The Science Behind Vaccine Safety

***Our goal is to compile a comprehensive list of the valid scientific research behind vaccine safety and side effects. We will publish comments that include links to relevant studies from their direct sources (not media articles or opinion). Let’s empower mothers and patients to make educated decisions. Before you vaccinate, read the science.***

Study: For 1 in 168 children, vaccines cause side effects so severe that they require an ER visit.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236196/

Study: Boys vaccinated against Hep B at birth are 3x more likely to develop autism.

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058170

Analysis: SIDs and Infant Mortality Rates Regressed Against Number Of Vaccine Doses Routinely Given “A high statistically significant correlation between increasing number of vaccine doses and increasing infant mortality rates…”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170075/

Case Study: Rare simultaneous Sudden Infant Death (SID) of identical twins 2 days after vaccination.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17654772

Study: Rotovirus linked to fatal intestinal disorder in 1 in every 4670 infants. “There was also an increase in the risk of intussusception after the second dose of the vaccine… The strong association between vaccination with RRV-TV and intussusception among otherwise healthy infants supports the existence of a causal relation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1773072/

Study: “Epidemiological evidence supporting an association between… Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and the subsequent risk of an ASD diagnosis.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3878266/

Study: “The higher the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations, the higher was the prevalence of AUT or SLI. A 1% increase in vaccination was associated with an additional 680 children having AUT or SLI. Neither parental behavior nor access to care affected the results, since vaccination proportions were not significantly related (statistically) to any other disability or to the number of pediatricians in a U.S. state. The results suggest that although mercury has been removed from many vaccines, other culprits may link vaccines to autism.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21623535

Analysis: “The risk of autism among African American children vaccinated before the age of 2 years was 340% that of those vaccinated later.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25377033

Analysis: “Methodological issues and evidence of malfeasance in research purporting to show thimerosal in vaccines is safe.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24995277

Study: Link between antibodies from MMR vaccine and central nervous system autoimmune dysfunction in children with autism

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12145534

Study: Link between aluminum in vaccines and prevalence of autism

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22099159

Study: “The related and damaging effect of exposure to high levels of mercury… a viable alternative explanation for the occurrence of regressive autism. The evidence indicates there is alteration to chromosome structure and/or function.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364648/

Case Series: Vaccine additives cause autism-like symptoms.

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17454560

Analysis: “A comprehensive review of mercury-provoked autism. In conclusion, the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence favours acceptance that Hg exposure is capable of causing some ASDs.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19106436

Analysis: Explanation of why some children are at greater risk of developing autism after vaccines. “The evidence suggests that the abnormal sulfation chemistry, limited thiol availability, and decreased GSH reserve capacity could explain why the adverse effects of TM are greater in a subpopulation of children with this susceptibility…”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774468/

Evidence: “Certain individuals with a mild mitochondrial defect may be highly susceptible to mitochondrial specific toxins” found in vaccines, resulting in autism spectrum disorders.

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697751/

Review: Autism linked to encephalitis (brain swelling) following vaccination.

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299355

Hypotheses: Conjugate vaccines may predispose children to autism spectrum disorders.

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21993250

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11339848

Study: Link between autism and prenatal exposure to heavy metals via Rhogam shot in RH-negative mothers. “Children with ASDs (28.30%) were significantly more likely (odds ratio 2.35, 95% confidence interval 1.17-4.52, p < 0.01) to have Rh-negative mothers than controls (14.36%).”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17674242

Study: Autistic children have difficulty excreting heavy metals like mercury, as evidenced by significantly lower levels of mercury in their hair. This points to a genetic susceptibility to autism in children who cannot effectively detox vaccine toxins.

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12933322

Analysis: “A possible central mechanism in autism spectrum disorders… the link between excessive vaccination, use of aluminum and ethylmercury as vaccine adjuvants, food allergies, gut dysbiosis, and abnormal formation of the developing brain.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19043938

Study: “The role of mercury [found in vaccines] in the pathogenesis of autism.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12142947

Study: Vaccine additives induce autistic behavior in mice.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24675092 

Study: Vaccine-induced autoimmunity may cause autism.

