Health and Disease, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamin C Doubles Effectiveness of Chemotherapy and Radiation

cancerpatientsbegin

 

Vitamin C Doubles Effectiveness of Chemotherapy and Radiation

 

Each day, more than 1,600 people prematurely die from cancer in the United States. Worldwide, an estimated 20,000 succumb to cancer on a daily basis. For a time, the war on cancer initially waged by Richard Nixon in the ’60s, and the promise of targeted cancer drugs, gave hope.

 

Alas, they’ve all failed to live up to expectations, and have done nothing to improve cancer death rates. Globally, $91 billion was spent on cancer treatments in 2013. In 2014, no cancer drug was approved costing less than $100,000 for a course of treatment.

 

Yet, despite their exorbitant price tags, they offer little in terms of survival. Tarceva, for example, increases the median survival for pancreatic cancer patients by a mere 10 days. Meanwhile, there are inexpensive, non-patentable therapies available that could be truly game changing.

 

One such therapy is high-dose vitamin C. Another is nutritional ketosis — and oncologists in Turkey have presented evidence showing the combination of these two strategies have the ability to “turbo charge” conventional chemo protocols, making them incredibly effective, and far safer to boot.

 

Vitamin C Improves Effectiveness of Chemo and Radiation

Research has shown vitamin C is selectively cytotoxic to cancer cells when administered intravenously (IV) or in liposomal form in high doses. The mechanism behind vitamin C’s ability to selectively target cancer cells has to do with the generation of hydrogen peroxide, which is ultimately what kills the cancer cells.1

 

Normal tissues remain unharmed by the high levels of hydrogen peroxide generated because healthy cells have several ways to remove it, thereby preventing buildup to toxic levels.2

 

One of the primary pathways of removal is the enzyme catalase, and cells with reduced catalase activity — such as cancer cells — are more prone to die from excess reactive oxygen species and secondary free radicals when exposed to high amounts of vitamin C.3,4,5

 

Recent research6 also shows high-dose vitamin C administration in combination with chemotherapy and radiation significantly improves the effectiveness of these treatments.

 

Cancer cells have unstable iron particles (also known as redox active iron molecules), which makes them more vulnerable to oxidative damage caused by high-dose vitamin C.

 

When redox active iron reacts with vitamin C, hydrogen peroxide and associated free radicals are generated, which damage the cancer cells’ DNA and weaken them, thereby making them more vulnerable to the effects of chemo and radiation. As noted by one of the study’s co-authors, Garry Buettner, Ph.D.:7

 

“This paper reveals a metabolic frailty in cancer cells that is based on their own production of oxidizing agents that allows us to utilize existing redox active compounds, like vitamin C, to sensitize cancer cells to radiation [therapy] and chemotherapy.”

 

Vitamin C Doubles Survival Rate of Brain Cancer Patients Treated With Radiation

To evaluate the safety of vitamin C, 11 patients with glioblastoma (a highly malignant and aggressive type of brain cancer) received high-dose vitamin C IV treatments three times a week for two months while undergoing radiation therapy, followed by two weekly infusions for another seven months. As reported by Time Magazine:8

 

“[S]o far, half of the people in the study were alive nearly two years later. The average survival for the disease is generally around a year.

 

In a separate study designed to get an early sense of the vitamin’s effectiveness, the researchers also tested the high-dose vitamin C in a group of 14 people with non-small cell lung cancer.

 

So far, 93 percent of the people receiving the vitamin C infusions are responding to chemotherapy and radiation, compared to 40 percent who usually do.

 

In an encouraging finding, more than 30 percent of the people getting the vitamin C also showed signs of their tumors shrinking. Usually, only 15 percent to 19 percent of people receiving chemo and radiation see their tumors get smaller.”

 

In the second phase of the trial, the researchers will investigate vitamin C’s effects on patients with stage 4 lung cancer and other aggressive cancers.

 

Other Ways Vitamin C Benefits Cancer Patients

Aside from the mechanisms already mentioned, vitamin C also benefits cancer by lowering inflammation.9,10,11

 

As a general rule, chronic inflammation is a hallmark of cancer, and research shows IV vitamin C treatment lowers pro-inflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein, and that these improvements correlate with a reduction in tumor size.

 

It also lowers the risk of metastasis. A study done by scientists at the Riordan Clinic (the successor to Linus Pauling and his work on vitamin C) noted a positive response in 75 percent of patients.

 

Other research12,13 done by scientists at the Lewis Cantley of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York found high doses of vitamin C help kill and eliminate colorectal cancer cells with certain genetic mutations. Other studies14 have shown high-dose vitamin C can help slow the growth of prostate, pancreatic, liver and colon cancer cells.

 

Human studies also show IV vitamin C can help improve symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment, such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, loss of appetite and overall quality of life.

