Microorganisms live in the human digestive system and affect our health — scientists are trying to work out how
Mahmoud Ghannoum , PhD, MBA, FIDSA, is the Director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals.
He has been called “the leading microbiome researcher in the world” by the Washington Post and has published over 450 scientific papers on his research specialty: how bacteria and fungi impact our health.
With his son, Afif, Dr Ghannoum is the founder of BIOHM Health, the first company to create probiotics and microbiome tests that address bacteria and fungi in the gut. He is also the founder of DrMicrobiome.com where his team offers personalized coaching programs for optimizing your microbiome.
Dr Ghannoum lectures at major scientific institutions around the world, including the Institute Pasteur in Paris and the National Institutes of Health, which has extensively funded his research over the last three decades.
Below are a useful set of links to online resources and articles BIOHM Health sent yesterday (3/30/2020) as a BIOHM Science Report on the topic of Immune Health and COVID-19.
“During these unusual times, the team at BIOHM wanted to share some useful information, articles, research and resources from across the globe about things you can do to keep our immune system healthy and strong!
“We are also sharing information from various resources as it relates to COVID-19 and immune health.” (BIOHM Science Report: Immune Health and COVID-19, 3/30/2020)
Cleveland Clinic: Find Out Your COVID-19 Risk Concerned about whether you may have COVID-19, but not sure what’s the first step?Try our free screening tool to find out your risk level, based on your symptoms and travel, and get the most appropriate care recommendations. Cleveland Clinic – Start Your Screening Now
JOHNS HOPKINS: CORONAVIRUS RESOURCE CENTERJ Johns Hopkins experts in global public health, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness have been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19.This website is a resource to help advance the understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives. Johns Hopkins – COVID-19 Resource Center
ARTICLES IN THE NEWS
How to Stay Healthy in the Time of COVID-19 Keeping ourselves and our family healthy is important especially in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.In the Philippines, the number of people infected with the virus is going up each day. With the country now declared in a State of Calamity and a Luzon-wide “enhanced community quarantine” in effect, we need to level up our own defenses as well. Continue Reading on Greenpeace’s Website
The Science Behind Improving Your Immune System During the COVID-19 Pandemic The thought of impending sickness has a lot of people on edge. It brings on anxiety, and when you’re anxious, you want to do something to relieve it. That’s why you see stories of people stockpiling toilet paper, and disinfecting wipes, and stealing face masks. (None of those things are going to help them stay healthy by the way!) Learn More from Thrive Global
Coronavirus: How to Keep Your Gut Microbiome Healthy to Fight COVID-19 These are unprecedented times. COVID-19 (the illness caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Many countries have sealed their borders and put the population under voluntary or enforced lockdown. Cultural and sporting events have been cancelled or postponed – including Euro 2020 and the Glastonbury festival – pubs and restaurants are closing, and people are panic buying staples such as toilet paper and pasta. But although it can feel like the situation is out of control, there are still plenty of things you can do to protect your health and that of the people around you.First and foremost, follow national guidance for preventing COVID-19: avoid spreading the virus and cut your chances of catching it by regularly washing your hands, avoiding touching your face and reducing social contact. This is particularly important for protecting at-risk groups including people with existing health conditions, the elderly and pregnant women. Continue Reading on The Conversation
COVID-19: How to Use Diet and Supplements to Maintain Immunity… and Sanity A dietitian and founder of a ‘good mood food’ startup has shared her tips for maintaining good mental health during the uncertain times of this COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading on Nutra Ingredients
COVID-19 – Boosting Your Immunity: Is That Really Possible? One of them being the ability to truly understand all the levels of interconnectedness and how to plug into that. There is no clear scientific evidence to date that clearly links lifestyle, food or vitamin supplements to a person’s immunity – a key to perfect immunity.Our immune system is quite efficient by itself, especially if you have the patience to let it function. It has the capabilities to manufacture its own antibiotics, but you need to wait it out.This is one of the prime reasons medical practitioners advise parents not to pump medications into babies for minor ailments. The building up of antibodies is what really boosts the immune system and that is a natural process. Nature cannot be rushed. Continue Reading on Gulf News
This is a 3/19/2020 video of Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum and his son, Afif Ghannoum, co-founders of BIOHM Health, discussing the facts vs fiction around COVID-19 and immunity in general.
You can sign up to receive information from BIOHM Health and receive discounts on any of their products at the bottom of their FAQ page here.
Bacteria “make up our microbiome, an integral internal ecosystem that benefits our gut health and the immune system.” (Axe, 2016)
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist. In 2008, he started a functional medicine center in Nashville, which grew to become one of the most renowned clinics in the world.
I’ve always found the information on his site, DrAxe.com, to be well researched, clear and useful. You can subscribe to Dr Axe’s Newletters here.
The article reprinted below is by Dr Adria Rothfeld, DC, MS, CNS, an experienced nutritional professional. It contains a lot of timely information from Functional Medicine Research, most of it in abbreviated form.
Functional Medicine treats the whole patient, not the disease. It looks at the underlying causes of diseases and conditions in a particular person then works on rebalancing the body to return the person to full functioning. In comparison, Western Medicine (also sometimes referred to as Conventional, Traditional or Allopathic Medicine) generally looks at our symptoms and tries to match them up with medications to reduce those symptoms. In Western Medicine you’re often viewed as either ‘healthy’ or ‘sick’. If you’re ‘healthy’, you don’t need medication. If you’re ‘sick’, you’re generally prescribed something to control your symptom(s).
