Posts Tagged ‘toddlers’

Should you get the flu shot? Or just take Vitamin D?

Someone emailed me these 2 very interesting articles regarding the effectiveness of the flu shot (based on a study showing it is not effective) and another indicating Vitamin D deficiency may be what causes many to get the flu.

Certainly it is a personal decision, but I would encourage you to read these articles below. And DEFINITELY get a preservative/mercury free shot for your children if you decide to get the flu shot for them!!!!

Avoid Flu Shots With the One Vitamin that Will Stop Flu in Its Tracks   

Another influenza season is beginning, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will strongly urge Americans to get a flu shot. In fact, the CDC mounts a well-orchestrated campaign each season to generate interest and demand for flu shots.

But a recent study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu appeared to have no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons.

At first glance, the data did suggest that children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years derived some protection from vaccination in these years. But after adjusting for potentially relevant variables, the researchers concluded that “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting” examined.

Additionally, a Group Health study found that flu shots do not protect elderly people against developing pneumonia — the primary cause of death resulting as a complication of the flu. Others have questioned whether there is any mortality benefit with influenza vaccination. Vaccination coverage among the elderly increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now, but there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza or pneumonia.

There is some evidence that flu shots cause Alzheimer’s disease, most likely as a result of combining mercury with aluminum and formaldehyde. Mercury in vaccines has also been implicated as a cause of autism.

Three other serious adverse reactions to the flu vaccine are joint inflammation and arthritis, anaphylactic shock (and other life-threatening allergic reactions), and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralytic autoimmune disease.

One credible hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease.

Vitamin D levels in your blood fall to their lowest point during flu seasons. Unable to be protected by the body’s own antibiotics (antimicrobial peptides) that are released by vitamin D, a person with a low vitamin D blood level is more vulnerable to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.

Studies show that children with rickets, a vitamin D-deficient skeletal disorder, suffer from frequent respiratory infections, and children exposed to sunlight are less likely to get a cold. The increased number of deaths that occur in winter, largely from pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases, are most likely due to vitamin D deficiency.

Unfortunately, now, for the first time, flu vaccination is also being pushed for virtually all children — not just those under 5.

This is a huge change. Previously, flu vaccine was recommended only for youngsters under 5, who can become dangerously ill from influenza. This year, the government is recommending that children from age 6 months to 18 years be vaccinated, expanding inoculations to 30 million more school-age children.

The government argues that while older children seldom get as sick as the younger ones, it’s a bigger population that catches flu at higher rates, so the change should cut missed school, and parents’ missed work when they catch the illness from their children.

Of course, this policy ignores the fact that a systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo.

Sources:

 

Dr. Mercola’s Comments 

Back in 2005, The Federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that all children between 6 months and 5 years old receive flu shots each year. Now they have expanded their guidelines to include children up to 18 years, which means everyone except those between the ages of 19-49, who are in good health, are urged to get a flu shot.It should come as no surprise to find out that a majority of the ACIP members who came up with these guidelines have financial ties to the vaccine industry, and stand to gain personally for every additional person getting a yearly injection. It’s actually the only explanation that makes any sense for recommendations as insane as these.

Three Reasons to Reconsider Flu ShotsThere are three major reasons why this government push to vaccinate 84 percent of the U.S. population with a yearly flu vaccine is so incomprehensible: 

1. The majority of flu shots contain 25 micrograms of mercury; an amount considered unsafe for anyone weighing less than 550 pounds! And which groups are most sensitive to the neurological damage that has been associated with mercury? Infants, children, and the elderly.

2. No studies have conclusively proven that flu shots prevent flu-related deaths among the elderly, yet this is one of the key groups to which they’re pushed.

3. If you get a flu shot, you can still get the flu (or flu-like symptoms). This is because it only protects against certain strains, and it’s anyone’s guess which flu viruses will be in your area.  

So why would you take a flu shot – EVERY YEAR — that has NEVER been proven to be effective, that can give you the very illness you’re trying to prevent, and has potential long-term side effects that are far worse than the flu itself?

The powers that be have done an excellent job of instilling fear into the population so they believe that they must get a shot to stay healthy, but the simple reality is it’s doing you more harm than good.

And, even if the flu vaccine could effectively prevent the flu, there have been several examples in past years where government health officials have chosen the incorrect influenza strains for that year’s vaccine.  In 2004, the National Vaccine Information Center described how CDC officials told everyone to line up for a flu shot that didn’t even contain the influenza strain causing most of the flu that year.

Two-Thirds of This Year’s Flu Vaccines Contain a Full-Dose of Mercury

According to Dr. Donald Miller, MD, two-thirds of this year’s flu vaccines contain 25 micrograms of thimerosal. Thimerosal is 49 percent mercury by weight.