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12849883

Study: DNA changes and the overuse of vaccines linked to autism

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364648/

Study: Mercury toxic encephalopathy manifesting with clinical symptoms of regressive autistic disorders. ‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17454560

Study: Relation of mercury to high autism rates in boys

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16264412

 

Study: Elevated levels of measles in children with Autism

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12849883

Survey Study: Tylenol following MMR Linked to Autism

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18445737

Study: Fetal and Retroviral Contaminants in Vaccines Linked to Autism and Cancer. “…Linear regression revealed that Varicella and Hepatitis A immunization coverage was significantly correlated to autistic disorder cases… Autistic disorder change points years are coincident with introduction of vaccines manufactured using human fetal cell lines, containing fetal and retroviral contaminants, into childhood vaccine regimens. This pattern was repeated in the US, UK, Western Australia and Denmark. Thus, rising autistic disorder prevalence is directly related to vaccines manufactured utilizing human fetal cells…”

Abstract: http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/JPHE/article-abstract/C98151247042

Full Study: Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology_Deisher_et_al/

Evidence: Scientists have known for decades about the dangers of insertional mutagenesis caused by using human fetal cell lines in vaccines. Instead of conducting safety studies, the FDA has ignored the dangers and merely regulates the amount of human DNA that can be present in a vaccine to no greater than 10ng–an amount that has not been proven safe. www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/05/slides/5-4188S1_4draft.ppt

Hypothesis: conjugate vaccines may predispose children to autism spectrum disorders

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21993250

Regressional Analysis: Rise in autism coincides perfectly with rise in vaccines. “The relationship between the proportion of children who received the recommended vaccines by age 2 years and the prevalence of autism (AUT) or speech or language impairment (SLI) in each U.S. state from 2001 and 2007 was determined. A positive and statistically significant relationship was found: The higher the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations, the higher was the prevalence of AUT or SLI.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21623535

Study: Relationship between Thimerosal-containing vaccine administration and the risk for an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis in the United States

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3878266/

 

Study: Adverse events after vaccines containing adjuvants linked to autism and autoimmune conditions. “A traditional infectious disease vaccine is a preparation of live attenuated, inactivated or killed pathogen that stimulates immunity. Vaccine immunologic adjuvants are compounds incorporated into vaccines to enhance immunogenicity. Adjuvants have recently been implicated in the new syndrome named ASIA autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants…. The most frequent clinical findings were pyrexia 68%, arthralgias 47%, cutaneous disorders 33%, muscle weakness 16% and myalgias 14%. Three patients had diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome, one patient had Adult-Still’s disease 3 days after vaccination. A total of 76% of the events occurred in the first 3 days post-vaccination. Two patients with previous autoimmune disease showed severe adverse reactions with the reactivation of their illness… Vaccines containing adjuvants may be associated with an increased risk of autoimmune/inflammatory adverse events following immunization.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23576057 

Study: Higher Heavy Metals in Hair Samples from Severely Autistic Children

‪http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/9/12/4486

Study: Subtle DNA changes and the overuse of vaccines in autism. “There is a compelling argument that the occurrence of regressive autism is attributable to genetic and chromosomal abnormalities, arising from the overuse of vaccines, which subsequently affects the stability and function of the autonomic nervous system and physiological systems… This article explores the issues and concludes that sensory dysfunction and systemic failure, manifested as autism, is the inevitable consequence arising from subtle DNA alteration and consequently from the overuse of vaccines.”

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364648/

Study: Elevated levels of measles in children with Autism

‪http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12849883

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What Med School Never Taught Your Doctor About Vaccines

 

“Maybe the problem isn’t mothers who don’t believe in science; maybe the problem is that medical schools have stopped teaching the science to doctors.”

Back when my first baby was born, I believed all vaccines worked. I believed all vaccines were safe. When I took my firstborn to the doctor for a routine set of infant vaccines, I had a simple question for my pediatrician. I’d recently read a study revealing that babies who receive the rotavirus vaccine were more likely to suffer an intestinal disorder called intestinal intussusception in which their intestines collapse into each other. The condition is painful and deadly. I expected that our pediatrician would easily put my new-mom fears to rest. Since rotavirus is not considered deadly in first world countries with access to clean water, but intussusception is considered deadly or at least permanently disabling, I assumed he could explain why the rotavirus vaccine was so important, despite its risks. But when I mentioned the study to our pediatrician, he did not even know the study existed. When he saw my surprise, he cursorily skimmed the article I was holding and then announced that it was “hogwash.” I wanted to believe him, but he seemed uncomfortable, like a child who doesn’t want to answer his mother’s questions. If he had been well versed in the science of vaccines, I probably would have trusted him, but now I was suddenly aware that I had read more studies about vaccine safety than our pediatrician. I decided to hold off on the rotavirus vaccine and I took my eight-week-old infant home. Back at home, I dug deeper into the research—and found much, much more disturbing information on vaccines.

