- The Facts:
Vaccines can trigger autoimmunity with a laundry list of diseases to follow. With harmful and toxic metals as some vaccine ingredients, who is susceptible and which individuals are more at risk? A new study shows what they do to our immune system.
- Reflect On:
With so many scientists and publications emerging showing multiple concerns with vaccines, why are they marketed as completely life-saving and necessary when that's actually not the case?
Before you begin...
No one would accuse Yehuda Shoenfeld of being a quack. The Israeli clinician has spent more than three decades studying the human immune system and is at the pinnacle of his profession. You might say he is more foundation than fringe in his specialty; he wrote the textbooks. The Mosaic of Autoimmunity, Autoantibodies, Diagnostic Criteria in Autoimmune Diseases, Infection and Autoimmunity, Cancer and Autoimmunity – the list is 25 titles long and some of them are cornerstones of clinical practice. Hardly surprising that Shoenfeld has been called the “Godfather of Autoimmunology” – the study of the immune system turned on itself in a wide array of diseases from type 1 diabetes to ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis.
But something strange is happening in the world of immunology lately and a small evidence of it is that the Godfather of Autoimmunology is pointing to vaccines – specifically, some of their ingredients including the toxic metal aluminum – as a significant contributor to the growing global epidemic of autoimmune diseases. The bigger evidence is a huge body of research that’s poured in in the past 15 years, and particularly in the past five years. Take for example, a recent article published in the journal Pharmacological Research in which Shoenfeld and colleagues issue unprecedented guidelines naming four categories of people who are most at risk for vaccine-induced autoimmunity.
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“On one hand,” vaccines prevent infections which can trigger autoimmunity, say the paper’s authors, Alessandra Soriano, of the Department of Clinical Medicine and Rheumatology at the Campus Bio-Medico University in Rome, Gideon Nesher, of the Hebrew University Medical School in Jerusalem and Shoenfeld, founder and head of the Zabludowicz Center of Autoimmune Diseases in the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. He is also editor of three medical journals and author of more than 1,500 research papers across the spectrum of medical journalism and founder of the International Congress on Autoimmunology. “On the other hand, many reports that describe post-vaccination autoimmunity strongly suggest that vaccines can indeed trigger autoimmunity. Defined autoimmune diseases that may occur following vaccinations include arthritis, lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE) diabetes mellitus, thrombocytopenia, vasculitis, dermatomyosiositis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and demyelinating disorders. Almost all types of vaccines have been reported to be associated with the onset of ASIA.”
ASIA – or Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (also known as Shoenfeld’s syndrome) — first appeared in the Journal of Autoimmunology four years ago. It is an umbrella term for a collection of similar symptoms, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, that result after exposure to an adjuvant – an environmental agent including common vaccine ingredients that stimulate the immune system. Since then an enormous body of research, using ASIA as a paradigm, has begun to unravel the mystery of how environmental toxins, particularly the metal aluminum used in vaccines, can trigger an immune system chain reaction in susceptible individuals and may lead to overt autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease results when the body’s system meant to attack foreign invaders turns instead to attack part of the body it belongs to (auto is Greek for self). If the immune system is like a national defence system, antibodies are like drones programmed to recognize a certain type of invader (a bacteria say) and to destroy them or mark them for destruction by other special forces. Autoantibodies are like drones that are misidentifying a component of the human body and have launched a sustained attack on it. If they mistakenly target a component of the conductive sheath around neurons, for example, nerve impulses stop conducting properly, muscles go into spasm and coordination fails; multiple sclerosis results. If autoantibodies erroneously focus on joint tissue; rheumatoid arthritis results. If they target the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, Type 1 diabetes, and so on
“Throughout our lifetime the normal immune system walks a fine line between preserving normal immune reactions and developing autoimmune diseases,” says the paper. “The healthy immune system is tolerant to self-antigens. When self-tolerance is disturbed, dysregulation of the immune system follows, resulting in emergence of an autoimmune disease. Vaccination is one of the conditions that may disturb this homeostasis in susceptible individuals, resulting in autoimmune phenomena and ASIA.”
