Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Homocysteine and Cardiovascular Health

Homocysteine (homo-sis-teen) is a combination of two amino acids, methonine and cysteine and at increased levels joins other well established factors, including elevated cholesterol, cigarette smoke and obesity for causing poor circulation, heart attack and stroke. In addition to atherosclerosis, hyperhomocysteinemia also has been found to be a procoagulant and thrombogenic agent (a major cause of heart attacks and strokes). However, it has taken more than 3 decades after its initial discovery to gain its current morbidity and mortality notoriety.

More than 30 years ago, Dr. McCully determined that an infant had died due to a genetic defect that did not allow it to utilize vitamin B12. Among other essential functions, such as nerve integrity and bone marrow support, ineffective use of B12 was found to cause a rapidly increasing level of homocysteine in the blood. It was determined that excessive levels of homocysteine due to a genetic disorder caused hardening of the arteries and premature deaths in infants. Dr. McCully then hypothesized that increased levels of homocysteine could cause the same hardening of the arteries that is normally expected only in the unhealthy elderly.

Even though in many cardiovascular disorders the cholesterol level is normal Dr. McCully’s suggestion that excess homocysteine from vitamin B12 deficiency could possibly be the cause of plaque build up in arteries in those with normal cholesterol fell on deaf ears. Unfortunately, during that time, traditional medicine was so hung up on cholesterol as the only culprit in cardiovascular disease Dr. McCully’s suggestion was completely ignored.

Recently, however, all that has changed. During the 1900’s there have been numerous studies reported in all leading medical journals positively linking elevated levels of homocysteine with “hardening” of the arteries. It is now well accepted that elevated levels of homocysteine brings about the same kind of plaque build up in blood vessels that can be expected from high levels of cholesterol. In addition to hardening of the arteries, elevated homocysteine levels have also been found to increase the risk of blood clots, a major cause of strokes and heart attacks.

We now know there are four basic nutritional deficiencies that can cause elevated homocysteine levels, B6, B12, folic acid, and riboflavin. As are most vitamins, these nutrients are very fragile and easily destroyed by heat, light, preservative, and many chemicals. Vitamin deficiencies are commonly caused by food processing and poor selection of food in our diets.

There is good news!! There is a simple and reasonably priced blood test for homocysteine that any standard laboratory can perform. Also, dietary modifications and supplementation with vitamins B6, B12, riboflavin and folic acid will bring homocysteine levels into a normal range every time.

Cardiovascular disease can be prevented or reversed by taking a few simple steps. If overweight, losing weight with a lifestyle modification program consisting of plenty of vegetables and fruits is essential. Avoiding greasy and fried foods, dairy products, refined sugar and flour, chips, crackers and luncheon meats are important for overall well being as well as for cardiovascular health. Eight of every ten bites of food should be from vegetables or fruits (fruits cannot be canned). In addition to the above listed nutrients, the antioxidant vitamins, A, C, E, alpha lipoic acid and Co-enzyme Q-10 are also mandatory for a healthy heart. The Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) reports that we cannot get enough vitamin E from our diets and must take it as a supplement for good heart health.

It has been reported that most cardiologists take nutritional supplements themselves yet very few recommend them to their patients.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Drugs for Osteoporosis Cause Bone Breaks and Other Health Problems

Oral bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs, which include such Actonel, Boniva, and Fosamax, could be associated with an approximately twofold increased risk of esophageal cancer.

A new study showed that long-term users of the drugs had nearly double the risk for the rare but deadly cancer.

Concerns about a link between bisphosphonates and esophageal cancer first reached the public a year and a half ago, when an FDA report cited 23 cases of the cancer in Fosamax users in the U.S., and another 31 cases in Europe and Japan.

WebMD reports:
"The ... analysis included close to 3,000 patients with cancer of the esophagus, 2,000 patients with stomach cancer, and 10,600 patients with colorectal cancer diagnosed between 1995 and 2005. Each cancer case was compared with five people without cancer matched for age and sex."
WebMD September 2, 2010
BMJ September 1, 2010; 341:c4444.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Osteoporosis is a very common problem, affecting one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50.

It’s characterized by porous and fragile bones, increasing your risk of fractures, most often your hips, spine and wrists. Interestingly, nearly 75 percent of all hip fractures occur in women, and hip fractures, worldwide, rose 25 percent in just ten years, between 1990 and 2000.

All in all, osteoporosis is a major health risk for nearly 30 million Americans, in large part because many are clueless about how to prevent it.

