Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Medicine’s House of Cards – What Happens When We’ve Got It All Wrong

Medicine’s House of Cards – What Happens When We’ve Got It All Wrong

Medicine's House of Cards – What Happens When We've Got It All Wrong
I have to admit, the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial still holds a special place in my heart even after I have spent the past half-decade immersed in the shortcomings of our current data collection model.  As I discuss here, I understand now, the role of industry bias in publication of studies, the design limitations of randomized trials in accounting for biochemical individuality, and the many permissible aspects of randomized trials that allow for skewed outcomes (placebo washout, breaking blind with inert placebo, allowance of sedatives, etc).  I now understand that health is about so much more than is factored into these trials.  I have observed that patients can seem "just fine" on a basic lab screen and physical exam, and be anything but, if you know how to scratch beneath the surface.  As Marion Nestle says, on the subject of what nutrition research typically assesses:"nutrients that are out of their food context, foods that are out of their dietary context, and diets that are out of the context of lifestyle."
Studying nutrients the way we study drugs makes no sense, not only because the form of the nutrient employed in these studies is typically a pharmaceutical form, but because nutrients don't work in isolation – they work and heal in the context of other nutrients, and of the lifestyle.
So, while we, firmly positioned in the holistic camp, believe that natural medicine heals, many of us still feel compelled to prove it.  What are we using as the standard for that proof?  What if we are looking behind the curtain to find that Wizard isn't quite what we imagined?
A provocative and important piece in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings should change the way that medicine is practiced.  It probably won't.  Here is the question:
"How many contemporary medical practices are not any better than or are worse than doing nothing or doing something else that is simpler or less expensive? This is an important question, given the negative repercussions for patients and the health care system of continuing to endorse futile, inefficient, expensive, or harmful interventions, tests, or management strategies."
In this investigation, Prasad et al analyzed 2044 original articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine from 2001-2010 and classified the articles based on whether they tested a new or existing treatment and whether the results challenged or supported its efficacy.  They found that 40.2% of the articles argued for "medical reversal" or – stop doing this because it's actually not evidenced based.  A total of 128 medical practices were brought into the harsh light of evidence over those 10 years which means that a major memo should have been disseminated and doctors around the country made aware of the need to change what they were doing – or, at least, make patients aware of the evidence calling the practice into question.  To the contrary, Prasad et al discuss:
"Although there is a weak evidence base for some practice, it gains acceptance largely through vocal support from prominent advocates and faith that the mechanism of action is sound. Later, future trials undermine the therapy, but removing the contradicted practice often proves challenging."
They reference a related review in the British Medical Journal that evaluated 3000 medical practices and found that more than one third are effective or likely to be, 15% are harmful, and 50% are unknown.  I would add to this that the assessment of "no net benefits" in many of these short-term trials with limited controls for patient individuality are ill-equipped to estimate important functional risks to physiology that may take months or years to emerge and may never be linked to the original treatment exposure.  Prasad loses me; however, when they start to apply a framework of using evidence to dismiss previous signals of risk.  Establishing efficacy is one thing that these trials appear to be far less well-equipped to handle than we all have been led to believe, by modern medicine.  Establishing risk is a far more complex endeavor and should rely, heavily, on the precautionary principal, which demands that, if there is any signal of harm, caution is exercised.  Data such as this, and related meta-analyses are not designed to establish safety, and dismissal of previously identified risks is not the same as identifying a lack of efficacy.

We have learned this lesson through the push and pull with industry around "studies" intended to assure the public of safety and to erase any concerns about risk from the board.  Only after decades of accumulated damage is the unavoidable population-based data able to overturn the pharmaceutical agenda.  It's happened again and again – cigarettes, DES, thalidomide, COX inhibitors, BPA, the relationship between neurological damage and vaccination.
This is not the first time that objective investigations into the shortcomings of our evidence base have been brought into the spotlight.  The Cochrane Database was reviewed in 2004 to demonstrate that 47.8% of assessments concluded that there is not sufficient evidence to endorse the queried practice or intervention.  In 2011, this trend had not changed with an insufficient evidence rate of 45%. (
Close to my heart was a recent related paper that explored this phenomenon in the world of obstetrics.  Practice bulletins are the premise for assessing "gold standard" applications of science in the service of patient care.  Certification testing is based upon these bulletins, as are malpractice allegations.  In this paper, 84 practice bulletins discussing 717 individual recommendations.  Of the obstetrical recommendations in this assessment, only 25.% are considered to reflect "good and consistent evidence".  The rest divided into 39.7% for limited or inconsistent evidence and 34.8% for consensus and opinion.   When I consider the practice of continuous fetal monitoring, monthlyultrasound, glucose tolerance test, episiotomy, and treatment of Group B Strep in the face of evidence contradicting its utility, this does not surprise me.  If departure from physiologic home birth is argued on the basis of "safety", where is the data to support that?  I would offer, as have others, that our maternal and infant mortality rates, and large scale studies such as this and this also argue for a re-examination of just what we think we are doing to women in this country.
The take-home to this review is to emphasize the fact that conventional medicine often employs consensus opinions arrived at through "expert" discussions.  Even if evidence were driving the ship, the evidence itself is compromised by conflicts of interest that have been well exposed.  The more you can take your health into your own hands and employ low risk, potentially high yield natural interventions after attending to diet, exercise, and stress management, the less you will get caught in the avalanche of cards when the house falls.

