By Dr. Mercola
More and more, science is finding that teeny tiny creatures living in your gut are there for a definite purpose. Known as your microbiome, about 100 trillion of these cells populate your body, particularly your intestines and other parts of your digestive system.
In fact, 90 percent of the genetic material in your body is not yours, but rather that of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that compose your microflora.
True, some of these bacteria can make you sick; for example, the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases recently found Crohn's Disease may be caused by immune responses to certain gut microbiota.
But the majority are good, and they work together as helpmates to aid your digestive system and keep you well. Beneficial bacteria, better known as probiotics, along with a host of other microorganisms, are so crucial to your health that researchers have compared them to "a newly recognized organ." For example, we now know that your microflora influence your:
- Genetic expression
- Immune system
- Brain development, mental health, and memory
- Weight, and
- Risk of numerous chronic and acute diseases, from diabetes to cancer
According to the featured article in Time Magazine:1
"Our surprisingly complex internal ecology has been a hot topic in medicine lately. Initiatives such as the Human Microbiome Project2, an extension of the Human Genome Project, have been working tirelessly to probe potential links between the human microbiota and human health, and to construct strategies for manipulating the bacteria so that they work with us rather than against us.
...They've been linked to a range of nasty conditions, including obesity, arthritis, and high cholesterol. Now, two newer areas of research are pushing the field even further, looking at the possible gut bug link to a pair of very different conditions: autism and irritable bowel disease."
Microflora Being Investigated to Ascertain Links with Autism and IBS
This is precisely what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's work centers around, and her Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) nutritional plan is designed to reestablish proper gut flora in order to heal and seal your gut – thereby reversing and eliminating ailments running the gamut from autism, ADD/ADHD, learning disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, just to name a few possibilities. It's exciting to see science is starting to take this more seriously, as autism has reached epidemic proportions.
According to the featured Time article:3
"Up to 85 percent of children with autism also suffer from some kind of gastrointestinal distress such as chronic constipation or inflammatory bowel disease. Research published in 2005 in the Journal of Medical Microbiology and in 2004 in Applied Environmental Microbiology4 reported that the stools of autistic children contained higher levels of the bacterium Clostridium,while two 2010 studies in the Journal of Proteome Research5 and Nutritional Neuroscience6 reported unusual levels of metabolic compounds in autistic children's urine consistent with the high bacterial levels found in the stools of autistic patients.
In 2011, a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that mice with essentially germ-free guts showed abnormal movement and anxiety symptoms, suggesting that at least some active intestinal biome is essential for normal development.
'Until a little while ago it was outlandish to suggest that microbiomes in the gut could be behind this disease,' University of Guelph assistant professor of biology Emma Allen-Vercoe said. 'But I think it's an intersection between the genetics of the patient and the microbiome and the environment.'"
Recent research published in the journal Science7 may shed much needed light on the persistent and hard-to-treat nature of irritable bowel disease (IBD). The researchers infected mice with Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite associated with lethal food-borne illness.
Interestingly, when the immune system of the mouse reacted to the presence of the parasite, it also began overreacting to beneficial bacteria. In fact, while about 10 percent of the T cells in the GI tract attacked the parasite, approximately 45 percent of the T cells began attacking other gut microbes. Furthermore, once the parasite had been successfully cleared, the immune system continued to misidentify beneficial bacteria as a foreign agents, preventing the mice from ever fully recovering from the infection. As stated by Time:
"If something similar happens in humans – either with Toxoplasma gondii or another invader – it could go a long way to explaining both the existence and persistence of all of the IBD conditions."
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:8
"The team's findings are among the first to demonstrate that T cells in the gut mount an immune response to commensal bacteria [normal microflora] during an infection. They also are the first to show that commensal-specific T cells remain in circulation after the infection is cleared. Based on their observations, the investigators speculate that, when uncontrolled, commensal-specific T cells may contribute to development of Crohn's disease, but more research is needed."