Each dose of these flu vaccines contains more than 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for mercury.

By now, most people are well aware that children and fetuses are most at risk of damage from this neurotoxin, as their brains are still developing. Yet the CDC still recommends that children over 6 months, and pregnant women, receive the flu vaccine each year.

In addition to mercury, flu vaccines also contain other toxic or hazardous ingredients like:

  • Formaldehyde — a known cancer-causing agent
  • Aluminum — a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease
  • Triton X-100 — a detergent
  • Phenol (carbolic acid)
  • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
  • Various antibiotics: neomycin, streptomycin, gentamicin – which can cause allergic reactions in some people

The Evidence Against Flu Vaccines

For those of you who are still unconvinced, know that there’s plenty of scientific evidence available to back up the recommendation to avoid flu vaccines – if nothing else, then for the simple reason that they don’t work, and don’t offer any real benefit to offset their inherent health risks. For example:

  • A brand new study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. The researchers concluded that “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting” examined.
  • A study published in the Lancet just two months ago found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. This supports a study done five years ago, published in The New England Journal of Medicine
  • Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine last month also confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.
  • Last year, researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health published this conclusion in the Lancet Infectious Diseases: “We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits.” 
  • A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.

Might Influenza be Little More Than a Symptom of Vitamin D Deficiency?

Vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” may very well be one of the most beneficial vitamins there is for disease prevention. Unfortunately it’s also one of the vitamins that a vast majority of people across the world are deficient in due to lack of regular exposure to sunshine.

Published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006, the hypothesis presented by Dr. John Cannell and colleagues in the paper Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D actually makes a lot of sense.

They raise the possibility that influenza is a symptom of vitamin D deficiency!

The vitamin D formed when your skin is exposed to sunlight regulates the expression of more than 2,000 genes throughout your body, including ones that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. Hence, being overwhelmed by the “flu bug” could signal that your vitamin D levels are too low, allowing the flu virus to overtake your immune system.

How to Prepare For Flu Season Without Getting a Flu Shot

I often find that some of the simplest explanations are the truest, and this sounds about as simple as it gets. And, getting appropriate amounts of sunshine (or taking a vitamin D supplement when you can’t get healthy amounts of sun exposure) is one of my KEY preventive strategies against the cold and flu, as it has such a strengthening effect on your immune system.

Interestingly, last week the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled its recommended dose of vitamin D.  Unfortunately this is still a woefully inadequate recommendation as the dose should be TEN times larger. Rather than going from 200 to 400 units per day, it should have increased to about 2,000 units per day.

For most of you reading this it is “vitamin D winter,” which means there simply isn’t enough sunshine to make significant amounts of vitamin D, so you will need to use a tanning bed or take oral supplements.

Although supplements are clearly inferior to sunlight or safe tanning beds, I am becoming more convinced of the value of vitamin D supplements as they are less potentially toxic than my initial impression, and they are certainly more convenient and less expensive than a tanning bed.

For those in the winter with no or very limited exposure to sunshine, 4,000-5,000 units per day would seem appropriate for most adults. If you are very heavy you may need to double that dose, and for children the dose can be half that.

The key though is to make sure you monitor your vitamin D levels by blood testing, to make sure your levels are therapeutic and not toxic.

I advocate getting your vitamin D levels tested regularly, but as I reported recently, you now need to beware of where you’re getting your test done. For an in-depth explanation of what you MUST know before you get tested, please read my updated article Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency.

You can also use vitamin D therapeutically to TREAT the flu. But please understand that if you are taking the above doses of vitamin D the odds of you getting the flu are VERY remote.  The dose of vitamin D you can use would be 2,000 units per kilogram of body weight (one pound is 0.45 kg).  The dose would be taken once a day for three days. 

This could be a very large dose if you were very heavy (2-300,000 units per day)  This is the dose that Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, has been using very successfully for a number of years.

I have not received a flu shot nor had the flu in over 20 years. Here are the other “secrets” I use to keep the flu (and other illnesses) at bay:

Another useful supplement you could try, should you come down with a case of the flu, is olive leaf extract, which you can find in most any health food store.

Olive leaf extract has been found to be a potent broad-spectrum antiviral agent, active against all viruses tested, including numerous strains of influenza and para-influenza viruses.

Related Articles:

http://articles.mercola.com/themes/blogs/MercolaArticle/mercolaimages/bullet.gif Risks of FluMist Vaccine

 

President Bush signs product safety bill to protect children

Yeah! Yesterday Bush signed a bill into law that would ban lead and phthalates from products aimed at children under the age of 12. This includes toys, clothes, bath products, etc.