Natural Relief for Acid Reflux in Newborns.

Natural Relief for Acid Reflux in Newborns.

One of the most difficult things a new mother can go through is to see her new baby in pain.  Acid reflux in babies is a common problem that causes pain and other symptoms.  The most common symptoms include excessive vomiting, cough, gagging, choking or refusing to eat, crying when eating and heartburn, gas or abdominal pain.  Babies may also have colic, restricted growth, breathing difficulties, and they may have pneumonia that keeps coming back.  It is a challenge for mothers and babies that is very difficult to overcome.
Causes for Acid Reflux in Babies
There are many suspected causes for acid reflux in newborns and babies, and most common treatments include synthetic medicine to control the symptom.  This will not address the underlying cause. So what is the cause of reflux? There is increasing evidence that birth injuries and trauma may be a possible cause.  The reasons for birth injuries or trauma can include long births or extremely fast births, C-sections and posterior positioning during pregnancy and birth.  Birth is a difficult process for the mother, so we often forget about the immense amount of force being put on the baby as it moves down the birth canal, leading with its head.  This can put a large amount of pressure on the spine and result in misalignment which can cause acid reflux in babies.  Although birth injuries are not often considered when diagnosing and treating acid reflux, if your baby has already been diagnosed and/or is not benefiting fully from medication or other treatments, a pediatric chiropractic evaluation should be preformed. Pediatric chiropractic is safe and effective. 

Strength Training for Beginners (and Experts, Too)

Strength Training for Beginners (and Experts, Too)

Chiropractic Care and Strength Training
Regular vigorous exercise is a requirement for good health. Ideally, every adult is exercising for at least 30 minutes five times per week. Regular chiropractic care provides fundamental support for this necessary level of physical activity.
Regular exercise requires optimal functioning of muscles, joints, and bones. In turn, such optimal performance requires full and free functioning of your nerve system. The nerve system sends timely instructions to all the rest of your body systems, informing cells, tissues, and organs as to when to do their jobs and exactly how much of a job to do. Regular chiropractic care removes irritation and inflammation from spinal nerves and other critical nerve tissue, helping ensure that exercising muscles receive the information they need to do their jobs well. By helping keep your nerve system healthy, regular chiropractic care helps you get the most out of your investment in exercise.
Strength training, otherwise known as weight training, is one of those activities that provides a wide range of benefits for the person who does it regularly. Like yoga, strength straining makes all your muscles stronger, enhances flexibility, and improves cardiovascular capability and capacity. In fact, two strength training sessions per week combined with one or two yoga classes per week will lead to super-fitness for most people within only a couple of months.
Strength training is beneficial for teenagers, young adults, and older adults.1Many strength training exercises are done in a weightbearing position, and the process of doing reps and sets with a modestly or moderately heavy load makes your bones stronger. Not only muscles, but also the soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system, including tendons, ligaments, and joint cartilage, are made sturdier by receiving increased supplies of oxygen and other nutrients. Engaging in a regular program of strength training will provide more restful sleep, rid your metabolism of accumulated toxins, add sparkle and tone to your skin, and improve your overall sense of well-being. All at the low price of two to three hours per week.
The key question is how to begin. Many books and online training videos are available. Most fitness centers offer a complimentary lesson or two with a personal trainer to enable you to learn the basics. Simply put, you want to train all of your major muscle groups once per week. For example, you can exercise your chest and back muscles on one day and your shoulders and arms on another day. If you're also doing one or two yoga classes per week, or one yoga class and two walking or running days per week, your leg muscles are covered.2
Let's say this is your chest and back day. Ideally you'll do three different exercises per body part. For your chest you could do lying-down (supine) bench presses with dumbbells, supine flies (in which you hold the dumbbells overhead and then open your arms out to the side), and incline bench presses with dumbbells. For your back, you could do one-arm rows, supine dumbbell pullovers (in which you use both hands to hold one dumbbell overhead and then lower the dumbbell all the way behind your head), and lat pulldowns on a machine. All together, doing these six different exercises, three sets per exercise, should take about one hour.
Then, two or three days later in the week, you do strength training for your shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Shoulder exercises could include seated overhead presses, standing lateral raises, and seated bent-over rows. Bicep exercises could include seated alternate incline curls, machine bicep curls, and seated concentration curls. Tricep exercises could include push-ups, lying (supine) tricep extensions, and machine tricep pressdowns. Again, these nine different exercises, three sets per exercise, should take about one hour.
There are many video clips available on the internet that demonstrate the mechanics of each of these exercises. Good form is critical. In fact, making sure your posture is balanced and your abdominal muscles are activated is more important than the amount of weight you are lifting.
Beginners, especially, need to know how much weight they should be using on each exercise.3 Importantly, lifting too much weight too soon will usually lead to injury. Of course, we want to work-out as safely as possible. Choose a weight at which you can comfortably do eight repetitions. If you can't do eight, the weight is too heavy. If eight repetitions with a particular weight seems ridiculously easy, try again with a weight that is 10% heavier. Repeat the process until you find the starting weight that is comfortable for you. There are many types of weight progression programs that you will employ as you become accustomed to the weight-training process. The main point is to begin to engage in this highly beneficial form of exercise. As your mastery of these techniques slowly improves, a new world of fitness, fun, and satisfaction will be revealed.
1Conceicao MS, et al: Sixteen weeks of resistance training can decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome in healthy postmenopausal women. Clin Interv Aging Epub Sept 16 2013
2Karavirta L, et al: Heart rate dynamics after combined strength and endurance training in middle-aged women: heterogeneity of responses. PLoS One 2013 Aug 27;8(8):e72664. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072664
3Van Roie E, et al: Strength training at high versus low external resistance in older adults: Effects on muscle volume, muscle strength, and force-velocity characteristics. Exp Gerontol Epub ahead of print

