Mercola Natural Health Articles
Buried in the March 17, 2020, Federal Register — the daily journal of the U.S. government — in a document titled, “Declaration Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19,”1 is language that establishes a new COVID-19 vaccine court — similar to the federal vaccine court that already exists for injuries and deaths caused by federally recommended vaccines for children and pregnant women.
The U.S. vaccine industry operates under a liability shield unlike any other in existence. In most cases, if a product injures or kills a person, its manufacturer can be held accountable in a civil court of law. With FDA-licensed and CDC-recommended vaccines, however, this is not the case.
In the U.S., there is a federally operated vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) that Congress created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., handles contested vaccine injury and death cases in what has become known as "vaccine court."
The newly established COVID-19 vaccine court appears largely the same, except instead of focusing on injuries or deaths related to the recommended vaccines for children and pregnant women, it will be centered on those stemming from a new COVID-19 vaccine.
Just for Those Injured or Killed by a COVID ‘Countermeasure’
Journalist Jon Rappoport highlighted the section in the document, which reveals the establishment of the new COVID vaccine court, which includes compensation for covered “countermeasures” for COVID-19, such as a vaccine:2,3
“Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program … Section 319F-4 of the PHS Act, 42 U.S.C. 247d-6e, authorizes the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) to provide benefits to eligible individuals who sustain a serious physical injury or die as a direct result of the administration or use of a Covered [COVID] Countermeasure [e.g., a vaccine].
Compensation under the CICP for an injury directly caused by a Covered Countermeasure is based on the requirements set forth in this Declaration, the administrative rules for the Program, and the statute. To show direct causation between a Covered Countermeasure and a serious physical injury, the statute requires ‘compelling, reliable, valid, medical and scientific evidence.’”
At face value, it sounds reasonable to establish a way for those who are injured by what will inevitably be a fast-tracked experimental vaccine to be compensated. However, not only will the vaccine makers be shielded from what should be their liability, but compensation will likely be difficult to obtain, as it is in the existing vaccine court. Rappoport wrote:4
“A quick piece of important history. In the mid-1980s, vaccine manufacturers were facing a blizzard of law suits from parents of vaccine-injured children. The very nervous manufacturers told the government they were going to get out of the vaccine business. The financial hit was going to be too deep.
The government said WAIT. Meetings were held. A plan was devised. A law was passed exempting the manufacturers from financial liability. Instead, for any of the recommended childhood vaccines, parents had to go to a government court to file a claim for compensation, after their children had been injured or killed by a vaccine.
And the government made this court a VERY tough place to win compensation. That’s the precise model for this new COVID vaccine court. And it’s based on the same unstated confession that existed in the 1980s: there are MANY vaccine injuries.”
Is the Government Expecting Significant Vaccine Injuries?
Is the establishment of a preemptive COVID vaccine court a sign that the federal government foresees many lawsuits related to this fast-tracked vaccine in the near future? Rappoport thinks so. “Bottom line,” he says, “the government expects many COVID vaccine injuries. That’s what they aren’t saying. They’re just preparing. With a new vaccine court. To handle injury and death of children and adults. That should not give you a warm secure feeling. Quite the opposite.”5
You may also be interested in “Operation Warp Speed,”6 which is a partnership among U.S. health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense (DoD) and others. Its goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of “safe and effective vaccines” with the initial doses being rolled out by January 2021.
Operation Warp Speed is part of a broader strategy aimed at accelerating the development, manufacture and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, which collectively are known as countermeasures (the same countermeasures referred to in the Federal Register document).7
So far, as part of Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has supplied $456 million in funds for Johnson & Johnson’s candidate vaccine and made available up to $483 million for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and up to $1.2 billion available for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.8
Severe Adverse Events Already Seen With Moderna’s Vaccine
Moderna partnered with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci to create its vaccine. In February 2020, its stock price increased 78.1% when it announced that its messenger RNA vaccine was ready for clinical trials.9 “The company's CEO has become a new billionaire overnight,” wrote Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC).
It began human trials of its experimental mRNA vaccine in March 2020, and its stock soared again in May, hitting $29 billion, even though the company currently doesn’t sell any products,10 when it released early results from its Phase 1 study of 45 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 — the first released from a study involving human volunteers.
Moderna’s press release11 stated that 25 participants who received two doses of its low or medium dose vaccine had levels of binding antibodies — the type that are used by the immune system to fight the virus but do not prevent viral infections — at levels approximating or exceeding those found in the blood of patients who recovered from COVID-19.12
Data for the more significant neutralizing antibodies, which stop viruses from entering cells, was reported for only eight people, with Moderna stating that levels in each of these initial participants met or exceeded antibody levels seen in recovered COVID-19 patients.
Four study subjects experienced a “Grade 3” adverse event, which is described by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as “severe or medically significant but not immediately life-threatening; hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization indicated; limiting self-care” such as “bathing, dressing and undressing, feeding self, using the toilet, taking medications.”13
During Phase 2 trials, 600 people will receive the vaccine, while the expanded Phase 3 trial began July 27, 202014 — an unprecedented move in terms of typical vaccine development timelines. Signs of trouble continue to mount, including reports that Moderna has no legal rights to a key patent for its vaccine delivery system, and that company executives have been dumping their stocks.
AstraZeneca Halted Vaccine Trials Due to Side Effects
As part of Operation Warp Speed, AstraZeneca agreed to make available at least 300 million doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine for the U.S., according to HHS, “with the first doses delivered as early as October 2020.”15 A large-scale Phase 3 clinical trial began on August 31, 2020, but was temporarily halted September 8 after “a suspected serious and unexpected adverse reaction” in a British participant.16
The participant reportedly suffered from transverse myelitis, which is inflammation of the spinal cord, and related neurological symptoms.17 Transverse myelitis has previously been linked to vaccination.18 By September 15, 2020, AstraZeneca had resumed clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in the U.K.,19 but trials remained on hold in the U.S. as of October 1, where the FDA is investigating the patient’s “unexplained illness.”20
Results from AstraZeneca’s Phase 1 and 2 studies also revealed side effects, including fatigue, headache, malaise, chills and fever, in a significant number of participants:21
“Fatigue and headache were the most commonly reported systemic reactions. Fatigue was reported in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 [COVID-19 vaccine] group by 340 (70%) participants without paracetamol and 40 (71%) with paracetamol and in the MenACWY [meningococcal conjugate vaccine, which acted as a control] group by 227 (48%) participants without paracetamol and 26 (46%) with paracetamol, whereas headaches were reported in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group by 331 (68%) participants without paracetamol and 34 (61%) with paracetamol and in the MenACWY group by 195 (41%) participants without paracetamol and 21 (37%) participants with paracetamol.
Other systemic adverse reactions were common in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group: muscle ache (294 [60%] participants without paracetamol and 27 [48%] with paracetamol), malaise (296 [61%] and 27 [48%]), chills (272 [56%] and 15 [27%]); and feeling feverish (250 [51%] and 20 [36%]).
In the of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, 87 (18%) participants without paracetamol and nine (16%) participants with paracetamol reported a temperature of at least 38°C, and eight (2%) patients without paracetamol had a temperature of at least 39°C.”
The fact that the COVID-19 vaccine was tested against another vaccine instead of a true placebo is also in and of itself problematic, as trying to measure safety of a vaccine against the safety profile of another vaccine that can also cause side effects can yield skewed results.
Vaccine Makers Have Nothing to Lose
The expansion of federal vaccine court to include makers of experimental COVID-19 vaccines allows the irresponsible sale and marketing of vaccines that have been poorly tested and formulated because the manufacturers have no liability and "nothing to lose." Ruud Dobber, a senior AstraZeneca member, even told Reuters that fast-tracking a COVID-19 vaccine to market necessitates that makers be shielded from liability:22
"This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in … four years the vaccine is showing side effects. In the contracts we have in place, we are asking for indemnification. For most countries it is acceptable to take that risk on their shoulders because it is in their national interest.”
As noted, it’s via the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, passed in the U.S. in 2005, that the U.S. has established the new COVID vaccine court, to secure freedom from liability for manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines. Children injured by vaccines are supposed to be able to receive swift and just compensation from the existing federally operated vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) created in 1986 under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
However, this program was gutted by Congressional amendments and by the HHS and Department of Justice under rule making authority within years of the 1986 law's enactment and has only gotten worse over the years, again protecting vaccine manufacturers' interests more than anything else.
If and when a COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out, even with all the potential pitfalls remaining — for instance, the vaccines are relying on novel mRNA technology that has never been used in vaccines before23 — be aware that the vaccine makers have nothing to lose by marketing their experimental shots, even if they cause serious injury and death. As Rappoport’s tongue-in-cheek statement suggests:24
“‘We know — and don’t ask us how — that millions of you are going to get headaches. To prevent that, we’re going to hit all of you on the head with a very heavy sledgehammer. If, ahem, a few of you happen to sustain an injury or die, we have a court where your relatives can try to get money out of us. By the way, in this court, we’ll do everything we can to deny you money. Good luck.’
Yes, the government knows exactly what’s coming when they approve a COVID vaccine. And now, so do you.”
While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention promotes water fluoridation as one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, hundreds of studies reveal it’s one of the most harmful public health strategies ever implemented.
Among the many researchers who have published damning fluoride studies is Christine Till, Ph.D., an associate professor at York University in Toronto, Canada1 who in 2019 received the President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award (PERLA) for her research into the neurotoxicity of fluoride exposure.2
That same year, she published research3,4 showing maternal fluoride exposure during pregnancy lowered IQ in children. In 2020, Till and her team published another study,5 showing children who were bottle-fed in Canadian fluoridated communities lost up to 9.3 IQ points compared to those in nonfluoridated communities.
She’s also listed as a co-author on several other important fluoride studies published in the last five years. Till’s studies are part of hundreds of studies presented as evidence during the landmark fluoridation trial held in federal court in June 2020, reviewed in “Fluoride on Trial,” and are considered some of the strongest evidence against water fluoridation to date.
Now, Till is suddenly facing the same “cancel culture” that so many other researchers have faced when they present evidence that challenges industry propaganda and threatens the continuation of a toxic but profitable practice.
Pro-Fluoride Group Calls for Independent Probe
According to an October 8, 2020, report6 by CTV News, 14 scientists, referring to themselves as an “International Group of Fluoridation Experts,” have written a letter7 to York University’s board of governors, calling for an independent review of Till’s work on fluoridation “to determine whether her ‘ideology is being misrepresented as science.’” The September 21, 2020, letter reads, in part:8
"… Till’s work continues to have sway in the political and public decision making process because it asserts a ‘possibility’ that water fluoridation is dangerous, however dubious the work’s methodology and conclusions.
That ‘possibility’ frightens some elected officials and administrators. We are advised that several United States boards, which oversee water quality, are currently deciding whether to cease community water fluoridation because of concerns advanced by Dr. Till, her students and associates, including that fluoride harms the developing brain …
Dr. Till’s fluoride research conclusions diverge significantly from current research on the safety of community water fluoridation (CWF) … We believe that some or all of Dr. Christine Till's fluoride publications might well contain significant error …
Therefore, we are acting on our moral duty to make this belief known by asking you to establish an international, independent, expert committee to determine whether our concerns are justified."
In response to the accusations, Till told CTV News:9
"Our study underwent extensive scrutiny to meet the scientific standards for publishing in the highest-ranking pediatric journal in the world. Policy makers, health professionals and scientists must have access to all high-quality evidence to make informed decisions. It would be unacceptable to censor scientific results because they do not conform to a certain set of beliefs."
University Defends Scientific Freedom of Its Faculty
September 29, 2020, York University president Rhonda Lenton issued a public reply10 to the letter, stating:
“Over the past few months, several incidents bearing on the academic freedom of members of the York Community have been brought to my attention.
In each case, individuals and groups external to the University have appealed to senior leadership to intercede against faculty members due to statements made, or research published, in the course of their legitimate scholarly activities.
I believe this presents an important opportunity to restate York’s unequivocal support of academic freedom …
We must always defend the right of students, professors and instructional staff to express their views and conduct free inquiry. It is, however, not required that we agree with the content of that speech.
Free expression, especially on controversial topics, is best regulated by vigorous counterspeech. It is not appropriate for the University to decide which side of a particular issue is correct …
As a leading research university, York remains steadfast in its defense of academic freedom. We will not censure any member of our community for their research or their public statements made in the course of their scholarly work within limits prescribed by law and applicable policies governing the responsible conduct of research.”
Till’s Public Statements Questioned
In addition to questioning Till’s scientific integrity, the group questions the truthfulness of a number of public statements she’s made. That includes the short video featured above, produced by Till and Dr. Bruce Lanphear, a health sciences professor at Simon Fraser University11 in Canada.
On a side note, Lanphear is also an invited member of the Council of Fellows of the Collegium Ramazzini12 in Italy, an international scientific academy comprised of physicians and scientists that seeks to increase scientific knowledge of the environmental and occupational causes of disease to protect public health.
The Collegium Ramazzini collaborates with the Ramazzini Institute,13 a nonprofit social cooperative dedicated to independent scientific research into environmental toxins.
You may recall hearing about the Ramazzini Institute in relation to the harms of cellphone radiation — another hotly contested area of research where organizations with vested interests are doing everything they can to smear and dismiss findings showing that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) cause physical harm.
Getting back to the video, in it, Till and Lanphear review the history of water fluoridation, research showing fluoride to be toxic to the developing brain, and the implications of an IQ loss of three to five points.
As noted in the video, most people have an IQ score between 85 and 115 points. Only 2.5% of children have an IQ above 130, which is considered gifted. Another 2.5% of children have an IQ below 70, which is considered challenged.
A mere five points drop in IQ, which doesn’t sound like much, actually results in a whopping 57% increase in the number of children who are intellectually and academically challenged, from 6 million to 9.4 million. There’s also a corresponding decrease in those who are gifted, from 6 million down to 2.4 million, and the overall societal impact of this downward slide is tremendous.
“We ask the international, expert, arm’s length committee to consider whether Dr. Till is in a possible conflict of interest as between her duty (to collect and to report research data reliably) and her probable interest (which appears to be to cause and end to community water fluoridation),” the “International Group of Fluoridation Experts” write.14
The group also wants the reviewing committee to ascertain whether the video fairly represents Till’s scientific findings, and if not, they call for a “forensic audit into whether public funds meant for research or knowledge translation were used to create the video, and, if so, require those funds to be reimbursed.”15
Why Was Till Singled Out?
For now, it doesn’t appear as though York University will comply with the call for an independent probe into Till’s research and public statements about water fluoridation, but it raises the question of why she was targeted in the first place.
As it turns out, the attack came on the heels of a lecture she gave in September 2020 at the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) conference, held in Nashville, Tennessee. Till gave her presentation virtually, from Canada.
According to a September 30, 2020, article16 by Canadian journalist Tom Blackwell, presenters at the event included “a who’s who of the anti-vaccination and COVID-19 conspiracy-theory movements.”
Among the presenters17 receiving “top billing” were Andrew Wakefield, producer of the excellent documentary “1986: The Act,” and Judy Mikovitz, Ph.D., featured in the highly-censored documentary “Plandemic.” Other criticized presenters included Marc Geier and retired chemistry professor Boyd Haley, both of whom have linked vaccines to autism.
According to Blackwell, “Till said she didn’t learn who else was presenting until organizers sent her an agenda two weeks before the event.” Blackwell also reports that, in an interview, Till:
“… stressed that she accepted no payment from the IAOMT, and does back childhood vaccination of the sort her fellow speakers decry ... ‘Just because I speak to an organization does not mean I subscribe to the views of the other speakers … To me the invitation to speak is to present our research findings, make them accessible to this group.’”
As detailed in “Fluoride on Trial” (hyperlinked above) and many other articles over the past decade, there’s no shortage of scientific evidence showing water fluoridation causes more harm than good. More than 400 animal and human studies have in fact found fluoride is neurotoxic and damages the brain,18 and have been published in some of the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals.
The claim that Till’s research conclusions “diverge significantly from current research” therefore doesn’t hold water. What’s more, depositions by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials, which took place in 2018, have also confirmed the agency does not have any safety data on fluoride intake and neurotoxic effects.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also does not have any safety data on fluoride intake and its effects on the brain. During the fluoride trial against the EPA, which took place in June 2020, Michael Connett, an attorney for the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) who is leading the lawsuit, asked the EPA to identify all studies that demonstrate or support the neurological safety of prenatal fluoride exposure.
They produced a single study from 1995, in which the neurotoxicity of sodium fluoride was assessed in rats. Ironically, this study actually shows that neonatal fluoride exposure is neurotoxic, and EPA scientists confirmed that this was indeed the case.
So, the only study they could find to support safety is actually showing harm. Aside from the 201919,20 and 202021 studies that Till led, the following also implicate fluoride as a neurotoxin that has no place in communal water supplies:
Bashash 201722,23 — Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the EPA, this study followed pregnant women and their babies for 12 years, measuring the fluoride in their urine, which reveals total exposure, regardless of the source. They found a strong relationship between the fluoride level in mothers’ urine and IQ scores in their children at the ages of 4, and between 6 and 12.
Green 201924 — Published in JAMA Pediatrics, this study reported substantial IQ loss in Canadian children from prenatal exposure to fluoride from water fluoridation.
Riddell 201925 — Published in Environment International, this study found a shocking 284% increase in the prevalence of ADHD among children in fluoridated communities in Canada compared to nonfluoridated ones.
Malin 201926 — Published in Environmental Health, it linked a doubling of symptoms indicative of sleep apnea in adolescents in the U.S. to levels of fluoride in the drinking water. The link between fluoride and sleep disturbances may be through fluoride’s effect on the pineal gland.
Malin 201927 — Published in Environment International. A second study by Malin’s team reported that exposure to fluoridated water led to a reduction in kidney and liver function among adolescents in the U.S., and suggested those with poorer kidney or liver function may absorb more fluoride. The CDC funded this study.
Uyghurturk 202028 — Published in Environmental Health, it found that pregnant women in fluoridated communities in California had significantly higher levels of fluoride in their urine than those in nonfluoridated communities. The levels found in their urine were the same as those found to lower the IQ of the fetus in Green et al, 2019, and Bashash et al, 2017.29,30
As early as 2006, the National Research Council (NRC) looked at the toxicology of fluoride, concluding that, based on the studies available at that time, fluoride poses a threat to the brain.31
Studies have also demonstrated that fluoride is an endocrine disruptor32 that suppresses thyroid function,33,34,35 and this too can lower IQ in offspring if the mother has underactive thyroid function during pregnancy.
Excessive fluoride exposure also causes dental fluorosis, which in turn increases rates of dental cavities.36,37 This alone should be cause for reconsidering water fluoridation, considering it’s a public health strategy aimed at preventing cavities.
The Fight Against Water Fluoridation Continues
Hopefully, FAN’s legal action against the EPA will result in the elimination of fluoride from U.S. water supplies. We still have a ways to go though. As it stands, the judge in the case has asked FAN to allow the EPA to reassess the evidence before he makes a ruling.
According to the judge, the EPA has used the wrong standard to assess the evidence (which, incidentally, means the “International Group of Fluoridation Experts” are likely to have made the same mistake when judging the available research).
The judge also noted, on the record, that the evidence presented by plaintiffs raises serious questions about the policy to fluoridate water supplies. If the EPA tries to drag out this process, he is prepared to make a ruling based on the evidence presented.
So, we still have to wait for the conclusion to this groundbreaking trial but, clearly, we are closer than we’ve ever been to seeing an end to this tragic and unnecessary poisoning of millions of individuals. In the end, researchers like Till may well end up having the last word on the matter.
Andrographis paniculata is a plant that grows throughout much of Asia. It has been traditionally used to treat infectious disease, liver complaints and fever. The adaptogenic herb1 has a bitter taste and is indigenous to China, India and Southeast Asia. It grows from 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) to 110 centimeters (3.6 feet) high and has a square stem and small white flowers.2
Adaptogens are plants that help your body to better handle physical and emotional stress. The plants have been used for hundreds of years in Eastern medicine to influence the body without overstimulating or inhibiting normal function.3
There are 26 formulations using Andrographis with other herbs in traditional Ayurvedic health. The common names are “king of bitters” and chiretta.4 The plant comes from the Acanthaceae family, which are mostly herbs and shrubs.5
Andrographis can be found in combination with other herbs in Kan Jang, Kold Kare, KalmCold and Paractin.6 The active components in Andrographis are diterpenoid lactones, which have anti-inflammatory effects by reducing both nitric oxide production and the expression of cyclooxygenase 2.
Researchers have found the plant exhibits multiple effects in humans. Dosing in clinical studies has ranged from 3 to 6 grams per day.7 Slightly higher doses were used in a trial with patients who had HIV, but it was discontinued when participants had adverse reactions.8
The Healing Strength of Andrographis
Bitter flavors are often the least appreciated and the least likely to be used in cooking. Yet, many of the bitter herbs and spices add valuable benefits to your overall health. According to the authors of a paper in the European Journal of Herbal Medicine:9
“With so many bitter herbs, most with a long history of medicinal use in multiple cultures, it is not surprising to read that ‘the urinary system seems to be the only system that does not derive direct benefit from the administration of bitters.’"
Typically, insects and mammals avoid bitter-tasting plants. One hypothesis is they have learned to correlate bitter taste with toxicity. Andrographis compounds and extract have been reported to have anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial and hepato-renal protective properties.10
It may be among the more popular medicinal plants to treat a variety of diseases across Asia, America and the African continents. The bioactive ingredient is a diterpene, called andrographolide.11 There have been a number of studies conducted to evaluate the toxicity of Andrographis, but none has demonstrated acute toxicity in experiments involving animals.12
In much the same way that the bitter compounds can help protect plants from insects, they may also help your body by inhibiting microbial growth, inflammation and oxidation. These are some of the benefits researchers have discovered:
Antiviral — The herb has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda to treat the common cold.13 A formulation that combines Andrographis and Siberian ginseng called Kan Jang has been studied in the treatment of colds,14 upper respiratory tract infections,15 sinusitis16 and flu.17 In each case the results were positive, showing effectiveness in treating the conditions.
The leaders of a randomized, double-blind study evaluated the efficacy of KalmCold, an extract of Andrographis paniculata in participants with an upper respiratory tract infection.18 The supplement was effective in reducing most symptoms of the infection, but not earaches.
In a systematic review of 33 randomized controlled trials with 7,175 patients, the evidence demonstrated Andrographis helped relieve the symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infections.19 It shortened the time for cough and sore throat as well, and it shortened sick leave.
In another review of the literature, scholars found "strong evidence" that Andrographis was superior to a placebo in reducing the frequency and severity of coughs.20
Lowers Blood Sugar — People have been using traditional plant treatments with Type 2 diabetes for centuries. The authors of one study found 419 useful recipes with hypoglycemic potential. They isolated 74 from Angiospermic families, including Andrographis, which ranked in the top 14 with the most hypoglycemic activity.21
In one clinical trial, researchers used an extract mixture of Andrographis alongside metformin over an eight-week period.22 They measured fasting blood glucose, body weight, blood pressure and markers of liver and kidney damage, as well as other markers during the study.
They found there was a potential for beneficial effects with the extract when used as a complementary medicine with metformin in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
Inflammation and Cancer — Bioactive molecules from Andrographis have demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities in laboratory and experimental animal models.23 Andrographolide also had anti-inflammatory effects on asthma, stroke and arthritis, and it reduced cytokines, chemokines and nitric oxide.
It has also inhibited cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and angiogenesis, leading researchers to believe it is a “promising strategy for the development of a novel class of anti-inflammatory and anticancer drugs.”24
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties led researchers to evaluate Andrographis in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee. They were treated with an andrographolide-containing supplement every day for 84 days. Compared to those in the placebo group, they demonstrated a significant reduction in pain throughout the study and higher scores on quality-of-life assessments.25
Digestive disorders — Andrographis has demonstrated effectiveness against digestive disorders as well. When people with ulcerative colitis were treated with an extract, they were more likely to achieve a clinical response than people in the placebo group.26
In a study comparing Andrographis against mesalazine — a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat ulcerative colitis — the data showed that remission and response in the colon were nearly identical, causing the researchers to conclude it “may be an efficacious alternative to mesalazine in ulcerative colitis.”27
Hepatoprotective — Scientists using an extract of Andrographis in animal studies have shown that it has hepatoprotective activity. Andrographis was effective against induced liver damage in male mice.28
In a different study researchers found “Andrographolide was found to be more potent than silymarin, a standard hepatoprotective agent.”29 Andrographis has traditionally been used for liver disorders.