As a result, osteoporosis has become yet another boon for the pharmaceutical industry. According to a 2010-2025 Osteoporosis World Market Report, the condition generated pharmaceutical revenues of over $12 billion worldwide in 2009.

Unfortunately, osteoporosis drugs are now also increasingly prescribed to women with osteopenia, a natural thinning of the bones as you get older, even though no conclusive benefit has been found for this condition.

The Conventional Approach – A Dangerous First Line Defense
There are a variety of drugs on the market to combat bone loss, but the first line of therapy typically includes oral bisphosphonate drugs, such as:

In June of this year the US FDA also approved a new type of injectable medication for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, as reported by CNN.

The drug, called Prolia, is a “biologic” medication, meaning it contains genetically engineered human proteins instead of synthetic chemicals.

The Los Angeles Times did a write-up on the drug, stating that:
“Prolia is a little bit different from the other osteoporosis drugs in that it's a complicated biological molecule — an antibody — that was specifically designed to bind to, and inactivate, a protein in the body involved in bone metabolism. That protein, RANKL, stimulates the breakdown of bone tissue during normal bone turnover. By inhibiting RANKL, Prolia suppresses bone breakdown and prevents bone loss.”

However, despite being entirely different from bisphosponates, some of the identical health problems have already surfaced with Prolia, such as jaw osteonecrosis (which I’ll discuss in a moment).

This is no surprise as it essentially works the same way as the bisphosphonates, as it prevents the normal dynamic building and breakdown of bone. It slows down the normal resorption so the bone becomes denser but not any stronger.

Other side effects of Prolia include “skin infections, some serious enough to require hospitalization, and other infections, such as in the ears, urinary tract and the heart. Back pain and pain in the muscles and bones have been reported, as have elevated cholesterol levels,” the LA Times reports.

Time will tell just how poor a choice this drug really is, but I can virtually guarantee you that, just like the bisphosphonates, it will not serve your long-term best interest.

Increased Cancer Risk Confirmed Among Bisphosphonates Users
According to this latest study published in the journal BMJ, long-term use of oral bisphosphonate drugs may double your risk of esophageal cancer – a rare but deadly cancer.
The authors concluded that:
“The risk of esophageal cancer increased with 10 or more prescriptions for oral bisphosphonates and with prescriptions over about a five year period.

In Europe and North America, the incidence of esophageal cancer at age 60-79 is typically 1 per 1000 population over five years, and this is estimated to increase to about 2 per 1000 with five years' use of oral bisphosphonates.”

This link came to light early last year, when a brief report in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that the FDA had received 23 reports of esophageal cancer possibly linked to the drug.

The risk of contracting esophageal cancer from these drugs may still be low enough for many people to take the risk, but there are other, far more common side effects that can be just as devastating.

Side Effects of Osteoporosis Drugs can Be Far Worse than Brittle Bones…
Osteoporosis drugs have become increasingly well-known for their dangerous side effects, many of which could easily be worse than your original concern.

Acid reflux and related esophageal inflammation were a couple of the side effects that quickly became apparent when these drugs hit the market. This is why you’re instructed to take them with food and avoid lying down shortly after taking them.

But as I predicted over a decade ago, that’s just the beginning of the health nightmare these drugs can bring about.

Since their release, bisphosphonate drugs have also become associated with:

  • Hypocalcemia (blood calcium levels are too low)

  • Serious eye inflammation and possible blindness

  • Severe musculoskeletal pain

  • Stomach ulcers – particularly when taken together with anti-inflammatory drugs.
    In one study, 8 percent of participants taking Fosamax and 12 percent of those receiving the anti-inflammatory Naprosyn developed stomach ulcers. But when the two drugs were taken in combination, the rate of stomach ulcers rose to a whopping 38 percent.
    This is important, as many elderly, particularly women, are likely to suffer from both arthritis and osteoporosis, increasing the likelihood of bisphosphonates and anti-inflammatory drugs being taken at the same time.

  • Liver damage –Although the mechanism is still unknown, researchers believe drugs like Fosamax may inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in your liver, which may alter liver function.
    Regardless of the mechanism, if you’re taking Fosamax or related bisphosphonate drugs you need to beware of the possibility of liver dysfunction, and your doctor should monitor you properly for it.

  • Kidney failure (renal failure)

  • Atrial fibrillation -- Women who have used Fosamax are nearly twice as likely to develop atrial fibrillation (quivering of your heart’s upper chambers), which is the most common kind of chronically irregular heartbeat
    One study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that Fosamax was associated with an 86 percent higher risk of atrial fibrillation compared to those who had never used the drug.
    Atrial fibrillation can cause palpitations, fainting, fatigue, or congestive heart failure. It can also lead to embolic strokes.

