In 1991, US public health authorities began recommending that all infants get the hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine, stipulating that they receive three doses within the first six months of life, starting at birth. The World Health Organization (WHO) followed suit with its own recommendation in 1992, instructing countries to vaccinate from birth even where hepatitis B virus was uncommon. Two 2018 studies (one in the US and one in India) take a closer look at the outcomes and implications of these blanket prescriptions. Although the studies focus on different aspects of their countries’ respective vaccine programs, both are cautionary tales, highlighting the fact that one-size-fits-all vaccine recommendations frequently steamroll over important biological risks and immune system subtleties, thereby introducing troublesome unintended consequences.
U.S. Children & Taxpayers on The Hook
Until the early 2000s, the HepB vaccine in the US contained organic ethylmercury in the form of the preservative thimerosal—totaling 37.5 micrograms across the three doses. Regulators have never bothered to set any safety standards for ethylmercury, but government researchers have shown that the toxicity mechanisms of ethyl- and methylmercury (the type of mercury found in fish) are similar, and some believe that even the tiniest amounts carry a risk of adverse neuropsychological outcomes.
Fixated on the sole indicator of increasing HepB vaccine coverage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bragged in 2002 about having achieved a 90% national coverage rate in young children. However, a 2018 cross-sectional studypublished in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health strongly suggests that the 1990s-era thimerosal-containing HepB vaccine had far less praiseworthy consequences, causing considerable harm to children and also exacting a high price from US taxpayers.
The researchers used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to consider 1,192 boys aged 7-8 years—a sample statistically representative of over 24 million American boys. Building on their own and others’ prior research linking thimerosal to developmental disabilities, they considered boys who either did or did not receive three doses of thimerosal-containing (1994–2000) or thimerosal-reduced (2001–2007) HepB vaccine in infancy (the “exposure”), defining the outcome as increased long-term risk of receiving special education services. They restricted their sample to boys because of males’ greater susceptibility to mercury toxicity.
For the subgroup born between 1994 and 2000, boys who received three doses of thimerosal-containing HepB vaccine were at a more than nine-fold significantly higher risk of receiving special education services compared to boys receiving no doses of HepB vaccine. Extrapolating to the US population as a whole, this means that almost 1.3 million US boys born from 1994-2000 received special education services directly attributable to receiving three doses of thimerosal-containing HepB vaccine—costing taxpayers over $180 billion. An earlier study by some of the same authors found that in the decade from 1991–2001, exposure to thimerosal-containing HepB vaccines in the first six months of life resulted in an estimated 0.5–1 million US children being diagnosed with learning disabilities, representing lifetime costs in excess of $1 trillion.
Vaccine-Induced Versus Natural Immunity
As noted, the WHO has strongly promoted universal HepB vaccination and particularly the initial birth dose. However, in India, which introduced the HepB vaccine around 2006, approximately three-fifths (61%) of women deliver at home rather than in a health facility, making it next to impossible for health providers to administer newborn vaccines. In recognition of these realities, the Indian government’s two-pronged policy is to give HepB vaccine at birth to the 39% of babies born in institutional settings but to otherwise administer the first dose at six weeks. About 45% of Indian children receive the birth dose (although the WHO wants to double that number); irrespective of timing, 86% of Indian children reportedly receive all three HepB doses. However, India is home to an estimated one-third of the world’s unvaccinated children, meaning that many children still do not receive any HepB vaccine at all.
A 2018 study published in the Indian Journal of Pediatrics took advantage of these ready-made comparison groups. The multiregional study (2013–2015) recruited children 1-5 years of age who were already having blood drawn and whose parents consented to hepatitis B testing (N=2,671). Three-fifths (59%) of the children had received at least three doses of HepB vaccine, and just over half of these (880/1566) had their first dose at birth. The research team considered several intriguing questions:
- Are there any differences in vaccine efficacy for the two HepB schedules (birth dose versus six-week dose)? After testing all samples for a marker of chronic hepatitis B infection, the investigators concluded that birth vaccination offered “no added protection”—lending support to the government’s “pragmatic” approach of waiting until six weeks to vaccinate babies born at home.