In yet another study, researchers used an animal model to evaluate a combination of Andrographis with two other herbal medications used in Ayurveda. They found that the extract offered significant protection, as demonstrated by serum indices of liver injury.30
Neurological system — Researchers interested in the use of adaptogenic herbs to reduce the effects of stress induced fatigue and impaired cognitive function in behavioral and age-related disorders used Andrographis paniculata and Withania somnifera in a six-week trial.31
They measured EEG frequency changes in 17 brain regions as well as an assessment of mood and sleep from standard questionnaires. The results showed that the supplement had calming and anti-anxiety effects.
The authors of another literature review evaluated the use of herbal medications in multiple sclerosis. This condition impacts an individual's cognition, sensory abilities and mobility. They found that natural herbs, including Andrographis, were effective in treating memory performance, tremor, spasticity, fatigue and incontinence.32
Individuals with multiple sclerosis commonly struggle with fatigue. The leaders of one clinical trial evaluated the effectiveness of Andrographis on fatigue in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.33 Participants received the supplement for 12 months while also receiving interferon. While there were no observed differences for the relapse rate, those taking Andrographis had a significant reduction in fatigue as compared to those in the placebo group.
Bitters and Your Gastrointestinal Tract
The stimulating effect on your digestive system is caused by what's known as the “bitter reflex.” When you eat something bitter, your body releases gastrin. This hormone supports and strengthens digestive function by stimulating the secretion of saliva, hydrochloric acid, pepsin and intrinsic factor.34 Intrinsic factor is required by your body for the absorption of vitamin B12.35
The reflex also triggers your appetite and prepares your body for eating by triggering contractions in your intestines. It stimulates the flow of bile, which improves digestion and helps prevent the accumulation of waste in your liver. It also stimulates cell repair in the pancreas and intestinal wall.
When the integrity of the intestinal wall is compromised, it allows leakage of substances such as undigested food, bacteria and metabolic waste to enter your bloodstream. This is called leaky gut syndrome, which increases the inflammatory process in your body.
The action from the bitter reflex begins when you taste bitter on your tongue. According to the European Journal of Herbal Medicine, bypassing your taste receptors by taking bitters in capsule form will “render it virtually useless.”36
How to Add Bitters to Your Routine
Historically, people used bitters approximately 30 minutes before mealtime to stimulate the appetite and get the gastrointestinal tract ready to eat. There are commercially available bitter tinctures that basically concentrate extracts in an alcohol base.
Another option is to add bitter greens to your salads and to eat your salad first. These may include chicory, dandelion, arugula, radicchio, endive and burdock. This helps take advantage of the bitter reflex during meals.
While Andrographis is generally safe when it's taken as directed, bitters should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, those with depressed metabolism, chronic respiratory congestion or a serious erosive or ulcerative condition in the gastrointestinal tract.37
In clinical trials, there have been few adverse reactions noted. However, side effects have been recorded using andrographolide, including headache, rash, diarrhea, pruritus and a lowered sex drive.38
According to a June 2020 research paper,1 melatonin2,3 may be an important adjunct to COVID-19 treatment. Incidentally, while not emphasized, melatonin is an optional addition to the highly effective MATH+ protocol promoted by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group (FLCCC).4
President Trump's COVID-19 treatment was also said to include melatonin supplementation. The authors note that melatonin attenuates several pathological features of the illness, including excessive inflammation, oxidation and an exaggerated immune response resulting in a cytokine storm and acute lung injury (ALI), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and, potentially, death.
"Melatonin, a well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative molecule, is protective against ALI/ARDS caused by viral and other pathogens," the researchers state,5 adding:
"Melatonin is effective in critical care patients by reducing vessel permeability, anxiety, sedation use, and improving sleeping quality, which might also be beneficial for better clinical outcomes for COVID-19 patients.
Notably, melatonin has a high safety profile. There is significant data showing that melatonin limits virus-related diseases and would also likely be beneficial in COVID-19 patients."
One of the things that makes melatonin so effective is that it doesn't just act as an antioxidant in and of itself; it also interacts with your body's innate antioxidant system where it recharges glutathione.6
High-Dose Melatonin Successfully Treats COVID-19
A recent case series7 published in the journal Melatonin Research details how patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia who were given high-dose melatonin as an adjunct therapy to standard of care all improved within four to five days, and all survived.
On average, those given melatonin were discharged from the hospital after 7.3 days, compared to 13 days for those who did not get melatonin. This is far better than the expensive treatment remdesivir, which costs over $3,000 and doesn't produce anywhere near this improvement.
However, the patients were given very large doses of melatonin, 36 mg to 72 mg per day in four divided doses. When used for sleep, you'd typically start with a dose of 0.25 mg and work your way up as needed.
Dr. Richard Neel and colleagues at Little Alsace and Uvalde Urgent Care clinics in Texas are also using high-dose melatonin in combination with vitamin C and vitamin D, and had as of the last week of July 2020 successfully treated more than 400 patients.8
"I knew that nothing would work for everyone, but it is working for the majority. It is amazing what melatonin is doing for most patients," Neel told Kayleen Holder, editor of Devine News.9
Melatonin Inhibits COVID-19-Induced Cytokine Storm
Another paper,10 published in June 2020 in the journal Medical Drug Discoveries describes the mechanics by which melatonin inhibits the cytokine storm associated with critical SARS-CoV-2 infection. As explained by the authors:11
"A causative factor related to the hyper-inflammatory state of immune cells is their ability to dramatically change their metabolism. Similar to cancer cells … immune cells such as macrophages/monocytes under inflammatory conditions abandon mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation for ATP production in favor of cytosolic aerobic glycolysis (also known as the Warburg effect) …
The change to aerobic glycolysis allows immune cells to become highly phagocytic, accelerate ATP production, intensify their oxidative burst and to provide the abundant metabolic precursors required for enhanced cellular proliferation and increased synthesis and release of cytokines ...
Because of melatonin's potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, it would normally reduce the highly proinflammatory cytokine storm and neutralize the generated free radicals thereby preserving cellular integrity and preventing lung damage."
Melatonin Plays Important Roles in Mitochondrial Function
Importantly, the Medical Drug Discoveries paper points out that while melatonin was initially thought to be exclusively synthesized in the pineal gland, researchers have now demonstrated that it is actually synthesized in mitochondria, which means melatonin production occurs in most cells, including human lung monocytes and macrophages.
For those of you who might be familiar with melatonin, this is quite surprising as it has been commonly accepted for the past 50 years that the sole source of melatonin was the pineal gland. This is quite an amazing breakthrough to find out it is actually produced in the mitochondria, which are in every cell in your body except your red blood cells.
In healthy cells, melatonin synthesis in mitochondria occurs when the glucose metabolite pyruvate enters the mitochondria. Glucose is a six-carbon molecule and is divided into two three-carbon molecules of pyruvate. Once the pyruvate is inside the mitochondria, it is subsequently metabolized into acetyl-coenzyme A.
Presumably, a low-carb, high-fat diet that produces large amounts of ketones should provide similar benefits as the ketones are directly metabolized to acetyl-coenzyme A. As explained in the Medical Drug Discoveries paper:12
"In the absence of acetyl-coenzyme A, mitochondrial melatonin is no longer available to combat the inflammatory response or to neutralize the generated reactive oxygen species and the massive damage that occurs in the respiratory tree resulting in the primary signs of COVID-19 disease.
Importantly, endogenous melatonin production diminishes markedly with age especially in frail older individuals. This is consistent with the more serious nature of a COVID-19 infection in the elderly."
Other research, including a Frontiers of Bioscience paper13 published in 2007, has pointed out that melatonin helps prevent mitochondrial impairment, energy failure and apoptosis (programmed cell death) in mitochondria damaged by oxidation.
Melatonin may even help regulate gene expression via certain enzymes,14 and helps regulate autophagy in certain pathological conditions.15 According to the authors, "Most of the beneficial consequences resulting from melatonin administration may depend on its effects on mitochondrial physiology."16
Melatonin Protects Against Sepsis
Sepsis (blood poisoning) is another common outcome of an unhealthy immune response to infection, and melatonin may play an important role in preventing this as well. Evidence for this can be found in a Journal of Critical Care paper17 published in 2010. According to the authors:18
"Melatonin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent in various animal models of inflammation and sepsis, and its anti-inflammatory action has been attributed to inhibition of nitric oxide synthase with consequent reduction of peroxynitrite formation, to the stimulation of various antioxidant enzymes thus contributing to enhance the antioxidant defense, and to protective effects on mitochondrial function and in preventing apoptosis.
In a number of animal models of septic shock, as well as in patients with septic disease, melatonin reportedly exerts beneficial effects to arrest cellular damage and multiorgan failure …
Apart from action on the local sites of inflammation, melatonin also exerts its beneficial actions through a multifactorial pathway including its effects as immunomodulatory, antioxidant and antiapoptotic agent."
In summary, melatonin appears to reverse septic shock symptoms by:19
- Decreasing synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines
- Preventing lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced oxidative damage, endotoxemia and metabolic alterations
- Suppressing gene expression of the bad form of nitric oxide, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)
- Preventing apoptosis (cell death)
More recently, a 2019 animal study20 in the journal Frontiers in Immunology details how melatonin can protect against polymicrobial sepsis, i.e., sepsis caused by more than one microbial organism. A hallmark of polymicrobial sepsis is severe loss of lymphocytes through apoptosis, resulting in a twofold higher lethality than unimicrobial sepsis (sepsis caused by a single microbe).21
In this case, melatonin appears to offer protection by having an antibacterial effect on white blood cells called neutrophils. A high neutrophil count is an indicator for infection. According to the authors of the 2019 study:22
"Melatonin treatment inhibited peripheral tissue inflammation and tissue damage … consequently reducing the mortality of the mice. We found that macrophages and neutrophils expressed melatonin receptors.
Upon depletion of neutrophils, melatonin-induced protection against polymicrobial infection failed in the mice, but melatonin treatment in macrophage-depleted mice attenuated the mice mortality resulting from polymicrobial sepsis ...
The data from this study support previously unexplained antiseptic effects of melatonin during a polymicrobial infection and could be potentially useful for human patients with sepsis."
Melatonin's Antiviral Effects
The scientific review paper,23 "Melatonin Potentials Against Viral Infections Including COVID-19: Current Evidence and New Findings," published October 2020 in the Virus Research journal, also summarizes the many potential mechanisms by which melatonin can protect against and ameliorate viral infections.
The authors review research looking at melatonin's beneficial effects against a variety of viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, viral hepatitis, viral myocarditis, Ebola, West Nile virus and dengue virus. Based on these collective findings, they believe melatonin may offer similar protection against SARS-CoV-2.
One mechanistic basis for this relates to melatonin's effects on p21-activated kinases (PAKs), a family of serine and threonine kinases. They explain:24
"In the last decade, PAKs have acquired great attention in medicine due to their contribution to a diversity of cellular functions. Among them, PAK1 is considered as a pathogenic enzyme and its unusual activation could be responsible for a broad range of pathologic conditions such as aging, inflammation, malaria, cancers immunopathology, viral infections, etc.
In a recent study conducted by Oh et.al. (2016), 'Chloroquine' (CQ) (an antimalarial drug used as an experimental medication in COVID-19 treatment protocol) was found to increase the expression of p21 that was downregulated by PAK1 in Th1 cells.
Furthermore, Lu and colleagues have shown that phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a tumor-suppressing phosphatase, may prevent the coronavirus-induced Ag II-pathological vascular fibrosis through inactivation of PAK1.
Interestingly, melatonin exerts a spectrum of important anti-PAK1 properties in some abnormal conditions such as sleep disturbance, immune system effectiveness reduction, infectious disorders, inflammation, cancer, painful conditions, etc.
It has been proposed that coronaviruses could trigger CK2/RAS-PAK1-RAF-AP1 signaling pathway via binding to ACE2 receptor. Although it is not scientifically confirmed as yet, PAK1-inhibitors could theoretically exert as potential agents for the management of a recent outbreak of COVID-19 infection.
Indeed, Russel Reiter, a leading pioneer in melatonin research, has recently emphasized that melatonin may be incorporated into the treatment of COVID-19 as an alternative or adjuvant."
Melatonin Combats COVID-19 in Several Ways
In summary, "Melatonin Potentials Against Viral Infections Including COVID-19: Current Evidence and New Findings" and other research referenced in the list below suggests melatonin may play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 infection by:25
Regulating immune responses and preventing cytokine storms
Quelling inflammation and suppressing oxidative stress26
Combating viral and bacterial infections27
Regulating blood pressure (a risk factor for severe COVID-19)
Improving metabolic defects associated with diabetes and insulin resistance (risk factors for severe COVID-19) via inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS)
Protecting mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs, which have been shown to ameliorate severe SARS-CoV-2 infection) against injuries and improving their biological activities
Promoting both cell-mediated and humoral immunity
Promoting synthesis of progenitor cells for macrophages and granulocytes, natural killer (NK) cells and T-helper cells, specifically CD4+ cells
Inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasomes28
Melatonin — A Possible Vaccine Adjuvant?
Lastly, "Melatonin Potentials Against Viral Infections Including COVID-19: Current Evidence and New Findings" discusses the potential of using melatonin as a vaccine adjuvant, nothing that:29
"Even if [a COVID-19] vaccine would be established, vaccine efficacy is probably considered to be inferior for the elderly and other high-risk population groups compared to people who are healthy and young. The immune responses to vaccines have been shown to be limited in the aforementioned groups because of a weakened immune system.
Therefore, using immunomodulatory agents such as melatonin as an effective adjuvant besides vaccination may boost the vaccine's effectiveness in patients with both compromised and healthy immune systems.
As above-mentioned, melatonin is capable of enhancing the count of natural killer and CD4+ cells and amplifying the production of cytokines needed for effective vaccine response. Furthermore, sleep deprivation weakens immune response to viral infection, and melatonin has been proved to be a critical factor in improving sleep quality."
Melatonin Works Synergistically With Vitamin D
Interestingly, a paper30 published in the May 2020 issue of The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology stresses the synergistic effects between melatonin and vitamin D. Not only does melatonin enhance vitamin D signaling, the two molecules act synergistically to optimize your mitochondrial function.
I've written many articles detailing the importance of vitamin D optimization to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and more serious COVID-19 illness. The evidence for this is frankly overwhelming, and raising vitamin D levels among the general population may be one of the most important prevention strategies available to us. To learn more, please download my vitamin D report, available for free on stopcovidcold.com. According to the authors of this May 2020 paper:31
"A deficiency of these molecules has been associated with the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, including arterial hypertension, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, kidney diseases, cancer, psychiatric disorders, bone diseases, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, among others.
During aging, the intake and cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D, as well as the endogenous synthesis of melatonin are remarkably depleted, therefore, producing a state characterized by an increase of oxidative stress, inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction ...
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been related to the etiologies of many complex diseases where overactivation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), vitamin D deficiency and the reduction of melatonin synthesis converge.
In this sense, experimental and clinical evidence indicates that inflammation, oxidative stress, as in mitochondrial dysfunction, are consistent with low levels of melatonin and vitamin D, and also represent risk factors connected with development and maintenance of prevalent acute and chronic pathologies."
Simple Ways to Optimize Your Melatonin and Vitamin D
While there are likely many benefits to supplementing with oral vitamin D3 and melatonin, it makes no sense to do so unless you also optimize your body's own production.
The good news is it's relatively simple and inexpensive to increase your melatonin and vitamin D levels. To optimize your vitamin D, I recommend getting sensible sun exposure on large portions of your body on a regular basis, ideally daily.
For further guidance, see "The Risks and Benefits of Sun Exposure." If for whatever reason you cannot get sufficient amounts of sun exposure, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement (along with a little extra vitamin K2 to maintain a healthy ratio between these two nutrients, and magnesium to optimize vitamin D conversion).
I personally have not taken any oral vitamin D for well over 10 years and my levels are typically over 70 ng/mL, even in the winter, but I have started taking sublingual melatonin as I am now older than 65, even though I sleep in pitch dark and get bright sun exposure around 85% of the time during the day.
Optimizing your melatonin production starts with getting plenty of bright sunlight during the day, as this helps "set" your circadian clock. Then, as the evening wears on and the sun sets, you'll want to avoid bright lighting.
Blue light from electronic screens and LED light bulbs is particularly problematic and inhibits melatonin the most. If you need lighting, opt for incandescent light bulbs, candles or salt lamps. The blue light from electronic screens can be counteracted by installing blue-blocking software such as Iris,32 or wearing blue-blocking glasses.
My decision to personally use melatonin supplementation makes even more sense now that we understand that melatonin is not only produced in the pineal gland (which would benefit from circadian optimization), but also in our mitochondria. So, it appears that additional melatonin could serve as a useful adjunct in modulating your immune response.
1 Which public figure recently contracted SARS-CoV-2 infection and was treated with two experimental drugs, Gilead's remdesivir and Regeneron's REGN-COV2?
2 A September 2020 meta-analysis concluded there is a significant relationship between autism and which of the following?
3 Mounting evidence suggest immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection among the global population may be around:
4 A pandemic may trigger panic buying and hoarding, in part, due to a:
5 Which of the following has been shown to have a direct antiviral effect on SARS-CoV-2, effectively blocking viral replication in vitro?
6 Which of the following statements is true?
7 The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed:
In this interview, social justice and anti-GMO advocate Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., discusses her book, "Oneness Vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom," which she co-wrote with her son, in which she argues that the ultra-wealthy elite are responsible for a majority of the environmental, financial and health crises currently facing us.
In reality, it's really about the 0.001% — the small number of billionaires and centibillionaires who have become ultra-rich over the past 30 years or so. Most of them didn't exist before globalization. The 1% is just a useful metaphor for the ruling elite that the publisher thought would be easier to communicate.
One of the key players is, no surprise, Bill Gates, whose wealth and "philanthropic" efforts have garnered him unprecedented influence over agriculture and global health policies that threaten food security and human health.
"I was in Paris for the climate summit, and I've been doing this UN Summit since the Earth summit in '92. I've been doing the Biodiversity Convention, drafting of clauses, including Article 19.1, which basically required biosafety and assessment of GMOs. So, I was very surprised that, for the first time, the billionaires were on the stage with the heads of state," she says.
The Ongoing Transfer of Wealth
One of the "solutions" to climate change offered by this billionaire club was geoengineering, which in reality is no solution at all. As noted by Shiva, if the climate is already changing for the worse, engineering temperatures, deflecting sunlight, dumping iron fillings on the ocean and chemicals in the sky, and creating artificial volcanoes, you're simply creating additional problems without solving the original one.
At the end of the August 2020 update of the book, she also discusses COVID-19, and how this engineered pandemic has catalyzed the transfer of wealth to the rich. While global lockdowns have decimated small businesses and left many to struggle financially, the rich have amassed fantastic profits.
"The 2008 crisis was very clearly about deregulation of the financial economy," she says. "It was about collateral, it was about taking securities, bundling up risk, and then the system totally collapsed because it was really trading in fictions. But I've been working on the economy, because I started to work on the seed in 1987.
Companies wanted to own and patent life. That's how my journey on GMO started. But they also wanted to change the trade laws. They wanted to own seed as their creation. They wanted an intellectual property treaty in the GATT. I first heard this in a 1987 [United Nations] meeting.
That's when I decided: a) I would save seeds, b) I would keep track of the GATT and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The antiglobalization movement grew out of that, and the International Forum on Globalization. We shut down WTO in Seattle, which shows the power of the people. We will not allow this lie of seed being Monsanto's invention.
I worked with our [Indian] parliament, I worked with our government to write laws. Article 3G [says] seeds are not inventions. This is what has prevented Monsanto from ripping off Indian farmers even more than they did. They've been taken to court now for the illegal collection of technology fees …
Basically, what we have today is this transfer of wealth. Monsanto's behavior is also the big tech's behavior. Do they produce anything? No. They only collect rents on digital platforms. They're rent collectors …
I saw the seed issue with Monsanto. I said, 'Here they are collecting rents from seed, which they didn't make. Then we won't let them own it.' In effect, whether it's Amazon or Gates, they're basically rent collectors. What they've done with this pandemic is literally create a closed economy, which depends on them and their rent collection."
The eight-minute video below provides a sobering summary of the massive wealth transfer that has occurred in 2020 thanks to pandemic lockdowns, during which small businesses were forced to close while giant multinational companies were allowed to stay open and thereby monopolize the market. The end result is the largest transfer of wealth in modern history.
The End of Democracy
Shiva goes on to review how India mobilized against Walmart's encroachment, which threatened to destroy local businesses. The COVID-19 lockdowns, however, have prevented the same kind of mobilization against the tech and retail giants.
As local businesses around the world have had to close their doors for months on end, Amazon.com's power has exploded. Amazon is even encroaching on grocery suppliers.
"I was just reading a paper, that the super wealthy in the U.S. have transferred $50 trillion to themselves [over the past 30 years; the globalization period] … While they rob you of your job, they're still extracting [money from] you for that forced software program on digital payments, for software programs on … digital education.
Poor Indian children, who could afford a universal education, now cannot afford education because their parents have no smartphones. So, we are seeing an engineered imposition of an economy. A healthy economy grows as an evolution with choices, with justice, with equity …
True economies would say, 'Here is what I bring. If my digital [currency is] better than your cash, choose it. Is my forced vaccination better than your immunity? Make your choice.' The minute choice is removed from people's life, democracies stop. When the choice is removed from our conditions of being, our conditions of living, then life is threatened …
What is globalization but deregulation of commerce? It is knocking down every law that was put in place by democratic societies for the protection of the environment, the protection of health, the right to education, the rights of workers. Now that's what's being targeted."
In India, they recently eliminated all labor laws, and they're trying to remove the Farmers' Rights Act, as well as environmental laws. This is what allows for the transfer of wealth to happen, Shiva says.
The End Game
As explained by Shiva, all of these companies are essentially rent collectors. Facebook turns our minds into a raw material that is then capitalized upon. "Gates is particularly vicious because through the Gates Foundation, he pretends to be doing philanthropy," she says.
But with every philanthropic endeavor, he carves out new colonies from which he can collect new rents and make new investments. "That's why no matter how much he gives, he gets richer and richer," Shiva says. "A genuine giver would get poorer."
In her book, she explains how, without Gates, there would be no commercial gene editing, for example, which is the new GMO. He created a company called Editas Medicine Inc. to facilitate the patenting of these new climate-resilient plants, with which they aim to create new medicines. "He will do biofortification to solve the nutrition problem. He is particularly vicious," she says. As for what the ultimate goal might be, Shiva says:
"The first thing is, of course, they want to use their money-making tools to make more money. So, it is a dictatorship of the technology balance. That's why people should be paying a lot more attention to the violent imposition of digitalization.
A lot of my friends, who never studied the roots of these violence systems, who never understood that agrichemicals came from Hitler's concentration camps and that the agrichemical industry is the poison cartel responsible for the genocide, they're continuing that genocide.
Technologies as tools of domination and exploitation are not neutral. A lot of progressive think, 'More digitalization, more democracy.' How can a surveillance economy be an enlargement of your freedom? You have to have the systems in place, the regulations in place, the choices in place to be able to make these technologies a servant and not your master."
The Global Merger
They also want to merge all of these various industries together — agriculture, technology and finance. Shiva recounts how, in 2016, India banned all cash and made digital transactions compulsory. In short order, "90% of poor people lost their savings, their incomes," she says, as small, local economies evaporated. Meanwhile, the wealthy elites also control the world's economy via their asset funds.
