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Sat, 10 Dec 2016
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Syringe

Autism Rates Double in Children as Vaccines Poison an Entire Generation

According to a U.S. government survey just published, rates of autism in children have doubled since 2003. Today, an estimated 1 in 91 children are being diagnosed with autism, making this the highest rate in any population in the history of human civilization. Meanwhile, the vaccination push in America continues, specifically targeting children with not just seasonal flu vaccines (which may contain thimerosal), but also the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

It all begs the question: Is there a link between vaccines and autism?

In defending vaccines, many doctors have blamed autism on a genetic cause. But if it's genetic, why are rates skyrocketing so quickly? The gene pool obviously isn't changing that dramatically. There's no such thing as a "genetic epidemic." If genes caused autism, the rate of autism diagnosis should be holding steady year after year. Clearly, something else is at work, causing the sharp increase in autism.

Attention

Should You Ditch Your Chemical Mattress?

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Illustration: Gordon Studer
Susan Greenfield and her girlfriend Llina Kempner couldn't wait for their new memory-foam mattress top to arrive. For months, they'd heard friends rave about how the high-tech material molds itself to your body. But when they unwrapped the three-inch-thick pad in their Manhattan apartment, they noticed a strong, acrid odor. "My nose and my lungs were miserable," recalls Greenfield. For the two nights Kempner slept on the mattress top, she felt nauseated. After Greenfield, who is chemically sensitive, had an asthma attack in the middle of the night, the couple returned the mattress pad. But its stench lingered in the apartment for weeks.

Key

Save Money on Organic Food: Join a Natural Foods Co-op

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One common reason you might shy away from purchasing only organically grown food is the relatively higher price when compared to conventionally grown and sourced foods.

If your budget doesn't seem to cover it, then even if you know the importance of eating organic foods for your own health (and the health of the soil and water), you'll choose the foods you feel like you can afford.

Luckily for us, the tradition of natural food cooperatives still survives. Many food cooperatives (co-ops) were formed out of necessity - natural foods and health food items were not readily available at the corner grocery store - but have survived because of the community-powered principles behind them.

Blackbox

Are You Depressed, Or Just Human?

Depression can be devastating. Its worst form, major depressive disorder, is marked by all-encompassing low mood, thoughts of worthlessness, isolation, and loss of interest or pleasure in most or all activities. But this clinical description misses the deep, experiential horror of the condition; the suffocating sense of despair that can make life seem too arduous to bear.

Here's something else we can say confidently about depression: it is complex. The cause is often a mix of factors including genetic brain abnormalities, sunlight deprivation, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and social issues including homelessness and poverty. Also, cause and effect can be hard to tease apart -- is social isolation a cause or an effect of depression?

Unfortunately, we can make one more unassailable observation about depression: the disorder -- or, more precisely, the diagnosis -- has gone stratospheric. An astonishing 10 percent of the U.S. population was prescribed an antidepressant in 2005; up from 6 percent in 1996.

Health

Difficulties With Daily Activities Associated With Progression To Dementia

Among individuals with mild cognitive impairment, often considered a transitional state between normal cognitive function and Alzheimer's dementia, those who have more difficulties performing routine activities appear more likely to progress quickly to dementia, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Mild cognitive impairment is recognized as a risk factor for dementia and an important public health issue, according to background information in the article. "Annual conversion rates [from mild cognitive impairment to dementia] often range from 10 percent to 15 percent in clinic samples. Conversion rates in community-based studies are often substantially lower (i.e., 3.8 percent to 6.3 percent per year)," the authors write. "Clearly patients with mild cognitive impairment compose a heterogeneous group, of whom not all rapidly convert to dementia. As such, it is important to identify risk factors for progressing rapidly among individuals diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment."

Cow

Trail of E Coli Shows Flaws in Inspection of Ground Beef

© Ben Garvin/The New York Times
Stephanie Smith, 22, was paralyzed after being stricken by E. coli in 2007. Officials traced the E. coli to hamburger her family had eaten.
Stephanie Smith, a children's dance instructor, thought she had a stomach virus. The aches and cramping were tolerable that first day, and she finished her classes.

Then her diarrhea turned bloody. Her kidneys shut down. Seizures knocked her unconscious. The convulsions grew so relentless that doctors had to put her in a coma for nine weeks. When she emerged, she could no longer walk. The affliction had ravaged her nervous system and left her paralyzed.

Ms. Smith, 22, was found to have a severe form of food-borne illness caused by E. coli, which Minnesota officials traced to the hamburger that her mother had grilled for their Sunday dinner in early fall 2007.

"I ask myself every day, 'Why me?' and 'Why from a hamburger?' "Ms. Smith said. In the simplest terms, she ran out of luck in a food-safety game of chance whose rules and risks are not widely known.

Syringe

US: A Brief History of Government Immunizations

As the start of the federal government's most ambitious vaccination program approaches, it is worth taking a second look at the history of similar campaigns in the past. Since most of the media and government health officials constantly laud vaccine successes, this article will dwell more on the stories that are not as widely disseminated.

The results of many past mass inoculation efforts have been severely criticized, and are cited by some health experts as another reason for - at the very least - exercising extreme caution. In addition to outright catastrophes that are attributed to vaccines and government mandates, some medical experts say the benefits are dubious at best.

Magnify

Eight Puzzling Food Labels

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Imagine three items in your grocery cart: Peppercorn Ranch SunChips, Cocoa Krispies and Country Crock margarine.

The first is stamped with a red heart, indicating that it's a good source of whole grains. The second has a banner saying that the vitamin-enriched rice cereal will boost your immunity. The third bears a green label deeming it a "Smart Choice," a green seal of approval on the front of food packaging to indicate healthier fare.

If you are like the typical hurried consumer, chances are you don't spend much time considering how such messages end up there. Here's one way to look at it: The chips have no trans fat and contain 18 grams of whole grains; the cereal boasts one-quarter of one's recommended daily vitamin intake; the margarine has fewer calories and less cholesterol than butter.

X

Groundbreaking Primate Study Links Mercury Vaccine Preservative to Brain Injury

Same preservative used in H1N1 Shots Puts Children at Risk for Brainstem Injury

A new study in the leading scientific journal NeuroToxicology lends further credence to parents and scientists concerned about an increasingly aggressive childhood vaccine schedule and toxic vaccine components. A team led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that infant macaque monkeys receiving a single Hepatitis B vaccine containing the mercury-based preservative thimerosal underwent significant delays in developing critical reflexes controlled by the brainstem. The infant macaques that did not receive vaccines developed normally.

Sun

Elderly Need More Nutrition from Sunlight, Say Experts

Large numbers of senior citizens need to spend more time outdoors to boost their levels of vitamin D and lower their risk of chronic disease, researchers from Warwick University have warned.

"As we get older our skin is less efficient at forming vitamin D and our diet may also become less varied, with a lower natural vitamin D content," said lead researcher Oscar Franco. "When we are older we may need to spend more time outdoors to stimulate the same levels of vitamin D we had when we were younger."

In a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, the researchers measured vitamin D levels in 3,000 residents of China between the ages of 50 and 70. They found that a full 94 percent had insufficient blood levels of the vitamin.

"Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a condition that is causing a large burden of disease across the globe with particular deleterious impact among the elderly," Franco said.