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Why Flying Should Come With A Health Warning

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This article posted here with permission, from Greenmedinfo.com. For more news from them, you can sign up for their newsletter here

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Did you know that the air you breathe on a commercial airliner comes directly from the engine, complete with engine oil, lubricants and hydraulic fluid? A new study confirms the link between contaminated cabin air and aerotoxic syndrome. Learn what you can do to protect yourself and your family.

If you don’t feel well after air travel, it might be more than simple jet lag. From the parking garage to the baggage carousel, your body undergoes a fusillade of toxic assaults. You may eat toxic food, drink toxic water, and touch contaminated surfaces—and then your body is bombarded by body scanners, Wi-Fi and cosmic radiation.

On top of all that, the air in the airplane is toxic.

For six decades, the airline industry has turned a blind eye to the adverse health effects of contaminated cabin air. Since warm air is needed for both engine propulsion and human respiration, aircraft manufacturers decided decades ago to combine the two by bringing air through the engine to heat it, then bleeding it directly into the cabin—unfiltered. This air brings with it a toxic mix of engine oil, lubricants, and various hydrocarbons. As noted by US Attorney Alisa Brodkowitz, the only air filters are the lungs of passengers and crew.

Modern aircraft have no chemical sensors—save for the noses of the humans onboard. Background levels of contamination are sometimes but not always detectable by smell, and not all incidents are recorded in flight logs or reported to aviation authorities.

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Engine oils leak into the air supply, by design. Their chemical signature is regularly found in aircraft cabins and cockpits. Repeated exposures have created a new occupational disease called “Aerotoxic Syndrome” suffered by pilots, flight attendants and other crew—and unfortunately, some passengers as well. Extensive evidence confirms that frequent exposures are occurring, and health and flight safety are being compromised.

The role bleed air plays in the reported illnesses has been the subject of much debate, but a study recently published by the World Health Organization (WHO) provides solid evidence that contaminated cabin air is making people sick. The study took an in-depth look at the effects of “contaminated air events” (aka fume events) on the health of aircrew to determine whether reported symptoms are consistent with exposure to pyrolysed (decomposed due to heating) jet engine oil and other fluids, or if the symptoms could be attributed to other factors. Researchers concluded the following:[i]

A clear cause and effect relationship has been identified linking the symptoms, diagnoses and findings to the occupational environment. Recognition of this new occupational disorder and a clear medical investigation protocol are urgently needed.

A Flying “Gas Chamber”

Exposure to extreme temperatures produces a wide range of toxic compounds. Jet exhaust, and therefore cabin air, are tainted with petrochemicals, carbon monoxide, ozone, benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, deicing agents, hydraulic fluid—and even fecal matter and pesticides.[ii][iii] [iv] In terms of Aerotoxic Syndrome, the most significant players appear to be the organophosphates, which will be my focus in this article.

All aircraft engines leak oil. Jet engines require synthetic oils for lubrication, and these oils contain chemicals such as tricresyl phosphate (TCP), which contains several compounds, one of which is tri-ortho-cresyl phosphate (TOCP). TCP is an organophosphate with known neurotoxic effects in the same category as sarin gas. TCP and other noxious agents are sometimes odorless—so you may not know you’re inhaling them, which makes them all the more dangerous.[v] According to the WHO study:

Transient, low-level oil leakage over the engine oil seals into the aircraft air supply occurs during normal flight operations, with less frequent, higher level leakage under certain operational conditions (e.g. seal wear or seal failure). The use of pressurized air from the engine compressor to both seal the oil-bearing chamber and supply cabin bleed air provides a mechanism for low-level oil leakage in routine engine operations.

While many experts have suggested that oil leakage is associated only with rare failure events, others now recognize that chronic exposure is caused by the so-called tiny amounts of oil vapors released by oil leaking continuously over the seals during engine power changes.

Most medical practitioners are unaware of Aerotoxic Syndrome. Sufferers are misdiagnosed with a variety of other illnesses that miss the root of the problem and result in inappropriate treatments. The prime suspect for Aerotoxic Syndrome is TCP, which is found in 25 to 100 percent of in-flight air samples.[vi]TBP (tributyl phosphates) are found in 73 percent of flights, and triphenyl phosphate metabolites have been found in 100 percent of urine samples.

