
“…even if this committee decides that there is no association and that information gets out, the work that has been done and through the freedom of information that will be taken by others and will be used in ways beyond the control of this group. And I am very concerned about that as I suspect it already too late to do anything regardless of any professional body and what they say.”
“My mandate as I sit here in this group is to make sure at the end of the day that 100,000,000 are immunized with DTP, Hepatitis B and if possible Hib, this year, next year and for many years to come, and that will have to be with Thimerosal containing vaccines unless a miracle occurs and an alternative is found quickly and is tried and found to be safe. “ [emphasis added]
“I am very concerned that this has gotten this far, and that having got this far, how you present in a concerted voice the information to the ACIP [Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] in a way they will be able to handle it and not get exposed to the traps which are out there in public relations.
My message would be that any other study, and I like the study that has just been described here very much. I think it makes a lot of sense, but it has to be thought through. What are the potential outcomes and how will you handle it? How will it be presented to a public and a media… I wonder how on earth you are going to handle it from here.“ [p. 247—249]
Other comments from those present include:
“We could exclude the lowest exposure children from the database”; “We could remove children that got the highest exposure levels since they represented an unusually high percentage of the [adverse] outcomes”; “We can push and pull this data any way we want to get the results we want;” “We could have predicted the outcomes.”
CDC’s Dr. Bernier reminded everyone: “consider this embargoed information…and very highly protected information.”
The concerns expressed at this Epidemic Intelligence Service meeting, by Dr. Clements and other public officials and industry representatives who asserted their determination to conceal the thimerosal evidence from the public, has been the policy of CDC and an international network. However, concealing the evidence does not eradicate the evidence. A compendium of 80 peer-reviewed, published studies found evidence of a link between thimerosal and neurological disorders, including autism. A recent Review paper (April 2017) documents that the continued use of thimerosal in underdeveloped countries provides evidence of its harmful impact.
WMP NOTE: This concludes Part One. Part Two of the Seven-Part series will be entitled: Public Trust of Government Pronouncements Regarding Vaccine Safety is Validated By Evidence of Deception and Corrupt Practices. Sharov’s Introduction outlines her well-researched and documented belief that, “Public health officials and the medical profession have abrogated their professional, public, and human responsibility, by failing to honestly examine the iatrogenic harm caused by expansive, indiscriminate, and increasingly aggressive vaccination policies.”
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Brain Scans Reveal Structural Differences In People With “Smart Phone Addiction”
- The Facts:
A new study recently published by German researchers from Heidelberg University show differences in brain structure between people with 'smart phone addition' compared to people without it.
- Reflect On:
Is your child constantly on their smartphone? Are they addicted?
Children entering into the world today are being birthed into a sea of technology that their parents never grew up with. As a result, we don’t really know the long-term consequences these technologies could have on these generations as they age. Preliminary research, however, is already showing significant cause for concern, and one of the latest examples comes from a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviours via German researchers.
The researchers examined 48 participants using MRI imaging, and 22 of the participants had smartphone addiction (SPA), and 26 of them were non-addicts. The main findings were that individuals with SPA showed “significant lower” grey matter volume (GMA) in the insula and in certain regions of the temporal cortex compared to the individuals without smartphone addiction, known as the controls. Secondly, right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) activity was “significantly lower” in individuals with SPA compared to controls. Third, the researchers found associations between the smartphone addiction inventory (SPAI) scores and GMV as well as amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF), converged on the ACC.
The authors wrote that:
The present study provides first evidence for common neural underpinning mechanisms of behavioral addiction in individuals with SPA. This study clearly needs replication as much as extension in larger cohorts, including longitudinal assessments, ecological momentary assessment and task-based functional MRI. Yet, at the same time, this study provides important data and preliminary evidence, suggesting addiction-related differences in neural processes in the context of smartphone use, particularly with respect to the salience network. Given the widespread use and increasing popularity of smartphones, the present study challenges assumptions towards the harmlessness of smartphones, at least in individuals that may be at increased risk for developing addictive behaviors.
It should be concerning that there are actual structural changes in the brain that correlate with smartphone use in individuals who have an addiction compared to the brains of those who don’t.
The study goes into what each brain region is associated with in regards to behaviour, intelligence, etc.
In China, for example, teenagers are becoming hooked on electronic screens. Whether it be with their phone, computer, or video games, many young people are spending countless hours in front of a screen without bothering to eat or sleep, sometimes even withholding their urge to use the bathroom.
