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Increasing Omega-3s Can Decrease Anxiety

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New research out of Taiwan suggests treatment with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may help reduce symptoms of anxiety, rates of which continue to climb in the U.S. and worldwide.

Anxiety now impacts the lives of some 40 million Americans and 1 in 4 senior citizens is thought to be dependent on antianxiety medications like Valium or Xanax. Given these statistics, it’s encouraging to see omega-3s validated for their potential anxiolytic effects.

Omega-3 Fats Shown to Reduce Anxiety Symptoms

Based on a review and meta-analysis1 of 19 clinical trials involving 2,240 participants from 11 countries, researchers evaluated the effect of omega-3s on a wide range of psychiatric conditions, including anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Participants who had physical conditions like acute myocardial infarction, Alzheimer’s disease and premenstrual syndrome (PMS), among others, were also included in the research. The researchers, who asserted their work is possibly the first systematic review to examine the anxiolytic effects of omega-3s in individuals with anxiety, commented:2

“The overall findings revealed modest anxiolytic effects of omega-3 PUFAs in individuals with various neuropsychiatric or major physical illnesses.

Although participants and diagnoses were heterogeneous, the main finding of this meta-analysis was that omega-3 PUFAs were associated with significant reduction in anxiety symptoms compared with controls; this effect persisted [versus] placebo controls.”

That said, the authors were quick to note larger clinical trials — using high-dose omega-3 both as monotherapy and as adjunctive treatment — are needed to further validate their findings. Given their broad inclusion criteria, the researchers acknowledged their outcomes may have been influenced not only by “a potential placebo effect, but also from some associations of treatment with reduced anxiety symptoms.”3

They added, “The beneficial anxiolytic effects of omega-3 PUFAs might be stronger in participants with specific clinical diagnoses than those without specific clinical conditions.”4 Specifically, the scientists discovered:5

  • Daily doses of omega-3s higher than 2,000 milligrams (mg) were associated with a significantly higher anxiolytic effect, compared to lower doses
  • Omega-3 supplements containing less than 60 percent eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were significantly associated with reduced anxiety symptoms, whereas supplements containing EPA levels at or above 60 percent were not

Anxiety Rates Continue to Climb

Anxiety, which has emerged as one of the most commonly experienced psychiatric symptoms, can be defined as “a psychological state derived from inappropriate or exaggerated fear leading to distress or impairment.”6 Experts suggest you have a 1 in 3 chance of developing an anxiety disorder at some point during your life.7

As if anxiety alone were not enough to handle, it’s not uncommon for anxiety sufferers to also struggle with depression.8 Anxiety has been associated with lower health-related quality of life, including poor functioning and more sick days from work,9 and an increased risk of all-cause mortality.10

While conventional treatment for anxiety often centers on cognitive-behavioral therapy and medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), these approaches are not always affordable, sustainable or effective.

Data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America suggests the prevalence of anxiety disorders in the U.S. may be as high as 40 million, or about 18 percent of the population over the age of 18, making it the most common mental illness in the nation.11

Notably, research published in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded 1 in 4 senior citizens is consistently taking benzodiazepine medications — also known as “benzos” — such as Valium or Xanax to address anxiety and other concerns like insomnia. The research, which analyzed the medication-use patterns of 576 older adults during an eight-year period, found:12,13

  • Caucasians were four times more likely than minority patients to move toward long-term antianxiety medication use
  • Seniors issued a large pill count with their initial prescription were more likely to become long-term users of benzodiazepine drugs
  • For every 10 additional days of medication prescribed, a patient’s risk of long-term use nearly doubled over the next year
  • The diagnosis rates for anxiety and depression were about the same for both short-term and long-term benzodiazepine users

Besides the risk of dependency, seniors who use antianxiety drugs long-term are at greater risk of broken hips, car crashes and falls.14 Benzos have also been linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.15

Older adults who used benzodiazepines for three months or more had a 51 percent greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease than those who did not, and the risk increased the longer the drugs were used. According to the authors, “The stronger association observed for long term exposures reinforces the suspicion of a possible direct association …”

Even more worrying, recent research16,17 shows the risk of overdose dramatically increases when benzos are combined with opioids. During the first 90 days of concurrent use, your risk of a deadly overdose rises fivefold, compared to taking an opioid alone.