Dr. Adria Rothfeld is a nutritionist in New Jersey and New York. With over 25 years experience, her qualifications include: DC: Doctor of Chiropractic, MS Clinical Nutrition, Certified Nutrition Specialist, First Line Therapy Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Certification, Member of the Professional Advisory Board for the Cancer Support Community of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, Lecturer at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Riverview and Centra State Hospitals, Former Nutritional Consultant for the Avon Corporation.
The following is Dr Rothfeld’s article, reproduced from her own website:
I have compiled this document after a great deal of study as well as collaboration with highly respected colleagues in the field of integrative medicine. I would like to give credit to the following professionals who have devoted much of their time and resources to researching this topic:
Ilana Zablozki-Amir, MD: Together we compiled this document with research from multiple sources.
Designs For Health: Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, ND, Dr. Todd Lepine, MD, Dr. David Brady, ND for their informative presentation earlier this week
Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD of the Klinghardt Institute
Please be advised that I am not a medical doctor, I am a nutritional professional and this document covers evidence-based strategies to impact the pathways associated with viral spread and infection-it is NOT a substitute for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment. Do not implement without advice from your nutritional or medical professional. There can be interactions with medications as well as adverse side effects if done without appropriate guidance.
I will be updating this document often as additional information becomes available.
Stages of Viral Infection
Targeted Strategies for 4 Different Phases of Coronavirus:
Attachment to mucus membranes
Inhibit Replication: Cell division and advancement: Penetration to cell/nucleus to use our replicator machinery to create its own proteins.
Hijacking of immune system Cytokine Storm
A. Transmission-Preventing virus from entering the body
Surfaces: Can live multiple days on surfaces (depending on type ie cardboard vs metal vs plastic, etc. – average 3-9 days).
Use 70 percent alcohol-based cleaners, Hypochlorous acid, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Colloidal Silver
Heat over 108 Fahrenheit destroys the virus.
Hands: Most transmission is from hands to face. Biggest risk is touching face, mouth, nose, eyes.
Antibacterial triclosan cleansers/wipes are not indicated since they deplete our protective bacteria.
Gloves: Most gloves- disposable, washable, dish gloves, winter gloves, etc. Especially important to remind us not to touch our face. Nitrile, latex or rubber gloves. If not disposable, you can wash the gloves with soap or grease cutting detergent-to destroy lipid envelope around virus. You can wash these gloves throughout the day while wearing, like you would your hands, if waterproof. If you plan to wash in laundry, can presoak in steamy hot water before laundry since hot water may not be enough to kill the virus in the machine.
Masks: protect against droplet spray. N95/99.
B. Incubation- You’ve been exposed, the virus has entered your body, but you are asymptomatic (ex. 4-5 days before developing symptoms). We want to interfere with the ability of the virus to attach to our mucus membranes. I believe this is where most of us need to start since it is almost impossible to assume in our higher risk regions that we have not come in contact with the
Resides in respiratory tract – mouth, tongue, nose, throat. One study showed very high viral counts in the mouth, especially the tongue. May also reside in GI tract.
Goals for prevention of infection:
Wash them out
Interfere with first parts of their life cycle:
with lipid envelope around virus
with ability to attach to mucus membranes
Oil pulling: Helps remove because the virus has a lipid (fatty) envelope that attracted to oils. Swish 1 TBS oil around in mouth until completely saponified which means it loses its oily feel, and takes about 10-15 minutes of swishing/gargling around or so, then spit in trash not sink.
Coconut oil is a good choice.
Toothbrush disinfection: 3 percent peroxide daily
Herbs That Interfere with Viral Attachment: Those in the mint family: Target the structures on viral envelope that are responsible for attachment to our cell membranes.
Best is lemon balm, also oregano, mint, basil, sage, rosemary, savory, hyssop. Use throughout the day in meals and teas -no studies on how much but most important is a combination of herbs as they work better as a team.
Keep mouth bathed in herbs that block attachment: Herbal teas
Double strength-2 teabags per cup of hot water then as they cool can continue to drink or use as mouthwash/gargle. Lemon balm, caraway, Greek mountain tea, Elderberry which works well with green tea, ginger, mint, oregano: Mountain Tea from Traditional Medicinals. Stinging nettle tea: Upregulates antiviral cytokines.
Ellagic acid: Also interferes with attachment-berries
Blackberries, Raspberries, Rose hips, Pomegranate juice, Cranberries: in order from highest to lowest concentration.
Mannose Binding Lectins are inhibitors of SARS-like coronaviruses. Best food sources are leeks, garlic and onions. Fresh crushed garlic is probably the best source. Vitamin D also helps to raise MBL levels.
Colloidal Silver. ex ABL silver, Designs for Health Silvercillin- spray/swish in mouth, gargle
C. Penetration to Cell Cytosol and Nucleus and Replication:
The virus sabotages our cells for our machinery to replicate/reproduce, become powerful, and take residence.
Viruses are DNA or RNA type (or can be others like Retro, etc).
Inhibit viral replication:
Zinc Lozenges 10-15 mg after meals
After each meal-good to bathe mouth and throat esp upper respiratory during initial days when the virus is replicating. Picolinate and oxide forms are least effective.
Oral zinc capsules, ideally with food or can get nauseous. Think Zinc deficiency in loss of taste, and/or smell that is associated with the virus.
Many Viruses love arginine since they need it to replicate.
Nuts, seeds, chocolate—may be best to limit when viruses are a concern. From highest arginine: Macadamia highest, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, pistachio, cashew, chia, flax, pecans. Coconut and chestnut are negligible so are fine.
L-Lysine, an amino acid, competes with arginine 1000-1200 mg/day, slows replication and works well in combination with vitamin C and green tea.
Lemon balm- Strongly protects against attachment viral replication for a wide variety of virus types-also calms anxiety without causing drowsiness. Teas, aromatherapy, supplements
ACE2 Receptors-Coronavirus enters our cells via a receptor (doorways) known as ACE2.
