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Scientist Replies To The Medical Industry’s False Claims About Aluminum Safety

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Aluminum.org is a pro-aluminum industry website. It even lists an Aluminum Caucus. This is a look into their list of “myths” about the safety of aluminum product they promote to see if their claims pass the proof-by-Pubmed test.

  • Reflect On:

    With all of the science clearly contradicting the medical and aluminum industry's claims of safety, how are they still able to approve the use of aluminum in our medications? It makes to sense, especially from a scientific standpoint.

By: James Lyons-Weiler, CEO/Director, The Institute for Pure and Applied KnowledgeCHD Contributing Writer

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“Myth” #1: Exposure to aluminum causes Alzheimer’s Disease

Aluminum.org Claim: “Aluminum is not linked to Alzheimer’s disease, the cause (or causes) of which is unknown. In the words of the Alzheimer’s Association, ‘The research community is generally convinced that aluminum is not a key risk factor in developing Alzheimer’s disease.’

The World Health Organization has also concluded that “there is no evidence to support a primary causative role of aluminum in Alzheimer’s disease.’”

JLW’S ANALYSIS: It is highly odd to see the Alzheimer’s Association and the World Health Organization describing a type of consensus that there is no role for aluminum as a primary cause in Alzheimer’s disease for one simple fact: amyloid, the gunk that gums up the brain in Alzheimer’s dementia, is part aluminum. In fact, this has been known since 1985 [1].

…when the substance IS the condition, no level of epidemiological evidence will overrule the direct finding of the substance at the site of the disease manifestation.

So why and how could these organizations claim that aluminum does not play a primary causal role? The most likely explanation is the use of incorrect science and/or focus on the incorrect level of evidence. When a substance is co-localized to the site of condition, that’s pretty strong evidence that is play some role in the process – even if it is an inhibitory role, it’s still a role. But when the substance IS the condition, no level of epidemiological evidence will overrule the direct finding of the substance at the site of the disease manifestation.

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Examples include asbestos and various lung conditions. Asbestos fibres are extremely small; the most dangerous are <2 microns. When you breathe asbestos fibre in, the fibres remain in lung tissue for a long time and cause scarring and inflammation, leading to pleural plaques, widespread pleural thickening, pleural effusion, asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma [2].

Another example is the CDC’s use of the finding of the Zika virus in one brain of an aborted fetus with microcephaly to conclude that the Zika virus induces microcephaly. Dr. Anthony Fauci of US NIAID proclaimed that the finding was the “strongest evidence yet” that Zika was the cause of microcephaly in Brazil in 2015. However, oddly, although the incidence of Zika infection in Brazil increased with the mosquito season in 2016, there was no corresponding uptick in microcephaly– and no study was conducted to seek a role of the use of whole-cell pertussis vaccination in the slums of Northeast Brazil where the microcephaly outbreak peaked. So, evidence at multiple levels should be considered in the assessment of causality.

Amyloid is, of course, universally recognized as key deposit in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. But what many people do not realize is that amyloid is produced in the bones, and as people age, their bone density reduces, and amyloid can be released. When it deposits in the brain, the compound (which is part aluminum), can lead to cerebral amyloid angiopathy, a condition in which blood vessels in the brain become coated and clogged with amyloid. This can lead to strokes and contributes to age-related dementia. So healthy bones are very important to reduce the amount of amyloid, and therefore aluminum, in the brain. Medium weight training is required as people age to keep bones strong.

The symptoms of severe acute aluminum exposure include cell death, meningitis, and dementia.

When aluminum itself enters the brain (and there is zero doubt that occurs [3-5]), it can have numerous effects. One, of course, is to serve as a building block by combining with amyloid precursor protein. Aluminum can also have nefarious influences on a brain cell’s ability to fold proteins properly, lead to disease condition in which cellular necrosis (seepage of oddly, improperly shaped proteins) can occur, wreaking havoc with intercellular signaling. The inflammasome can be activated, leading to the recruitment of intrinsic immunity cellular responses (including microglial activation[6]). It causes the release of cytokines, especially IL-6, which make the brain’s innate immune cells act as if nearby cells are under viral attack. The symptoms of severe acute aluminum exposure include cell death, meningitis, and dementia. Vaccine Papers has a good resource for studies on the effects of various forms of aluminum [7].

