Tag Archives: CDC

Why You Should Avoid Flu Shots and What to Do Instead

Updated 4/15/2016.

 

 

new-flu

 

In early December 2014 the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that this season’s flu vaccine is not as effective as in years past because the viral strain circulating this influenza season has mutated. Of the 85 influenza samples the CDC collected and analyzed between October 1 through November 22 2014, 52% of them differed from the virus strains included in this season’s vaccine. (Goldschmidt & Christensen, 2014)

 

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Across all age groups reviewed by the CDC, the flu vaccines’ effectiveness during the 2012-2013 flu season was found to be 56% – that is, only slightly better than 50/50. The effectiveness rate of flu vaccine for seniors 65 and older in the US was found to be only 9%. (Mercola, 2013)
The CDC also reports that flu activity is low this 2014-2015 season. Yet we’re being urged by our doctors and numerous media ads to get a flu shot as soon as possible. The shots are even available at drug stores, supermarkets and workplaces. The CDC recommends yearly vaccination for everyone  six months and older unless they’ve had a severe reaction to a previous version of the flu vaccine. (Goldschmidt & Christensen, 2014)

 

Sick woman in bed taking temperature

 

COCHRANE DATABASE OF SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS: USEFULNESS OF FLU VACCINES A MYTH

Five reports issued between 2006 and 2010 by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, considered the gold standard of independent scientific evaluation and analysis, has decimated the myth that flu vaccinations are “the most effective flu prevention method” available. (Cochrane, 2014).
Cochrane reported that, in average conditions, when a flu vaccine at least partially matches the circulating virus, 100 people’s getting vaccinated prevents just ONE set of flu symptoms.

Cochrane

Cochrane Reviews are scientifically rigorous, systematic reviews of research  in healthcare and health policy. The Cochrane Library contains high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.

 

FROM THE LABEL OF A FLU VACCINE USED DURING THE 2013-2014 SEASON

(Source: www.naturalnews.com)
(Source: www.naturalnews.com)

 

 

FDA’S FORMER CHIEF VACCINE CONTROL OFFICER: FLU VACCINES WORTHLESS

The FDA’s former Chief Vaccine Control Officer, Dr. J. Anthony Morris, a Virologist, states, “There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza. The producers of these vaccines know they are worthless, but go on making them anyway.”
See Public Comments From Individuals (as of January 20, 2012) – Submitted through the Federal Register Process to read Dr Morris’s and 144 other comments from health care professionals about the uselessness and dangers of routine flu vaccinations.

 

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ALL VACCINES ARE IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPRESSIVE

Doesn’t impairing your immune system’s ability to fight off pathogens seem exactly the wrong approach to avoiding a viral illness – or any other type of illness?
Dr Robert Mercola states “all vaccines suppress your immune system”. This is his list of some of the ways vaccines impair and alter our immune responses (Mercola, 2011):
  • Some components in vaccines are neurotoxic and may depress your immune response or cause brain and immune dysfunction, particularly heavy metals such as mercury preservatives and aluminum adjuvants
  • The lab-altered vaccine viruses themselves may also affect your immune response in a negative way
  • Vaccines may alter your t-cell function and lead you to become chronically ill
  • Vaccines can trigger allergies or autoimmune disorders. Vaccines introduce large foreign protein molecules into your body. Your body can respond to these foreign particles in a way that causes an allergic reaction or triggers autoimmunity, especially in persons genetically or biologically vulnerable to allergy and autoimmunity
Mercola cites a study published in the Annals of Medicine that concluded:

“Abnormalities in arterial function and LDL oxidation may persist for at least two weeks after a slight inflammatory reaction induced by influenza vaccination. These could explain in part the earlier reported increase in cardiovascular risk during the first weeks after an acute inflammatory disorder.”


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SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STAY HEALTHY AND AVOID GETTING THE FLU?

The flu does certainly involve some misery for those who become ill with it and can be serious for those with weakened immune systems. So what can you do to avoid getting the flu – while also avoiding catching colds, bacterial illnesses and other diseases?