"Corporations don't own themselves anymore. Even the corporations are owned by the billionaires, the same BlackRocks, the same Vanguards control every big company, Coca-Cola to McDonald's to Boeing. Look at anything in the world, it's the billionaire money and their asset management funds.
Last year, BlackRock increased its wealth from $1 trillion to $7 trillion, which means the billionaires increased their wealth. During the lockdown, they invaded even more deeply into the Amazon and became richer.
So, these investment asset management funds are the billionaires' wealth, and it is increasing. That is merging with IT and information technology and the tech barons, and it's merging with biotechnology and the chemical industry.
That's why they're talking about digitalization of agriculture — farming without farmers and, worse, food without food. One of the big pushes of Gates and Silicon Valley is into fake food."
As noted by Shiva, while Big Biotech claims GMOs will save your health and protect the planet, these pesticide-laden plants are in fact doing the complete opposite.
We Are the Throwaways
There's also the issue of social justice. She cites Gandhi, who said that if you're in doubt about what the right thing to do is, "bring the face of the most vulnerable person to your mind's eye and do what is good for them." If you think it will harm them more, don't do it.
"They deliberately want to get rid of large parts of humanity," Shiva says. "First through hunger, then through sickness. They want a digital economy, they want a sick economy. Otherwise, you wouldn't be spending all your time on Big Pharma; you'd spend your time making sure that the smaller farmer doesn't get destroyed …
On a planetary scale, we are seeing these irresponsible, greedy, indifferent, callous men bring the world, and humanity, to a brink. That's why we have to act and find creative ways …
All of these tech barons who have taken over the economy, hiding behind the virus, are all jumping into life sciences. Google has a new life sciences division. This will be the final defeat of Mother Nature, At a time [when] the world is waking up to the rules of nature and healthy bodies, healthy ecosystems, an eco-healthy planet, they're still carrying on the Colonial franchise of defeating Mother Nature."
The Great Economic Reset
None of these things is coming out of left field. They've been carefully planned for many decades. We now see clear evidence that a "great economic reset" is in the works, which will transition everything over to digital currencies.
As noted by Shiva, the industrial revolution shifted our mindset to one where we thought of nature as dead. The result was ecological destruction and the fragmentation of society. The coming economic reset is basically part of an effort to further manipulate and shift our mental framework toward something wholly unnatural. Shiva says:
"In India, they attacked and are still attacking organic and created something called the Zero-Budget Natural Farming … What they're basically doing is giving big loans to the state, which then gives fat loans to the farmer. In the meantime, Gates is mining farm data.
He's getting people placed in the homes of farmers to mine data. Then they'll create algorithms to sell that data back. But all of this is now being reduced to carbon in the soil. You'll get zero % for what you grow. You can get no needs of yours met through food and fodder, but we will allow you to trade in the global market on the carbon in your soil, and that's what would keep you alive. This whole financialization of nature is one aspect.
The second aspect in the great reset is to redo the economy to make it look like those who are now disposable throwaway people deserved it. They created the language of competition.
[When I was writing] my epilogue, I had just received Microsoft's patent, [which] basically reduces human beings to users. Our brain activity is tapped into in various ways. Everyone wants to have smart wear these days. I should call it spyware. That data goes through algorithms. Those algorithms will decide what [we are worthy of and] Bitcoins will be allocated to us.
But every child born is born worthy. Every member of society has equal human rights. So, they're undoing everything we've put in place on humanity, on human rights, on democracy. This is where we need to be alert.
I think the whole issue of the pandemic and the lockdown was useful for them for two reasons. One, they could get everyone afraid. Second, they could get everyone distracted while they took over the economy, they took over our minds. They basically transferred all the remaining wealth to themselves."
To learn more, please listen to the interview in its entirety, and be sure to pick up a copy of "Oneness Vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom." You can also find more details about Shiva's work on Navdanya.org.
"I personally feel that this assault is coming at a time when, in India and the world, there's a new rising of consciousness of the planet and its living systems, of our health and our living systems, and the connection between our health and the health of the planet. At this point … it needs a lot of brutal violence to impose. So, to the extent they can keep the virus as their shield to hide behind, they will."
I agree with Shiva when she says that rather than allowing COVID-19 fear-mongering take over our lives, we need to look at the infrastructures of life, humanity, democracy, economy and taxation, "and start thinking about who's taking them away from us."
"You have to protect that which you treasure," she says. "Freedom and life are what are being taken right now … We have to resist fear and we have to resist hate. We are thinking beings; let us use the minds we've been given and let us rebuild community.
Again, I don't think the 6-foot distancing is by accident. Why do they use the words 'social distancing' rather than 'physical distancing'? Six feet is a physical measure. They … want us to forget that being a human being means being in community. They want us to be users of gadgets.
We must be community. We must remember that we are interrelated to the rest of life on Earth and to society. That's why we have to be talking [about how to] rebuild regenerative economies … I think we lost a lot of time thinking the only issue was energy, how energy is produced. We lost two decades of how food is produced.
I really believe that if people start becoming aware that eating good food is the single most important [strategy for health], and growing food in the right way is the single most important part to regeneration of the planet, this will rebuild community …
I think we need to start doing homework to say, 'Where's the wealth going? How should the tax flow look? How is our money going to make the billionaires richer? How can they keep extracting more money out of us?
How is our public money the new subsidy to create the infrastructure for greed, rather than be the public resources to create the infrastructure of life, of care and of solidarity? … What in our current legal framework can stop this hemorrhaging of public money to move upwards to the billionaires?
These are foundational issues. Who are we as human beings? How will we live in the future? What is the future we will create long after the robber barons are gone, because they were there in the 1930s and we learned how to get rid of them. If there's one project we should have, it's strategies to get rid of the robber barons, whatever it takes …
I don't think we have the luxury to be hopeless. Hope is something you must cultivate on a daily basis. Cultivating hope is cultivating resistance. Cultivating hope is cultivating the strategy."
Dr. Mercola Interviews the Experts
This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click here.
While SARS-CoV-2 is a rampant virus that can cause severe problems in vulnerable individuals, the real pandemic — meaning the underlying cause that makes people susceptible to complications from the infection in the first place — is metabolic inflexibility or insulin resistance.
In this interview, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a British cardiologist and author of “The 21 Day Immunity Plan,” delves into the specifics and explains the role insulin resistance plays in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The real pandemic is poor metabolic health, or metabolic inflexibility,” Malhotra says. “I had become aware, as early on as March, when we were getting data from China and Italy, that there was a clear link between conditions related to excess body fat, in simple terms defined as poor metabolic health, [and] worse outcomes from COVID-19.
We're talking about conditions like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and, of course, obesity. And that data kept emerging. That link was so clear, and it wasn't just out of the blue.
As somebody who's been a practicing doctor for almost two decades, it's very clear — we know people who have poor metabolic health certainly tend to have worse outcomes from really any infection, but COVID-19 has highlighted it more, and made us think about it more.
We're talking about chest infections, hospital admissions with pneumonia [and] Type 2 diabetics tend to do a lot worse. I was looking at that data and thought, ‘There's something missing out of this mainstream conversation.’ It was getting a lot of immediate coverage across the world, in the U.K., in the United States, but no one was talking about lifestyle.”
Obesity Is a Significant COVID-19 Risk Factor
Aside from old age, obesity has been identified as one of the primary risk factors for being hospitalized with COVID-19 — doubling the risk of hospitalization in patients under the age of 60 in one study1 — even if the individual has no other obesity-related health problems. A French study2,3 also found obese patients treated for COVID-19 were more likely to require mechanical ventilation.
One hypothesis for why obesity is worsening COVID-19 has to do with the fact that obesity causes chronic inflammation.4 Having more proinflammatory cytokines in circulation increases your risk of experiencing a cytokine storm.
A cytokine storm response is typically the reason why people die from infections, be it the seasonal flu, Ebola, urinary tract infection or COVID-19. Obesity also makes you more vulnerable to infectious diseases by lowering your immune function.5,6,7,8,9,10
Insulin Resistance Augments Infection Risks
Obesity is often rooted in insulin resistance, brought on by a flawed diet, and insulin resistance is another top risk factor for COVID-19 that worsens outcomes and increases your risk of death. An April 15, 2020, article11 in The Scientist reviews evidence12,13 showing how higher blood glucose levels impact viral replication and the development of cytokine storms.
While the research in question looked at influenza A-induced cytokine storms, these findings may well be applicable in COVID-19 as well. In a Science Advances press release, co-author Shi Liu stated:14
“We believe that glucose metabolism contributes to various COVID-19 outcomes since both influenza and COVID-19 can induce a cytokine storm, and since COVID-19 patients with diabetes have shown higher mortality.”
COVID-19 Risk Factors Can Be Rapidly Ameliorated
The good news, as Malhotra stresses, is that the lifestyle factors that make you more prone to severe COVID-19 infection and death can be modified and ameliorated in as little as 21 days, simply by changing your diet. Like me, Malhotra feels this has been sorely missing from pandemic response messaging.
“They should have been saying, ‘Listen, there's no better time for you to really think about trying to improve your health and looking into what you eat, [get] moderate exercise, sleep, all those things,” Malhotra says. “But it wasn't happening.”
To fill the information gap, Malhotra began writing. Initially, he wrote a series of articles for British newspapers. He also got the opportunity to speak about this on Sky News.
“I made it very clear. I said, ‘Listen, there's a chance at some point we're all going to get this virus, and we want to make sure that we're in the best position to be able to deal with it, so that we don't get sick from it when it happens.’
I think I was probably, maybe, the only doctor who had the opportunity to say that in a mainstream media, probably in the world, at that time; I think no one else had said it.”
As more data became available, Malhotra’s writings turned into “The 21 Day Immunity Plan.” Malhotra also had the opportunity to share information with the U.K. Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, and by the time the book was finished, Prime Minister Boris Johnson came out saying something needs to be done, on a policy level, about the obesity epidemic.
That said, we don’t have to have government policies in place to personally implement these lifestyle strategies. The information is available. It’s well-documented, noncontroversial and relatively simple to do. Surprisingly, Malhotra’s message has been largely well-received, and hasn’t been censored to the extent that many others have.
Unfortunately, we’re still fighting against a tsunami of dietary misinformation and false advertising on a daily basis, which makes it difficult to really get this message out and make it stick. “If every day the government was putting out a message saying, ‘Metabolic health is the key,’ then we would have a really big impact,” Malhotra says.
Most People Have Poor Metabolic Health
The central thesis of Malhotra’s book is that we have a pandemic of metabolic inflexibility or metabolic ill health. There are five primary parameters of metabolic ill health, which include having:
- A large waist circumference
- Prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes
- Prehypertension or hypertension (high blood pressure)
- High blood triglycerides
- Low HDL cholesterol
If you have all of those five parameters within the normal ranges, you are in good metabolic health. Having three or more abnormal parameters is indicative of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic inflexibility can further be divided into two primary subsets, namely:
1. Insulin resistance, signs of which typically include high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, obesity and other variables connected with that.
In the U.S., NHANES data15 published in 2016 reveal 87.8% of Americans are metabolically unhealthy, based on five parameters. That data is over four years old now, so the figure is likely greater than 90% of the population today.
According to a January 2019 update by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 122 million American adults have diabetes or prediabetes16 — conditions which have been shown to increase your chances of contracting and even dying from COVID-1917,18,19,20,21,22
2. Vitamin D deficiency
Metabolic Syndrome Triples COVID-19 Fatality Risk
“The data from COVID-19 shows the highest risks of death and hospitalization are in people with metabolic syndrome, not obesity. Obesity probably doubles your risk of death, but with metabolic syndrome, it's around a 3.5 times increased risk of death — more than threefold — and about five times the risk of hospitalization if you get COVID-19.
So that is the major problem. And the reason why that's important is it also affects many, many people. This is why BMI [body mass index], to be honest, I think should be thrown out; I mean, it's useless, it's outdated.
We should be looking at metabolic health, because up to 40% of people with a so called normal BMI, who may be told they've got a healthy weight, actually are metabolically unhealthy. That's a huge proportion of people, and there are disparities depending on which ethnicity you're from.
But the basic problem with BMI, which is a calculation based upon your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared, is it doesn't take into consideration your body fat percentage, your muscle mass, your ethnicity …
It misses a huge group of people who are probably vulnerable and could institute lifestyle changes to help themselves if they were advised to do so. But a lot of them aren't being advised because they're being told they’ve got a healthy weight.
If everybody knew their metabolic health markers and were then given advice to do things about it, then, as I point out in the book, within a few weeks you'd probably notice significant changes. Of course, it's going to vary from person to person.
With regard to vitamin D, it is again something we've ignored for a long time. In the U.K., a significant proportion of people are either deficient or severely deficient in vitamin D, and it has such an important role in immune function. Most cell receptors in your body have vitamin D receptors, and it is involved in enhancing both innate and adaptive immunity.”
The bottom line is you need to have the five metabolic parameters listed above within the normal ranges, and you need an optimal blood level of vitamin D, which is now thought to be between 40 ng/mL and 60 ng/mL.
“There was a study in Indonesia that showed that in people hospitalized with COVID-19 — those who had severe vitamin D deficiency versus those that had normal ranges of vitamin D in their blood — there was a tenfold difference in death rates, which is extraordinary. So, [vitamin D] certainly has a very important role to play,” Malhotra says.
“The ideal scenario is to get vitamin D from sunlight because it actually stays in your bloodstream longer. But, certainly, at least through the winter months, you should be taking a supplement. And I think the good thing about that is it's cheap …
I suspect getting good health actually is going to come from just eating real food, and being out in nature, and doing more exercise, and reducing our stress, and social connection; all of those things, I think, are the key to longevity and good quality of life.”
How to Improve Your Metabolic Health
So, just how do you improve those five metabolic parameters? Malhotra addresses this in his book, of course. In summary, to optimize your metabolic health and reverse metabolic syndrome, you’ll want to:
• Limit or eliminate foods that promote insulin resistance — Topping this list are processed foods high in industrial seed oils, added sugars and refined carbohydrates (i.e., bread, pasta and white rice).
“Sugar is probably one of the major dietary culprits,” Malhotra says. “It certainly also, beyond its calorie issue, seems to have independent effects and adverse effects on metabolic health …
So, sugar is one of the first things I always talk about that people need to eliminate from their diet … Most people you can break those addictions usually within three to six weeks.”
As explained in my interview with Dr. Chris Knobbe, industrially processed seed oils such as canola, corn and soy oil (most of which are also genetically engineered) appear to be at the heart of most if not all chronic diseases of the modern world.
Evidence suggests they may be an even greater health threat than added sugar. Malhotra has also addressed this issue in his book, “The Pioppi Diet,”23 published in 2017. Aside from more direct harms, one of the ways in which these oils undermine your health is by skewing your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, as they’re excessively high in omega-6 linoleic acid.
When used in cooking, they also produce toxic, carcinogenic aldehydes. In lieu of seed oils, use healthy saturated fats such as coconut oil, grassfed butter, organic ghee or lard.
• Be more physically active — This too can ameliorate and reduce metabolic disease risk markers. Just be mindful not to go overboard, as excessive exercise will actually lower your immune function and put you at increased risk of respiratory infections.
• Optimize your sleep.
• Reduce your stress.
As noted by Malhotra:
“Combining all those together — that synergy of the diet and all the other lifestyle factors — has profound and rapid effects on health. So that's where we need to change the narrative.
One of the bits of advice to start with is what you should cut out ultraprocessed food and low quality carbs. At least go cold turkey for a few weeks. You may reintroduce them or have them as occasional treats, but this should not be making up the bulk of your calorie consumption.
That is really where we need to start. If you cut that out, then you will also automatically reduce your refined carbs, sugar and omega-6 oils. All of those things are going to be significantly reduced from your diet.”
Time-Restricted Eating Schedule Boosts Metabolic Health
In his book, Malhotra also recommends implementing a time-restricted eating schedule or intermittent fasting where you limit your eating to a window of, ideally, six to eight hours a day.
“My cousin, who lives in California, struggled for most of his childhood and early adulthood as being particularly overweight,” Malhotra says. “Now, he's probably the slimmest and maybe the fittest member of the whole family because he changed his diet.
He is religious with his time-restricted eating. I mean, he does it every day, and now he's literally got a flat stomach, he's in optimal metabolic health and it's amazing. But he told me it took time for him to really see the massive benefits of it. It took about a year to get rid of the last bit of fat around his belly.”
To learn more, be sure to pick up a copy of Malhotra’s book, “The 21 Day Immunity Plan.” It’s an easy read that emphasizes and summarizes the core lifestyle basics you need to understand and apply to improve your metabolic health, which in turn will reduce your risk of complications should you come down with symptomatic COVID-19 illness. Social Media info for Dr. Malhotra can be found on his site at doctoraseem.com.
We have a problem with plastic. Not only is it difficult to get rid of without damaging the environment, but we appear to have an addiction to all things disposable. In the U.S., plastic is considered an integral and necessary part of daily life. Just a stroll down the grocery store aisle reveals an unhealthy dependence on plastic, from packaging to bags for our groceries.
Fresh produce is often wrapped in plastic or sliced and shrink-wrapped in a plastic covering. Nuts, cheese, milk and lettuce are all encased in plastic. Across the world, 299 million tons were produced in 2013, much of which ended up in the oceans, threatening wildlife and environment.1 In 2015, the U.S. generated 34.4 million tons, which accounted for 13.2% of municipal solid waste.2
In the case of plastic packaging, 95% of the material value, an estimated $80 billion to $120 billion annually, is lost after its first usage, adding economic problems to other drawbacks, according to a report from the World Economic Forum.3 Now scientists are thinking about how to make plastic into food.
Exchanging Plastic for Food
With a focus on improving military logistics, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Iowa State University and partners a $2.7 million grant to make food from plastic and paper waste, which they intend to feed to military men and women.4 The ability to turn paper and plastic into a food product may help with short-term nourishment for soldiers and improve military logistics for extended missions.
They estimate the total grant award may reach $7.8 million before the project ends. Partners in this endeavor include the American Institute of Chemical Engineers RAPID Institute, the University of Delaware and Sandia National Laboratories. Initially, the system is being called the Novel Oxo-degradation to Macronutrients for Austere Deployments (NOMAD).
The aim is to convert paper waste into sugars and plastic into fatty acids and fatty alcohols. These byproducts would then be processed into a single cell biomass in the field. Other examples of single cell proteins include Vegemite and nutritional yeast. The NOMAD system must fit specific requirements to enable military troops to carry it with them during deployment and extraction.
While DARPA is initiating the project for use by the military in the field, it may not be long before such a system would be proposed as a means of providing inexpensive food stuffs for others. As explained in the press release from Iowa State University, the process could “go a long way toward solving looming problems of plastic disposal and ensuring a viable global food chain.”5
Robert Brown from Iowa State University is the principal investigator on the project. He explained how plastics and paper could biodegrade in the field and be used to grow edible yeast or bacteria:6
“When exposed to heat or ultraviolet light in the presence of oxygen, plastics convert to oxygenated compounds that can be consumed by microorganisms — plastics are, in fact, bio-degradable, but the process is very slow, as evidenced by the accumulation of plastic wastes in the environment.
We can dramatically increase oxo-degradation of plastics to fatty compounds by raising the temperature a few hundred degrees Fahrenheit. The cooled product is used to grow yeast or bacteria into single cell proteins suitable as food.”
‘An Army Marches on Its Stomach’
This familiar saying has been attributed to Napoleon and Fredrick the Great in reference to the ability of an army to perform better when their nutritional needs are met.7 While an argument could be made the food supplied to the military would be “natural” single cell protein, it's important to remember the lessons that we have learned from grain-fed beef.
There are multiple problems with raising livestock in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), including issues with the environment, water supply, humane treatment of the animals and the addition of chlorine and other toxins to clear away contaminants. Despite the outcry over CAFOs, many fall back to the claim that factory farms can feed the world. The question is — at what cost?
As nutritional analyses have revealed, issues inside the CAFOs and surrounding communities are not the only problems. The nutritional differences in beef raised or finished on grain versus beef from pasture raised animals is striking. Grass fed beef has better fatty acid composition and antioxidant content.8
The meat is higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and precursors to CLA,9 which play a role in fat metabolism and positively modify cardiometabolic risk factors which impact body composition by lowering body fat levels.10 Grass fed beef is also higher in omega 3 fats and lower in cholesterol elevating fats.11
The aim of producing more meat in less time with less effort has led to a glut on the market of beef that contributes to the ill health of those who eat it. Ronnie Cummins from the Organic Consumers Association says it best in this article:
“Before these hapless creatures are dragged away to hell, to be fattened up on GMO grains and drugged up in America’s CAFOs, their meat is high in beneficial omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), and low in ‘bad’ fats.
Unfortunately by the time their abused and contaminated carcasses arrive, all neatly packaged, at your local supermarket, restaurant, or school cafeteria, the meat is low in omega-3 and good “fats,” and routinely tainted by harmful bacteria, not to mention pesticide, steroid, and antibiotic residues.”
The lesson learned is that just because it looks like healthy beef, doesn’t mean it carries the same nutritional value as that raised in a healthy environment. Of course, the same can be said about Impossible Burgers or any other food product manufactured in the lab. In the short term it may be a solution to a military problem, but do you think it will stop there?
Is Recycling Just a Big Fraud?
Recycling is another way of attempting to reduce the problem with plastic pollution. However, the question remains as to whether this is a viable answer since there is growing evidence suggesting it may have only a minor impact under the best of circumstances.
The Guardian12 reports that Earth Island Institute filed a lawsuit against 10 major companies. The group hopes to force the organizations to take responsibility and pay for the environmental and ecological destruction their products are causing. Ramping up recycling may sound like an answer, but as the executive director of the Basel Action Network, Jim Puckett, told Rolling Stone magazine:13
“They really sold people on the idea that plastics can be recycled because there’s a fraction of them that are. It’s fraudulent. When you drill down into plastics recycling, you realize it’s a myth.”
Pucket goes on to describe how 91% of the plastic created since 1950 has never been recycled, quoting a study published in 2017.14 In addition, the reporter from Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson, wrote:15
“Unlike aluminum, which can be recycled again and again, plastic degrades in reprocessing, and is almost never recycled more than once. A plastic soda bottle, for example, might get downcycled into a carpet.”
At the rate at which plastic is being added to the ocean, it's expected there will be more plastics than fish by 2050.16 You'll find more about plastic recycling, struggles with landfill pileup and Coca-Cola undermining the recycling efforts in “Is Plastic Recycling Just a Big Fraud?”
Lifetime Average Consumption of Plastic Is Shocking
Tiny bits of plastic can be found nearly everywhere in the environment, including the food on your plate. Microplastics, as they are called, are smaller than 5 mm and have been found in foods and beverages. Drinking water is one of the largest sources from which researchers estimate the average person consumes 1,769 particles each week.17
Yet, bottled water is not the solution since it may contain even more plastic than tap water. Research published in Environmental Science and Technology suggested people who drink bottled water exclusively may consume more microplastics than those who drink tap water:18
“Additionally, individuals who meet their recommended water intake through only bottled sources may be ingesting an additional 90,000 microplastics annually, compared to 4,000 microplastics for those who consume only tap water.”
Plastic pollution likely originates from the manufacturing process of bottles and caps. When researchers tested 259 bottles of 11 bottled water brands, they found there were 325 pieces of microplastic per liter, on average.19 The brands tested included Aquafina, Evian, Dasani, San Pellegrino and Nestle Pure Life, among others.
Based on the findings from the WWF International study, Reuters created an illustration showing how much plastic a person would consume over time. According to these estimations, you may be consuming:20
- Every week — 5 grams or enough plastic to pack a soup spoon.
- Every six months — 125 grams or enough shredded flakes to fill a cereal bowl.
- Every year — 250 grams or a heaping dinner plate of shredded plastic.
- Every 10 years — 2.5 kg (5.5 pounds) or about the size of a standard life buoy.
- Over 79 years — 20 kg (44 pounds) of shredded plastic over an average lifetime.
