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1 Out of Every 9 Children Have Serious Adverse Reactions To The DTaP Vaccine: New Statistics

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study from the CDC, among many others, have found that 1 in 9 children have serious adverse reactions to the DTaP Vaccine, and yet they are labelling this as not a concern...

  • Reflect On:

    Why have so many studies come out showing that the science is not clear on vaccine safety, yet they are heavily marketed as one of the safest "medications" out there? Why is it Taboo to question vaccine safety?

Until the 1990s, the vaccine administered to children for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis protection was the DTP vaccine, one of the first combination vaccines ever licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, as a “whole-cell” vaccine (meaning that it contained the entire Bordetella pertussis organism rather than purified components), DTP had a significant downside—including published safety concerns dating back to the 1930s and widespread reports of neurological damage emanating from both the United States and other countries. By 1991, the Institute of Medicine cautiously reported that the evidence was “consistent with a possible causal relation between DTP vaccine and acute encephalopathy” [brain disease].

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Characterized pertussis prevention as ‘an unresolved problem,’ nothing the ‘progressive increase’ in pertussis incidence after introduction of the acellular vaccines and the need for even more boosters

To pacify a concerned public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised a phase-out of the whole-cell vaccine around 1991, while promoting an “acellular” version called DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis). By 1997, the switch had taken place for all five doses in the series, recommended for infants and children at two, four, six and 15-18 months and 4-6 years. In the two decades since the changeover, however, the DTaP vaccine has been plagued by embarrassingly low effectiveness. A 2018 article characterized pertussis prevention as “an unresolved problem,” noting the “progressive increase” in pertussis incidence after the introduction of the acellular vaccines and the need for ever more boosters. Another recent commentary flatly stated that “pertussis is…not under control in any country” and that new types of pertussis vaccines are needed.

Nonetheless, on the safety front, health authorities have regularly praised the DTaP vaccines as offering a safer alternative than their whole-cell predecessors. Is this reputation for safety well-deserved? CDC researchers writing in June 2018 in Pediatrics seem to think so—but a closer reading of their findings suggests otherwise.

Examining DTaP’s track record

For their study, the CDC researchers assessed over two decades’ worth of data (1991–2016) from the CDC- and FDA-administered passive surveillance system called VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System), examining adverse events (AEs) reported to VAERS following vaccination with one of five currently licensed DTaP vaccines (see table). The five vaccines included two DTaP-only vaccines (approved for the full five-dose series of shots) and three combination vaccines (approved for some portion of the DTaP series). The combination formulations in question included DTaP plus hepatitis B vaccine (HBV), inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and/or Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine.

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The researchers used several methods to consider DTaP vaccination risks, including 1) compiling all “serious” and “non-serious” adverse events reported to VAERS in association with the five vaccines over the designated time period; 2) clinically reviewing all deaths reported to VAERS following DTaP vaccination; 3) reviewing a subset (5%) of “non-death serious reports”; and 4) running an automated search of reported anaphylaxis following DTaP vaccination.

Not so safe

The analysis of VAERS reports identified tens of thousands of AEs (N=50,157) in the aftermath of a DTaP-containing vaccine. (A single VAERS report may include more than one AE, so the adverse event categories are not mutually exclusive.) VAERS, by the federal government’s own admission, captures only about 1% of AEs; thus, the 50,000-plus AEs probably vastly underrepresent the number of real-world DTaP-related vaccine injuries.

The study’s results illustrate the heavy burden of vaccines to which children in the U.S. are subjected. For about 88% of the VAERS reports analyzed, children received the DTaP vaccine concurrently with one or more other vaccines, even though the five types of DTaP vaccine in and of themselves already constitute potent combinations. Researchers who have looked at the number of vaccines administered at well-child visits have pointed out that American infants receive more vaccines in their first year than infants anywhere in the world.

…many vaccines (including DTaP) are administered in bundles at health care visits around two and four months—exactly when nine out of ten SIDS deaths occur.