It is believed the primary effects of TCP come from its disruptions of acetylcholine metabolism. Acetylcholine is a natural neurotransmitter found in your central and peripheral nervous system. Neurotransmitters normally have a short half-life because they are rapidly degraded by enzymes, preventing their build-up. When organophosphates in bleed air impede the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, the resulting increase in acetylcholine overstimulates acetylcholine receptors, giving rise to central and peripheral nervous system symptoms.

High TCP exposure is known to cause neuropathy, paralysis, and damage to myelin sheaths, similar to what happens with multiple sclerosis. Symptoms can present immediately or be delayed by a couple of weeks, with varying severity. Symptoms can be triggered by higher-dose episodes (fume events), as well as low level exposures associated with routine air travel. Even the smallest dose can produce symptoms in susceptible individuals, depending on factors such as previous exposure history, genetics, age, overall health and ability to detox. Chronic effects are common.

The relationship between toxic inhalants and reported symptoms has been difficult to establish for a number of reasons. Another problem is that toxicants cause a wide range of symptoms that are not always easy to connect to exposure, made even more challenging if the effects are delayed.

Aerotoxic Syndrome symptoms can mimic other conditions such as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), mold toxicity, chronic infections, drug reactions, “sick building syndrome,” chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS)—making identification a challenge. Many aerotoxicity victims describe feeling like “zombies” or perpetually intoxicated.

Medical investigation of Aerotoxic Syndrome should focus on organophosphate poisoning, as many of its symptoms are typical of poison-induced neurological injuries. Aerotoxic Team provides a list of jet fluid compounds that have been detected in crews’ body fluids, and these specific compounds should be included in any lab analysis for toxic exposures, along with the more common toxins (pesticides, heavy metals, etc.). There is also a specialized hair analysis kit that checks for organ contamination from jet-oil TCP and five compounds, also available through the Aerotoxic Team website.[vii] The test must be performed within three to four months of exposure.

The ten most common acute and chronic health effects noted in the WHO study are listed below.

1.    Breathing problems

2.    Impaired cognition, memory and performance

3.    Headaches

4.    Vision problems

5.    Nausea

6.    Fatigue

7.    Nerve problems

8.    Dizziness

9.    Cardiovascular

10. Cold/flu like feelings

An Epidemic of Underreporting

All current transport aircraft use the bleed air system to provide cabin ventilation, except for the newest airliner, the Boeing 787. Boeing’s “Dreamliner” incorporates bleedless technology using fresh air drawn in through inlets at the wing roots. You might think this would be a great selling point for Boeing’s new jet—but they do not feature the airliner’s “clean air design” in its marketing copy. Why?

Bringing attention to this feature would shine the spotlight squarely on the widespread air quality problems characterizing all of its OTHER aircraft. There are about 19,000 airliners currently in operation, and just over 280 are 787’s. Based on that statistic, we can conclude that only about 1.5 percent of transport aircraft are safe to fly.

The fact that Boeing redesigned the 787’s ventilation represents a tacit acknowledgment of the industry-wide problem of contaminated air and is one step toward a permanent solution. However, the vast majority of aircraft are still in the technological dark ages, with public awareness of health risks only starting to emerge.

Jet engine chemicals are routinely found in the blood of pilots.[viii] As I’m sure you would agree, compromising the neurological fitness of pilots should be taken as seriously as a mechanical defect in the plane—after all, pilots are essential to keeping our planes safely in the air. It is inexcusable for the industry to continue ignoring this problem.

It will be consumers and non-governmental advocacy organizations, such as those listed at the end of this article, that will force the industry and its regulators to make this issue a priority. If just one airline in this country took measures toward addressing the problem, it would see huge support by an increasingly educated consumer base—and that’s you and those with whom you share this article! Short of redesigning existing aircraft, the Aerotoxic Association proposes the following solutions:[ix]

  • As bleed air is not presently filtered, installation of bleed air filtration systems would eliminate the problem, although a technically efficient system has not yet been developed.
  • The French oil company NYCO has developed a less toxic formulation, which has recently been introduced to the EasyJet aircraft fleet—a step in the right direction.
  • Chemical sensors to detect contaminated air in the bleed air supply would alert pilots to a problem allowing for prompt intervention, as confirmed by a 2017 study.[x]

Until the airlines implement some greatly-overdue changes, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from exposure to toxic inhalants when you fly. At the top of the list is wearing an appropriate mask.

