Victims of HPV Vaccine in Japan Will Sue State and Vaccine Makers

In the U.S., the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been a subject of controversy from the very beginning after Merck’s Gardasil vaccine was licensed in 2006.1 Japan is one of the many nations raising concerns about HPV vaccine following persistent reports that girls are suffering severe adverse effects after getting vaccinated.2

Japanese student in classroom

Controversy Surrounding Safety of HPV Vaccine in Japan

Here is what happened in Japan in a nutshell. In December 2010, the HPV vaccine  (both Merck’s Gardasil and Cervarix manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline) was provided at no cost to Japanese girls between the ages of 12-16 years old. In April 2013, the vaccine was officially included in Japan’s national immunization program. However, two months later, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare publically announced that it had decided to withdraw its HPV vaccine recommendation.3 The decision was in response to numerous reports that formerly healthy vaccine recipients were experiencing alarming side effects ranging from short-term memory loss to paralysis.4 In October 2013, a special taskforce was formed to investigate the side effects of the HPV vaccine.5

Interestingly, HPV vaccines were not withdrawn from the market in Japan and continued to be available, but local governments, as advised by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, did not actively promote its use. Girls can still receive the vaccine if they chose to do so but doctors and other vaccine providers must inform them that the health ministry does not recommend it.6 

The Nationwide Liaison Association of Cervical Cancer Vaccine Victims and Parents in Japan and Dr. Sotaro Sato, director of the Sato Cardiovascular Internal Medicine Hospital in Osaki speculate that the motive behind this decision is more than likely due to:

fear of potential lawsuits being filed by the association on behalf of numerous desperate families whose beloved, previously healthy daughters have been seriously impaired, paralyzed or horribly devastated by HPV vaccinations. Japanese courts would be likely to find health bureaucrats responsible for the serious adverse effects inflicted on the girls if they did not take precautionary measures beforehand and leave some evidence that could later be used to prove they had at least tried to do something to block the further spread of health impairments to upcoming generations of teenage girls. This would be a particular problem if the government moves to reinstate their recommendation of these vaccines during the current fiscal year ending on 31 March 2014, due to pressure from politicians and academics with financial ties or other links to the vaccine manufacturers, lobbying activities, and consulting ‘experts’ hired by the manufacturers.7

Almost three years later, The Japan Times recently reported that a class action lawsuit will be filed after June 2016 against the Japanese government, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline by victims who have suffered severe side effects as a result of receiving the former government recommended vaccine. Twelve plaintiffs will file the lawsuit at four district courts in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

The plaintiffs are demanding answers as to why they were not informed of the risks of HPV vaccine prior to receiving it.8  The defense team will be hosting seminars in the next two months in hopes of seeking additional plaintiffs.8 

Vaccine-Injured Victims Cannot Sue Vaccine Makers in the U.S

Unlike in Japan where vaccine-injured victims can directly file a lawsuit against the state and the vaccine manufacturers, the judicial process in the U.S. for vaccine-injured victims of HPV and other government recommended or mandated vaccines is remarkably different, to say the least.

Under current U.S. federal law, no one can directly sue a vaccine manufacturer in civil court after a vaccine causes the injury or death of a minor child or adult.9 To understand how this came about, it is important to understand the historical context of this issue.

Back in the early 1980s, parents were filing lawsuits on behalf of their minor children who were damaged or died from reactions to the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DPT) vaccine and the live polio vaccine.

It was during this period when pharmaceutical companies demanded that Congress pass a law protecting them from all product liability from vaccine injuries and deaths by establishing a federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) to compensate vaccine-injured children.11  But with strong opposition from co-founders of  the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and other consumers, the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act preserved product liability if compensation was denied or there was evidence the drug company could have made a vaccine safer.10 

NVIC co-founder and president, Barbara Loe Fisher, said:

Parents successfully argued that, if Congress was going to give drug companies partial liability protection through the creation of a federal vaccine injury compensation alternative to a lawsuit, then language had to be written into the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that protected a citizen’s right to sue drug companies when federal compensation was denied, or the company had the technological ability to make a vaccine less toxic but refused to do it. Continued civil liability was the safety net for American consumers in that law. Continued civil liability was the leverage that gave some financial incentive for drug companies to make vaccines safer and gave some political incentive for government officials to award federal compensation to the vaccine injured.”10 

Fast-forward to 2011,  in a split decision with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting, the U.S. Supreme Court gave complete product liability protection to vaccine manufacturers and banned lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for injuries and deaths caused by FDA licensed vaccines, even in cases of design defect. The ruling was in response to a 2005 lawsuit filed against Wyeth Inc. (now Pfizer, Inc.) and brought to the high court by the parents of Hannah Bruesewitz, who suffered encephalopathy and a residual seizure disorder after being given a third DPT shot in 1992.

Initial claims brought forth by Bruesewitz’s parents under the national VICP in 1995 were rejected driving them to file a civil court lawsuit against Wyeth, Inc. based on design defect.13 According to American Medical News, the U.S. Supreme Court stated:

The act reflects a sensible choice to leave complex epidemiological judgments about vaccine design to the [Food and Drug Administration] and the National Vaccine Program, rather than juries.12 

So, now, unlike the original National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that gave plaintiffs the option to sue drug companies when denied federal compensation, today Americans are restricted from suing vaccine manufacturers and instead are required to sue the Secretary of DHHS by filing a vaccine injury claim through the VICP.12

The 2011 Supreme Court ruling was a corporate bailout of vaccine manufacturers that excused the industry from any sort of accountability, leaving them with no incentive to make vaccines safer.10 The increasing number of states mandating more vaccines and restricting or removing vaccine exemptions, together with the failures of the VICP and Pharma’s total liability shield, is leading to more widespread questioning of U.S. vaccine policies and laws.

The fact that vaccine victims in Japan (and other countries) have the legal right to hold pharmaceutical companies liable for the safety of their products in civil court and vaccine victims in the U.S. do not, is adding more fuel to the debate about vaccine safety and choice

Microcephaly Cases in Brazil Vastly Overestimated

A study published in the The Lancet on Feb. 6, 2016, reported that, prior to 2015, the number of reported suspected cases of microcephaly in infants born in Brazil had remained “consistently below 200″ each year.1 Between mid-2015 and Jan. 30, 2016, the number of suspected cases of microcephaly reported totaled 4,783.1Thus, in just half a year, the total number of suspected microcephaly cases was 2,291% higher, compared to previousannual totals. Therein lies the source of the whole microcephaly scare.

Going from 200 suspected cases of any disease or illness in one year to nearly 24 times that amount in half a year would certainly be enough to qualify as a serious epidemic and justify a healthy level of concern, even fear. It is important to note, though, that, of those 4,783 suspected cases of microcephaly reported to the Brazilian government, only 1,130 of them had “completed clinical, laboratory, and imaging examinations” to confirm the diagnosis of microcephaly. After all the results of the lab tests and imaging exams were analyzed, only 404 (36.2%) of the 1,130 were actually classified as “confirmed cases” of microcephaly.1

So, that little detail dramatically changed the degree of the “epidemic.” In other words, by the beginning of February 2016, it was known that microcephaly was not an epidemic of 4,783 cases, but rather one of 404 confirmed cases. But by then Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff—who has now been suspended from her office and is facing impeachment proceedings for allegations of financial irregularities and several corruption scandals2—had already publicly blamed the microcephaly cases on the Zika virus and declared “war” on the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries it.3

On Feb. 12, 2016, Brazil’s Minister of Public Health Marcelo Castro, MD confirmed that the microcephaly cases were due to the Zika virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.4 By then, Dr. Castro was citing 5,079 “suspected” cases of microcephaly, even though only 462 cases had been “confirmed” as microcephaly.4 Naturally, the media kept highlighting the higher number of suspected cases, rather than the lower number of confirmed cases or the fact that an additional 765 cases had been determined to bemisdiagnosed and were not microcephaly after all.4

This seemed to be a case of a government declaring war on a mosquito and declaring a public health emergency because of a massive Zika virus epidemic that was not nearly as massive as was being publicized, thus prematurely fueling an international panic. As Brazil prepares to host the Olympics in August, some have speculated that politics was involved in creation of the Zika virus panic to deflect public attention away from the internal crisis facing the current government.5

Even so, a fight seems to be breaking out in the medical community as more than 150 doctors are alleging the Zika virus is such a big threat that they have sent a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) calling for the Olympics to be postponed or held in another location.6

One of the reasons for the discrepancy between the number of suspected cases of microcephaly and the confirmed is that it’s not always clear just by looking at the size of an infant’s head whether the child has microcephaly or is simply a normal child with a small head. So there may be many suspected cases that, after careful examination, turn out not to be actual cases of microcephaly. The study in The Lancet alludes to this.

Although there is evidence of an increased number of cases of microcephaly in Brazil, we show that the number of suspected cases relied on a screening test that had very low specificity and therefore overestimated the actual number of cases by including mostly normal children with small heads.1

Additionally, the confirmation for microcephaly in Brazil became more confusing in December 2015 when the medical criteria for diagnosing microcephaly was revised.