Roughly one in nine (11.2%) of the reported AEs were coded as serious, and 15% of all serious AEs were deaths (844/5,627). (If one were to average these deaths over the 26 years from 1991 through 2016, this would represent over 32 deaths annually.) Of note, the investigators’ perusal of death certificates, autopsy reports and medical records showed that the reported cause for nearly half of the deaths (48.3%) was sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), nearly always in children under six months of age. Although the researchers dismiss the possibility of a causal relationship between vaccination and SIDS, evidence from other corners is strongly suggestive of just such a link. In fact, it strains credulity to deny a plausible connection: many vaccines (including DTaP) are administered in bundles at health care visits around two and four months—exactly when nine out of ten SIDS deaths occur.

Serious but non-fatal AEs cited in 10% to 35% of all VAERS reports included systemic symptoms such as pyrexia (fever), vomiting, seizures/convulsions, diarrhea, lethargy and hypotonia (muscle weakness). Anaphylaxis occurred far less frequently, but most reported anaphylactic reactions arose quickly—within 30 minutes of vaccination. Seizures were the fourth most common serious AE reported. Other studies have detected a heightened risk of febrile seizures when children receive DTaP simultaneously with other vaccines. Febrile seizures are not benign (as once thought), which makes the frequency of post-DTaP seizures concerning.

The authors do not explain why they counted pyrexia as both a serious and nonserious AE, but it accounted for one in five of the latter. As a potential sign of drug allergy and an indicator of a “systemic inflammatory response to a stimulus such as infection,” pyrexia and its prominence are noteworthy. Back in 2004, other CDC researchers commented on the difficulty of ascertaining “the true importance of fever as an [adverse event following immunization]” and noted a lack of clarity regarding “how to interpret fever data derived from vaccine safety trials or immunization safety surveillance.”

What the study leaves out

Although the CDC authors noted that their analysis excluded Quadracel, the most recently approved combination DTaP-IPV vaccine (licensed in 2015), they curiously do not explain why they omitted several other licensed DTaP vaccines that were in widespread use during the time period in question:

  • The Tripedia vaccine (manufactured by Connaught, which through a series of mergers became Aventis Pasteur and later Sanofi Pasteur) was approved as a fourth and fifth DTaP dose in 1992, 1996 and 2000; in 2001, Aventis Pasteur reformulated Tripedia and the FDA approved it for all five doses.
  • Acel-Imune (manufactured by the now-defunct Lederle Laboratories) was approved for the fourth and fifth DTaP doses in 1991 and, in 1996, for the full five-dose series.
  • The Certiva DTaP vaccine (made by North American Vaccine Inc., which was acquired in 2000 by Baxter International Inc.) was licensed in 1998 for doses one through five.

The authors also neglect to mention that all five DTaP vaccines included in their review contain one or more neurotoxic aluminum adjuvants, along with formaldehyde and polysorbate 80, a stabilizer for which information on potential chronic health effects is “not available.” The Tripedia vaccine that the study excluded featured both aluminum and the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal. Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia included “idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea.” By excluding these other acellular DTaP vaccines, the CDC study underestimates the magnitude of DTaP-related adverse reactions still further.

Weighing the risks

The CDC authors wrap up their assessment of DTaP vaccine safety with the boilerplate pronouncement that their analysis “did not identify any new or unexpected safety issues.” Parents might disagree, wondering whether it makes sense to expose their child to a not-insignificant risk of serious DTaP-related injury when the risk of diphtheria is virtually non-existent in the U.S. (zero cases in 2016) and the risk of tetanus is likewise minuscule. (Tetanus, in any event, is non-communicable.)

… pertussis incidence has steadily increased (not decreased) in the U.S. since 1980, despite high vaccine coverage.