 

While the above studies and most protocols use IV vitamin C, there is compelling research and anecdotal clinical evidence to support the use of liposomal vitamin C. It may be nearly as effective, or even more effective, than IV vitamin C.

 

It certainly is far easier and less expensive to administer. I personally think liposomal C should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet and travel kit, as high doses (such as 2 to 5 grams every hour) can obliterate most infections.

 

Vitamin C and Nutritional Ketosis Is a Winning Combination

 

While the featured research is certainly on the right track, an oncology center in Turkey has taken it a step further, showing that vitamin C in combination with nutritional ketosis improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy to such a degree that a minimal dose can be used to treat even the most aggressive and advanced cancers.

 

I recently interviewed Dr. Abdul Kadir Slocum from the ChemoThermia Oncology Center in Turkey about this research. If you missed it, you’d be well advised to watch it now, because this metabolically supported therapy is truly groundbreaking, offering hope where previously there was none.

 

In summary, metabolically supported chemotherapy involves applying chemotherapy with a variety of interventions to support its effectiveness. This includes the use of high-dose vitamin C, a ketogenic diet, hyperthermia, glycolytic inhibitors and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, just to name a few.

 

All oncology patients at the center are put on a ketogenic diet, which creates metabolic stress on the cancer cells.

 

Then, prior to administering the chemo, the patient will do a minimum 14-hour fast (Slocum recommends fasting as long as possible, but a minimum of 14 hours is required), which further increases the metabolic stress on the cancer cells.

 

At this point, the patients will typically have a blood glucose level around 80 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). They then apply glycolytic  inhibitors to inhibit the glycolysis pathway in the cancer cells, which creates a terrific amount of metabolic stress, as the cancer cells are already starved of glucose.

 

Insulin is then applied to lower the blood glucose levels to around 50 or 60 mg/dL, inducing mild hypoglycemia. At that point, when the cancer cells are maximally stressed and weakened, the chemotherapy drug is applied. An added boon of this metabolic approach is that a far lower dose of chemotherapy can be effectively used, thereby lowering the risk of side effects.

 

In the days following chemotherapy, hyperthermia and hyperbaric oxygen therapy is applied, plus a daily infusion of glycolytic inhibitor therapies with high-dose vitamin C (50 grams) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

 

Metabolically Supported Chemotherapy Successfully Treats Aggressive Cancers

Two years ago, Slocum’s oncology team published its first paper,15 reporting complete response for stage 3 rectal cancer. The standard of care for rectal cancer and the only curative option has been surgery or chemo-radiotherapy followed by surgery. In this case, they used metabolically supported chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hyperthermia. No surgery was necessary.

 

Their second paper,16 published in January 2016, was a case series of 33 patients with stage 3 and 4 pancreatic cancer — one of the most aggressive and deadly cancers known. Eighty-one percent of these patients had stage 4 disease when the treatment began, and many of them also had large scale liver metastasis. The typical life expectancy of someone with stage 4 pancreatic cancer is six to 10 months. Most die within weeks or months once they have large-scale liver metastasis.

 

The center treated them with a standard conventional protocol using chemotherapy applied in a metabolically supported fashion (which included the ketogenic diet, fasting prior to chemo administration, high-dose vitamin C, plus hyperthermia, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, supplements and glycolysis inhibitors).

 

The expected median survival time for the conventional chemotherapy protocol alone is between six and 11 months, depending on the drug used. But when given in combination with these other metabolic supports, the median survival time shot up to 20 months, and over 50 percent of the patients are still alive today!

 

Nutritional Ketosis Appears to Be a Key Component of Successful Cancer Treatment

Maintaining nutritional ketosis and fasting for a minimum of 14 hours before the chemotherapy treatment appears to be key for the overwhelming success rate achieved by ChemoThermia Oncology Center. A number of other researchers have verified the remarkable ability of a ketogenic diet to prevent and suppress cancer, and when you combine that with fasting and high-dose vitamin C, you end up creating a very hostile environment for cancer cells.

 

My new book, “Fat for Fuel” — which has been peer-reviewed by over two dozen  medical and scientific experts — details how to implement nutritional ketosis for optimal health and disease prevention. Besides the information presented in “Fat for Fuel,” you’ll also find many collaborative supports, including a nine-hour-long free video series that we hope to launch in early May.

 

Credentialed nutrition professional Miriam Kalamian is also developing a certification course to go along with it through the American College of Nutrition.

 

This certification will teach any qualified clinician — primarily certified clinical nutritionists but also physicians — how to practically implement nutritional ketosis. Eventually, I expect there will be a virtual army of clinicians available to assist patients with this kind of protocol. Hopefully, at that point we’ll finally start making a dent in cancer statistics.

 

An important but often overlooked aspect of nutritional ketosis is “feast and famine cycling.” Meaning, you don’t actually want to stay in ketosis indefinitely. The real magic actually happens during the refeeding phase, so one or two days a week, you’ll want to increase your carb and protein intake, and then cycle back into nutritional ketosis again.