On Dec. 8, 2015, the Ministry of Health in Brazil revised the case definition for suspected microcephaly in newborn babies and reduced the head circumference criterion in term newborn babies to less than or equal to 32 cm. On Jan. 21, 2016, the Pan American Health Organization. (PAHO) proposed the use of fixed cutoffs of 32·0 cm and 31·6 cm for term boys and girls…1

Before Dec. 8, 2015, in order to be classified as having microcephaly, a newborn baby in Brazil had to have a head circumference measuring less than or equal to 33 centimeters. After Dec. 8, 2015, a Brazilian infant could be diagnosed as having microcephaly only if the child’s head circumference was less than or equal to 32 centimeters. After Jan. 21, 2016, the diagnosis criteria dropped yet again to a head circumference of 31.6 centimeters.1

That is why at the end of January 2016 there were only 404 confirmed cases of microcephaly in Brazil. Although that was still a significant number of cases, it was not anywhere close to the 5,000-plus figure of microcephaly cases being reported in the media around the world and creating such a stir. It’s unclear what the final tally of confirmed cases of microcephaly in Brazil will be for 2015.

Until that information is clear, it will not be possible to accurately measure the extent of the epidemic. And even then, it will be difficult, because it is possible that, as a result of the increased media attention given to microcephaly during the second half of 2015, Brazilian doctors were more apt to actively look for suspected cases of microcephaly than they would have been in years past. Consequently, cases of microcephaly in Brazil prior to all the government and media attention over the past year may have been under-reported prior to 2015.

As a Public Radio International report on Zika statistics pointed out in January 2016:

The authorities and media are repeatedly comparing the thousands of suspected microcephaly cases to typical averages of 150 or so per year. That number is about right, as far as known cases go: Brazil’s Health Ministry sent GlobalPost a table showing that reported microcephaly cases from 2010 to 2015 ranged from 139 to 175 annually. But here’s the thing: The Brazilian government in late 2015 put out a bulletin urging pediatricians and clinics to be on the lookout for microcephaly and to be sure to report cases. Since then, the number of reported cases has spiked. It is very possible, as the report Nature highlighted points out, that there has been significant over-diagnosis of microcephaly. It’s also possible, in a country criticized for its record-keeping, that many clinics were not thoroughly reporting microcephaly cases prior to 2015.7

So, was there a dramatic spike in the incidence of microcephaly among infants born in Brazil last year? It is hard to say. What is certain is that the actual number of cases of that birth defect was nowhere close to what the Brazilian government and the media consistently highlighted in the first few months of the international panic, and so you have to wonder how different the story would have turned out had the reporting been more accurate and less sensationalistic.

Would we still be witnessing the birth of the Zika industry that is taking shape today?

Pesticides, Birth Defects and Brain Damage in Children

The recent number of articles in the popular press concerning loss of intellect among children exposed to chlorpyrifos is important in the use of this pesticide. Although in-home use of chlorpyrifos was restricted in the U. S in 2000, it is widely used in agriculture, and is a serious risk to health and intellect for people working and living in proximity to fields. Detectable levels of chlorpyrifos detected in New York City children, raises the question of exposure via food.

spraying pesticides

Across the U. S. we learn that students are doing poorly in school, often blaming the teachers and their unions. Are teachers no longer competent to teach or have children been “dumbed-down” by exposure to this neurotoxin?

The State of California is considering restriction on use, but is prepared for strong opposition from the pesticide and big agricultural industries.

Back in the “Dark Ages”—a mere 50 years ago—when I was a medical student and intern at Wayne State University, I rotated through Children’s Hospital in Detroit. It was staffed by some of the most thoughtful and kind physician/professors I have ever met. I attended a clinic named “FLK” otherwise known as Funny Looking Kid clinic. There we saw children who had abnormal looking faces, abnormal body parts, and, often impaired intelligence. Many of the children required complicated medical care, but I don’t recall much discussion as to why they had these abnormalities that had dramatically cut short their futures and altered the lives of their families.

Realizing you have given birth to a child with birth defects is devastating—not only for the child, but for the family, and for society in general. If the child survives infancy, it means being “different” and having to cope with disability, and with having to learn alternative ways to function. For many families, it means 24/7 care of a child who can never live independently. For society the costs can be enormous—surgery (often multiple), medications, social services, special education, special equipment, then alternative living arrangements, if and when family cannot care for their child, now grown to a non-functional adult.

Although the neurotoxicity of pesticides has been known for decades, recently, several national magazines, have named the pesticide, chlorpyrifos (Dursban/ Lorsban), as an agent causing loss of intelligence, as well as birth defects and structural brain damage.

Dr. James Hamblin’s article in March 2014 issue of The Atlantic, titled “The Toxins that Threaten Our Brains.” listed 12 commonly used chemicals, including chlorpyrifos, which is marketed as Dursban and Lorsban. The exposures described in the Atlantic articles were urban, so we do not know exactly how widespread is this epidemic is, especially if we do not include agricultural areas such as in California, Hawaii and the mid-West..

That same month, The Nation published articles by Susan Freinkel “Poisoned Politics” and Lee Fang “Warning Signs” who reported adverse effects from exposure to Dursban and Lorsban.

Dr. Hamblin’s article generously cites Drs. Philip Landrigan of Mt. Sinai in New York City and Philippe Grandjean of Harvard that a “’silent pandemic’ of toxins has been damaging the brains of unborn children.”

Dr. Landrigan chaired a 1998 meeting of the Collegium Ramazzini International Scientific Conference, held in Carpi, Italy.   In attendance was Dr. Grandjean, whose research found “Methylmercury as a hazard to brain development.” Dr. Richard Jackson, from the U. S. CDC was also in attendance, as well as U.S. governmental and university members.

At that Collegium Ramazzini International Scientific Conference, on October 25, 1998, I presented definitive data in my paper: “Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) exposure and birth defects: report of 15 incidents, evaluation of 8 cases, theory of action, and medical and social aspects.” This presentation followed my earlier publications beginning in 1994 wherein I reported damage to the unborn from the same pesticide.

The Ramazzini organization sent my paper to the European Journal of Oncology for publication. Since my paper reported birth defects, not cancer, the paper has received little notice, but the attendees, including the EPA, have known of the findings for 16 years.

Currently a new battle is occurring in Hawaii over the use of pesticides, especially by Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer, BASF Plant Science, and Syngenta on the island of Kauai where giant seed companies develop Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other specialized seeds. The pesticides used there include alachlor, atrazine, chlorpyrifos, methomyl, metalochlor, permethrin and paraquat. The author, Paul Koberstein fromCascadia Times estimates that annually, more than 2000 pounds of chlorpyrifos are used per acre per year on Kauai, compared to less than 0.025 averages for the U. S. Mainland.

In addition to Hawaii, areas in California include workers and families from the Imperial Valley and other intensive agricultural areas where pesticide use is extensive. Using the Koberstein data, annual use of chlorpyrifos in California is approximately 1500 pounds/ acre.

Neurological Damage: Before and After Birth

Birth defects arise as a result of two mechanisms—damage to a gene, prior to fertilization, or damage to the growing cells of the fetus after life in the womb has begun. Differing from genetic damage, such as occurs in Down syndrome or Trisomy-21, the latter damage results from exposure of the developing fetus to agents called teratogens. For many years Mongolism was the name applied to children with growth delays, similar facial and hand features and intellectual deficits.

Chlorpyrifos is a unique pesticide. It is a combination of an organophosphate and a trichlorinatedpyridinol (TCP.) TCP is not only the feedstock used in the manufacture of chlorpyrifos, but also a contaminant in the product, and a metabolic breakdown product that is known to cause central nervous system abnormalities (hydrocephaly and dilated brain ventricles), and other abnormalities (cleft palate, skull and vertebral abnormalities) in fetuses as reported by Dow Chemical Co.

In March 1995, I was asked to fly to Arkansas to see a child whose mother had been exposed to the pesticide Dursban (chlorpyrifos) early in the pregnancy of her daughter.

Mrs. S had been working in a bank when in mid-March, 1991, she noticed a man spraying the baseboards behind the station where she worked as a teller. She said she asked the man if was okay to be in the area since she was pregnant, and she said the man told her it was “perfectly safe. She said the spraying had occurred around 4 PM, and that she worked at the bank until 6:30 PM, and when she went home that evening she had nausea and a” bit of headache.” She said she retuned to work the next day, felt nausea, but worked most of the day. An electrical fire at the drive-in window followed the pesticide event, and a technician used of a “fogger” that sprayed a “citrus-like” chemical that was intended to deodorize the smoke odor. Mrs. S. said she worked at the bank until about April of that year, and then worked at a credit union until her daughter was born in September.

When Mrs. S. was about five months pregnant she had an ultrasound, which showed that her baby had enlarged ventricles in her brain. Further examination revealed absence of the septum pellucidum, a central portion of her brain. Mrs. S. had additional follow up at a university center as well as with her own physician that showed normal amniocentesis and normal chromosomes.

Both Mr. & Mrs. S. said that caring for the daughter A. has been a severe financial and emotional drain, sometimes requiring them to be up 72 hours to try to soothe A’s crying.

A. had surgery to repair her cleft lip when she was six months old, and repair of her cleft palate and left eyelid when she was a year old.