Frequent Flying

Frequent Flying

Chiropractic Care and Healthy Travel
Travel by air, rail, or highway takes us out of our daily routine and causes us to encounter unusual stresses and strains. Regular exercise and a healthy diet help us prepare for such circumstances. Regular chiropractic care is an additional critical component of our overall program for ensuring good health when on the road.
Regular chiropractic care helps a person's spine maintain its full mobility. Such optimal range of motion helps reduce irritation and inflammation of spinal muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The result is a core musculoskeletal system that is able to withstand the unexpected shocks and traumas that are part of the normal travel experience. Regular chiropractic care helps your body be more resilient and the result is better overall health.
Most of us, at one time or another, have traveled for business. Some of us do this fairly often, and when we travel for business, we're usually getting where we're going by plane. Air travel used to be quick and easy. But lately, within the last ten years, maybe not so much. By now, we're used to long lines at security checkpoints, extended downtime waiting for our scheduled flights to depart, and an almost total absence of healthy food choices on our travel days. That said, there are several steps a smart traveler can take to help ensure that necessary travel does not take a toll on our health and overall well-being.
The key to healthy travel is preparation. We want to avoid two main problems. First, we want to prevent the strains and sprains that may befall us when we battle unwieldy luggage in the cramped quarters of airplane cabins. Next, we want to avoid the colds, coughs, and other ailments we might contract by prolonged close contact with our fellow passengers and fellow conference attendees (or other business associates).
The best means of avoiding travel-related sprains and strains is to make sure we're stretching and doing vigorous exercise on a regular basis. Ideally, exercising and stretching has been a part of our weekly routine for a long time. If not, the good news about exercising is that the best time to begin is right now. Begin your fitness program at least four weeks before your travel date. Don't try to cram everything in. That would be a big mistake. Rather, consult with your chiropractor to learn a beginner's fitness routine that will work for you.
Begin your program and gradually build-up your capabilities over four or more weeks. Your fitness activities will prepare you for the physical work of lugging your bags around the airport and maneuvering them once you're inside the plane. Your stretching and exercise routines will improve your strength and flexibility, so you'll be better able to withstand the physical stresses of travel without suffering an annoying injury.
The best approach to guarding against travel-induced ailments is to ensure that you're providing your body with sufficient sources of energy.1,2 Healthy nutrition is the key here. Again, ideally, you and your family have been engaged in healthy eating for some time. But it's certainly easy to get off track. As with exercise, begin your program of good nutrition at least four weeks before your trip. Make sure, on a regular basis, you're eating from all the major food groups. Make sure, too, that you're eating at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. Such a daily diet will provide your body with the requirements for good health and sufficient energy that will enable a strong immune system.
Your two key action steps, a regular exercise and stretching program and a balanced and complete nutritional program, will help you maintain good health and enhanced well-being when you're traveling and when you return home.3
1Rizzoli R, et al: Nutrition and bone health: turning knowledge and beliefs into healthy behaviour. Curr Med Res Opin Sep 23 2013 [Epub ahead of print]
2Roberts CK: Modification of insulin sensitivity and glycemic control by activity and exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 10:1868-1877, 2013
3Taggart J, et al: A systematic review of interventions in primary care to improve health literacy for chronic disease behavioral risk factors. BMC Family Pract 13:49, 2012

Thursday, November 21, 2013

8 More Reasons I Haven’t Vaccinated My Daughter

8 More Reasons I Haven’t Vaccinated My Daughter

8 More Reasons I Haven't Vaccinated My Daughter
Last week, my first blog on this very sensitive topic called "8 Reasons I Haven't Vaccinated my Daughter" went viral on MindBodyGreen, being shared almost 50,000 times in the first week. There has been such an outpouring of support from all over the world that has been very humbling. Given the imminent direction vaccination policy in going, it seems like a good time to speak up.
The original article I wrote had 15 reasons, but after editing it was turned into eight. Here are eight more that didn't make the cut, that I thought GreenMedInfo readers might like.