These are found on epithelial cells and very prominent in mouth and on tongue, respiratory tract/lungs.
The question hotly debated now is do you suppress expression of the receptors (fewer doors), or do you want to enhance them because the virus ultimately destroys them and they are critical component of homeostasis/balance in the body.
Selenium, A, C, D, E and calcium increase the doorways/receptors.
Blood pressure medications including Ace inhibitors and ARBs upregulate them too- but on some studies, especially for ARBS- these have been found to be protective.
Elderberry targets the lipid envelope and halts upregulation of ACE2 receptor. Targets the envelope and as discussed above, viral attachment.
In a 2019 study, which was not a human trial, Elderbery was found to be active against coronavirus. Dose: 700- 1000mg/day since that was dose recommended for flu and similar viruses. It is recommended to stop elderberry if sick at approximately day 8 or sooner if lung symptoms since it can aggravate the later inflammatory phase of the virus.
Another mechanism is instead of trying to alter the number of ACE2 receptors would be to interfere with the ability to use them as a doorway to enter the cell.
To travel through receptor/doorway the virus uses S protein spikes to unlock the gate.
Emodin containing herbs interfere with this interaction and help to keep the door closed: These include Japanese Knotweed, (Polygonum Multiflorum/Cuspidatum)
Chinese Rhubarb Root (Da Huang) Yellow Dock (Rumex)- Aloe Vera
Please speak to your health care provider as some of these can have a laxative effect.
D. Immune responseParasympathetic/Sympathetic Nervous System Balance:
The immune system works at its best when feeling calm, centered, balanced. When we enter the panic/fight or flight phase (SYMPATHETIC), the body prioritizes and shuts down the immune and digestive systems. We instead want to support and upregulate the rest and digest PARASYMPATHETIC RESPONSE.
Relaxation: Mindset, play, breathe, pray, meditate, movement, laugh, nature, etc.
Melatonin: 3-5 mg: Inflammasomes of the innate immune system activate the inflammatory process. The NLRP-3 inflammasome has been found to be key to activating ARDS and acute lung injury. C, melatonin and humming helps to silence the inflammasome. Propolis as well.
Vitamin C essential for an immune response especially early!!! 1 week prior to infection -so the bottom line is, start now.
Dosing for resp infections- minimum 4g/day-cautious if you have a history of kidney stones, or high iron levels. Smaller doses divided throughout the day and not more than 4 hrs apart.
Food sources not enough-but still recommended to eat because of bioflavonoids that help vitamin C do its job. (Peppers, Broccoli, Berries, Citrus)
High dose used in China Dr. Chang WuHan: Treated with 10-20g IV and no deaths in his group of 50 and they left hospital 3-5 days sooner. Can’t take these orally. You’d get diarrhea.
Our recommendation is liposomal vitamin C which uses phospholipids to enhance vitamin C’s absorption. Liposomal forms bypass the normal mechanisms of absorbing vitamin C so show higher bioavailability-meaning how well it absorbs into the system.
Other practical tips for supporting the immune system:
Fever: The body is intuitive:
Fever boosts immune function by activating immune cells at an accelerated rate. Fever suppressors can inhibit antibody production
How to support fevers that are 103 and under: Dress warmly, cozy socks, warm beverages-broth, tea, etc. If fever goes higher, you may want to cool things down:
Dress lighter, drink cooled peppermint tea.
Vitamin C can lessen discomfort
Controversy about Ibuprofen and aspirin- Known to inhibit antibody production more than Tylenol but Tylenol may also blunt antibody production. Tylenol also inhibits the glutathione pathway. Glutathione is immune supportive and antiviral. Treat fever that goes above 103 or if you are feeling miserable and Acetaminophen is the better choice for most. Low grade fevers do not always require medical intervention. Best to discuss with your health care provider.
Visualization/guided imagery to help guide immune response
Herbs-Immune-boosters vs Immune-modulators
When not to boost immune function is a big concern in discussions and a large source of confusion for many:
Lines of defense: All levels are communicating for our protection:
Barrier defense- Included mucus membranes, bacteria and healthy viruses: like the walls and moat of a castle.
Innate Immune Response- Destroys strangers/invaders: Natural Killer cells, macrophages (eat and present the invader to the Acquired Immune system), neutrophils (soldiers that fight the monsters).
Acquired- T and B cells that are instructed by Innate. B cells make antibodies to alert the T
IMMUNE Overload-this is what we want to avoid-The cell danger responses go awry- body sees all barriers and defenses as breached and sets up a no holds barred defense that comes in like a tsunami of inflammation to ward off invaders. This is what leads to the aggressive stages -ARDS-acute respiratory distress syndrome, and CYTOKINE
The Coronavirus hijacks our immune systems’ communication network by first suppressing the information and communication response and then it creates a storm of overload. That is when the respiratory symptoms become more severe, since the immune response is too aggressive. The cytokine storm is what kills people, not necessarily the virus.
Consider herbs this way which can help to sort out some of the confusion about what to use and when.
Days 0-5 or 0-7 Depending on symptom progression: Immune Stimulators/Boosters for early support and prevention:
Astragalus, ashwaganda, cordyceps, elderberry, garlic, panax ginseng, mushrooms, zinc-here you actually want to support antibody production and a little bit of inflammation.
Day 8 or earlier if shortness of breath or lung symptoms–Remember this is definitely the time to contact your health care provider if not sooner, this is when you would need medical intervention– Now is when we don’t want to keep stimulating the immune system, we want immune modulators:
Want to quench/modulate response:
Andrographis, rhodiola, eleuthero. Siberian ginseng and consider Stopping the earlier immune boosting herbs. Andrographis should be combined with Rhodiola or Siberian Ginseng.