 

TAKE A HIGH QUALITY VITAMIN D3 SUPPLEMENT DAILY (Torres, 2013)

vitamind

Supplementing with Vitamin D3 has been demonstrated to be more effective than both vaccines and anti-viral drugs to prevent influenza. Vitamin D dramatically increases the body’s production of broad-spectrum NATURAL antibiotics called anti-microbial peptides.
A rigorous clinical trial (double blind, randomized and fully controlled scientifically) conducted by Japanese doctors and scientists in Tokyo showed that children who received supplementation with 1200 IUs (international units) of Vitamin D became ill with the flu half as often as children who didn’t take Vitamin D.
During the first month of the study the children taking the vitamin caught the flu as often as the ones receiving a placebo. The Vitamin D advantage became clear during the second month, when the Vitamin D levels in their blood were higher.
The study’s scientists note that the anti-viral drugs zanamivir and oseltamivir reduce the risk of flu infection by only 8% in children who have been exposed to infection, compared with a 50% or higher reduction with vitamin D.
Supplementing with Vitamin D is beneficial in many other ways as well: Reducing the risk of bone fractures, cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s,  viral and bacterial infections in general – and a long list of chronic autoimmune diseases.
Vitamin D, not actually a vitamin but a steroid hormone precursor, has profoundly positive effects on our immunity. It activates our innate immune system, triggering cell activity and disabling viruses.
Professor of Virology at Queen Mary School of Medicine, London, Dr John Oxford, says: “This is a timely study. It will be noticed by scientists. It fits in with the seasonal pattern of flu. There is an increasing background of solid science that makes the vitamin D story credible.”
While the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Medicine and the FDA all recommend daily dosing with 200- 500 IUs of Vitamin D, this is inadequate. The needed daily dose for adults is known to be about 5,000 IUs – or even higher.
Fewer than 5% of Americans have been found to have adequate vitamin D blood levels (between 70 and 90 ng/ml). The only blood test that properly determines Vitamin D adequacy is a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D test, not the 1,25-di-hydroxy-vitamin D test many physicians order.

 

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Metagenics is a high quality brand for daily supplementing with D3. You can purchase it on Amazon. I take 5,000 IUs in the sunny months and 10,000 IUs in the darker months * … and don’t catch the flu or colds.

4/15/2016 update:

* I’ve now reduced my Vitamin D3 intake to 5,000 IUs/day year round after my blood serum level was found to be too high.

 

AND REMEMBER:

EXPOSURE TO THE FLU – OR ANY OTHER VIRAL OR BACTERIAL ILLNESS – DOESN’T MEAN YOU’LL BECOME ILL WITH IT. IF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS FUNCTIONING PROPERLY, YOU WON’T SUCCUMB.

Your immune system can protect you from all these baddies:

 

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KEEP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM STRONG!

 

In addition to supplementing with Vitamin D, Dr Mercola offers some other strategies to protect yourself from the flu – in lieu of getting vaccinated (Mercola, 2013):
  • Have Effective Tools to Address Stress: If stress becomes overwhelming, then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique, which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma.
  • Get Regular Exercise: Exercising increases circulation and blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system also benefit, giving your immune system a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads. However, it would be wise to radically reduce the intensity of your workouts while you are sick.
  • Stay hydrated: Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Take a High-Quality Source of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats: Increasing your intake of healthy and essential fatty acids, like the Omega-3 found in krill oil, is crucial for maintaining a strong immune system. It is also vitally important to avoid eating the damaging Omega-6 oils that are trans fats and found in processed foods as they will seriously damage your immune response.
  • Wash Your Hands: Washing your hands decreases your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Be sure you don’t use antibacterial soap – antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary and cause far more harm than good. Instead, use a simple chemical-free soap.
  • Tried and True Hygiene Measures: In addition to washing your hands regularly, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If possible, avoid close contact with those who are sick and, if you are sick, avoid close contact with those who are well.
  • Use Natural Immune-Boosters: Examples include oil of oregano and garlic, both of which offer effective protection against bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in your body. And unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they do not appear to lead to resistance.
  • Avoid Hospitals: Stay away from hospitals unless you’re having an emergency and need expert medical care, as hospitals are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds. The best place to get plenty of rest and recover from illness that is not life-threatening is usually in the comfort of your own home.


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REFERENCES

CDC: Flu shot less effective this year because current virus has mutated. See: http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/04/health/flu-vaccine-mutated-virus/

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Triclosan, Your Toothpaste and Your Endocrine System

 

 

TOP triclosan toothpaste

 

Take a look at the ingredients in your toothpaste. Is triclosan on the list? If so, switching brands would be a good idea.