Between Days 91 and 180, the risk remains nearly doubled, after which the risk tapers off, becoming roughly equal to taking an opioid alone. Whatever your age, I believe there are better, natural ways to treat anxiety than prescription drugs.

Poll Suggests Women More Affected by Anxiety Than Men

A 2018 poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes 39 percent of Americans report being more anxious this year than last year.18 The APA shared other outcomes from their survey, as follows:19

  • The 2018 national anxiety score was 51, representing a five-point jump from last year
  • Anxiety scores were up across age groups, with millennials reflecting more anxiety than baby boomers or Generation X (ages 39 to 53)
  • Anxiety among baby boomers increased seven points from 2017 to 2018 — the greatest increase recorded across all survey groups
  • While more Americans are anxious this year than last year in all five of the categories surveyed — finances, health, politics, relationships and safety — the most significant increase year to year related to anxiety about paying bills
  • Women are more anxious than men: 57 percent of women ages 18 to 49 years reported being more anxious year to year as compared to just 38 percent of men of the same age

With respect to the survey outcomes, past APA president Dr. Anita Everett, acting director of the U.S. Center for Mental Health Services, said:20

“This poll shows U.S. adults are increasingly anxious — particularly about health, safety and finances. Increased stress and anxiety can significantly impact many aspects of people’s lives, including their mental health, and it can affect families. It highlights the need to help reduce the effects of stress with regular exercise, relaxation, healthy eating and time with friends and family.”

EFT Is an Effective Tool for Addressing Anxiety

If you are looking for a convenient natural way to cope with anxiety, you may want to try the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). It’s easy to use and can produce rapid and long-lasting results. Its effectiveness lies in helping you reprogram your body’s reactions to the common, unavoidable stressors of everyday life that are very likely among the root causes of your anxiety.

EFT, which has been around since the 1990s, is somewhat like acupuncture without needles. Both modalities are based on the premise that vital energy flows through your body along invisible pathways known as meridians. With EFT, you combine fingertip tapping over particular meridian points with verbal affirmations spoken to yourself out loud.

The technique is so simple it can be performed nearly anytime and anywhere. Some suggest you get better results by looking at yourself in a mirror while tapping. Although you can easily perform EFT on your own, if you are dealing with a complex issue or significant trauma you may want to seek the help of a qualified EFT therapist. Having had an EFT specialist on staff at my natural health clinic, I can testify to the positive effects this therapy has had on me and countless others.

Based on my experience, EFT is, without a doubt, the most effective clinical strategy I have ever used for anxiety. It is certainly better and safer for you than pharmaceutical drugs, which I advise you avoid. To get started, I invite you to view the video above and tap along with EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman as she demonstrates how to use the technique to relieve stress and anxiety.

Other Nondrug Options to Help You Cope With Anxiety

Anxiety, like most chronic health issues, needs a holistic approach. As you determine the best methods for addressing your anxiety, it’s best to look at all of the potential factors that may be contributing to it. Even a series of small changes can make a big difference in your mood. For starters, you might take steps to:

Address common nutrient deficiencies — Even if you try to eat healthy, chances are you may have a hidden nutrient deficiency that is interfering with your mental and physical health. As noted in the current research, a lack of omega-3 fats may be one of the nutritional factors contributing to your anxiety.

Besides getting enough animal-based omega-3s into your diet by eating fatty fish like anchovies and sardines or taking a high-quality supplement like krill oil, you’ll also want to optimize your magnesium and vitamin D levels. For more guidance in this area, review my article on “The Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies.”