Travel Masks Can Be a Lifesaver for Your Family

There are many kinds of masks on the market that can protect you from air pollution. The Aerotoxic Association has a page about masks specifically geared for airline travel, with the following guidelines:[xi]

If you are looking for a small, foldable mask with good protection you should always check out the technology they use. It should also indicate for which particulates, VOC’s, type of fumes, smoke, gas etc. the specific mask is good for, and that it has an “activated carbon” filter within.

They recommend Cambridge Mask Co., which offers masks with the correct filtration technology in five different sizes, from infants on up. Cambridge masks are soft and foldable and meet the NIOSH N99 standard for filtration, which means filtration of 99 percent of particulates, 99.6 percent of viruses and 99.8 percent of airborne bacteria—so you will also receive some protection from those uninvited pathogens that can hitch a ride home in your respiratory tract.

Cambridge Mask Co. is affiliated with the Aerotoxic Team, so when you purchase from them you are also supporting the important work this organization is doing for the cause. To order, please visit the mask page on the Aerotoxic Team website—and make sure to add the code AEROMASK at checkout to receive a 10 percent discount.[xii] Many people report that these masks run small, so keep that in mind when you order.

It’s worth noting that aircraft drop-down oxygen masks are used only for cabin decompression—pilots do not drop them in the event of smoke or fumes in the cabin. These deliver 50 percent oxygen and 50 percent cabin air so they are of little use during a fume event.

Other Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones When Flying

In addition to wearing a mask, keep in mind the following:

1.    Stay well hydrated before and during a flight by drinking plenty of pure water (filtered water from home or bottled water, not airline water).

2.    Avoid departing in an exhausted or stressed state as that may compromise your immune system.

3.    Adjust overhead air vents so the flow is directed away from you; if you suspect a fume event, turn the vent off immediately.

4.    Many people coughing on a flight may indicate an air contamination problem.

5.    Report unusual smells or visible smoke to the flight crew and ask them to alert the captain. The smell of these fumes has been described as wet dog-like, dirty socks, burning oil or electrical. You can file a fume event report online or using this QR code, if you have a smart phone.

Additional Resources

For more information about this issue, the following resources and organizations may be helpful.

·         Global Aerotoxic Team[xiii]

·         Information for passengers[xiv]

·         Toxic Free Airlines: protocols, fume reporting guidelines and forms, informational handouts and more[xv]

·         Facebook pages: Flightoxic International,[xvi] Global Aerotoxic Team,[xvii] Toxic Free Airlines,[xviii] Aerotoxic Association[xix]

·         Exposure to Aircraft Bleed Air Contaminants Among Airline Workers: A Guide for Healthcare Providers[xx]

·         Documentary by 60 Minutes Australia (free)[xxi]

·         Documentary: “Angel Without Wings”[xxii]

·         Documentary: “Unfiltered Breathed In: The Truth About Aerotoxic Syndrome”[xxiii]

Air travel has many associated risks, and contaminated air is probably the least well known. You can protect yourself by exercising a few basic precautions, such as wearing a mask. Raise awareness about this important issue! Share this article with your friends and family, and educate other passengers as the opportunities arise. Write to airline and aviation regulators insisting that toxic air detectors be fitted to all passenger jets, and encourage others to do the same.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Aerotoxic Team for their contributions to this article, and for spearheading the movement toward toxic-free air on all aircraft, on behalf of passengers and crew worldwide.


References

[i] S Michaelis, J. Burdon, and V. Howard, “Aerotoxic Syndrome: A New Occupational Disease?” Public Health Panorama June 2017; 3(2): 141-356, http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/341533/5_OriginalResearch_AerotoxicSyndrom_ENG.pdf, accessed July 14, 2017.

[ii] C Winder and JC Balouet, “Aerotoxic Syndrome: Adverse Health Effects Following Exposure to Jet Oil Mist During Commercial Flights,” Aerotoxic Association, June 10, 2014, http://aerotoxic.org/information/reports-and-evidence/aerotoxic-sydrome-adverse-health-effects-following-exposure-jet-oil-mist-commercial-flights/, accessed July 14, 2017.

[iii] SC Herndon et al., “Hydrocarbon emissions from in-use commercial aircraft during airport operations,” Environmental Science and Technology 2006; 40(14):4406-4413, http://www.ce.cmu.edu/~gdrg/readings/2006/07/18/HerdonAirportEmissions.pdf, DOI10.1021/es051209l, accessed July 20, 2017.