 

Some products containing triclosan. (Source. www.achildgrows.com)
Some products containing triclosan. (Source. www.achildgrows.com)

 

Triclosan is the active ingredient in many widely used antibacterial products. You probably used some – or many – of them in your own home. These products claim to kill “99.9% of germs” as if that were a good thing … and triclosan is the killer.

 

(Source:  www.greenlivingonline.com)
(Source: www.greenlivingonline.com)

 

 

TRICLOSAN: A PROBLEMATIC CHEMICAL WITH ADVERSE HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS  (Francis, 2014), (Kaplan, 2014), (Mercola, 2014)

Triclosan is a synthetic, broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent present in a wide variety of consumer products: toothpastes, liquid soaps, dish washing liquids, mouth washes, face washes, hand sanitizers, surgical cleaning scrubs, shaving gels, deodorants, detergents, textiles, socks, workout clothes, toys, plastic kitchenware, cutting boards, school supplies – and many more.
Triclosan was first registered as a pesticide in 1969 and is now widely used as an antimicrobial. Do you want to brush your teeth with pesticide? For that matter, do you think it’s wise to kill 99% of the useful bacterial in your mouth daily?

 

 

(Source: www.ecomythsalliance.org)
(Source: www.ecomythsalliance.org)
The label on Colgate toothpastes lists the amount of triclosan in its products as only 0.30% – which may seem very small. But because triclosan is extremely powerful at killing bacteria and other microbes, this negligible amount makes the chemical a powerfully active ingredient.
Aside from killing 99% of our useful microbes along with the harmful ones, triclosan also reacts with water to form chloroform, a possible carcinogen, and with sunlight to form dioxins, known endocrine disruptors. (Angkadjaja, 2012)

 

 

(Source: www.cela.ca)
(Source: www.cela.ca)
Triclosan’s chemical structure is similar to thyroid hormones and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs – toxic chemicals now banned in the US but still found in the environment). This similarity allows it to attach to thyroid hormone receptors, altering hormone regulation and possibly interfering with fetal development. Scientists have noted an increased cancer risk from triclosan exposure. And bacteria exposed to triclosan are apt to become resistant to antibiotics.

 

 

(Source: thehealthykey.com)
(Source: thehealthykey.com)

 

The US Food and Drug Administration acknowledges that recent research raises “valid concerns” about the safety of triclosan, which is used so widely in products that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports it is found in the urine of 75% of the population.
Triclosan:
  • Is found in the blood, urine and breast milk of the average person.
  • Is a known hormone disrupter.
  • Is a culprit in creating superbugs, bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
  • Weakens the heart muscle, impairing contractions and reducing heart function.
  • Weakens skeletal muscles, reducing grip strength
  • Washes into your sewage systems  and pollutes water bodies
On top of all this, ANTI-BACTERIAL SOAP OFFERS NO PROVEN BENEFIT OVER REGULAR SOAP!

 

 

 

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A joint project of Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides has created a FACT SHEET on the dangers of triclosan. It contains a summary of nearly 60 studies into the chemical’s impact on health. From the FACT SHEET:

A growing list of household and personal care products are advertised as “antibacterial” because they contain a chemical called triclosan. While the manufacturers of these products want you to think triclosan protects you from harmful bacteria, it turns out it may be doing more harm than good.

See  Triclosan: What the Research Shows  (Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides, undated)

 

The proliferation of triclosan in everyday consumer products is enormous. It is now found in our drinking water, in our rivers, in our bodies. Several other countries, including the members of the European Union, have banned or restricted use of the chemical. Yet we in the US continue to consume and be exposed to an onslaught of triclosan. (Layton, 2010)

 

 

(Source: ww.beyondpesticides.org)
(Source: ww.beyondpesticides.org)
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry’s name for triclosan is 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol. Triclosan is similar in its uses and mechanism of action to triclocarbon, another dangerous antibacterial chemical used in personal care products. Brand names include Digiclean, Asepso, Prevens, Virx, Derma-Glove, FresHands and Renewal. (Wikipedia, 8/24/2014)

 

 

(Source:  www.medicalnewspk.com)
(Source: www.medicalnewspk.com)

 

 

 

 

HOW TRICLOSAN WORKS

The cells of all organisms, including bacteria, require a cell membrane to survive. The cell membrane is a critical barrier that selectively allows oxygen, nutrients, and wastes to permeate and leave the cell; it is the “edge of life, the boundary that separates the living cell from its nonliving surroundings”. Without a permeable cell membrane, a cell would simply die. For example, wastes would not be transported out of the cell, causing toxins to accumulate and poison the cell. Curiously, it is precisely this function of the cell membrane that Triclosan is engineered to immobilize….