“Myth” #2: Aluminum present as an active ingredient in some antiperspirants leads to breast cancer.

Aluminum.org Claim: “Aluminum is not, nor has it ever been, classified as a carcinogen. Further, there is no convincing scientific evidence that aluminum-based antiperspirant use contributes to the development of breast cancer. Less than 0.02% of aluminum in contact with skin is taken up by the body, the rest being excreted in a very short time.”

“The American Cancer Society states “There are no strong epidemiologic studies in the medical literature that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, and very little scientific evidence to support this claim. In fact, a carefully designed epidemiologic study of this issue published in 2002 compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease. The researchers found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving.’”

JLW ANALYSIS: study by Linhart et al. (2017)[8] found that the use of aluminum-containing deodorant increased both aluminum content in breast tissue and breast cancer risk, confirming studies from as early as 2003 (McGrath 2003) [9]. A growing number of studies show that mammary epithelial cells cultured accumulate mutations when exposed to aluminum [10]. While the epidemiological literature is divided, it is surprising to see Aluminum.org provide only the single study that found no link, while two other studies, including one that pre-dated the study they did cite, do report increased tissue burden and increased risk of breast cancer.

Aluminum is becoming so ubiquitous that single source safety considerations are now obsolete.

“Myth” #3: Consuming aluminum in antacid pills can cause health problems.

Aluminum.org Claim: “Aluminum is poorly absorbed by the body. This means that most (at least 99.9%) of aluminum ingested from food and water merely passes through the digestive tract and out of the body. Several studies have found no adverse effects for those who have ingested even large quantities of aluminum-containing antacids from antacids…

Additional reassurance regarding aluminum’s safety can be derived from the fact that frequent users of oral antacids may consume very high quantities of aluminum (e.g. up to 1000 mg/day), several orders of magnitude higher than the intake from ordinary food and water intake, yet no adverse health effects have been demonstrated…

The Center for Disease Control’s Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry notes, ‘An extremely small amount of the aluminum found in antacids [is] absorbed [through ingestion].’ And further, ‘The FDA has determined that aluminum used as food additives and medicinals such as antacids are generally safe.’”

JLW Analysis: Now this is interesting, because Paul Offit of Children’s Hospital says that we get “far more” aluminum from diet than from vaccines. But we will come back that.

Aluminum.org is correct to say we absorb a tiny fraction of the aluminum we ingest. However, any dietary aluminum from one source has a cumulative effect from dietary aluminum from any other source. So, for example, cooking rhubarb in aluminum foil will lead to very high levels of ingested aluminum. Following that up with an antacid that contains aluminum adds to the total. Taking pills that contain aluminum in a carrier base also increases the dose. And then taking aluminum-containing vaccines at the same time increases the total aluminum compound dose even further. Aluminum is becoming so ubiquitous that single source safety considerations are now obsolete.

For a given day, a one-time exposure is probably not a concern for 130-lb woman or 1 180 lb-man. But in children, it’s a different story. Why? Body weight determines the toxicity of a dose. And while ATSDR looked at the effects of dietary aluminum, it is incorrect to say that studies found no ill effects. One key study (Golub et al., 1989) [11] in fact did report food intake problems (cyclic food intake, indicative of exposure to a toxin, or poison), in spite of being represented by the FDA as not finding any adverse reactions. Numerous other studies also showed that dietary forms of aluminum have adverse events (see accumulated list [12]).

The primary concern over aluminum toxicity are its whole-body accumulation, and its synergistic effect on the toxicity of other toxic chemicals in our environment – such as fluoride. A study by Kaur et al. in 2009 [13] found alterations in the neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) due to fluoride in rats, and that the changes were more pronounced in animals given fluoride and aluminum together. They reported that histological evidence showed “deprivation of neuronal integrity with higher magnitude in concurrent fluoride and aluminum exposure, as compared to fluoride alone” and they concluded that aluminum appears to enhance the neurotoxic hazards caused by fluoride.