Exact doses not known
Foundational Recommendations for Immune Support:
Avoid high glycemic foods: These suppress the immune response
Get enough sleep: Sleep has a restorative effect on the immune system
Encourage Autophagy: This is the body’s cleanup crew that is active only during fasting. This is when the immune system mops up infected cells. The number of hours between the last meal of the day and breakfast influences autophagy. 8 hrs. eating/16 hrs. fasting is optimal for immune function. Aim for at least a 13 hour overnight fast. More than16 isn’t better under these circumstances since that can instead activate stress hormones.
Exercise: Can profoundly influence the immune response. Prolonged intense exercise can actually depress immunity, while regular, moderate exercise is beneficial. Important to promote lymphatic circulation: Rebounder, jumping jacks, trampoline.
Reduce exposure to WiFi: WiFi is immunosuppressive. Suppresses melatonin production.
You’re sick: What actions to take: This always depends upon your symptoms, as we know this virus isn’t entirely predictable. At any point if you have difficulty breathing and lung involvement, you need to contact your medical professional.
Foundational Support for the phase where you are focusing on prevention with the possibility of exposure:
Good multivitamin/mineral: With aging we see micronutrient deficiencies that are associated with impaired immunity. A, C, E, B vitamins, folate, iron, selenium, zinc, copper.
Vitamin C 3-4g/day liposomal or ascorbic acid in divided doses. Also prevents cytokine storm.
Melatonin: 3-5 mg: Inflammasomes of the innate immune system activate the inflammatory process. The NLRP-3 inflammasome has been found to be key to activating ARDS and acute lung injury. C, melatonin and humming helps to silence the inflammasome. Propolis as well.
D3K2: Vitamin D helps block inflammatory chemicals.
GI support: Probiotics, SBI powder, Quercetin
Zinc-lozenges or capsules
Quercetin: Sits on cell wall surfaces and can disrupt viral docking. Also supports intestinal barrier function. Can use high doses: 1g quercetin with 1g C several times/day.
Tocotrienols: Work along with quercetin: Quercetin is on the outside of the cell membrane, tocotrienols on the inside. They can block surface active proteins. Help quench the cytokine fire.
Herbal blends with Andrographis, Skullcap, Cordyceps, Astragalus, Japanese Knotweed
One formula is Wellness Herbal Defense (this would replace multivitamin but need addition of B complex) and additionally Skullcap, Japanese Knotweed and Cordyceps
Nettle Root Now Food Brands
Skullcap: Blocks viral attachment.
Cordyceps: Blocks viral attachment
NAC: Mucolytic, antiviral or Glutathione liposomal which also enhances immune function
L-Lysine: 1000-2000mg/day on empty stomach. Works well with green tea and vitamin C.
SPM for its potent ability to resolve inflammation: Proresolving Mediators
Blocking IL-1b: which contributes to leaky lung/leaky vasculature permitting increased antigen penetration and further inflammation- Sulforaphane (cruciferous vegetables) as well as Melatonin, Quercetin, Cordyceps, Curcumin
Nasal/Sinus Support: Aromatherapy with essential oils: lemon balm, thuja, caraway, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage Can bathe sinus passage-using diffuser or take Essential oil bottle, agitate closed battle with lid, the open and place bottle under nostril and slowly inhale at regular intervals throughout the day
Double strength-2 teabags per cup of hot water then as they cool can continue to drink or use as mouthwash/gargle. Lemon balm, caraway, Greek mountain tea, elderberry which works well with green tea, ginger, mint, oregano: Mountain Tea from Traditional Medicinals. Stinging nettle tea root reduces inflammation.
Reduce Dietary Arginine: Nuts, seeds, chocolate—may be best to limit when viruses are a concern. From highest arginine Macadamia highest, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, Pistachio, cashew, chia, flax, pecans. Coconut and chestnut are negligible so are fine
Days 0-5 or 7: Immune Stimulators/Boosters for early support and prevention:
Astragalus, ashwaganda, cordyceps, elderberry, garlic, panax ginseng, zinc, C 3-4g dose, E lower dose-here you actually want to support antibody production and a little bit of inflammation.
Andrographis blocks furin which is a protein that allows viruses to enter cells and make them easily transmissible. Should be used early in the treatment of infected or suspected infection. Prevention: 1 dropper 3-4x/day.
SPM to support resolution of inflammation
Day 8 or earlier if shortness of breath or lung symptoms-Remember this is definitely the time to contact your health care provider if not sooner, this is when you would need medical intervention– Now we don’t want to keep stimulating the immune system, we want immune modulators:
Want to quench/modulate response:
Andrographis, rhodiola, eleuthero. Siberian ginseng and consider Stop earlier immune boosting herbs Andrographis should be combined with Rhodiola or Siberian Ginseng. Higher dose vitamin C with quercetin.
Melatonin in higher doses
With respiratory symptoms:Carnosine, Bromelain, Curcumin, SPM, Melatonin, Vitamin C higher dose.
May become hypokalemic: Low in potassium, important to support.
Blood type and COVID-19: If you are type A, boost up fermented soy products, great northern and fava beans and mushrooms as well as foods from the Allium family: Garlic, onion, shallots, leeks.
Research: I will post more research so keep an eye out
Melatonin: Prevents NLRP3 from activating the inflammasome that leads to runaway inflammation.
COVID-19: Melatonin as a potential adjuvant treatment
In this fraught time of the Coronavirus-19 pandemic, we’re being bombarded daily with frightening information (along with some misinformation) about the virus and how to stay well. And most people, already living in a high state of stress, become alarmed and fearful, getting stuck in an even higher state of stress, anxiety and even panic.