Triclosan stops the fatty acid elongation process by inhibiting a bacterial enzyme. … By stealing active sites from the natural substrate, Triclosan systematically kills bacteria by stopping fatty acid chain growth. This, in turn, stops the growth of the cell membrane and effectively kills the cell. The process is efficient, insidious and almost perfect, and when given the opportunity, Triclosan is extremely successful.

–  S. Angkadjaja, 2012. What Makes Antibacterial Soap Antibacterial? Illumin: A review of engineering in everyday life

 

 

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Earthpaste Amazingly Natural Toothpaste Cinnamon
Earthpaste Amazingly Natural Toothpaste – Cinnamon

TRICLOSAN-FREE TOOTHPASTES

 Here are some of the triclosan-free toothpastes on the market:
  • Redmond Trading Company’s Earthpaste Amazingly Natural Toothpaste – Cinnamon
  •  Doterra Toothpaste
  • Tom’s of Maine
  • Sensodyne
  • Jason’s Natural Toothpaste
  • Nature’s Gate
  • Desert Essence
  • Crest Toothpastes
  • Waleda

 

Some of these brands contain fluoride and other chemicals of concern. For example, here’s Environmental Working Group’s SKIN DEEP’s analysis of Sensodyne Original Flavor Toothpaste:
 At least it doesn’t contain triclosan.

 

 

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Check the ingredients list on your own toothpaste. Triclosan is listed under Active Ingredients.
I personally also avoid toothpastes containing fluoride, which is a toxin – and the reason why fluoride-containing toothpastes come with a warning not to swallow  it – as on the label above.

 

 

 

 

MANY BACTERIA ARE GOOD FOR US

There is much evidence showing that bacteria are not all dangerous and should not be killed willy nilly. Many strains of  bacteria are in fact necessary for our health. The modern world has developed an unhealthy phobia against germs of all kinds.
Remember the Human Microbiome?  A large part of it resides in our gastro-intestinal tracts. So much so that the Gut Microbiome is often referred to as our second genome. Our guts are home to several pounds of microbes responsible for keeping our immune systems strong so we can have healthy bodies and minds.
In addition to the gut microbiome, the human body also is home to other important microbiomes: On our skin; in our mouths, urogenital tracts, nasal cavities.

 

 

Human Microbiomes
Human Microbiomes

 

In fact, bacteria and other micro-organisms living in and on the human body outnumber our human cells by 10 to 1! And this is a good thing. Without these microbes, our health – perhaps our very existence – would be in serious jeopardy.

 

 

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A nice little animated video from NPR called The Invisible Universe Of The Human Microbiome  (5:28).
The Invisible Universe Of The Human Microbiome - NPR
The Invisible Universe Of The Human Microbiome – NPR

 

 

THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS

The Hygiene Hypothesis states that overly sanitizing our skins and environments is actually doing much harm and is responsible for the steep rise in auto-immune diseases, asthma, eczema and other health problems.
Michael Pollan states it well in his New York Times Magazine article“Some of My Best Friends Are Germs “ – which I highly recommend reading:

Human health should now “be thought of as a collective property of the human-associated microbiota”  ….

Such a paradigm shift comes not a moment too soon, because as a civilization, we’ve just spent the better part of a century doing our unwitting best to wreck the human-associated microbiota with a multifronted war on bacteria and a diet notably detrimental to its well-being. Researchers now speak of an impoverished “Westernized microbiome” and ask whether the time has come to embark on a project of “restoration ecology” — not in the rain forest or on the prairie but right here at home, in the human gut. (Pollan, 2013)

(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)
The Hygiene Hypothesis: Our modern obsession with cleanliness is making us and our environment sick. (Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)

 

My recommendation is to be alarmed rather than reassured by products that promise to kill 99.9% of germs. Using these products will deprive you of many microbes necessary for your health – and the health of our planet too.