[iv] “3. Health Effects of JP-5, JP-8, and Jet Fuels,” Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC), pages 23-143; https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp121-c3.pdf, accessed July 21, 2017.

[v] “Triorthocresyl Phosphate,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 11, 2016, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0642.html, accessed July 14, 2017.

[vi] S Michaelis, “Implementation of the Requirements for the Provision of Clean Air in Crew and Passenger Compartments Using the Aircraft Bleed Air System.” Cranfield University Master’s Thesis, June 2015, http://www.susanmichaelis.com/pdf/2016_Susan%20Michaelis_MSc%20Cranfield-Clean%20air%20requirements%20using%20bleed%20air%20system.pdf, accessed July 14, 2017.

[vii] Hair Test Kit, http://www.aerotoxicteam.com/laboratory.html, accessed July 20, 2017.

[viii] “German scientists find dangerous gas in plane cabins,” The Local, February 16, 2016, https://www.thelocal.de/20160216/german-scientists-find-dangerous-gas-in-plane-cabins, accessed July 14, 2017.

[ix] “What is Aerotoxic Syndrome?” Aerotoxic Association, http://aerotoxic.org/about-aerotoxic-syndrome/, accessed July 14, 2017.

[x] BW Jones et al., “The nature of particulates in aircraft bleed air resulting from oil contamination,” 2017 ASHRAE Winter Conference Papers, LV-17-C046, http://www.aerotoxicteam.com/uploads/6/0/3/8/6038702/jones_et_al_nature_of_particulates_in_oil_contaminated_bleed_2017.pdf, accessed July 21, 2017.

[xi] “Protect yourself,” Aerotoxic Association, http://aerotoxic.org/protect-yourself-2/, accessed July 14, 2017.

[xii] “Protection on Board from Contaminated Cabin Air,” Global Aerotoxic Team, http://www.aerotoxicteam.com/protect-yourself-with-masks.html, accessed July 20, 2017.

[xiii] Global Aerotoxic Team official website http://www.aerotoxicteam.com.

[xiv] “Information for Passengers,” Global Aerotoxic Team, http://www.aerotoxicteam.com/passenger-info.html.

[xv] “Files for download,” Toxic Free Airlines, http://toxicfreeairlines.com/index.php/files.

[xvi] Flightoxic International Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/flightoxicinternational/.

[xvii] Global Aerotoxic Team, https://www.facebook.com/aerotoxicsyndrome/.

[xviii] Toxic Free Airlines, https://www.facebook.com/ToxicFreeAirlines/?hc_ref=SEARCH.

[xix] Aerotoxic Association, https://www.facebook.com/AerotoxicAssociation/.

[xx] R Harrison et al., “Exposure to Aircraft Bleed Air Contaminants Among Airline Workers,” Toxic Free Airlines, http://www.toxicfreeairlines.com/images/stories/medicalprotocolforhcp2008.pdf, accessed July 14, 2017.

[xxi] Australia13i8ia, “Toxic Flyer,” YouTube, December 09, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvdmK0toSCo, accessed July 14, 2017.

[xxii] Vimeo, “Angel Without Wings,” December 21, 2014, https://vimeo.com/ondemand/angelwithoutwings, accessed July 20, 2017.

[xxiii] Vimeo, “Unfiltered Breathed In: The Truth About Aerotoxic Syndrome,” November 22, 2016, https://vimeo.com/ondemand/unfilteredbreathedin?utm_source=email&utm_medium=vod-rentalexpire-201602&utm_campaign=29548, accessed July 14, 2017.

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Awareness

Updates On The New Coronavirus Vaccine – Are You Going To Take It? Will It Be Mandatory?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple companies have started clinical trials and testing of potential vaccines for the new coronavirus.

  • Reflect On:

    Vaccine hesitancy is at an all time high, will the coronavirus be mandatory, and what will be the penalty for those who refuse?

Special Note To Our Readers: We are concerned that our Facebook Page will be deleted, so we are encouraging all those who want to continue to receive and be able to find our content to sign up for our email list. Thank you. 

The coronavirus is taking the world by storm, and many pharmaceutical companies are in a race to develop the vaccine that will be put into circulation for the public. Obviously, it takes some time to develop a vaccine, usually just over a year, but there have been some initiatives put in place to potentially fast-track the coronavirus vaccine. We will have to wait and see.