1.  I can't trust vaccine studies to be true.

We all love studies, right? Let's start off with one that I believe may be the most important study of all. This gem caught my attention because it examined the "undue industry influence that distorts healthcare research, strategy, expenditure and practice." The conclusion reads, "to serve its interests, the industry masterfully influences evidence-base production, evidence synthesis, understanding of harms issues, cost-effectiveness evaluations, clinical practice guidelines and healthcare professional education and also exerts direct influences on professional decisions and health consumers."
The key word there is masterfully, because it wouldn't be masterful if everyone knew it was going on. The fact that marketing is spun to be made to look like pure science is the true "mastery".
Any one of these factors in isolation might be enough to make anyone doubt whose interests are being served by pro-vaccine research, but all together and working synergistically? Given the scope of this conclusion, it seems unlikely that a doctor or hospital will provide the most objective opinion, given their exposure to the 'direct influences' from pharmaceutical companies that have paid over$11bn in fines in the last three years for criminal wrongdoing.

2.  I believe the benefits of vaccines have been exaggerated.

I already hear you saying, "But James, how can you say that about vaccines? We all know that vaccines have saved millions of lives." Well, when you talk about saving lives, you are talking about reducing mortality. And when we look at the mortality presumably impacted by vaccines, we see a different picture than we have been told is true.  There is no doubt that sanitation, nutrition and socioeconomic factors played a much greater role in reducing mortality from communicable diseases than vaccines.
Graph Courtesy of
Prime example: measles. Mortality reduced 99.5% before the vaccine was introduced in 1963. Notice also, scarlet fever follows the same pattern of decline without the use of a vaccine ever. Even polio deaths were reduced 47% in the USA and 55% in the UK before the first vaccine was introduced, and were falling. How far could we have gone without vaccines? We will never know.
Since my article has come out, Dr. Suzanne Humpries has written a very well thought out piece on this exact topic, you can find it here. I challenge anyone to read that and still be 100% pro-vaccine.

3.  There is evidence of vaccines causing chronic and autoimmune disease

In my previous article, I detailed at least six chronic conditions proven to have come from vaccines. Given the ridiculously short observation periods and underreporting of the numbers, there is likely be a lot more.
This study from Japan spells it out clearly regarding vaccines and autoimmunity. "Systemic autoimmunity appears to be the inevitable consequence of over-stimulating the host's immune 'system' by repeated immunization with antigen, to the levels that surpass system's self-organized criticality."
Please know, I am not saying that vaccines cause all chronic diseases, but we are getting precious few answers as to what is causing them, and the answers that are starting to come are pointing atexcessive toxicity or medical interventions, of which vaccines are both (see point #9).  If you really want to be 'one less', in my view, it is better to be one less iatrogenic death (caused by doctors or medicine, the #3 killer in America).

4.  The history of polio has been distorted.

The first thing anyone says when you discuss not giving vaccines is 'do you want her to get polio?' Obviously not, although 'getting' polio and being paralyzed are two completely different things, given that 95% of polio cases are asymptomatic. Furthermore, polio has been consistently reclassified over the last 50 years so that many diseases we called polio at one time are no longer called that. This reclassification is not just an American trait, though.
In India in 2012, they celebrated a whole year going by without a polio death. Great news, hey! But have you heard of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis? A new study revealed that rates of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) have increased 1200% since the oral polio vaccine was introduced a decade ago. Bear in mind NPAFP is "clinically indistinguishable" from wild polio.  Clinically. Indistinguishable. We may have eliminated a virus, but we have not eliminated paralysis, which, after all, should have been the goal of the program.
So, has polio been "eradicated" or reclassified?
Also, you most likely source of getting polio in America in the last 60 years was actually from a polio vaccine. In 1955, in what is now referred to as the 'Cutter Incident', 120,000 people were mistakenly vaccinated with live polio. Whoops!

5. Eradication of the Disease is NOT the same as Eradication of the Microbe

Another common misconception is that vaccines kill off the actual microbes themselves. All of the microbes we vaccinate for still exist in our environment (and in some cases in our guts!), the vaccine program (along with other synergistic medical and social improvements) has got the human race to a point where the majority of them do not cause symptomatic infection. It is easy to make that mistake, granted, because the topic is often confused in the media.