Both cleft lip and palate can now be repaired (in areas with skilled surgeon, and insurance or other funds) but until they are, the child has difficulty feeding and risks poor nutrition, upper respiratory and lung problems as a result of aspiration of food.

Additional diagnostic procedures indicated that A has a cleft left eye (failure of her eye to fuse during development), and she cannot blink her eye or move the left side of her face. A. was unable to sit up on her own by the time she was a year old, had to have food pureed until she was two, then her parents realized that when A neared her 4thbirthday, she could not hear, when they began a program of sign language with the aid of a speech therapist.

A’s brother B. was born two years later, and is well, sleeping thought the night when he was two weeks of age.

I was given a tour of the bank where Ms. S worked by its’ Senior Vice-President, and to minimize stress to A, I examined her in the presence of her pediatrician. I also accompanied her parents to their home where I could observe A. at her home environment. A. was a small-boned child who walked with a wide-based, unsteady gait and who made audible sounds, but no language content. Her head was enlarged with hydrocephaly and a small bruise due to a recent, commonly occurring fall.

Her abnormalities included to following, and were characteristic of findings in other children: low-set, tapering ears, wide-spaced nipples, and frequent infections. This litany is not to horrify readers, but to bring to attention to the burdens imposed upon this child, her parents, and society as a whole. I evaluated seven more children, two families each having two children with similar, but more severe medical conditions.

With the exception of child #1, the seven children were profoundly retarded, were diapered, could not speak, and required feeding.

I first met C & D in 1996, along with their parents and handsome, healthy older brother, at their attractive home on the West Coast. Both D (a girl) and C (a boy) were lying flat, diapered, mouths open, fists clenched, staring into space, and being fed by bottle. Even today, looking at thephotograps reminds me what a enormous burden was dealt to that family.

Ultimately I evaluated eight children, and identified seven more, reported by Dow Chemical Co., the manufacturer, to EPA on November 2, 1994, with reporting delays of as long as seven years from when the corporation first learned of them. I obtained the reports via a Freedom of Information request (FOI) from EPA. The reports were labeled with the revealing name: “DERBI”—or—“Dow Elanco Research Business Index.”

When I saw seven more children, all of who looked like siblings, (much as Trisomy-21 or Down Syndrome children do) it became clear to me, that the cause was linked to Dursban, the pre-natal exposure common to each.

Among the Dursban-exposed children, all 8 had both brain and palate abnormalities, seven had widespread nipples and growth retardation, six had low vision or blindness and six had genital abnormalities, five had brain atrophy and external ear abnormalities, four children had absence of the corpus collosum that is the critical connection between the two hemispheres of the brain. Chromosomal studies were normal in all 8 families. All families reported stress and enormous financial burden to care for their children.

In addition to the children with birth defects, I also evaluated a number of families and a group of adults who had been exposed at their work site. Of the workers, all 12 complained of headache, and three of dizziness. Eight had findings of central nervous system damage, and six had peripheral nervous system damage. The patients reported upper respiratory and chest symptoms, as well as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and four had incontinence. The families also reported abnormalities and deaths in their household pets.

In February 1996, my deposition in the first case was taken by three groups of attorneys representing the defendants, two principally defending Dow Elanco. I was questioned for three 8-hour days. Ultimately a list of 565 exhibits was accumulated that included over 10,000 pages of materials that I supplied and relied upon for my opinion. These materials included Dow documents and correspondence, EPA documents, legal depositions, basic embryology, biochemistry and toxicology of chlorpyrifos, medical records of other exposed children, patents, books, articles, etc, etc.

Chlorpyrifos was designed to be neurotoxic in action. It is an interesting pesticide, in that it has not only an organophosphate portion, but also it has three chlorine atoms attached to a pyridinol ring. This ring is trichloropyridinol (TCP), a significant hazard, because it is fat-soluble, and persistent, up to 18 years as claimed by Dow Chemical Co. TCP also forms the body of trichlophenoxyacetic acid, part of Agent Orange, also linked to birth defects and cancer. In a war that ended in 1975, Agent Orange continues as a risk to the Vietnamese, and to military troops that were stationed there.

According to multiple Dow documents, TCP is the feedstock for production of chlopryrifos, a contaminant in the product, and a metabolic breakdown product. TCP has been demonstrated to cause central nervous system anomalies (hydrocephaly and dilated brain ventricles) as well as cleft palate, skull and vertebral abnormalities in the fetus at doses nontoxic to the mother, similar to the defects seen in affected children.

That TCP caused birth defects was known by Dow in 1987, but not reported to EPA until five years later in 1992. TCP is used to manufacture chlorpyrifos, and as such, comes under regulation of Section 8(e) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), rather than the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Control Act (FIFRA.) Though there was regulatory difference, TSCA states very clearly “any person who manufactures, processes or distributed in commerce a chemical substance or mixture, or who obtains information which reasonable supports the conclusion that such substance or mixture presents a substantial risk of injure to heath or the environment, shall immediately inform the Administrator of such information. [Emphasis added.] From 1976 to 1982, I was a member of a 16 person Advisory Committee to the EPA for TSCA, Chairman of the Risk-Benefit Assessment Group from 1977 to 1979, and a member of the Carcinogen Policy Sub-group from 1977 to 1981. It was clear that risks and benefits do no accrue to the same party. In the case of chlorpyrifos, the risks are to the unaware public, and the benefits to the corporation.

The Legal System is Not the Same as the Justice System

Bernard P. Whetstone was a well-established attorney who handled the initial birth defects case in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was aware of another case in that state. Mr. Whetstone was a “Southern Gentleman” with a soft drawl who had earned both a bachelor and doctorate of jurisprudence, and started practice in 1934. In 1995, he worked with Davidson and Associates until he retired in 1999 at age 86. Mr. Whetstone died in 2001.

I was required to appear in court in Little Rock, where Judge Eisley ruled that I was not qualified. Hard to believe that 10,000 pages of documents is not adequate, but that opinion was softened because he ruled that all the plaintiff’s experts were not qualified. Another physician/ toxicology expert and I evaluated additional patients (adults) who developed multiple adverse effects, including central nervous system damage, so Dow, employing the Eisley decision, argued successfully in other court jurisdictions that we were not qualified to give an opinion.

The main Dow law firm was Barnes and Thornburg from Indianapolis, where DowElanco, the co-manufacturer, Eli Lilly is located. Eli Lilly is a manufacturer of both pharmaceuticals and pesticides. Barnes & Thornburg has over 500 attorneys in 12 cities and appeared to be very well staffed and funded.

A recent news release noted that William W. Wales, who spent more than 30 years in the legal department of The Dow Chemical Company and Dow AgroSciences LLC, had joined Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Indianapolis office as a partner in the firm’s litigation and corporate departments. “Bill’s depth and breadth of experience in a variety of matters will be a tremendous asset to many of our clients who are dealing with similar issues,” said Joseph G. Eaton, Vice Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department and Co-Chair of the Toxic Tort Practice Group. Joseph Eaton is one of the attorneys who took my extensive deposition. They were the most aggressive law firm I had ever encountered, and I have testified in more than 700 depositions and/or court appearances

In defense of their product, the Dow attorneys argued that there were no reports of levels of pesticides used or actual, existing levels—a questionable tactic, since the corporation has never suggested or requested that such records be obtained.

Although the EPA stopped home use of Dursban in 2000, Lorsban is widely used in agriculture, on ornamentals, and places where women, the unborn and children are exposed. For many, this exposure is without their knowledge or consent. How is this allowed to happen?

Is the continuing use of Dursban/ Lorsban due to successful advertising, and recommendations from country and state agricultural agents, or is it an inept or politically adept EPA?

We must recall, September 2001, when the then administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and former governor of New Jersey Christie Whitman said on September 13, 2001, “EPA is greatly relieved to have learned that there appears to be no significant levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City.” A week later, Whitman said: “Given the scope of the tragedy from last week, I am glad to reassure the people of New York and Washington, DC that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink.”

In 2008, the U. S. EPA named Dow as an Energy Star Partner of the Year for excellence in energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Dow’s fleet of skilled lawyers have managed to save Dow from liability, such as when they achieved a reversal of a $925 million judgment for the contamination of the area around Rocky Flats, the Colorado facility that produced plutonium triggers for hydrogen bombs. And, a lawsuit filed by Vietnamese, damaged by Agent Orange against Dow and Monsanto was dismissed.

Dow is a multinational corporation and the third largest chemical manufacturer in the world, with earnings more than $57 billion in 2013. In addition to the manufacture of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and genetically modified seeds, Dow also manufactures multiple plastics, polystyrene, polyurethane, synthetic rubber, biphenyl-A as well as many other chemicals.

What are the chances that the use of Lorsban will be curtailed in the agricultural areas of Hawaii, California and elsewhere? Given what we know of the financial strength of the Dow Corporation, the weakness of the EPA, and our paid-for Congress, the outlook does not look promising.

The Burden of Brain Damage

If the top corporate officials were required to care for one of these severely brain-damaged children for a week, would it change their minds about the ethics of manufacturing chlorpyrifos and corporate profits?