“Myth” #4: It is dangerous to cook with aluminum pots and pans.

Aluminum.org Claim: “The Food and Drug Administration studied this issue in the early 1980s and reported no safety concerns from using aluminum cookware. More recently, the Center for Disease Control’s Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry reported that ‘foods cooked in aluminum pots are generally considered to be safe.’

An independent study by America’s Test Kitchen in 2012 found that “In lab tests … tomato sauce … cooked in an aluminum pot for two hours and then stored in the same pot overnight was found to contain only .0024 milligrams of aluminum per cup.” For the sake of comparison, according to the FDA, ‘the daily aluminum intake for man from all dietary sources can range from 10 to 100 mg per day.’ Consumption at this level is considered safe.”

JLW Analysis: The category “GRAS” is an archaic category based on no science, but rather a general assumption of safety applied to food additives based on information available prior to the 1960s (and before). As we know, we are living in an increasingly toxic environment; we do not live on our grandparent’s planet. But even absent concern with low doses of aluminum from pots and pans, any amount is cumulative to aluminum from other exposures. Since there are alternative materials, why take on further risk given that aluminum is becoming so ubiquitous?

Offspring showed growth retardation and somewhat delayed neurobehavioural development, which was consistent with maternal toxicity…

“Myth” #5: The aluminum salts used to clean municipal drinking water pose a danger to human health.

Aluminum.org Claim: “Virtually every municipal water purification system in the world uses aluminum salts to remove impurities and provide safe, healthy and accessible drinking water. The global public health benefits enabled by these systems are numerous and have prevented innumerable water-borne diseases.

Health Canada spent 10 years and millions of dollars studying this issue and concluded: ‘There is no consistent, convincing evidence that aluminum in drinking water causes adverse health effects in humans, and aluminum does not affect the acceptance of drinking water by consumers or interfere with practices for supplying good water.’”

JLW Analysis: Here we have a clearly misleading effort to cherry-pick not just from the scientific literature. The same report cited by Aluminum.org also reported:

An increase in pre-weaning mortality and a delay in weight gain and neuromotor development in surviving pups were reported in the offspring of albino Wistar rats given oral doses (in the diet) of aluminum chloride (equivalent to about 155 and 192 mg Al/kg bw per day) from day 8 of gestation through parturition… Neurotoxicity and weight loss were also reported in mouse dams fed a diet containing aluminum lactate at 500 or 1000 ppm from day 0 of gestation to day 21 postpartum.

Offspring showed growth retardation and somewhat delayed neurobehavioural development, which was consistent with maternal toxicity…

In a study in which pregnant rats were exposed to a 20% solution of Maalox (a stomach antacid) in tap water (approximately 3.2 mg Al/mL) from the second day of gestation, Anderson et al.205 found that offspring of aluminum-exposed dams showed significantly more aggressive responses, although the time spent on each aggressive response was less than in controls. Furthermore, the offspring of aluminum-exposed mothers showed a significantly longer latency period in the escape-training phase following a three-day period of exposure to non-avoidable shocks.

The report cited by Aluminum.org also included:

Several epidemiological studies have reported a small increased relative risk of AD associated with high aluminum concentrations in drinking water… All these studies have methodological weaknesses, but a true association between high aluminum concentrations in drinking water and dementia (including AD) cannot be ruled out, especially for the most elderly (e.g., over 75)…

According to a review by Doll… the evidence from several epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies suggests that aluminum is neurotoxic in humans but does not suggest that it causes AD. However, Doll… stressed that the possibility that aluminum does cause AD must be kept open until the uncertainty about the neuropathological evidence is resolved.

Aluminum in water can easily be avoided by consuming silica-rich mineral water, which is purported to help reduce total body burden of aluminum [14]

On Day 1 of life, infants receive 17 times more aluminum than would be allowed if doses were adjusted per body weight.

“Myth” #6: Aluminum contained in certain vaccines make them unsafe.