 

ChemoThermia Oncology Center uses this kind of cycling as well, although under far stricter conditions. When you’re dealing with late-stage cancer, you cannot break your ketosis that frequently. However, on the days patients receive chemotherapy, which is once every two or three weeks, they’re allowed to eat as many carbohydrates as they want.

 

Health Wellness Associates

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Dr. Anna Sullivan

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Gardasil Death Confirms Presence of HPV

hpv

 

Gardasil Death Confirms Presence of HPV DNA Fragments

Oncology Dietitian Exposes Fraud in CDC’s HPV Vaccine Effectiveness Study

 

There are currently two HPV vaccines on the market, but if there was any regard for sound scientific evidence, neither would be promoted as heavily as they are. The first, Gardasil, was licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. It is now recommended as a routine vaccination for girls and women between the ages of 9-26 in the US.

 

On October 25, 2011, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also voted to recommend giving the HPV vaccine to males between the ages of 11 and 21. The second HPV vaccine, Cervarix, was licensed in 2009.

 

Most recently, an oncology dietitian pointed out significant discrepancies1 in a new HPV vaccine effectiveness study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases2, which evaluated data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), 2003-2006 and 2007-2010.

 

The study pointed out that HPV vaccine uptake among young girls in the US has been low but concluded that:

 

“Within four years of vaccine introduction, the vaccine-type HPV prevalence decreased among females aged 14–19 years despite low vaccine uptake. The estimated vaccine effectiveness was high.”

 

Assessing the Overall Impact of the HPV Vaccine

In her article3, Sharlene Bidini, RD, CSO, points out that the study’s conclusion was based on 740 girls, of which only 358 were sexually active, and of those, only 111 had received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine. In essence, the vast majority was unvaccinated, and nearly half were not at risk of HPV since they weren’t sexually active.

 

“If the study authors were trying to determine vaccine effectiveness, why did they include the girls who had not received a single HPV shot or did not report having sex?” she writes.

 

“Table 1 from the journal article compares 1,363 girls, aged 14-19, in the pre-vaccine era (2003-2006) to all 740 girls in the post-vaccine era (2007-2010) regardless of sexual history or immunization status.”

 

In the pre-vaccine era, an estimated 53 percent of sexually active girls between the ages of 14-19 had HPV. Between 2007 and 2010, the overall prevalence of HPV in the same demographic declined by just over 19 percent to an overall prevalence of nearly 43 percent.

 

As Bidini points out, this reduction in HPV prevalence can NOT be claimed to be due to the effectiveness of HPV vaccinations. On the contrary, the data clearly shows that it was the unvaccinated girls in this group that had the best outcome!

 

“In 2007-2010, the overall prevalence of HPV was 50 percent in the vaccinated girls (14-19 years), but only 38.6 percent in the unvaccinated girls of the same age.

 

Therefore, HPV prevalence dropped 27.3 percent in the unvaccinated girls, but only declined by 5.8 percent in the vaccinated group. In four out of five different measures, the unvaccinated girls had a lower incidence of HPV,” she writes.

 

Furthermore, in the single instance where unvaccinated girls had a 9.5 percent higher prevalence of HPV, a note stated that the relative standard error was greater than 30 percent, leading Bidini to suspect that “the confidence interval values must have been extremely wide. Therefore, this particular value is subject to too much variance and doesn’t have much value.”

 

Another fact hidden among the reported data was that among the 740 girls included in the post-vaccine era (2007-2010), the prevalence of high-risk, non-vaccine types of HPV also significantly declined, from just under 21 percent to just over 16 percent.

 

So, across the board, HPV of all types, whether included in the vaccine or not, declined. This points to a reduction in HPV prevalence that has nothing to do with vaccine coverage. Besides, vaccine uptake was very LOW to begin with.

 

All in all, one can conclude that there were serious design flaws involved in this study—whether intentional or not—leading the researchers to erroneously conclude that the vaccine effectiveness was “high.” Clearly the effectiveness of the vaccine was anything but high, since the unvaccinated group fared far better across the board.

 

Case Report of a Gardasil Death Confirms Presence of HPV DNA Fragments

Earlier this year, a lab scientist, who discovered HPV DNA fragments in the blood of a teenage girl who died after receiving the Gardasil vaccine, published a case report in the peer reviewed journal Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology4. The otherwise healthy girl died in her sleep six months after receiving her third and final dose of the HPV vaccine. A full autopsy revealed no cause of death.

 

Sin Hang Lee with the Milford Molecular Laboratory in Connecticut confirmed the presence of HPV-16 L1 gene DNA in the girl’s postmortem blood and spleen tissue. These DNA fragments are also found in the vaccine. The fragments were protected from degradation by binding firmly to the particulate aluminum adjuvant used in the vaccine.