Who is “susceptible” is the subject of the paper entitled, “Predicting post-vaccination autoimmunity: Who might be at risk?” It lists four categories of people: 1) those who have had a previous autoimmune reaction to a vaccine, 2) anyone with a medical history of autoimmunity, 3) patients with a history of allergic reactions, 4) anyone at high risk of developing autoimmune disease including anyone with a family history of autoimmunity, presence of autoantibodies which are detectable by blood tests and other factors including low vitamin D and smoking.
Regarding those who have had a previous adverse reaction to vaccines, the paper cites five relevant studies including the case of a death of a teenage girl six months following her third Gardasil injection against HPV virus. She had experienced a range of symptoms shortly after her first dose, including dizziness, numbness and tingling in her hands, and memory lapses. After her second injection, she developed “intermittent arm weakness, frequent tiredness requiring daytime naps,” worse tingling, night sweats, chest pain and palpitations. A full autopsy was unrevealing but blood and spleen tissue analysis revealed HPV-16 L1 gene DNA fragments – matching the DNA found in vials of the Gardasil vaccine against cervical cancer – “thus implicating the vaccine as a causal factor.” The DNA fragments had also been found to be “complexed with the aluminum adjuvant” which, according to the report, have been shown to persist for up to 8 to 10 years causing chronic immune system stimulation.
“Although data is limited,” Shoenfeld and his colleagues concluded, “it seems preferable that individuals with prior autoimmune or autoimmune-like reactions to vaccinations, should not be immunized, at least not with the same type of vaccine.”
ESTABLISHED AUTOIMMUNE CONDITION
The second group which the paper cites for vaccine exemption is patients with “established autoimmune conditions.” Vaccines don’t work so well in them, say Shoenfeld and his colleagues, and they are at “risk for flares following vaccination.” Inoculations that contain live viruses including chickenpox, yellow fever and the measles, mumps and rubella triple vaccine (MMR) are “generally contraindicated” for people with autoimmune conditions because of the risk of “uncontrolled viral replication.” But inactivated vaccines are not such a good idea either because they usually contain the added ingredient aluminum, linked to autoimmunity.
The immunologists describe recent studies in which patients with autoimmune rheumatic disease given the influenza vaccine (without aluminum) suffered more joint pain and fever than controls and whose levels of autoantibodies (the drones that attack self) increased after receiving the flu vaccine. What’s more, they developed new types of autoantibodies that weren’t present before the vaccines, and those persisted. As the presence of autoantibodies can be predictive of developing autoimmune disease in patients without symptoms, even years ahead of disease onset, this is troubling to those who understand immunology.
A number of studies claim vaccines are safe for the “overwhelming majority of patients with established autoimmune diseases,” the study allows, but they only looked at rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and not at severe and active cases so “the potential benefit of vaccination should be weighed against its potential risk,” they cautioned.
PATIENTS WITH A HISTORY OF ALLERGY
Vaccine trials have usually excluded “vulnerable” individuals — only extremely healthy individuals with no allergies are recruited. It’s a “selection bias,” say Soriano and Shoenfeld, and has likely resulted in serious adverse events being “considerably underestimated” in “real life where vaccines are mandated to all individuals regardless of their susceptibility.” The true incidence of allergic reactions to vaccines, normally estimated at between one in 50,000 to one in a million doses, is probably much higher and particularly where gelatin or egg proteins are on the ingredients list, they say.
There’s a long list of vaccine ingredients that are potential allergens: besides the infectious agents themselves, there are those from hen’s egg, horse serum, baker’s yeast, numerous antibiotics, formaldehyde and lactose, as well “inadvertent” ingredients such as latex. People’s allergic histories have to be taken before vaccination say the researchers. But some signs of reaction don’t show up until after the shot.
The public health nurse or GP might tell patients that a long-lasting swelling around the injection site after a vaccine is a normal reaction, for example. But that is not what the immunologists say. “[A]luminum sensitization manifests as nodules [hard lumps] at the injection site that often regress after weeks or months, but may persist for years.” In such cases, they say, a patch test can be done to confirm sensitivity and to avoid vaccination.