Evaluating the risks of pertussis infection versus pertussis vaccination in different age groups is somewhat more complex but requires admitting up front that pertussis incidence has steadily increased (not decreased) in the U.S. since 1980, despite high vaccine coverage. Discussing the problem of waning immunity, a 2012 study reported that “after the fifth dose of DTaP, the odds of acquiring pertussis increased by an average of 42% per year.” In fact, the track record for whole-cell and acellular pertussis-containing vaccines shows that both are fraught with problems. Back in 1993, researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine observed that a pertussis epidemic in Cincinnati had “occurred primarily among children who had been appropriately immunized” with the whole-cell vaccine. The same pattern of pertussis outbreaks in fully vaccinated populations has occurred with the acellular vaccines. A related but underacknowledged problem is the role of vaccinated individuals as asymptomatic carriers and reservoirs of infection for vulnerable infants. Finally, some researchers have suggested that pertussis vaccination may result “in selection of more virulent strains that are more efficiently transmitted by previously primed hosts.” Specifically, the acellular vaccines only contain B. pertussis antigens “that hold little or no efficacy against B. parapertussis,” which is another causative agent of pertussis infection; researchers concluded in 2010 that acellular vaccines “interfere with the optimal clearance of B. parapertussis” and may “create hosts more susceptible to B. parapertussis infection.”

Whether one focuses on safety or effectiveness, it is apparent that simplistic slogans and Pollyanna attitudes are no help in evaluating vaccine risks and benefits. Ultimately, it should be up to parents—not CDC researchers biased against a fair consideration of risks—to make their own informed vaccine decisions.

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Awareness

Long-Term Consequences of Mumps Vaccination: Many Unanswered Questions

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This is Part II of a two-part series on mumps. Part I discussed how mumps vaccination and the flawed mumps component of Merck’s MMR vaccine are fostering dangerous mumps outbreaks in adolescents and young adults.

It has been about five decades since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Merck’s first mumps vaccine. The company began launching combination MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines in the 1970s. Coincidentally—or not—an infertility crisis has been brewing over roughly the same time period, with dramatic declines in sperm counts and record-lowfertility levels. However, few investigators seem interested in assessing whether mumps outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations of teens and young adults could be having long-termeffects on fertility or other health indicators.

As described in Part I, childhood MMR vaccination has been an unmitigated disaster where mumps is concerned, deferring mumps infection to older ages and leaving adolescents and young adults vulnerable to serious reproductive complications. Public health reports show that the vast majority of mumps cases and outbreaks occur in youth who have been fully vaccinatedwith the prescribed two-dose MMR series, supporting a hypothesis of “waning immunity after the second dose.” FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials even admitthat mumps outbreaks in the post-vaccination era “typically involve young adults,” and that vaccination is failing to protect those who are college-age and above.

Myopically, many vaccine experts have called for a third MMR dose—or even “booster dosing throughout adulthood”—even though the FDA’s and CDC’s own research shows that MMR boosters in college-age youth barely last one year. As alleged in whistleblower lawsuits wending their way through the courts over the past eight years, Merck presented the FDA with a “falsely inflated efficacy rate” for the MMR’s mumps component, using animal antibodies and other fraudulent tactics to fool FDA—and the public—into believing that the vaccine was effective.

When infection arises after puberty, however, mumps is no laughing matter, presenting an increased risk of complications such as hearing loss, encephalitis and inflammation of the reproductive organs.

Mumps after puberty is no laughing matter

Around the time that the first mumps vaccine came on the market, the 1967 children’s classic The Great Brain humorously depicted mumps infection in childhood as a mere nuisance. The book’s young protagonist goes out of his way to intentionally infect himself with mumps so that he can beat his two brothers to the recovery finish line—and he experiences no adverse consequences other than his siblings’ annoyance.

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When infection arises after puberty, however, mumps is no laughing matter, presenting an increased risk of complications such as hearing loss, encephalitis and inflammation of the reproductive organs. About one in three postpubertal men with mumps develops orchitis(inflammation of the testes), which can damage sperm, affect testosterone production and contribute to subfertility and infertility. During a mumps outbreak in England in the mid-2000s, mumps orchitis accounted for 42% of all hospitalized mumps cases; the researchers attributed this outcome—which was the most common reason for hospitalization—to “the high attack rates in adolescents and young adults” that occurred “despite high coverage with two-dose MMR.” An analysis of a 2006 mumps outbreak in the U.S. reported that male patients were over three times more likely than female patients to experience complications, “due primarily to orchitis.”