To put this in perspective, one car tire weighs about 20 pounds.21 So a lifetime supply of plastic consumption would be like slowly eating 2.2 car tires. Thava Palanisami of the University of Newcastle, who was involved in a study conducted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), told Reuters:22
"We have been using plastic for decades but we still don't really understand the impact of micro- and nano-sized plastic particles on our health … All we know is that we are ingesting it and that it has the potential to cause toxicity. That is definitely a cause for concern."
A Call to End Plastic Pollution
The fight against plastic pollution is being carried out on several fronts. In addition to the lawsuit filed by Earth Island Institute, the WWF is calling on governments to support further research into the consequences on living organisms when microplastics are ingested. In their analysis, they note:23
"The current global approach to addressing the plastic crisis is failing. Governments play a key role to ensure all actors in the plastic system are held accountable for the true cost of plastic pollution to nature and people.”
You can help by supporting legislation that is aimed at holding companies accountable for the pollution they create. For example, New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall introduced the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020, which requires companies selling plastic products to pay for “end-of-life” initiatives that ensure plastic does not end up polluting the environment.24
Bills like this need your support since the industry has deep pockets and its players are notorious for their extensive lobbying and public relations expertise. It’s also important to remember the significant impact you can have by making simple changes in your daily life. Below is a sampling of strategies that can help:
Don't use plastic bags. Opt for reusable bags, especially for groceries
Bring your own mug for a coffee drink; skip the lid and straw
Instead of buying bottled water, bring water from home in a glass water bottle
Make sure the items you recycle are actually recyclable
Store foods in glass containers or Mason jars, not plastic containers or freezer bags
Bring your own leftovers container when eating out
Avoid processed foods, which are typically sold with plastic wrapping or plastic-lined paper boxes. Buy fresh produce and use vegetable bags brought from home
Request no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning
Use nondisposable razors, cloth diapers and rags. (Old shirts and socks make great cleaning rags)
Avoid disposable utensils and straws and buy foods in bulk when you can
Buy clothes and other items at secondhand stores. Microfibers found in newer clothing can be as destructive as plastic grocery bags
Buy infant toys and even pet toys made of wood or untreated fabric, not plastic
The video announcement1,2,3,4 above by Dr. Reiner Fuellmich5 is long, but I strongly recommend listening to it in its entirety. Fuellmich has been a consumer protection trial lawyer in California and Germany6 for 26 years and is one of four founding members of the German Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee (Außerparlamentarischer Corona Untersuchungsausschuss7),8,9 launched July 10, 2020.
The other three founding members, all lawyers, are Viviane Fischer, Antonia Fischer and Justus P. Hoffmann, Ph.D.10 Fuellmich is heading up the committee's corona crisis tort case. All meetings are live-streamed and available on the Committee's YouTube channel11 (at least for now).
According to Fuellmich, an international class-action lawsuit will be filed against those responsible for implementing the economically devastating lockdowns around the world, as well as using fraudulent testing to engineer the appearance of a dangerous pandemic.
This includes everyone from local policy makers all the way to the World Health Organization and drug companies. He claims more than 50 other countries will be following suit.
"I have been practicing law primarily as a trial lawyer against fraudulent corporations such as Deutsche bank, formerly one of the world's largest and most respected banks, today one of the most toxic criminal organizations in the world;
VW, one of the world's largest and most respected car manufacturers, today notorious for its giant diesel fraud; and Cunard and Niagara the world's largest shipping company. We're suing them in a multi-million-dollar bribery case," Fuellmich says.
"All the above-mentioned cases of corruption and fraud committed by the German corporations pale in comparison in view of the extent of the damage that the corona crisis has caused and continues to cause. This corona crisis, according to all we know today, must be renamed a corona scandal; and those responsible for it must be criminally prosecuted and sued for civil damages."
Exposing Corrupt Agendas
Fuellmich stresses that, on a political level, all-out efforts must be made to ensure "that no one will ever again be in a position of such power as to be able to defraud humanity, or to attempt to manipulate us with their corrupt agendas."
To that end, the Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee will be working with an international network of lawyers to argue the most massive tort case ever — a case Fuellmich describes as "probably the greatest crime against humanity ever committed."
As explained by Fuellmich, crimes against humanity, first defined during the Nuremberg trials following World War II, are today regulated in Section 7 of the International Criminal Code. The three questions the committee seeks to answer through judicial means are:
1. Is there a COVID-19 pandemic or is there only a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test pandemic?
Specifically, does a positive PCR test result mean that the individual is infected with SARS-CoV-2 and has COVID-19, or does it mean absolutely nothing in connection with the COVID-19 infection?
2. Do pandemic response measures such as lockdowns, mask mandates, social distancing and quarantine regulations serve to protect the world's population from COVID-19, or do these measures serve only to make people panic?
Are these measures intended to sow "panic in order to make people believe, without asking any questions, that their lives are in danger, so that the pharmaceutical and tech industries can generate huge profits from the sale of PCR tests, antigen and antibody tests and vaccines, as well as the harvesting of our genetic fingerprints?"
3. Is it true that the German government was massively lobbied — more so than any other country — by the chief protagonists of this COVID-19 pandemic?
According to Fuellmich, Germany "is known as a particularly disciplined country and was therefore to become a role model for the rest of the world for its strict and, of course, successful adherence" to pandemic measures.
Answers to these questions are urgently needed, he says, because SARS-CoV-2, which is touted as one of the most serious threats to life in modern history, "has not caused any excess mortality anywhere in the world."
Pandemic measures, on the other hand, have "caused the loss of innumerable human lives, and have destroyed the economic existence of countless companies and individuals worldwide," Fuellmich says.
He points out that in Australia, residents are now thrown into prison if they do not comply with mask rules, and in the Philippines, people can be shot dead if they defy lockdown orders or don't wear a mask.12,13 During the first week of April 2020, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced he would "not hesitate" to kill anyone challenging his pandemic restrictions:14,15
"I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police and military, as well as village officials, if there is any trouble, or occasions where there's violence and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead.
Is that understood? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you. Do not intimidate the government. Do not challenge the government. You will lose," Duterte said.
This hardly seems to be a strategy aimed at preserving life. Fuellmich goes on to present "the facts as they present themselves," based on expert testimony collected by the committee so far.
The German Congress on Global Health
According to Fuellmich, in May 2019, and again in early 2020, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany held a congress on global health. In addition to political leaders, including Mr. Tedros Adhanom, head of the WHO, and German health officials, speeches were also given by chief lobbyists of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.
"Less than a year later these very people called the shots in the proclamation of the worldwide corona pandemic, made sure that mass PCR tests were used to prove mass infections with COVID-19 all over the world, and are now pushing for vaccines to be invented and sold worldwide," Fuellmich says.
"These infections, or rather the positive test results that the PCR tests delivered, in turn became the justification for worldwide lockdowns, social distancing and mandatory face masks."
He also points out that the very definition of "pandemic" was altered 12 years ago. Originally, a pandemic was defined as a disease that spread worldwide, resulting in widespread serious illness and deaths. Twelve years ago, the definition was changed to reflect a disease that spreads worldwide only. "Many serious illnesses and many deaths were not required anymore, to announce a pandemic," he says.
The Swine Flu Pandemic That Wasn't
This change to the definition of a pandemic is what allowed the WHO to declare the swine flu a pandemic in June 2009,16 which resulted in the sale of many millions of dollars of fast-tracked swine flu vaccines. Within months, cases of disability and death from the H1N1 vaccine were reported in various parts of the world.
In the aftermath, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) questioned the WHO's handling of the pandemic. In June 2010, PACE concluded "the handling of the pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), EU health agencies and national governments led to a 'waste of large sums of public money, and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public.'"17
Specifically, PACE concluded there was "overwhelming evidence that the seriousness of the pandemic was vastly overrated by WHO," and that the drug industry had influenced the organization's decision-making.
A joint investigation by the British Medical Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) also uncovered serious conflicts of interest between the WHO — which promoted the global vaccination agenda — and the drug companies that created those vaccines.18 As noted by Fuellmich:
"These vaccines proved to be completely unnecessary because the swine flu eventually turned out to be a mild flu and never became the horrific plague that the pharmaceutical industry and its affiliated universities kept announcing it would turn into, with millions of deaths certain to happen, if people didn't get vaccinated.
These vaccines also led to serious health problems: about 700 children in Europe fell incurably ill with narcolepsy and are now forever severely disabled. The vaccines bought with millions of taxpayers' money had to be destroyed, with even more taxpayers' money."
The Virologist Responsible for Germany's Lockdown Orders
One of the characters that drummed up panic in 2009 with his doomsday prophesies was German virologist Christian Drosten, head of the Institute of Virology at the University of Bonn Medical Centre, best known for developing the first diagnostic test for SARS in 2003. He also developed a diagnostic test for the swine flu.19
Drosten spoke at the 2019 CDU congress on global health, and according to Fuellmich, when it came time to decide on a response for COVID-19, the German government relied on the opinion of Drosten alone.
"In an outrageous violation of the universally accepted principle audiator at ultra parse, which means that one must also hear the other side, the only person they listened to was Mr. Drosten, that is, the very person whose horrific panic-inducing prognosis had proved to be catastrophically false 12 years earlier," Fuellmich says.
Meanwhile, many "highly renowned scientists" painted a completely different picture of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them, professor John Ioannidis of Stanford University in California; professor Michael Levitt, a biophysicist at Stanford University and Nobel prize winner for chemistry; German professors Karin Mulling, Sucharit Bhakdi, Klud Wittkowski and Stefan Homburg.
Dr. Mike Yeadon, former vice president and scientific director of Pfizer, is also on this list. Yeadon recently went on record stating "there is no science to suggest a second wave should happen," and that false positive results from unreliable PCR tests are being used to "manufacture a 'second wave' based on 'new cases.'"20
"They assumed, and still do assume, that there was no disease that went beyond the gravity of the seasonal flu; that the population had already acquired cross or T-cell immunity against this allegedly new virus; and that there was therefore no reason for any special measures and certainly not for vaccinations," Fuellmich says.
He also quotes21 from a scientific paper published in September 2020 by Yeadon and colleagues, in which they state:
"We're basing our government policy, our economic policy and the policy of restricting fundamental rights presumably on completely wrong data and assumptions about the coronavirus. If it weren't for the test results that are constantly reported in the media, the pandemic would be over, because nothing really happened."
Commenting on "the current, actual situation regarding the virus's danger; the complete uselessness of PCR tests for the detection of infections; and the lockdowns based on nonexistent infections," Fuellmich states:
"We know that the health care systems were never in danger of becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19. On the contrary, many hospitals remain empty to this day and some are now facing bankruptcy. The hospital ship Comfort which anchored in New York at the time, and could have accommodated a thousand patients, never accommodated more than some 20 patients.
Nowhere was there any excess mortality. Studies carried out by Professor Ioannidis and others have shown that the mortality of corona is equivalent to that of the seasonal flu; even the pictures from Bergamo and New York that were used to demonstrate to the world that panic was in order proved to be deliberately misleading.
Then, the so-called 'panic paper' was leaked which was written by the German Department of the Interior. Its classified content shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that in fact the population was deliberately driven to panic by politicians and mainstream media.
The accompanying irresponsible statements of the head of the RKI, remember the CDC, Mr. Wieler who repeatedly and excitedly announced that the corona measures must be followed unconditionally by the population, without them asking any question shows that he followed the script verbatim.
In his public statements, he kept announcing that the situation was very grave and threatening although the figures compiled by his own institute proved the exact opposite. Among other things, the panic paper calls for children to be made to feel responsible, and I quote, 'for the painful tortured death of their parents and grandparents if they do not follow the corona rules.'"
Fuellmich goes on to cite data showing that in Bergamo, Italy, 94% of deaths were not the result of COVID-19 infection spreading wild but, rather, the consequence of the government's decision to transfer sick patients from hospitals to nursing homes, where they spread infection — colds, flu and SARS-CoV-2 — among the old and frail.
This was also done by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,22 in direct violation of federal guidelines,23 as well as in Minnesota, Ohio,24 Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan and California.25 Fuellmich also points out the routine malpractice that occurred in some New York hospitals, where all suspected COVID-19 patients were placed on mechanical ventilation, which turned out to be a death sentence.
"Again, to clarify, COVID-19 … is a dangerous disease, just like the seasonal flu is a dangerous disease, and of course COVID-19, just like the seasonal flu, may sometimes take a severe clinical course and will sometimes kill patients," Fuellmich says.
"However, as autopsies have shown, which were carried out in Germany, in particular by the forensic scientist Professor Klaus Püschel in Hamburg, the fatalities he examined had almost all been caused by serious pre-existing conditions and almost all of the people who had died, had died at a very old age, just like in Italy, meaning they had lived beyond their average life expectancy.
In this context, the following should also be mentioned: the German RKI, that is again the equivalent of the CDC, had initially, strangely enough, recommended that no autopsies be performed and there are numerous credible reports that doctors and hospitals worldwide had been paid money for declaring a deceased person a victim of COVID-19 rather than writing down the true cause of death on the death certificate, for example a heart attack or a gunshot wound.
Without the autopsies, we would never know that the overwhelming majority of the alleged COVID-19 victims had died of completely different diseases but not of COVID-19."
Lockdowns Were and Are Unnecessary
Based on the expert testimony collected so far by Fuellmich and his colleagues, lockdowns were unnecessary, and any claim to the contrary is wrong. The three reasons for this are:
- Lockdowns were imposed at a time when the virus was already in retreat and infection rates were starting to decline
- Scientific evidence shows a majority of people already have built-in protection against the virus due to cross-reactive T cell immunity from exposure to cold and flu viruses26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35
- The PCR test — which is being used as a gauge of infection rates and a justification for restrictive measures — "do not give any indication of an infection with any virus let alone an infection with SARS-CoV-2"
The PCR Test Fraud
First of all, the PCR test have not been approved for diagnostic purposes. Its inventor, Kary Mullis, has repeatedly yet unsuccessfully stressed that this test should not be used as a diagnostic tool. As noted by Fuellmich:
"[PCR tests] are simply incapable of diagnosing any disease ... A positive PCR test result does not mean that an infection is present. If someone tests positive, it does not mean that they're infected with anything, let alone with the contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus. Even the United States CDC … agrees with this and I quote directly from page 38 of one of its publications on the coronavirus and the PCR tests dated July 13 2020:36
- Detection of viral RNA may not indicate the presence of infectious virus or that 2019-nCoV is the causative agent for clinical symptoms.
- The performance of this test has not been established for monitoring treatment of 2019-nCoV infection.
- This test cannot rule out diseases caused by other bacterial or viral pathogens.
The PCR swabs take one or two sequences of a molecule that are invisible to the human eye and therefore need to be amplified in many cycles to make it visible. Everything over 35 cycles is … considered completely unreliable and scientifically unjustifiable.
However, the Drosten test as well as the WHO recommended tests … are set to 45 cycles. Can that be because of the desire to produce as many positive results as possible and thereby provide the basis for the false assumption that a large number of infections have been detected?"
Equally important is the fact that PCR tests cannot distinguish between inactive viruses and "live" or reproductive ones. As a result, they may pick up dead debris or inactive viral particles that pose no risk whatsoever to the patient and others. What's more, the test can pick up the presence of other coronaviruses, so a positive result may simply indicate that you've recuperated from a common cold in the past.
"Even Drosten himself declared in an interview with a German business magazine in 2014 … that these PCR tests are so highly sensitive that even very healthy and non-infectious people may test positive," Fuellmich notes.
"In my view, it is completely implausible that [Drosten] forgot in 2020 what he knew about the PCR tests and told the business magazine in 2014. In short, this test cannot detect any infection, contrary to all false claims stating that it can.
An infection, a so-called hot infection, requires that the virus … penetrates into the cells, replicates there and causes symptoms such as headaches or a sore throat. Only then is a person really infected, in the sense of a hot infection; because only then is a person contagious, that is, able to infect others.
Until then it is completely harmless for both the host and all other people that the host comes into contact with … A number of highly respected scientists worldwide assume that there has never been a corona pandemic but only a PCR test pandemic …
Dr. Yeadon, in agreement with the professors of immunology, Camera from Germany, Capel from the Netherlands and Cahill from Ireland as well as a microbiologist, Dr. Harvey from Austria, all of whom testified before the German corona committee, explicitly points out that a positive test does not mean that an intact virus has been found."
In the September 20, 2020 article37 "Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics — The Deadly Danger of False Positives," Yeadon details the problems with basing our pandemic response on positive PCR tests.
In summary, the PCR test simply measures the presence of partial DNA sequences that are present in a virus, but it cannot tell us whether that virus is active or inactive. Chances are, if you have no symptoms, a positive test simply means it has detected inactive viral DNA in your body. This would also mean that you are not contagious.
While mortality statistics during the pandemic have been within the norms of any given year,38,39 meaning the pandemic has not resulted in an excess number of deaths or a death toll higher than normal, the collateral damage from pandemic response measures is nearly incalculable. Public health, both physical and mental, as well as the global economy, have all suffered tremendous blows.
Fuellmich cites yet another leaked document written by a German official in the Department of the Interior, dubbed "the False Alarm paper,"40,41 which concludes that there's no evidence to suggest SARS-CoV-2 posed a serious health risk for the population, at least the danger is no greater than that of many other viruses, while pandemic measures have "manifold" and "grave" consequences.
"This, he concludes, will lead to very high claims for damages, which the government will be held responsible for. This has now become reality but the paper's author was suspended," Fuellmich says.
"More and more scientists, but also lawyers, recognize that as a result of the deliberate panic-mongering and the corona measures enabled by this panic, democracy is in great danger of being replaced by fascist totalitarian models …
According to psychologists and psychotherapists who testified before the corona committee, children are traumatized en masse, with the worst psychological consequences yet to be expected in the medium and long term.
In Germany alone, 500,000 to 800,000 bankruptcies are expected in the fall to strike small and medium-sized businesses which form the backbone of the economy. This will result in incalculable tax losses and incalculably high and long-term social security money transfers for, among other things, unemployment benefits."
In closing, Fuellmich reviews the legal consequences that are currently underway. This includes looking at the constitutionality of the measures. He notes:
"Very recently, a judge, Torsten Schleife … declared publicly that the German judiciary, just like the general public has been so panic-stricken that it was no longer able to administer justice properly. He says that the courts of law, and I quote:
'Have all too quickly waved through coercive measures which for millions of people all over Germany represent massive suspensions of their constitutional rights.' He points out that German citizens, again I quote:
'Are currently experiencing the most serious encroachment on their constitutional rights since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949. In order to contain the corona pandemic federal and state governments have intervened,' he says, 'massively and in part threatening the very existence of the country, as it is guaranteed by the constitutional rights of the people.'"
Then there are the issues of fraud, intentional infliction of damage and crimes against humanity. According to Fuellmich, there's evidence showing a range of falsehoods and misrepresentations of facts have purposely been circulated, such that, based on the rules of criminal law, "it can only be assessed as fraud," and "based on the rules of civil tort law, this translates into intentional infliction of damage."
"The German professor of civil law, Martin Schwab, supports this finding in public interviews in a comprehensive legal opinion of around 180 pages. He has familiarized himself with the subject matter like no other legal scholar has done thus far and in particular has provided a detailed account of the complete failure of the mainstream media to report on the true facts of this so-called pandemic," Fuellmich says.
"Under the rules of civil tort law, all those who have been harmed by these PCR tests, PCR tests induced lockdowns are entitled to receive full compensation for their losses. In particular, there is a duty to compensate, that is, a duty to pay damages, for the loss of profits suffered by companies and self-employed persons as a result of the lockdown, and other measures.
In the meantime, however, the anti-corona measures have caused and continue to cause such devastating damage to the world's population's health and economy that the crimes committed by Messrs Drosten, Wieler and the WHO must be legally qualified as actual crimes against humanity, as defined in Section 7 of the International Criminal Code."
To address these grievances, the German Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee is prepared to file a class-action lawsuit — a legal remedy available in the U.S. and Canada — against the responsible parties.
"It should be emphasized that nobody must join the class action, but every injured party can join the class action," Fuellmich explains. "The advantage of the class action is that only one trial is needed, namely, to try the complaint of a representative plaintiff who is affected in a manner typical of everyone else in the class."
Such a lawsuit would also open the door to pretrial discovery, which requires all relevant evidence to be presented to the other party. Destruction or withholding evidence has serious consequences, as "the party withholding or … destroying evidence loses the case under these evidence rules."
In Germany, a group of tort lawyers have already started the process of disseminating information and legal forms, and estimating damages among German plaintiffs. Fuellmich concludes his announcement explaining how the lawsuit will proceed from here:
"Initially, this group of lawyers had considered to also collect and manage the claims for damages of other non-German plaintiffs but this proved to be unmanageable.
However, through an international lawyers' network, which is growing larger by the day, the German group of attorneys provides to all of their colleagues, in all other countries, free of charge, all relevant information, including expert opinions and testimonies of experts showing that the PCR tests cannot detect infections and they also provide them with all relevant information as to how they can prepare and bundle the claims for damages of their clients so that they too can assert their clients claims for damages either in their home countries, courts of law, or within the framework of the class action as explained above …
To the politicians, who believe those corrupt people, these facts are hereby offered as a lifeline, that can help you readjust your course of action and start the long overdue public scientific discussion and not go down with those charlatans and criminals."
Niacin is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a vital signaling molecule1 that’s also believed to play an important role in longevity. This is partly due to its role as an essential substrate for sirtuins,2 which are enzymes related to healthy aging, as well as its role in DNA repair.
NAD+ modulates energy production and many enzymes and in so doing controls hundreds of processes in your body including the survival of cells and energy metabolism. NAD+ is influenced on a daily basis by what you eat, exercise levels and more, and also declines with age, leading to changes in metabolism and an increased risk of disease.3
Boosting NAD+ levels may be akin to a fountain of youth, which is where NR comes in. While there are many ways to increase NAD+, including time-restricted eating and exercise while fasting, supplementation with NAD+ precursors may also be useful.
Why Is NR so Beneficial?
There are multiple precursors to NAD+, each with its own physiologic effects. Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a popular one with several notable benefits over other precursors like niacin (NA) and niacinamide (NAM). NA, for instance, may induce uncomfortable flushing, while NAM may inhibit sirtuin at high doses, both undesirable effects.4
“Therefore, administration of niacin or niacinamide is unlikely to be widely adopted for maintaining health and function with aging,” researchers wrote in Nature Communications.5 NR has also been shown to offer a variety of significant health benefits. Among them:6
Life extension — In yeast, NR elevates NAD+ and increases sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) function.7 It’s through these increases in NAD+ and sirtuin 2 that calorie restriction is believed to help extend lifespan in mice as well.8
Protects against weight gain — NR supplementation in mice increased NAD+ levels and activated SIRT1 and SIRT3, leading to enhanced oxidative metabolism and protecting against high-fat, diet-induced metabolic abnormalities, including obesity.
The researchers concluded, “Our results indicate that the natural vitamin NR could be used as a nutritional supplement to ameliorate metabolic and age-related disorders characterized by defective mitochondrial function.”9
Heart failure — In a mouse study, NR preserved cardiac function in mice with heart failure.10
Brain injury — NAD+ depletion is common in cases of neurodegeneration. In a mouse study, intracortical administration of NR helped protect against central brain injury.11
Noise-induced hearing loss — Administration of NR, even after exposure to loud noise, prevents noise-induced hearing loss by reducing neurite degeneration.12
Liver protection and antidiabetes effects — In prediabetic mice, NR improved glucose tolerance and reduced weight gain and liver damage. It also prevented fatty liver and helped prevent sensory neuropathy. The researchers concluded the results justified testing NR in humans with obesity and Type 2 diabetes.13
Stem cell regeneration — Among mice exposed to radiation, oral NR improved survival and hematopoietic stem cell regeneration—a benefit that wasn’t seen with in mice given NA or NAM.14
Reversal of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy — In rats, oral NR not only promoted resistance to chemotherapeutic neuropathy but also prompted its reversal.15
Reproductive benefits — Female mice and rats given NR had increased lactation and offspring with a number of health advantages, including increased strength, better memory, less anxiety and enhanced body composition and hippocampal neurogenesis as adults.16
NR Is a Superior Choice Among NAD+ Precursors
Because of its unique profile of benefits and low risks, NR has emerged as a popular choice, especially by its discoverer, biochemist Charles Brenner, among the NAD+ precursors. In Scientific Reports, researchers noted:17
“Because NR does not cause flushing or inhibit sirtuins and the genes (NRK1 and NRK2) required for the metabolism of NR to NAD+ are upregulated in conditions of metabolic stress, NR has a particularly strong potential as a distinct vitamin B3 to support human wellness during metabolic stress and aging.”