As of now, media outlets are reporting on multiple developments. For example, tests in mice of a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus have shown that it does indeed induce an immune response against it, at levels that could possibly prevent infection. According to Global News,

A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States said they were able to move quickly in developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine after working on other coronaviruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Forbes is reporting that the second phase of human trials for a new vaccine from Moderna may start this spring. Moderna’s cofounder and chairman Noubar Afeyan told CNBC that, while it’s challenging to put a timetable on the vaccine’s progress, “We expect [phase two trials] to happen in the spring, perhaps early summer.”

The second phase involves expanding to hundreds of people in different groups based on certain characteristics like age and physical health. The third phase is potentially the last with the vaccine being given to thousands of people to test its efficacy and safety. Many vaccines also go through a fourth phase after they’ve been approved and licensed.

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And President Donald Trump had this to say:

We’re working with the best scientists, doctors and researchers anywhere in the world, we’re racing to develop new ways to protect against the virus, as well as therapies, treatments, and ultimately a vaccine and we’re making a lot of progress. (source)

The Big Questions

So, it seems to be coming. The big questions are: When? Will it be mandatory? Will You Take it?

According to organizations like the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy continues to increase among people, parents, and yes, even health professionals and scientists. The latter was a big concern for some high-profile speakers at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit.

No longer a secret, challenging vaccine safety has become a very popular topic over the past few years alone. In fact, the World Health Organization lists ‘vaccine hesitancy’ as one of the biggest threats to global health security. This is discussed in the introduction of this study (one of many) published in the journal EbioMedicine:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science (Larson et al., 2011). These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services (Group, 2014,Larson et al., 2014Dubé et al., 2013). VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

This fact has been emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced by the authors in the study above.At the WHO conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider, and if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

So, the point is, vaccine hesitancy is increasing around the world. Given this fact, it’s safe to say that many people are not going to be interested in taking the coronavirus vaccine. This includes many scientists and doctors. Will it be mandatory as some vaccines are for children to attend public school?

The Greater Good?

The vaccine space right now is truly something else at the moment. Those who wish to maintain their freedom and keep informed consent in place are receiving a harsh backlash from Federal Health regulatory agencies who wish to take this freedom away, it seems, in the name of the ‘greater good.’

Scientists and doctors who are creating awareness and explaining why they don’t believe vaccines should be mandatory, or as safe as they’re marketed to be, receive a large amount of pushback and censorship. Platforms like Collective Evolution are having their social media platform distribution and reach completely cut. Physicians for Informed Consent is another one of many examples.

Because of all of the attacks and censorship of our ability to discuss vaccine safety concerns, the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons are suing Rep. Adam Schiff for “censoring vaccine debate.” You can read more about that here.

Again, we ourselves have also received a tremendous amount of backlash, demonitizaton and more as a result of sharing peer-reviewed research and expert opinion that questions the safety of vaccines.  There are many examples, the latest one being presenting the work of Dr. Christopher Exley, a Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University. In our article, we explained why he believes aluminum is playing some sort of role in Autism. And no, he doesn’t mean that aluminum is directly causing autism, we made that quite clear. We also presented multiple other studies questioning the safety of the aluminum adjuvant in some vaccines. You can read that article here.

Why are we being censored for presenting such science? Why are scientists like Exley subjected to so much character assassination when his questions, concerns, and science is solid? This CE article about Exley was flagged by ‘fact-checkers’ as false news, despite the fact that it is scientifically sound and simply presents the opinion and research of multiple scientists and experts.

Since when is science supposed to stop asking certain questions? What was actually ‘false’ about the article cannot be adequately explained, and perhaps this is why Facebook or the fact checkers will not reply to us nor even have a discussion about it. They’ve simply flagged the article, one of many, and greatly reduced the reach of our social media platform without replying to our inquiries. We go into more detail about what we and others are experiencing, in the article Proof: Fact Checkers Are Misleading You.

We are actually worried that Facebook may delete our entire Facebook page, so we are encouraging all those who want to continue to receive and be able to find our content to sign up for our email list.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, I didn’t want to go too deep into the issues that are being brought up with regards to vaccine safety, as much as I wanted to outline that a coronavirus vaccine is coming, while simultaneously pointing out that vaccine hesitancy is still on the rise. This combination no doubt will spark even more controversy and censorship in the near future, when really, there should be full transparency of all sides and the concerns raised.