According to a blog report published by the New York Times, “many have come to view the real world as fake.” (source)
In China, this phenomenon is actually considered a clinical disorder, and as a result a number of rehabilitation centres have been established where young people addicted to screens are completely isolated from all media. Although the success of these treatment centres is still unknown, it paints a dark picture of the technological age in which we live, and does not seem to bode well for our future.
Studies in China show that people who spend more than 6 hours on the internet for something other than work or study are likely to become addicted. Below is a trailer for the documentary “Web Junkies,” shedding light on this troubling aspect of modern life:
It’s not just China, this type of thing is seen all around the world:
“While Internet addiction is not yet considered a clinical diagnosis here, there’s no question that American youths are plugged in and tuned out of ‘live’ action for many more hours of the day than experts consider healthy for normal development. And it starts early, often with preverbal toddlers handed their parents’ cellphones and tablets to entertain themselves when they should be observing the world around them and interacting with their caregivers.” (source)
As we continue to move forward, this type of addiction and behaviour becomes more disturbing. The power that some multinational corporations have, alongside their clever marketing tactics – basically making whatever product or idea they choose to be desirable to the human mind – is worrisome. A few years ago, the American Academy of Paediatrics found that the average 8-10 year old spends almost eight hours a day with a variety of different media, and older children/teenagers spend even more, up to 11 hours. (source)
A study conducted by the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, which included over 20,000 children/teens between grades 3 and 12, concluded that approximately 20% of grade 3 students already owned a cell phone. The numbers steadily rose from that point forward to approximately 25% in grade 4, 39% in grade 5, and 83% in middle school. You can read that entire study HERE.
With all of these electronics, it’s important to be aware of the impact of the radiation they give out and their documented harms. To learn more about that and access the science now available, please visit the Environmental Health Trust. It’s a great place to start your research.
We are in the beginning stages of what could potentially be a big problem. We have yet to see the smartphone generation reach adulthood, therefore we can’t fully measure the potential consequences, but again, numerous studies like this one have already shown great cause for concern and render the idea that smartphones are completely harmless as completely false.
Frankincense Shows The Ability To Alleviate Symptoms Of Anxiety & Depression
- The Facts:
Studies have proven the psychoactive effects the scent of frankincense has on the brain, alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Reflect On:
With all the man-made chemical pharmaceutical drugs out there, perhaps solutions to what ails us are more simple than we may realize.
Gold and frankincense and myrrh… sound familiar? These were the gifts that were allegedly brought by the three kings when Jesus Christ was born. We all know that gold is valuable, but what about the others? Frankincense has long been touted as a magical, mystical medicine and has been regarded as such for millennia within many ancient cultures of the world. The same goes for myrrh, but for the purpose of this article we are going to stick to the medicinal properties of frankincense.
Frankincense starts out as a type of resinous sap that is found inside a special family of trees called Boswellia, which grow almost exclusively in the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. When it is harvested at specific times of the year, the trees are cut carefully with special knives and the sap seeps out. This special sap is then dried in the sun until it is ready for use. More commonly, frankincense is burned simply as sweet smelling incense, but it has many other uses as well including the following…
Historical Uses Of Frankincense
- As a part of ritual or religious ceremonies
- Was used extensively during burial rituals as an embalming material to help mask the odor of the deceased body
- Smoke from burnt incense can effectively drive away mosquitoes and other pests
Frankincense has also been used medicinally, treating various ailments such as arthritis (it has strong anti-inflammatory properties), gut disorders (like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), asthma, and maintenance of oral health.
And perhaps the most intriguing quality for our westernized modern culture is the psychoactive effects of this special resin, as studies have shown that burning frankincense can trigger an effect that can aid and even alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
One study in particular, conducted by a team of researchers form John Hopkins University and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, explains how burning the resin from the Boswellia plant (frankincense) activates certain previously misunderstood ion channels in the brain in order to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. This might explain why Roman emperor Nero once burned an entire year’s harvest of frankincense at his favorite mistress’ funeral.
“In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam, one of the research study’s co-authors. “We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”
The researchers administered incensole acetate to mice in order to determine its psychoactive effects. This compound they found drastically impacted the parts of the brain that generate emotions and the nerve circuits that have responded positively to current drugs used for depression and anxiety. The incensole that was administered activated a protein called TRPV3, which is connected to the ability to perceive warmth of the skin.