 

“The significance of these HPV DNA fragments of a vaccine origin found in post-mortem materials is not clear and warrants further investigation,” he wrote.

 

Lee suggests the presence of HPV DNA fragments of vaccine origin might offer a plausible explanation for the high immunogenicity of Gardasil, meaning that the vaccine has the ability to provoke an exaggerated immune response. He points out that the rate of anaphylaxis in girls receiving Gardasil is far higher than normal—reportedly five to 20 times higher than any other school-based vaccination program!

 

HPV Vaccine Is Associated with Serious Health Risks, Including Sudden Death

Many women are not aware that the HPV vaccine Gardasil might actually increase your risk of cervical cancer. Initially, that information came straight from Merck and was presented to the FDA prior to approval5. According to Merck’s own research, if you have been exposed to HPV strains 16 or 18 prior to receipt of Gardasil vaccine, you could increase your risk of precancerous lesions, or worse, by 44.6 percent.

 

Other health problems associated with Gardasil vaccine include immune-based inflammatory neurodegenerative disorders, suggesting that something is causing the immune system to overreact in a detrimental way—sometimes fatally.

 

Between June 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008, there were 12,424 reported adverse events following Gardasil vaccination, including 32 deaths. The girls, who were on average 18 years old, died within two to 405 days after their last Gardasil injection

Between May 2009 and September 2010, 16 additional deaths after Gardasil vaccination were reported. For that timeframe, there were also 789 reports of “serious” Gardasil adverse reactions, including 213 cases of permanent disability and 25 diagnosed cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Between September 1, 2010 and September 15, 2011, another 26 deaths were reported following HPV vaccination

As of May 13, 2013, VAERS had received 29,686 reports of adverse events following HPV vaccinations, including 136 reports of death,6, as well as 922 reports of disability, and 550 life-threatening adverse events

Lawsuit Reveals Payouts of Nearly $6 Million to HPV Vaccine-Damaged Victims

On February 28, 2013 the government watchdog group Judicial Watch announced it had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to obtain records from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) related to the HPV vaccine7. The lawsuit was filed in order to force the DHHS to comply with an earlier FOIA request, filed in November 2012, which had been ignored. As reported by WND.com8:

 

“Judicial Watch wants all records relating to the VICP, any documented injuries or deaths associated with HPV vaccines and all records of compensation paid to the claimants following injury or death allegedly associated with the HPV vaccines… The number of successful claims made under the VICP to victims of HPV will provide further information about any dangers of the vaccine, including the number of well-substantiated cases of adverse reactions.”

 

On March 20, Judicial Watch announced it had received the FOIA documents from the DDHS, which revealed that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has awarded $5,877,710 to 49 victims for harm resulting from the HPV vaccine. According to the press release9: “On March 12, 2013, The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of HHS, provided Judicial Watch with documents revealing the following information:

 

Only 49 of the 200 claims filed have been compensated for injury or death caused from the (HPV) vaccine. Of the 49 compensated claims, 47 were for injury caused from the (HPV) vaccine. The additional 2 claims were for death caused due to the vaccine.

92 (nearly half) of the total 200 claims filed are still pending. Of those pending claims, 87 of the claims against the (HPV) vaccine were filed for injury. The remaining 5 claims were filed for death.

59 claims have been dismissed outright by VICP. The alleged victims were not compensated for their claims against the HPV vaccine. Of the claims dismissed, 57 were for injuries, 2 were for deaths allegedly caused by the HPV vaccine.

The amount awarded to the 49 claims compensated totaled 5,877,710.87 dollars. This amounts to approximately $120,000 per claim.

This new information from the government shows that the serious safety concerns about the use of Gardasil have been well-founded,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Public health officials should stop pushing Gardasil on children.”

 

Review of HPV Vaccine Trials Conclude Effectiveness Is Still Unproven

Last year, a systematic review10 of pre- and post-licensure trials of the HPV vaccine by researchers at University of British Columbia showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness is not only overstated (through the use of selective reporting or “cherry picking” data) but also unproven. In the summary of the clinical trial review, the authors state it quite clearly:

 

“We carried out a systematic review of HPV vaccine pre- and post-licensure trials to assess the evidence of their effectiveness and safety. We found that HPV vaccine clinical trials design, and data interpretation of both efficacy and safety outcomes, were largely inadequate. Additionally, we note evidence of selective reporting of results from clinical trials (i.e., exclusion of vaccine efficacy figures related to study subgroups in which efficacy might be lower or even negative from peer-reviewed publications).

 

Given this, the widespread optimism regarding HPV vaccines long-term benefits appears to rest on a number of unproven assumptions (or such which are at odds with factual evidence) and significant misinterpretation of available data.

 

For example, the claim that HPV vaccination will result in approximately 70% reduction of cervical cancers is made despite the fact that the clinical trials data have not demonstrated to date that the vaccines have actually prevented a single case of cervical cancer (let alone cervical cancer death), nor that the current overly optimistic surrogate marker-based extrapolations are justified.