Breathe properly — While it may sound funny to suggest breathing as a partial solution to anxiety, you’d be surprised how many people breathe in such a way as to put their health in jeopardy. Most stress-relief methods tend to focus on taking big, deep breaths, but this is actually the opposite of what you should do. For helpful tips, check out my article “Breathing Techniques for Greater Health and Fitness.”

Exercise regularly — Some of my favorite forms of exercise include high-intensity interval training, stretching, yoga, walking and weight training. The four-minute Nitric Oxide Dump workout is particularly beneficial for boosting your health and sense of well-being.

Get the right nutrition —Lowering your intake of gluten, processed foods and sugar is recommended for people of all ages and levels of health, and most especially for anyone suffering from anxiety. Lectins may also be problematic for some people.

Your body needs healthy (preferably grass fed, organic) food to function optimally. Some of the top antianxiety foods include blueberries, dark chocolate, fermented foods, leafy greens and turmeric.

Lower your stress — A common cause of anxiety relates to stressful people and situations. While this area can be challenging to address, you won’t regret the steps you take to reduce your anxiety levels by putting limits on your exposure to people and situations that tax you emotionally.

Optimize your gut health — A healthy gut is vital to your overall health. If you have a sluggish or overactive digestive system, your immune system is going to be negatively affected. To ensure your body has the right balance of healthy gut flora, get more fiber into your diet and consider taking a daily probiotic supplement.

EMF and Mold Exposure Are Two Other Possible Anxiety Triggers

Given the increased use of technology in nearly every area of life, it’s possible your anxiety could be somewhat influenced by exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). If you don’t know much about EMFs and how they impact human health, it’s important you become educated.

At a minimum, you should know excessive free radicals triggered by low-frequency microwave exposure from wireless technologies have been linked to anxiety, depression, memory changes and sleep disturbances, as well as a number of other conditions known to affect people of all ages.21

You can reduce your EMF exposure by maintaining electronic gadgets away from your sleeping area. Never sleep with your cellphone under your pillow and, ideally, turn off the TV, lights and any other electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime, as these kinds of light sources impede melatonin production.

Beyond this, you may want to investigate any potential toxic exposures that could be triggering your anxiety. For one, anxiety is a common symptom of toxic mold exposure. The best way to troubleshoot potential mold exposure is to look for a pattern. For example: Do your anxiety symptoms improve when you spend time away from your home or office? Do you feel better outdoors than indoors?

Any steps you take to pursue nondrug alternatives for dealing with anxiety will be well worth it now and in the long term. If you are already taking an antianxiety medication, I encourage you to talk to your doctor about whether it’s time to discontinue it. Act today to ensure you won’t become one of the growing number of Americans hooked on these addictive medications.

Track Your Omega-3 Level Using the Omega-3 Index

Despite being aware of the importance of omega-3s, most people are unsure of how much they need or if they are getting enough from their diet or a supplement. Generally speaking, omega-3 levels are low in much of Europe and the U.S. Due to the amount of fish in their diet, the Japanese tend to boast the highest levels globally.

Whether you eat fatty fish or take a daily krill oil supplement, you’ll want to track your omega-3 level. As explained in the video above, the omega-3 index is a blood test that measures the amount docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and EPA in your red blood cell (RBC) membranes. Your index is expressed as a percent of your total RBC fatty acids. The omega-3 index has been validated as a stable, long-term marker of your omega-3 status, and it reflects your tissue levels of EPA and DHA.

An omega-3 index over 8 percent — typical in Japan — is associated with the lowest risk of death from heart disease. An index below 4 percent, which is common in much of Europe and the U.S., puts you at the highest risk of heart disease-related mortality. Given its importance to your health, especially as it relates to curbing anxiety, it is most definitely worth your time to complete the simple blood test required to determine your omega-3 index.