  • high bone (femur) fractures – Although you’ve only started hearing about this recently, the FDA asked Merck (the maker of Fosamax) to “add information about the report of femur fractures” to the medication’s package insert back in 2008, according to an ABC News report.
    Sixteen months later they finally added it to the list of fine print side effects, but neither Merck nor the FDA properly informed doctors and patients of this newfound risk.
    According to a recent report by a US panel of experts reviewing the evidence of increased risk of unusual femur fractures, 94 percent of patients who had experienced a femur break had been on bisphosphonate drugs. Most of them had taken the drugs longer than five years.
    More than half of those who broke their thigh bones had reported groin or thigh pain for a period of weeks or months before fractures occurred.
    In addition, “more than a quarter of patients who experienced atypical femur fractures in one leg experienced a fracture in the other leg as well,” Canadian CTV reports.

  • Osteonecrosis of your jaw bone (jaw bone death) -- This is a serious condition that can also cause disfiguration as the bone in your jaw dies and begins to decay. Symptoms include jaw pain, infection, and loosening of your teeth. However, some people experience no symptoms until they suddenly notice exposed bone. If you’ve had teeth extracted, or wear full dentures, you may also be at greater risk.Interestingly, an animal study published in the June issue of Journal of Bone and Mineral Research concluded that osteonecrosis of the jaw may involve the interaction between bisphosphonate drugs and vitamin D deficiency! As you will see below, optimizing your vitamin D levels is imperative for healthy bones, and this finding further strengthens that recommendation.

How Osteoporosis Drugs WEAKEN Rather than Strengthen Your Bones Over Time
It’s important to realize that, over time, these drugs will only worsen, not improve, your condition, because all you’re doing is fooling your body to produce a denser bone that is actually weaker – as evidenced by increasing rates of thigh bone fractures.

It’s ironic, to say the least, that these drugs, prescribed to treat brittle bones and prevent fractures, actually produce weaker bones and cause more unusual fractures that are exceedingly difficult to recuperate from.

Healthy bones maintain their strength from a continual process of bone breakdown and bone rebuilding. Osteoclasts are cells that break down bone, and osteoblasts are the cells that rebuild it.

Healthy bone undergoes a dynamic process of cyclical removal of unhealthy bone and replacement with new bone. This is how they remain strong.

In osteoporosis, the net rate of bone resorption (breakdown) exceeds the rate of bone formation, which results in a decrease in bone mass.

But it’s important to realize that Fosamax and similar drugs do NOT build any new bone. Rather they are metabolic poisons that kill off your osteoclasts, which halts the normal bone repair process since you now lack the cells that break bone down.

Your bones will indeed get denser. However, denser bones are NOT stronger, which is the part they don’t tell you. Eventually your bones become weaker and more prone to fracture.
In women who have been taking a bisphosphonate-type drug for five or more years, their bones have literally lost the ability to regenerate and this is why many may be faced with more brittle bones and fractures.

12 Steps to Optimal Bone Health
It’s tragic that drugs like Fosamax continue to be touted as the answer to osteoporosis, because nothing could be further from the truth.

These simple guidelines can help you maintain, or increase, your bone strength safely and naturally, without the use of drugs that might cause you even further harm:
Eat a healthful diet based on your body's unique nutritional type.

Eating high quality, organic, biodynamic, locally-grown food will naturally increase your bone density and decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis. If you find it difficult to eat the recommended amount of vegetables you need daily, you can try vegetable juicing.

One food in particular that is worth mentioning are onions, which are high in gamma-glutamyl peptides that have been shown to increase bone density.

Also remember that you need high quality protein like organic free-range eggs and grass-fed meats, because amino acids are part of your bone matrix. If you don’t consume enough of specific amino acids your body can’t form strong, dense bones.

Avoid processed foods. If you eat a diet full of processed foods, it will produce biochemical and metabolic conditions in your body that will decrease your bone density, so avoiding processed foods is a first step in the right direction.

Consume a healthy balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fats. Most everyone needs to take a high quality, animal-based omega 3 fat. I recommend krill oil, as I believe it’s a superior source of omega 3’s. You’ll also want to reduce or eliminate the amount of processed vegetable oils you consume, such as corn, canola, safflower, and soy oil.