At least a dozen of my closest friends are doctors who have graduated from top American medical schools. I’ve spoken with many of them about their medical education. I have learned that mainstream medical schools teach their students very little about preventive health, but spend entire semesters teaching techniques to ensure “patient compliance.” Courses on patient compliance, sometimes called patient “adherence” or “capacitance,” teach doctors how to convince patients to listen to them, even when patients voice serious concerns about the doctors’ recommendations. This seems like a generally dangerous practice and a poor use of time during medical school, when there is so much to learn in such a short time. Why all this focus on patient compliance?

What many medical students don’t realize is that their education is funded by drug companies who benefit from overprescription. Most people have heard of pharmaceutical reps whose job it is to convince doctors to push specific drugs on unsuspecting patients, but did you know that those same drug companies wine and dine medical students, pay medical school professors millions of dollars each year, and begin lecturing medical students even before they are doctors?

Over the years, Harvard Medical School has received hundreds of millions of dollars from drug companies. TIME reports, “1,600 [Harvard professors] admit that either they or a family member have had some kind of business link to drug companies — sometimes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars — that could bias their teaching or research.”

Several of my pediatrician friends have told me that they are sick of mothers who don’t believe in vaccine “science,” but these same pediatricians have admitted to me that they haven’t actually read a scientific study on vaccines in years. My friends—so many of whom are intelligent, well-intentioned doctors who genuinely hope to help their patients—simply trust that their medical schools have taught them all they need to know about health.

So what do doctors learn about vaccines in medical school? Not much. A reader sent us the above screen shot of a woman taking to Instagram to complain that her roommate, a doctor, is storing live typhoid vaccine in their communal refrigerator. Most people know that live viruses are the stuff of chemical warfare, but this doctor was apparently not concerned. Why didn’t she learn how to safely store vaccines in medical school? Even the U.S. government admits, “It is the nature of living things to change, or mutate, and the organisms used in live, attenuated vaccines are no different… An attenuated microbe in the vaccine could revert to a virulent form and cause disease….”

But Pharma-funded medical schools know that if they were to teach their students about the dangers of live vaccines—including the fact that live vaccines are excreted in the mucus and feces of injected children and can even be spread to other children for days and weeks following vaccination, a phenomenon known as “shedding”—that they would be opening up a broader conversation about vaccine safety. It’s a conversation that Big Pharma and medical schools don’t wish to have.

So, instead, medical schools ignore the conversation about vaccine safety altogether. They encourage doctors to focus on “compliance,” not science.

Maybe the problem isn’t mothers who don’t believe in science; maybe the problem is that medical schools have stopped teaching the science to doctors.

WE_LiveTyphoidVaccine_MedStudent_RoomateFridge.jpg

Above: A medical student’s roommate complains that “Literally the only thing on [Med Student’s] side of the fridge is a live typhoid vaccine.” The medical student was never taught that vaccines should not be stored in home refrigerators.

Sources:

Time Magazine: Is Drug-Company Money Tainting Medical Education?

http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1883449,00.html

U.S. Government: Types of Vaccines

http://www.vaccines.gov/more_info/types/

How Much Money Do Pediatricians Really Make From Vaccines?

If you want to be sure your pediatrician has your child’s best interest, this is mandatory reading. Pediatricians around the country have begun refusing to accept families who opt out of some or all vaccines. Thanks to a tip sent to Wellness & Equality by a reader, now we know why.

When my friend’s child suffered a life-threatening reaction to a vaccine a week after her first birthday, my friend assumed her pediatrician would write her a medical exemption from future vaccines. Shortly after receiving a routine set of vaccines, the happy, vibrant one-year-old spiked a 106 degree fever, began having seizures, and was hospitalized. When the unexplained “illness” passed after a week in the hospital, the little girl had lost her ability to walk. My friend describes how her daughter, who had learned to walk several months earlier at 9 months, suddenly “stumbled around like a drunk person” for weeks following the vaccines. My friend met with a team of pediatricians, neurologists, and naturopathic doctors, and they agreed: Her daughter had suffered a brain injury caused by a reaction to one of the vaccines. Hoping the injury would be temporary and that she might recover and ease her brain inflammation if they could help her small body quickly eliminate the vaccine additives that caused the reaction, my friend’s daughter underwent an intensive detoxification program overseen by a nutritionalist. Slowly, her daughter relearned to walk.