As part of a consumer-sponsored research project, GrassrootsHealth has created a cost-effective test kit to measure both your vitamin D and omega-3 index. By studying the levels of these two nutrients in the general population, researchers hope to better understand how vitamin D and omega-3 levels impact human health.

The data gathered using this third-party test kit will enable scientists to analyze potential links between these two vital nutrients. Rest assured all of your personal information will be remain confidential. I hope you will consider participating.


vitamin d and omega-3 testing kit

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Sweet! Here are 7 reasons to eat sweet potatoes

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(Natural News) Sweet potatoes may not be as popular as regular potatoes, which is too bad — since they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of sweet potatoes can provide more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A. It’s also rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Both purple and orange varieties contain antioxidants that can protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Eating sweet potatoes is beneficial for your health

Sweet potatoes are brimming with micronutrients and antioxidants —  making them useful to your health. Below is a list of reasons why you should incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

They improve brain function

The purple variety of sweet potato contains anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have revealed that anthocyanins are effective at improving cognitive function. Moreover, the results suggest that purple yams can help protect against memory loss. Antioxidants from the purple variety safeguard the brain against damage from free radicals and inflammation.

They aid digestion

Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. This macronutrient prevents constipation, diarrhea, and bloating by adding bulk and drawing water to the stool. In addition, fiber keeps a healthy balance in the gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria.

They slow down aging

The beta-carotene in orange sweet potatoes can help reduce damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. This is especially true for people diagnosed with erythropoietic protoporphyria and other photosensitive diseases. Sweet potatoes also contain antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. Free radicals are not only linked to diseases but also premature aging.

They boost the immune system

Orange and purple sweet potatoes are loaded with a good number of antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful molecules that cause inflammation and damage DNA. This, in turn, protects the body from chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

They can prevent cancer

Eating sweet potatoes can help protect against various types of cancers. The compounds in sweet potatoes restrict the development of cancer cells. Test tube studies have shown that anthocyanins can prevent cancers in the bladder, breast, colon, and stomach.

They lower blood sugar

Despite its relatively high glycemic index, studies have shown that the regular intake of sweet potatoes can help lower blood sugar, thanks to the presence of dietary fiber. While fiber falls under carbohydrates, it is digested differently, compared to starchy and sugary forms of carbohydrates. Interestingly, insulin doesn’t process fiber (unlike other types which get turned into glucose), and it only passes through the digestive tract.

They promote healthy vision

Orange sweet potatoes are rich in a compound called beta-carotene, an antioxidant which transforms into vitamin A in the body. Adequate intake of vitamin A promotes eye health. Conversely, deficiencies in vitamin A have been linked to a particular type of blindness called xerophthalmia.

Sweet potatoes are easy to incorporate into your everyday meals. They are best prepared boiled but can also be baked, roasted, or steamed — they can even replace other carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, and toast. (Related: Understanding the phytochemical and nutrient content of sweet potato flours from Vietnam.)

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Frostbite: What it is and how to identify, treat it

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Manitoba’s temperature has plummeted to its coldest level this season, triggering warnings about the extreme risk of frostbite.

Oh, we know it’s cold. We can feel Jack Frost nipping at our noses. But what about when he gnaws a little harder — what exactly does “frostbite” mean?

People tend to underestimate the potential for severe injuries in the cold, says the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. We laugh off the sting of the deep freeze, rub our hands back from the brink of numbness and wear our survival proudly like a badge.

That’s because, in most cases, frostbite can be treated fairly easily, with no long-term effects.

But it can also lead to serious injury, including permanent numbness or tingling, joint stiffness, or muscle weakness. In extreme cases, it can lead to amputation.

Bitter cold can cause frostbite in just minutes. Here’s how to recognize the warning signs and treat them. 0:59

Here’s a guide to identifying the first signs, how to treat them, and when to seek medical help.

What is frostbite and frostnip?

Frostbite is defined as bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and colour in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes — those areas most often exposed to the air.