Avoid gluten, a grain protein that has been shown to decrease bone density. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt.

Avoid soda and sugar, particularly fructose, which increase bone damage by depleting your bones of calcium.

Optimize your vitamin D levels, ideally through proper amounts of sun exposure. Vitamin D builds your bone density by helping your body absorb calcium.

Supplement with vitamin K2 if you are not getting enough from food alone. Fermented foods, such as natto, typically have the highest concentration of vitamin K found in the human diet and can provide several milligrams of vitamin K2 on a daily basis.

Vitamin K2 serves as the biological "glue" that helps plug the calcium into your bone matrix and is crucial for preventing osteoporosis. I recommend taking about 150 mcg per day.

Make sure your diet includes sufficient amounts of magnesium, manganese, zinc, silicon and boron, or take them as supplements. The best form of calcium is to consume raw dairy regularly. Additionally, cheese is a good source of vitamin K2.

Replace your calcium supplements with natural salts -- Dr. Robert Thompson M.D. wrote an entire book, The Calcium Lie, addressing this important issue. One of the tenets of his book is that bone is composed of at least a dozen minerals, and if you focus exclusively on calcium supplementation you are likely going to worsen your bone density, and will actually increase your risk of osteoporosis!

Dr. Thompson believes that the overconsumption of calcium in the goal of preventing osteoporosis creates other mineral deficiencies and imbalances that will also increase your risk of heart disease, kidney stones, gallstones, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

He believes almost everyone needs trace minerals, not just calcium, because you simply cannot get all the nutrients you need through food grown in mineral depleted soils. Dr. Thompson believes unprocessed natural salts, such as Himalayan salt, are one of the best sources of these ionic trace minerals.

Avoid steroids, especially if you have asthma or any other autoimmune disease, as they increase your risk for osteoporosis. Steroids are known to destroy bone density by impairing the cells that build bone (osteoblasts).

Exercise. Studies show that exercise is just as important to your bone health as eating a calcium-rich diet. Strength-building exercises like weight training are especially helpful here.

Consider natural progesterone, which can increase your bone strength and density by serving as a growth promoter for the osteoblasts (the cells that build bone).

I will be going into far more detail in the future, but the sex hormones ideally should be applied as a trans mucosal cream, applied in the vaginal labia area or rectum. They should not be applied on your skin and clearly should not be swallowed, so this would also eliminate sublingual drops as it is nearly impossible to avoid swallowing some of the drops.

Of course, it would be wise to have the other basics in place such as adequate amounts of calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D and copper, in addition to exercise and avoidance of foods that will damage your bone, such as fructose and gluten.

It’s important to realize, however, that only natural progesterone will do here. The synthetic version, Provera, will not provide this bone-building benefit. For more on progesterone, please review Complications Regarding Progesterone Cream.

Monday, September 20, 2010

FLU Formula Available Soon!!! Call now to reserve yours!

FINALLY... a homeopathic answer to the Flu Vaccine, and it's only $20.

No more needles in the arm!!! Kessinger Health and Wellness Diagnostic Centre is proud to announce that we have a homeopathic option for those who prefer to dodge the needle. This product is made in limited quantities, and will only be available while we have them in stock. We expect our shipment to arrive in the next week or so, and they are going fast.

We are only able to get our hands on a small quantity of this years Flu Formula 2010-2011, so if you prefer to use a homeopathic to increase your chances of avoiding the flu call us now to reserve yours. The number to our office is 573-341-8292.

What is a homeopathic?
Homeopathic remedies are created based on the idea that “Like treats Like.” For hundreds of years, people have been treated using this philosophy. Homeopathic physicians learned that if you find a substance that causes a specific symptom in an individual, when you reduce it down to minute particles in water, it can cure those symptoms. The final result of this dilution leaves only a “pattern” of the original substance, but because the body knows how to react to the substance, it also recognizes the pattern of it. This works very well in instances where the substance itself causes side effects, because the homeopathic version will not cause side effects.

We have seen amazing results with our patients and friends who have used the homeopathic version of the HCG diet, and are happy to be able to offer a homeopathic option to help our community combat this years flu season.

Flu Formula 2010-2011 is made from the most current flu vaccine available using this homeopathic method. With adults, the dosage is done as drops which are placed under the tongue (just like our homeopathic HCG drops), and used once a day for 4 weeks. Then there is a booster dose three weeks later. For children, the drops are absorbed through the skin.