My friend is a practicing attorney who graduated from a Top 10 college. The evidence was overwhelming that her daughter’s reaction had been caused by vaccines, she told me.

But a few months later, when she took her daughter back into the pediatrician for a visit, he wanted to vaccinate her daughter again. She was baffled. Why?

After a reader sent us a link to a PDF file of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Physician Incentive Program available online, Wellness & Equality learned that insurance companies pay pediatricians massive bonuses based on the percentage of children who are fully vaccinated by age 2. 

BCBS_ProviderIncentiveProgram.png

So how much money do doctors really make from vaccines? The average American pediatrician has 1546 patients, though some pediatricians see many more. The vast majority of those patients are very young, perhaps because children transition to a family physician or stop visiting the doctor at all as they grow up. As they table above explains, Blue Cross Blue Shield pays pediatricians $400 per fully vaccinated child. If your pediatrician has just 100 fully-vaccinated patients turning 2 this year, that’s $40,000. Yes, Blue Cross Blue Shield pays your doctor a $40,000 bonus for fully vaccinating 100 patients under the age of 2. If your doctor manages to fully vaccinate 200 patients, that bonus jumps to $80,000. 

But here’s the catch: Under Blue Cross Blue Shield’s rules, pediatricians lose the whole bonus unless at least 63% of patients are fully vaccinated, and that includes the flu vaccine. So it’s not just $400 on your child’s head–it could be the whole bonus. To your doctor, your decision to vaccinate your child might be worth $40,000, or much more, depending on the size of his or her practice.

If your pediatrician recommends that your child under the age of 2 receive the flu vaccine–even though the flu vaccine has never been studied in very young children and evidence suggests that the flu vaccine actually weakens a person’s immune system over the long term–ask yourself:  Is my doctor more concerned with selling me vaccines to keep my child healthy or to send his child to private school?

Sources:

The Physician Alliance Blue Cross Blue Shield Incentive Program [Please read our update below to find out how you can access the pamphlet.] 

Update 4/30/2017: After Wellness & Equality published this article, Blue Cross Blue Shield locked online access to their incentive program and then removed the page altogether. Clearly this incentive program was never intended to be public knowledge and created a bit of PR issue for them. Fortunately, another website managed to save the entire BCBS incentive program booklet and has published it in entirety online… You can read it here:  Blue Cross Blue Shield Physician Incentive Program

Getting A Flu Shot Every Year? More May Not Be Better

Distribution of Pediatric Practice: Size, Age, Sex 

 

 

Zika Virus Update: Argentine and Brazilian Doctors Name Larvicide as Potential Cause of Microcephaly

As Brazilian and U.S. officials continue to push for a lucrative Zika virus vaccine, new theories are emerging to explain the crisis in Brazil. According to organicconsumer.org, “a chemical larvicide that produces malformations in mosquitoes was introduced into the [Brazilian] drinking water supply in 2014. This poison, Pyriproxyfen, is used in a State-controlled programme aimed at eradicating disease-carrying mosquitoes….”

Read more: Argentine and Brazilian Doctors Name Larvicide as Potential Cause of Microcephaly.

 

Zika Virus Rumors: Could the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy cause microcephaly?

In 2014, Brazilian officials recommended that all pregnant women receive the Tdap vaccine. For the first time in the country’s history, thousands of pregnant Brazilian women received the Tdap vaccine. A few months later, in 2015, news outlets began reporting that Brazil was experiencing an unprecedented rise in the number of cases of newborns with a neurodevelopmental disorder known as microcephaly.

Officials quickly named a culprit: mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus. But when officials were pressed to provide evidence of the link between birth defects and the Zika virus, a little-known pathogen that has been considered harmless since its discovery in the 1940s, they came up short. Even the mainstream media, including Reuters and the BBC, reported on the lack of a scientific link.

At best, officials could only suggest a “correlation.” Still, they ploughed forward with a new message: “Postpone pregnancy until we can sell you a new vaccine that will protect against Zika.”

The rise in cases of microcephaly in Brazil may be correlated with a recent increase in cases of Zika virus, but it’s just as heavily correlated with the rising trend of Brazilian pregnant women receiving the Tdap vaccine.