According to a growing body of research, though, allergy may be only the beginning of many dangerous aluminum-induced phenomena.
THE TROUBLE WITH ALUMINUM
Aluminum has been added to vaccines since about 1926 when Alexander Glenny and colleagues noticed it would produce better antibody responses in vaccines than the antigen alone. Glenny figured the alum was inducing what he called a “depot effect” – slowing the release of the antigen and heightening the immune response. For 60 years his theory was accepted dogma. And over the same time, the vaccine schedule grew decade on decade, but few ever questioned the effects of injecting aluminum into the body, which is strange considering its known toxicity.
A PubMed search on aluminum and “toxicity” turns up 4,258 entries. Its neurotoxicity is well documented. It affects memory, cognition, psychomotor control; it damages the blood brain barrier, activates brain inflammation, depresses mitochondrial function and plenty of research suggests it is a key player in the formation of the amyloid “plaques” and tangles in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. It’s been implicated in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and autism and demonstrated to induce allergy.
When kidney dialysis patients were accidentally infused with aluminum, the “dialysis-induced encephalopathy” (DAE) they developed neurological symptoms: speech abnormalities, tremors, memory loss, impaired concentration and behavioural changes. Many of the patients eventually went into comas and died. The lucky ones survived: when the source of toxicity, aluminum, was removed from their dialysis they recovered rapidly.
With these new observations, researchers began investigating the adjuvant effects of aluminum and in the past decade there has been a flurry of research. Far from being a sandbag that holds the antigen for a while and then gets excreted, it turns out that aluminum salts trigger a storm of defence action. Within hours of injection of the same aluminum oxyhydroxide in vaccines into mice, for example, armies of specialized immune cells are on the move, calling in grid coordinates for more specialist assault forces. Within a day, a whole host of immune system commandos are in play — neutrophils, eosinophils, inflammatory monocytes, myeloid and dendritic cells, activating lymphocytes and secreting proteins called cytokines. The cytokines themselves cause collateral damage but they send out signals, directing cell-to-cell communication and recruiting other cells into action. If the next phase of the attack is launched: fibroblast growth factor, interferons, interleukins, platelet derived growth factor, transforming growth factor and tumour necrosis factor might all be engaged. There’s evidence that poorly understood and pesky inflammasomes, (currently a topic of cutting- edge cancer causation research) such as the Nod-like receptor 3( NLRP) are activated too, but it’s all still too early to say exactly what they’re doing.
New research emerging from University of British Columbia has found that aluminum adjuvant injected into mice can alter the expression of genes associated with autoimmunity. And in their recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, immunologists at the University of Colorado found that even host DNA is recruited into the aluminum assault, that it rapidly coats injected alum, triggering effects that scientists have barely scratched the surface of understanding.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MACROPHAGIC MYOFASCIITIS
This mobility or “translocation” of aluminum in the body is perhaps the most disturbing of the mounting evidence in current aluminum research. In 1998, French researcher Romain Gherardi and his colleagues observed an emerging condition of unknown origin which presented in patients post-vaccination with Chronic Fatigue like symptoms including swollen lymph nodes, joint and muscle pain and exhaustion. Tissue biopsies of the patients’ deltoid revealed lesions up to 1 cm in diameter and unique from similar lesions of other diseases. They went to the lab for analysis and to Gherardi’s astonishment, they mainly consisted of macrophages – large white blood cells in the immune system whose job is to swallow up foreign invaders in the body. Enclosed in the cellular fluid of these phagocytes were agglomerates of nanocrystals of aluminum.
Gherardi and his colleagues began injecting mice with aluminum to see what happened. Their research published in 2013 revealed that the metal particles were engulfed by macrophages and formed MMF-like granulomas that dispersed — to distant lymph nodes, spleen, liver and eventually the brain.
“This strongly suggests that long-term adjuvant biopersistence within phagocytic cells is a prerequisite of slow brain translocation and delayed neurotoxicity,” writes Gherardi in his February 2015 review of the relevant research in Frontiers in Neurology.