Who Would Have Known? Breast Milk Boosts Beneficial Growth of Gut Flora
Adding more weight to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's insistence that breastfeeding is crucial to help normalize an infant's microflora (hence protecting against disease and developmental problems), a first-of-its-kind study on human breast milk and its impact on infants' gut flora gives new insight on why breast milk is better than formula at protecting newborns from infectious illness.9
The study's author, William Parker, explained that breast milk appears to promote a healthy colonization of beneficial biofilms. Previous research has already established that breast milk reduces diarrhea, flu, and respiratory infections in babies, as well as lowers their risk of developing allergies, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other diseases.
According to Duke University:10
"'This study is the first we know of that examines the effects of infant nutrition on the way that bacteria grow, providing insight to the mechanisms underlying the benefits of breast feeding over formula feeding for newborns,' said William Parker, PhD, associate professor of surgery at Duke and senior author of the study.
Only breast milk appears to promote a healthy colonization of beneficial biofilms, and these insights suggest there may be potential approaches for developing substitutes that more closely mimic those benefits in cases where breast milk cannot be provided."
The researchers grew bacteria in samples of three popular brands each of milk- and soy-based infant formulas, cow's milk, and breast milk. All samples were incubated with two strains of beneficial E.coli bacteria (while some E.coli cause violent disease, other 'friendly cousins' actually serve helpful roles). While the bacteria rapidly multiplied in all the specimens, there was one major difference. In the breast milk specimens, the bacteria formed biofilms, whereas the bacteria in the whole milk and the different infant formulas grew as individual organisms and failed to form into a biofilm.
This is indeed important. Biofilms are essentially thin, sticky bacterial "sheaths" that adhere to your intestinal wall, where they serve as a shield, effectively blocking out pathogens and infectious agents. This is an essential part of the "healing and sealing" of your gut that Dr. Campbell-McBride's GAPS protocol accomplishes.
According to Duke University:
"...This study adds even more weight to an already large body of evidence that breast milk is the most nutritious way to feed a baby whenever possible," said Gabriela M. Maradiaga Panayotti, M.D., co-director of the newborn nursery for Duke Children's and Duke Primary Care. "We know that babies who receive breast milk have better outcomes in many ways, and mother who breast feed also have improved health outcomes, including decreased risks of cancer. Whenever possible, promoting breast feeding is the absolute best option for mom and baby."
How to Optimize Your Gut Flora
A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented or cultured foods is the easiest way to ensure optimal gut flora. Healthy options include:
Fermented vegetables of all kinds (cabbage, carrots, kale, collards, celery spiced with herbs like ginger and garlic) Lassi (an Indian yogurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner) Tempeh Fermented raw milk such as kefir or yogurt, but NOT commercial versions, which typically do not have live cultures and are loaded with sugars that feed pathogenic bacteria Natto Kim chee
Just make sure to steer clear of pasteurized versions, as pasteurization will destroy many of the naturally occurring probiotics. For example, most of the "probiotic" yogurts you find in every grocery store these days are NOT recommended. Since they're pasteurized, they will be associated with all of the problems of pasteurized milk products instead. They also typically contain added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and/or artificial sweeteners; all of which are detrimental to your health.
Consuming traditionally fermented foods will also provide you with the following added boons:
- Important nutrients: Some fermented foods are excellent sources of essential nutrients such as vitamin K2, which is important for preventing arterial plaque buildup and heart disease. Cheese curd, for example, is an excellent source of both probiotics and vitamin K2. You can also obtain all the K2 you'll need (about 200 micrograms) by eating 15 grams, or half an ounce, of natto daily. They are also a potent producer of many B vitamins
- Optimizing your immune system: Probiotics have been shown to modulate immune responses via your gut's mucosal immune system, and have anti-inflammatory potential. Eighty percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to maintain optimal health, as a robust immune system is your number one defense system against ALL disease
- Detoxification: Fermented foods are some of the best chelators available. The beneficial bacteria in these foods are very potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals
- Cost effective: Fermented foods can contain 100 times more probiotics than a supplement, so just adding a small amount of fermented foods to each meal will give you the biggest bang for your buck
- Natural variety of microflora: As long as you vary the fermented and cultured foods you eat, you'll get a much wider variety of beneficial bacteria than you could ever get from a supplement
When you first start out, you'll want to start small, adding as little as half a tablespoon of fermented vegetables to each meal, and gradually working your way up to about a quarter to half a cup (2 to 4 oz) of fermented vegetables or other cultured food with one to three meals per day. Since cultured foods are efficient detoxifiers, you may experience detox symptoms, or a "healing crisis," if you introduce too many at once.