 

Likewise, the notion that HPV vaccines have an impressive safety profile is only supported by highly flawed design of safety trials and is contrary to accumulating evidence from vaccine safety surveillance databases and case reports which continue to link HPV vaccination to serious adverse outcomes (including death and permanent disabilities).

 

We thus conclude that further reduction of cervical cancers might be best achieved by optimizing cervical screening (which carries no such risks) and targeting other factors of the disease rather than by the reliance on vaccines with questionable efficacy and safety profiles.” [Emphasis mine]

 

Talk to Your Kids about HPV and Gardasil

There are better ways to protect yourself or your young daughters against cancer than getting Gardasil or Cervarix vaccinations, and it’s important you let your children know this. In more than 90 percent of HPV infections, HPV infection is cleared within two years on its own, so keeping your immune system strong is far more important than getting vaccinated.

 

In addition, HPV infection is spread through sexual contact and research11 has demonstrated that using condoms can reduce your risk of HPV infection by 70 percent, which is far more effective than the HPV vaccine. Because this infection is sexually transmitted, the risk of infection can be greatly reduced by lifestyle choices, including abstinence. In addition, there are high risk factors for chronic HPV infection including smoking, co-infection with herpes, Chlamydia or HIV and long-term birth control use. Women chronically infected with HPV for many years, who don’t get pre-cancerous cervical lesions promptly identified and treated, can develop cervical cancer and die.

 

So it is important to remember that, even if they get vaccinated, girls and women should get Pap test screening every few years for cervical changes that may indicate pre-cancerous lesions because there is little guarantee that either Gardasil or Cervarix vaccinations will prevent cervical cancer. After Pap test screening became a routine part of health care for American women in the 1960’s, cervical cancer cases in the U.S. dropped 74 percent and continued Pap testing is recommended for women who receive HPV vaccines.

 

Why We Must Protect Vaccine Exemptions

There can be no doubt that we are in urgent need of a serious vaccine safety review in the US. Quality science is simply not being done. And very few vaccine recommendations, which prop up state vaccine mandates, stand on firm scientific ground. Your right to vaccine exemptions is also increasingly under threat.

 

I urge you to get involved in the monumentally important task of defending YOUR right to know and freedom to choose which vaccines you and your child will use. The non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), has been preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education for more than 30 years and is leading the advocacy effort in the states to protect vaccine exemptions. Supporting NVIC is one way you can help, in addition to signing up for the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal so you stay informed about threats to vaccine exemptions in your state and contact your state legislators to make your voice heard.

 

All across the United States, people are fighting for their right not to be injected with vaccines against their will. These threats come in a variety of guises like California bill AB49912, which permits minor children as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated with sexually transmitted disease vaccines like Gardasil without parental knowledge or parental consent! In light of the evidence that HPV vaccines have not been proven safe or effective, how wise is it to allow doctors to give a minor child Gardasil or Cervarix vaccinations without informing and getting the consent of parents? How are parents supposed to monitor their children for signs of a vaccine reaction if they don’t even know their children have been given a vaccine? It’s nothing short of reprehensible.

 

I cannot stress enough how critical it is to get involved and stand up for your human right to exercise informed consent to vaccination and protect your legal right to obtain medical and non-medical vaccine exemptions. This does not mean you have to opt out of all vaccinations if you decide that you want to give one or more vaccines to your child. The point is, EVERYONE should have the right to evaluate the potential benefits and real risks of any pharmaceutical product, including vaccines, and opt out of any vaccine they decide is unnecessary or not in the best interest of their child’s health. Every child is different and has a unique personal and family medical history, which may include severe allergies or autoimmune and neurological disorders, that could increase the risks of vaccination.

 

It is your parental right to make potentially life-altering health decisions for your own children. Why wouldn’t you want to keep that right—even if you want your child to receive most or all vaccinations currently available? Tomorrow there might be a vaccine you don’t want your child to receive, but if you’ve failed to support strong informed consent protections in public health laws, which includes the legal right for all Americans to take medical and non-medical vaccine exemptions, you’ve given away your own freedom to choose in the future…

 

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at http://www.NVIC.org:

 

NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.

If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.

Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors, employers or school officials for making independent vaccine choices.

NVIC Advocacy Portal: Sign up today to be a user of this free online privacy-protected network of concerned citizens all working to educate legislators to protect vaccine exemptions in public health policies and laws.

Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

 

However, there is hope.

 

At least 15 percent of young doctors polled in the past few years admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

 

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

 

Health Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr. Anna Sullivan

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

1 in 6 Women take this Nightmare Pill

pill

1 in 6 Women Take This Nightmare Pill While Many Studies Suggest It’s Useless

 

Use of Antidepressants Continue to Rise

 

Major depression is one of the most common disorders in the U.S.,1 with 16 million adults reporting at least one major depressive episode in the past year.2,3 When you look at all forms of depression, that number goes even higher. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 24 million Americans experience some form of depression,4 which can interfere with personal and work relationships, reduce work or academic performance and affect physical health.