Terms and  ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax” should not be used. Encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety is in everyone’s best interest.  After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. That’s just good science.

These times also highlight how much trust the public has lost when it comes to trusting government and federal health regulatory agencies. Perhaps this is not a result of misinformation, but a shift in consciousness and so many examples of lies and deceit. Our world is starting to question measures and actions like it never did before. People are waking, people are thinking, people are becoming much more intelligent, not the other way around.

Articles From Collective Evolution That Go Into More Detail About The New Coronavirus.

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Awareness

The “Inconvenient Truth” About Mental Illness & Prescription Medications

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Prescription drug sales and deaths are at an all time high. With side effects and dangers, and a lack of safety testing in some cases, are they always the best and only option for mental health treatment?

  • Reflect On:

    Why are alternative treatments for mental health lacking? Is it because they are not as effective as prescription medication or do not turn a profit?

A worrisome trend has emerged in the last few decades that many physicians are choosing to ignore: As the amount of psychiatric drug prescriptions increase, our mental health declines. It’s time we swallow the hard pill and ask ourselves, are psychiatrists doing more harm than good?

I know that, to some of you, this question seems absurd. Why would licensed medical practitioners purposefully harm their patients? But that isn’t really what’s happening here, as the issue relates more to the over-prescription and misuse of mental health drugs, and the corporately funded miseducation that prompts this behaviour, than any malicious intentions on the part of individual people.

The “Inconvenient Truth” About Mental Illness and Prescriptions

In 2013, approximately 17% of Americans were prescribed at least one mental health drug, in comparison to only 10% in 2011. The amount of people on psychiatric prescription drugs has drastically increased over the past 10 years and now 12% of adult Americans are taking some form of antidepressants alone (source).

It’s not just adults affected by the over-prescription of these drugs; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11% of children between the ages of 4 and 17 were diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. However, the American Psychiatric Association maintains that even though only 5% of American children suffer from the disorder, the diagnosis is actually given to around 15% of American children. This number has been steadily rising, jumping from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007. The simple reason for this increase? Profit.

However, despite the fact that the number of mental health drugs prescribed increases every year, our mental health has actually decreased. The amount of people who are considered to be so disabled by mental illness that they require Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has increased by almost two and a half times between 1987 and 2007, from one in 184 Americans to one in seventy-six. Not surprisingly, the rise in the number of children affected by this is even worse, with a thirty-five-fold increase in that same timeframe (source). So, if the number of prescriptions are increasing, why is our mental health declining?

This phenomenon is what Thomas Insel, former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, refers to as the “inconvenient truth” of mental illness. Suicide rates per 100,000 people have reached a 30-year high and substance abuse, especially with opiates, has become a national epidemic.

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Edmund S. Higgins, MD and Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, explains, “More people are getting treatment and taking medications today than ever before, so what is going on? I would argue that a lack of precision and objectivity in diagnosing and treating mental illness has stalled our progress.” Furthermore, Big Pharma has played a crucial role in creating the mental health drug epidemic.

Big Pharma’s Role in Increasing Prescriptions

This seems to be the general consensus of the North American population: If an advertisement or a misinformed MD says, “There’s a pill for that,” you take it. Our reliance on pharmaceutical drugs didn’t form by accident, however; it was carefully planned and funded by Big Pharma. The pharmaceutical industry manufactured it by heavily advertising drugs, bribing physicians, and funding health studies.

Big Pharma has done an excellent job of feeding the public propaganda through advertisements and education, as the more pills you take, the more money they make. The pharmaceutical industry has played a substantial role in increasing the amount of prescriptions and overall diagnoses of A.D.H.D. in the U.S. (read an article I wrote about this here) and other mental health illnesses. As Dr. Irwin Savodnik of UCLA explains, “The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry.”

Doctors typically use the knowledge from the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnose and treat mental illness. But the DSM has had its fair share of criticism, as it favours the use of pharmaceutical drugs over therapy and other healing modalities. Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report Daniel J. Carlat, M.D, criticized the DSM, stating, “In psychiatry, many diseases are treated equally well with medication or therapy, but the guidelines tend to be biased toward medication.”