Further, according to scientists, these things combined make NR a popular choice for boosting NAD+:18
“NR has unique properties that differentiate it from both niacin and nicotinamide. Unlike niacin, NR does not cause flushing — even at high doses, NR has been shown to be safe in human studies at doses as high as 2000mg/day and does not inhibit sirtuins like nicotinamide. In fact, NR has been shown to activate sirtuins in multiple preclinical studies.
Furthermore, a preclinical study published in Nature Communications, demonstrated that when all three forms of vitamin B3 (niacin, nicotinamide, and NR) were tested head-to-head, NR was not only the most effective at increasing NAD⁺ levels, but it was also the most effective at activating sirtuins.”
The Nature Communications study they referred to found, in fact, that single doses of 100, 300 and 1,000 milligrams (mg) of NR produced dose-dependent increases in NAD+ in humans. They also revealed that blood levels of NAD+ can rise as much as 2.7-fold after a single dose of NR.19
The scientists compared NR to a ski lift, citing that it provided a more direct route to increased NAD+ levels than NR or NAM:20
“NA and NAM both reach the top of the mountain (successfully produce NAD⁺), however, the paths are winding, and the path for NAM includes inefficiencies in the form of obstacles. Traveling these paths takes more time and energy, which ideally, we would like to conserve in efforts to maximize energy production. The path of NR to NAD⁺ is analogous to the ease of using a ski lift to reach the top of a mountain.
It is much more direct, saving both time and energy — ultimately resulting in the greatest increase in cellular energy production. This concept is further supported by both preclinical and clinical research that suggest NR is the most efficient and effective form of vitamin B3 at boosting NAD⁺ levels.”
Why Boosting NAD+ Is Important
As mentioned, the reason why researchers are so excited over NR is because it appears to efficiently and safely boost NAD+, which otherwise declines with age. In animal studies, restoring NAD+ levels in older or diseased individuals promoted better health ad extended life span, which suggests NAD-boosting molecules like NR have the potential to increase resilience, reduce disease and extend healthy lifespan in humans as well.21
As an aside, it may even have usefulness for COVID-19. According to David Sinclair with Harvard Medical School, the elderly tend to have higher levels of NLRP3 inflammasomes, which appear to be key culprits involved in cytokine storms, which can occur in COVID-19 patients. NLRP3 activity also appears to be influenced by NAD+ levels. Sinclair and colleagues explained in the journal Aging:22
"In older individuals, NLRP3 may be poised for hyperactivation by SARS-CoV-2 antigens. NLRP3 activity is under the direct control of sirtuin 2 (SIRT2), a member of the NAD+-dependent sirtuin family of deacetylases. During aging, NAD+ levels decline, reducing the activity of the sirtuins.
Old mice … have decreased glucose tolerance and increased insulin resistance. This decline, exacerbated by COVID-19, might promote hyperactivation of NLRP3 and the trigger [for] cytokine storms in COVID-19 patients.
Maintaining NAD+ levels may therefore alleviate COVID-19 symptoms, a possibility supported by recent data showing that SARS-CoV-2 proteins hyperactivate poly-ADP-ribose polymerases PARP9, -10, -12, and -14 and deplete cellular NAD+. Additionally, NAD+ precursors lower inflammation in human subjects.”
NAD+ May Be Depleted by 50% by Age 60
Research into NAD+ is still in its infancy, but James Clement, author of “The Switch: Ignite Your Metabolism With Intermittent Fasting, Protein Cycling, and Keto,”23 conducted his own research, starting with a clinical trial testing intravenous NAD+ in elderly people, in collaboration with Dr. John Sturges, who has integrated NAD therapy into his private practice.
Clement underwent the treatment himself, which involved an infusion of 1,000 mg of NAD+ per day for six straight days, and found it remarkably effective for tremors he'd had since he was 20 years old. In my interview with Clement, he stated:
"My hands would shake … It was just some neurological problem. It wasn't the onset of Parkinson's at 20 years old or anything else that anyone could point to. But surprisingly, within an hour or two of starting the IV infusion, my tremors went away completely, which I had had for the previous 40 years.
I noticed later that evening that I fell asleep and didn't wake up during the middle of the night … I woke up way earlier than I normally would, completely refreshed and ready to get back to work. This was the same kind of experiences all of our elderly patients were telling us as well. We had several people who had tremors that went away.”
While he believes 1,000 mg may be too much for those who don’t have a severe NAD+ depletion — and is also cost prohibitive, at $1,000 per IV — he noted that many lifestyle factors can reduce your levels, including alcohol consumption.
Aging is another factor and, according to Clement, NAD+ may be depleted by 50% by the time you’re 60 (compared to in your 20s or 30s), and when you’re 70 you may only have 10% of the amount you did when you were younger.
“And then at 80, there's almost none,” he said, adding that this will seriously impair your body’s ability to repair broken DNA. “You can see how this huge buildup of damaged DNA in every cell of your body is potentially one of the driving forces of these morbidities that you see with aging, heart disease, cancer [and] Alzheimer's …"
How to Raise Your NAD+ Levels
I think it is best for everyone to make sure that they are getting about 25 mg of niacin per day. This can be done by using Chronometer.com, a free online nutrient analyzer, and/or taking a niacin supplement. Ideally it should be about 12.5 mg taken twice a day, which would be unlikely to cause flushing in most everyone.
Once you have done that you could use NR, but I believe NR has several major problems. One is that it is not inexpensive, although it certainly is less costly than using NAD+ directly. However, once you swallow it your liver detoxifies it and adds a methyl group to it so it tends not to form NAD+ as well in tissues outside the liver.
An alternative strategy would be to make a homemade rectal suppository and deliver the dose that way. This bypasses the liver and would supply the NR directly into your bloodstream. If you were to use NR this would be the better way to administer it.
If you’d prefer to avoid supplementation, there are additional strategies that can help. As mentioned, this includes exercise and time-restricted eating. It’s also important to remember that NR supplementation is not a magic potion.
To maximize its effects, you’ll want to use it in conjunction with an overall healthy lifestyle — one that involves optimizing your sleep, limiting EMF exposure, exercising, intermittently fasting and avoiding food for at least three hours before bed, lest your efforts all be in vain.
I’ve written many articles reviewing a wide variety of therapies demonstrated or hypothesized to have a positive impact on SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease progression. Now, we can add nitric oxide (NO) to the list — not to be confused with nitrous oxide (N2O, a sedative often referred to as laughing gas). According to Åke Lundkvist, a professor at Uppsala University who led the study1 in question:2
"To our knowledge, nitric oxide is the only substance shown so far to have a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2. Until we get a vaccine that works, our hope is that inhalation of NO might be an effective form of treatment. The dosage and timing of starting treatment probably play an important part in the outcome, and now needs to be explored as soon as possible."
What Is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric oxide (NO) is a soluble gas continually produced from the amino acid L-arginine inside your cells. While NO is a free radical, it’s also an important biological signaling molecule that supports normal endothelial function and protects your mitochondria — the little “power stations” in your cells that produce a majority of your body’s energy in the form of ATP.
It’s stored in the lining of your endothelium (blood vessels), and can be triggered either through exercise or dietary means. NO is a potent vasodilator, helping relax and widen the diameter of your blood vessels.
Healthy blood flow in turn allows for efficient oxygenation of tissues and organs, and aids in the removal of waste and carbon dioxide. Importantly, NO infuses into areas that are hypoxic, meaning in need of oxygen, and both your heart and brain3,4 are heavy oxygen users. NO also:
Improves your immune function, making your body better equipped to fight off foreign pathogens
Has powerful antibacterial potential
Protects your mitochondrial health
Helps maintain physiological homeostasis — For example, in your gut, NO regulates mucosal blood flow, intestinal motility and the thickness of mucus
Plays an important role in the homeostasis of reactive oxygen species, which can have a significant impact on metabolic pathways5
Helps suppress inflammation
Promotes angiogenesis, the formation of new, healthy blood vessels6
Helps improve your physical fitness — For example, raw beets have been shown to boost stamina during exercise by as much as 16% as a result of the increase in NO production7
Improves brain neuroplasticity by improving oxygenation of the somatomotor cortex, a brain area that is often affected in the early stages of dementia8,9
Helps reverse metabolic syndrome10 and has antidiabetic effects11,12
NO Effectively Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication
As mentioned, NO is known to have broad-spectrum antimicrobial effects, and Swedish researchers have now demonstrated that NO effectively inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro by targeting the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. The study13 in question was published in the October 2020 issue of Redox Biology. As explained in various sections of this paper:14
“Nitric oxide (NO) is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial and a potent vasodilator that has proved to be effective in reducing SARS-CoV replication and hypoxia in patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome …
NO has been demonstrated as an effective antiviral against SARS-CoV in vitro and in vivo by inhalation in very low concentrations in a small clinical trial.
Furthermore, inhaled NO improved arterial oxygenation in hypoxemic patients by redistributing blood flow in the lung to better ventilated regions, and counteracted blood clotting, both effects being of importance for COVID-19 patients.
The role of NO-inhalation in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 has been proposed, but no clinical data has yet been reported. In the present study the antiviral effect of NO on SARS-CoV-2 infected cells was tested in vitro …
The NO-donor S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) had a dose dependent inhibitory effect on SARS-CoV-2 replication … SNAP (NO donor), but not NAP (NO-lacking version of SNAP) showed a dose dependent reduction of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA copy numbers, which proves that NO has an antiviral effect against SARS-CoV-2 and probably in the similar manner as previously described for SARS-CoV and other viruses …
Although the viral replication was not completely abolished (at 200 μM and 400 μM), SNAP delayed or completely prevented the development of viral cytopathic effect in treated cells, and the observed protective effect correlated with the level of inhibition of the viral replication.”
The image below compares and contrasts the cytopathic effects over time (24-hour intervals) between cells treated with SNAP (a NO donor) at 200 μM and 400 μM, and untreated controls. The cells are magnified 100 times.
SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Is an Attractive Drug Candidate
The SARS-CoV-2 main protease is a key enzyme in the virus’ life cycle,15 which makes it an attractive target for drug development.16 As explained in one Science paper,17 the SARS-CoV-2 main protease enzyme “cuts the polyproteins translated from viral RNA to yield functional viral proteins.”
By targeting this enzyme, researchers believe you can effectively combat SARS-CoV-2, and that is precisely what NO does. According to the Swedish researchers:18
“Based on this study and previous studies on SARS-CoV in vitro, and in a small clinical trial, we conclude that NO may be applied for clinical use in the treatment of COVID-19 and other human coronavirus infections.”
How to Increase NO Production Naturally
While the Swedish researchers suggest using NO inhalation therapy — which is already used for conditions such as hypoxic respiratory failure in adults19 and respiratory failure in neonates20 — you could also boost your resilience against the virus by implementing lifestyle strategies that increase your natural NO production.
For clarity, these strategies would not be of immediate help if you come down with a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Rather, by increasing your body’s production of NO on a regular basis, the virus may be less likely to gain a foothold if you’re exposed to it. That said, three strategies that will increase NO production in your body include:
- Blood flow restriction training (BFR)21
- Getting sensible sun exposure on large portions of your body, as NO is released into your bloodstream when sunlight hits your skin22,23
- Eating nitrate-rich plant foods24,25,26 such as arugula and red beets. NO production can be further magnified by combining these foods with probiotics27
BFR Boosts Vascular Function by Increasing NO
To give you some more details about these strategies, BFR has been shown to improve your vascular function, and one of the ways by which it does this is by increasing NO production. As explained in a 2012 study published in the International Journal of Vascular Medicine:28
“… after several minutes of arterial cuff occlusion at proximal or distal portion in any artery, for example, brachial and popliteal artery, immediate cuff deflation can lead to increase shear stress induced by reactive hyperemia and activate endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS).
This activation leads to a shear-stress-mediated augmented NO production in endothelial cells … NO bioavailability in the endothelial cell … is an important factor and predictor in protecting against cardiovascular disease.”
The local muscle hypoxia brought on by BFR exercise also significantly increases vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which act like “fertilizer” for your blood vessels. The medical term for this development of new blood vessels is angiogenesis. Angiogenesis, in turn, enhances NO bioavailability.
The following graph illustrates the vascular changes that occur in response to BFR. To learn more about BFR, including how to perform it properly, see “What You Need to Know About Blood Flow Restriction Training.”
Whole Body UVA Irradiation Triggers NO Release
Next up: Sun exposure. It doesn’t get any easier than this, really. All you need to do is expose as much skin as possible to bright sunlight. As always, you’ll want to make sure you don’t stay out too long. Sunburn is counterproductive as it will only harm your skin. Once your skin turns the lightest shade of pink, move into the shade or put on clothing and a hat.
Ultraviolet A (UVA) and the near-infrared light spectrum both increase NO, so you’re getting that benefit from both ends of the light spectrum. As explained in a 2009 paper29 in the journal Circulation Research, when you expose your body to sunlight, photolabile NO derivates such as nitrite and S-nitroso thiols decompose and form vasoactive NO. (Photolabile means the compounds are altered or undergo chemical changes in response to light).
Eat a Nitrate-Rich Diet
Lastly, the dietary component. Dietary nitrates are converted into nitrites by oral bacteria during chewing. Once the nitrites are swallowed and come into contact with stomach acid, they get converted into NO. You can find more in-depth details about this conversion in “Top 9 Reasons to Optimize Your NO Production.” Nitrate-rich foods that can boost your NO level include:30,31,32
Red beets / fermented beets
Butter leaf lettuce
Spring greens like mesclun mix
Oak leaf lettuce
As mentioned, taking a probiotic can optimize the NO production when eating nitrate-rich foods. The reason for this is because gut bacteria are involved in the first step of the NO metabolism chain. Probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus reduce nitrate to nitrite, the latter of which becomes a substrate for NO. So, by adding probiotics, you increase the NO substrate, which allows for higher levels of NO to be generated.
Aside from the many benefits already listed, NO has also been shown to improve muscle contractions in your diaphragm, thereby improving breathing. This, beside its antiviral effects, can have a direct benefit for COVID-19.
For the study,33 researchers split old mice into two groups. (For reference, the mice used in the study were 24 months old, which is equivalent to about 70 years of age in humans.) One group was given drinking water that contained sodium nitrate daily for 14 days. The other group was given plain water.
After the study period, they measured the isometric force and peak power of the diaphragm muscles in the mice and found that both significantly increased in the nitrate group. This increase in force and power translated to improved contraction of the diaphragm muscle, which can then improve lung function and breathing.
The increased power in the diaphragm could also help older people clear their lungs more effectively, which may help reduce the risk of developing infections. Your body’s ability to produce NO declines with age, so it’s important to take steps to increase your NO production as you get older. Respiratory muscle function also declines with age, contributing to breathing troubles, impaired airway clearance and a decreased quality of life.
Since nitrates can improve muscle function of the diaphragm, it may help improve the outlook for older populations with respiratory infections like COVID-19. Dietary nitrates also improve oxygen uptake by dilating the blood vessels and allowing more oxygen to be delivered to muscles, like the diaphragm, and other cells.34
How Molecular Hydrogen Impacts NO Production
In conclusion, I’d like to address the detrimental side of NO, and how this plays into COVID-19. As explained by Tyler W. LeBaron in a recent video lecture featured in “How Molecular Hydrogen Can Help Your Immune System,” most of the destruction wrought by SARS-CoV-2 is through reactive oxygen species (ROS) and systemic inflammation.
And, as mentioned earlier, NO is both a free radical and a signaling molecule. As such, it can have either positive or negative effects, depending on its levels and what else is going on.
ROS are molecules that cause oxidative damage. However, they’re not all bad all the time. Neutrophils that produce ROS also produce NO and superoxide. Superoxide helps kill pathogens, but you also don’t want too much of it, so it needs to be regulated. The same goes for NO.
While NO can inhibit viral replication and boost your immune system, you don’t want too much, because as levels of superoxide and NO rise, they combine and form peroxynitrites, which are extremely damaging. Peroxynitrites in turn form hydroxyl radicals, the most cytotoxic ROS.
Normally, when superoxide has done its job, it’s converted by superoxide dismutase into hydrogen peroxide, which in turn is converted into water and oxygen. This process is regulated by a transcription factor called Nrf2/keap1.
When this transcription factor is activated, it triggers your body’s natural antioxidants such as glutathione and catalase. Nrf2 — which is involved in phase 2 detoxification — regulates more than 200 protective proteins and enzymes. The problem is that when ROS is overabundant and out of control, the Nrf2 system is depleted and can no longer regulate the inflammatory process.
Molecular hydrogen (H2 gas) has the ability to activate the Nrf2/keap1 pathway, thereby replenishing your endogenous antioxidants. In so doing, H2 helps regulate and maintain homeostasis in the whole system, preventing the infection from getting out of control and causing cell death.
H2 can also lower excessive NO and superoxide production by downregulating NOX and NOS enzymes. In a scenario such as COVID-19, this would be good, as when these two molecules are excessively elevated they combine to create the pernicious peroxynitrite molecule.
Considering very high levels of NO appear to be part of the COVID-19 disease process in the later stages, it seems NO inhalation therapy might be best suited in the early stages of infection, not the more advanced stages when inflammation is running wild.
As noted by the Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance,35,36 peak viral replication takes place at the earliest signs of symptoms, which include cold/flu-like symptoms, loss of taste and smell, myalgia (muscle pain) and general malaise.
At this time, the focus should be on antiviral therapies — which is what NO inhalation therapy, in this case, could be designated as. As symptoms worsen, viral replication actually diminishes automatically, giving way to immune dysregulation, so at this point, NO might cause more problems than it solves.
Nebulized Hydrogen Peroxide — A Highly Effective Home Remedy
While unrelated to NO, I believe one of the most effective treatment options available is nebulized hydrogen peroxide. This is a home remedy I recommend everyone familiarize themselves with, as in many cases it can improve symptoms within mere hours. It is particularly effective in those who are in the later stages of the illness.
Dr. David Brownstein, who has successfully treated over 100 COVID-19 patients with nebulized hydrogen peroxide, published a case paper37 about this treatment in the July 2020 issue of Science, Public Health Policy and The Law. He also discusses its benefits in a recent interview I did with him.
In my April 2020 article, “Could Hydrogen Peroxide Treat Coronavirus?” I reviewed some of the basic science of how hydrogen peroxide works, as well as some of the studies assessing its therapeutic potential. The most relevant study38 was published in March 2020 in the Journal of Hospital Infection. They studied 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, and found it killed human coronaviruses, including the coronaviruses responsible for SARS and MERS.
Nebulized hydrogen peroxide is extremely safe. Brownstein has used it for 25 years with no ill effects being found. It’s also incredibly inexpensive, and you can administer it at home, without a prescription. In my view, it is one of the absolute best therapies for viral infections like SARS-CoV-2 or even worse respiratory viruses that will likely be unleashed in the future.
I strongly recommend buying a desktop nebulizer. It needs to produce a very fine mist, and desktop versions are stronger than handheld battery operated models. The one I use is the Pari Trek S Compressor Aerosol System with a face mask, (sold separately) not with the supplied mouth piece.
It is important to acquire the equipment and peroxide BEFORE you need it, as the sooner you treat the infection the better your results will be, although the testimonials are unbelievably impressive even in late stage illness. It is not necessary to treat yourself preventively, but only if you are sick or exposed to someone who is.
While I’ve been using a 0.1% dilution, Brownstein uses an even lower concentration of just 0.04%. Neither Brownstein nor I recommend using commercial 3% hydrogen peroxide found in most grocery stores, as it has potentially toxic chemical stabilizers in it. For optimal benefits, use food-grade peroxide and dilute it appropriately, using saline.
To dilute 35% food-grade peroxide into a 0.04% solution, first dilute it down to 3% by mixing 1 part peroxide with 10 parts sterile water, then take 3 cubic centimeters (CCs) of that 3% dilution and add it to a 250CC bag of normal saline. This brings it down to a .04% hydrogen peroxide concentration. In the video above, I go over the basics of how to do nebulized peroxide.
In a fast-paced society where productivity is often prized more than rest and relaxation, sleep has become an undervalued commodity. Yet, as science has found, sleep is necessary for optimal health, and it is one of the foundational pillars on which your longevity rests.1
After years of research and analysis, scientists have also found there are unique changes that happen in the body during sleep to help protect your brain and overall health. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the quantity and quality of sleep have been negatively impacted.2 Sleep neurologists are calling the resulting sleep disturbances “COVID-Somnia.”3
Neurology Today reports that from February 16 to March 15, 2020, prescriptions for medications used for sleep problems rose 14.8% compared to the same period in 2019.4 This was well before the U.S. experienced the first lockdown in California on March 17, 2020.5 In other words, anticipation of a potential event raised anxiety levels and made it more difficult for people to sleep.
Experts from the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep list other factors that have also created a rising challenge with sleep disorders, including disrupted daily schedules, reduced exposure to sun in the mornings, more napping during the day and excessive use of digital media in the evening.
Dr. Rachel Salas, associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins, spoke with a reporter from Neurology Today and described the situation:6
“All our patients are suffering from shifts in their sleep patterns due to their fears about getting the virus, concerns about loved ones, not being able to go to work, not having social contact with others.
Some of them now meet the diagnostic criteria for chronic insomnia: not being able to fall asleep within 30 minutes more than three times a week for more than three months. They get into bed, the brain kicks in, they start worrying if they're going to lose their job, if their family member is going to survive, and they literally cannot fall asleep.”
In addition to discovering the small things you can do that a big difference in the quality of your sleep, it may also help reduce concerns by learning how you can take control of your health. One of the simplest, most effective and easiest ways to reduce your risk of COVID-19 and the severity of illness is to raise your vitamin D levels, which I discuss in “Vitamin D Cuts Sars-CoV-2 Infection Rate by Half.”
Mattress Coolers Help Challenges With Foam Mattresses
A 2016 study reported in BedTimes Magazine revealed that specialty bedding is purchased by nearly 30% of people, including 16% who buy foam-only mattresses.7 CNBC reports there are nearly 175 online companies shipping foam bed-in-a-box mattresses directly to your front door.8
CNBC also reports that the International Sleep Products Association survey in 2018 showed that 45% of mattresses purchased that year were online.9 Foam mattresses were first introduced in the 1950s but initially had little impact on innerspring mattress sales.10
By the 1960s the U.S. space program sought to modify the current foam product for the astronauts' seat cushions. The ability of the foam to contour to the body is triggered by body heat. The rising popularity of these mattresses has likely sparked the development of a new product designed to keep sleepers cool at night.
Traditional innerspring mattresses naturally provide good air flow throughout the product and help your body to regulate temperature.11 However, the design of a memory foam mattress reduces air flow as it absorbs heat from your body to trigger the contouring effect that many find more comfortable.12
There are a variety of products that attempt to address the concerns of “sleeping hot” on a foam mattress. These include foam mattresses with built-in stretch knit toppers to wick away moisture and keep you cool, and traditional spring mattresses with foam toppers covered in organic cotton.13 Other companies have developed separate toppers for memory foam to help absorb moisture and regulate heat.14
The Importance of Temperature Control at Night
Companies advertise additional benefits to using a topper such as extending the life of your mattress, isolating movements from your partner or pet and providing relief to tired joints. Choices in material, firmness level, size and cost are available. Another option is a water-cooling topper system, which uses a thermal control unit to regulate the temperature of the mattress.15
Some, like Chris Masterjohn, Ph.D., are satisfied with their cooling mattress.16 Yet, not all cooling mattresses help all people. If you choose to try one there are a couple of factors you may consider:
• Refund — It’s important you are covered by a money-back guarantee. Until you know it improves your sleep quality, it’s best to be able to return your mattress since it can be costly.
• Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) — The goal is to radically reduce or completely eliminate exposure to EMF. To accomplish this with an electrical device, consider using a shielded cable running from a wall socket in another room.
Cooling mattresses have likely found a market since memory foam creates heat that may offset the ambient temperature. Cold and heat exposure during sleep influence your sleep quality and therefore your health. Greater amounts of heat can affect the first segment of sleep, making it more difficult to fall asleep naturally, increasing wakefulness and decreasing rapid eye movement.17
Subjective data from 765,000 people in the U.S. showed that increases in nighttime temperatures increased self-reported nights of insufficient sleep.18 Other data also indicate that high temperatures affect multiple aspects of sleep, leading to:19
- Worse sleep duration
- Shallow sleep
- Less sleep calmness
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Lower sleep satisfaction
On the other hand, cold exposure affects the later stages of sleep. In a real life setting experimental design, researchers found there were no differences in observed sleep patterns when people slept in rooms between 55.4 degrees F (13 C) and 73.4 degrees F (23 C).20
When you go to sleep, your core temperature goes down, and as you wake up it rises.21 However, this does not affect your peripheral skin temperature, which plays a role in maintaining your core temperature by adjusting blood flow to your skin.
Your core and peripheral skin temperatures are influenced by your sleep environment, including your clothing, ambient room temperature and the number of blankets used. Increasing your skin temperature just 0.72 degrees F (0.4 degrees Celsius) can suppress nighttime wakefulness and shift your sleep into deeper stages.22
Weighted Blankets May Also Improve Sleep Quality
Both the quality and quantity of sleep are important to your health. Experts recommend sleeping at least seven hours each night on a regular basis.23 A second option to help improve sleep quality is using weighted blankets.
According to one study, Swedish researchers found that people with psychiatric disorders who also had insomnia reported better sleep and less daytime sleepiness when they used a weighted blanket.24
The authors of the study engaged 120 people who were randomized into one of two groups who either used a weighted chain blanket or a light plastic chain blanket for four weeks. They concluded that the weighted blanket was an:25
“… effective and safe intervention for insomnia in patients with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also improving daytime symptoms and levels of anxiety.”
Weighted blankets work by applying deep pressure stimulation that lowers neurological arousal. They reduce activity in the sympathetic nervous system, while at the same time increasing activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
This lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and induces a feeling of relaxation and calm.26 Additionally, weighted blankets help release serotonin that regulates sleep and oxytocin that helps reduce pain and stress.27
The authors of one study published in 2015 in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders engaged 33 participants who had complaints of chronic insomnia.28 The study lasted four weeks and the participants acted as their own control group, with the researchers taking a baseline pretest and posttest measurements.
The researchers found the blankets were “effective at improving sleep quality in recognized insomniacs, both in parameters measured objectively and subjectively.” In a separate study, scientists enrolled children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and measured objective and subjective parameters.29
They discovered that “ball” blankets improved the time it took the children to fall asleep and the number of times they woke up during the night; the blankets also reduced the number of nights it took the child more than 30 minutes to fall asleep from 19% to zero. Dr. Cristina Cusin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, spoke with a reporter from Harvard Health Publishing, saying:30
"Weighted blankets have been around for a long time, especially for kids with autism or behavioral disturbances. It is one of the sensory tools commonly used in psychiatric units."
Surprising Benefits to Sleeping Naked
Evidence suggests that ditching your sleepwear may have several benefits. Many of the health benefits come from preventing overheating from sleeping in a home that may be too warm.
Another benefit includes activating your body's brown fat. This is a type of fat that helps regulate temperature by generating heat. People with higher levels of brown fat have faster resting metabolisms, better blood sugar control and higher insulin sensitivity.31,32
Researchers found that sleeping in a chilled room doubled the amount of brown fat in participants.33 When your body is cooler at night it also helps reduce the production of cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.”34 This can help reduce anxiety and stress, as well as improve sleep quality.
Quality Sleep Protects Brain Health and More
It’s important to pay attention to some of the small changes you make in your sleep routine since it can pay big rewards in your overall health. For example, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center believe they discovered a clue as to why sleep is mandatory, especially for good brain health.35
During deep sleep, your brain uses a unique method to remove toxic waste, including harmful proteins that are linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. They also discovered the space between cells increases by 60% in deep sleep to allow for more efficient waste removal.36
The lead author of the article said, “In fact, the restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the by-products of neural activity that accumulate during wakefulness.”37 To take advantage of these unique and vital functions during sleep, consider the tips I share in “The Many Health Benefits of Sleeping Naked.”
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted shortages in food and supplies that haven't been seen since the Depression era. It also shifted, practically overnight, trends in consumer buying behaviors, turning previously mundane items into hot commodities.
Toilet paper, cleaning supplies and nonperishable foods flew off store shelves in the pandemic's early days while, in the weeks and months that followed, disruptions in manufacturing and the supply chain contributed to shortages among lumber, appliances, aluminum cans, meat and even coins.1
Supplies of some of these items, like toilet paper, have rebounded in many parts of the world, but other staples, like hand soap, can still be hard to come by. It remains to be seen whether a "second wave" of COVID-19 will hit in the coming months, prompting additional lockdowns.
However, in the U.S., the government appears to be preparing citizens for the worst, even though indicators that track COVID-19-like illness and the percentage of laboratory tests that are positive for SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — have decreased nationally since mid-July, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).2
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, also stated that Americans shouldn't expect to return to normal anytime soon, even if a fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccine is released. "If you're talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to COVID, it's going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021," he said in a news release.3
With that in mind, it's always a good idea to be prepared in the event you find yourself quarantined, isolated or living in an area with strict lockdowns in place that trigger another round of panic buying.
Following are some of the most important items to stock up on now, but first it's important to understand the psychological reasons why lockdowns may contribute to panic buying and increased hoarding — even when it's not necessary.
Perceptions of Scarcity Trigger Panic Buying
In a letter to the editor of the journal Psychiatry Research, researchers noted that public health emergencies have prompted panic buying, or increased buying behaviors, since ancient times.4 There are some psychological explanations, including the fact that a perception of scarcity is linked with panic buying and hoarding, along with feelings of insecurity that trigger people's desire to collect things.
At the same time, a pandemic can contribute to the perception that you're losing control over your environment, and along with it induce fear and anxiety. When you feel you can't control the pandemic, the ability to control your purchases and collect necessities may help bring back a sense of control.
Meanwhile, the stockpiling of goods may be perceived as a method of preparing for and coping with pandemics, and when people see others in their community panic buying, "people tend to indulge to buy madly," they wrote, adding that it may be a form of herd instinct.
That being said, it's often the case that people overestimate the risk of danger and underestimate the options for relief, and this lack of trust and belief that resources could be exhausted also triggers panic buying. Importantly, sensationalized movies, media reports and fear-mongering also contribute to unnecessary panic, which is why sometimes turning off the news is your best recourse for staying sane:5
"Sometimes people get threatening perception from the media reports that people are buying more excessively than before; there is a possibility of a global crisis. Sometimes, the media reports the crisis in a sensational way which raises more panic. Another important factor is the way the viruses or any pandemic has been portrayed in the movies. People tend to learn from them and try to imitate whenever they are faced with pandemics."
Stock Up on These Eight Items First
The items that follow are important for health and hygiene. Some of them quickly became in short supply when the recent lockdowns were imposed, while others may help you stay well and avoid infectious diseases. All of them can also be stored for longer periods, making them ideal staples during a lockdown.
1. Air Purifiers — Air purifiers have proven health benefits,6 and in the case of COVID-19 may help to remove some of the virus from the air. Air purifiers with a HEPA filter remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles with a size of .3 microns.
In one study of air purifiers in dental clinics, where saliva is frequently aerosolized, the use of air purifiers reduced employee exposure to aerosols by 80% to 95% and researchers concluded, "It is highly advisable to use air purifiers as an easy-to-use, portable, inexpensive, and high-efficiency precaution measure."7
2. Toilet Paper or a Bidet and Feminine Hygiene Products — As we saw in March 2020, toilet paper is a popular item to hoard during lockdowns and many stores still have limits on how much you can purchase at once. Picking up an extra package or two when you shop can help you avoid an uncomfortable situation later if supplies once again become scarce.
Installing a bidet, which works by aiming a small stream of water around your anus to rinse off any material that's left after you've had a bowel movement, is another option — one that has the added benefit of being more sustainable than toilet paper.
Online searches for bidets are on the rise, and increased 304% from March to April 2020,8 which means they become a highly sought-after item if another lockdown happens and toilet paper supplies dwindle once again.
Shortages of disposable menstrual products have also been reported, not only in the U.S. but also in the U.K., Fiji and India.9 In addition to stocking up on organic cotton feminine hygiene products, you may want to consider reusable options like organic cloth pads and menstrual cups.
3. Meat — Tyson, JBS USA, Smithfield Foods and Cargill Inc. control the majority of U.S. meat and poultry, most of which gets processed in a limited number of large plants. Because the processing is concentrated into a small number of large facilities, closures have serious effects on the meat supply.
A U.S. government statement noted in April 2020, "[C]losure of any of these plants could disrupt our food supply and detrimentally impact our hardworking farmers and ranchers."10
While the move to keep meat and poultry processing plants open during the height of the U.S. pandemic was met with criticism from unions calling for increased protections for workers in the cramped conditions, the government cited statistics that closing one large beef processing plant could lead to a loss of more than 10 million servings of beef in a day.
Further they noted that closing one processing plant can eliminate more than 80% of the supply of a given meat product, such as ground beef, to an entire grocery store chain.11 Fortunately, meat can easily be frozen, so your best bet is to find a local, grass fed meat farmer and purchase a large share of meat that can last you for a month or more at a time.
4. Canned Alaskan Salmon — Canned salmon labeled "Alaskan Salmon" is a healthy, affordable food that can be stored for long periods of time. Wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon, with its rich concentration of beneficial omega-3 fats, is, in fact, close to a perfect food. People with the highest levels of omega-3 fats lived for 2.22 more years after age 65 than those with the lowest, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.12
The researchers suggested eating one to two servings of fatty fish per week could lead to health benefits, such as extended lifespan and a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.13
Salmon also contains beneficial B vitamins, which are important for energy production and have anti-inflammatory benefits, and the trace mineral selenium, which has antioxidant properties. Phosphorus and magnesium — important for bone health — can also be found in salmon, as can astaxanthin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that's beneficial for heart and immune system health and has anticancer properties.14
Eating salmon regularly may reduce your risk of heart disease by increasing your omega-3 levels,15 support healthy weight loss16 and protect your brain health, even leading to slower cognitive decline with age.17 All this from a food that you can store on a shelf and stock up on, even in the midst of a pandemic.
5. Vitamin C — In my March 17, 2020, interview with Dr. Andrew Saul, editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, he mentioned being in contact with a South Korean medical doctor who is giving patients and medical staff an injection of 100,000 IUs of vitamin D along with as much as 24,000 mg (24 grams) of IV vitamin C. "He's reporting that these people are getting well in a matter of days," Saul says.
As explained by Saul, vitamin C at extremely high doses acts as an antiviral drug, actually killing viruses. While it does have anti-inflammatory activity, which helps prevent the massive cytokine cascade associated with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, its antiviral capacity likely has more to do with it being a non-rate-limited free radical scavenger.
Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., also noted that vitamin C may be protective against respiratory diseases. In one study, people with the highest vitamin C levels were 15% less likely to develop respiratory conditions compared to those with the lowest levels.18
For the actual treatment of sepsis and/or COVID-19, the dosages needed generally require IV administration. That said, Dr. Robert Rowen, whom I've interviewed about the use of vitamin C and ozone therapy for COVID-19, suggests taking upward of 6 grams (6,000 mg) per hour for acute illness, to simulate intravenous administration levels.
While doses higher than 20 grams per day of oral non-liposomal vitamin C typically result in loose stools, you can take up to 100 grams (100,000 mg) of liposomal or IV vitamin C without encountering such problems.
Prophylactically, it is not recommended to take such high doses, however. In fact, I discourage people from taking mega doses of vitamin C on a regular basis if they're not actually sick, because in high doses it is essentially a drug — or at least it works like one — and doing so could result in nutritional imbalances.
6. Zinc — Zinc is an essential mineral that may help thwart a COVID-19 infection. Zinc is important to your immune health as it not only helps halt the replication of viruses inside the cells,19 but also functions as a signaling molecule for the body's T-cells, which are white cells tasked with destroying infected cells.20
Research is also underway at Cleveland Clinic in Florida, where they will investigate whether newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients are less likely to require hospitalization when given vitamin C and zinc.21 They'll also assess whether the combo might reduce disease severity and duration. The goal is to enroll 520 patients and start them on the supplements within two days of diagnosis.
Dr. Vladimir Zelenko is among those who have also published the positive effects using a protocol with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc sulfate.22 In the Zelenko protocol, hydroxychloroquine functions as a zinc ionophore, moving zinc into the cells where it halts the replication of the virus.
This allows him to prescribe lower doses since zinc is the key component of the treatment. According to Zelenko, the combination of zinc and a zinc ionophore can be used preventively to reduce the risk of acquiring a COVID-19 infection.
7. Quercetin — Zelenko notes that if people cannot get HCQ to move zinc into the cells, then quercetin is a second option.23 In much the same way Zelenko uses hydroxychloroquine and zinc as a preventative against COVID-19, you have access to quercetin and zinc to perform the same function.
Vitamin C and quercetin also have synergistic effects that make them useful in the prevention and early at-home treatment of COVID-19. Both are part of the MATH+ protocol developed by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group (FLCCC), which recommends vitamin C, quercetin, zinc, melatonin and vitamin D3 for COVID-19 prophylaxis.24
8. Vitamin D — Vitamin D is also noteworthy in terms of COVID-19, as an analysis of medical records revealed a direct correlation between levels of vitamin D and the severity of illness in people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.25
In addition to that, vitamin D lowers viral replication,26 boosts your overall immune function by modulating both innate and adaptive immune responses, reduces respiratory distress,27 improves overall lung function and helps produce surfactants in your lungs that aid in fluid clearance.28
To improve your immune function and lower your risk of viral infections, you'll want to raise your vitamin D to a level between 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and 80 ng/mL.
In Europe, the measurements you're looking for are 150 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) and 200 nmol/L. An easy and cost-effective way of measuring your vitamin D level is to order GrassrootsHealth's vitamin D testing kit and learn more about vitamin D and its impact on your health.
Get Prepared, Not Panicked
Panic is contagious, which means the more panic buying that ensues, the more shortages are likely to continue. In addition to the list above, a number of additional products have also faced shortages, including things you wouldn't expect, like mushrooms, carbon dioxide (such as that used in seltzer water and beer) and yeast.29
Other items have also been placed in high demand due to changing lifestyles, which are more focused on the home. Home exercise equipment, board games, sewing machines and bicycles are examples of items that you may want to purchase sooner rather than later if you're at all in the market.
The key to remember, however, is to avoid buying into the panic and instead stay sensible. Get prepared and stock up on the things you'll use and that promote your health and well-being, but avoid purchasing products solely out of fear or the perception of scarcity.
One of my most important foods are grass fed bison and lamb. Since the shortages in the spring I now keep a four- to six-month supply in my freezer as a contingency plan for whatever craziness is fostered in the next "plandemic."
In the U.K., patient organizations are nonprofits made up of patients and caregivers that offer support and advocacy for those afflicted by certain health conditions.
Although they’re widely perceived as patient-oriented groups that serve the public, they often receive funding from pharmaceutical companies — a significant problem since such organizations are also increasingly involved in policy decisions and research.1
In fact, according to researchers from the University of Bath in the U.K. and Lund University in Sweden, patient organizations are closely involved in drug development and appraisals of health technologies by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE),2 which in turn provides guidance to England’s National Health Service (NHS).3
What’s more, the financial relationships between patient organizations and drug companies are often not transparent, with the pharmaceutical industry under-reporting payments.4
Payments Between Patient Organizations, Pharma Under-Reported
In order to evaluate the under-reporting of payments made by drug companies to patient organizations, the researchers compared payment disclosures from 87 companies to 425 patient organizations from 2012 to 2016. While 63, or 72.4%, of the drug companies reported payments, 84 of them, or 96.6% of them, were mentioned by patient organizations.
Further, while the drug companies listed 425 patient organizations, only 200 of them, or 47.1%, reported receiving payments. The number of payments reported by the drug industry was also higher, by 259.8%, than those reported by the patient organizations, as was the value of the payments, by 163.7%.5
“Both donors and recipients under-reported payments. Existing donor and recipient disclosure systems cannot manage potential conflicts of interest associated with industry payments,” the researchers concluded, adding that actual extent of under-reporting is unknown since there’s no definitive list of payments available.6
Drug Industry Largest Donor to Nonprofits
In separate research, the University of Bath and Lund University used drug company disclosure reports, patient organization websites and charity regulator records to look into donations made from 2012 to 2016. During this period, $73 million was donated by the drug industry to such organizations, with the annual sum more than doubling during the study period.7
Overall, 4,572 payments were disclosed by industry, which represented just one-sixth of funding to health care professionals and organizations in 2015 alone, and the number and value of payments to nonprofit patient organizations increased during the study period. While 20% of the total value was represented by the top five payments, small payments occurred most often.
Half the payments were about $6,369 annually or less, but as the researchers noted, “Small payments are potentially important, as findings from the U.S. show that even smaller amounts might affect physicians’ prescribing.”8
For instance, a New England Journal of Medicine study found that although doctors typically receive less than $1,000 a year in such perks, they may still influence opioid prescriptions. In fact, physicians who received perks from drug companies increased their opioid prescription rates by an average of 9% in the year after the payment.9
Further, the University of Bath and Lund University researchers noted, as is the case with payments to health care professionals, the largest donors to patient organizations were drug companies.10
Commercially Driven Conditions Prioritized
As for what activities got funded, those related to public involvement, such as communication related to advocacy, campaigning and disease awareness, were a top priority, receiving 31.2% of funds. Research activities were also well funded, receiving 24.6% of payments, while support for patients received only 5.9% of payments, followed by organizational maintenance and development, which received just 2.8%.
The priorities of drug industry funding were clearly based on PR, not patients, and are also apparently commercially driven, as conditions with the most commercial potential received the most funding. The researchers wrote in the BMJ:11
“In drug discovery, the industry prioritises investing in some conditions over others based on their commercial viability. Cancer in particular has a privileged place.
Our data show a similar pattern: of the 30 condition areas (or their combinations), the top five accumulated £39 423 529 (68.8%), with neoplasms alone attracting 36.4%. The second category — endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases — received 11.3%, and infectious and parasitic diseases 8.0%.
The hierarchy of funding within each condition area also reflected the industry’s commercial priorities. In neoplasms, multiple myeloma attracted £7 495 729 (35.9%), followed by breast cancer (19.6%); 26 other types of cancer attracted less than 10% of funding. Diabetes received £3 741 181 (57.6%), the most of any endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic disease.
The bulk of funding for certain infectious and parasitic diseases went to HIV (37.4%) and viral hepatitis (23.6%). Importantly, the biggest donors in these condition areas have recently launched several high priced drugs. Key examples include Pfizer (palbociclib for breast cancer), Takeda (ixazomib for myeloma), Lilly (dulaglutide for diabetes), Gilead (emtricitabine/tenofovir for HIV and sofosbuvir/ledipasvir for hepatitis C).”
Further, while 30 conditions were represented in the study, funding was concentrated to only a few nonprofits in each, with the top recipient getting an average of 65.6% of the funding within each condition area.12
US Nonprofits Also Heavily Industry-Funded
It’s worth noting that this isn’t a phenomenon that’s unique to the U.K. In the U.S., a 2017 study found that 67% of U.S. patient advocacy organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the National Organization of Rare Disorders — nearly all of which are nonprofits — received funding from for-profit companies.13
Among them, 12% received more than half of their funding from industry. In this case, pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology industries made up a median of 45% of industry funding.14 As in the U.K., the researchers noted that the findings question whether nonprofits are maintaining their independence and raise serious concerns about potential conflicts of interest:15
“Patient advocacy organizations engage in wide-ranging health activities. Although most PAOs receive modest funding from industry, a minority receive substantial industry support, raising added concerns about independence. Many respondents report a need to improve their conflict of interest policies to help maintain public trust.”
The Sunshine Act Highlighted Drug Industry Influence
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, went into effect in 2013. For the first time, the Act required drug and medical device makers to collect and disclose any payments of more than $10 made to physicians and teaching hospitals. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is in charge of implementing the Sunshine Act, which it has done via its Open Payments Program.16
Using the online Open Payments Program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, you can easily search to find out what (if any) payments your doctor has received from the pharmaceutical industry, along with the nature of the payments.
Investigative journalist Paul D. Thacker was instrumental in drafting and helping to pass the Sunshine Act. In a feature for the BMJ, he noted, “The Sunshine Act was congressional staff’s attempt to tackle many of the unseemly financial ties between physicians and industry that we kept uncovering when we examined problems with drugs and medical devices.”17
Since it was passed, global change has ensued and many other countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Scotland, Slovenia and Turkey, have passed or considered similar laws.18 “My concern,” however, Thacker noted, “is that we are spending too much time wringing our hands about disclosing conflicts of interest instead of tackling the well documented problem of financial influence itself.”19
Drug Industry Funding Is Corrupting Research, Public Health
The drug industry’s influence on science is also problematic. It’s no secret that academic research is often funded by corporations. Academia often claims that such funding allows for innovation and does not influence the outcome of the studies. Industry, too, claims that such relationships do not influence the scientific process.
In a tongue-in-cheek essay in the British Medical Journal, titled “HARLOT — How to Achieve Positive Results Without Actually Lying to Overcome the Truth,”20 it’s wittily explained exactly how industry insiders can help make their agenda, in this case drugs, look good:21
• “Pairing their drug with one that is known to work well. This can hide the fact that a tested medication is weak or ineffective.
• Truncating a trial. Drugmakers sometimes end a clinical trial when they have reason to believe that it is about to reveal widespread side effects or a lack of effectiveness — or when they see other clues that the trial is going south.
• Testing in very small groups. Drug-funded researchers also conduct trials that are too small to show differences between competitor drugs. Or they use multiple endpoints, then selectively publish only those that give favorable results, or they 'cherry-pick' positive-sounding results from multicenter trials.”
Another trick used by the drug industry involves foundations. A foundation is a nongovernmental entity that is typically established to make grants to institutions or individuals for scientific and other purposes. Donors often give money to foundations instead of to the university itself, in part, because foundations have a fiduciary responsibility to represent the donor’s interest.
Money given to a foundation can be kept private in order to protect the donor’s identity and does not become public record.22 So, it provides the perfect opportunity for industry corporations to pay for research on their behalf without receiving any public scrutiny for doing so. Likewise, Thacker noted:23
“Researchers have documented corporate influence skewing research in food, synthetic chemicals, risk analysis, pesticides, air pollution, genetic technology, and climate change.
Unlike medicine, these areas of science do not have the same volume of peer reviewed literature documenting corporate influence on academics, journals, regulatory bodies, and research. But these scientific disciplines have an enormous impact on public health.”
The BMJ is among those calling for a reduction in commercial influence in health care moving toward transparency and has launched a global initiative toward that end. In a press release, BMJ’s editor-in-chief, Dr. Fiona Godlee, said:24
“Patients and the public deserve to have evidence they can trust. Commercial influence has no place in scientific research, nor in the education and guidance of clinicians, nor in decisions about diagnosis and treatment. We hope that people around the world support our call for fundamental reforms.”
The journal plans to add more content to the collection to further understanding of the conflict of interest between commercial Industries and medical decisions.
They brought together experts from eight nations in medicine, law and philosophy to propose fundamental cultural changes with the intention of moving away from commercial influence. Hopefully this will prompt an emerging and widespread trend toward independence.