These drops are only available for a limited time, and when they're gone that's it! Call us now to reserve your bottle of Flu Formula 2010-2011 and be ready this season!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Swine Flu Vaccine May Cause Narcolepsy

The Swedish Medical Products Agency has received reports from health care professionals regarding narcolepsy as suspected adverse drug reaction following Pandemrix flu vaccination.

The reports concern teenaged children who developed narcolepsy symptoms one to two months after vaccination against the H1N1 pandemic. Finland is also looking into the possible link following an increase in the sleeping disorder among children this spring.

According to The Local:
“In the European Union, around 30 million people were vaccinated using Pandemrix. Sweden bought 18 million doses, which was enough to provide two injections for each person in its 9.3 million population.”

The Pandemrix package insert shows that “somnolence”, although not narcolepsy per se, is a known potential side effect of the drug.

Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has also issued an order to stop the use of Pandemrix swine flu vaccine due the probable link to narcolepsy in children. The agency received six reports of children who developed chronic sleep disorders after they received the vaccine in January 2010, Seer Press News reports.

Six cases of narcolepsy with cataplexy – a rare disorder characterized by chronic sleepiness, together with a loss of muscle tone – have been detected in France in persons vaccinated against influenza A/H1N1.

As you may recall, Australia also banned the swine flu vaccine for children under the age of 5, back in April, 2010, due to excessively high rates of febrile convulsions.
The Local August 19, 2010
Seer Press News August 26, 2010
WAToday.com.au April 23, 2010
birdflu666/wordpress.com August 29, 2010
The Epoch Times August 28, 2010

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

As you know, health authorities across the world fiercely maintain that flu vaccines are safe, regardless of what’s happening in the real world.

Time and again, serious side effects from vaccines are overlooked and swept under the rug as being “coincidental.”

Which begs the question, just how many coincidences does it take before a pattern emerges?
It’s all very convenient to ascribe all vaccine reactions to sheer chance…

Meanwhile, you know as well as I do that if a supplement were suddenly to be linked to, say, seizures or something as odd as narcolepsy, it would be banished from the market in short order – to protect your health, you see.

But when it comes to vaccines, they insist that the only way to protect your health, and that of your family, is to get a flu shot each and every season, from the age of 6 months until you die, and those who are harmed by this policy are simply viewed as being acceptable “collateral damage” or too defective to benefit from the prescribed health regimen, and their health problems would have occurred with or without the vaccine anyway.

This kind of flawed logic has been allowed to run amok for far too long.

Would You Want Your Child to Sleep Their Life Away?
Which would you rather risk experience: a week in bed, drinking hot soup, or a lifetime falling asleep at the most inopportune times; in class, during dinner, at work, in your car…

Narcolepsy, a mysterious, incurable neurological condition that causes you to suddenly fall into a deep sleep, is not something you hear about very often.

Yet Sweden and Finland recently sounded the alarm because young patients suddenly developed this abnormal sleeping disorder after being vaccinated with the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

France, Germany and Norway have also started counting cases, and the EU has launched an investigation.

In Sweden, the Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket) began their inquiry on August 18th. The vaccine in question is Pandemrix – GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine against H1N1 influenza -- which has been used since September 2009 in Sweden and other European countries.

As of August 28, Sweden had 12 confirmed cases of narcolepsy which have been linked to the Pandemrix vaccine, the Epoch Times reports.

At least six of these cases involve children aged 12 to 16. Their symptoms developed within 4 to 8 weeks of being vaccinated with Pandemrix.

Finland has suspended the use of Pandemrix, the Seer Press reported on August 26, as Finnish children also began being diagnosed with narcolepsy at an unusual rate.

According to the Epoch Times:
“Six cases of narcolepsy is consistent with annual averages, reports THL [The Finnish National Institute for Health], but all of these patients were affected after being vaccinated, and there are nine additional cases that have not yet been confirmed."

Finland is expected to have preliminary results from their investigation by the end of this year.
Six cases of narcolepsy with cataplexy (a loss of muscle tone) have also been reported in France, as of August 29.

The French magazine Le Figaro states that three children and three adults have developed the sleeping disorder after being vaccinated with two different swine flu vaccines. The cases were all identified since August 23.

Five cases developed post vaccination with Pandemrix, and one case after vaccination with Panenza, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.

So far, a total of 27 cases of narcolepsy that occurred within weeks of being vaccinated with an A/H1N1 vaccine have been identified across Europe, according to Euorclinix.net.

As to why or how the vaccine may be causing narcolepsy has yet to be determined. But the Pandemrix package insert states that “somnolence”, although not narcolepsy per se, is a known potential side effect of the drug.