Learn to Make Your Own Fermented Vegetables
Fermented vegetables are easy to make on your own. It's also the most cost-effective way to get high amounts of healthful probiotics in your diet. To learn how, review the following interview with Caroline Barringer, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) and an expert in the preparation of the foods prescribed in Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Nutritional Program. In addition to the wealth of information shared in this interview, I highly recommend getting the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which provides all the necessary details for Dr. McBride's GAPS protocol.
Although you can use the native bacteria on cabbage and other vegetables, it is typically easier to get consistent results by using a starter culture. Caroline prepares hundreds of quarts of fermented vegetables a week and has found that she gets great results by using three to four high quality probiotic capsules to jump start the fermentation process.
Caroline prepares the vegetables commercially and I used hers for a month before I started making my own. So, if you just want to put your toe in the water and see if you like them, you can order a jar or two and try them out. You can find her products on www.CulturedVegetables.net or www.CulturedNutrition.com.
AVOID This to Optimize Your Gut Flora!
Along with eating naturally fermented foods and/or taking a high-quality supplement, it's essential that you avoid sugar, including fructose. Sugar nourishes pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi in your gut, which may actually harm you more than its impact on insulin resistance. One of the major results of eating a healthy diet like the one described in my nutrition plan is that you cause your beneficial gut bacteria to flourish, and they secondarily perform the real "magic" of restoring your health.
Remember, an estimated 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, which is just one more reason why "tending to" your gut microflora is an essential element of good health. A robust immune system, supported by your flourishing inner ecosystem, is your number one defense against ALL disease, from the common cold to cancer. I feel very strongly that if we can catalyze a movement to get more people to implement this ancient dietary wisdom to their normal eating patterns, then we'll start seeing a radical change in health.
Why this Single Organ Powerfully Dictates Whether You're Healthy or Sick
Probiotics for Infants?
By Dr. Mercola
Chronic pain is an exceedingly common condition impacting an estimated 76.5 million Americans, one-third of whom describe their pain as severe and "disabling." When it comes to treating ailments such as chronic pain, I definitely prefer non-toxic options to modern medicine's poor excuses for "cures."
One such option is acupuncture, which can be an effective option for a number of health problems, but pain in particular.
In a recent analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,1 researchers concluded that acupuncture has a definite effect in reducing chronic pain, such as back pain and headaches – more so than standard pain treatment. Real acupuncture also produced slightly better results than using sham needles, which suggests the benefits of needling are due to more than the placebo effect.
According to Time magazine:2
"The findings counter those of the last large study on the subject, which found that the needle technique was no better than a fake acupuncture treatment – using random pricking with toothpicks – in reducing people's pain. But Vickers says his meta-analysis of the data, in which researchers reviewed 29 previous studies involving 17,922 participants, does a few things the previous studies did not.
For one, he and his colleagues began by looking at only the most rigorous trials involving acupuncture and pain relief – those that directly compared acupuncture treatment with some type of sham needle therapy in which needles were either inserted only superficially or placed in locations that are not known by acupuncture standards to be key treatment points in the body.
The authors of the analysis contacted each of the researchers on the previous studies to discuss with them how they separated the two treatment groups. By limiting their review to the most robust studies published, the authors could assess with more confidence acupuncture's true effect on participants' reports of pain before and after treatment."
Clear and Robust Effects of Acupuncture
The researchers also went the extra mile by retrieving the raw data on self-reported pain. By standardizing the various study participants' responses, they were able to more accurately assess and compare them as a whole. The team discovered a "clear and robust" effect of acupuncture in the treatment of:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
On a scale of 0 to 100, participants who started out with a pain rating of 60 experienced an average 30 point drop (a 50 percent reduction) in response to the real acupuncture treatments (using needles); a 25 point drop when receiving sham acupuncture; and a mere 17 point drop when receiving "standard pain care" that did not include acupuncture. According to the lead author:3
"The effects of acupuncture are statistically significant and different from those of sham or placebo treatments... So we conclude that the effects aren't due merely to the placebo effect."