Wouldn’t this be an excellent moment in history to make information about how to calm ourselves widely available? In the interest of public health, how helpful it would be if children were taught breath work to be able to stay centered and calm. And what if every news show began and concluded with a segment demonstrating how to breathe properly. That would go a long way toward helping us deal with the news delivered in between.
HOW TO BREATHE
Here’s a short video showing how to breathe properly so you can stay centered and calm yourself:
In this longer TEDx Talk, psychologist and breathing expert Dr Belisa Vranich explains more fully how incorrect breathing stresses and impairs our bodies. She also shows how to breathe properly.
From an article called “How shallow breathing affects your whole body” on HeadSpace.com (Rifkin, 2017):
“If you want to observe incredible breathing, watch a newborn. They naturally practice deep, or diaphragmatic, breathing by using the diaphragm, a muscle under the lungs, to pull air into the lungs. Visually, you’ll see the belly expand and chest rise as they inhale air through the nose and into the lungs. As they exhale, the belly contracts.
“For many people, this kind of breathing is no longer instinctive. Instead, many of us have become shallow chest, or thoracic, breathers—inhaling through our mouth, holding our breath and taking in less air. Over time our breathing patterns have shifted as a reaction to environmental stressors, like temperature, pollution, noise, and other causes of anxiety. Cultural expectations, including the desire to have a flat stomach, encourage holding our breath and sucking in our stomachs, further tightening our muscles.
“When we breathe in a shallow way, the body remains in a cyclical state of stress—our stress causing shallow breathing and our shallow breathing causing stress. This sets off the sympathetic nervous system, the branch of the autonomic nervous system that primes us for activity and response.
This kind of breathing locks the body and mind into a permanent state of stress. In fact, the body and brain are actually one and the same. You’ve no doubt noticed that your brain resides inside your body and they’re constantly interacting with each other.
“Long-term shallow breathing can seriously affect our health. According to Luckovich, the chronic stress that is associated with shallow breathing results in lower amounts of lymphocyte, a type of white blood cell that helps to defend the body from invading organisms, and lowers the amounts of proteins that signal other immune cells. The body is then susceptible to contracting acute illnesses, aggravating pre-existing medical conditions, and prolonging healing times. Shallow breathing can turn into panic attacks, cause dry mouth and fatigue, aggravate respiratory problems, and is a precursor for cardiovascular issues.”
For those of you who still believe this vaccine was well researched, effective and proven safe to be given to our children, the contents of Mercola’s post will be an eye opener and will also shed light on the inner workings of the huge and powerful vaccine industry in the US and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s role in mandating and promoting this and other childhood vaccines.
The chart below shows (as of 2019) the types of vaccines and also the number of doses US children receive. Compare it to the number of vaccines and doses shown for 1962 and 1983.
Note: I searched a long while for an easy-to-read childhood immunization schedule that included number of doses and was published by an official US governmental source and didn’t find one so decided to use this one by Informed Choice USA. They are “a coalition of physicians, nurses, medical researchers, scientists, legislators, attorneys, parents, professionals, and activists come together for a unified approach to restoring and protecting our personal, parental, medical, and religious freedoms. We oppose medical mandates for employment, enrollment, or inclusion anywhere. “ (Informed Choice USA, 2019-2020)
This is Mercola’s verbatim summary of his post:
In January 2020, Dr. Julie Gerberding, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who after leaving the CDC became president of Merck’s vaccine division, sold half her Merck stock options for $9.11 million
Gerberding also cashed out in 2016, when she sold $5.1 million in Merck stocks, and 2015, when she made $2.3 million. In total, Gerberding has made $16,592,144 from her company stock options
Gerberding’s former high-level ties to the CDC likely has had enormous influence over Merck’s financial growth, considering Merck makes a majority of the pediatric and adults vaccines recommended by the CDC
Red flags have recently been raised about Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil, a vaccine Gerberding promoted in a 2004 report to Congress before it was fast tracked to licensure in 2006. The U.K. recently reported a 54% rise in cervical cancer among 24- to 29-year-olds, the first generation to receive the HPV vaccine
A January 2020 report in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine warns HPV vaccine trials have not been designed to detect whether the vaccine actually prevents cervical cancer. Trials have shown, however, that Gardasil raises the risk of cervical cancer by 44.6% among women with a current or previous HPV infection
For those of you who believe the Gardasil vaccine was responsibly researched, is effective and has been proven safe to be given to our children, the contents of Mercola’s post will be an eye opener. It will also shed light on the inner workings of the booming vaccine industry in the US and the CDC’s role in promoting other childhood vaccines – as well as on the revolving door that’s existed for decades between high level executives at the biggest pharmaceutical companies and the US governmental agencies that are supposed to be protecting us from being harmed by vaccines and other drugs.
Some highlights from the Mercola article:
Robert F Kennedy, Jr, chairperson of the Children’s Health Defense, recently stated, “Last month, Cancer Research UK announced an alarming 54% rise in cervical cancer among 24-29-year-olds, the first generation to receive the HPV jabs.
“The following day, the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine published a withering critique of Gardasil’s crooked clinical trials, ‘It is still uncertain whether human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents cervical cancer as trials were not designed to detect this outcome.’
“As Gerberding knows, those trials revealed that Gardasil dramatically RAISES (by +44.6%) the risk of cervical cancer among women with a current infection or those previously exposed to HPV.
“That may explain the cancer explosions in England and other nations with high inoculation rates in young girls up to age 18; Australia, Spain, Sweden and Norway. A 2019 study of Alabama girls found the highest cervical cancer rates in the state’s most heavily vaccinated counties.