What is Narcolepsy, and What are the Known Causes?
Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that causes you to suddenly fall into a deep sleep. For unknown reasons, your brain becomes unable to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally, so at any point during the day you will simply fall asleep. Bouts can last from just a few seconds to several minutes. In rare cases, you may remain asleep for an hour or longer.

Needless to say, this is a very disabling disorder that can have a significantly detrimental impact on your quality of life, not to mention it can be dangerous, depending on where you suddenly fall asleep.

It can also be a terrifying disorder, because in addition to falling asleep, the majority (70 percent) of narcolepsy cases also involve cataplexy -- the sudden loss of voluntary muscle control – along with vivid hallucinations and total paralysis at the beginning or end of your narcoleptic attack.

The paralysis and hallucinations are both “intrusions” of REM sleep elements into your wakeful state. The hallucination is your brain dreaming, even though you’re conscious. The feeling of paralysis is actually normal “sleep paralysis”, which under normal circumstances occur while you are in deep sleep, so you never notice it.

For obvious reasons these symptoms can be quite terrifying when they first appear.
According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH):
“Researchers have discovered abnormalities in various parts of the brain involved in regulating REM sleep that appear to contribute to symptom development. Experts now believe it is likely that -- similar to many other complex, chronic neurological diseases -- narcolepsy involves multiple factors interacting to cause neurological dysfunction and REM sleep disturbances.

A number of variant forms (alleles) of genes located in a region of chromosome 6 known as the HLA complex have proved to be strongly, although not invariably, associated with narcolepsy. The HLA complex comprises a large number of interrelated genes that regulate key aspects of immune-system function.

… Groups of neurons in several parts of the brainstem and the central brain, including the thalamus and hypothalamus, interact to control sleep.

… Genetic factors alone are not sufficient to cause narcolepsy. Other factors-such as infection, immune-system dysfunction, trauma, hormonal changes, stress may also be present before the disease develops.”

Unfortunately for the children afflicted with this incurable disorder, the symptoms tend to WORSEN over the two to three DECADES after the symptoms first appear. It is generally agreed that the earlier symptoms appear, the worse off you are. After the age of 60, symptoms typically lessen.

Australia Temporarily Banned Swine Flu Vaccine Due to Febrile Seizures
Back in April, Australia suspended its seasonal flu program for children under the age of five, after detecting an abnormal number of side effects within 12 hours of vaccination, compared to previous years. Side effects included high fevers and seizures. A one-year-old child also went into a coma after receiving the flu vaccine.

However, the Australian Department of Health resumed seasonal flu vaccinations for young children on July 30th, stating that:
“Continued close monitoring of side effects with this year's seasonal flu vaccine in children under five years of age has shown that the higher than usual occurrence of fever and febrile convulsions appears to be confined to the vaccine Fluvax, manufactured by CSL, so parents can now seek advice from their doctor to use other brands on the market if they want their young children vaccinated.”

The Chief Medical Officer of the Australian Department of Health also said:
“In my last report to parents and the medical profession on June 1 this year, I highlighted that Fluvax appeared to be the main concern but that, because of limited use, there was insufficient evidence about the extent of fever and febrile convulsions associated with the other vaccines on the market.

I therefore continued to recommend the suspension of use of all seasonal flu vaccinations for healthy children under 5 years of age… Since that announcement, continued investigations in Australia and overseas indicate that there does not appear to be the higher than normal incidence of febrile convulsions in children under five with the other seasonal flu vaccines Influvac and Vaxigrip.”

As you can see, there are a number of flu vaccines on the market. Some are specifically for A/H1N1, while others are a combination of H1N1 along with the seasonal flu strains.So far, significantly increased hazards have been associated with Pandemrix (GSK), and possibly Panenza (Sanofi Pasteur) in Europe, and Fluvax (CSL) in Australia.

Yet, all others are still claimed to be “safe.”
I would not bet my health on it!

So what does all this mean for Americans, for whom the flu season is drawing near?

This Season’s Flu Plan for the U.S.
The news for this year is that the flu vaccine you'll get this fall will be a combination vaccine that contains both the regular flu- and the swine flu vaccines – you will not be given the choice to take them individually, as was done last year.

The US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) lists a total of six monovalent and five trivalent flu vaccines approved for the 2010 season in the US, as well as one intranasal flu vaccine.
According to Barbara Loe Fisher this year’s seasonal flu shot will contain three type A or type B viruses, one of which will be H1N1.