Furthermore, as reported by HealthDay:4
"The authors stressed that although the superiority of true acupuncture over sham acupuncture appeared to be relatively small, the real-world choice patients face is not between acupuncture or fake acupuncture but rather between acupuncture or no acupuncture at all. And in that context they suggested that their findings are 'of major importance for clinical practice.'
'Basically what we see here is that the pain relief difference from acupuncture versus no acupuncture is notable, and important, and difficult to ignore,' [lead author] Vickers said."
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice with roots that go back thousands of years. According to the Eastern mindset, your body is a cohesive unit, or whole – a complex system where everything within it is inter-connected, and where each part affects all other parts. A major component is the acceptance of an invisible flow of chi (or ki). This chi can be translated as "energy" or "life force," which circulates through meridians in your body. When energetic blocks or deficiencies occur within a meridian, an imbalance is created that can cause a ripple effect of physical symptoms. Needles inserted into certain points along the meridians can stimulate sluggish chi, disperse blocks, or otherwise manipulate the flow of energy.
In essence, lack of balance within this bio-energetic system – which also includes blood flow and nutrients – is the precursor to all illness. Your body exhibits symptoms when suffering from inner disease and if it is not rebalanced, these symptoms may lead to acute or chronic illnesses of all kinds.
Chinese medicine, contrary to Western allopathic medicine, does not treat symptoms, but rather seeks to find the origin of the imbalance that produced the symptoms in the first place. Another major difference is that acupuncture, which is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is remarkably safe with few, if any, negative side effects, so it certainly doesn't hurt to try.
Traditionally, acupuncture is used to treat all kinds of health problems. In many Asian cultures, you see an acupuncturist in the same way you'd see a primary care physician here in the West, and in some US states acupuncturists are in fact considered primary health care physicians. Still, many Westerners have been slow to grasp this type of holistic view, where your body is perceived as being perfectly capable of self-correction and healing without drug intervention. Scientists are still at a loss to explain why acupuncture works, but for those who get relief or healing, the mechanics may not be of great importance.
Other Alternative Pain Treatments
Besides acupuncture, there are a number of treatment modalities that can help ease pain, such as:
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Few people want to be told that their pain is psychological or emotional in origin, but there's quite a bit of evidence that backs this up. Underlying emotional issues and unresolved trauma can have a massive influence on your health, particularly as it relates to physical pain. According to Dr. John Sarno, a psychiatrist who uses mind-body techniques to treat patients with severe low back pain, EFT has a greater than 80 percent success rate
- Chiropractic adjustments: According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine5 and funded by the National Institutes of Health, patients with neck pain who used a chiropractor and/or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free in 12 weeks compared to those who took medication
- Massage: Massage releases endorphins, which help induce relaxation, relieve pain, and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline – reversing the damaging effects of stress by slowing heart rate, respiration and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure. It is a particularly effective therapy for stress-related tension, which experts believe accounts for as much as 80 to 90 percent of disease
- Neuro-Structural Integration Technique (NST): NST is a gentle, non-invasive technique that stimulates your body's reflexes, which can provide relief for back pain. Simple movements are done across muscles, nerves and connective tissue, which helps your neuromuscular system to reset all related tension levels, promoting natural healing. The results can be both profound and lasting, and are usually apparent within two or three sessions.
More Natural Solutions for Pain
If you have chronic pain of any kind, please understand that there are many safe and effective alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter painkillers, though they may require some patience. Among the best are:
- Start taking a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil. Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, they positively influence prostaglandins.) The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in krill oil have also been found in many animal and clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Reduce your intake of most processed foods as not only do they contain sugar and additives but most are loaded with omega-6 fats that upset your delicate omega 3-6 ratio, which will contribute to inflammation.
- Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars (especially fructose) from your diet. Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are one of the most profound stimulators of inflammatory prostaglandin production. That is why eliminating sugar and grains is so important to controlling your pain.
- Optimize your production of vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, which will work through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain.
In the meantime, you don't need to suffer unnecessarily. Following are options that provide excellent pain relief without any of the health hazards that pain medications often carry.
- Astaxanthin: One of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than NSAIDs. Higher doses are typically required and one may need 8 mg or more per day to achieve this benefit.
- Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
- Curcumin: Curcumin is the primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric. In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility. In fact, curcumin has been shown in over 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory activity, as well as demonstrating the ability in four studies to reduce Tylenol-associated adverse health effects.
- Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense," this herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been prized for thousands of years. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.
- Bromelain: This protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful. Keep in mind that most of the bromelain is found within the core of the pineapple, so consider leaving a little of the pulpy core intact when you consume the fruit.
- Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a "joint lubricant" and an anti-inflammatory. I have used a topical preparation for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards.
- Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.
- Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmit pain signals to your brain.
By Dr. Mercola
Paula Deen's rise to fame is built on scrumptious high-sugar, highly processed foods with a distinct Southern flare.
Her latest show, "Paula's Best Dishes," is a hit on the Food Network, and she also has several popular cook books to her name.
While no doubt tasty, the meals Ms. Deen promotes can easily lead to weight gain and diabetes, so her recent admission on the Today Show that she's been living with type 2 diabetes for the past three years did not come as a great shock.
Her decision to become the spokesperson for a dangerous diabetes drug however, did, and has raised the ire of many.
In fact, if her plan was to become a role model of healthy living, it has backfired in a dramatic way, as most people are suddenly (and wisely!) shunning the notion that you can just pop a pill to address a diet-related health problem.
"There is something slightly unsavory about the fact that Deen has continued to advocate the type of unhealthy, fattening foods that contribute to obesity and, therefore, to Type 2 diabetes, only to step forward now as the pitchperson for a drug that is designed to treat that disease, which she herself has had in secret for years."
Is a Drug Really the Answer to Type 2 Diabetes?
Many are questioning Ms. Deen's decision to keep quiet about her diagnosis for so long, while continuing to promote her signature high-sugar meals. According to Time Magazine:
"Deen said that she decided not to make her diagnosis public until she could "bring something to the table when I came forward. I've always been one to think that I bring hope." For her, that hope apparently comes in the form of Victoza, a diabetes medication made by Novo Nordisk.
Deen is now the spokeswoman for the drug. Deen and her sons, Jamie and Bobby, have also partnered with the drugmaker to promote the new Diabetes in a New Light program, which provides food tips and stress-management techniques as well as medical interventions for controlling diabetes. "I was determined to share my positive approach and not let diabetes stand in the way of enjoying my life," Deen said in a statement about the launch of Diabetes in a New Light."
Clearly, Ms. Deen did not spend the last few years investigating the underlying causes of diabetes. If she had done so, she would have discovered that you cannot successfully cure type 2 diabetes with drugs and/or insulin.
Because type 2 diabetes arises from faulty leptin signaling and insulin resistance. It is therefore a fully preventable condition that can be controlled or reversed by recovering your insulin and leptin sensitivities. However, the only known way to reestablish proper leptin and insulin signaling is through a proper diet and exercise. There is NO drug that can accomplish this ? a fact that makes the current disease paradigm even more tragic, as diabetes continues to skyrocket, and the conventional treatments are needlessly killing diabetics prematurely.
In Ms. Deen's case, her drug of choice, Victoza, is a non-insulin diabetes medication that has some very disturbing potential side effects, including cancer! It's certainly not something I would perceive as a "positive approach"...
It is important to know that there is NO pill to cure or even control diabetes that addresses the fundamental issue, insulin resistance. Most of them tend to lower blood sugar, which is why they are called oral hypoglycemics. The problem with most physicians is that they believe high blood sugar is the problem. However, the real problem is insulin resistance, which these drugs do not address in any way.
Victoza?A Potentially Dangerous Option for Diabetics...