“With Merck’s efficacy pretensions circling the drain, a coalition of leading plaintiff’s lawyers are already in discovery in a suit alleging that Merck fraudulently concealed serious illnesses affecting half, and autoimmune diseases affecting 1 of every 37 girls in Gardasil’s clinical trials within 6 months of injection.
“As Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director from 2002-2009, Gerberding helped Merck paper over these efficacy and safety problems.” (Kennedy, 2020)
WHY THE CDC AND MERCK’S COLLUSION IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND: ITS DANGEROUS IMPACT ON THE HEALTH OF OUR CHILDREN
As I discovered while researching my own post on Gardasil last year, it isn’t just the CDC that ‘s to blame for the Gardasil disaster. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – agencies both tasked with protecting our well being – along with Merck and big advertising agencies worked together in ways that placed profit over the health and well being of our children. (If you have the stomach for it, you can read my article to learn more.)
When you look at the increasingly ill health of the US population during the years the US government has recommended and mandated more and more childhood vaccinations, the CDC’s collusion with Merck to allow the pharmaceutical giant’s Gardasil vaccine to reach the market can only strike you as appalling.
“The United States has higher vaccination rates than any other country. The US also has very high infant mortality rates. American children experience epidemic levels of chronic diseases including autism, attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, autoimmune disorders, asthma, epilepsy and allergies.
“If vaccinations were so effective in improving the health of children, why do the statistics not bear this out? In fact, the opposite has been shown to be true. Increasing vaccination rates are correlated with growth in diseases for our children.
“Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and physician groups mistakenly maintain that vaccines are responsible for eliminating many frightening childhood diseases including measles, mumps, chicken pox and polio. These diseases and others targeted by vaccines are, in truth, minor childhood illnesses which cause few health problems.
“These medical groups recommend the current aggressive vaccine schedule, although vaccines have never been proven to be safe or effective. They fail to address the epidemic of chronic disease for today’s children and also deny that vaccines could be causing them, in spite of evidence to the contrary….
“US children are experiencing a health epidemic with more chronic diseases than ever before in our history. The US has the highest infant mortality in a study comparing America with 29 other developed countries. Children in the US suffered with more autism than in all other countries studied.
“Studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated show conclusively that unvaccinated children enjoy far superior health. Research and data demonstrate that vaccines cause neurological damage and contribute to significant health damage.
“Vaccines are a major contributing factor to today’s health crisis in our children. Vaccines wrongly credited with saving lives and improving health is instead responsible for destroying lives.
“Legal immunity granted to vaccine makers has contributed to a growth in unsafe vaccinations, which profit pharmaceutical companies while injuring our children.”
A COMPARISON OF JAPAN’S & THE US’S VACCINATION PROGRAMS
“The U.S. has the very highest infant mortality rate of all industrialized developed countries, with more American children dying at birth and in their first year than in any other comparable nation—and more than half of those who survive develop at least one chronic illness.” (Kristen, 2020)
For instance, look at the main features of Japan’s vaccination programs and ask yourself which is more sensible and less risky – the US’s one-size-fits-all, multi-vaccination program starting at birth or Japan’s:
Japan has no vaccine mandates, instead recommending vaccines that … are either “routine” (covered by insurance) or “voluntary” (self-pay).
Japan does not vaccinate newborns with the hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine, unless the mother is hepatitis B positive.
Japan does not vaccinate pregnant mothers with the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
Japan does not give flu shots to pregnant mothers or to six-month-old infants.
Japan does not give the MMR vaccine, instead recommending an MR vaccine.
Japan does not require the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
Of the world’s industrialized developed countries, the US administers by far the highest number of vaccines and vaccine doses to infants in their first two years of life – yet our infant mortality rate is also the very highest among those countries.
“Children in Japan are among the healthiest in the world, while children in the United States rate low on the list of developed nations for health outcome measures. Given that the U.S. spends more than any other country on health care to ensure the health and well-being of its children, what is behind this discrepancy?” (Raines, 2019)
VACCINATIONS IN GENERAL: OVERALL HEALTH OF VACCINATED VS UNVACCINATED CHILDREN
A 2017 pilot comparative survey conducted by a group of public health scientists in the fields of epidemiology and biostatistics set out to address a major current health question: Whether vaccination is linked in any way to children’s long-term health. The recruitment letter sent to parents of home schooled children 6-12 years old in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon was written in a neutral tone: “Vaccination is one of the greatest discoveries in medicine, yet little is known about its long-term impact. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of vaccination by comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children in terms of a number of major health outcomes …” The results found the UNVACCINATED children to be HEALTHIER overall than the vaccinated.
Perhaps not what you expected.
The vaccinated children were found to have a higher rate of allergies and neuro-developmental disorders than the unvaccinated children: a learning disability, Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Preterm birth coupled with vaccination was associated with an apparent synergistic increase in the odds of neuro-developmental disorders.
The vaccinated were less likely than the unvaccinated to have been diagnosed with chickenpox and pertussis, but more likely to have been diagnosed with pneumonia, otitis media, allergies and neuro-developmental disorders.
The interaction of preterm birth and vaccination was associated with a 6.6-fold increased odds of neuro-developmental disorders.
The vaccinated children were significantly more likely than the unvaccinated to have been diagnosed with: allergic rhinitis, other allergies, eczema/atopic dermatitis and any chronic illness.
“No significant differences were observed with regard to cancer, chronic fatigue, conduct disorder, Crohn’s disease, depression, Types 1 or 2 diabetes, encephalopathy, epilepsy, hearing loss, high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, seizures, Tourette’s syndrome or services received under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act .” (But keep in mind that the children were only six by the end of the study.)