6. Is the germ theory dead?

The germ theory underpins all of our current medical paradigm, including vaccines. I'm not sure the exact date that the germ theory died, but when the most effective treatment for an infection that is incurable with antibiotics is taking pills filled with human feces, you can be sure it is on it's last legs.
Perhaps the recent admission from the director of the CDC that we have "reached the end of the antibiotic era. Period" might make us think twice about building health strategies based on a flawed model.
Antoine Bechamp must be rolling in his grave, because it is looking more and more like he was right when he said "Le terrain est tout, le microbe n'est rien" or "the terrain is everything, the microbe is nothing".

7. I have researched the ingredients in vaccines. They are toxic, even carcinogenic; I do not want them injected into my daughter.

Before I discuss the ingredients themselves, there are four things to appreciate about toxicity and how it affects the body.
First, my baby's blood brain barrier (BBB) is still developing. The BBB protects the brain part of the brain known as the cerebellum, which is largely responsible for balance and gait.
Second, chemicals injected into the arm/leg are then absorbed directly into the blood stream. This has a potentially higher rate of toxicity than if those chemicals were inhaled or deposited into the alimentary canal. Our bodies team up with our microbial friends to create an amazing system for dealing with environmental toxicity, but that counts for nothing if the toxin is injected.
Third, toxicity can be transgenerational. Did you see the abnormalities of the grandkids of Vietnamese sprayed with Agent Orange? If I vaccinate my daughter today, and she seems to be relatively unscathed by the events, could I be giving my great-granddaughter autism or diabetes or autoimmune disease? No one can answer this question assuredly.
Fourth, toxicity between chemicals and metals have a synergistic effect. This means that if more than one toxin is present there is multiplier effect.
So what are the ingredients in vaccines? Unfortunately they are way too many to go over in detail in this post. Here are a few of the worst offenders (and remember the synergy!)

8.  I have done my homework and I know that history will eventually repeat itself. I don't want my daughter to be a statistic.

While our parents lived through the issues with tobacco science, most of us who are new parents today are too young to remember all the commotion. As the well worn, but not particularly well heeded, saying goes 'those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.'
tobacco science and vaccine science
The conclusion of the first study I quoted in this piece went on to state, "there is an urgent need for regulation and other action towards redefining the mission of medicine towards a more objective and patient-. population- and society-benefit direction that is free from conflict of interests."
Whatever your views on vaccines, you can surely agree with this last sentence. Regulation is obviously not going to get us there soon enough and so "other action" is required.
Over the last 8 years, I have been developing an understanding of what it would take to develop this new model. My new venture is called Revive Primary Care, we sold out our initial membership and are now looking to scale it across America, the world. If this article speaks to you, I ask you to take action and join us.

[Note: For additional vaccine research use the Health Guide: Vaccine Research.]

James Maskell is CEO of Revive Primary Care, a new project dedicated to restoring the health of America. By combining proven, dedicated, holistic doctors and practitioners with a unique digital education platform, our intention is to inspire a revolution of empowered health advocates, like you! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Benefits of Gratitude

The Benefits of Gratitude

Author // Ocean Robbins
It’s true: Our world is pretty messed up. There’s certainly no shortage of justifications for disappointment and cynicism.
But what are you grateful for? It’s a question that could change your life. Recent studies have concluded that the expression of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on our health, our moods and even the survival of our marriages. As Blair and Rita Justice reported for the University of Texas Health Science Center, “A growing body of research shows that gratitude is truly amazing in its physical and psychosocial benefits.”
In one study, Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., of the University of California at Davis, and Mike McCullough, of the University of Miami, randomly assigned participants one of three tasks. One group kept a journal in which they were told to briefly describe five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week; another five recorded daily hassles from the previous week that displeased them; and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told to focus on the positive or on the negative. Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25 percent happier than the hassled group. They reported fewer health complaints, and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.
In a later study by Emmons, people were asked to write every day about things for which they were grateful. Not surprisingly, this daily practice led to greater increases in gratitude than did the weekly journaling in the first study. But the results showed another benefit: Participants in the gratitude group also reported offering others more emotional support or help with personal problems, indicating that the gratitude exercise increased their goodwill toward others, or more technically, their “pro-social” motivation.
Another study focused on adults with congenital and adult-onset neuromuscular disorders (NMDs), with the majority having post-polio syndrome (PPS). Compared to those who were not jotting down their blessings nightly, participants in the gratitude group reported more hours of sleep each night, and feeling more refreshed upon awakening. The gratitude group also reported more satisfaction with their lives as a whole, felt more optimism about the upcoming week, and felt considerably more connected with others than did participants in the control group.
Perhaps most tellingly, the positive changes were markedly noticeable to others. According to the researchers, “Spouses of the participants in the gratitude group reported that the participants appeared to have higher subjective well-being than did the spouses of the participants in the control group.”
There’s an old saying that if you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness. It turns out this isn’t just a u y idea. Several studies have shown depression to be inversely correlated to gratitude. It seems that the more grateful a person is, the less depressed they are. Philip Watkins, a clinical psychologist at Eastern Washington University, found that clinically depressed individuals showed significantly lower gratitude (nearly 50 percent less) than non-depressed controls.
Apparently, positive vibes aren’t just for hippies. If you want in on the fun, here are some simple things you can do to build positive momentum toward a more happy and fulfilling life:
  • Keep a daily journal of three things you are thankful for. This works well first thing in the morning, or just before you go to bed.
  • Make it a practice to tell a spouse, partner or friend something you appreciate about them every day.
  • Look in the mirror when you are brushing your teeth, and think about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself.
Sure, this world gives us plenty of reasons to despair. But when we get o the fast track to morbidity, and cultivate instead an attitude of gratitude, things don’t just look better—they actually get better. Thankfulness feels good, it’s good for you, and it’s a blessing for the people around you, too. It’s such a win-win-win that I’d say we have cause for gratitude.