Could the Tdap vaccine, which has been in widespread use around the world—including in the United States—be responsible for Brazil’s many cases of microcephaly? If the Tdap vaccine were connected to microcephaly, wouldn’t there be just as many cases of microcephaly in the U.S.?

FACT: Rates of microcephaly are currently higher in the United States, where the Tdap vaccine is routinely administered to pregnant women, than in Brazil. Each year, approximately 25,000 American mothers give birth to babies with microcephaly. For many mothers in the United States, microcephaly is nothing new. Since Brazil began recommending the Tdap vaccine to pregnant women, rates of microcephaly in Brazil are quickly catching up to U.S. rates. (In the wake of its microcephaly crisis, Brazil has reported less than 4,000 of microcephaly for its population of 200.4 million. Compare that 25,000 new cases each year in the U.S. population of 318.9 million.)

FACT: Pertussis vaccines have long been associated with reports of brain swelling, brain damage, and death in infants and children. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database is full of these reports. Do a quick search for incidents related to both Tdap and DTaP (the name of the vaccine administered to children).

FACT: Statistics suggest that some vaccines are more harmful to men, but the Tdap vaccine—the same vaccine recommended to pregnant Brazilian women—appears to be more harmful to women. Vaccines affect men and women differently. As far back as 2011, American women were more than twice as likely as men to report an adverse reaction to the Tdap vaccine. According to a medalerts.org analysis, the gender disparity in adverse reactions “defies explanation.” In the U.S., a whopping 32.67% of reactions to the Tdap vaccine are reported by patients between the ages of 17 and 44, during their prime childbearing years.

FACT: The safety of administering the Tdap vaccine to pregnant women has never been studied.

What’s the bottom line? No one is suggesting that EVERY pregnant women infected with Zika will have a baby with microcephaly. And no one is suggesting that EVERY pregnant woman who received the Tdap vaccine will have a baby with microcephaly.

Timing and genetics play an important role as well.

But you should know the facts.

So how can we determine whether the 2014 introduction of the Tdap vaccine to Brazilian women is the cause of the 2015 rise in cases of microcephaly?

That question can be answered by studies that simply examine the safety of administering vaccines to pregnant women, but Big Pharma and their lobbyists are too powerful to allow studies that could hurt their bottom line. Even the package inserts of vaccines that doctors are legally administering to pregnant women admit that no studies have ever examined the safety of administering vaccines to pregnant women. If you’re pregnant, ask your doctor to provide you with the package inserts of any vaccines he or she recommends. Administering vaccines to pregnant women is generally considered an “off-label” use of vaccines.

Conclusion: With the country’s souring rates of microcephaly, there’s no doubt that something strange and sad is happening in Brazil. Cases of microcephaly are likely the result of a combination of factors or co-factors (including genetic predisposition, in-utero exposure to harmful chemicals or pesticides, plus a variety of maternal complications) but recommending that pregnant women receive additional vaccines is a simplistic answer to a complex problem—and it could make the situation even worse for generations to come.

For further reading:

Public Radio International | The Sketchy Numbers Behind Brazil’s Zika Crisis

UPDATE 02/11/2016: Zika Virus Update: Doctors Name Monsanto Larvicide-Tainted Water As Potential Cause of Microcephaly

zikavirustdapvaccine.png

 

 

 

 

Big Fat Surprise: Eat Fat To Lose Weight

Back in 2006, my mother called me. She had news for me – big news. “Fat is a good thing,” she said. “If you want to lose weight, you need to eat more fat.” Acting on advice she had originally gleaned from a number of niche health blogs, including the Weston A. Price Foundation and Dr. Mercola, and ultimately confirmed through her own experience, she advised me to begin eating more healthy natural sources of fat. At first, I ignored her.

Like any good mother, she continued to pester me. She sent me e-mails: “All of your friends who eat low-fat diets should be worried about their hearts and their brains and their muscles and their reproductive organs,” she wrote. “This information won’t be mainstream for a few more years.” She sent me studies. She sent me articles.

Eventually, I found myself curious and I began to follow her advice. Over the course of several years, I lost weight so slowly that I barely noticed. What I did notice was that my energy levels and overall health improved. When I landed at a weight that was right for my body, I found that I was able to easily maintain the weight loss. I didn’t have to play games with myself. I didn’t have to pretend I was full when I wasn’t. I rarely thought about portion control. At restaurants, I usually finished my entire meal, while my girlfriends packaged up barely-nibbled dishes to take home. In fact, my metabolism increased so much that I noticed I could eat more than the vast majority of my friends.

