When to Give the MMR? Increased Seizures if Delayed Past 15 Months

third birthdayI sure wish they would study the long term benefits of delaying the MMR past 15 months.  I suspect they would discover a huge decrease in autism and ASD and other childhood disorders that affect the brain. There are enough parents in this country choosing to delay the MMR, or skip it, that this data could be looked at, but that would require funding and vaccine companies fund research that will result in their favor. They will obviously only fund research that supports giving more vaccines sooner.  What would you do if you were running a company and reporting to shareholders?

This study, “Timely Versus Delayed Early Childhood Vaccination and Seizures,” in Pediatrics (you can read it here… ), looked at over 300,000 children from 2004 to 2008. Have you ever wondered why they would choose certain date ranges?  Why not look at 1985-2012 for example? Would it perhaps change your results? I suspect one reason was that they also looked at seizures with the MMRV and compared rates to those who got the MMR, and the MMRV hasn’t been around that long.  The chance of having a seizure was doubled with the MMRV.  How many of you would like that one?  I don’t and won’t carry the MMRV, that clearly has problems, and they have to put 10 times the amount of varicella antigen in that vaccine to make it work.  

The conclusion of the study is that delaying the MMR past 15 months results in increased seizure risk. 

In my practice I have hundreds of patients who have chosen to do their first MMR at or after age 3.  We have not had one seizure.  I suspect some day one will occur, but that is certainly not enough reason to give the MMR by 15 months. At Integrative Pediatrics, we are experiencing a much lower rate of autism than the community and country at large. I am not saying that delaying the MMR is the reason for our better outcomes. Patients here do a lot of healthful things:

  • Don’t get the Hepatitis B series as newborns and infants if birth mom doesn’t have Hepatitis B
  • Take Vitamin D 1000 IU daily from birth on.
  • Delay introduction of gluten and highly processed grains.
  • Don’t give aluminum containing vaccines together. 
  • Breast feed as long as you can. 
  • Avoid herbicides (GMO) and pesticides – eat organic.

 

While delay of the MMR is controversial and needs to be studied, there certainly have not been any of the seizures reported in this study, in the hundreds of patients who have taken this vaccine at 3 years or later.

 

Dr. Paul

 

 

 

Should I give my child the Rotavirus vaccine?

smiling babyIf you are reading this, chances are you don’t need the rotavirus vaccine.  The fact that you have Internet implies to me that you have access to health care.  If your infant or young child had a vomiting and diarrhea episode so severe that they couldn’t keep anything down, would you be able to get to a hospital for IV fluids?  If you answer “no” then you should consider the rotavirus vaccine. 

The rotavirus vaccine is one of the few I don’t carry in my office at all.

Why? 

  1.   This vaccine cannot be started after age 6 months. Why would you give an infant, with an immature immune system, something you cannot give a 1 or 2 year old?
  2.   This vaccine can cause intussusception (intestinal blockage) and death, and no one with access to health care dies from vomiting and diarrhea caused by rotavirus.
  3.   This is a live virus vaccine you are intentionally putting into your babies mouth and GI track with no long term studies.
  4.   Deceitful marketing was employed, with quotes of saving millions of lives worldwide (when only a handful of infant deaths occur in the US each year from rotavirus).
  5.   Dr Orfit, whose patent for this vaccine earns millions,  is a major voice in the system that decides which vaccines get approved, and that is a conflict of interest. 
  6.   Rotarix contains porcine circovirus and Rotatec (Dr Orfit’s vaccine) contains baboon retrovirus. Read more about that here…

If I lived where there was no access to IV solutions for that rare case of horrible diarrhea and vomiting in my infant that could be fatal, then I would get the rotavirus vaccine for my baby.  For the majority of the world and all of us who live in the developed world and have access to medical care, this is one I just cannot justify medically.  The studies showing benefit are pooling data from poor countries with poor healthcare and little to no access to health care issues. 

If you live in the US or a country with modern health care and easy access to health care, this is one you can safely skip.  If, however, you are not so fortunate, the world data suggests that rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhea in young children and accounts for about 500,000 (half a million) deaths a year.  This vaccine may be a valuable tool in those countries with access to health care issues (Read more here… )  Sadly, the vaccine is mostly given to children in the wealthy countries who can afford to pay for it but don’t need it, and those babies that really do  need it, don’t get the vaccine.  

The benefits of the rotavirus vaccine in higher risk countries are well documented. (Read more… )  Vaccine studies are all funded by the pharmaceutical industry and designed to show benefit. Studies are not published if they fail to show the desired effects, and in fact, such studies would not be designed as it would not be in the interests of the company that is trying to profit from a given vaccine.

The association between rotavirus vaccines and intussusception (IS) and death has been well documented in the literature. The NEJM 2011 article, “Intussusception risk and health benefits of rotavirus vaccination in Mexico and Brazil,” showed a 1/51,000 increase in IS in Mexico and 1/68,000 increase in IS for Brazil. (Read more… )  The previously withdrawn rotavirus vaccine (Rotashield) had been found to cause an increase of 1/10,000 cases of IS and was pulled from the market shortly after it was introduced in 1999. 

The review article, “Childhood Intussusception: A Literature Review,” PLoS one 2013 (you can read it here… ) documents 44,454 IS events documented in 82 studies from across the world for an IS rate of  74/100,000.  While case fatality rates are often less than 1% they were as high as 9% in Africa and that underestimates the fatality as those studies only documented hospital cases. Since the 2002 WHO document on Intussusception in infants and children (read more here… ) documented an incidence of IS as 6-20 cases/100,000 infants under age 1 in developed countries and 3.5/100,000 in Brazil to 24/100,000 in Venezuela, we see that intussusception was an extremely rare event prior to the introduction of the rotavirus vaccines. Since the introduction of the rotavirus vaccines, rates have now increased 308%-2114%.