- What are the levels of protective antibodies in fully HepB-vaccinated children, and do they change over time or according to birth dose? The researchers measured antibodies in a subset of 865 children who had received three doses of HepB vaccine. Seven in ten (70%) had protective levels of antibodies—but 30% of fully HepB-vaccinated children did not [emphasis added]. Moreover, when the researchers considered the children’s age, they found that vaccine-induced protection waned rapidly and significantly, falling from 82% of under-one-year-olds to 47% of five-year-olds. Receiving a birth dose made no difference.
- What are the levels of protective antibodies in children who have not received any HepB vaccine? Finally, the researchers examined hepatitis B immunity in 370 children who had never received any HepB vaccine. Nearly half (45%) of non-HepB-vaccinated one-year-olds were naturally immune, and 29% still had antibody protection at age 5. The researchers credited these protective levels of antibodies to natural, passively acquired immunity from unvaccinated mothers.
The results of the two hepatitis B studies touch on many facets of the vaccine debate that the public health community is rarely, if ever, willing to discuss. These largely ignored topics include:
- The ongoing, adverse neurodevelopmental impact of toxic vaccine ingredients such as aluminum adjuvants and thimerosal, which is still present in annual flu shots, some meningococcal meningitis vaccines and the Td (tetanus-diphtheria) booster;
- The fact that economic and political factors—rather than vaccine effectiveness—are often key drivers of decisions about vaccine timing and schedules;
- The failure of HepB (and other) vaccines to reliably generate protective antibody levels in all fully vaccinated individuals—this phenomenon of impaired immunogenicity is a widely known “Achilles’ heel” of many vaccines; and
- The corresponding (and vastly underestimated) importance of natural immunity.
Regarding this latter point, the authors of the Indian HepB research, led by Dr. Jacob Puliyel, call attention to the “surprising” persistence of passively acquired hepatitis B antibodies in their own study population and in other studies. Pointing to studies of measles immunity, they note that mothers in highly measles-vaccinated communities have lower antibody levels and, therefore, far less ability to confer passive protection to their babies. This is because the measles vaccine “induces lower antibody levels than does natural infection and the antibody levels of vaccinated cohorts are no longer boosted by exposure to wild-type infection.” A study in the Czech Republic that compared 18-29-year-olds who were vaccinated and unvaccinated for mumps found that only 19% of vaccinated individuals in that age group had acquired immunity versus almost half (48%) of the unvaccinated, leading to the conclusion that only natural infection can lead to “long-term persistence of antibodies.” A growing number of studies also are indicating that prior exposure to natural infections such as measles and mumps may be health-protective later in life.
Back in 2003, Dr. Puliyel wrote a letter to the editor that questioned other researchers’ overestimation of the benefits of hepatitis B vaccination in terms of vaccine efficacy and cost per life-year saved. The letter concluded with a caution to guard against “overzealous” vaccine promotion. In the current climate of an ever-expanding vaccine schedule and hundreds more vaccines in the pipeline, those words of warning seem timelier than ever.
Johnson & Johnson Found To Have Knowingly Allowed Asbestos In Their Baby Powder
- The Facts:
Johnson and Johnson have recently lost lawsuits for negligence in knowingly allowing carcinogenic substances in their talc-based hygiene products.
- Reflect On:
Are we starting to turn the page on an era where human health and safety are not the prime considerations in the manufacturing of consumer products?
We are starting to awaken to the fact that it seems to be the rule, and not the exception, that large Western corporations put profits above human health considerations. The only time they seem to give any regard to human health concerns is when their forecasts of potential lawsuits down the road would likely exceed the cost measures needed to ensure the safety of their product.
Johnson & Johnson is just one of a long line of corporate perpetrators who believed that covering up and lying about known health concerns would make better business sense than taking the time and resources to actually address those health concerns within their products.
Contaminated Baby Powder: The Height Of Indignity
One would think, regardless of an understanding that the bottom line is a priority for most private companies, that the health and safety of a nursing mother and her newborn child would be sacrosanct for any industry. The reality is that this is simply not the case, even though J&J could have mitigated this problem from the start.
Companies that mine talc are required to take extra steps to ensure the absence of asbestos in their talc. Instead, J&J allegedly went to great lengths to fake it.