An estimated 5% to 10% of postpubertal women will develop oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) following mumps infection. Oophoritis is associated with premature menopause and infertility, but mumps-related oophoritis has garnered little notice.

Mumps infections are often asymptomatic or produce nonspecific symptoms such as fever, while cases of orchitis may present with no other mumps symptoms. Nonetheless, public health officials advise clinicians that orchitis is an instant cue to test for mumps virus, and testing often reveals elevated mumps antibodies. In a case report of MMR failure, British clinicians isolated a novel genetic strain of mumps virus from the patient’s semen two weeks after the onset of orchitis and found mumps RNA in the semen 40 days later; they also noted “the appearance of anti-sperm antibodies,” with “potential long-term adverse effects on the patient’s fertility.”

In 2017, researchers who reviewed 185 studies conducted in Western nations found that sperm counts had plummeted by 50% to 60% between 1973 and 2011—an average decrease of 1.4% annually. Commenting on this work, one analyst estimated that 20% to 30% of young men in Europe and North America have sperm concentrations associated with a reduced ability to father a child. Given estimates that as much as 40% of reproductive problems have to do with the male partner, there is agreement on the importance of “finding and eliminating [the] hidden culprits in the environment” that most researchers believe are to blame.

An estimated 5% to 10% of postpubertal women will develop oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) following mumps infection. Oophoritis is associated with premature menopause and infertility, but mumps-related oophoritis has garnered little notice.

MMR’s and MMRV’s potential to impair fertility never studied

Merck has not evaluated either of its two MMR vaccines—the MMR-II and the MMR-plus-varicella (MMRV) vaccine—for their potential to impair fertility. Whether such testing would unearth direct effects on fertility (as appears to be possible with HPV vaccination in women) is thus unknown. However, mumps vaccination undeniably increases reproductive-age individuals’ risk of mumps infection and, in the process, increases the risk of fertility-altering complications. These facts alone should be attracting far more attention.

Unfortunately, because clinicians already tend to underdiagnose mumps infection and underestimate mumps complications, it is likely that they are failing to recognize possible vaccine-induced reproductive health consequences of mumps infection in their adolescent and young adult patients. In one university outbreak, “most physicians…did not suspect mumps,” and even when they became aware of the outbreak, “diagnosing mumps was not always straightforward.” Moreover, although differentiating between vaccine strains of mumps virus and wild types could provide valuable information, few clinicians have the capacity or inclination to perform testing of this type. A Japanese study of cerebrospinal fluid and saliva from patients with mumps complications found vaccine strain in nearly all of the samples and noted the information’s importance in helping determine whether the complications were vaccine-related.

Those who have sought to understand mumps vaccines’ poor performance point to a mixture of explanatory factors. These include waning immunity, the high population density and close quarters encountered in settings such as college campuses, incomplete vaccine-induced immunity to wild virus as well as viral evolution such that “the vaccine triggers a less potent reaction against today’s mumps viruses than those of 50 years ago.” However, some also quietly admit that individuals with “mild vaccine-modified disease” could be perpetuating the chain of transmission. This latter point ought to be raising questions about the logic and wisdom of administering further rounds of MMR boosters during outbreaks while ignoring the problems created by the doses already given.

… some individuals respond poorly to mumps vaccination and vaccine-induced antibody levels correlate poorly with protection from mumps infection, irrespective of the number of additional doses of mumps-containing vaccine they receive.

Most scientists appear to be either resigned to ongoing mumps outbreaks in vaccinated populations or actually accept periodic outbreaks as the cost of doing business. Publications by FDA and CDC researchers reveal these agencies’ awareness that some individuals respond poorly to mumps vaccination and that vaccine-induced antibody levels correlate poorly with protection from mumps infection, “irrespective of the number of additional doses of mumps-containing vaccine they receive.” Considering the effects on fertility, the generally abysmal track record of mumps vaccination and Merck’s fraudulent claims about efficacy, it is hard to fathom medical and public health experts’ complacency about current mumps vaccines and vaccine policies.