Food was no longer a struggle. It was a daily pleasure. What had happened? I could eat whenever I was hungry and I almost always felt full after meals. I no longer had ravenous, obsessive cravings. If I wanted dessert, I ate dessert. I weighed less and I had more energy. I tried to exercise when I had time, but I didn’t adhere to a strict schedule. Girlfriends asked me, “What’s your secret? How do you eat so much?”

My diet looked something like this: Most mornings, I scrambled a couple of eggs and topped them with a few slices of melted cheese, an avocado, a chopped tomato, and salsa. (Colleagues were shocked by my breakfast: “You eat an omelet with cheese and an entire avocado every morning before work? But you’re so tiny!”) Instead of grabbing a “health” bar when I was on the go, I ate more nuts and cheese. At lunch and dinner, I ate more red meat and fish. I stopped buying non-fat and low-fat dairy products altogether, and replaced them with whole milk products. Soon I began to crave more fruits and vegetables, and so I ate more fruits and vegetables. I ate large green salads with chicken, cheese, nuts, avocados, and apples or organic strawberries. To cook, I used olive oil or butter – never vegetable oil. When I wanted to indulge, I made myself a heaping bowl of full-fat vanilla ice cream, typically topped with a banana, chopped dark chocolate, and peanut butter spooned out of the jar. Whenever possible, I avoided soy. I bought as much non-GMO, organic food as I could afford. I never consciously ate less bread, but soon I found that I went days at a time without eating bread; my body simply didn’t crave it.

“Eat more fat. Lose more weight.” It sounds like a gimmick, but it’s not.

It’s taken years for the mainstream media to catch on, but my mother was right. Almost a decade later, a number of publications are writing about it:

The Wall Street Journal | The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat And Heart Disease

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303678404579533760760481486

The New York Times | A Call For A Low-Carb Diet That Embraces Fat

The New York Times | Study Questions Fat And Heart Disease Link

The New York Times | Butter Is Back

NPR | Rethinking Fat: The Case For Adding Some Into Your Diet

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/31/295719579/rethinking-fat-the-case-for-adding-some-into-your-diet

NPR | Don’t Fear The Fat: Experts Question Saturated Fat Recommendations

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/17/290846811/dont-fear-the-fat-experts-question-saturated-fat-guidelines

NPR | The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/12/275376259/the-full-fat-paradox-whole-milk-may-keep-us-lean

TIME Magazine| Ending The War On Fat

Ending the War on Fat

Men’s Health | What If Bad Fat Is Actually Good For You?

http://www.menshealth.com/health/saturated-fat

The Greatist | Everyone Was Wrong: Saturated Fat Is Good For You

http://greatist.com/health/saturated-fat-healthy

Despite the overwhelming evidence that diets high in fat are healthy, not everyone is on board yet. Last year, The Atlantic summed up succinctly how public health reform works: “slowly, based on mounting scientific evidence, against constant and mounting headwinds of public ridicule and, much more important, industry lobbying and advertising.” As is usually the case when the medical establishment is wrong, positive change can take two to three decades–or even more–to take full root. Doctors and nutritionists often have trouble letting go of the facts they studied so hard during medical and graduate school. Today, some health advocates are still dangerously confused; these misinformed doctors and nutritionists erroneously promote low-fat dairy products. Many of these doctors believe their patients won’t be able to exercise “restraint” if they eat high-fat foods; what they don’t understand is that fat is satiating and when people eat healthy sources of fat, they tend to desire–and consume–less of everything.

Of course, the source of fat matters. A diet high in processed deli meats and sausages is not good for anyone. A diet high in McDonald’s burgers is not the same as a diet high grass-fed steak. Trans fats, which are found in donuts and processed foods, are not healthy; they are poisonous. But the evidence is in and the facts are simple: unsaturated fats–and yes, saturated fats, too–are good for you.

Make today the day you change. Stop playing games. Toss out the non-fat, the low-fat, the GMO soy. Learn about the sources of your food. Count ingredients, not calories.

Start enjoying your food–and your life.