As you may recall, in February of 2009 the CDC announced that every single American from the age of 6 months through the year of death should get an annual flu shot -- whether we're healthy or we're sick.

But despite the news coming in from around the world about harmful side effects from the A/H1N1 vaccines used, the US has yet to address any of these concerns as it pertains to the upcoming flu season.

Children are not the only group that seem to react more violently to the trivalent vaccine that contains the H1N1 component.

According to Barbara Loe Fisher of the NVIC, a special government committee has been created to investigate last year's H1N1 monovalent vaccine for signs that it may be associated with a higher rate of certain kinds of reactions. What the committee found out provisionally is that there were three signs of trouble with the H1N1 swine flu vaccine used last year.

In a recent NVIC video update, Fisher explained:
"One was Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), which we know has been associated with influenza vaccine since 1976 when the first swine flu vaccine was used. There is [also] a sign of a blood disorder called thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia is when your blood cannot produce enough platelets. It's an autoimmune type reaction.

The other is Bell's palsy. That's a facial paralysis. It's a neuroimmune reaction.
The government is saying they don't know if these are true signals or not, but there were some red flags that were raised."

In light of the recent developments in Europe and Scandinavia, the US is now moving into the 2010-2011 flu season with a vaccine that may be very reactive.

"I am concerned," Fisher says, "We have over 300 million people [in the US] which… are supposed to get this influenza vaccine. And we have a very aggressive push by the media and others who are following the lead of the government, so we could have a bad situation."

Asia Gets in on the Action
Late last month the Korea Herald also reported that nearly 2,600 side effects had been reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in association with the swine flu vaccine.

There, side effects included fevers, headaches and allergic responses, and 10 deaths.
Rep. Shim Jae-cheol of the ruling Grand National Party is quoted as saying:
“There is a possibility of the flu shots causing side effects in some individuals. Rather than pushing to consume the vaccines in stock, the government needs to be more cautious in giving the flu shots.”

Prevent the Flu Without Risking Your Health in the Process
I truly worry about the callous attitude that is so willing to throw our health to the wind and ignore any evidence that conflicts with the pro-vaccine agenda. Any time you’re dealing with the health of millions, the precautionary principle really should apply.

The signs that this year’s flu vaccine may be far more harmful than previous years’ are already there!
I urge you to take your time and really make an informed decision before you rush to get this year’s flu shot…
Fortunately, along with the bad news about flu vaccines we’ve also seen an upsurge in studies on vitamin D, strengthening the evidence that it is a potent preventive measure against colds and influenza.

For example, if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you'll be pleased to know that an article published May 1 in the American Academy of Pediatrics News recommends pregnant women take 4,000 IUs of vitamin D daily to fight infection and disease, to maintain good health, and to deliver healthier, stronger babies.

But even this seemingly large amount may be seriously inadequate in many women. Some may need more than 10,000 units per day and the only way to know for sure is to have your vitamin D level tested.

Then, take a look at this Japanese study from last year, which showed that a group of children taking Vitamin D3 was 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A. That's a higher effectiveness than any flu vaccine can claim, and doesn't come with a barrage of potentially devastating side effects!

Since we already know that most children and teenagers are Vitamin D-deficient, I urge you to get your children's vitamin D levels tested, and if found deficient, follow my recommendations for optimizing their levels. Do this, and they'll be far less likely to catch any cold or flu this year.
For more information, I highly recommend you watch my one-hour free vitamin D lecture along with my video on vitamin D's role in flu prevention.

Dr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, Mercola.com. You can learn the hazardous side effects of OTC Remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his Report Page.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Bowel flora may play a role in inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). An article appearing in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology (2001;36(Suppl 234):29-40) discussed the role of bowel flora and intestinal permeability in this disease. The cells lining the intestine form a barrier that protects the body from the contents of the intestines. If these cells fail to act as an effective barrier, increased intestinal permeability becomes a problem. The article states that increased intestinal permeability leads to a lack of tolerance to the bacteria that normally exist in the bowel.