 

Depression reduces your ability to care for yourself properly and make adequate decisions about your health, including nutrition and sleep. Imbalances in nutrition, weight fluctuations and poor sleep habits may lead to compromised immune function.5

 

If ignored, depression can become chronic and can lead to self-harming behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse6 and even be terminal if the person commits suicide. Up to 70 percent of people who commit suicide are clinically depressed,7 and 90 percent of people who struggle with suicidal thoughts experience a combination of depression and substance abuse.8

 

Antidepressant Use Continues to Rise

According to the latest statistics,9,10,11,12 use of antidepressants in the U.S. rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2014. As of 2014:

 

  • Nearly 1 in 8 Americans (13 percent) over the age of 12 reported being on antidepressant medication

 

  • 1 in 6 women (16.5 percent) reported antidepressant use compared to 1 in 11 men (9 percent)

 

  • About one-quarter of those who had taken an antidepressant in the past month reported being on them for 10 years or more

 

  • Caucasians were more than three times more likely to use antidepressants than Blacks, Hispanics or Asians (16.5 percent compared to 5.6 percent, 5 percent and 3.3 percent respectively)

 

In Scotland, researchers also warn that antidepressant use among children under the age of 12 has risen dramatically.13 Between 2009 and 2016, use in this age group quadrupled. Use among children under 18 doubled in the same time frame.

 

Research Reveals Antidepressants Are Rarely the Right Answer

Unfortunately, the most widely used remedy for depression is also among the least effective. In addition to a long list of potential side effects14,15 (which include worsening depression and suicide), 40 percent of people with major depressive disorder treated with antidepressants do not achieve full remission.16

 

Perhaps more importantly, studies17,18,19 have repeatedly shown antidepressants work no better than placebo for mild to moderate depression, so you’re taking grave risks for a very small chance of benefit. As noted in a 2014 paper on antidepressants and the placebo effect:20

 

“Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain … But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect …

 

Analyzing the data we had found, we were not surprised to find a substantial placebo effect on depression. What surprised us was how small the drug effect was. Seventy-five percent of the improvement in the drug group also occurred when people were give dummy pills with no active ingredient in them.

 

The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.”

 

Placebo Effect Accounts for 82 Percent of Drug Response

The author of that 2014 study, Irving Kirsch, is a psychotherapist who has performed a number of analyses on antidepressants. In 2002, his team filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking for the trial data provided by drug companies as part of the drug approval process.

 

The FDA requires drug companies to provide data on all clinical trials they’ve sponsored, including unpublished trials. As it turned out, nearly half of all clinical trials on antidepressants remained unpublished. When both published and unpublished trials were included, 57 percent showed the drug had no clinical benefit over placebo. What’s more, the placebo response actually accounted for 82 PERCENT of the beneficial response to antidepressants!

 

These results were reproduced in a 2008 study21 using another, even larger set of FDA trial data. According to Kirsch, “Once again, 82 percent of the drug response was duplicated by placebo.” A major benefit of evaluating FDA trial data was that all of the trials used the same primary measure of depression, which made the drug-to-placebo effects very easy to identify and compare.

 

The primary measure of depression used in these studies was the Hamilton depression scale, a 17-item scale with a possible score of 0 to 53 points. The higher your score, the more severe your depression. Importantly, the mean difference between antidepressants and placebo was less than two points (1.8) on this scale, which is considered clinically insignificant.

 

To illustrate just how insignificant of a difference this is, you can score a 6-point difference simply by changing sleep patterns without any reported change in other depressive symptoms.

 

EMFs — A Not Well-Known Cause of Anxiety and Depression

About one year ago Dr. Martin Pall published a review22 in the Journal of Neuroanatomy showing how microwave radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi routers and computers and tablets not in airplane mode is clearly associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders. I recently did an interview with him that will air on September 3. In the meantime, you can view my interview on EMFs that I discussed on my recent trip to visit with Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof.23

 

These microwave EMFs increase intracellular calcium through voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and the tissue with the highest density of VGCCs is the brain. Once these VGCCs are stimulated they also cause the release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones leading to not only anxiety and depression, but neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.

 

So, if you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technology. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.

 

Studies have also confirmed the therapeutic effects of spending time in nature.  Ecotherapy has been shown to lower stress, improve mood and significantly reduce symptoms of depression.24 Outdoor activities could be just about anything, from walking a nature trail to gardening, or simply taking your exercise outdoors.

 

Breath work such as the Buteyko breathing technique also has enormous psychological benefits and can quickly reduce anxiety by increasing the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in your body. These three techniques are a perfect complement to each other, and cost nothing. Simply turn off your electronics, head outside and practice proper breathing.