The more data becomes available about SARS-CoV-2, the more obvious it becomes that the response to this pandemic has been grossly overblown. Fatality statistics1,2,3,4,5,6,7 from multiple sources, calculated in a variety of ways, show the risk of dying from COVID-19 is lower than your risk of dying from conventional influenza, at least if you're under the age of 60.
Overall, the data8,9 also show that the overall all-cause mortality has remained steady this year and doesn't veer from the norm. In other words, COVID-19 has not killed off more of the population than would have died in any given year anyway.
Several studies also suggest immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection is far more widespread than anyone imagined, and that the threshold for herd immunity is far lower than previously estimated.
Most Are Already Immune to SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Studies supporting the claim that widespread immunity against SARS-CoV-2 already exists include:
• Cell, June 202010,11 — This study found 70% of samples from patients who had recovered from mild cases of COVID-19 had resistance to SARS-CoV-2 on the T-cell level. Importantly, 40% to 60% of people who had not been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 also had resistance to the virus on the T-cell level.
According to the authors, this suggests there's "cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating 'common cold' coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2." In other words, if you've recovered from a common cold caused by a particular coronavirus, your humoral immune system may activate when you encounter SARS-CoV-2, thus rendering you resistant to COVID-19.
• Nature Immunology, September 202012 — This German study was initially posted on a preprint server in June 2020 under the title, "SARS-CoV-2 T-cell Epitopes Define Heterologous and COVID-19-Induced T-Cell Recognition."13
It's now published in the September 2020 issue of Nature Immunology with the slightly altered title, "SARS-CoV-2-Derived Peptides Define Heterologous and COVID-19-Induced T Cell Recognition."14 Much like the Cell study above, this investigation also found that that:
"Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 peptides revealed pre-existing T cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals and validated similarity with common cold coronaviruses, providing a functional basis for heterologous immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infection."
In other words, even among those who were unexposed, 81% were resistant or immune to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The term "heterologous immunity" refers to immunity that develops against a given pathogen after you've been exposed to a nonidentical pathogen.
Typically, this occurs when viruses are sufficiently similar or from closely related species. In this case, SARS-CoV-2 appears to be sufficiently similar to coronaviruses that cause the common cold, so that if you've been exposed to any of those coronaviruses, your immune system is also able to combat SARS-CoV-2.
• The Lancet Microbe, September 202015,16 — This study found that rhinovirus infection, responsible for the common cold, largely prevented concurrent influenza infection by triggering the production of natural antiviral interferon.
The researchers speculate that the common cold virus could potentially help protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection as well. Interferon is part of your early immune response, and its protective effects last for at least five days, according to the researchers. Co-author Dr. Ellen Foxman told UPI:17
"Infection with the common cold virus protected cells from infection with a more dangerous virus, the influenza virus, and [this] occurred because the common cold activated the body's general antiviral defenses.
This may explain why the flu season, in winter, generally occurs after the common cold season, in autumn, and why very few people have both viruses at the same time. Our results show that interactions between viruses can be an important driving force dictating how and when viruses spread through a population.
Since every virus is different, we still do not know how the common cold season will impact the spread of COVID-19, but we now know we should be looking out for these interactions."
• Nature, July 202018,19,20 — Originally posted on a preprint server in May 2020,21 this Singaporean study was published in the July 2020 issue of Nature.22 Here, they found that common colds caused by the betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1 might make you more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that the resulting immunity could potentially be long-lasting.
Patients who recovered from SARS infection back in 2003 still had T cell reactivity to the N protein of SARS-CoV now, 17 years later. These patients also had strong cross-reactivity to the N protein of SARS-CoV-2.
The authors suggest that if you've beaten a common cold caused by a OC43 or HKU1 betacoronavirus in the past, you may have a 50/50 chance of having defensive T-cells that can recognize and help defend against SARS-CoV-2. According to the authors:
"These findings demonstrate that virus-specific T cells induced by infection with betacoronaviruses are long-lasting, supporting the notion that patients with COVID-19 will develop long-term T cell immunity.
Our findings also raise the possibility that long-lasting T cells generated after infection with related viruses may be able to protect against, or modify the pathology caused by, infection with SARS-CoV-2."
• Cell August 202023,24 — This Swedish study, initially posted on a preprint server in June 202025 and now published in the October 2020 issue of the journal Cell,26 found that SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells likely provide long-term immune protection against COVID-19. According to the authors:27
"Acute-phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells displayed a highly activated cytotoxic phenotype that correlated with various clinical markers of disease severity, whereas convalescent-phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were polyfunctional and displayed a stem-like memory phenotype.
Importantly, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detectable in antibody-seronegative exposed family members and convalescent individuals with a history of asymptomatic and mild COVID-19.
Our collective dataset shows that SARS-CoV-2 elicits broadly directed and functionally replete memory T cell responses, suggesting that natural exposure or infection may prevent recurrent episodes of severe COVID-19."
Innate and Adaptive Immunity
It's important to realize you have two types of immunity. Your innate immune system is primed and ready to attack foreign invaders at any moment and is your first line of defense. Your adaptive immune system,28 on the other hand, "remembers" previous exposure to a pathogen and mounts a response when an old foe is recognized.
Your adaptive immune system is further divided into two arms: humoral immunity (B cells) and cell mediated immunity (T cells). The B cells and T cells are manufactured as needed from specialized stem cells. The graphs below are from my vitamin D report and will help you understand the components of these systems and their timing.
If you have never been exposed to a disease but are given antibodies from someone who got sick and recovered, you can gain humoral immunity against that disease. Your humoral immune system can also kick in if there's cross-reactivity with another very similar pathogen.
As you can see from the list above, in the case of COVID-19, evidence29 suggests exposure to other coronaviruses that cause the common cold can confer immunity against SARS-CoV-2.
On the flip side, there's a phenomenon known as viral interference, where exposure to one virus makes you more susceptible to another virus. Importantly, research30 has found that those who received the influenza vaccine were 36% more susceptible to coronavirus infection.
Mathematical Models Add Support for Widespread Immunity
If it's true that a majority already have some measure of immunity against COVID-19 due to previous exposure to other coronaviruses, then we've probably already reached the threshold for herd immunity, and vaccinating every human on the planet (or close to it) will not be necessary.
Added support for the idea that herd immunity may already have been achieved in most countries comes from statisticians working with mathematical models. In June 2020, Freddie Sayers, executive editor of UnHerd, interviewed31 professor Karl Friston, a statistician who claims immunity against SARS-CoV-2, globally, might be as high as 80%, as reviewed in the video interview above.
Friston is credited with inventing a statistical parametric mapping technique that is now the standard for understanding brain imaging. As the pandemic erupted, he began applying this method of analysis (which he refers to as "dynamic causal modeling") to COVID-19 data, coming up with a model that predicts far lower mortality rates than earlier models.
The reason for this is because the "effective susceptible population," meaning those who are not already immune to COVID-19 and therefore at risk of infection, was never 100%. At most, it was 50% and most likely only around 20%.
Friston's model effectively vaporizes claims that social distancing is necessary, because once sensible behaviors such as staying home when sick are entered into it, the positive effect of lockdown efforts on "flattening the curve" simply vanish. In all likelihood, the global lockdowns were completely unnecessary, and certainly should not continue, now or in the future.
Signs of Herd Immunity Emerge in Sweden
One country that bucked the global lockdown trend was Sweden, and they now appear to be head and neck ahead of most other countries in terms of herd immunity, while having a death toll that is very similar to nations that destroyed their economy and sacrificed the population's mental health in the name of infection control.
Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist in charge of Sweden's coronavirus response, has stated32 he does not believe Sweden will see a second wave with widespread contagion as the country is seeing a rapid decline in positive tests, indicating herd immunity has been achieved.33
He told The Guardian34 that the primary goal was always merely to slow the spread to avoid overwhelming medical services. The intention was never to prevent infection from spreading altogether, which has indeed proven impossible.
This was in fact the original plan just about everywhere. But while Sweden stuck to the original goal, and by mid-September boasted all-time low infection rates,35 other nations have twisted response plans to prevent infection transmission altogether, even among those for whom the risk of such an infection is vanishingly minor, such as school-aged children.
The two graphs from The Guardian,36 below, show Sweden's infection rate and deaths per million, compared to other countries that enforced stricter lockdown rules.
Herd Immunity Threshold Likely Below 50%
As reported in "Herd Immunity 'Ahead of Schedule'" experts initially estimated that 70% of the population or more would need to be immune before herd immunity would be achieved. Now, more than a dozen scientists claim the herd immunity threshold is likely below 50%.
As stated earlier, if this is true — and as you can see by the studies reviewed, it appears a majority do have some level of immunity — then the need for a vaccine more or less vanishes.
Herd immunity is calculated using reproductive number, or R-naught (R0), which is the estimated number of new infections that may occur from one infected person.37 R0 of below 1 (with R1 meaning that one person who's infected is expected to infect one other person) indicates that cases are declining while R0 above 1 suggests cases are on the rise.
It's far from an exact science, however, as a person's susceptibility to infection varies depending on many factors, including their health, age and contacts within a community. The initial R0 calculations for COVID-19's herd immunity threshold were based on assumptions that everyone has the same susceptibility and would be mixing randomly with others in the community.
"That doesn't happen in real life," Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, told The New York Times.38 "Herd immunity could vary from group to group, and subpopulation to subpopulation," or even zip code. When real-world scenarios are factored into the equation, the herd immunity threshold drops significantly, with some experts saying it could be as low as 10% to 20%.
Researchers from Oxford, Virginia Tech and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are among those that found39,40 when individual variations in susceptibility and exposure are taken into account, the herd immunity threshold dips below 10%.
Independent news source Off-Guardian also cited41 data from Stockholm County, Sweden, which shows a herd immunity threshold of 17%,42 as well as an essay by Brown University professor Dr. Andrew Bostom, who noted:43
"Lead investigator Dr. Gomes, from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and her colleagues concluded: "naturally acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may place populations over the herd immunity threshold once as few as 10-20% of its individuals are immune."44
Separate HIT [herd immunity threshold] calculations of 9%,45 10-20%,46 17%,47 and 43%48,49 — each substantially below the dogmatically asserted value of ~70%50 — have been reported by investigators from Tel-Aviv University, Oxford University, University College of London, and Stockholm University, respectively."
Declaration Urges Implementation of Herd Immunity Approach
All in all, there are many reasons to suspect that continued lockdowns, social distancing and mask mandates are completely unnecessary and will not significantly alter the course of this pandemic illness, or the final death count.
As reported by British Sky News,51 October 7, 2020, many respected scientists are now calling for a herd immunity approach to the pandemic, meaning governments should allow people who are not at significant risk of serious COVID-19 illness to go back to normal life. According to the article:52
"The so-called Great Barrington declaration, signed by leading experts from the universities of Oxford, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Cambridge, Sussex and York, suggests herd immunity as a way forward.
The declaration states: 'The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to coronavirus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this focused protection."
The declaration points out that current lockdown policies are having "devastating effects on short and long-term public health" that will result in excess mortality in the future, primarily among younger people and the working class.
In the year before COVID-19, aside from mandates for children, fear mongering was the communication of choice to push people into vaccinating against measles, mumps and rubella and all types of other diseases and conditions. Media outlets were publishing angry editorials, spewing hate against parents who chose not to vaccinate their children and blaming them for others getting measles.1
Some state and federal legislators were piggybacking on this rhetoric, proposing severe restrictions on the medical vaccine exemption and eliminating conscientious belief exemptions in state vaccine laws.2 Throughout 2019, bills were proposed to either remove or restrict exemptions.
One of the most striking was in New York, which in a single day eliminated the religious exemption to vaccination, with no public hearings.3 Soon after, New York state health officials created stricter rules so doctors needed to complete a form giving specific medical reasons for a vaccine exemption.4
The National Vaccine Information Center found as of June 2019, “there have been no cases of measles reported among children attending school with religious exemptions” There are conflicting reports in media sources as Vox describes a cluster of measles infection in a close knit community in New York in April 2019.5,6 Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center commented on the way the bill was passed, saying:
“This new law, which was rammed through the New York legislature without public participation violates the human right to hold religious and spiritual beliefs that honor and protect bodily integrity.
When a government has to resort to forcing parents to choose between violating their religious beliefs and conscience or giving their children a school education, that government has chosen to rule by fear and coercion and will lose the respect and trust of the people.”
Mumps Vaccine Has Had Serious Problems
In 2010, a lawsuit was filed against Merck drug company by two infectious disease experts who were previous employees of the company. They said that Merck lied about the effectiveness of the MMR II vaccine, which is supposed to immunize against measles, mumps and rubella. The doctors reported that the efficacy of the mumps portion of the vaccine had been artificially inflated.
To date, the lawsuit has not been resolved.7 The whistleblowers, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, allege several fraudulent tactics were used with the aim to "report efficacy of 95% or higher regardless of the vaccine's true efficacy."8
Artificially inflating the efficacy percentage has enabled Merck to maintain a monopoly over the mumps vaccine market. In 2015, the company was accused of stonewalling the process, which attorneys for Krahling and Wlochowski outlined in a letter to the judge. When writing about Merck’s refusal to reveal the actual efficacy of their mumps vaccine, they said:9
“Yet, Merck refuses to answer any questions on the subject, instead hiding behind a facade of confusion and obfuscation as to what efficacy means. Merck does so even though efficacy is a common term used throughout the industry to identify how well a vaccine works. It is also a term Merck has, until now, freely used throughout these proceedings to describe how well its vaccine works.
Either Merck knows the current efficacy of its mumps vaccine, or it does not. If it does, it should be required to answer Interrogatory No. 1 and the identified RFAs as posed. If it does not know the current efficacy, it should be required to answer the Interrogatory and RFAs accordingly.
Whichever the case, Merck should not be permitted to raise as one of its principal defenses that its vaccine has a high efficacy, which is accurately represented on the product's label, but then refuse to answer what it claims that efficacy actually is.”
People May Lose Immunity Years After MMR Vaccine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there were 1,282 cases of measles in 2019, all of which were attributed to the wild type D8 or B3. However, 2019 was highly unusual as the number was more than triple that of eight of the previous nine years, and it was nearly double the other. Since 2010, in most years fewer than 200 cases of measles have been reported each year.10
Similarly, in another report it was noted that the number of annual cases of mumps had spiked, suggesting the strength of vaccine-induced immunity had weakened.11 The authors of one study that was recently published in The Lancet performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies published in English from the inception of three databases — PubMed, Web of Science and Embase — through December 31, 2019.12
The researchers identified 3,615 studies, of which 62 met their eligibility criteria. A commentary published in the same issue described the study as a meta-analysis on the “overall data related to the immunogenicity and antibody persistence after immunization with trivalent MMR vaccines.”13
The researchers believe their data “provides estimates of primary and secondary vaccine failure.”14 The researchers hope the information revealed from their meta-analysis will help public health experts identify groups of individuals who are vulnerable to infection. This may help to guide future vaccination strategies.15
However, as the commentary pointed out, a reduced number of natural vaccine boosts from exposure to people with measles acquired naturally will stop with universal vaccination. This also could exacerbate the problems with weakening immunity following the MMR vaccine.
Humoral Immunity Tested, Cellular Immunity Was Not
The authors of the commentary point out there is no standardization for serological tests for immunity, calling for a “gold-standard cutoff level of seropositivity” to allow accurate comparisons between labs.16
This would have made it challenging for the researchers to compare results from data published in 1900, which is how far Web of Science says they cover science publications.17 Embrace covers research from 194718 and PubMed beginning from the 1940s,19 spanning over 60 years of medical and technological advancement.
The analysis included studies whose authors had only measured humoral immunity, not cellular immunity. This could also underestimate the real level of protection from vaccines:20
“In this sense, low antibody concentrations do not necessarily correspond to a lack of protection. However, these are the best data available so far and, if correctly used, could be very useful in the assessment of future public health decisions.”
Humoral immunity and cell mediated immunity differ in their mechanisms of action. Humoral immunity is fast acting, using antibodies produced against protein antigens, whereas cell mediated immunity destroys pathogens and microorganisms inside an infected cell.21
As I’ve covered recently in “Vaccine Debate: Kennedy Jr. vs Dershowitz,” 1 in 40 people who get vaccinated will be injured by the medication, as opposed to the commonly cited 1 in 1 million people the media likes to report. So, to recap:
- The data implicates a reduction in the efficacy of the MMR vaccine in the years after a person was vaccinated.
- The measurements were done over 62 studies, yet there are no standardized serological tests.
- The researchers measured humoral immunity and not cellular immunity, which may not accurately reflect a person’s true immunity.
- Based on the vaccine weakening, experts recommend several boosters may be needed for all people.
- While recommending booster shots for a vaccine that has questionable efficacy, experts are not considering the number of vaccine related injuries, which will likely rise as more and more people stand get an annual or biannual booster.
How Lethal Are Mumps and Measles?
I will preface this with my belief that even one death is one too many. Yet, it seems that not all medical experts agree that mumps and measles are dangerous conditions. In fact, some don’t have a consistent message for their patients.
For instance, Penn Medicine recommends vaccinations because “If untreated, mumps can be fatal. However, deaths caused by mumps are very rare.”22 The same group also says “Mumps will eventually go away — typically in about two to three weeks — but there’s no medication or treatment to cure it.”
These two contradictory statements, which appear within a paragraph of each other, beg the question — if the condition is truly fatal when left untreated and there's no medication or treatment to cure it, then how can they say it can be treated to prevent death? If it sounds confusing, it is, especially when you consider that Penn Medicine also warns that people should be monitored for complications, such as meningitis.
However, unlike meningitis that is a complication of an ear or sinus infection, pneumonia or respiratory infections triggered by bacteria entering the bloodstream,23 mumps is a viral infection. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control24 says unlike bacterial meningitis, “Mumps meningitis is a mild and often asymptomatic disease with complete recovery.”
According to data published by the CDC in 2019, the last recorded measles-associated death in the U.S. was in 2015.25 Even before the vaccine, the annual death toll from the measles in the U.S. was from 400 to 500 of the estimated 3 to 4 million cases of measles each year.
Any death, for any reason is tragic. However, after reviewing the statistics, the question remains — is it reasonable to mandate a vaccine for diseases with exceptionally low mortality rates, thus increasing the risk of adverse events for millions of children after exposure to the vaccine?
Disabilities, death, chronic poor health and brain damage are just some of the adverse events children experience after vaccination. For a deeper discussion of the public health ramifications of vaccines, see “Measles Propaganda Can Have Dire Public Health Ramifications.” In it is a short interview with a mother of three whose son is brain damaged following his infant vaccinations.
Vaccine Safety Concerns Growing
Public concern over the safety of vaccination is indeed growing. This is reflected in the number who are hesitant to receive a new coronavirus vaccine, even if it's free. In a recent USA Today/Suffolk poll, two-thirds of U.S. voters said they don’t plan to get the vaccine when it becomes available, and 25% said they will never get it.26
This builds on what others were already finding, as Science magazine reported in June 2020 that just 50% planned to get a new COVID-19 vaccine.27 While experts and journalists contemplate how to win over those who say they won’t take it under any circumstance, distrust is growing over buried evidence and the undertaking to meld human biology, technology and artificial intelligence — or the promise of becoming “Human 2.0.”
To raise the potential that more people will take the vaccine, a clinical study28 announced on ClinicalTrials.gov is taking aim at the messages you read and hear about the vaccine. Led by Yale University, researchers are testing the most effective method to manipulate your mind using 10 options. These include your feelings about:
- Personal freedom
- Economic benefit or freedom
- Trusting science
As legislators and scientists are pushing for mandatory vaccination programs that may or may not have significant and life-long effects, consider gathering your own information about vaccine injuries. You’ll discover more at:
- The NVIC International Memorial for Vaccine Victims,29 where you can search for vaccine injury reports by state and by vaccine, or post a vaccine injury report yourself. You can also post your own video reporting a vaccine injury or death.
- Vaccine Injury Stories on Vaxxed.com.30 Here, you can find nearly 125,700 written and recorded stories detailing people's vaccine injuries, sorted by state or by vaccine. To submit your own story, use this online submission form.31
- MedAlerts is a searchable database of vaccine injury reports made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) and can be accessed through the website of the National Vaccine Information Center at NVIC.org.
The controversy over whether mercury overexposure can trigger autism is a long-standing one. A new meta-analysis of previous studies sheds much needed light on the matter, concluding there’s a “significant relationship” between the two.
The review,1,2 published in the September 2020 issue of Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, looked at 18 studies conducted between 1982 and 2019 that examined the relationship between concentrations of copper, lead or mercury in blood, plasma, hair or nails and the prevalence of autism. While no relationship was found between autism and copper concentrations, a high degree of correlation was found for mercury and lead.
According to the authors,3 the relationship between mercury and autism is so strong that “the concentration of mercury can be listed as a pathogenic cause (disease-causing) for autism.” This held true even when outlier studies that might unduly influence the results were removed.
Mercury Is a Causative Factor
In the introduction, the authors point out that studies carried out in this area suggest mercury and other toxins are involved in the cause of autism, which include abnormal brain development that affects social interaction and communication skills.
“Metals’ biological effects are associated with their chemical properties, suggesting that excessive metal exposure can cause brain abnormalities around the world,” the researchers state.4
“Mercury is considered as a risk factor for autism since, according to previous studies, it has been recognized as a neurotrophic toxin. Reduction in mercury content in hair and teeth of the children with autism aroused the low disposal of mercury hypothesis.
Blaurock-Bush et al found that heavy metals are effective in the development of autism disorder. The role of mercury in the pathogenesis of autism has also been proven in other studies …
According to points raised in the present study … it would be quite reasonable to advise prevention of exposure to mercury and lead in children and provision of suitable conditions during the sensitive period of mothers’ pregnancy as vital measures to prevent the disease …”
A 2017 review paper,5 “The Toxicology of Mercury: Current Research and Emerging Trends,” details the “kinetics of this metal,” including “its metabolism, interaction with other metals, distribution, internal doses and targets and reservoir organs.” The paper cites several studies linking mercury and autism among its references, noting that:6
“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been demonstrated to be accompanied by distorted metal homeostasis. The degree to which people are affected by the metals seems to be largely influenced by the individual genetic makeup.
Especially Hg [mercury] exposure has become a suspected causative factor for many pathological conditions, and several sources of exposure to Hg compounds can be listed, including dental amalgam fillings, seafood, vaccines and increasingly from energy saving light bulbs as well.”
Malfeasance in Research Showing Thimerosal Safety
In the video above, the University of Calgary faculty of medicine illustrate how mercury causes neuronal degeneration in your brain. While there are many environmental sources of mercury exposure, some of the most prominent ones include high-mercury fish, dental amalgam and thimerosal-containing vaccines.
Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative used in certain vaccines. While it has been removed from most childhood vaccines, it is still used in some multidose vials, meaning vials that contain more than a single dose of the vaccine.
Remarkably, while the fact that mercury is neurotoxic is noncontroversial, health authorities still insist injected thimerosal is perfectly safe and has never been linked to neurological dysfunction. How could that be?
In 2014, a review article7 in the BioMed Research International journal titled, “Methodological Issues and Evidence of Malfeasance in Research Purporting to Show Thimerosal in Vaccines Is Safe,” noted that:
“The studies upon which the CDC relies and over which it exerted some level of control report that there is no increased risk of autism from exposure to organic Hg in vaccines, and some of these studies even reported that exposure to Thimerosal appeared to decrease the risk of autism.
These six studies are in sharp contrast to research conducted by independent researchers over the past 75+ years that have consistently found Thimerosal to be harmful … Many studies conducted by independent investigators have found Thimerosal to be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Several studies, for example, including three of the six studies covered in this review, have found Thimerosal to be a risk factor for tics. In addition, Thimerosal has been found to be a risk factor in speech delay, language delay, attention deficit disorder, and autism.