Cooling of the body causes a narrowing of the blood vessels, slowing blood flow. In temperatures below –4 C, ice crystals can form in the skin and the tissue just below it.

Frostnip most commonly affects the hands and feet. It initially causes cold, burning pain, with the area affected becoming blanched. It is easy to treat and with rewarming, the area becomes reddened.

Frostbite is the acute version of frostnip, when the soft tissue actually freezes. The risk is particularly dangerous on days with a high wind chill factor. If not quickly and properly treated, it can lead to the loss of tissues or even limbs. 

Signs of frostbite

Health officials call them the four P’s:

  • Pink: Skin appears reddish in colour, and this is usually the first sign.
  • Pain: The cold becomes painful on skin.
  • Patches: White, waxy-feeling patches show when skin is dying.
  • Prickles: Affected areas feel numb or have reduced sensation.

Symptoms can also include:

  • Reduced body temperature.
  • Swelling.
  • Blisters.
  • Areas that are initially cold, hard to the touch.

Take quick action

If you do get frostbite, it is important to take quick action.

  • Most cases of frostbite can be treated by heating the exposed area in warm (not hot) water.
  • Immersion in warm water should continue for 20-30 minutes until the exposed area starts to turn pink, indicating the return of blood circulation.
  • Use a warm, wet washcloth on frostbitten nose or earlobes.
  • If you don’t have access to warm water, underarms are a good place to warm frostbitten fingers. For feet, put them against a warm person’s skin.
  • Drink hot fluids such as hot chocolate, coffee or tea when warming.
  • Rest affected limbs and avoid irritation to the skin.
  • E​levate the affected limb once it is rewarmed.

Rewarming can take up to an hour and can be painful, especially near the end of the process as circulation returns. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help with the discomfort.

Do not …

There are a number of things you should avoid:

  • Do not warm the area with dry heat, such as a heating pad, heat lamp or electric heater, because frostbitten skin is easily burned.
  • Do not rub or massage affected areas. This can cause more damage.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not walk on your feet or toes if they are frozen.
  • Do not break blisters.

Seek immediate medical attention

While you can treat frostbite yourself if the symptoms are minor — the skin is red, there is tingling — you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency department if:

  • The exposed skin is blackened.
  • You see white-coloured or grey-coloured patches.
  • There is severe pain or the area is completely numb.
  • The skin feels unusually firm and is not sensitive to touch after one hour of rewarming.
  • There are large areas of blistering.
  • There is a bluish discolouration that does not resolve with rewarming.

Be prepared

The best way to avoid frostbite is to be prepared for the weather in the first place.

Wear several loose layers of clothing rather than a single, thick layer to provide good insulation and keep moisture away from your skin.

The outer garment should breathe but be waterproof and windproof, with an inner thermal layer. Retain body heat with a hat and scarf. Mittens are warmer than gloves because they keep the fingers together.

Be sure your clothing protects your head, ears, nose, hands and feet, especially for children.

Wind chill and frostbite rates

Wind chill: 0 to –9.
Frostbite risk: Low.

Wind chill: –28 to –39.
Frostbite risk: Moderate.

Exposed skin can freeze in 10-30 minutes

Wind chill: –40 to –47.
Frostbite risk: High.

Exposed skin can freeze in five to 10 minutes.

Wind chill: –48 to –54.
Frostbite risk: Very High.

Exposed skin can freeze in two to five minutes.

Wind chill: –55 and lower.
Frostbite risk: Extremely High.

Exposed skin can freeze in less than two minutes.
 

NOTE: In sustained winds over 50 km/h, frostbite can occur faster than indicated.

Source: Environment Canada

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Awkward Flu Jabs Attempted at Golden Globes

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In what can only be described as a new level of propaganda, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh featured a flu shot stunt during the 76th Golden Globe Awards ceremony. They told the audience to roll up their sleeves, as they would all be getting flu shots, while people in white coats stormed down the aisles, syringes in hand.