The major provisions of the bill are:
• Increase funding for CPSC over five years — starting at $118 million in fiscal 2010, and ending at $136 million. For fiscal 2008, CPSC received $80 million
• Create whistleblower protections for employees of manufacturers, private labelers, retailers and distributors
• Require third-party testing of certain children’s products
• Authorize CPSC to inspect manufacturers’ proprietary laboratories
• Require CPSC to make new safety rules for toys
• Create a public database for consumer complaints
• Ban children’s toys or child care articles containing more than a trace amount of certain phthalates, and ban other phthalates on an interim basis pending a review
• Ban lead beyond a minute amount in products for children under 12

The number of toy recalls has been astounding and it’s great to see Congress finally take action.

I look forward to the day when I can also buy shampoo for my daughter without having to scrutinize and read between the lines on the product labels. While banning phthalates is a big step in the right direction, we still have a long way to go in this department — parabens and dioxanes anyone? Yeah, me neither.

But for today, great job Mr. President! I hope to see more like this from Congress to help protect Americans from other harmful substances.

Related Articles
Lead and phthalate free toys for Christmas
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and more
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalare free teethers and rattles
Toxins in cosmetics and beauty products

Boon Frog Pod: Product Review

We LOVE the frog! We had no problems installing it on our porcelain tile and no problems with it staying put, even with it loaded up with toys, shampoo, etc.

The frog holds an amazing amount of toys – you’d be surprised. It has a removable storage basket that allows you to easily dump out the toys and scoop them up. It has a great handle to make this a snap, plus you can rinse them in hot water before hanging the basket up on the frog!

The frog’s toes are a great place to hang washcloths and loofas. And there is a shelf for shampoo, bubble bath and conditioner behind the frog’s head.

There are 2 installation options – suction cups for a lighter load and sticky strips for heavy loads. I would encourage you to try the suction cups first. We had a heavy load (I thought) and the suction cups held just fine for over a year. We just remodeled our bathroom so we will see if the cups work as well on the new tile. I hope so, because my husband threw the sticky strip installation piece away!

Hints on installation – per Amazon’s reviews, many people did have some trouble getting the frog to stay on the wall. Make sure you follow the instructions exactly, including leaving the base piece on the wall for the appropriate amount of time (24 hours if I recall) before attaching the frog itself.

I highly recommend the Boon Frog Pod for helping keep bath toys and necessities organized and in a modern, stylish and fun way! My daughter also loves the frog, so it’s a hit all the way around!

Amazon has the Frog Pod at a good price.

Add Years to Your Life

Four Healthy Behaviors Can Add Many Life Years
AHIP Medical Affairs Issues Report
February 13, 2008

A study conducted in the United Kingdom looked at the impact of four lifestyle behaviors on mortality. Though the health effects of smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and fruit and vegetable intake have been examined separately in many studies, the researchers wanted to examine the effects of their combined impact.

The study examined 20,000 white British men and women, age 45-79 years old, first surveyed in the 1990s. At baseline, the participants had no known cardiovascular disease or cancer. Participants scored one point for each health behavior: current non-smoker, not physically inactive, moderate alcohol intake (1-14 units per week), and fruit and vegetable intake of at least five servings a day (measured by plasma vitamin C levels). Participants were asked to complete a health and lifestyle questionnaire, and were examined by trained nurses at a clinic.

After an average 11 year follow up and controlling for age and other factors that may affect the likelihood of death, results showed that those who scored four points (exhibited all four health behaviors) had one quarter of the mortality risk compared to those who scored zero points. This risk was equivalent to about 14 years difference in chronological age. Those who had a score of two were twice as likely to die as those with a score of four. The trends were strongest for deaths from cardiovascular causes, but there were also associated deaths from cancer and other causes.

The authors noted that the differences in survival were also observed in people with existing chronic disease. They encouraged public health officials to use this information to educate people that modest and achievable goals have significant impact on health, even later in life and for those with chronic conditions.

My personal comments: These 4 things are relatively easy, it just takes a little will power for some people. We all know smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is bad, and exercise and eating fruits and veggies are good. For me, it’s finding time for physical activity. I do have a 22 month old, so I at least have help in that respect, but I do not have time to devote 30 minutes to daily exercise. But I do feel pretty good that on most days I am hitting 3 out of 4 of these items.

It’s also a great idea to go ahead and make this a part of your daily life as a parent and instill these things in your child so these will be natural habits for them going into their adult years. We do not keep “junk food” in our house (not to say we don’t have the occassional Oreo now and then) but to our 22 month old daughter fruits are sweets; and she also loves to chew on carrots, she will eat a big bowl of lima beans, and hummus dip is a daily staple. Some parents say “my child will not eat anything besides junk.” Well, if you don’t have it around to start with, I bet you they will eat the healthy choices that are put in front of them. 

This article was published in the January 2008 issue of the PLoS Medicine journal and can be accessed by clicking here.

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