A more frightening animal study of aluminum is that of Spanish veterinary researcher Lluis Lujan’s study of ovine ASIA. After huge numbers of sheep in Spain died in 2008 in the wake of compulsory multiple vaccine campaigns against bluetongue in Spain in 2008, Lujan set out to find out what killed them – and he began by inoculating them with aluminum.
His 2013 study found that only 0.5% of sheep inoculated with aluminum vaccines showed immediate reactions of lethargy, transient blindness, stupor, prostration and seizures – “characterized by a severe meningoencephalitis, similar to post-vaccine reactions seen in humans.” Most of them recovered, temporarily, but postmortem exams of the ones who didn’t reveal acute brain inflammation.
The delayed onset “chronic” phase of the disease affected far more of the sheep — 50-70% of flocks and sometimes virtually 100% of animals within a given flock, usually including all of those who had previously recovered. The reaction was frequently triggered by exposure to cold and began with restlessness and compulsive wool-biting, then progressed to acute redness of the skin, generalized weakness, extreme weight loss and muscle tremors, and finally, entered the terminal phase where the animals went down on their front quarters, became comatose and died. Post-mortem examinations revealed “severe neuron necrosis” and aluminum in the nerve tissue.
The immune system’s reaction to aluminum “represents a major health challenge,” Gerhardi declares in his recent review, and he adds that “attempts to seriously examine safety concerns raised by the bio-persistent character and brain accumulation of alum particles have not been made… A lot must be done to understand how, in certain individuals, alum-containing vaccines may become insidiously unsafe.”
Back to the problem of which “certain individuals” should avoid vaccination to avoid autoimmune disease.
PEOPLE PRONE TO DEVELOP AUTOIMMUNITY
Soriano and Shoenfeld’s identify a final category: anyone at risk of developing autoimmune disease. Since a number of them have been shown to have genetic factors that would include anyone with a family history of autoimmune disease. It also includes anyone who has tested positive for autoantibodies which can indicate disease years before symptoms show up. Vaccinations, the doctors say, “may trigger or worsen the disease.”
Smokers too, have an exceptionally high risk of developing an autoimmune disease, says the report. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 18% of Americans smoke. That means about 42 million Americans have an elevated risk of developing an autoimmune disease and they’re stacking the odds with every vaccine.
And finally, factors that Shoenfeld and Soriano associate with high risk of developing autoimmunity are high estrogen and low vitamin D — which means anyone taking birth control or hormone replacement therapy and, according to one 2009 study of vitamin D status, about three quarters of American teens and adults should be wary of vaccines.
Shoenfeld doesn’t seem to mean to exclude all of these people from immunization, however. The paper concludes that “for the overwhelming majority of individuals, vaccines carry no risk of systemic autoimmune disease and should be administered according to current recommendations.” Which is in stark contrast to the body of the paper. The final word is cautionary about weighing the “potential benefit of vaccination…against its potential risk.”
It’s exemplary of a strange sort of schizophrenia in a wide range of recent immunology papers. The doctors seem to be trying to reconcile a century of “safe and effective” vaccine dogma with the last decade’s worth of terrifying research findings. There’s a lot of “on the one hand” and “on the other hand” in them.
The new research seems about to gain the upper hand, however. A 2013 overview of ASIA by six immunologists including Shoenfeld, for example, is a catalogue of vaccine side effects from Gardasil deaths, narcolepsy epidemics, infertility, chronic fatigue, dead sheep and aluminum-addled brains. It is rife with statements that would have been virtually unheard of inside mainstream medicine a decade ago. Like this shocker:
“Perhaps, in twenty years, physicians will be duelling with better-characterized particles of autoimmunity, and the vaccines may become fully safe as well as effective. Nonetheless, the recognition of ASIA has initiated the change to put more efforts in identifying the good, the bad and the ugly of vaccines and in particular of adjuvants as triggers of autoimmunity.” Bad and ugly of vaccines? What’s wrong with the adjuvants? That’s not in the CDC hand-out.