Most of the audience looked thoroughly uneasy at the prospect of having a stranger stick them with a needle in the middle of an awards show. But perhaps the worst part of the scene was when Samberg added that anti-vaxxers could put a napkin over their head if they wanted to be skipped, basically suggesting that anyone opposed to a flu shot deserved to be branded with a proverbial scarlet letter.

The flu shots, for the record, were reportedly fake,1 nothing more than a bizarre gag that left many people stunned by the Globe’s poor taste in turning a serious medical choice into a publicity gimmick.

Flu Shot Stunt Reeks of Desperation

Whoever came up with the idea to turn the Golden Globes into a platform for a public health message probably thought it was ingenious, but the stunt only serves as a seemingly desperate attempt to make flu shots relevant and in vogue. During the 2017 to 2018 flu season, only 37 percent of U.S. adults received a flu shot, a 6 percent drop from the prior season.2

“To improve flu vaccination coverage for the 2018-19 flu season, health care providers are encouraged to strongly recommend and offer flu vaccination to all of their patients,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote. “People not visiting a provider during the flu season have many convenient places they can go for a flu vaccination.”3

Yet, perhaps the decline in people choosing to get vaccinated has nothing to do with convenience and everything to do with their dismal rates of efficacy. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.4

The 2017/2018 flu vaccine was a perfect example of this trend. The overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B virus infection was just 36 percent.5

Health officials blamed the flu season’s severity on the dip in vaccination rates, but as Dr. Paul Auwaerter, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told USA Today, “[I]t is also true that the vaccine was not as well matched against the strains that circulated.”6

But bringing flu shots to the Golden Globes, and calling out “anti-vaxxers,” is nothing more than “medical care, by shame,” noted Dr. Don Harte, a chiropractic activist in California. “But it was entertaining, in a very weird way, including the shock and disgust of some of the intended victims, notably [Willem Dafoe],” he said, adding:7

“This Hollywood publicity stunt for the flu vaccine is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen from celebrities. But it does go with the flu shot itself, which is, perhaps, the stupidest of all the vaccines available.”

Did 80,000 People Really Die From the Flu Last Year?

The CDC reported that 79,400 people died from influenza during the 2017/2018 season, which they said “serves as a reminder of how severe seasonal influenza can be.”8 It’s important to remember, however, that the 80,000 deaths figure being widely reported in the media is not actually all “flu deaths.”

According to the CDC, “We look at death certificates that have pneumonia or influenza causes (P&I), other respiratory and circulatory causes (R&C), or other nonrespiratory, noncirculatory causes of death, because deaths related to flu may not have influenza listed as a cause of death.”9

As for why the CDC doesn’t base flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that list influenza, they noted, “Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease … Additionally, some deaths — particularly among the elderly — are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias).”10

In other words, “flu deaths” are not just deaths directly caused by the influenza virus, but also secondary infections such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, as well as sepsis.11

According to the CDC, most of the deaths occurred among those aged 65 years and over, a population that may already have preexisting conditions that makes them more susceptible to infectious diseases. As Harte said of annual flu deaths, “[M]ost if not all, I would assume, are of people who are already in very bad shape.12

CDC Claims Flu Vaccine Reduces Flu Deaths in the Elderly — But Does It?

Since people aged 65 and over are those most at risk from flu complications and death, the CDC has been vocal in their claims that the flu shot significantly reduces flu-related deaths among this population. The research, however, says otherwise.

Research published in 2005 found no correlation between increased vaccination rates among the elderly and reduced mortality. According to the authors, “Because fewer than 10 percent of all winter deaths were attributable to influenza in any season, we conclude that observational studies substantially overestimate vaccination benefit.”13

A 2006 study also showed that even though seniors vaccinated against influenza had a 44 percent reduced risk of dying during flu season than unvaccinated seniors, those who were vaccinated were also 61 percent less like to die before the flu season ever started.14

This finding has since been attributed to a “healthy user effect,” which suggests that older people who get vaccinated against influenza are already healthier and, therefore, less likely to die anyway, whereas those who do not get the shot have suffered a decline in health in recent months.