 

America Struggles With Notable Decline in Mental Health 

While prescriptions for psychiatric drugs keep increasing (when you include other drugs beside antidepressants, such as anti-anxiety drugs, nearly 17 percent of American adults are medicated25,26), several parameters show mental health in the U.S. is declining.

 

Suicide rates are at a 30-year high, mental disorders are now the second most common cause of disability, having risen sharply since 1980,27 and prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths have become a public health emergency. While opioid pain killers are among the most lethal, psychiatric drugs also take their toll. In 2013, anti-anxiety benzodiazepine drugs accounted for nearly one-third of prescription overdose deaths.28

 

All of these statistics suggest that far from being helpful, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs are making the situation worse. Sure, these drugs may be helpful for a small minority of people with very severe mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, but clearly, the vast majority of people using these drugs do not suffer from severe psychiatric illness.

 

Most are struggling with sadness, grief, anxiety, “the blues” and depression, which are in many ways part of your body’s communication system, revealing nutritional or sunlight deficiencies and/or spiritual disconnect, for example. The underlying reasons for these kinds of troubles are manifold, but you can be sure that, whatever the cause, an antidepressant will not correct it.

 

Women also need to be mindful of the fact that use of antidepressants during pregnancy can significantly increase your chances of having a child with autism. One study found antidepressant use during the second or third trimester was associated with an 87 percent increased risk of autism.29 The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors was associated with double the risk of autism in the child, while the use of two or more antidepressants increased the risk more than fourfold.

 

Which Treatments Actually Work?

If you’re at all interested in following science-based recommendations, you’d place antidepressants at the very bottom of your list of treatment candidates. Far more effective treatments for depression include:

 

  • Exercise — A number of studies have shown exercise outperforms drug treatment. Exercise helps create new GABA-producing neurons that help induce a natural state of calm, and boosts serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which helps buffer the effects of stress.

 

Studies have shown there is a strong correlation between improved mood and aerobic capacity, but even gentle forms of exercise can be effective. Yoga, for example, has received particular attention in a number of studies. A study published this spring found 90-minute yoga sessions three times a week reduced symptoms of major depression by at least 50 percent.30

 

  • Nutritional intervention — Keeping inflammation in check is an important part of any effective treatment plan. If you’re gluten sensitive, you will need to remove all gluten from your diet. A food sensitivity test can help ascertain this. Reducing lectins may also be a good idea. As a general guideline, eating a whole food diet as described in my optimal nutrition plan can go a long way toward lowering your inflammation level. Certain nutritional deficiencies are also notorious contributors to depression, especially:

 

◦ Omega-3 fats. I recommend getting an omega-3 index test to make sure you’re getting enough. Ideally, you want your omega-3 index to be 8 percent or higher.

 

◦ B vitamins (including B1, B2, B3, B6, B8 and B12). Low dietary folate can raise your risk by as much as 300 percent.31,32 One of the most recent studies33,34 showing the importance of vitamin deficiencies in depression involved suicidal teens. Most turned out to be deficient in cerebral folate and all of them showed improvement after treatment with folinic acid.

 

  • Vitamin D — Studies have shown vitamin D deficiency can predispose you to depression and that depression can respond favorably to optimizing your vitamin D stores, ideally by getting sensible sun exposure.35,36 In one such study,37 people with a vitamin D level below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) had an 85 percent increased risk of depression compared to those with a level greater than 30 ng/mL.

 

A double-blind randomized trial38 published in 2008 concluded that supplementing with high doses of vitamin D “seems to ameliorate [depression] symptoms indicating a possible causal relationship. “Recent research39 also claims that low vitamin D levels appear to be associated with suicide attempts. For optimal health, make sure your vitamin D level is between 40 and 60 ng/mL year-round. Ideally, get a vitamin D test at least twice a year to monitor your level.

 

  • Probiotics — Keeping your gut microbiome healthy also has a significant effect on your moods, emotions and brain. You can read more in my previous article, “Mental Health May Depend on the Health of Your Gut Flora.”

 

  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) — EFT is a form of psychological acupressure that has been shown to be quite effective for depression and anxiety.40,41,42,43 For serious or complex issues, seek out a qualified health care professional that is trained in EFT44 to guide you through the process. That said, for most of you with depression symptoms, this is a technique you can learn to do effectively on your own.

 

One of my new favorites.  My mom passed away unexpectedly in July and I am very grateful she did not have cancer or struggles with any abuses from the conventional health system that many of our readers do. However, losing my mother was a major challenge in grief management for me.

 

I realize grief is not depression but the book “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender”45 by Dr. David Hawkins, was one of the best books I have read this year and helped teach me the useful tool of how to free yourself of painful emotions. I have read many of Hawkins’ previous books but this was his last one as he also recently passed.