The authors bottom line conclusion from their data was that the vaccinated children were found to have a higher rate of allergies and neuro-developmental disorders than the unvaccinated children. (Mawson et al, 2017)
I also noticed in the survey’s published data that twice as many of the vaccinated children had taken antibiotics in the year prior to the data gathering: 30.8% of the vaccinated children vs 15.4% of the unvaccinated. (Mawson et al, 2017). This is significant on its own.
Presumably the vaccinated children were given antibiotics because they had a bacterial illness or infection. Since we know that systemic antibiotics kill the good (probiotic) bacteria along with any bad (pathogenic) bacteria in our microbiomes, this datum alone raises an alarm. The more antibiotics we take, the worse our health is likely to become over time:
Antibiotics can destroy the healthy flora in the gut and also cause bacteria to become increasingly resistant to treatment .
A 2018 study from Case Western Reserve University showed that antibiotics can damage immune cells and worsen oral infections by damaging white blood cells’ ability to fight off fungal infections, such as Candida. (Healthline, 2018)
This infographic from the CDC compares morbidity from common infectious childhood diseases in the US during the pre-vaccine era and 2015. You’ll note the efficacy of the vaccines against the diseases they target. Also note that the graphic compares only morbidity (becoming sick with an illness), not mortality (dying from the illness). Having and recovering from, for example, a case of measles in childhood is very different from dying from it.
Now add the information in this infographic to that information:
It would have been helpful if the CDCgraphic had added MORTALITY estimates to the MORBIDITY estimates for the pre-vaccine era numbers. Morbidity = getting sick with a disease. Mortality = dying from it. There’s a large difference between, for example, getting measles as a child, recovering and then having natural immunity for measles, and dying from the measles.
Have we successfully taken care of the 14 childhood diseases shown on the CDC graphic at the expense of increasing our children’s chances of suffering with a variety of autoimmune diseases and conditions throughout their lives?
The data below are from Mawson et al’s 2017 pilot comparative survey on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children:
Medication Use for Allergies:
Yes 20.0% 1.2%
No 80.0% 98.8%
Antibiotics Use in Past Year:
Yes 30.8% 15.4%
No 69.2% 84.6%
Fever Medication Use 1+ Times:
Yes 90.7% 67.8%
No 9.3% 32.2%
(Mawson et al, 2017)
Don’t these few comparative percentages suggest that the unvaccinated children were healthier than the vaccinated?
HOW AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES DEVELOP
“An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body.
“The immune system normally guards against germs like bacteria and viruses. When it senses these foreign invaders, it sends out an army of fighter cells to attack them.
“Normally, the immune system can tell the difference between foreign cells and your own cells.
“In an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes part of your body, like your joints or skin, as foreign. It releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack healthy cells.
“Some autoimmune diseases target only one organ. Type 1 diabetes damages the pancreas. Other diseases, like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), affect the whole body.
“…. A 2015 study focused on another theory called the hygiene hypothesis. Because of vaccines and antiseptics, children today aren’t exposed to as many germs as they were in the past. The lack of exposure could make their immune system prone to overreact to harmless substances.”
“Developed countries have experienced a steady increase in atopic disease and disorders of immune dysregulation since the 1980s. This increase parallels a decrease in infectious diseases within the same time period, while developing countries seem to exhibit the opposite effect, with less immune dysregulation and a higher prevalence of infectious disease. The “hygiene hypothesis”, proposed by Strachan in 1989, aimed to explain this peculiar generational rise in immune dysregulation. However, research over the past 10 years provides evidence connecting the commensal and symbiotic microbes (intestinal microbiota) and parasitic helminths with immune development, expanding the hygiene hypothesis into the “microflora” and “old friends” hypotheses, respectively. There is evidence that parasitic helminths and commensal microbial organisms co-evolved with the human immune system and that these organisms are vital in promoting normal immune development. Current research supports the potential for manipulation of the bacterial intestinal microbiota to treat and even prevent immune dysregulation in the form of atopic disease and other immune-mediated disorders (namely inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes).” (Stiemsma et al, 2015)
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT RELYING ON VACCINES TO TRY TO ACHIEVE GOOD HEALTH
Unlike children who’ve actually had measles, as an example, children who’ve received a vaccination against measles are not fully immune because a vaccine-induced immunity is only temporary while having had measles creates a strong, natural immunity. Because of this, children who’ve been vaccinated against measles can get infected when their temporary immunity wears off.
As Dr Ron Marsh, a Distinguished Fellow of the International Chiropractors Association who grew up in the 1950’s, puts it: “Why don’t doctors now tell parents what they told them then? That measles and other ‘childhood illnesses’ were just that — events of youth that strengthen the developing immune system. Unpleasant but rarely serious events that make kids healthier. (Repeated studies show that acute, febrile [fever-attended] infections of childhood protect against cancer later in life.)” (Marsh, 2019)
It seems to me the bottom line about vaccines and health is that we need to refocus our efforts to achieve health away from vaccines and other heavy duty pharmaceuticals and onto nourishment from a healthy diet and environment.
We also need a great deal more clear-eyed research on the risks and benefits of vaccinations so parents can make well informed decisions on behalf of their children’s health and safety.
In the meantime, keeping our, our children’s and our pets’ immune systems healthy and strong will provide lifelong benefits.
Here in New York, Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency in response to the novel coronavirus 19. While I understand his reasons for taking this action, I have to say I wish the dire state of our food, water and air supplies had people as ready to respond with emergency measures.
In 2014 when I was looking into the ebola virus spreading in Sierra Leone and other pandemics throughout history, I wrote “Throughout history, about 70% of people who contracted smallpox survived – and apparently not everyone who was ever exposed to the virus became ill. Why?” (Hardin, 2014)
Isn’t the WHY the interesting question?
