Thursday, February 25, 2016

NVIC Legislative Update


NVIC Legislative Update  

NVIC Advocacy Portal staff report below on 
states with active vaccine related legislation. You can read more about these states on NVIC's Advocacy Portal. Act today!

  • Indiana has a bill to remove the philosophical/conscientious exemption.  NVIC supporters in Indiana oppose this bill and an alert has been issued.
  • Colorado has a hearing on HB 1164 today (Feb. 25). This bill is the first in the U.S. to propose that parents must submit school and daycare exemptions directly to the state health department for health officials' own use, which circumvents federal privacy protections of information in school records! See NVIC's alert to oppose.
  • Hawaii will hold a decision making hearing on SB 2394, a bill to force flu vaccination of health care workers, in the Senate Ways and Means Committee today (Feb. 25) at 9:30 am in conference room 211. Call committee members to oppose!
  • Maryland has two hearings coming up on mandatory HPV vaccines for kids: HB 1178 on Mar. 10 at 1 pm in the House Ways and Means Committee and SB 860 on Mar. 9 at 1 pm in Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs.  Read our alert to oppose!
  • Washington has executive sessions tomorrow (Feb. 26)  on SB 5143 - mandatory vaccine education for pregnant families in the House Committee on Health Care and Wellness at 10 am.  See bill information on NVIC's Advocacy Portal.  Government information on vaccines is rarely balanced with risks.  Express your concerns on forced education to your legislators.
  • The South Dakota legislature has passed SB 28, which requires mandatory meningococcal vaccinations for children attending school, and has sent the bill to the governor.  Contact Governor Daugaard and ask him to VETO SB 28. Contact links are on NVIC's Advocacy Portal.
  • The Virginia bill, HB 313, to expand who can give vaccines passed the House and Senate. Now  it is time to contact Governor Terry McAuliffe to veto! Read NVIC's alert on the Advocacy Portal.
  • Congratulations to the state of Oklahoma and the members of Oklahoman's for Vaccine Choice and NVIC Advocacy for successfully fighting SB 1478 to remove the philosophical vaccine exemption.  This bill died in committee on a vote of 6 to 7 on Feb. 22. 
  • Bills are filed or have recently been filed in the following states that NVIC is actively following: CA, MA, MI, MS, NH, NJ, OH, OK, RI!  Bill information is posted has been posted on NVIC's Advocacy Portal. 

Your voice is needed! Register today on  NVIC's Advocacy Portal and state up-to-date with vaccine legislative efforts in your state.



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Animal study suggests vitamin D may help prevent and treat autistic symptoms

Animal study suggests vitamin D may help prevent and treat autistic symptoms

Recently, scientists from Saudi Arabia conducted a randomized controlled trial using vitamin D to both protect and treat an induced autistic brain in rats.

Alfawaz HA, Bhat RS, Al-Ayadhi L, El-Ansary AK. Protective and restorative potency of Vitamin D on persistent biochemical autistic features induced in propionic acid-intoxicated rat pups. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Oct 25;14:416.

The researchers studied 28 rats induced with autistic markers, and divided them into 4 groups of seven rats each. They used propionic acid to injure the brain and induce the autistic markers. They had two control groups and two experimental groups. The experimental groups received vitamin D before (protective) and after injury (treatment). They used high doses of vitamin D: 1,000 IU/kg/day, which is the weight equivalent of me taking 100,000 IU/day. However, they only used this dose for 2 weeks. None of the rats developed vitamin D toxicity.

They measured various pathological markers known to be abnormal in autism, such as serotonin (a neurotransmitter known to be low in autism), IFN (a marker of inflammation), GST (glutathione, the master antioxidant) and 3 markers of genetic damage.

Results were statistically significant (p = 0.001) in all categories in both the prevention and treatment groups of rats compared to the placebos.

The authors concluded:

“Based on the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and DNA repair actions of vitamin D reported in the present study, vitamin D could be used as a supplement in patients with autism to ameliorate the symptoms related to these pathways. As maternal vitamin D deficiency may predispose children to autism, a high consumption of vitamin D-rich seafood, and an avoidance of the use of sunblock during pregnancy could be suggested as an autism prevention strategy.”

We will shortly announce that 2016 will be the year that vitamin D’s treatment and preventative effects on autism will be emphasized. Stay tuned.

Until then, if you want your children to be free of autism, we recommend both mom and dad supplement with 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D for at least 3 months before conception (this dose will also improve both male and female fertility). Then, the pregnant woman should remain on 5,000 IU/day, and perhaps 10,000 IU/day, which is the No Observed Adverse Effects Level (NOAEL) level for vitamin D intake throughout her pregnancy.

After the child is born, he or she should supplement with at least 1,000 IU/25 pounds of body weight per day. When the child reaches 125 pounds, he or she should take 5,000 IU/day. If the child shows any signs or symptoms of autism, the dose should be increased to 2,000 IU/per day/per 25 pounds of body weight.