Not only did the company know about the asbestos contamination, evidence suggests, but J&J also failed to warn its customers about the link between Baby Powder and cancer or replace its talc with a safer alternative. As a result, J&J guaranteed its customers’ exposure to asbestos.
The Testimony of Scientist James Webber
Baby Powder’s contamination with asbestos (a mineral that naturally occurs near talc) has long been the subject of lawsuits. But only in recent years has evidence begun to unravel J&J’s defense – that the company had no idea – and threatened its success in lawsuits to come.
In March, a California jury awarded $29 million to Terry Leavitt, a woman who said that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-powder-based products caused her terminal mesothelioma. Environmental scientist James Webber testified in her high-profile California trial and made these observations:
During several hours on the stand, Webber explained how he ran tests that showed “clear” evidence of asbestos contamination in the mines from which J&J sourced talc.
“The testing I have seen [shows] that it was present at least as early as 1971 and up through the late 1990s,” said Webber, who ran an asbestos laboratory in New York state.
Despite denying it publicly, J&J had observed this contamination in internal memos. Its notes dismissed the amount of asbestos in its talc as “but a trace,” Webber alleged. But that was just an optimistic interpretation of superficial testing, he said: the tests used methods too weak to detect microscopic asbestos fibers. Webber insisted the actual tests results revealed there could be millions of asbestos fibers per gram of talc.
And J&J’s inaccurate reports were allegedly only the tip of the iceberg. In some instances, Webber said, photos attached to J&J’s reports revealed that “they had been seeing it and not reporting it.” (source)
And It’s Getting Worse
The $29 million verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, was the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate facing more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide. And things may be getting even worse for J&J, according to ZeroHedge:
Johnson & Johnson shares are down over 5% after Bloomberg reports that, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether Johnson & Johnson lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder…
Now, a grand jury in Washington is examining documents related to what company officials knew about any carcinogens in their products, the people said.
It seems as though corporations have long been willing to take the calculated risk of short-cuts and denials instead of ensuring that their products are safe for public use. My suspicion is that a part of our collective awakening process will be issuing in a new business paradigm in which human health and safety become paramount.
Prescription Infant Formulas Found To Be Contaminated With Aluminum
- The Facts:
Multiple brands of prescription infant formula were found to contain high levels of aluminum.
- Reflect On:
Should we be questioning the quality of products that come from pharmaceutical production? Do we veer away from natural methods of raising children more than we should? At what cost?
You may not think aluminum is a big deal, but it is. For anybody who has looked into aluminum toxicology, it’s quite clear and apparent that it has no place inside of any living biological organism. Putting it simply, it wreaks havoc on our biology. High amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, with experts in the field believing that aluminum brain accumulation may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s also been discovered within the brains of MS patients, and some of the highest aluminum content ever recorded in brain tissue has also been discovered in people with autism. Aluminum is associated with several diseases. But an adult body can do a great job of flushing out aluminum.
Despite the fact that aluminum has no place within earth’s biota, it’s still present in many of our medications, our food, and even in the water that we drink due to contamination since the industrial revolution. Aluminum inside the body is a new phenomenon and still understudied. Again, there is a threshold, and aluminum that is injected via vaccines doesn’t exit the body–there is strong evidence that it remains inside the body and ends up in distant organs and eventually inside of the brain. If you want to access more studies on that topic, you can read this article I published that provides them and goes into more detail. You can also watch this interview with Christopher Exley, where he also points to that fact.
A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shown that multiple popular infant prescriptions are contaminated with aluminum. You may be asking how much aluminum, but the authors make it a point to stress that there are no safe amounts of aluminum levels that can be inside of a human body, let alone a newborn baby. That being said, the amounts found are listed within the abstract of the study:
Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium.
Another very important point made right off the bat by the authors:
Human exposure to aluminium is a serious health concern. Aluminium exposure in infants is understandably a burgeoning issue. While infant exposure to aluminium continues to be documented, its consequences, immediate and in the future, have received only scant attention and research is required to understand the biological availability of aluminium through formula feeding. For example, how much aluminium is absorbed across the neonate gut and its subsequent fate, including excretion.
There is already too much aluminium in infant formulas and herein we have measured its content in a large number of prescription formulas, products which are fed to vulnerable infants in their first months of life. Many of these products are heavily contaminated with aluminium.