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Alternative News

Legal Challenge Against Forced Vaccination Filed in New York City

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On April 15, 2019, a legal challenge was filed in the New York State Trial Court by Robert Krakow, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Patricia Finn against the New York City Department of Health and Human Hygiene for their forced Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccination. The legal team asked for a temporary restraining order against the mandate that the Judge will likely review and provide an ex parte decision. Children’s Health Defense is supporting these efforts.

Last week, Children’s Health Defense reported that the NYC Commissioner of Health declared a public health emergency, ordering all people who live, work or reside in four Brooklyn zip codes to be vaccinated with the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine. Non-compliance with the order is a misdemeanor subject to criminal and civil fines, including imprisonment. Only those with documented immunity, medical contraindications or infants under six months are exempt from the vaccine mandate.

READ THE PETITION
READ THE MEMORANDUM OF LAW
READ THE AFFIRMATION

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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Awareness

Magnesium Puts Psychiatric Drugs to Shame for Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo.com where this article first appeared. Posted here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Is the priority of our federal health regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies human health, or profit? If there are more effective ways to treat several illnesses, why do they never mention them?

Depression is one of the most widely diagnosed conditions of our time, with over 3 million cases in the U.S. every year, and 350 million believed affected worldwide.1 Conventional medicine considers antidepressant drugs first-line treatments, including the newly approved injected postpartum drug costing $34,000 a treatment, to the tune of a 16 billion dollars in global sales by 2023. Despite their widespread use, these drugs are fraught with a battery of serious side effects, including suicidal ideation and completion — the last two things you would hope to see in a condition that already has suicidality as a co-morbidity. For this reason alone, natural, safe, and effective alternatives are needed more than ever before.

While research into natural alternatives for depression is growing daily — GreenMedInfo.com’s Depression database contains 647 studies on over 100 natural substances that have been studied to prevent or treat depression — it is rare to find quality human clinical research on the topic published in well-respected journals. That’s why a powerful study published in PLOS One titled, “Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial,” is so promising. Not only is magnesium safe, affordable, and easily accessible, but according to this recent study, effective in treating mild-to moderate symptoms of depression.

While previous studies have looked at the association between magnesium and depression,2-7 this is the first placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate whether the use of over-the-counter magnesium chloride (248 mg elemental magnesium a day for 6 weeks) improves symptoms of depression.

The study design was a follows:

“ An open-label, blocked, randomized, cross-over trial was carried out in outpatient primary care clinics on 126 adults (mean age 52; 38% male) diagnosed with and currently experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms with Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) scores of 5–19. The intervention was 6 weeks of active treatment (248 mg of elemental magnesium per day) compared to 6 weeks of control (no treatment). Assessments of depression symptoms were completed at bi-weekly phone calls. The primary outcome was the net difference in the change in depression symptoms from baseline to the end of each treatment period. Secondary outcomes included changes in anxiety symptoms as well as adherence to the supplement regimen, appearance of adverse effects, and intention to use magnesium supplements in the future. Between June 2015 and May 2016, 112 participants provided analyzable data.”

The study results were as follows:

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“Consumption of magnesium chloride for 6 weeks resulted in a clinically significant net improvement in PHQ-9 scores of -6.0 points (CI -7.9, -4.2; P<0.001) and net improvement in Generalized Anxiety Disorders-7 scores of -4.5 points (CI -6.6, -2.4; P<0.001). Average adherence was 83% by pill count. The supplements were well tolerated and 61% of participants reported they would use magnesium in the future. Similar effects were observed regardless of age, gender, baseline severity of depression, baseline magnesium level, or use of antidepressant treatments. Effects were observed within two weeks. Magnesium is effective for mild-to-moderate depression in adults. It works quickly and is well tolerated without the need for close monitoring for toxicity.”