Despite clear risks from this vaccine, if your child cannot get to a hospital for IV fluids, then this is one to consider as most studies do show significant reductions in hospitalizations and deaths for those infants who were vaccinated.

 

Dr. Paul

 

Genetic Link with DUF1220 and Severity of Autism

genetic variationWhen you read genetic link between this and that, what do you think?  Because of how we were taught genetics in school most of us think it is cause and effect.  My mom and dad’s blood type or eye color affects mine directly, right?  While this direct cause and effect is true for a few things, nearly everything you read these days is about associations.  Most are SNP’s (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism’s), and in this study the association is with a whole area of protein.  

When researchers find associations, rather than thinking cause and effect, I encourage you to think as follows: “ If I have these increased risks, there must be some way that the increased toxins in the world, or nutritional deficiencies, cause this genetic characteristic to put me at high risk”.  You see, in the absence of toxins and in the presence of all the nutrients your cells need, virtually all the “genetic links” you will read about would have little significance or effects on you or your children. You can read more about the genetic link between the protein DUF1220 and the severity of autism symptoms here…

Never before has it been more important to:

  1. -eat organic, & GMO-free, 
  2. -drink filtered water, 
  3. -vaccinate carefully (no Tdap while pregnant & no Hep B for infants if mom Hep B negative)
  4. -take key nutrients as supplements if needed (we all need extra vitamin D and many need methyl-B12, methal-folate etc.)
  5. -reduce stress in your world, especially for pregnant moms 

 

We will be cataloging millions of SNP’s and other gene associations over the next century and beyond.  Don’s stress about all this.  Realize that our ancestors did just fine not knowing their genetics, by clean living.  We must do the same and use the genetic knowledge to encourage us to work harder than ever to avoid toxins and maximize nutrients. 

The US government, FDA, and CDC do little to protect us from toxins. In February 2013, JAMA published the article (you can read it here… ) showing a 100% reduction in autism for moms who took folate while pregnant, reducing the risk from 1/500 to 1/1000.  Ever wondered why this Norway study had autism rates of 1/500 to 1/1000 while ours in the USA is 1/50 to 1/100?  I suspect it is the environmental protection, lack of GMO, less toxins, and they don’t give newborns the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth or to infants unless they’re at high risk. I suspect the “genetics” such as the percentage of these 85,000 pregnancies that had SNP’s and protein regions such as outlined in this article are not that different between Norway and the USA. 

What is different is the environmental toxins, the nutrition and the lack of stress pregnant moms experience in contrast to the USA where mom’s are eating GMO foods, drinking polluted water, being now injected with a huge dose of aluminum while pregnant with the Tdap (that wasn’t happening at the time of this study so things will get worse for us). 

I encourage you, each time you read of a new genetic link, to think “TOXINS TOXINS TOXINS – I will avoid you, and NUTRIENTS – I will get mine checked, and maximize my cellular function”.  If you are an adult, consider coming to Natura (www.naturaintegrativemedicine.com) and for children Integrative Pediatrics (www.drpaul.md) where we can assess your nutrient status and counsel you on nutrition and so much more. 

Dr. Paul

 

 

 

Diet Myths

myth-bustedIn the quest to regain or maintain optimal health, eating right, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting adequate exercise and rest is the key.  We are bombarded with conflicting information about food.  What is good for you?  What is bad for you? I cover briefly 6 key myths that you just must learn and get right.

 

MYTHS:

  1. Fat is bad for you. NO! Note that 30% of calories should come from fat, you need fat to make hormones and to burn fat. Pick healthy fats, fish, nuts, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil. It is the balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats that is wrong in the US diet.  We need much more Omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Organic, packaged foods are fine and sugar is fine. NO! While better than non-organic, processed foods and sugar are still not good for you.
  3. Artificial sweeteners are OK.  Wrong They will make you gain weight and crave sweets. Aspartame is carcinogenic and a poison to absolutely avoid.
  4. All fast food is bad. Yes but.. Frozen fruits, vegetables, and fish or lean cuts of meat that you prepare beats pizza, burgers, and other fast foods every time!
  5. Tap water is safe to drink. NO! While there is great variability city to city, most municipal water systems do not remove pesticides, herbicides, and medications. Choose water that has been charcoal filtered and better yet from a system of reverse osmosis with charcoal filtration. Water that sits in plastic bottles, especially in the heat will contain BPA and other toxic plastics that disrupt hormones (endocrine disrupters).
  6. Gluten free food is best. Depends In the quest to be gluten free, if you are buying packaged processed alternatives rather than eating whole food, you may be creating more inflammation and doing more harm. Obviously those with celiac or severe gluten sensitivity should avoid gluten completely.
  7. GMO foods are safe. NO! Why would scientists and countries around the world ban GMO foods?  There are few long term studies and plenty of research suggesting danger, some directly from eating GMO foods and indirectly from the increased pesticide and herbicide use that results from the use of GMO seeds.

 

Due to the huge amount of industry backed junk science out there, you can find articles to support any point of view on each of these key myths. Do a gut check and use a bit of common sense.  What would grandma or great grandma have said?  Does someone stand to profit by perpetuating the myth?  

 

To your health.  Learn, apply what you learn, then teach it and share. 

Dr. Paul