If you want to avoid getting whatever is going around – from coronavirus, ebola or the bubonic plague to the common cold and everything in between, doesn’t it make sense to keep your gut microbiome and the other microbiomes in your body as strong as possible?
YOU ARE NOT HELPLESS AGAINST THESE PATHOGENS SHOULD YOU HAPPEN TO BE EXPOSED TO ANY OF THEM.
THE BEST WAY TO STAY HEALTHY AND AVOID BEING STRICKEN BY WHATEVER BAD BACTERIA OR VIRUSES ARE GOING AROUND IS TO KEEP THE MICRO-ORGANISMS LIVING IN YOUR GUT MICROBIOME – YOUR GUT IMMUNITY – BALANCED AND STRONG.
LEST YOU THINK I’M A COMMITTED ANTI-VAXXER
I’m of the opinion that a great deal more clear-eyed, unbiased research into the risks and benefits of childhood vaccinations is needed so parents can make informed decisions.
Herbs, garlic and other plants have been used since ancient times as natural treatments to protect against and heal many illness, including viral infections.
“Due to their concentration of potent plant compounds, many herbs help fight viruses and are favored by practitioners of natural medicine.
“At the same time, the benefits of some herbs are only supported by limited human research, so you should take them with a grain of salt.” (Kubala, 10/21/2019)
This post is for those of you who are curious about using some of these natural remedies and nutritional supplements as protection against the new coronavirus 19 and are looking for information on how they work and their effectiveness for this purpose.
The information I’m directing you to is an article called Natural Remedies and Supplements for Coronavirus (COVID-19) provided by Consumer Lab. (ConsumerLab.com, 3/15/2020)
“ConsumerLab.com, LLC (“CL”) is the leading provider of independent test results and information to help consumers and healthcare professionals identify the best quality health and nutrition products. It publishes results of its tests in comprehensive reports at www.consumerlab.com. CL also conducts an annual Survey of Vitamin & Supplement Users. CL’s research is cited frequently by the media, in books, and at professional meetings. In addition to the products it selects to review, CL enables companies of all sizes to have their products quality tested for potential inclusion in its list of Approved Quality products and bear the CL Seal. Since its founding in 1999, CL has tested more than 5,600 products, representing over 850 different brands and nearly every type of popular supplement for adults, children, and pets.” (ConsumerLab.com, 2020)
The member-submitted question ConsumerLab addresses in Natural Remedies and Supplements for Coronavirus (COVID-19) is: What are natural remedies for coronavirus (COVID-19)? Do supplements like zinc, vitamin C, or herbals work?
In this time of alternative facts and rampant misinformation, and with the media whipping up a panic about the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 around the world, stock markets heading downhill and people panicking, here are some REAL facts to put this latest virus in perspective.
You can use this usefulinteractive web-based map to track cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 around the world. The map is created by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University. Data is gathered in real time from WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC, DXY and local media reports so you can check out the most up to date facts on it.
Here’s some data as of the time I’m writing this (Thursday
March 12 2020 at noon):
TOTAL CONFIRMED CASES WORLDWIDE: 127,873
TOTAL DEATHS WORLDWIDE: 4,718
TOTAL RECOVERED WORLDWIDE: 68,310
Half of the confirmed cases to date have recovered
Only 0.037% of the confirmed cases have died
EXPOSURE TO THE VIRUS IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE
Many people seem to believe they have to keep themselves and
their loved ones from getting EXPOSED to the virus – that exposure = getting it
= dying from it.
In fact, we’re exposed to nasty viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens every day and usually don’t become sick from them.
MANY HAND SANITIZERS DO NOT KILL THE VIRUS
The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water as the best way to kill any virus on them. If you don’t have access to soap and water, the CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer containing a minimum of 60% alcohol. Alcohol-free sanitizers or ones with less than 60% alcohol content may get your hands cleaner but DO NOT KILL THE VIRUS. (Allen & Song, 3/6/2020)
THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS – AND OTHER CONTAGIOUS ILLNESSES AS WELL
Keep your immune system strong. This is of the utmost
importance in this time of coronavirus and for maintaining good health
throughout your lifetime as well.
“Your immune system will mount an appropriate response to the invaders and begin to kill off the virus cells. You develop a fever, which creates a hostile environment for the virus, and you’ll gradually get rid of mucus and buildup by coughing, and through your nose running. This is a completely normal immune response.” (CentreSpringMD, 2020)
Here are two useful articles on what you can do instead of panicking:
A SOURCE OF SANE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT THE VIRUS
Take a look at a sane article called COVID-19 Expert Reality Check published on 3/5/2020 by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The article consists of questions about the virus and short answers written by recognized public health experts.
This is one of those answers, to the question “What is the best way to counter misinformation in the media?“
“The best way to counter misinformation in the media is with an
aggressive onslaught of facts. During an outbreak, information may be shifting,
guidance changing, and questions multiplying, but the process is guided by
adherence to reality and logic. Uncertainty is not an excuse for entertaining
arbitrary assertions offered in defiance of the need for evidence. They should
be identified as such and dismissed.
“Experts, in addition to relating facts, should also explain the
evidence that supports their conclusions and how recommendations are rooted in
that evidence. This is a daunting task, as it involves more than information
dissemination. It requires attention to what counts as evidence and an
understanding of how to evaluate competing claims—some of which are grounded in
evidence and some of which clearly are not.” (Johns Hopkins, 3/5/2020)
The author, Amesh Adalja, MD, is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Many thanks to Leif Olson for directing me to the useful Johns Hopkins Coronavirus-19 interactive map site.
Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. (updated daily, 2020). Interactive webbased map to track cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 around the world. See: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html