What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Hormonal Contraceptives

WE_BirthControl

Much of the current research about the safety of hormonal contraceptives has been funded by the very pharmaceutical companies that stand to profit from the sale of birth control. Couple this with the political debates surrounding women’s reproduction—at a time when many feminists feel the pill is the answer to women’s liberation—and we have a nation of women in the dark about birth control.

Here are the facts: The pill works by stopping ovulation. When a woman swallows the hormones in birth control, her ovaries stop releasing eggs. This may sound minor, but the monthly release of that tiny egg is responsible for a number of important processes in a woman’s body. While it’s true that hormonal birth control can prevent pregnancy, do you know what else it does?

9 Facts You Need To Know About The Pill

  1. The hormones in the pill increase your risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, and liver cancer. If you have a family history of any of these diseases, you are especially at risk. There’s a reason why the World Health Organization classifies hormonal contraceptives—along with tobacco, asbestos, and radium—as carcinogens. According to BreastCancerFund.org, “Numerous studies have demonstrated an increased risk of breast cancer in women using oral contraceptives (Althuis, 2003; Dai, 2009; Delort, 2007; Kumle, 2002; Rosenberg, 2009). This is not surprising….” As one surgeon explained, the birth control pill is a ‘Molotov cocktail’ for breast cancer. The facts are frightening: “A 2006 Mayo Clinic meta-analysis concluded that breast cancer risk rises 50 percent for women taking oral contraceptives four or more years before a full-term pregnancy. In 2009, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that women starting the pill before 18 nearly quadruple their risk of triple negative breast cancer. Even more shocking, Swedish oncologist Hakan Olsson concluded that pill use before the age of 20 increases a young woman’s breast cancer risk by more than 1000 percent,” reported LifeSiteNews.

As one surgeon explained, the birth control pill is a ‘Molotov cocktail’ for breast cancer.

  1. The pill causes hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, “The AHLA believes that it is imperative for all women, especially those who have a history of hair loss in their family, to be made aware of the potentially devastating effects of birth control pills on normal hair growth.” Of course, this is one of the side effects your doctor might mention after you experience it. If the possibility of losing your hair would be especially upsetting for you, that’s something to take into consideration before taking the pill.
  1. The pill increases your risk of developing osteoporosis. The correlation between oral contraceptives and brittle bones is so well-established that the New York Times mentions birth control as a known cause of osteoporosis in their basic overview of the disease. The New York Times goes on to recommend that “women who take birth control pills should be sure to get adequate calcium and vitamin D from diet or supplements.” But there’s just one problem with this recommendation…
  1. The pill depletes your body’s natural stores of vitamins and minerals. Studies confirm that women who take the pill have lower levels of B vitamins like folate, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), zinc, and iron. Regardless of how much you consume, birth control pills lower the levels of these nutrients in your body. Clinically, it can be nearly impossible to bring these vitamins up to ideal levels while taking the pill. In fact, this is one of many reasons why OBGYNS recommend that women wait several months to get pregnant after going off the pill—to give your body time to replenish those depleted stores and adequately nourish new life.

Clinically, it can be nearly impossible to bring vitamins up to ideal levels while taking the pill.

  1. The pill increases your risk of blood clots, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, and stroke. While your overall risk may be small, these side effects are deadly. Yet so many doctors write prescriptions for birth control without so much as mentioning these potential side effects to their patients. If you take birth control, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of a blood clot, heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism. Men, is not wearing a condom really worth subjecting your girlfriends and wives to these life-threatening risks? 
  1. The pill increases the likelihood that you will experience anxiety and depression. When you alter a woman’s hormones, you alter her emotions. Here’s just a sampling of the mood-related side effects that women report after taking the pill: mood swings, anxiety, depression, and lowered libido. When woman are fertile, they are healthier, happier, and have a higher sex drive. (It’s all part of nature’s tricky little plan!) That’s why many women who take birth control, which destroys fertility, report a loss of interest in sex. Even worse, these mood-related issues don’t always disappear immediately after a woman stops taking the pill. It can take months to regulate your hormones again after birth control. This is the type of information that good doctors should share with their patients before they begin taking birth control.
  1. The pill destroys your natural ability to choose a genetically compatible mate. Did you know that beneath the scent of soap, shampoo, or cologne, every man has a natural scent that helps women subconsciously sniff out genetic compatibility? Call it nature’s way of ensuring healthy offspring. In our logic-based, online-dating-obsessed world, many women forget that the process of mate selection is, on some levels, instinctual—and for good reason. From a scientific perspective, the more gene variability between two partners, the healthier their offspring will be. Even better, you don’t have to think about this process; nature takes care of it for you. In a study that asked women to sniff the sweat of male strangers, women expressed strong preferences for the body odor of men with major histocompatibility (MHC) genes that differed from their own. However, this was not the case for women who were taking hormonal contraceptives; women on the pill were unable to identify their genetically-compatible mates. What this means is that women on the pill are, in theory, not attracted to the odor of genetically-compatible strangers, nor are they repulsed by the odor of male family members. Other studies have shown that women on the pill choose less masculine, more feminine mates. These findings have led some scientists to question whether hormonal birth control is impacting the health of future generations. Could women who choose their mates while taking birth control—even if they ultimately stop the pill to conceive a child—have babies with more birth defects, more childhood disorders, lower rates of immunity, and higher susceptibility to illness? And if you don’t find your partners’ natural scent attractive—but you don’t find this out until years into the relationship when you’re ready to conceive a child and stop taking the pill—could that impact whether you feel attracted to your partner for the long haul?