 

 

THE RIGHT WAY TO WASH YOUR HANDS

In 2005 an advisory panel told the Federal Drug Administration there was no evidence that antibacterial soaps work better than regular soap and water. (Layton, 2010)

 

hand-washing-technique

 

Remember washing your hands with regular soap and warm water before antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers hit the market? Turns out using regular soap and water is actually the best way to protect your health and prevent the spread of infections and communicable illnesses. In case you’ve forgotten how to do it:
  • Wet your hands with warm water.
  • Lather up with regular soap.
  • Rub soapy hands together for at least 15 seconds before rinsing.
  • Dry hands before turning off the faucet.
  • Use a paper towel to turn off the water to avoid germs on the faucet.

 

 

 

 

CHECK FOR TRICLOSAN IN OTHER PRODUCTS

You might also want to check for triclosan in the ingredients list of your other personal care and household cleaning products. It’s bad stuff.
Some of the many products containing triclosan:

 

(Source: drsohm.tumblr.com)
(Source: drsohm.tumblr.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source:  www.redicecreations.com)
(Source: www.redicecreations.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source:  healthverdict.com)
(Source: healthverdict.com)

 

 

THE EWG’S SKIN DEEP WEBSITE AND MOBILE APP

The Environmental Working Group has collected safety data on over 69,000 products. You can either go to their SKIN DEEP website or use their mobile app.

 

Information from EWG's SKIN DEEP project
Sample information from EWG’s SKIN DEEP project’s mobile app that lets you obtain hazard on over 69,000 personal care products by typing in the product’s name or scanning its barcode with a smart phone

 

Why the EWG established the SKIN DEEP project:

The American government doesn’t require health studies or pre-market testing of the chemicals in personal care products, even though just about everyone is exposed to them. Through Skin Deep, we put the power of information in consumers’ hands. When you know what’s in the products you bring into your home and how those chemicals may affect your health and the environment, you can make informed purchasing decisions — and help transform the marketplace. At the same time, we advocate responsible corporate and governmental policies to protect the most vulnerable among us.

 

What SKIN DEEP says about triclosan and triclocarban on their website:

Triclosan & Triclocarban: Antimicrobial pesticides in liquid soap (triclosan) or soap bars (triclocarban), very toxic to the aquatic environment. Often found as contaminants in people due to widespread use of antimicrobial cleaning products. Triclosan disrupts thyroid function and reproductive hormones. American Medical Association and the American Academy of Microbiology say that soap and water serves just as well to prevent spread of infections and reduce bacteria on the skin. Overuse may promote the development of bacterial resistance.

 

 

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REFERENCES

Angkadjaja, S. (2012). What Makes Antibacterial Soap Antibacterial?  Illumin: A review of engineering in everyday life. See:  http://illumin.usc.edu/printer/68/what-makes-antibacterial-soap-antibacterial/

Food & Water Watch + Beyond Pesticides. (undated). Triclosan: What the Research Shows. See:  http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/triclosan-research-3-09.pdf

Francis, I. (2014). Why you should be worried about the chemical ‘Triclosan’ that’s in your toothpaste.  See:   http://www.thealternative.in/lifestyle/worried-chemical-triclosan-thats-toothpaste/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). The Gut Microbiome – Our Second Genome. AllergiesAndYourCut.com. See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/the-gut-microbiome-our-second-genome/

Kaplan, D. (2014). FDA says studies on triclosan, used in sanitizers and soaps, raise concerns. See:  http://www.healthfreedoms.org/fda-says-studies-on-triclosan-used-in-sanitizers-and-soaps-raise-concerns/

Layton, L. (2010). FDA says studies on triclosan, used in sanitizers and soaps, raise concerns. The Washington Post. See:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/07/AR2010040704621.html

Mercola, R. (2014). Best-Selling Toothpaste Contains Endocrine-Disrupting Chemical. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/27/triclosan-toothpaste.aspx?e_cid=20140827Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20140827Z1&et_cid=DM54542&et_rid=636597549

NPR. (2013). The Invisible Universe Of The Human Microbiome. Video (5:28). See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DTrENdWvvM

Pollan, M. (2013). Some of My Best Friends Are Germs. New York Times Magazine, May 15 2013.  See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html?_r=0

Wikipedia. (8/24/2014). Triclosan.  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triclosan

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.