There is not a teacher who can teach brain-damaged children to read and do math, which raises the larger question being proposed: are children’s lack of learning due to poor teachers, or to subtle brain damage? If children are being damaged to various degrees, profoundly in the situation of the 15 children sited in my research, to “mild” learning and/or behavioral problems, ranging from decreased IQ, Asperger’s, hyperactivity, autism, etc., how much is attributable to exposure to pesticides such as Dursban/Lorsban? If we blame poor teaching, and teachers’ unions, but don’t stop the use of brain-damaging pesticides, where does that leave our U. S, society as a source of creativity and intellect in this world?

Here’s Where Aluminum Goes When It’s Injected Into Your Body from a Vaccine

While mercury (Thimerosal) has been removed from most vaccines, it is, unfortunately, still included in some vaccines for children and the elderly, and in some vaccines administered in certain developing nations. There are over 150 studies on organic-mercury used as a preservative in various vaccines, and over a dozen of them found outcomes of death, malformation, autoimmune reactions, neurodevelopment disorders, and more.

baby in blue

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may assert that Thimerosal is safe, but concerns over its safety still led them to remove it from most vaccines. The crazy thing is, its safety was based on the conclusions of fewer than 10 studies, all of which were sponsored by the CDC. Hundreds of other publications, on the other hand, have been raising concerns about it for decades. (source)

Are we going to see the same thing with aluminum in the near future?

While we have been adding aluminum to vaccines for approximately 90 years, many people remain unaware that appropriate safety assessments (toxicity studies) have not been conducted for the administration of vaccines containing aluminum as an adjuvant. Government health authorities have been putting aluminum in vaccines based solely on the assumption that they are safe. Because vaccines have been perceived as non-toxic substances for decades, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not attempted to prove the safety of this particular vaccine ingredient. Considering billions of dollars have been paid to families of vaccine injured children, I think it’s fair to say this is an alarming state of affairs. (source)

Here is a quote from Dr. Jose G. Dores, a professor at the University of Brasilia’s Department of Nutritional Sciences who recently published a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. In the study, he offers the following observation: “Despite their long use as active agents of medicines and fungicides, the safety levels of these substances have never been determined, either for animals or for adult humans—much less for fetuses, newborns, infants, and children.” (source)

It wasn’t long ago when mercury was removed from vaccines, thanks to numerous studies demonstrating its toxicity, so I am hopeful that steps will soon be taken to remove aluminium from vaccines as well, it being a known neurotoxin. Below are some important reasons why now is the time to stop putting this substance into our bodies.

Aluminum From Vaccines vs Aluminum in Our Environment

The administration of aluminum into vaccines is most commonly justified by the fact that a person usually accumulates more aluminum in their body each day simply by eating, but what people fail to take into account is that your body has a different method of flushing it out of your system. They body is very good at doing this, it was designed to do this, but when you inject aluminum as a vaccine adjuvant, it does not come into the same mechanism of excretion as it would, say, from the aluminum you accumulate in your body as a result of wearing deodorant.

Injected aluminum does not enter the body or leave the body in the same way as environmental aluminum. It doesn’t come into the same mechanism of excretion, and that’s the whole point of adjuvants, they are meant to stick around and allow that antigen to be presented over and over again. It can’t be excreted because it must provide that prolonged exposure of the antigen to your immune system

If it’s not being excreted by the body, then where does it go? A fairly recent studypublished in Frontiers of Neurology explains how this biopersistence—demonstrated by its “capacity to migrate in lymphoid organs and then disseminate throughout the body within monocyte-lineage cells and progressively accumulate in the brain”—is so troublesome.

It also points out that, in spite of their long usage, the literature has pointed out that the adjuvanticity mechanisms of aluminum salts remain basically unknown despite most active investigation in the field in recent years.”

A study published in BioMed Central (also cited in the study above) in 2012 found more cause for concern:

Intramuscular injection of alum-containing vaccine was associated with the appearance of aluminum deposits in distant organs, such as spleen and brain where they were still detected one year after injection. Both fluorescent materials injected into muscle translocated to draining lymph nodes (DLNs) and thereafter were detected associated with phagocytes in blood and spleen. Particles linearly accumulated in the brain up to the six-month endpoint; they were first found in perivascular CD11b+ cells and then in microglia and other neural cells. DLN ablation dramatically reduced the biodistribution. Cerebral translocation was not observed after direct intravenous injection, but significantly increased in mice with chronically altered blood-brain-barrier. Loss/gain-of-function experiments consistently implicated CCL2 in systemic diffusion of Al-Rho particles captured by monocyte-lineage cells and in their subsequent neurodelivery. Stereotactic particle injection pointed out brain retention as a factor of progressive particle accumulation.

The study went on to conclude that “continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant in the population may become insidiously unsafe, especially in the case of overimmunization or immature/altered blood brain barrier or high constitutive CCL-2 production.”

Here is a video of Dr. Christopher Shaw, a neuroscientist from the University of British Colombia, Canada, discussing this in detail.

The list of studies showing the biopersistence of aluminum via vaccines is well established in scientific literature. The entire purpose of including aluminum in vaccines in adjuvant form is to ensure they remain in the body, so what argument could possibly be raised against these concerns?

Aluminum is An Experimentally Demonstrated Neurotoxin

Dr. Christoper Exley is a professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry and an honorary professor at the UHI Millennium Institute. He is arguably the world’s leading expert on aluminum toxicity, and in 2008, along with fellow researchers, he published a paper in Medical Hypothesis where he argued that it can be reasonably assumed that, if the efficacy of aluminum adjuvant in vaccines “is based upon the mode of action which we have described herein (refer to paper), then a situation could occur when their use results in an anarchic immunological response and a cascade of unwanted health effects.” He also stated that  aluminum salts are the most effective adjuvants in use today, and that their widespread application over decades is testimony to their success and safety. That being said, it’s also important to realize that this is assumed safety, not proven.

Since this paper was published 8 years ago, countless people have called for proper toxicity testing of aluminum in vaccines to take place, but it still hasn’t happened.

According to Chris:

Just imagine, you have a higher than normal body burden of aluminum. You are potentially accumulating it in certain areas in the body. You then receive multiple vaccinations, all of which contain some aluminum. In those multiple vaccinations, aluminum is acting as adjuvant and antigen, it sets off cascades of potential responses which I believe potentially can then cascade around the body, setting off potentially other stores of aluminum, whether they be in the brain, or the bone, the connective tissues, the places where we might expect to find high or raised levels of aluminum. Could this type of cascade effect explain why an aluminum adjuvant could then in some individuals only, produce such adverse effects? … Many of the adverse affects that you see in people who have suffered following vaccination are very similar to the known effects of aluminum intoxication. (source)

In this same video, he explains how to eliminate aluminum from the body.

A growing number of studies have linked the use of aluminum adjuvants to serious autoimmune outcomes in humans. (source) (source) (source) (source)

“Experimental research … clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans.”

– Dr. Lucija Tomlijenovic (source)

There are numerous studies which have examined aluminum’s potential to induce toxic effects, and this is clearly established in medical literature, and has been for a long time. (source)

If significant aluminum load exceeds the body’s capacity to eliminate it, it is deposited into various tissues that include bone, brain, liver, heart, spleen, and muscle. Aluminum is found in cigarettes, cosmetics, food, medicines (aspirin), and much more. It’s in our environment, and we are surrounded by it; it is present in countless products we use every day, which simply wasn’t the case prior to the Industrial Revolution. And we know, thanks to the work of Richard Flarend, that aluminum is commonly absorbed into the body, into areas it shouldn’t be, and has been found in various urine samples from multiple studies examining this topic.

“We increasingly have this compound that was not part of any biochemical process on Earth, that can now only go and do havoc, which is exactly what it does. It causes all kinds of unusual biochemical reactions.”

– Dr. Chris Shaw, a neuroscientist and professor at the University of British Columbia (source)

So What About the Other Pregnant Honduran Woman Who Didn’t Have Zika?

A 31-year old pregnant woman from Honduras arrives in the United States for a vacation and a month later gives birth by cesarian section to a premature baby diagnosed with severe microcephaly. The birth occurs at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. The woman tests positive for the Zika virus. Naturally, this quickly becomes a headline news story covered by nearly every major newspaper, magazine, news wire service, and TV and radio news program in the U.S. and overseas.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Bear in mind, there’s not a lot of information about the woman. There is no information about when she was infected with Zika, whether it was before conception or in the first trimester of pregnancy or just before she delivered her baby. All that is being reported is her age, that she is visiting the U.S. from Honduras, and that she has evidence of a Zika virus infection.

What has not been reported is the woman’s medical and environmental exposure case history. For example, does she have a history of drug or alcohol use? Does she have a history of other infections such as rubella, toxoplasmosis, or cytomegalovirus, during her pregnancy? Does she live in an area that has been frequently sprayed and contaminated with pesticides or other neurotoxic chemicals? Is she nutrient and vitamin deficient or malnourished? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites all of these factors as causes of microcephaly.12

Additionally, we don’t know if she was injected during her pregnancy with vaccines containing aluminum, mercury, or other heavy metals and neurotoxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, or if she was given live-virus influenza or other live vaccines?  What was her overall nutritional status and prenatal care like?