Or how about this one:
“Despite the huge amount of money invested in studying vaccines, there are few observational studies and virtually no randomized clinical trials documenting the effect on mortality of any of the existing vaccines. One recent paper found an increased hospitalization rate with the increase of the number of vaccine doses and a mortality rate ratio for 5-8 vaccine doses to 1-4 doses of 1.5, indicating a statistically significant increase of deaths associated with higher vaccine doses. Since vaccines are given to millions of infants annually, it is imperative that health authorities have scientific data from synergistic toxicity studies on all combinations of vaccines…” That could be any anti-vaxxer jabbering on…but it’s not.
But here is the topper:
“The US Supreme Court ruled that vaccines makers are immune from lawsuits charging that the design of the vaccine is defective. Thus there is need for innovative clinical trial design and the vaccines themselves should be redesigned.” Immunologists including the world’s leading authority on autoimmunity are saying it is time to take vaccines back to the drawing board.
Autoimmune disease is the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and now among the top 10 killers of young American women. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from one of 88 autoimmune diseases — from type 1 diabetes to systemic lupus erythematosus — and some research puts the figure at one in five globally. At least 40 more diseases are suspected to be immune-mediated. Most of them are devastating — frequently crippling, expensive to treat and incurable. And they are increasing at an astonishing pace.
At this stage, it looks like the more the research pours in, the harder it is going to get for pro-vaccine immunologists to keep multiple personality disorder – or complete nervous breakdown — at bay. Ten years of cutting edge research into aluminum’s effects on the immune system has revealed primarily how wrong they were. And how little they know. If, after 90 years, doctors finally have begun to seriously examine the mechanism and question the merits of injecting metal toxins into newborn babies, what have they yet to discover? ASIA sounds awful. (Too bad for all the people whose kids suffered through chronic fatigue when it was just a Freudian yearning to sleep with their mother.) But what if, like Lujan’s sheep, the “negligible” minority that has been paying the price for the good of humanity is actually only the tip of the iceberg? What if some people with no apparent adverse immune reactions still have nanocrystals of aluminum silently depositing in their brains? What if ASIA really includes Alzheimer’s? ALS, autism? ADD? And that’s just the A’s.
Even if immunologists keep wearing their rose coloured glasses, and vaccine ingredients are only responsible for a tiny fraction of the exploding autoimmunity, the “ugly” in vaccines will still get harder and harder to ignore. When everyone on the planet is getting injected, 20 years is a long time for disabled people to stack up while scientists “duel with the characterized particles of autoimmunity.” In the fury over the Disneyland measles outbreak that is gripping the world’s vaccine promoters, time is running out for doctors and researchers who see the “bad and ugly” side of vaccines and their adjuvants to do something about it. There’s slim chance of a vaccine redesign in the absence of a profit incentive and a strong chance of universal vaccine mandates for one and all — previous anaphylactic shock reaction or not.
This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo.com. His work is reproduced and distributed here with the permission. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.”
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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic
- The Facts:
The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Reflect On:
If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.
Before you begin...
The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.
PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.
Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.
Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?
1. Boost Your Immune System
If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.
2. Embrace Spirituality
Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.
3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation
Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE
Is There Science Behind This?
Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.
A Look At The Research
Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.
Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.
“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.
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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D
- The Facts:
Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.
- Reflect On:
Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?
Before you begin...
Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.
Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.
“Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine
According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame.
A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal.
“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed
How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.
If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.
Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms.
Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.
“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina
Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients.
Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.
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Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)
- The Facts:
According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.
- Reflect On:
How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?
Before you begin...
Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.
What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,
It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.
Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.
This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.
According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.
Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.
These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.
When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.
Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.
That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.
Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:
Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”
This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:
As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.
In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:
“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”
It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.
For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:
If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.
Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.
As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.
There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.
Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.
That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.
The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. – Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)
This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.
Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.
The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.
Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.
In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.
To help make sense of what’s happening in our society today, we have released a course on overcoming bias and improving critical thinking. It’s an 8 module course and you can learn more about it here.
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