As for the specific infant formulas, you can refer to the study. The researchers obtained 24 prescription infant formulas via the Paediatric Clinic of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, United Kingdom. The ready-to-drink and powdered products were new, ready-to-be used and unopened samples. These formulas are for babies with some sort of growth restriction, like for preterm infants or infants who have poor weight gain. There were also powdered formulas for allergies and intolerances and powdered formulas with additional amino acids.
The authors contacted each manufacturer and expressed that they denied knowing that there was any aluminum in their products, which means it’s still a mystery as to their source. The authors hypothesize on a number of ways that aluminum could be entering into the formulas.
In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that:
Where possible, breast milk feeding should be prioritised, as the aluminium content of breast milk is invariably an order of magnitude lower than in formula feeds. Where infant formulas are the only source of nutrition for many infants in their first weeks and months of life, aluminium ingested in formula feeds will be the major contributor to their body burden of aluminium. The last thing that vulnerable infants fed specialised formulas for their specific nutritional/medicinal need is additional aluminium in their diet.
There is a lot of information out there on how a person can detox from aluminum and other heavy metals. There are multiple studies, and based on what I’ve looked into, water with high amounts of Silica are effective in draining aluminum out of your body and brain. Herbs like cilantro and substances like chlorella and spirulina are also great for removing some metals. The information is out there, so be sure to do your research.
It’s concerning to think about what these corporations are doing. Again, aluminum should hold no place in our society, it should’ve remained well below our surface as part of the Earth’s crust for a reason. It wasn’t until humans began digging it out and using it for a number of things, irresponsibly I might add, that we started to see the health implications which still go largely ignored by the medical community.
In fact, heavy metal accumulation and detoxification of aluminum haven’t been addressed at all, which is odd given the fact that heavy metal accumulation is linked to a variety of diseases.
9 Studies You Should Be Aware of Before Trying The Ketogenic Diet
- The Facts:
The Ketogenic diet is a popular fad diet that promotes quick weight loss and symptom management for bodies that are dealing with poor lymph, kidney and digestion health.
- Reflect On:
Based on the studies that are emerging, is our desire for quick weight loss more important than living a long and healthy life? Are we learning about these diets primarily through those with strong ties to upholding these diets?
The ketogenic diet has popped up as a popular approach to weight loss in the last few years. Is it successful at that? Sure, it is. I’ve experimented with the diet myself years ago when I was looking to lose some belly fat. I was entering into ketosis in a different way than most, as I was not eating any animal products, but it does in fact work.
But like any animal product based diet, what are the consequences of eating so much food that does not truly jive with our human bodies? Not only that, is fast weight loss more important than keeping our morality rate down?
In the last few years, we’ve reported a lot on the Keto diet and the various ways it can be done. We have explored the studies, the results and in some ways, we supported it. But lately, I have been thinking about how supporting this could actually be encouraging people to jump into these diets, including the paleo diet, when in reality these diets increase mortality rates and are not healthy for the human body.
It became a thought in the back of my mind, I have always strived to put the best information out that I can through this platform to promote good health. And so we must look at that, even if that means upsetting some people who currently are on paleo or keto and are seeing some good weight loss or symptom management. The truth is, like the many people I’ve seen crash on these diets after a few years, I want people to know the truth of what’s going on out there. And how we can get beyond diets that symptom manage, and instead get onto diets that truly heal.
Anytime we have fad diets, which paleo and keto are, we see products and bias pop up all over the place to support the continuation of these trends. It becomes less about health and more about upholding an identity or a business.
So as I recently looked into what experts are saying about these diets, I came upon two important videos I think everyone should check out. Both have been embedded below. Remember, it’s not that I care what you choose in your own life, or that I feel there is a right or wrong, it’s that I believe we should be informed and I wish to use this platform to promote as best a message as I can.
Thanks to Plant-Based News for creating such a good channel and resource of information on YouTube.
In this video, several plant-based health experts talk through 9 nutrition studies that would be of interest to low carb keto diet proponents. To read the 9 studies, click here.
Next up, Dr. Kim Williams (past President of the American College of Cardiology) shares his insights about the ketogenic.
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