 For perspective, conventional antidepressant drugs are considering to generate an “adequate or complete treatment response” with a PHQ-9 score “decrease of 5 points or more from baseline.” At this level of efficacy, their recommended action is: “Do not change treatment; conduct periodic follow-up.” The magnesium’s score of -6.0 therefore represents the height of success within conventional expectations for a complete response, which is sometimes termed “remission.” In contradistinction, conventional antidepressant drugs result in nearly half of patients discontinuing treatment during the first month, usually due to their powerful and sometimes debilitating side effects.8

To summarize the main study outcomes:

  • There was a clinically significant improvement in both Depression and Anxiety scores.
  • 61% of patients reported they would use magnesium in the future.
  • Similar effects occurred across age, gender, severity of depression, baseline magnesium levels, or use of antidepressant treatments.
  • Effects were observed within two weeks.

 The study authors concluded:

“Magnesium is effective for mild-to-moderate depression in adults. It works quickly and is well tolerated without the need for close monitoring for toxicity.”

Beyond Depression: Magnesium’s Many Health Benefits & Where To Source It

Magnesium is a central player in your body’s energy production, as its found within 300 enzymes in the human body, including within the biologically active form of ATP known as MG-ATP. In fact, there have been over 3,751 magnesium binding sites identified within human proteins, indicating that it’s central nutritional importance has been greatly underappreciated.

Research relevant to magnesium has been accumulating for the past 40 years at a steady rate of approximately 2,000 new studies a year. Our database project has indexed well over 100 health benefits of magnesium thus far.  For the sake of brevity, we will address seven key therapeutic applications for magnesium as follows:

  • Fibromyalgia: Not only is magnesium deficiency common in those diagnosed with fibromyalgia, 9,10 but relatively low doses of magnesium (50 mg), combined with malic acid in the form of magnesium malate, has been clinically demonstrated to improve pain and tenderness in those to which it was administered.11
  • Atrial Fibrillation: A number of studies now exist showing that magnesium supplementation reduce atrial fibrillation, either by itself, or in combination with conventional drug agents.12
  • Diabetes, Type 2: Magnesium deficiency is common in type 2 diabetics, at an incidence of 13.5 to 47.7% according to a 2007 study. 13 Research has also shown that type 2 diabetics with peripheral neuropathy and coronary artery disease have lower intracellular magnesium levels. 14 Oral magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce plasma fasting glucose and raising HDL cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes.15 It has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects.16
  • Premenstrual Syndrome: Magnesium deficiency has been observed in women affected by premenstrual syndrome.17 It is no surprise therefore  that it has been found to alleviate premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention, 18 as well as broadly reducing associated symptoms by approximately 34% in women, aged 18-45, given 250 mg tablets for a 3-month observational period.20 When combined with B6, magnesium supplementation has been found to improve anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms.19
  • Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: Low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.21 There are a wide range of ways that magnesium may confer its protective effects. It may act like a calcium channel blocker,22it is hypotensive,23 it is antispasmodic (which may protect against coronary artery spasm),24 and anti-thrombotic.25 Also, the heart muscle cells are exceedingly dense in mitochondria (as high as 100 times more per cell than skeletal muscle), the “powerhouses” of the cell,” which require adequate magnesium to produce ATP via the citric acid cycle.
  • Migraine Disorders: Blood magnesium levels have been found to be significantly lower in those who suffer from migraine attacks.26,27 A recent Journal of Neural Transmission article titled, “Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium,” pointed out that routine blood tests do not accurately convey the true body magnesium stores since less than 2% is in the measurable, extracellular space, “67% is in the bone and 31% is located intracellularly.”28The authors argued that since “routine blood tests are not indicative of magnesium status, empiric treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers.” Indeed, oral magnesium supplementation has been found to reduce the number of headache days in children experiencing frequent migranous headaches,29and when combined with l-carnitine, is effective at reducing migraine frequency in adults, as well.30
  • Aging: While natural aging is a healthy process, accelerated aging has been noted to be a feature of magnesium deficiency,31especially evident in the context of long space-flight missions where low magnesium levels are associated with cardiovascular aging over 10 times faster than occurs on earth.32 Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reverse age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans.33 One of the possible mechanisms behind magnesium deficiency associated aging is that magnesium is needed to stabilize DNA and promotes DNA replication. It is also involved in healing up of the ends of the chromosomes after they are divided in mitosis.34