Pathways Issue 35 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #35.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Johns Hopkins Scientist Slams Flu Vaccine

Johns Hopkins Scientist Slams Flu Vaccine

Johns Hopkins Scientist Slams Flu Vaccine

News Max shared this article back in May – it is time to read it again, as there are more “Get your FLU Shot Now” signs coming out than ever before.  It is GARBAGE, and we have been screaming that for 12 years.  Come on, show me some respect.  OK, here is the article, I am out – Dr. E
Begin -
A Johns Hopkins scientist has issued a blistering report on influenza vaccines in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Peter Doshi, Ph.D., charges that although the vaccines are being pushed on the public in unprecedented numbers, they are less effective and cause more side effects than alleged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Further, says Doshi, the studies that underlie the CDC’s policy of encouraging most people to get a yearly flu shot are often low quality studies that do not substantiate the official claims.
Promoting influenza vaccines is one of the most visible and aggressive public health policies in the United States, says Doshi of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Drug companies and public officials press for widespread vaccination each fall, offering vaccinations in drugstores and supermarkets. The results have been phenomenal. Only 20 years ago, 32 million doses of influenza vaccine were available in the United States on an annual basis. Today, the total has skyrocketed to 135 million doses.
“The vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza seems to be overstated,” Doshi says. Mandatory vaccination polices have been enacted, often in healthcare facilities, forcing some people to take the vaccine under threat of losing their jobs.
The main assertion of the CDC that fuels the push for flu vaccines each year is that influenza comes with a risk of serious complications which can cause death, especially in senior citizens and those suffering from chronic illnesses. That’s not the case, said Doshi.
When read carefully, the CDC acknowledges that studies finding any perceived reduction in death rates may be due to the “healthy-user effect” — the tendency for healthier people to be vaccinated more than less-healthy people. The only randomized trial of influenza vaccine in older people found no decrease in deaths. “This means that influenza vaccines are approved for use in older people despite any clinical trials demonstrating a reduction in serious outcomes,” says Doshi.
Even when the vaccine is closely matched to the type of influenza that’s prevalent, which doesn’t happen every year, randomized, controlled trials of healthy adults found that vaccinating between 33 and 100 people resulted in one less case of influenza. In addition, says Doshi, no evidence exists to show that this reduction in the risk of influenza for a specific population — here in the United States, among healthy adults, for example — extrapolates into any reduced risk of serious complications from influenza, such as hospitalizations or deaths, among seniors.
“For most people, and possibly most doctors, officials need only claim that vaccines save lives, and it is assumed there must be solid research behind it,” says Doshi. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, he says.
Although the CDC implies that flu vaccines are safe and there’s no need to weigh benefits against risk, Doshi disagrees. He points to an Australian study that found one in every 110 children under the age of five had convulsions following vaccinations in 2009 for H1N1 influenza. Additional investigations found that the H1N1 vaccine was also associated with a spike in cases of narcolepsy among adolescents.
Editor’s Note: 3 Secrets to Never Get Sick Again. Get Super Immunity for Only $4.95. Click here.
Doshi’s concerns echo those of Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon and author of “The Blaylock Wellness Report” who has deep concerns over the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine.
Not only is the vaccine not safe, Dr. Blaylock tells Newsmax Health, it doesn’t even work. “The vaccine is completely worthless, and the government knows it,” he says. “There are three reasons the government tells the elderly why they should get flu shots: secondary pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. Yet a study by the Cochrane group studied hundreds of thousands of people and found it offered zero protection for those three things in the general community. It offered people in nursing homes some immunity against the flu — at best one-third — but that was only if they picked the right vaccine.”
A study released in February found that the flu shot was only 9 percent effective in protecting seniors against the 2012-2013 season’s most virulent influenza bug.
What’s even worse is that small children who are given the flu vaccine get no protection from the disease. “The government also says that every baby over the age of six months should have a vaccine, and they know it contains a dose of mercury that is toxic to the brain,” says Dr. Blaylock. “They also know the studies have shown that the flu vaccine has zero — zero — effectiveness in children under five.”
For most people, says Dr. Blaylock, flu vaccines don’t prevent the flu but actually increase the odds of getting it. The mercury contained in vaccines is such a strong immune depressant that a flu shot suppresses immunity for several weeks. “This makes people highly susceptible to catching the flu,” he says. “They may even think the vaccine gave them the flu, but that’s not true — it depressed their immune system and then they caught the flu.”
Mercury overstimulates the brain for several years, says Dr. Blaylock, and that activation is the cause of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases. One study found that those who get the flu vaccine for three to five years increase their risk of Alzheimer’s disease 10-fold.
Doshi asserts that influenza is a case of “disease mongering” in an effort to expand markets. He points to the fact that deaths from flu declined sharply during the middle of the 20th century, long before the huge vaccine campaigns that kicked off the 21st century.
Why do drug companies push the flu vaccine? “It’s all about money,” says Dr. Blaylock. “Vaccines are a pharmaceutical company’s dream. They have a product that both the government and the media will help them sell, and since vaccines are protected, they can’t be sued if anyone has a complication.”
Doshi’s article “is a breath of fresh air,” says Dr. Blaylock. “This article exposes in well-defined and articulate terms what has been known for a long time — the flu vaccine promotion is a fraud.
“Here’s the bottom line,” says Dr. Blaylock. “The vast number of people who get the flu vaccine aren’t going to get any benefit, but they get all of the risks and complications.”
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Monday, November 11, 2013