According to the prescribing information for Victoza (Liraglutide), there are a number of important warnings you need to be aware of, including a black box warning?the strongest warning issued by FDA?which states that:
"Liraglutide causes thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures in rodents. It is unknown whether Victoza
5Most people in the U.S. have been practicing Daylight Savings Time for as long as they can remember. More summer light and theoretically less power consumption. But the sleep adjustment to the time change can cause dips in production and health hazards as a result of fatigue.
The end of Daylight Savings Time can also exacerbate depression. Time Magazine recently featured 8 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues, which includes suggestions such as:
- Light therapy
- Exercising, and
To view the rest, please see the source link below. I've also written about this in the past, so for more tips and guidelines for fending off the Winter Blues, please see this previous article.Sources:
Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends doctors continue to treat families who decline to get every government-recommended vaccine, some pediatricians have decided to "fire" patients who refuse vaccines -- essentially, telling them that they should seek treatment elsewhere.
"Vaccine-educated" and "vaccine-cautious" parents tend to ask lots of questions before deciding whether or not to vaccinate their kids, and pediatricians might do better to take the time to answer thoughtfully rather than "firing" them.
According to Time Magazine:
"In July, the Chicago Tribune chronicled the phenomenon of doctors severing ties with unvaccinated children, describing a letter that one eight-physician practice sent to its more than 5,000 patients, announcing they would no longer see children whose parents didn't follow the CDC-advised childhood immunization schedule. Fewer than a dozen families elected to leave the practice."
In other vaccine news, U.S. regulators at Merck's biggest vaccine-making plant identified charred bits of plastic shrink wrap have been found in vials of the vaccines. Merck said it isn't aware of any adverse health events associated with the problem.
Affected vaccines included Gardasil (for prevention of HPV infection), Varivax (for chicken pox), Pneumovax (for pneumococcal disease), Zostavax (for shingles), and MMR II (for measles, mumps, and rubella.)
According to Fox Business:
"In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a formal warning letter about deficiencies at Merck's West Point, [Pennsylvania] plant. Since then, FDA inspection reports have cited more problems: the presence of metal particles in certain products, cracks in vaccine vials and delays in Merck's reporting to the FDA of adverse events from products made at the plant."Sources:
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
It goes without saying that when you choose a physician, that physician is working for you. It is an oxymoron that a pediatrician is able to "fire" a patient; more accurately, you have a choice as to whom you trust to provide health care for you and your children.
So you can always FIRE your doctor. It is YOUR right and YOUR choice to take control of your health and your family's health and you should NEVER allow any doctor to interfere with that right. That said, there are reports of pediatricians ostracizing patients that disagree with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) one-size-fits-all vaccination schedule. Some pediatricians will even resist answering your vaccination questions or concerns.
I find it interesting, though, that one of the most salient points raised in the Time magazine article came not from the author but from her 4-year-old daughter, who asked after receiving five vaccines:
"Why I got to get shots to make me healthy?"
And therein lies a very powerful question ?
Vaccines do Not "Make" You Healthy
There is a misconception, one that is perpetuated by many pediatricians in the United States,that you need vaccines to stay well. No disease is caused by a "vaccine deficiency." In fact, in my recent article featuring the top secrets of people who never get sick, vaccination is nowhere to be found.
Because, ultimately, it is the state of your immune system that determines whether or not you get sick when you're exposed to an infectious disease. The keys to boosting your immune system into a "lean, mean, disease-fighting machine" lie in your lifestyle habits -- healthy food, stress relief, exercise, sleep, exposure to sunlight and so on. Artificially manipulating your immune system with a vaccine is not the same thing, nor does it produce the same desired disease-fighting result.
What is the Difference Between Natural and Vaccine-Induced Immunity?
Many still believe vaccines provide the same kind of immunity as is provided when you naturally heal from an infection, and this widespread misconception needs to be corrected.
The presumed result of a vaccination is to help you build immunity to potentially harmful organisms that cause disease. Now, your body's immune system is already designed to do this in response to infectious organisms that you are exposed to naturally. One major difference between vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity stems from how you're exposed to these organisms.