 

Other Helpful Treatment Strategies

Here are several other strategies that can help improve your mental health:46

 

Clean up your sleep hygiene

 

Make sure you’re getting enough high-quality sleep, as sleep is essential for optimal mood and mental health. A fitness tracker that tracks your sleep can be a useful tool. The inability to fall asleep and stay asleep can be due to elevated cortisol levels, so if you have trouble sleeping, you may want to get your saliva cortisol level tested with an Adrenal Stress Index test.

 

If you’re already taking hormones, you can try applying a small dab of progesterone cream on your neck or face when you awaken during the night and can’t call back to sleep. Another alternative is to take adaptogens, herbal products that help lower cortisol and adjust your body to stress. There are also other excellent herbs and amino acids that help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Meditation can also help.

Optimize your gut health

 

A number of studies have confirmed gastrointestinal inflammation can play a critical role in the development of depression.47 Optimizing your gut microbiome will also help regulate a number of neurotransmitters and mood-related hormones, including GABA and corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety and depression-related behavior.48

 

To nourish your gut microbiome, be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and traditionally fermented foods. Healthy choices include fermented vegetables, lassi, kefir and natto. If you do not eat fermented foods on a regular basis, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement is recommended.

 

Also remember to severely limit sugars, especially fructose, as well as grains, to rebalance your gut flora. As a standard recommendation, I suggest limiting your daily fructose consumption from all sources to 25 grams per day or less.

Visualization

 

Visualization and guided imagery have been used for decades by elite athletes prior to an event, successful business people and cancer patients — all to achieve better results through convincing your mind you have already achieved successful results.49,50 Similar success has been found in people with depression.51

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

 

CBT has been used successfully to treat depression.52,53 This therapy assumes mood is related to the pattern of thought. CBT attempts to change mood and reverse depression by directing your thought patterns.

Make sure your cholesterol levels aren’t too low for optimal mental health

 

You may also want to check your cholesterol to make sure it’s not too low. Low cholesterol is linked to dramatically increased rates of suicide, as well as aggression toward others.54 This increased expression of violence toward self and others may be due to the fact that low membrane cholesterol decreases the number of serotonin receptors in the brain, which are approximately 30 percent cholesterol by weight.

 

Lower serum cholesterol concentrations therefore may contribute to decreasing brain serotonin, which not only contributes to suicidal-associated depression, but prevents the suppression of aggressive behavior and violence toward self and others.

Helpful supplements

 

A number of herbs and supplements can be used in lieu of drugs to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. These include:

 

  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). This medicinal plant has a long historical use for depression, and is thought to work similarly to antidepressants, raising brain chemicals associated with mood such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.55

 

  • S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is an amino acid derivative that occurs naturally in all cells. It plays a role in many biological reactions by transferring its methyl group to DNA, proteins, phospholipids and biogenic amines. Several scientific studies indicate that SAMe may be useful in the treatment of depression.

 

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). 5-HTP is another natural alternative to traditional antidepressants. When your body sets about manufacturing serotonin, it first makes 5-HTP. Taking 5-HTP as a supplement may raise serotonin levels. Evidence suggests 5-HTP outperforms a placebo when it comes to alleviating depression,56 which is more than can be said about antidepressants.

 

  • XingPiJieYu. This Chinese herb, available from doctors of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been found to reduce the effects of “chronic and unpredictable stress,” thereby lowering your risk of depression.57

Guidelines for Safe Drug Withdrawal

If you’re currently on an antidepressant and want to get off it, ideally, you’ll want to have the cooperation of your prescribing physician. It would also be wise to do some homework on how to best proceed. Dr. Joseph Glenmullen from Harvard has written a helpful book on how to withdraw called “The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and Addiction.”

 

You can also turn to an organization with a referral list of doctors who practice more biologically or naturally, such as the American College for Advancement in Medicine at http://www.ACAM.org. A holistic psychiatrist will have a number of treatment options in their tool box that conventional doctors do not, and will typically be familiar with nutritional supplementation.

 

Once you have the cooperation of your prescribing physician, start lowering the dosage of the medication you’re taking. There are protocols for gradually reducing the dose that your doctor should be well aware of. At the same time, it may be wise to add in a multivitamin and/or other nutritional supplements or herbs. Again, your best bet would be to work with a holistic psychiatrist who is well-versed in the use of nutritional support.

 

If you have a friend or family member who struggles with depression, perhaps one of the most helpful things you can do is to help guide them toward healthier eating and lifestyle habits, as making changes can be particularly difficult when you’re feeling blue — or worse, suicidal. Encourage them to unplug and meet you outside for walks. We should not underestimate the power of human connection, and the power of connection with nature. Both, I believe, are essential for mental health and emotional stability.

 

If you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest hospital emergency department. You cannot make long-term plans for lifestyle changes when you are in the middle of a crisis.

 

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