What Science Says About Getting A Flu Shot

What Science Says About Getting A Flu Shot

The flu shot debate is always an emotional one. Supporters on both sides are convinced they are right and that anyone who decides otherwise is simply misinformed.
This article will not be emotional. It's simply going to present the facts. The information contained here was not gathered from internet websites or blogs. It came from peer-reviewed literature written by scientists with the best credentials for commenting on the topic.

Flu Shot History

In 1957 – 1958, a terrible flu outbreak swept the US and resulted in a massive outcry for health agencies and the government to act. Medical options were limited at that time, so in 1960 nationwide flu vaccination became strongly recommended by the US Surgeon General. This launched the beginnings of a precedent which is still in effect today, mainly that everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot each year.
Unfortunately, not one shred of data existed to support the mandate.
Lancet (2012). "This recommendation was made without data for vaccine efficacy or effectiveness for high-risk populations." *Osterholm, M. et al (2012). Lancet Infect Dis 12: 36-44
There were no scientific studies done to warrant this move by health officials, and there have been no scientific studies done since that prove flu shots are either safe or effective.
In the Lancet (2007) "Recent excess mortality studies were unable to confirm a decline in influenza related mortality (flu deaths) since 1980, even as vaccination coverage increased from 15% to 65%." *Simonson, et al (2007). Lancet Infect Dis 7: 658-66
So even though millions more people are getting flu shots since 1980, it has not been shown that flu deaths are decreasing as a result.
Another article in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine commented on statistics collected over the last two decades, saying that "no trial data support a mortality benefit (lowered death rate) with influenza vaccination." In fact, both the rates of flu infection and death have increased in people 65 years and older, and they continue to increase as vaccine coverage becomes more widespread. *Eurich, D. et al (2008). Am j Respir Crit Care Med 178: 527-33

What Vaccine Manufacturers Say About The Flu Shot

Influenza Vaccine
The next time you're thinking of getting a flu shot, read the product insert carefully. You'll find some pretty unsettling statements regardless of the vaccine manufacturer. They tell you themselves, in very small writing, that "There have been no controlled clinical trials demonstrating a decrease in influenza after vaccination..." and that "this vaccine has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential."
This is basically telling you, in purposefully confusing language, that no scientific data exists showing that the flu shot protects you from getting the flu, and that no science is available proving it won't give you cancer.
The insert will also give you a list of reported side effects, most of which should be great cause for alarm.