Considering that there are many studies conducted by independent researchers which show a relationship between Thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders, the results of the six studies examined in this review, particularly those showing the protective effects of Thimerosal, should bring into question the validity of the methodology used in the studies …
Importantly … five of the publications examined in this review were directly commissioned by the CDC, raising the possible issue of conflict of interests or research bias, since vaccine promotion is a central mission of the CDC.
Conceivably, if serious neurological disorders are found to be related to Thimerosal in vaccines, such findings could possibly be viewed as damaging to the vaccine program.”
Aluminum Is Another Neurotoxic Poison
Today, the most commonly used vaccine preservative is aluminum, not thimerosal. It’s unfortunate that the Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics review did not include it, because it’s likely that aluminum has a similar impact on autism as mercury.
According to a 2018 study,8 people with autism were found to have high amounts of aluminum in their brains.
“The mean (standard deviation) aluminium content across all 5 individuals for each lobe were 3.82(5.42), 2.30(2.00), 2.79(4.05) and 3.82(5.17) μg/g dry wt. for the occipital, frontal, temporal and parietal lobes respectively,” the researchers noted.9
The lead author on this paper was Dr. Christopher Exley, a leading expert in aluminum toxicology. He and a team of international scientists have also published a paper10 in the (preprint) December 2020 issue of the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology.
In it, they provide evidence for their position that “the safety of aluminium-based vaccine adjuvants … must be seriously evaluated without further delay, particularly at a time when the CDC is announcing a still increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, of 1 child in 54 in the USA.”
As with thimerosal above, serious flaws and errors plague studies that claim aluminum in vaccines is safe. As reported in “Major Error Found in Vaccine Aluminum Safety Calculation,” a mathematical error found in a key U.S. Food and Drug Administration study has reignited concerns about its safety.
The FDA study,11 published in 2011, compared aluminum exposure from vaccines in infants to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) safety limit of oral aluminum, concluding that:12
"… the body burden of aluminum from vaccines and diet throughout an infant's first year of life is significantly less than the corresponding safe body burden of aluminum modeled using the regulatory MRL.
We conclude that episodic exposures to vaccines that contain aluminum adjuvant continue to be extremely low risk to infants and that the benefits of using vaccines containing aluminum adjuvant outweigh any theoretical concerns."
The problem, found by Physicians for Informed Consent, is that the FDA based its calculations on 0.78% of oral aluminum being absorbed into the bloodstream instead of the value of 0.1% used by the ATSDR.
"As a result," Physicians for Informed Consent noted,13 "the FDA paper assumed that nearly 8 (0.78%/0.1%) times more aluminum can safely enter the bloodstream, and this led the authors to incorrectly conclude that aluminum exposure from vaccines was well below the safety limit." Christopher Shaw, a professor at the University of British Columbia who has studied the effects of injected aluminum, explained in a news release:14
"We knew that the  Mitkus et al. paper modeling aluminum clearance had to be inaccurate since it was assuming that injected aluminum kinetics were the same as the kinetics of aluminum acquired through diet.
Now, in addition, we see that they did their modeling based on using the incorrect level of aluminum absorption. What is particularly striking is that despite all these errors, since 2011, Mitkus et al. is used by CDC and other entities as the basis for claiming that aluminum adjuvants are safe."
The Dangers of Lead
Lead is a naturally occurring metal that was once commonly used in gasoline, paint and children's toys, and is still a part of batteries, pipes, pottery, roofing materials and cosmetics. Due to environmental pollution, food and water has also become a source of this dangerous toxin.
If you live in an urban area or near a busy road, it's probably best to assume that your soil is contaminated with lead to some extent. This is also an issue if you plan to plant a vegetable garden, as vegetables can take up lead from the soil very efficiently.
Lead damages your brain and nervous system, and has been shown to lower IQ. Even small amounts can be dangerous, as lead builds up in your body over time. Children under 6 are especially at risk, as they absorb lead more easily than adults.
As detailed in “The Heroes Who Sunk Lead,” Herbert Needleman performed much of the foundational research showing even low levels of lead were dangerous. Another crucial crusader against lead was geochemist Clair Cameron Patterson, Ph.D.
It’s thanks to Patterson’s tireless work that lead was finally removed from gasoline, thereby saving untold billions of people from serious harm.15 He’s an unsung public health hero of the 20th century that most people have never heard of.
The video below is a short summary of the evolution of leaded gas, and ultimately, its removal, which was no small feat. Unfortunately, there are many other sources of toxic metals, and unless we address them all, we’re unlikely to get a handle on the autism epidemic.
We’re Getting Mercury Out of Dentistry
As mentioned, dental mercury is one pernicious source of mercury. Here, there is good news. After years of pressure from Consumers for Dental Choice and its allies, the FDA has finally released a long-overdue safety communication on dental amalgam.16 September 24, 2020, the FDA issued a warning that mercury fillings may adversely affect:
Pregnant women and their developing fetuses
Women who are planning to become pregnant
Nursing women and their newborns and infants
Children, especially those younger than 6
People with pre-existing neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
People with impaired kidney function
People with known heightened sensitivity (allergy) to mercury or other components of dental amalgam
While the FDA downplays the importance of its changed recommendation by stressing that the benefits of dental amalgam likely “outweigh their risks for most patients,” this update is nothing short of monumental, and opens the door, finally, for the elimination of dental mercury for all patients in the U.S., as has been done in many other countries already.
Detoxifying Heavy Metals
Heavy metal detoxification is no simple matter. As explained in “The Three Pillars of Heavy Metal Detoxification,” glutathione is the dominant agent that binds to and helps move mercury and other heavy metals out of your tissues. Part of effective detox involves upregulating your biochemistry to facilitate the mobilization and elimination of metals. In summary, the three pillars of heavy metal detox are:
- Cleanse and clear your GI tract of metals and toxins
- Optimize glutathione
- Upregulate detox genes
My mercury detox protocol is detailed in “Revised Protocol for Detoxifying Your Body from Mercury Exposure.” One way to help improve your glutathione is by taking N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which is a precursor to and rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of glutathione.
Glutathione is poorly absorbed so, in many cases, it's easier to raise your glutathione by taking NAC instead. You can learn more about this in “Glutathione and NAC Play Crucial Roles in Health and Fitness.”
In addition to upregulating your biochemistry to mobilize and eliminate heavy metals, sauna bathing can go a long way toward eliminating mercury and other toxins from your body. You can learn more about this in “How to Achieve Superior Detoxification With Near-Infrared Light.”
In January 2020, I also interviewed Boyd Haley, Ph.D., is a chemist specializing in the development of chemicals to chelate toxic metals. Haley has developed a nontoxic chelating compound called emeramide or NBMI (brand name Irminix), which tightly binds to mercury and free iron (which is also highly toxic), and acts as a potent antioxidant, as it has two glutathione arms.
Emeramid is still under drug development but can be obtained via expanded access, named patient use, compassionate use or special use, depending on the country you're in. An early access application and prescription, required by the EMA, is available on the company's website, EmeraMed.com.17
In closing, the evidence strongly suggests exposure to mercury, lead and aluminum are significant risk factors for autism and other neuropathologies. The simplest answer to the autism epidemic is therefore to prevent children from these kinds of exposures. That includes banning dental amalgam and getting thimerosal and aluminum out of all vaccines.
1 Which of the following supplements has been shown to lower your risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and reduce your risk of severe infection, hospitalization, complications and death?
2 Which of the following groups have been identified by the FDA as being at increased risk for harmful effects from dental mercury fillings?
3 Which of the following vaccine ingredients is made from shark liver oil?
4 Which of the following is the primary bioactive compound in Moringa, responsible for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer benefits?
5 Which of the following is the least effective option for preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2?
6 Potentially safer options to mammography such as thermography and ultrasound are not widely available because:
7 What does the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) do?
Berries are often hailed as some of the best fruits you can eat. That’s because they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that have a wide range of health benefits.
One class of compounds in berries that’s responsible for many of their health benefits is anthocyanins — the plant pigment that gives berries and other red, blue or purple plants their color. All berries contain some anthocyanins, but bilberries are considered one of the best natural sources.1
Bilberries are small, dark berries that look a lot like blueberries. In fact, because they look so similar, they’re often confused, but bilberries are smaller, softer and a little more tart than blueberries.
Bilberries, whose botanical name is Vaccinium myrtillus, are native to northern areas of the United States, Canada and parts of Europe and Asia and have been used as a medicinal plant for centuries.
You may not be as familiar with bilberries as some of the other berries such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, but with so many potential health benefits, it’s worth including them in your diet.
The Antioxidant Power of Bilberries
One of the reasons bilberries are so good for you is because of their high antioxidant content or, more specifically, their anthocyanin concentration. Anthocyanins are plant pigments classified as flavonoids.
Studies have shown anthocyanins protect against various long-term health issues and diseases, help improve eyesight and protect your nervous system.2 There are many physiological processes involved in how anthocyanins work, but two of the major mechanisms are by fighting free radicals and turning off chronic inflammation. Anthocyanins also have potent antimicrobial activity, so they can help fight infections from pathogenic viruses and bacteria.
While blueberries are often hailed for their rich antioxidant concentration, bilberries the only have 30% to 60% of the anthocyanin content of blueberries.3 True European bilberries contain 3.7 milligrams of anthocyanins per gram of total fruit weight. If you do the math, that means a half-cup of bilberries, which weighs roughly 74 grams depending on the size of each berry, contains about 274 mg of anthocyanins, most of which is concentrated in their skin.4
However, the exact amount of antioxidant compounds in bilberries depends on where they are grown. For example, one study showed that bilberries grown in the Velingrad region of Bulgaria had 34% higher concentrations of anthocyanins than bilberries that came from the Troyan region.5
There’s no current dietary recommendation for how many anthocyanins you should get, but studies suggest intakes of about 50 mg per day (about one-third cup) are enough to reap most of the health benefits.6 The average intake, meanwhile, is only 10.5 to 12.6 mg daily.7
In addition to anthocyanins, bilberries also contain catechins, epicatechins, quercetin, myrcetin and kempferol (other types of flavonoids), ascorbic acid, phenolic acids and chlorogenic acid — all compounds that also have antioxidant capabilities. While most of the benefits of bilberries can be attributed to their high anthocyanin content, all of the compounds work together to keep you healthy.
Bilberry Helps Maintain Eye Health
Legend has it that bilberries have been used to help improve vision since World War II, when British Air Force pilots discovered that when they ate bilberry jam before a night mission, they had better night vision.8 While there aren’t any official studies to confirm if bilberry actually has a positive effect on night vision, there are other studies that show bilberries can help improve other areas of eye health.
One animal study9 looked at whether or not bilberry could improve dry eye. The researchers found that daily administration of bilberry extract could increase tear production and help relieve symptoms of dry eye. In another animal study,10 bilberry was found to help fight against endotoxin-induced uveitis, or inflammation of the middle layer of the eye (called the uvea).
There are also some studies that look at how anthocyanins, in general, can help improve eye health. According to one review, anthocyanins can help increase blood flow to the eye, improve dark adaptation and relax eye muscles, helping improve symptoms of glaucoma and myopia, or nearsightedness.11
Bilberry Improves Blood Lipids and Heart Health
Although bilberries are small, they have big benefits for your heart. In one study,12 participants with risk factors for heart disease consumed bilberries, lingonberries, black currants and chokeberries on alternating days for eight weeks.
After the trial period, blood pressure decreased and HDL cholesterol increased significantly and there were measurable positive changes in platelet function. Another animal study13 found that bilberry extract could reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in diabetic rats.
Bilberry Protects Against Cancer
It’s estimated that 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer.14 But there are a lot of lifestyle changes you can make to protect yourself, and eating anthocyanin-rich foods like bilberries is one of them.
In a 2017 study,15 researchers discovered that consuming anthocyanin-rich foods can help inhibit cancer cell growth and prevent metastasis. Anthocyanins have also been shown to trigger apoptosis, or the death of cancer cells.
Bilberry Reduces Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is your body’s defense mechanism against diseases and potentially harmful pathogens. However, when it becomes chronic, it can affect your quality of life and lead to devastating conditions like heart disease, cancer and liver disease.
More than 50% of deaths worldwide are caused by inflammatory diseases.16 The anthocyanins of bilberry can help turn off chronic inflammation and return your body to optimal function.
In a 2007 study published in The Journal of Nutrition,17 researchers noted that anthocyanin-rich bilberry extracts helped inhibit nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), a proinflammatory compound that can lead to chronic inflammation. In the study, which lasted three weeks, participants were divided into two groups. One group was given 300 mg of anthocyanins from bilberries each day, while the other group was given a placebo.
After the trial period, participants in the bilberry group had a 38% to 60% decrease in inflammatory markers, while the placebo group’s inflammatory markers went down by just 4% to 6%.
In another study,18 researchers found that some of the other compounds in bilberries — quercetin, epicatechin and reservatrol — could also inhibit NF-kappaB, reducing inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, and fighting off oxidative stress.
Bilberry Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Some of the compounds in bilberries also act on digestive enzymes, slowing down carbohydrate digestion and helping to maintain healthier blood sugar levels.19
In one study,20 researchers divided participants into three groups: a bilberry-enriched diet group, a group whose diet was enriched with other berries (strawberries, raspberries and cloudberries) and a group on a control diet.
After eight weeks, only the bilberry-enriched diet group had positive changes in fasting blood glucose levels, insulin secretion and beta cell function. The researchers connected these benefits to better overall glycemic control.
Similarly, in an animal study,21 researchers found bilberry extract could reduce high blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity in mice with Type 2 diabetes, a combination that could both help prevent and treat the condition.
Bilberry May Help You Lose Weight
Studies show that having a high daily intake of anthocyanins may also help you lose weight, specifically fat mass, independent of other factors like genetics. Researchers from a study22 that was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the diets of healthy female twins and calculated their total flavonoid intake.
They found that participants aged 50 and younger with a high intake of anthocyanins had 3% to 9% lower total fat mass and less fat around their midsection than their twin.
The study didn’t use bilberries specifically, but since bilberries are one of the most anthocyanin-rich foods, it makes sense that including them in your diet would have similar, if not more significant, effects.
How to Eat Bilberries
The easiest way to eat bilberries is by the handful, just like you would with blueberries. However, since they’re not as popular as blueberries, they’re not always easy to find in your local grocery store.
If you can’t find them fresh, you can order organic dried bilberries online. If you choose to eat them dried, make sure you’re not overdoing it. Since dried fruit has most of the water removed, it’s a lot easier to eat too much of them and if you do, you’ll be taking in a lot of sugar too. You can also find bilberry leaf tea, although it’s better to consume the whole fruit to get the full benefit.
October 2, 2020, President Donald Trump announced he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Both reported having mild symptoms. According to a report1 by Science Magazine, the President was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, that same day. His symptoms included fever, fatigue and congestion.
According to his doctors, he also experienced a temporary drop in oxygen saturation level, from the normal 98% to 93%, and was given supplemental oxygen before being transported to Walter Reed.2 As a general guideline, medical care is recommended if your oxygen saturation is below 94%.3
Melania Trump opted to rest and self-isolate in the White House.4 Her symptoms, which were reportedly milder than the president's, included mild cough and headache. No news has emerged regarding her course of treatment.
The Two Phases of Disease Require Different Treatments
According to reports, President Trump has been given a variety of treatments, including both holistic alternatives and experimental drugs, prompting some health professionals to question why they're "throwing the kitchen sink at him." While aggressive and early treatment is strongly recommended, certain remedies are best used at specific times during the disease process.
As detailed in "COVID-19 Critical Care," the Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance5 has identified two distinct yet overlapping phases of the disease, and timing of the treatment for each is important. The first phase is the viral replication stage.
Peak viral replication takes place at the earliest signs of symptoms, which include cold/flu-like symptoms, loss of taste and smell, myalgia (muscle pain) and general malaise. At this time, the focus should be on antiviral therapies. Anti-inflammatories (which is what steroids are) should be avoided, as you don't want to dampen your immune system at this stage.
During the second phase, hyperinflammatory immune responses become apparent. At this stage, the FLCCC's MATH+ protocol, which has been delivered to the White House on at least four occasions, calls for the administration of intravenous (IV) methylprednisolone (a steroid) to suppress the immune system and dampen cytokine storm, IV ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and subcutaneous heparin to prevent blood clots.
Together, this approach addresses the three core pathological processes seen in COVID-19, namely hyperinflammation, hypercoagulability of the blood, and hypoxia (shortness of breath due to low oxygenation). The graphic below details the two stages of disease, and the FLCCC's suggested treatment focus for each.
President's Treatment Protocol
The President's treatment protocol has reportedly included the following.6,7,8,9,10 As you can see, while there are certain similarities to the MATH+ protocol, there are also distinct differences:
Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral drug from Gilead Sciences that has been granted emergency authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The IV drug, which is supposed to be used for late-stage severe COVID-19 infection, has been shown to cause severe side effects in 60% of patients, and doesn't reduce the death rate. It merely reduces the recovery rate by an average of 31%, or four days.11
REGN-COV2 is an experimental monoclonal antibody cocktail made by Regeneron that has been described12 as “genetically engineered plasma” and a “passive vaccine.” The president apparently received an 8-gram infusion, which is a considerably larger dose than the 2.4-gram dose shown to reduce SARS-CoV-2 levels.
According to George Yancopoulos, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Regeneron, maker of REGN-COV2, the larger dose was likely given out of "an abundance of caution," as the company's data suggests higher doses may be more effective in lowering the viral load and may provide longer lasting effects while having "very, very limited risk."13
Dexamethasone, a steroid used to prevent immune system overreaction. Some doctors question14 the use of this drug, as it's typically been reserved for patients with late stage disease. On the other hand, the FLCCC has noted that dexamethasone is a less effective option than the methylprednisolone recommended in the MATH+ protocol.15
Zinc — As explained in "Swiss Protocol for COVID — Quercetin and Zinc" and "Zinc Is Key to HCQ Protocol," zinc plays a crucial role in immunity and blood clotting, and effectively inhibits viral replication. Unfortunately, zinc is poorly absorbed, which appears to be why protocols using it together with zinc ionophores such as quercetin or hydroxychloroquine, which usher zinc into your cells, are so effective.
Famotidine (brand name Pepcid), an antacid drug included as an optional addition in the MATH+ protocol,16 has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune cells of your innate and adaptive immune system. In one COVID-19 study, famotidine given within 24 hours of hospital admission was found to reduce the risk for death and intubation.17
Melatonin — As detailed in "Melatonin for Sepsis," melatonin plays an important role in your immune function, has antioxidant and mitochondrial-protective functions, and has been shown to be effective against various bacterial and viral infections.
It's also been shown to reverse septic shock symptoms by decreasing synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines and preventing oxidative damage, endotoxemia and metabolic alterations. The potential role of melatonin in COVID-19 infection has been addressed in an extensive and fully referenced March 14, 2020, article by medical researcher Doris Loh, published in the Italian online magazine Evolutamente.18
Is the President Being Overtreated?
As mentioned, some health practitioners have questioned whether the President might be receiving excessive care. The use of the steroid dexamethasone, which would typically be reserved for severe cases, appears to rattle critics the most. Few if any have brought up the mediocre trial results of remdesivir, or the fact that this drug is also for late-stage disease.
According to the FLCCC, COVID-19 is a steroid-responsive disease, and steroids are a key component of Phase 2 treatment. That said, it may be true that Walter Reed doctors jumped the gun in prescribing these drugs if, indeed, the president only had mild symptoms. Alternatively, perhaps the president's illness was more severe than has been reported.
While I don't want to speculate too much about these possibilities at this point, I will simply note that according to the FLCCC, your oxygen saturation is a key indicator of pulmonary involvement. Once your oxygen saturation starts to decline, you are entering the early pulmonary phase where inflammation is rapidly increasing. So, it's possible that the president's dip in oxygen saturation is what prompted the use of an anti-inflammatory steroid (dexamethasone).
The president also has some of the comorbidities or risk factors known to place him at increased risk for more severe disease, primarily age (he's 74), excess weight and mild or moderate high blood pressure (although it's said to be under control). He clearly suffers from insulin resistance based on his weight, high blood pressure and eating habits.
The president's physician, Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley who, like me, is a D.O. or osteopathic physician, told reporters during an October 3, 2020, press conference that his team was using a "multiprong" approach to treat the president. He also mentioned President Trump had asked about hydroxychloroquine, but that he had not been given the drug for unspecified reasons. According to Conley:19
"[President Trump] is receiving all of the standard of care and beyond for routine, international COVID protocols. He's the president. I didn't want to hold anything back. If there was any possibility that it would add value to his care and expedite his return, I wanted to take it."
Sadly, but not surprisingly, despite the now overwhelming evidence supporting the use of vitamin D, most media have reverted back to pushing the idea that vitamin D is useless. On the other hand, the president's treatment protocol does provide a hint that alternative treatments such as the use of vitamin D, zinc and melatonin are gaining inroads in clinical practice.
The MATH+ Protocol
As mentioned, President Trump's treatment protocol includes some of the remedies specified in the FLCCC's MATH+ protocol, but not all. His treatment also appears to have been more aggressive than typically prescribed, with the early administration of both a steroid and remdesivir.
It's somewhat disappointing to see the full MATH+ protocol was not followed, considering the FLCCC has shared the protocol with the White House on several occasions. In a short essay20 co-written by the entire FLCCC team, they express their conviction that the MATH+ protocol is one of the best, most effective, critical care protocols for COVID-19 to date.
The latest version of the MATH+ protocol, which was briefly summarized above, is detailed in "Quercetin and Vitamin C: Synergistic Therapy for COVID-19." As the headline reveals, that article also reviews some of the latest research supporting the use of quercetin, which acts in a similar manner as hydroxychloroquine.
Nebulized Hydrogen Peroxide — A Highly Effective Home Remedy
In my view, the President's medical team overlooked (and probably weren't even aware of) one of the most effective treatment options, namely nebulized hydrogen peroxide. This is a home remedy I recommend everyone familiarize themselves with, as in many cases it can improve symptoms within mere hours. It is particularly effective in those who are in the later stages of the illness.
Dr. David Brownstein, who has successfully treated over 100 COVID-19 patients with nebulized hydrogen peroxide, published a case paper21 about this treatment in the July 2020 issue of Science, Public Health Policy and The Law. He also discusses its benefits in a recent interview I did with him.
In my April 2020 article, "Could Hydrogen Peroxide Treat Coronavirus?" I reviewed some of the basic science of how hydrogen peroxide works, as well as some of the studies assessing its therapeutic potential. The most relevant study22 was published in March 2020 in the Journal of Hospital Infection. They studied 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, and found it killed human coronaviruses, including the coronaviruses responsible for SARS and MERS.
Nebulized hydrogen peroxide is extremely safe. Brownstein has used it for 25 years with no ill effects being found. It's also incredibly inexpensive, and you can administer it at home, without a prescription. In my view, it is one of the absolute best therapies for viral infections like SARS-CoV-2 or even worse respiratory viruses that will likely be unleashed in the future.
I strongly recommend buying a desktop nebulizer. It needs to produce a very fine mist, and desktop versions are stronger than handheld battery operated models. The one I use is the Pari Trek S Compressor Aerosol System with a face mask, (sold separately) not with the supplied mouth piece.
It is important to acquire the equipment and peroxide BEFORE you need it, as the sooner you treat the infection the better your results will be, although the testimonials are unbelievably impressive even in late stage illness. It is not necessary to treat yourself preventively, but only if you are sick or exposed to someone who is.
While I've been using a 0.1% dilution, Brownstein uses an even lower concentration of just 0.04%. Neither Brownstein nor I recommend using commercial 3% hydrogen peroxide found in most grocery stores, as it has potentially toxic chemical stabilizers in it. For optimal benefits, use food-grade peroxide and dilute it appropriately, using saline.
To dilute 35% food-grade peroxide into a 0.04% solution, first dilute it down to 3% by mixing 1 part peroxide with 10 parts sterile water, then take 3 cubic centimeters (CCs) of that 3% dilution and add it to a 250CC bag of normal saline. This brings it down to a .04% hydrogen peroxide concentration. In the video above, I go over the basics of how to do nebulized peroxide.
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