Journalist Jeremy Hammond summed up the CDC’s continued spreading of misinformation regarding the flu vaccine’s effectiveness in the elderly, as they continue to claim it’s the best way to prevent the flu:15

[T]here is no good scientific evidence to support the CDC’s claim that the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations or deaths among the elderly.

The types of studies the CDC has relied on to support this claim have been thoroughly discredited due to their systemic ‘healthy user’ selection bias, and the mortality rate has observably increased along with the increase in vaccine uptake — which the CDC has encouraged with its unevidenced claims about the vaccine’s benefits, downplaying of its risks, and a marketing strategy of trying to frighten people into getting the flu shot for themselves and their family.”

Death of Vaccinated Child Blamed on Not Getting Second Dose

In January 2019, the state of Colorado reported the first child flu death of the 2018/2019 flu season — a child who had received influenza vaccination. But instead of highlighting the vaccine’s failure and clear limitations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment blamed the death on the child being only “partially vaccinated.”

“It’s an unfortunate but important reminder of the importance of two doses of influenza vaccine for young children who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who is the state communicable disease epidemiologist, said in a news release.16 For those who aren’t aware, the CDC notes that one dose of flu shot may not be enough to protect against the flu. Instead, they state:17

“Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season …

The first dose ‘primes’ the immune system; the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine.”

Not only may the flu vaccine fail to provide protection against the flu, but many people are not aware that other types of viruses are responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory infections during any given flu season.18 The flu vaccine does not protect against or prevent any of these other types of respiratory infections causing influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms.

The chance of contracting actual type A or B influenza, caused by one of the three or four influenza virus strains included in the vaccine, is much lower compared to getting sick with another type of viral or bacterial infection during the flu season.

Does Flu Vaccine Increase the Risk of Influenza Infection, Contribute to Vaccine Shedding?

There are serious adverse effects that can come along with annual flu vaccination, including potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). They may also increase your risk of contracting more serious flu infections, as research suggests those who have been vaccinated annually may be less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.19

Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego also revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.20

There’s also the potential for vaccine shedding, which has taken on renewed importance with the reintroduction of the live virus vaccine FluMist during the 2018/2019 season. While the CDC states that the live flu virus in FluMist is too weak to actually give recipients the flu, research has raised some serious doubts that this is the case.

One recent study revealed not only that influenza virus may be spread via simple breathing (i.e., no sneezing or coughing required) but also that repeated vaccination increases the amount of virus released into the air.21

MedImmune, the company that developed FluMist, is aware that the vaccine sheds vaccine-strain virus. In its prescribing information, they describe a study on the transmission of vaccine-strain viruses from vaccinated children to nonvaccinated children in a day care setting.

In 80 percent of the FluMist recipients, at least one vaccine-strain virus was isolated anywhere from one to 21 days following vaccination. They further noted, “One placebo subject had mild symptomatic Type B virus infection confirmed as a transmitted vaccine virus by a FluMist recipient in the same playgroup.”22

Are There Other Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season?

Contrary to the CDC’s and Golden Globe’s claims that flu vaccinations are a great way to prevent flu, other methods exist to help you stay healthy during the flu season and all year, and they’re far safer than annual flu vaccination. Vitamin D testing and optimization have been shown to cut your risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu, in half if you are vitamin D deficient, for instance.23,24

In my view, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best respiratory illness prevention and optimal health strategies available. Influenza has also been treated with high-dose vitamin C,25 and taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of respiratory illness can also be helpful.

Following other basic tenets of health, like eating right, getting sound sleep, exercising and addressing stress are also important, as is regularly washing your hands.

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