Most disease-causing organisms enter your body through the mucous membranes of your nose, mouth, lungs or your digestive tract.
These mucous membranes have their own immune system, called the secretory IgA immune system. It is a different system from the one activated when a vaccine is injected into your body. Your IgA immune system is your body's first line of defense and its job is to deal with infectious microorganisms at their exposure points, reducing or even eliminating the need for activation of your body's entire immune system.
However, when a lab-altered infectious microorganism is injected into your body in a vaccine, and especially when combined with an immune adjuvant, such as aluminum, your IgA immune system is bypassed, stimulating your immune system to mount a very strong inflammatory response. Vaccines can also trigger such a strong inflammatory response that the inflammation becomes chronic and leads to chronic illness or disability. (People with a personal or family history of severe allergy or autoimmunity should be cautious about vaccination because they already have a genetic predisposition to inflammatory responses that do not resolve and can lead to chronic health problems.)
Injecting these lab-altered microorganisms into your body to provoke an atypical, temporary immunity is clearly not the same way your body develops a naturally acquired type of immunity. Your immune system simply was not designed to be injected with lab altered disease-causing organisms in this manner. This is one reason why vaccines almost always only provide temporary, not permanent, immunity. Additionally, this plays a large role in why vaccines have the potential to do serious damage to your health.
Since vaccines bypass your natural first-line defense (your lgA immune system), they are never 100 percent protective because they provide only temporary, typically inferior immunity compared to that your body would acquire by experiencing and healing from the natural disease.
Why More Parents are Asking Questions about Vaccines
It cannot be disputed that vaccines carry health risks and do not guarantee protection against contracting infectious disease. Here are but a few examples that I've covered in previous articles:
- Vaccinating all children against chickenpox can increase the risk of adult shingles. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful blistering rash that is potentially dangerous in the elderly. According to researchers at Britain's Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS), while vaccination might save thousands of lives over time, thousands of elderly people may also suffer the painful effects of shingles and even die prematurely from the complications of shingles.
Interestingly enough, instead of reconsidering the strategy of vaccinating all children to prevent their exposure to a common childhood infection that is harmless for 99.9 percent of children and protects adults from getting shingles, the pharmaceutical industry simply responded by creating a shingles vaccine for seniors. The shingles vaccine, according to some studies, has been shown to prevent shingles about half the time.
- Of the children who contracted chickenpox in an outbreak in Maryland in 2001, 75 percent of the affected had been vaccinated against the disease.
- Similarly, last year the US experienced the largest outbreak of mumps since 2006. More than 1,000 people in New Jersey and New York fell ill, yet 77 percent of those sickened were vaccinated against mumps.
- In 2007, it became clear that the mass use by children of the vaccine, Prevnar, to prevent pneumoccocal disease that can cause meningitis and deadly bloodstream infections in young children, has unleashed a superbug that is resistant to all currently available drugs.
- In the U.S., Prevnar vaccine was licensed in 2000 and has been given to infants in four shots between the age of 2 months and 15 months. The vaccine originally covered seven and now covers 13 of the 90-odd strains of the strep bacteria. Although pneumoccocal disease,caused by seven pneumoccoal strains in the 7- valent Prevnar vaccine, declined after widespread use, one pneumoccocal strain called 19A developed super resistance and is now causing pneumoccocal disease that is antibiotic-resistant. In 2010, the FDA licensed a 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine to cover more strains, including 19A.
- Certain vaccines have also been linked to a rise in type 1 diabetes in a number of studies. One such study, published in 2003, to further investigate this connection concluded that clusters of cases of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) may be linked to six different vaccines: the haemophilus influenza B (HIB), pertussis, MMR, and BCG vaccine. The authors stated:
"The identification of clusters of cases of T1DM occurring in consistent temporal time periods allowed a link between the hemophilus vaccine and T1DM to be established. The current findings indicate the there are also clusters of cases of T1DM occurring 2-4 years post-immunization with the pertussis, MMR, and BCG vaccine. The data are consistent with the occurrence of clusters following mumps infection and the progression to T1DM in patients with antipancreatic autoantibodies."