A very important survey of usage of homeopathic medicines in the USA was just published.....

This article is not available in full online. Its abstract is available at:

From Dana Ullman at

A very important survey of usage of homeopathic medicines in the USA was just published, and here are some of the salient facts about this survey:

-- It was published in the most respected public health journal in the USA, “The American Journal of Public Health.”

-- The authors of this survey were from Harvard’s School of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliated hospital.

-- This survey noted that homeopathic studies “suggest potential public health benefits such as reductions in unnecessary antibiotic usage, reductions in costs to treat certain respiratory diseases, improvements in peri-menopausal depression, improved health outcomes in chronically ill individuals. And control of a Leptospirosis epidemic in Cuba.”

-- This survey analyzed data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey for the prevalence and patterns of usage of homeopathic medicines among U.S. adults in relation to other complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) use.

-- Two-thirds of homeopathy users ranked homeopathy as one of their top three CIM therapies.

-- Homeopathy users who saw a professional homeopath were significantly more likely to feel that homeopathy was “very important in maintaining health and well-being” and that it helped their health condition “a great deal” than were homeopathy users who did not see a professional homeopath.

-- Previous governmental surveys in 2002 and 2007 found that homeopathy was used by 1.7% and 1.8% of American adults respectively. This new survey found that in 2012 the usage of homeopathy had grew approximately 15% to 2.1% of U.S. adults.

-- The usage of homeopathic medicines in the U.S. are considerably lower than in other Western countries, such as Italy (8.2%) and Germany (14.8%)

-- This survey, like dozens before it, have found that people who were more educated were more likely to use homeopathic medicines than people who were less educated.

-- The most common conditions for which people sought homeopathic treatment were respiratory and ear-nose-and-throat complaints as well as musculoskeletal pain syndromes.

-- The researchers concluded, “Because of potential public health benefits associated with the use of homeopathy, further research on this modality and targeted studies of users are warranted.”

Vitamin D Lowers Cholesterol in Type 2 Diabetics

Vitamin D Lowers Cholesterol in Type 2 Diabetics

February 23, 2016,

In a new study published in December 2015, researchers reported that vitamin D supplementation reduces total cholesterol in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is associated with elevated cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease and stroke. According to the American Diabetes Association, 65% of adults with diabetes have elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

The researchers evaluated 28 subjects with type 2 diabetes and vitamin D deficiency, defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of less than 20 ng/mL. The subjects received 16,000 IU of calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) orally once a week for a minimum of eight weeks and a mean treatment period of 84.1 days. The investigators measured serum vitamin D as well as total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D increased in all subjects to greater than 20 ng/mL and total cholesterol was significantly reduced. Reductions in LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides did not reach statistical significance and HDL cholesterol remained unchanged.

The study authors stated, “Correction of vitamin D deficiency in type 2 diabetic patients decreases total cholesterol. Our results do not rule out reductions in LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.”

Ramiro-Lozano JM, et al. Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2015;6:245-8.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

New study finds clear differences between organic and non-organic milk and meat

New study finds clear differences between organic and non-organic milk and meat

February 15, 2016

In the largest study of its kind, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK, has shown that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products.

Analyzing data from around the world, the team reviewed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found clear differences between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.

Publishing their findings today in the British Journal of Nutrition, the team say the data show a switch to organic meat and milk would go some way towards increasing our intake of nutritionally important fatty acids.

Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University explains:

"Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function.

"Western European diets are recognized as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends we should double our intake.

"But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients."

Western European diets are too low in omega-3 fatty acids

The systematic literature reviews analyzed data from around the world and found that organic milk and meat have more desirable fat profiles than conventional milk and meat.

Most importantly, a switch from conventional to organic would raise omega-3 fat intake without increasing calories and undesirable saturated fat. For example, half a litre of organic full fat milk (or equivalent fat intakes from other dairy products like butter and cheese) provides an estimated 16% (39 mg) of the recommended, daily intake of very long-chain omega-3, while conventional milk provides 11% (25 mg).

Other positive changes in fat profiles included lower levels of myristic and palmitic acid in organic meat and a lower omega-3/omega-6 ratio in organic milk. Higher levels of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E and carotenoids and 40% more CLA in organic milk were also observed.

The study showed that the more desirable fat profiles in organic milk were closely linked to outdoor grazing and low concentrate feeding in dairy diets, as prescribed by organic farming standards.

The two new systematic literature reviews also describe recently published results from several mother and child cohort studies linking organic milk and dairy product consumption to a reduced risk of certain diseases. This included reduced risks of eczema in babies.

Newcastle University's Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the studies, said:

"People choose organic milk and meat for three main reasons: improved animal welfare, the positive impacts of organic farming on the environment, and the perceived health benefits. But much less is known about impacts on nutritional quality, hence the need for this study.

"Several of these differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases."

Avoiding iodine over- and under-supply from milk is a challenge

The study also found 74% more iodine in conventional milk which is important information, especially for UK consumers, where iodized table salt is not widely available.