 It is quite amazing to consider the afformentioned side benefits of magnesium consumption or supplementation within the context of the well-known side effects of pharmaceutical approaches to symptom

management of disease. On average, conventional drugs have 75 side effects associated with their use, including lethal ones (albeit sometimes rare). When considering magnesium’s many side benefits

and extremely low toxicity, clearly this fundamental mineral intervention (and dietary requirement) puts pharmaceutical approaches to depression to shame.

Best Sources of Magnesium In The Diet

The best source of magnesium is from food, and one way to identify magnesium-containing foods are those which are green, i.e. chlorophyll rich. Chlorophyll, which enable plants to capture solar energy and convert it into metabolic energy, has a magnesium atom at its center. Without magnesium, in fact, plants could not utilize the sun’s light energy.

Magnesium, however, in its elemental form is colorless, and many foods that are not green contain it as well. The point is that when found complexed with food cofactors, it is absorbed and utilized more efficiently than in its elemental form, say, extracted from limestone in the form of magnesium oxide.

 The following foods contain exceptionally high amounts of magnesium. The portions described are 100 grams, or a little over three ounces.

  • Rice bran, crude (781 mg)
  • Seaweed, agar, dried (770 mg)
  • Chives, freeze-dried (640 mg)
  • Spice, coriander leaf, dried (694 mg)
  • Seeds, pumpkin, dried (535 mg)
  • Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened (499 mg)
  • Spices, basil, dried (422 mg)
  • Seeds, flaxseed (392 mg)
  • Spices, cumin seed (366 mg)
  • Nuts, brazilnuts, dried (376 mg)
  • Parsley, freeze-dried (372 mg)
  • Seeds, sesame meal (346 mg)
  • Nut, almond butter (303 mg)
  • Nuts, cashew nuts, roasted (273 mg)
  • Soy flour, defatted (290 mg)
  • Whey, sweet, dried (176 mg)
  • Bananas, dehydrated (108 mg)
  • Millet, puffed (106 mg)
  • Shallots, freeze-dried (104 mg)
  • Leeks, freeze-dried (156 mg)
  • Fish, salmon, raw (95 mg)
  • Onions, dehydrated flakes (92 mg)
  • Kale, scotch, raw (88 mg)

 Fortunately, for those who need higher doses, or are not inclined to consume magnesium rich foods, there are supplemental forms commonly available on the market. Keep in mind, for those who wish to take advantage of the side benefit of magnesium therapy, namely, its stool softening and laxative properties, magnesium citrate or oxide will provide this additional feature.

For those looking to maximize absorption and bioavailability magnesium glycinate is ideal, as glycine is the smallest amino acid commonly found chelated to magnesium, and therefore highly absorbable.

For more information on natural solutions to resolving depression, download our free e-book on the topic “21st Century Solutions to Depression.” 

References:

1) World Health Organization. Depression fact sheet no. 369 2012 [cited 2016 December 20]. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/.

2) Jacka FN, Overland S, Stewart R, Tell GS, Bjelland I, Mykletun A. Association between magnesium intake and depression and anxiety in community-dwelling adults: the Hordaland Health Study. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2009;43(1):45–52. Pmid:19085527.

3) Huang JH, Lu YF, Cheng FC, Lee JN, Tsai LC. Correlation of magnesium intake with metabolic parameters, depression and physical activity in elderly type 2 diabetes patients: a cross-sectional study. Nutrition J. 2012;11(1):41. pmid:22695027; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3439347.

4) Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. J Am Board Fam Med. 2015;28(2):249–56. Pmid:25748766

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Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.


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