“Perhaps Marx wasn’t too wrong when he called religion the opium of the people: morphine comes from poppies, cannabinoids from marijuana, and LSD from mushrooms; each of these has been used in one or another religious ceremony,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “Studies of how those psychoactive drugs work have helped us understand modern neurobiology. The discovery of how incensole acetate, purified from frankincense, works on specific targets in the brain should also help us understand diseases of the nervous system. This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion–burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over!”
Can This Work For You?
Sure, this study was conducted using mice, which certainly aren’t the same as humans. However, many religious texts claim that this special resin had uplifting effects on the brain. So, the good thing is that if used appropriately, it really can’t hurt to try. You can typically buy the resin at health food stores and more commonly at stores that sell incense, crystals, sage and those sorts of spiritual ceremonial tools. It can also be found as an essential oil. I like to diffuse it in a diffuser, and sometimes I’ll burn the resin on charcoal pucks as well.
At the very least, you’ll get a nice and pleasant smelling aroma, and at best it can help turn that frown upside down, increase your mood, reduce your anxiety and maybe even put a smile on your face. Perhaps those three wise men were as wise as they’ve been made out to be, and frankincense really is as special as it’s been believed to be for millennia.
Binge Watching Is Associated With a 12 Percent Increased Risk of Inflammatory-Related Death
- The Facts:
An Australian study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at more than 8,900 adults and found that each additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 12% increased risk of inflammatory-related death.
- Reflect On:
How much TV do you watch? How active is your lifestyle?
I’m sure that you hesitated before choosing to read this article, as most of us have been sucked into a binge watching marathon on more than one occasion (myself included). While it may seem like we’re buckling down to give ourselves a break, we may actually be hurting ourselves far more than we realize. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has proven to be harmful to our bodies, especially for adults over 50, and when you match lounging with television, you create a deadly combo.
In an Australian study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers examined more than 8,900 adults and found that each additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 12% increased risk of inflammatory-related death, and those who spent more than four hours a day watching TV were at an even higher risk. This includes diabetes, respiratory, cognitive, and kidney diseases. (source)
In general, watching television has proven to negatively impact mental health; it alters your brain, lowers your attention span, and has the potential to make you more aggressive. You don’t need to experience the “trance-like” state television can put us in, but I’m sure you’ve witnessed it before. This trance occurs roughly 30 seconds after you start watching TV. Your brain begins by producing alpha waves, leading to a light hypnotic state that makes the viewer less aware of their environment and more open to subtle messages — aka programming.
In the 1990s. Dr. Teresa Belton, a visiting fellow at the University of East Anglia, studied the effects that television has on the imagination of 10-12 year old children, ultimately concluding that television negatively impacts their development: “The ubiquity and ease of access to television and videos perhaps robs today’s children of the need to pursue their own thoughts and devise their own occupations, distracting them from inner processes and constantly demanding responses to external agendas, and suggests that this may have implications for the development of imaginative capacity.”
And these physical affects are becoming increasingly apparent. Not only does it eventually lead to immobility as you age, but with the risk of creating inflammation in the body, you are susceptible to a host of diseases including kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and even depression.
Dr. Megan Grace is the lead investigator at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. Between 1999 and 2000, her team quizzed adult participants about their viewing habits via a questionnaire. Again, this was before we had access to popular streaming websites like Netflix. The participants were separated into three groups based on their TV viewing habits: less than two hours per day, greater than two hours but less than four hours, and more than four hours.
“TV time was associated with increased risk of inflammatory-related mortality. This is consistent with the hypothesis that high TV viewing may be associated with a chronic inflammatory state,” the authors wrote.
They followed up with their participants 12 years later and found, of 909 deaths, 130 were inflammatory-related. Of the inflammatory-related deaths, 21 were from diseases of the respiratory system and 18 of the nervous system, and those who watched between two to four hours of TV a day showed a 54% higher risk of inflammatory-related death. Additionally, people who watched more than four hours of TV a day doubled their risk of dying from an inflammatory disease compared to those who watched two hours.
In addition to cutting down the amount of time you spend sitting in front of the TV and sitting or lying down, you can help combat inflammation with a number of foods like avocados, berries, sweet potato, onions, and watermelon, and herbs like, cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric.
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