Holistic mental health practitioner Dr. Tyler Woods further explains:

The DSM tends to pathologize normal behaviors. For instance, the label “Anxiety Disorder” can be given as a result of some kinds of normal and rather healthy anxieties but the DSM will have experts view it and treat it as mental illness. In addition simple shyness can be seen and treated as “Social Phobia”, while spirited and strong willed children as “Oppositional Disorder”. Consequently, many psychotherapists, regardless of their theoretical orientations, tend to follow the DSM as instructed. (source)

In fact, Big Pharma has played a significant role in manufacturing our very definitions of mental illnesses and how they form in the first place. For example, the U.S. considers A.D.H.D. a neurological disorder whose symptoms are the result of biological disfunction or a chemical imbalance in the brain, much like many other mental disorders. However, other countries such as France see these mental disorders, including A.D.H.D., as a social context issue rather than a biological one, with many contributing factors and recommended treatments other than drugs. Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician, author, and the Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, states:

When it was found that psychoactive drugs affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain, as evidenced mainly by the levels of their breakdown products in the spinal fluid, the theory arose that the cause of mental illness is an abnormality in the brain’s concentration of these chemicals that is specifically countered by the appropriate drug. For example, because Thorazine was found to lower dopamine levels in the brain, it was postulated that psychoses like schizophrenia are caused by too much dopamine. . . .

That was a great leap in logic . . . It was entirely possible that drugs that affected neurotransmitter levels could relieve symptoms even if neurotransmitters had nothing to do with the illness in the first place (and even possible that they relieved symptoms through some other mode of action entirely).

Why Pills Cannot Solve All of Our Problems

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take prescription medication for mental illness; that’s something that you and your doctor should decide. However, if your doctor fails to address any other means of dealing with your mental health, always choosing pills first rather than as a last or even second resort, then perhaps you should think about finding a doctor who understands the benefits of at least considering alternative options.

It’s important to note that even if prescription drugs are the reason our mental health is worsening, they’re certainly not the only reason. We’ve increased our amount of time spent using technology, staying indoors, and being sedentary, as well as worsened our diets and overall physical health with fast food, chemicals, toxins, animal products, and more — all of which may contribute to this decline in mental health.

However, there’s no denying the fact that Big Pharma has had a tangible and worrisome role in the psychiatric drug epidemic. Medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker addresses this “inconvenient truth” by using depression as an example. Depression used to be considered a self-limiting illness that, even in severe situations where a patient requires hospitalization, could be cured within six to eight months. Very rarely would patients relapse, and if they did it would typically be many years later.

When antidepressants hit the market, our outlook on depression completely shifted. Even though antidepressants may have been created with good intentions, the reality is that patients taking these drugs are relapsing more quickly and more often. Whitaker explains that many patients on antidepressants will only recover partially in comparison to the full recoveries he’s seen in people who never took them in the first place.

In fact, only around 15% of those treated with antidepressants actually go into remission and maintain their mental health long-term. The other 85% are continuously relapsing or experience chronic depression.

It is clear that in many cases, we need to stop looking for outside help when it comes to our mental health. Our mental health is just that — it’s ours. It’s controlled by us, whether we like it or not. Many mental illnesses don’t stem from biological issues, contrary to what Big Pharma wants you to think, but are rather the result of different stressors in our lives. So, if we were able to connect with ourselves on a deeper level and actually get to the root of the problem, perhaps some of these disorders wouldn’t be so severe.

Related CE Content:

Study Finds Turmeric Is As Effective As Prozac For Treating Depression

Almost No Children In France Are Medicated For ADHD: Here’s How They Define & Treat It

Professor Outlines The “Surprisingly Dramatic” Role That Nutrition Plays In Treating & Curing Mental Illness

Picture source. 

 

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Awareness

Fact-Checking The Fact Checkers About Coronavirus & Vitamin C Treatment – Is It Really “Fake News”?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The idea that vitamin C can have some potential in treating and preventing the new coronavirus is being invalidated and even labelled as 'fake news' by some. If this was true, why are clinical trials for intravenous vitamin C underway in China?

  • Reflect On:

    Can we rely on our medical system to provide the best possible solutions, or will profit always come first? How much trust have they lost among the general population over the years?

An article published by LiveScience, a mainstream science website, states that “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus.” Mainstream media has been attacking the idea that vitamin C could have some potential to prevent or even treat the new coronavirus. This rhetoric follows statements that have come out from government health regulatory agencies. Take Health Canada, for example, who recently tweeted that there are no natural health products “that are authorized to protect against” the new coronavirus. They go on to state that “any claims otherwise are false.”