- In the late 1960's, an experimental vaccine in development, the RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine killed two infants, and a staggering 80 percent of all children who received it were hospitalized with severe respiratory disease.
A report issued eight years later concluded that the reason for this abysmal failure was because the children's antibodies did not bind to the inactivated virus to produce a protective immune response, meaning their immune system could not recognize the infectious invader. Instead, the dead virus circulated throughout their bodies, triggering a massive immune system attack.
Many Physicians do Not Want to Answer Your Vaccine Questions
Studies and occurrences like these certainly beg questions from vaccine-educated parents about safety and efficacy. However many physicians are reluctant to respond to them.
As more people become educated about vaccine side effects, they are demanding to take control of their health. This is a GREAT sign, as it means the more people are educating themselves, the more they are taking responsibility for making their own health care decisions.
In fact, according to a report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, nearly 80 percent of pediatricians and family care physicians have at least one vaccine refusal a month, and 89 percent have at least one request a month to spread out the administration of vaccines over multiple visits.
The conclusion of the report, though, was that as parents become more aware of vaccine safety concerns, physicians are having to take more time discussing this at appointments. And this, the report found, was making their jobs "less satisfying," especially for pediatricians.
That's right, the study found that 46 percent of pediatricians reported their job was less satisfying because of parental vaccine concerns. After all, the study shows that about one in two doctors may spend up to 19 minutes on the topic with parents who have substantial concerns about vaccine safety.
The researchers actually concluded:
"The burden of communicating with parents about vaccines is high, especially among pediatricians. Physicians report the greatest success convincing skeptical parents using messages that rely on their personal choices and experiences."
In other words, since it's apparently simply too much trouble for pediatricians to address the valid concerns of parents AND because pediatricians do not have good answers for why so many highly vaccinated children are so sick, perhaps they shouldn't bother answering questions, or perhaps they should instill their own personal beliefs and vaccine risk denial onto patients in an effort to shut them up quickly.
FDA Finds Vaccine Plant Has Burnt Shrink Wrap in Vaccine Vials
Another excellent example of why you have every right to question the vaccines being offered to your children came from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection report from April 2011 of Merck's biggest vaccine-making plant. The report found bits of charred plastic shrink wrap in vaccine vials -- and this was not a new or isolated occurrence.
According to Fox News, at least 12 reports have been submitted to the FDA from Merck regarding shrink wrap in vaccines since November 2009, and eight of these came from consumer complaints. The April report noted that the shrink wrap was reportedly not removed during a washing process and was then charred during a sterilization process. The agency also noted that health risks from the plastic in vaccines could not be ruled out.
Vaccine contamination such as this is a very real threat. Last year, a research team discovered that GlaxoSmithKline's Rotarix vaccine was contaminated with "a substantial amount" of DNA from a pig virus, and this was after 1 million U.S. children, and about 30 million worldwide, had already received it. At the same time, a measles vaccine was also found to contain low levels of the retrovirus avian leukosis virus, and Rotateq, Merck's rotavirus vaccine, was found to contain a virus similar to simian (monkey) retrovirus.
Are You Looking to Become Educated About Vaccines?
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is clearly the leading Internet resource, providing objective, unbiased information that you will need to make intelligent, informed decisions about which vaccines you may want to administer for yourself, or your family member.
Your doctor, unfortunately, may not be the best source of information on this matter, unless he or she has taken the time to become educated personally about vaccines. And if your doctor belittles you, refuses to treat your family, or will not take the time to discuss your vaccine concerns with you, I suggest you find one who will. Remember, it is your choice and your responsibility to get educated about vaccination, and your doctor should work with you on this.
I also encourage you to get involved with the work that NVIC is doing to protect your right to choose which vaccines you want your children to get, including the legal right to use all, some, or no vaccines at all. Register for the free NVIC Advocacy Portal that educates you about how to communicate effectively with your elected state representatives and protect vaccine exemptions in your state. Stay informed about what is happening in your state and make your voice heard.
Go to www.NVICAdvocacy.org and register today to take action.
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