All of these are important questions that need to be answered before jumping to the conclusion that just because the mother has a history of Zika virus infection and her baby was born with microcephaly, it automatically means that the virus was the sole cause of the microcephaly. This is what is known as a correlation, and correlation does not automatically equal a causal link. The fact that correlation does not always equal causation is precisely the same logic consistently used by many medical doctors and public health officials to discount the connection between vaccines and autism or other “adverse reactions” to vaccination that can cause chronic brain and immune system disorders

In other words, when normally developing healthy children develop autism or other forms of neurological damage or die shortly after receiving a round of vaccines, it doesn’t mean that the vaccines always are the cause of the brain injury or the death. That is because correlation is not the same as proving causation.

Well, the same thing can be said when considering the association between Zika infection during pregnancy and infants borne with microcephaly. Not all pregnant mothers with evidence of Zika virus infection give birth to babies with microcephaly. And not all pregnant mothers who give birth to babies with microcephaly have been infected with the Zika virus.

There was a case in Honduras in February, for example, of a 23-year old woman in the southern town of Danlí who gave birth to a baby with microcephaly at the Gabriela Alvarado hospital. According to Honduran Minister of Health Yolani Batres, the woman showed some symptoms of Zika infection just days before giving birth and so the Ministry of Health ordered that tests be done to determine whether she had the virus. The tests came back negative.13

(Note that, according to the CDC, the most common symptoms of Zika infection are “fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes).” Other common symptoms include “muscle pain and headache.” In most cases, people who have Zika “won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms.”14)

One indication of what may have caused the microcephaly was observed by Minister Batres, who stated that the woman:

didn’t even know she was pregnant. She was a woman who did not have prenatal care. She was a woman who had not been given her vitamins. She had not received adequate [prenatal] attention, and so she was a woman at high risk [of having a baby with] microcephaly.13

Minister Batres added that “microcephaly has always existed and so has  Guillain-Barré Syndrome,”13 which public health officials have also linked to the Zika virus.

The story about the Honduran woman who gave birth in Danlí didn’t seem to get much media coverage in the U.S., certainly not anything like the attention the Honduran woman, who gave birth to an infant with microcephaly in New Jersey, is getting. But it should have, because it tells the other side of the story—the side that weakens the theory that Zika virus, and only Zika virus, is behind the increases in cases of microcephaly in Brazil and other countries in Latin America. It is the other side of the story that weakens the U.S. government’s case for spending $1.9 billion in American taxpayer dollars on Zika research when there are much more pressing public health problems in the U.S.15

The bottom line is that there are many known causes of the birth defect known as microcephaly, but for some reason the U.S. health officials seem dead set on focusingonly on one possible cause—a virus that has long been considered to be relatively harmless. It is as if our government is saying, “The science is settled, no need to look elsewhere. We’re done here.”

Sound familiar?

Unraveling the Mystery of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death

There are five main causes for infant mortality: birth defects, maternal health complications, unintentional injuries, preterm-related causes of death, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It is particularly with SIDS, however, that many questions persist and remain unanswered. SIDS is defined as “infant deaths that cannot be explained after a thorough case investigation, including a scene investigation, autopsy, and review of the clinical history.”1

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in 2013 there were 3,434 infant deaths classified under the umbrella term Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), which includes SIDS (44%), Unknown Cause (31%), and Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (25%).2 3 That represents a lot of babies dying for “unknown” reasons and begs for clarification. Government health officials have stated, “We don’t know exactly what causes SIDS at this time,” but allege that research suggests, “infants who die from SIDS are born with brain abnormalities or defects.” However, health officials give no explanation for why that may be true and, additionally, admit that genetic “defects” are not the whole picture when it comes to sudden unexpected and unexplained deaths of infants under one year of age.4

baby's hand

The Triple-Risk-Model

One of the most widely accepted hypotheses for the cause or causes of SIDS is the Triple-Risk Model, which holds that three conditions must be met to cause a previously healthy infant to suddenly die. First, the child must be a “vulnerable infant,” with an “underlying defect or brain abnormality that makes the baby less likely to survive. In the Triple-Risk Model, the theory is that certain factors—such as defects in the parts of the brain that control respiration or heart rate or genetic mutations—confer vulnerability.

A number of researchers have proposed that SIDS “may reflect a delayed development of arousal or cardiorespiratory control.” The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that “certain infants, for reasons yet to be determined, may have a maldevelopment or delay in maturation of [a particular region of the brain], which would affect its function and connectivity to regions regulating arousal.”5

The second condition in the Triple-Risk Model theory refers to the “critical developmental period,” for SIDS, with particular focus on the first six months of the infant’s life, when critical changes in growth and development of the immune, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems are taking place. Most SUIDS occur within those first six months of life.

The final piece of the puzzle is “outside stressors,” such as stomach sleeping, overheated environment, respiratory infection, or exposure to cigarette smoke.1 Although vaccination is not openly recognized by the AAP or other medical trade associations or public health officials as a potential “outside stressor,” certainly exposure to injected toxins would be expected to provide a significant stressor for a newborn infant.

Vaccination Has Long Been a Suspect in SIDS

There have been reports of unexplained sudden deaths of infants throughout history, but so-called ‘Crib Death,’ now referred to as SIDS, was so uncommon it was not even mentioned in statistics pertaining to infant mortality until the 1960s. Increases in “crib deaths” or SIDS correlated with a shift in the U.S. vaccine schedule from public health officials recommending one vaccine be given at a time to recommending that multiple doses of vaccines be administered simultaneously to an infant.8

Several vaccine-related factors have been suggested as playing a role in the unexpected death of babies in the first year of life. One is the stimulation of an inflammatory immune response in infants when doctors administer combination vaccines that include multiple antigens for more than one disease, such as the DTaP-HepB-IPV shot containing antigens for diphtheria, tetanus ,pertussis, hepatitis B and polio.9

Citing multiple studies and research showing a direct correlation between infant mortality and the number of vaccines given to newborns, Kelly Brogan, MD, said:

Given the number of ‘antigenic’ exposures in vaccines, singularly, and in multi-dose form, the number of possible immunological reactions in newborns is simply mind-blowing—especially considering just how little we know about the immune system, the developing brain and infant physiology.7

Analysis of the relationship between the early childhood vaccination schedule and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the United States, when compared to that of 34 nations with lower IMRs than ours, reveals a “high statistically significant correlation between increasing number of vaccine doses and increasing infant mortality rates.”8 IMR researchers note:

Nations differ in their immunization requirements for infants aged less than 1 year. In 2009, five of the 34 nations with the best IMRs required 12 vaccine doses, the least amount, while the U.S. 26 vaccine doses, the most of any nation… A closer inspection of correlations between vaccine doses, biochemical or synergistic toxicity, and IMRs is essential.8

In the meantime, the CDC has concluded:

Babies receive many vaccines when they are between 2 to 4 months old. This age range is also the peak age for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or infant death that cannot be explained. The timing of the 2 month and 4 month shots and SIDS has led some people to question whether they might be related. However, studies have found that vaccines do not cause and are not linked to SIDS.10

The Back to Sleep Campaign

Beginning in 1992, the AAP launched a “Back to Sleep” campaign to address the large numbers of reported SIDS cases in the U.S.  The AAP maintained that infants should sleep on their back, rather than their stomach or side as had been the standard in the U.S. before then. With the introduction of that program, reported SIDS-related deaths decreased by more than 40% throughout the 1990s. However, it has since leveled off and remains the leading cause of infant death beyond the one month neonatal period.5

Updating its original guidelines on back sleeping for babies, the AAP guidelines now include other suggestions to help protect an infant from SIDS in the first year of life, all aimed at modifying recognized risk factors. Since a number of SUIDs are related to accidental suffocation, it is recommended that soft sleep surfaces, loose bedding, stuffed toys and crib bumpers be avoided. Other increased risk factors listed by the AAP include overheating, maternal smoking, bed sharing, young maternal age, and preterm birth or low birth weight.5

A recent report from the journal Pediatrics suggested that after a certain point of development, swaddling, the traditional practice of firmly wrapping an infant to help reduce spontaneous startling and promote more peaceful sleep, may increase the risk of SIDS, particularly with stomach- or side-sleeping position. The risk was found to be highest in babies over age 6 months, and the researchers cited recommendations that swaddling should be discontinued once an infant is attempting to roll over and certainly by 6 months of age.11

Mirroring the CDC’s position that, “vaccines do not cause and are not linked to SIDS,” the AAP also recommends that babies receive all recommended vaccines on schedule.

While that public view—shared by government agencies and medical trade associations—has been that vaccination plays no role in SUID, many parents whose healthy infants died shortly after being given multiple vaccines do not share that view.

Release Control And Surrender To The Flow Of Life

Release Control And Surrender To The Flow Of Life

Control is such a tricky issue for many of us.

You can’t control what happens to you. But you’re 100% in charge of how you respond to whatever happens to you.

When we feel that we’re not in control we can become fearful, which makes us feel unsafe. It’s logical for us to unconsciously believe we have to try to control others or anything that is happening around us in order to feel safe again.

We try so hard to control a variety of things. We try to force. We can be desperate for things to work out the way we want them to.