There is evidence of the immune system working against the bacteria that exist in the bowel, perhaps even overreacting. Also, the makeup of the bacteria is different in these patients than in normal controls. In patients with inflammatory bowel disease, the bacteria tend to invade the mucosa. Research appearing in Gastroenterology (January 2002;122(1) :44-54) compared colonoscopic biopsies in 305 patients with 40 normal controls. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease had much higher concentrations of bacteria invading the intestinal lining than did the healthy subjects. A normal, healthy intestinal lining has the ability to act as a barrier to bowel bacteria; this ability is compromised in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

The Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology article mentions that taking probiotics is sometimes helpful; patients with Crohn's disease tend to have less Bifidobacteria, and more Bactero ides, Eubacteria and Peptost reptococcus. Generally, probiotics contain lactic acid bacteria, like Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria (the species found to be in short supply in patients with Crohn's disease), and Streptococci. These bacteria can release antibiotic-like substances, reduce the pH in the intestine, improve the absorption of nutrients and help stimulate the immune system.
by: Dr. Paul G. Varnas & WholeHealthAmerica.com present

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are often deficient in many nutrients. They commonly have problems absorbing nutrients, have poor appetites, are often on restrictive diets, or are nutrient deficient as a result of drug therapy. According to a review of research appearing in the Annual Review of Nutri tion (1985;5:463-484), nutritional deficiencies are common in patients hospitalized with inflammatory bowel disease. Iron deficiency was found in 40% of the patients, 48% were deficient in vitamin B12, between 54 and 64% were deficient in folate, between 14 and 33% were magnesium deficient, between 6% and 14% had a potassium deficiency, 21% were deficient in vitamin A, 12% were deficient in vitamin C, between 25% and 65% were deficient in 25-hydroxyvitamin D and between 40% and 50% had a zinc deficiency. Other vitamin deficiencies included vitamin K, copper and vitamin E. A study of 114 patients with inflammatory bowel disease, appearing in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology (1979;14:1019-1024) found low serum folate in 59% of patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease. There is an increased risk for colorectal cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Research appearing Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (2008 Feb;14(2):242-8), correlated folic acid deficiency with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Patients who had inflammatory bowel disease, and both a folic acid deficiency and a high homocysteine level had 17 times as many cancerous lesions as patients who were not folic acid deficient. Vitamin deficiencies may also contribute to the severity of the disease. The disease creates vitamin deficiency, which in turn makes the disease more severe. A study involving 30 male and 31 female patients with inflammatory bowel disease was published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology (2003;98(1):112-117). It found that vitamin B6 levels were significantly lower in patients with inflammatory bowel disease than they were in healthy controls. Furthermore, vitamin B6 levels were lower in patients who were experiencing a flare up in their symptoms than they were for patients in remission. Low vitamin B6 levels were also associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers (chemicals that, when present, indicate inflammation) C-reactive protein is an example of an inflammatory marker; it was increased in patients
with low B6 levels.

One of the roles vitamin C has is as an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative stress. According to research appearing in Free Radical Research (1995;22(2):131-143), patients with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis) have reduced levels of vitamin C in the intestinal lining. Patients with Crohn's disease have levels that are 35% below normal while patients with ulcerative colitis have levels that are 73% below normal. The researchers state that most of the loss of vitamin C is due to oxidative stress from inflammatory cells. The loss of vitamin C makes the cells lining the intestines more vulnerable to oxidative stress.

Consumption of refined carbohydrates can aggravate symptoms.
The European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (January, 1995;7(1):47-51) conducted a prospective, epidemiological study of 104 patients and found that patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis have a high intake of starch and sugar. Other research that appeared in Epidemiology (January 1992;3(1):47-52), followed the dietary habits of 142 patients with ulcerative colitis, 152 patients with Crohn's disease and 305 healthy controls over a period of three years. The relative risk of Crohn's disease increased with sugar intake and decreased with fiber intake.

Eating fast food increased the risk for both Crohn's disease and for ulcerative colitis. These studies may support Elaine Gottschall's model of inflammatory bowel disease. In her book, Ending the Vicious Cycle , Gottschall describes a possible mechanism for inflammatory bowel disease and a dietary solution. She reasons that we eat too many complex carbohydrates (disaccharides like table sugar and lactose in milk, and starches like bread, potatoes, rice and beans).

Our own enzymes are not adequate enough to digest the large amounts of sugar and starch that we consume, so it passes into the intestine without being digested. The undigested food allows bacteria to grow, irritating the intestinal lining. The irritation of the intestine causes a further reduction in the amount of enzymes produced, resulting in more undigested food. Gottschall suggests that completely avoiding starches and sugar (the sugar that is in fresh fruit is permissible). Some patients, but not all of them, go into remission after following Gottschall's recommendations. It would seem if this is the mechanism causing a patient’s disease, giving a digestive supplement, may be helpful.

Thanks to Biotics Research for this wonderful information!