Aluminum.org Claim: “Aluminum salts have been used to improve the immune system’s response to vaccines for more than 70 years. Most of the small amount of aluminum used in the vaccinations is quickly expelled by the body. About half of the aluminum is gone in 24 hours; three-quarters is eliminated in two weeks and virtually all of it disappears within three years.”

“There are recent reports of a neurologic disease called macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF) suspected to be caused by injections of aluminum-containing vaccines. The role of aluminum in the mechanism of this disorder is unclear. The only known undesirable effects that are attributable directly to aluminium salts contained in vaccines are possible local inflammatory reactions, which in some cases are due to the speed of the injection of the vaccine or to insufficient agitation of the vial.”

“In 2008, the World Health Organization’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) stated: “From the most recent evidence, there is no reason to conclude that a health risk exists as a result of administration of aluminium-containing vaccines. Neither is there any good scientific or clinical basis for recommending any change in vaccination practice.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has concluded that the use of aluminum in vaccines is safe.”

JLW Analysis: Here we see the same abuse of logic that was used to argue that ethyl mercury from vaccines cleared quickly: the “gone” that Aluminum.org is referencing here are serum levels; there are precious few studies that examine whole-body elimination rates but Flarend et al. [15] found only 4.6% of aluminum left the body of rabbits after 28 days.

Calculations of the “safe” levels of aluminum by Mitkus et al. (the US FDA) [16] were based on myriad flawed assumptions, most importantly the use of dietary aluminum vs. injected vaccine forms of aluminum, on adult mice (instead of infant mice) to assess the safety of aluminum for use as injected forms in infant humans. But even then, we now know that their actual calculations were flawed exercises in a shell game: divide doses into three body compartments, use serum clearance rather than whole body clearance, and divide exposure by 365 days… and then the numbers look safe. We don’t need the numbers to just look safe. We need to know the safe levels of doses of injectable forms of aluminum using dose escalation studies. This was the conclusion of an extensive and careful IPAK analysis [17] which found these and other flaws and concluded that:

“On Day 1 of life, infants receive 17 times more aluminum than would be allowed if doses were adjusted per body weight.”

Regarding aluminum from vaccines and diet, Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia offers health care consumers a video on the webpage featuring Dr. Paul Offit, a CHOP employee claiming (quite incorrectly for infants up to six months of age) that we get far more aluminum from food and water, and anything made of water, than we would ever get from vaccines.

Again, IPAK’s analysis shows, considering body weight, that the information published on the CHOP website is incorrect, and, like Aluminum.org, is misleading consumers into a false sense of safety. This finding is consistent with that of Dorea and Marques [18].

IPAK Calculated Accumulations of Aluminum in Humans by Source. See report [19] for details and additional results. (mcg/kg = micrograms per kilogram cumulative body burden.)

Parents are being tricked by the CHOP website into bringing their infants to be exposed – repeatedly – to acute toxic doses of injected aluminum to accept a medical procedure and pharmaceutical product that is only assumed to be safe – not shown to be safe by science.

Studies now exist that show that aluminum is found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease – and studies exist that show that safe removal of aluminum via chelation is effective in reducing the symptoms of these and other conditions (19). The consumption of silica-rich mineral waters was found to increase urinary excretion of aluminum from patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) (20).  Reversal of a disease by removing a factor proves that factor is a key cause.

Therefore, I believe that both CHOP and Aluminum.org are committing fraudulent false advertising, and one or more class action suits against both should be taken up as soon as possible. The Aluminum.org webpage and the CHOP video spreading false and misleading information on aluminum safety must come down.

Citations

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC554575/
  2. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=29&po=9
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28159219
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3784951/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X17308763
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3784951/
  7. http://vaccinepapers.org/aluminum-inflammation-interleukin-6/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514401/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14639125
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5552203/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2755419
  12. http://vaccinepapers.org/the-foundation-for-al-adjuvant-safety-is-false/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19538017
  14. https://www.hippocraticpost.com/nursing/why-everyone-should-drink-silicon-rich-mineral-water/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9302736
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22001122
  17. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X17300950
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010978
  19. http://ipaknowledge.org/resources/IPAK_Aluminum_Flyer.pdf
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29128442
  21. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/758323/

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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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