We use up a lot of energy in doing this and in trying to protect ourselves – energy that can be freed up for other things.

If you’re anything like me you may have spent a large part of your life trying to stay in control. Staying on top of things and steering them in a certain direction, so that you feel safe and secure. Believing this is the way to get ahead, to prevent disaster and to feel confident and good about yourself – to feel ‘in control’!

Then a crisis of some sort comes out the blue, and you realize you’re not in control at all. You never were.

“I release control and I surrender to the flow of life.”

You are forced to release control and surrender to the flow of life. You are forced to hand back that illusion and walk your way through this new terrain with some semblance of grace. This has been a very humbling experience for me, on multiple occasions now!

I had no choice but to realize that I wasn’t in control of so many of the things I hoped to take a strong hold on.

Eventually I saw the gifts. I felt the relaxation that this kind of surrender and trust can bring – no longer trying to over-effort, push or force things; no longer believing it was all on my shoulders.

It was a welcome relief, and scary, all at once.

I see now that in trying to surrender and in trying to learn this foreign, new way of being, I seemed to forget that there were many things I did actually have control over.

I slipped into the ‘I can’t control any of it so why even try?’ mode. ‘Just let it be, go with the flow’. And I love this approach. But I forgot that I can still choose to focus on what’s really important to me as well. I don’t need to just drift aimlessly.

It became very clear that we need to see the distinction between what we can and can’t control.

I found that what I can’t control includes other people – their thoughts, feelings and behavior; bereavement and loss, the outcome of anything I put effort into – how it actually turns out, and the weather!

What I can control includes how well I look after myself, what I prioritize and focus my attention on and my own attitude, beliefs and actions.

Although really simple, this seemed like a very illuminating exercise.

I realized there are actually plenty of things I do have control over. And I can spend as much time and energy as I want on any of those things, depending on what’s most important to me.

I can create a life that reflects me. I can be the person I want to be. I can make myself proud and live life to the full, in whichever ways are most personally meaningful.

There is so much power in this.

And I also saw that there are other things – big things – that we have absolutely no control over. And devoting time and energy there is futile. Yet so often we do.

By recognizing this distinction and asking ‘Is this within my control?’ or ‘Are elements of this within my control and others not?’ we can change our lives for the better.

It’s so important to seek inspiration and truth, and to take action on what we find. But it’s also really important to let go. To realize when we’ve done enough and to move aside – to allow the seeds we’ve planted time to grow, without jumping in and interfering before they’ve had chance to – to trust in right timing and to let life catch up.

We can leave some of the heaviness and weight behind.  We can release control and let go, to the best of our abilities, of the things we can’t control – recognizing that we’ll never change them anyway. And devote our time and energy to the things we really can have a big influence on.

So release control and let go where you need to.

Take the reins and positively influence the areas you can.

Ask the ‘Is this within my control?’ question regularly and feel the wisdom, peace and personal power that come from knowing the difference.

Toxic Phenol Ingredient in Vaccines

Phenol is hazardous when comes into contact with the skin or eyes or is ingested or inhaled. The safety record of injected phenol is neither convincing nor comforting.

This article was originally published on The Vaccine Reaction and republished with permission. 

Toxic Phenol Ingredient in Vaccines

Phenol, chemically known as carbolic acid, is a white, volatile crystal solid. It is a mildly acidic, water-soluble chemical that requires safe handling due its ability to cause chemical burns. Phenol is produced both “naturally” as well as synthetically. In its natural form, phenol was initially found in coal tar. It is also present naturally in human and animal wastes as well as in some foods.1

Chemical companies manufacture phenol on a large scale from petroleum and sell it commercially as a thick liquid.12 Over 3 billion pounds of phenol is produced annually in the United States, making it one of the “high volume” chemicals sold internationally.1 2 Manufactured phenol is used as a chemical intermediate to produce industrial commodities such as plastics (BPA), nylon 6, synthetic fibers, detergents, herbicides, pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.1

Phenol is also added as a disinfectant in over-the-counter products such as lotions, ointments, mouthwashes, oral anesthetic sprays, tanning dyes, etc.1

Two Childhood Vaccines Contain Phenol

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Excipient and Media Summary lists five U.S. licensed vaccines that contain phenol, including two vaccines routinely given to infants and children:

  • Hib (PedvaxHIB)
  • Hib/Hep B (Comvax)
  • Pneumococcal (PPSV-23—Pneumovax)
  • Smallpox (Vaccinia—ACAM2000)
  • Typhoid (inactivated—Typhim Vi)3

According to the Institute of Vaccine Safety at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, phenol is used as an antibacterial preservative in these vaccines, which are approved as safe for human use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).4Although the FDA has acknowledged that vaccine preservatives like phenol and formaldehyde do not necessarily entirely eliminate the risk of contamination, they are still used in vaccine development to prevent contamination from gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria, viruses and some fungi.5 6

Phenol: A Questionable Safety Record

The Materials and Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on, which lists manufactured phenol as very hazardous if it makes contact with the skin or eyes, or is ingested or inhaled, states:7

The amount of tissue damage depends on length of contact. Eye contact can result in corneal damage or blindness. Skin contact can produce inflammation and blistering. Inhalation of dust will produce irritation to gastro-intestinal or respiratory tract, characterized by burning, sneezing and coughing. Severe over-exposure can produce lung damage, choking, unconsciousness or death… The substance may be toxic to kidneys, liver, central nervous system (CNS). Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. … Repeated exposure to a highly toxic material may produce general deterioration of health by an accumulation in one or many human organs.”7

The MSDS does not address the effects of phenol via injection.7 However, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes reproductive and developmental adverse health effects when phenol is orally ingested by animals, and states:

Animal studies have reported reduced fetal body weights, growth retardation, and abnormal development in the offspring of animals exposed to phenol by the oral route. Decreased maternal weight gain and increased maternal mortality were also observed.8

Although the EPA adds that no published studies indicate concerning developmental or reproductive effects of manufactured phenol exposures in humans, if ingested, phenol has severe effects on animal health, so it is reasonable to be concerned about its potential adverse effects on human health.

Phenol Used in Lethal Injections During World War II

Due to phenol’s toxic chemical effect on the central nervous system leading to sudden collapse and loss of consciousness, phenol injections were used as a method of execution in the Third Reich during World War II.9 Phenol injections were used in 1939 as part of Action T4, which was a program of forced euthanasia of those the state considered to be undesireable.10 Although Zyklon B, a cyanide based pesticide was used in gas chambers to kill large numbers of people in concentration camps, Nazi officials discovered that killing people on an individual basis was more economical using phenol injections.10

How safe can injected phenol be, even in small amounts, if it was used as a lethal weapon?

Phenol: Unresolved Scientific Evidence

Given that phenol is (1) considered hazardous if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes or is ingested or inhaled and (2) has been found to have detrimental reproductive and developmental effects when given orally to lab animals and (3) has been used as a poison to kill people, how can it be considered a safe ingredient in vaccines, even in small amounts?

There are weak arguments used to justify the use of toxic substances like phenol in vaccines, including:

  • The substances are only present in small concentrations not large enough to cause injury, i.e.: the dose makes the poison.
  • Some of the substances can be considered “natural” because they are produced by or found in trace amounts in the human body.

However, the fact remains that there is no hard science evaluating  the cumulative and synergistic effects of all the ingredients in the dozens of doses of vaccines given to infants and children. Vaccine manufacturers and public health officials ignore or gloss over what is known as synergistic toxicity, which the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety refers to as:

the effect caused when exposure to two or more chemicals at the same time results in health effects that are greater than the sum of the effects of the individual chemicals. When chemicals are synergistic, the potential hazards of the chemicals should be re-evaluated, taking their synergistic properties into consideration.11

The safety record of injected phenol is neither convincing nor comforting. The FDA is the only government agency legally required to provide scientific evidence that vaccines are safe for human use and the public awaits credible evidence that the toxic chemical, phenol, has been proven safe for use in vaccines.

12 Proven Natural Therapies to Prevent and Relieve Migraines

Every year nearly one in five Americans experience some form of migraine attack.  One in 25 will have headaches lasting at least 15 days per month.  Here’s what to do when a disabling migraine strikes you. 

12 Proven Natural Therapies to Prevent and Relieve Migraines

The World Health Organization in 2007 estimated that migraine headaches are responsible for more lost years of healthy life in the U.S. than multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, ovarian cancer, and tuberculosis combined.[i]

Every year nearly one in five Americans experience some form of migraine attack.  One in 25 will have headaches lasting at least 15 days per month.

Migraine is a disorder marked by disabling attacks of severe one-sided, throbbing headaches, and sensitivity to light and sound.  It’s often accompanied by nasal congestion, cloudy thinking, or nausea.

What Causes Migraines?

The cause of migraine headaches is still poorly understood.  But some things are clear.

Foods are a common trigger of migraines.  In a 1979 study in Lancet, 60 migraine patients completed elimination diets.  Results showed the most common foods causing reactions were wheat (78%), oranges (65%), eggs (45%), tea and coffee (40% each), chocolate and milk (37% each), beef (35%), and corn, cane sugar, and yeast (33% each). When patients avoided an average of 10 common foods there was a dramatic fall in the number of their headaches per month.  And 85% of patients became headache-free.