Does The Flu Shot Save Lives

Every year, as winter approaches, the flu shot campaign gets underway with an intense plea for seniors to get their vaccines. As a result, millions of adults age 65 and older are vaccinated at the request of their physician.
There is absolutely no scientific data which proves that vaccinating the elderly protects them from the flu or from dying from the flu. All available statistics are nothing more than observational data and not the result of randomized, placebo controlled trials.
A review of all existing literature on the effectiveness of flu shot campaigns showed that "the available evidence is of poor quality and provides no guidance regarding the safety, efficacy, or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 or older." *Jefferson, T. et al (2010). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 8: Article #CDOO4879
The article goes on to explain that only rarely is the upcoming seasonal flu strain ever predicted with any accuracy. On rare occurrence when it is matched correctly, however, 100 people need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms, and there is no evidence that vaccines affect complications (such as pneumonia) or transmission. 
Published in the Lancet, 2012:
"There are no randomized controlled trials showing efficacy of TIV (the inactive flu virus) in people aged 2-17 years or adults aged 65 and older. For LAIV (the live flu virus), there are no randomized controlled trials showing efficacy in people aged 8-59." *Osterholm, M. et al (2012). Lancet Infect Dis 12: 36-44
How can this be? All the pamphlets, fliers, and other flu shot advertisements report up to a 85% effectiveness rate! Let me show you how these statistics are reported and why you shouldn't trust them.

How Flu Shot Results Are Reported

Flu Vaccine
A 1994 study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in which 1,838 people over 60 years of age either received a flu shot or a placebo (saline solution). The study concluded that the flu shot resulted in a 50% reduction of the flu. *Govaert, M.E. et al (1994). J.A.M.A. 272: 1661-65

What Science Says About Getting A Flu Shot
That outcome is actually pretty amazing. What physician would NOT urge his/her elderly patients to get a flu shot if this were true? And what responsible government wouldn't stand behind this recommendation when shown such results?
Here was the ACTUAL outcome of the study:
  • 3% of those who were NOT vaccinated got the flu.
  • 2% of those who WERE vaccinated got the flu.
Or on the flip side...
  • Of those who were NOT vaccinated, 97% remained flu-free.
  • Of those who WERE vaccinated, 98% remained flu-free
This is, in reality, only a 1% difference, but they did something tricky with the numbers.
They are comparing the 1% difference to the 2% who were vaccinated and calling it a 50% success rate because 1 is half of 2! This is immoral, unethical, and bordering on criminal.
This is the exact same way that studies on cholesterol, high blood pressure, and scores of other drugs are reported. It's also the method by which results are conveyed to government agencies and other groups that make drug policy.
Every single report of vaccine efficacy in existence is based on this kind of RELATIVE difference between vaccinated and non-vaccinated subjects, not the ACTUAL difference! What's worse is they are legally allowed to state their results this way and are misleading the public in doing so.

Why Do We Get The Flu

The presence or absence of "germs," the temperature outdoors, and/or the people in your environment, have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you get the flu. The real concern is the health of your immune system.
  • That's exactly what they are trying to do by injecting you with the flu virus! They are attempting to artificially enhance the effectiveness of your immune response.
The immune system is only influenced by two variables: stress and nutrition.
Stress comes from a number of sources. All these things depress immune function:
  • Processed food
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Sugar
  • Chronic pain
  • Physical strain
  • Lack of sleep
  • Negative thinking
  • And dozens of others
And, of course, just as a plant that lacks sun exposure will get sick, human immune cells that lack sufficient elements to function properly cannot fight infection.
If you've noticed, colds and flu are much more prevalent in the fall and winter months, and their incidents have been directly linked in dozens of studies to a Vitamin D deficiency. In fact, some authorities believe that a lack of Vitamin D is the ONE AND ONLY cause of the flu.
Sufficient levels of Vitamin D raise our innate immune response, which is natural and inborn, and is exponentially more effective than that acquired by artificial means, as with drugs and vaccines.
Adequate amounts of Vitamin D have actually been shown to deactivate the flu virus in human subjects by three different independent research groups. *Cannell, J. et al. Epidemiol Infect 134 (6) 1129-40
The typical recommendation of 400 (or even 1,000) IUs of Vitamin D per day is not sufficient to prevent colds and flu. *Cannell, J. et al. Epidemiol Infect 134 (6) 1129-40
  • There is no way to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D during the winter months in most places of the country, so supplementation is necessary. Statistics acquired from parts of the world with tropical climates and little seasonal variation show a remarkable absence of the flu virus.
Vitamin D is fast becoming the first and most important recommendation made by health care professionals for strengthening the immune system against colds and flu. We recommend 4,000 IUs of liquid Vitamin D per day for women, 5,000 IUs per day for men, and a teaspoon of A&D formula for kids.
This course of action costs only pennies per day, provides the added benefit of adequate Vitamin D levels to all genes and immune cells which require it for wellness, and does not carry the safety risks inherent in vaccination.
For the science regarding Vitamin D and the flu virus, check this article.

Additional Flu Shot Studies

As we come across additional studies regarding the ineffectiveness of the flu shot, we will post them here:
A 2008 study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating children 6-59 months of age against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. "...significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting."
A 2008 study published in the Lancet reported that the flu shot did not reduce risk of pneumonia in the elderly.
A systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6-23 months was published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006 and found no evidence that the flu shot was any more effective than a placebo in children under 2 years of age.