Iodine is low in most foods, except seafood, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends Iodine fortification of table salt to address this. Iodine fortification of cattle feeds is also widely used to increase iodine concentrations in both organic and conventional milk.

Gillian Butler, co-author and senior lecturer in animal nutrition at Newcastle University, explains:

"There is a relatively narrow margin between dietary Iodine deficiency (<140 µg/day) and excessive intakes (> 500 µg/day) from our diet which can lead to thyrotoxicoxis.

"Optimising iodine intake is therefore challenging, since globally there seems to be as much concern about excessive rather than inadequate intake."

In the USA, China, Brazil and many European countries, where Iodine fortified salt is widely used, elevated levels of iodine in milk may increase the risk of excessive intake for individuals with high dairy consumption. For this reason the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed a reduction in the permitted level of iodine in cattle feed from 5 to 2 mg iodine per kg of feed.

However, in the UK, where iodized salt is not widely available, the population relies more on milk and dairy products for adequate iodine supply. National Diet and Nutrition Survey data (NDNS) suggest that milk and dairy products supply between 31-52% of iodine in the UK diet.

The daily recommended intake of iodine in the UK is 140 µg/day and just over half comes from dietary sources other than milk/dairy products. Based on results from the study, half a litre of milk would provide 53% of and 88% of the daily recommended intake from organic and conventional milk respectively. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women have a higher iodine requirement (250 µg/day) and are therefore more at risk of iodine deficiency, which could affect neurological development in babies.

Further evidence of the health benefits of organic food

The work builds on a previous study by the team - involving experts from the UK, US, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and Poland - investigating the composition of organic and conventionally-grown crops.

This previous study - also published in the British Journal of Nutrition - showed that organic crops and crop-based foods are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops and contained less of the toxic metal cadmium.

"We have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional food. Taken together, the three studies on crops, meat and milk suggest that a switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids," concludes Professor Leifert.

"We need substantially more, well designed studies and surveys before we can accurately estimate composition differences in meat from different farm animals and for many nutritionally important compounds (vitamins, minerals, toxic metal and pesticide residues), as there is currently too little data to make comparisons.

"However, the fact that there are now several mother and child cohort studies linking organic food consumption to positive health impacts shows why it is important to further investigate the impact of the way we produce our food on human health.

The authors highlight that only a small number of studies have been carried out comparing organic and non-organic meat, and that even significant results may still carry a high level of uncertainty.

More information: "Higher PUFA and omega-3 PUFA, CLA, a-tocopherol and iron, but lower iodine and selenium concentrations in organic bovine milk: A systematic literature review and meta- and redundancy analysis". Carlo Leifert et al. British Journal of Nutrition

"Composition differences between organic and conventional meat; a systematic literature review and meta-analysis". Carlo Leifert et al. British Journal of Nutrition

Provided by: Newcastle University


High Fructose Corn Syrup and the Brain

High Fructose Corn Syrup and the Brain  

Excessive alcohol use can cause fat accumulation in the liver. Ultimately, This accumulation of fat may lead to liver failure that may actually prove fatal.

But it turns out, that there is another form of fat accumulation in the liver that has nothing to do with consumption of alcohol, hence the name non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFDL). NAFDL is considered the most common liver disorder in developed countries, estimated to be present in an incredible 30% of American adults.

NAFDL is often not a benign condition. It is strongly related to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. That means that people who have NAFDL are far more likely to develop things like type II diabetes and ultimately may even develop cirrhosis of the liver.

But the main concerns for our discussion center on the relationship between NAFDL and issues with sugar metabolism, insulin activity, and, perhaps most importantly, inflammation, the cornerstone of our most dreaded and unfortunately all too common conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, and even cancer.

So, as common as this condition is, and its profound relationship to so many other conditions, you definitely want to know what may increase your risk of developing NAFDL, and one of the biggest culprits is the dietary consumption of fructose.

Researchers at the University of Florida have demonstrated that a diet high in fructose dramatically increases the production of fat in the liver. In fact, in a recent report they demonstrated that in individuals who had NAFDL, their consumption of fructose was 2-3x higher than controls (people who did not have this liver disorder).

To be clear, this is the type of sugar typically found in soft drinks and other products made with high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that is widely used in food production here in America

From my perspective as a brain specialist, I was particularly taken by a recent report appearing in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, in which researchers demonstrated a powerful effect of NAFDL, in laboratory animals, in terms of increasing the changes in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. The changes in the brain included a dramatic increase in inflammation in laboratory animals suffering from NAFDL.

This research again confirms the notion that inflammation, as a process, as in this case starting in liver, can be detrimental throughout the body. Further, we know that NAFDL is a powerful cause of inflammation and that there is a strong relationship between the development of NAFDL and the consumption of fructose.

So again, this is a very powerful argument in favor of dramatically reducing your consumption of products containing high fructose corn syrup, despite what advertisers may tell you.