Other proven food triggers include cheese, wine, and beer.

Food additives are also a factor.  A study published in the Journal of Headache Pain revealed that a single intake of monosodium glutamate (MSG) produces headache in the majority of healthy subjects tested.

The artificial sweetener aspartame has also been linked to migraines. One reason may be that aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde in various tissues.  Sucrolose, another artificial sweetener sold as Splenda may also be a migraine trigger.

Exposure to heavy metals is another proven link to migraines. One study from Turkey found that compared to a control group, migraine sufferers had significantly higher levels of cadmium, iron, lead, and manganese.

Conventional medicine offers few effective or even tolerable therapies for migraines.  But a combination strategy of avoiding migraine triggers while adding natural therapies is proven to help manage migraines

The Green Med Info database contains 59 articles on natural remedies for migraines.  They include a variety of therapies, vitamins, minerals, and herbs shown to be effective for migraine relief. Here are just 12 proven therapies to help prevent and relieve migraines.

1. Magnesium

Studies show that migraine sufferers have significantly lower blood levels of magnesium.  But you might not know you’re low in magnesium.  Most blood tests are not a true reflection of body magnesium stores since most measure less than 2% of magnesium.  The majority of the body’s magnesium (67%) is stored in the bone and 31% is inside cells.

Magnesium is so important that some practitioners believe all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium.  A meta-analysis of 21 studies found intravenous magnesium significantly relieved acute migraine within as little as 15 to 45 minutes. Oral magnesium also significantly alleviated the frequency and intensity of migraine.

And in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial conducted at seven Northern California Kaiser Permanente sites, children with migraine histories received either magnesium oxide (nine mg per kilogram of their body weight per day) or placebo.  After 16 weeks the magnesium led to lower headache severity and a significant reduction in headache days.

2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used in China for centuries to treat migraine headache.  In a multi-center randomized controlled study published in the journal Headache, migraine patients were divided into three groups.  One group received real acupuncture treatments and the other two groups received sham acupuncture. Each patient received one treatment session and was observed over a period of 24 hours. Pain was measured using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS).  After two hours only the real acupuncture group showed any improvement in pain.  After four hours the decrease in the VAS score for the real acupuncture group was up to 10 times more than the sham groups. Within 24 hours 40.7% of the patients in the real acupuncture group experienced complete pain relief and 79.6% did not experience recurrence or intensification of pain.

But it’s not just better than placebo.  Acupuncture beats drugs and other therapies for migraine relief too.  In a 2015 Cochrane review of 22 trials with 4,419 participants researchers concluded there is consistent evidence that acupuncture provides additional benefit to treatment of acute migraine attacks when added to routine care. The researchers noted

“studies suggest that acupuncture is at least as effective as, or possibly more effective than, prophylactic drug treatment, and has fewer adverse effects.”

Other studies show that acupuncture is more effective and safer than the drugs metoprololand flunarizine. Acupuncture had the added benefit of lowering the use of pain medicationsand improving patients’ quality of life.

Studies suggest that acupuncture may work by redistributing energy metabolism in the brain, or decreasing serum matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) level and activity, or lowering levels of nitric oxide.

3. Chiropractic Treatments

A 2011 meta-analysis of 21 studies found that chiropractic care improves migraine headaches.

In particular, spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) has been shown to relieve migraines.  In one randomized control trial of 127 migraine sufferers, 84 patients received two months (16 treatments) of SMT.  Compared to the control group, the SMT group had significant improvement in migraine frequency, duration, disability, and medication use.  About 22% of the SMT group reported more than a 90% reduction of migraines. In addition, about 50% more reported significant improvement in the symptoms of each episode. More than 80% of patients reported stress as a major factor for their migraines, and researchers suggested that chiropractic care improves conditions related to that stress.

4. Exercise

Exercise can improve migraine symptoms.  In one controlled, randomized study in theClinical Journal of Sports Medicine a group of migraine sufferers participated in a 6-week, twice weekly, indoor exercise program consisting of 45-minutes of aerobics and 15 minutes of progressive muscle relaxation.  Compared to the control group, the exercise group reported significantly less migraine pain intensity.

Other forms of exercise proven to improve migraines include qigong and yoga.

5.  Mindfulness Therapy

A randomized study in the journal Headache reported that migraine sufferers who participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program had 1.4 fewer migraines per month than controls. In addition, their headaches were less severe.

6. Gluten-Free Diet

A German study of 72 celiac patients found that 28% suffered with migraines. Conversely, an Italian study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that a significant proportion of migraine patients have celiac disease.  In the study of 90 migraine sufferers 4.4% were found to have celiac’s compared to only 0.4% of a control group.  After a six-month gluten-free diet, one of four celiac patients had no migraine attacks, and the remaining three patients experienced an improvement in frequency, duration, and intensity of migraine.

7. Coenzyme Q10

A deficiency of CoQ10 may be common in migraine sufferers. Doctors from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center measured CoQ10 levels in 1,550 pediatric and adolescent patients. Those with low levels started taking 1 to 3 mg/kg of body weight per day of CoQ10. After a few months patients on CoQ10 reported fewer headaches and less disability.

Another study from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia found that CoQ10 is an effective preventive treatment for migraines.  Doctors treated 32 migraine patients with 150 mg of CoQ10 per day.  At the end of three months 61.3% of patients had a greater than 50% reduction in the number of days with migraine headache. Mean migraine frequency also dropped by 55.3% and there were no side-effects.

And a double-blind, randomized Swiss study compared 100 mg of CoQ10 taken three times a day to placebo in 42 migraine patients.  After three months it found CoQ10 was superior to placebofor attack-frequency, headache-days and days-with-nausea.

8. Gingko Biloba

An Italian study of 24 adolescents found that Ginkgolide B, a constituent of ginkgo biloba, was effective as a preventive treatment in reducing migraine frequency. It also lowered the need for migraine medications.

Another Italian study of 50 women showed that Ginkgolide B reduces migraine frequency and duration.  Patients taking 60 mg of ginkgo biloba twice a day for four months reduced the average number of migraines from 3.7 to 1.2, and reduced length of migraines on average from 40 minutes to 17.6 minutes.

9. Cannabis

A study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine found thatmedical marijuana decreases migraine frequency. Doctors treated 121 migraine sufferers with various forms of medical marijuana including inhaled and edible forms.  Most subjects used more than one form of marijuana and used it every day. Headache frequency decreased from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month, and 39.7% of patients reported positive effects. In addition, 19.8% reported fewer headaches and 11.6% reported aborted migraines. Another 11.6% reported negative effects especially with edible marijuana.

10. B Vitamins

High homocysteine levels have been linked to migraine.  In a randomized, double-blind placebo, controlled trial of 52 migraine patients vitamin B cut migraine disability in half.  Every day, patients took either a placebo or a combination of 2 mg of folic acid, 25 mg of vitamin B6, and 400 micrograms of vitamin B12.  After six months homocysteine was reduced by 39% in the B vitamin group but was not reduced with placebo.  Headache frequency and pain severity were also reduced, whereas there was no reduction in the placebo group.

Another study published in Neurology found that high-dose riboflavin (vitamin B2) helps prevent migraines. Researchers compared riboflavin (400 mg per day) and placebo in 55 migraine patients in a randomized trial.  After three months, riboflavin beat the placebo in reducing attack frequency.  In addition, 59% of patients had an improvement of at least 50% in their number of headache days compared to only 15% of patients taking the placebo.

And a case report from the Mayo Clinic found that one patient’s migraine attacks responded dramatically to a course of niacin (vitamin B3).

11. Lavender Oil

Inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective treatment for acute migraine headaches.  In a study of 47 migraine patients half inhaled lavender essential oil for 15 minutes. The control group used liquid paraffin for the same time period. Patients recorded their headache severity and symptoms in 30-minute intervals for a total of two hours.  The mean reduction of headache severity on the Visual Analog Scale was 3.6 compared to 1.6 for the control group. Also in the lavender group 71% of  headaches responded entirely or partially to the lavendercompared to only 47% in the placebo group.

12. Butterbur

A German study found butterbur root extract prevents migraines in children and adolescents. Researchers recruited 108 children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 17 with severe migraines.  Patients were treated with 50 to 150 mg of butterbur root extract depending on their age.  After four months, 77% of all patients reported a reduction in the frequency of migraine attacks of at least 50%.  Attack frequency was reduced by 63%. And 91% of patients felt substantially or at least slightly improved after 4 months of treatment.

In a study of adults, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York found thatbutterbur extract effectively prevents migraines. Doctors gave 245 migraine patients either a placebo, or 75 mg of the butterbur extract or 50 mg of butterbur extract.  Over 4 months of treatment, migraine attack frequency was reduced by 48% for the 75 mg group, 36% for the 50 mg group, and 26% for the placebo group. The proportion of patients with a 50% or more reduction in attack frequency after 4 months was 68% for patients in the 75 mg group and 49% for placebo.