This is a problem that’s plagued our world since the introduction of the mainstream medical industry. Arnold Seymour Relman, a former Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal, states this problem clearly: 

“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.” (source)

The question people need to be asking is, where does government loyalty lie? Perhaps it’s with the industry that spends two times more than any other lobby in congress. This is why nothing can be used as a treatment, for any disease, unless it’s patented and presented to us by a pharmaceutical company. “Alternative” treatments are always branded as ‘fake’ and even ‘dangerous’.

Vitamin C Trials and Treatment

This recent coronavirus outbreak might provide the latest insight into this matter. Going back to the statement above from LiveScience that states “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus”: if this is really the case, then why would China start multiple clinical trials to examine whether or not intravenous vitamin C can be helpful in treating people with coronavirus?

The article in LiveScience did not acknowledge this originally, but they added an update stating that researchers at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University had launched a clinical trial with 140 patients in February to test whether ultrahigh doses of vitamin C, delivered intravenously, could treat the viral infection more effectively than a placebo. The test group will receive infusions twice a day for seven days, with each infusion containing 12g of vitamin C. (The daily recommendation for an adult man is only 90mg.) The trial will be completed in September, and no results are yet available, according to ClinicalTrials.gov.

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That being said, Dr. Richard Cheng, MD, has been updating everyone via his YouTube channel about vitamin C treatment cases out of China. We have been covering his updates as he is in direct contact with this treatment and isn’t simply an armchair scientist at the moment. We feel at this time this is a very important detail as he is seeing and hearing results first hand, not simply theoretically. Dr. Cheng is a US board-certified anti-aging specialist. He claims that vitamin C is now in the Shanghai Government treatment plan.

Dr. Cheng was paramount in bringing high-dose vitamin C to the table as part of potential treatment and prevention measures. Unfortunately in the West, this option is still being denied by much of mainstream media and governments are not talking about it. Instead, it’s fear and chaos which we do not feel helps anyone to stay healthy or get better.

According to Cheng, 50 moderate to severe cases of Covid-19 infection were treated with high-dose IVC. Dosing of IVC ranged from 10,000 – 20,000 mg a day for 7-10 days, with 10,000 mg for moderate cases and 20,000 for more severe cases. The first bit of good news was that all patients who received IVC improved and there has been no mortality. Secondly, as compared to the average of a 30-day hospital stay for all Covid-19 patients, those patients who received high dose IVC had a hospital stay of about 3-5 days shorter than the other patients.

In one particularly severe case where the patient was deteriorating rapidly, an extra dose of 50,000 mg IVC was given over a period of 4 hours and it caused the patient’s pulmonary (oxygenation index) status to stabilize and improve as the critical care team observed in real time. You can watch all of the updates from Cheng via his Youtube Channel.

Related CE Articles: Good Coronavirus News: High Dose Vitamin C Shows Good Results In China Hospital

How To Take Vitamin C Orally. It MAY Help Protect Against Viruses

Enjoy This Free Conscious Breathing Course To Bring Peace & Heightened Immunity

So, at the very worst we can officially say that we don’t know, but there are some positive signs thus far, which again, is obvious due to the fact that they would even begin a clinical trial, and the explanation as to why such a hypothesis exists is explained within the clinical trial website listed earlier. To say that it’s false or extremely unlikely is, in fact, the false news.

Looking For Some Vitamin C?

For anyone looking for a high-quality vitamin C, we have been using and recommending liposomal vitamin C. There are many brands out there. We are using this one from PuraThrive as it is very high quality and has an incredible clinically proven absorption rate.

The Takeaway

Is it really safe and truthful to make the claim that “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus”? This is the rhetoric we’ve been hearing from mainstream media sources for quite a while, and articles posted on social media providing evidence that it may show some promise are being flagged by fact checkers as fake news. Again, if it was extremely unlikely, why use so many resources that are required to start a clinical trial in the first place? Why are we getting a completely different perspective from an MD in China that’s providing the world with updates? These are important questions to ask, as this example simply highlights one of the biggest problems that plagues the mainstream medical industry, which is a complete denial of the potential of natural treatments. Because these treatments cannot be patented and turned a profit, they are ridiculed, ignored and brushed off.

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You can stream conscious media 24/7 and enjoy mind-expanding interviews, original shows, and documentaries and guided programs.

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