Women on the pill were unable to identify their genetically-compatible mates… These findings have led some scientists to question whether hormonal birth control is impacting the health of future generations. Could women who choose their mates while taking birth control—even if they ultimately stop the pill to conceive a child—have babies with more birth defects, more childhood disorders, lower rates of immunity, and higher susceptibility to illness?

  1. The pill robs you of your most attractive time of the month: ovulation. As if birth control wasn’t complicating your dating life enough already! When a woman ovulates—that is, the 24-48 hours during which her body releases an egg each month—she becomes more attractive to men. Her face appears more symmetrical and more feminine, her voice sounds more appealing, her pupils dilate, her waist-to-hip ration becomes more attractive, and her vaginal secretions change in taste and scent. Because the pill stops ovulation, the pill robs you of this time. What woman doesn’t want to have a few extra days of the month where she looks and feels her very best? A well-known study of strippers found that au natural strippers made significantly more money overall than their pill-popping sisters ($53 per hour vs. $37 per hour on average) and made twice as much money while ovulating ($70 per hour).

The sad truth is that for some women, taking the pill will mask fertility issues that could have been addressed at a younger age—if only the woman was not taking the pill and knew she was having symptoms… Other women will experience “post-pill amenorrhea,” the term doctors use to describe a lack of periods for 6 months or longer after stopping the pill. Doctors theorize that post-pill amenorrhea is caused by hormonal suppression of the pituitary gland, but it’s not fully understood why some women experience post-pill amenorrhea.

  1. The pill may impact your future fertility. Did you know that birth control can impair your future fertility? Even well-intentioned organizations that genuinely want to empower women through birth control hide this fact from women. Why? Perhaps they are concerned that women will forego birth control altogether and suffer an unwanted pregnancy. Perhaps they underestimate the number of intelligent, ambitious women who will ultimately want children in the future—even if they don’t right now. Fortunately, there are safe, effective alternatives to hormonal contraceptives and it’s your right to know your options. The sad truth is that for some women, taking the pill will mask fertility issues that could have been addressed at a younger age—if only the woman was not taking the pill and knew she was having symptoms. Unfortunately, many woman stop taking the pill when they want to conceive a child, and by then, it’s sometimes too late to address these issues. While many women will go on to have healthy babies after taking the pill, other women will experience “post-pill amenorrhea,” the term doctors use to describe a lack of periods for 6 months or longer after stopping the pill. Doctors theorize that post-pill amenorrhea is caused by hormonal suppression of the pituitary gland, but it’s not fully understood why some women experience post-pill amenorrhea. The first line of treatment is simply to wait for a “spontaneous” resumption of the menstrual cycle; however, this is dangerous, impractical advice for a woman in her late twenties or early thirties who wants to conceive. For these women, treatment usually involves the fertility drug Clomid, which may or may not work. Here’s what your doctor won’t tell you about birth control: If there’s a chance you may want children in the next few years, stop taking the pill now, track and learn about your cycle, and use a non-hormonal method of birth control for the interim.

Make the choice to take charge of your health. If you have a woman in your life whom you love, please keep her safe by sharing this article with her. There are safe, convenient alternatives to hormonal birth control, from condoms to the Fertility Awareness Method. Before making a decision about birth control, research your options and know the risks.