Spinach Helps Protect Eyes from Macular Degeneration

Spinach Helps Protect Eyes from Macular Degeneration

Most of us will have macular degeneration as we age. But we can slow this process and even prevent it with certain dietary strategies. Learn how spinach and other foods and supplements can prevent the leading cause of blindness.

The macula in the center of the retina of our eyes can easily become damaged when it is unprotected. The macula can be damaged by looking into the sun or with prolonged bright light exposure. But the risk of this type of damage – or age-related macular degeneration – is decreased when the macula is protected by its own macular pigment.

When this macular pigment becomes thinner, it lets in a type of light that easily damages the macula. One of the most damaging is called blue light. Blue light is the prevalent emission among computers and many TVs. It is also a component of the sun – though the sun also has many healthy wavelengths of light that balance its blue light.

Yes, healthy macula maintains a yellow pigment that shields blue light. This might be compared to the macula having its own pair of sunglasses. This macular pigment is made up of three yellowcarotenoids – specifically lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin.

Towards the middle of the macula, zeaxanthin is more concentrated, reaching 75 percent. Away from the middle, the dominant component is lutein, with 65 percent or more of the total. Among all tissues, the macula contains the highest concentration of these carotenoids.

When our consumption of these important carotenoids runs low, the macular pigment shield of the macula thins. This can progressively happen with age, but it can also run low among those with low levels of these nutrients – lutein and zeaxanthin – in the diet.

Low macular pigment optical density

When our macular pigment becomes thinner, this is called low macular pigment optical density or low MPOD. Low MPOD has been linked with macular degeneration in a number of studies. This can occur with age – age-related macular degeneration – or exposure – exposure-related macular degeneration.

In both instances, as the macular pigment thins, blue light gets in and damages the macula. This is because the carotenoid pigment absorbs blue light.

Blue light is part of the visible spectrum that comes from the sun, but it is one of the longer wavelengths, at between 400 and 500 nanometers. Meanwhile, ultraviolet radiation ranges from 220 to 400 nanometers, with UV-C the shortest at 220-280 nm and UV-A at 320-400 nm. Ultraviolet radiation under 295 nanometers is typically filtered out by the cornea. But longer UV wavelengths and blue light gets through the cornea along with the rest of the visible spectrum (400 to 700 nanometers).

As mentioned, blue light is also disproportionately emitted with computers, phones and other digital displays. This is one reason why the eyes tend to get more tired after looking at these screens – depending upon the levels of our macular pigment density.

How do I know if my macular pigment density is low?

Each of us will have a unique thickness of macular pigment, depending on our age, general health and diet. But our levels could be significantly low. This increases our risk of macular degeneration – or greater degeneration as our bodies age.

Most blindness is produced from macular degeneration.

The thickness or density of our macular pigment can be measured by an instrument such as the QuantifEye made by ZeaVision. This test is not invasive and can be done in the optometrist’s office. The macular pigment optical density will be scored between 0 to 1. An MPOD score of less than .21 is considered low. A score of .22 to .44 is considered medium range, and scores between .45 to 1.0 are considered high – and healthier. The greater the pigment density, the more the macula is protected against radiation damage.

A thicker macular pigment density also can significantly improve our vision. It can help prevent photosensitivity for example. Thicker pigment can also help us view natural environments and see at night.

It is not as if our macula pigment density is fixed, however. Our diet can significantly change the pigment.

So you think this is far-fetched?

Spinach consumption increases macular pigment

Japanese researchers tested the notion that ones dietary habits could significantly change our macular pigment density. So they recruited 11 healthy people and tested 22 eyes. They were non-smokers, aged between 21 and 45 years old.

The researchers gave the subjects testing for the health of their macula and their macular pigment densities. They also gave them blood tests and general eye exams.

Then they had the subjects eat 75 grams of frozen spinach each day for two months.

The 75 grams of frozen spinach was tested and contained 10 mg of lutein – the sister carotenoid with zeaxanthin. They also gave the subjects food frequency questionnaires to measure the rest of their diets.

The researchers found that the eyesight of the subjects was improved – measured as visual acuity. They also found their macular pigment densities were significantly increased. These improvements were seen at both one month and two months after the spinach regimen began. They confirmed the relationship between the lutein by seeing increased blood levels of lutein among the subjects.

The researchers concluded:

“Constant intake of lutein-rich spinach increased both MPOD and serum lutein concentrations.”

Other studies confirm macula/carotenoid link

Many other studies have shown that lutein, zeaxanthin and/or meso-zeaxanthin carotenoids increase macular health:

A study from Germany’s Friedrich Schiller University gave 20 patients with macular degeneration either 50 milliliters of a kale extract or a placebo for four weeks. They also studied the patients for two weeks prior and four weeks after (washout period) the supplementation.

The daily dose of the kale extract contained 10 milligrams of lutein and 3 milligrams of zeaxanthin.

The researchers found that their macular pigment densities increased significantly among the treatment group. But during the washout period, their densities and blood levels of these carotenoids decreased significantly. They were better than at the beginning, but they did drop off when the kale extract was stopped.

This of course indicates that we have to consistently eat these carotenoid-rich foods.

A number of studies have confirmed this. In research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, scientists conducted a meta-analysis of multiple studies. These studies investigated the relationship between dietary consumption of foods with lutein and zeaxanthin and their macular health.

The research compared those who consumed the lowest levels of these plant carotenoids with those who consumed the highest levels. The researchers found that age-related macular degeneration was reduced by 26 percent for those who consumed the most of these carotenoid-rich foods.

What about carotenoid supplementation?

In terms of supplementation, a 2015 study from Ireland’s University of Ulster and the University of Wisconsin tested 67 people with early age-related macular degeneration. They divided them into three groups and given different supplement formulations. For three years, one group took a supplement with 20 mg of lutein and .86 mg of zeaxanthin per day. Another group received 10 mg per day of meso-zeaxanthin, 2 mg of zeaxanthin and 10 mg of lutein each day. The third group received 10 mg per day of meso-zeaxanthin, 2 mg of zeaxanthin and 10 mg of lutein each day. After three years, the patients were all tested for macular degeneration and macular pigment density. This was compared to their levels at the beginning of the study.

The research found that the macular pigments of all the supplemented patients improved similarly. However, those who took the supplements with the meso-zeaxanthin had moderately better results in both the macular pigment density and their contrast sensitivity.

The researchers also found that the macular pigments of the patients continued to increase between the second and third year of supplementation among those where the supplements included meso-zeaxanthin.

The researchers also noted that none of the patients taking the supplements progressed to advanced age-related macular degeneration.

Sources of lutein and zeaxanthin

Yes, spinach certainly contains some of the highest levels of these carotenoids. This is why the researchers focused upon spinach consumption. According to the USDA’s nutritional database, a cup of raw spinach contains as much as 13.3 milligrams of lutein. Spinach also contains as much as 5.9 milligrams of zeaxanthin and up to 12.6 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin combined.

Other good dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin including spinach are (in milligrams (mg)):

• Kale – up to 26.5 mg lutein/zeaxanthin and 2.2 mg zeaxanthin
• Spinach – up to 12.6 mg lutein/zeaxanthin, 13.3 lutein and 5.9 mg zeaxanthin
• Collard greens – up to 15.3 mg lutein/zeaxanthin and 5.1 mg zeaxanthin
• Turnip greens – up to 12.1 mg lutein/zeaxanthin, 0.4 mg zeaxanthin
• Broccoli – up to 3.5 mg lutein/zeaxanthin and 1.6 mg lutein
• Green peas – up to 2.3 mg lutein/zeaxanthin, 2.2 mg lutein
• Yellow corn – up to 3 mg lutein/zeaxanthin, 0.6 mg lutein and 0.9 mg zeaxanthin

Other good sources of zeaxanthin/lutein combined include oranges, tangerines, lettuce, beans, celery, peaches and carrots – again in order of content.

Confused about lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin?

The reality is that lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin have the same chemical formulas. The main difference is in their double bonds among their rings.

As a result, they have similar effects, and they are also often combined within foods. Some foods supply distinct lutein and others supply distinct zeaxanthin. But most foods that contain either contain them in combination. This means that the human body will derive all from eating these – yet distinctly more of either will be absorbed when they are isolated.

The two main compounds – lutein and zeaxanthin – are strictly produced by plants. The third carotenoid, meso-zeaxanthin, is produced in the retina from lutein according to the research, but also is readily produced by plants and as a result of plant extraction. (Even some supplements that say they only have lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to also contain meso-zeaxanthin.)

Blood levels of the carotenoids come from the diet or supplementation, but absorption is an issue. Of particular importance is the body’s lipoprotein content – as carotenoids are transported across the blood-brain and blood-eye barriers by lipoproteins. HDL is its most effective transporter, and LDL is the least effective.

This said, mixed supplements also dramatically increase levels of these carotenoids and appear to be readily absorbed.

Mixed carotenoid supplements that include meso-zeaxanthin have been shown to be effective as shown above. The source of the meso-zeaxanthin among these supplements come from plant sources. The most prevalent being the Marigold flower.

Absorption of these nutrients is the critical issue. It is these carotenoids’ hydroxyl functional groups that are able to cross the blood-brain and blood-eye barriers. Other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene or lycopene, cannot cross these barriers.

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