Propaganda Machine of $4.3 Billion Influenza Vaccine Industry Is in Full Swing

Source: Humans Are Free

Flu season is upon us again — the time of year when the steady message is “Have you gotten your flu shot yet?”

Considering the many studies showing flu vaccines offer minimal protection against illness even when well-matched to circulating viral strains, the fact that vaccination continues to be touted as your first line of defense against influenza suggests this annual campaign is more about generating conformity for profit rather than actually improving and protecting public health.

Questionable Data Used to Support Annual Flu Vaccination Campaigns

Statistics reveal that in most years, flu shots are at best 50 to 60 percent effective at preventing lab confirmed type A or B influenza requiring medical care.1 In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.2

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.3

According to a 2014 meta-analysis,4 71 people have to be vaccinated in order for a single case of influenza to be avoided — a ratio that speaks to the ineffectiveness of this annual routine. Adding insult to injury, evidence5 (which was confirmed three years later6) suggests flu vaccination may double your risk of contracting pandemic influenza or a more serious bout of influenza.

Research7 published in 2011 also warned the seasonal flu vaccine appears to weaken children’s immune systems and increases their chances of getting sick from influenza viruses not included in the vaccine.

When blood samples from healthy, unvaccinated children and children who had received an annual flu shot were compared, the unvaccinated group had naturally built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains compared to the vaccinated group.8

Evidence also shows you can get vaccinated, show few or no symptoms and still shed and transmit influenza to other people.9,10 Flu vaccines are also associated with debilitating and potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration.

2018/2019 Flu Season Brings Back Failed Nasal Spray Vaccine

Flu vaccines are by their nature a tricky business because influenza viruses are constantly evolving and public health officials have to guess at least six months before the flu season starts which type A and B influenza virus strains might end up being predominant so drug companies can manufacture the vaccines.

When the strains chosen do not match the strains actually causing most of the disease in any given flu season, the vaccine’s failure rate significantly increases. But it’s also important to realize that the majority of respiratory influenza-like illness that people experience during any given flu season is not type A or B influenza.11

When you get a sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, low grade fever, body aches and cough, most of the time it is another type of viral or bacterial respiratory infection unrelated to influenza viruses.12

In fact, data13,14,15,16 shows other types of viruses are responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory infections during any given flu season. 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.

All of that said, there are several different types of influenza vaccines to choose from in any given year. This year, the live attenuated nasal spray vaccine (FluMist), which the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices did not recommend during the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 seasons due to its extreme ineffectiveness, is back and once again being recommended by the CDC.17

For the 2018/2019 season, FluMist is approved for nonpregnant individuals between the ages of 2 and 49. Exceptions18 include children taking aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications, those with suppressed immune function, children aged 2 to 4 who have asthma, those who have taken an antiviral drug in the previous 48 hours, and a few others.

High-Dose Flu Vaccine for Seniors — ‘Costs Outweigh Benefits’ Canadian Experts Say

You also have the injectable inactivated influenza vaccines, including a high-dose version for seniors over the age of 65, which contains four times the amount of antigen as the regular dose of the standard vaccine.

In Canada, infectious disease experts have spoken out against the vaccine, saying it’s not effective enough to justify its high cost, which is about five times that of the regular flu vaccine.19

According to British Columbia’s provincial health officer Bonnie Henry, research suggests 200 seniors would have to be vaccinated with Fluzone High-Dose to prevent a single case of influenza, and 4,000 would have to be vaccinated to prevent one flu-related hospitalization.20

Due to its poor performance, British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, New Brunswick and Newfoundland will not cover the cost of Fluzone High-Dose for seniors who would otherwise get free regular flu shots.

The Globe and Mail reports:21

“The divergent policies are part of a continuing debate over the targeted flu shot that experts say has major implications for future influenza vaccination programs — and the amount of money it costs to deliver them …

“Danuta Skowronski, epidemiology lead of influenza and emerging respiratory pathogens at the BC Centre for Disease Control, said the benefits don’t justify the price.

“She also said the new flu shot has only been studied for a few seasons and that there are unanswered questions health policy officials should consider before they get locked into an expensive multiyear agreement.

“For instance, emerging research suggests people who get repeat flu shots every year may actually experience reduced immunity in subsequent years. That could have implications for seniors who receive a high dose of the flu shot, she said.”

U.S. Government Statistics: Flu Shot is the Most Dangerous Vaccine in America

What You Need to Know About Flu Vaccines Made From Dog Kidney and Insect Cells

A relative newcomer in the vaccine lineup is the quadrivalent influenza vaccine called Flucelvax, which became available during the 2017/2018 season. Approved for individuals over the age of 4, this vaccine is unique in that it uses dog kidney (MDCK) cells for production.22

Traditionally, candidate vaccine strain influenza viruses, i.e., the viruses selected for inclusion in the vaccine, have been produced using fertilized chicken eggs.

Flucelvax viruses are grown in cultured animal cells instead.23 (Another relatively new technology uses insect (army worm) cells to produce a recombinant quadrivalent influenza vaccine, Flublok, for individuals over 18 years old.24,25)

As the effectiveness of conventional flu shots continues to leave much to be desired, the new Flucelvax vaccine was touted as a new-and-improved version that would protect more people once flu season hit. In reality, a study26 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed its benefit was quite modest.

While flu vaccines overall were only 24 percent effective in preventing flu-related hospitalizations in people aged 65 and older, the Flucelvax vaccine had an effectiveness rate of 26.5 percent in that population — hardly a major improvement.

It’s been known for some time that growing flu vaccines in eggs may lead to problematic mutations that make them less effective against circulating influenza viruses. Such was the case during the 2016 to 2017 flu season, when H3N2 viruses were prevalent.

Writing in PNAS,27 researchers noted, “Human vaccine strains grown in eggs often possess adaptive mutations that increase viral attachment to chicken cells.” They identified a mutation in the flu vaccine strain that produced antibodies that didn’t work well to neutralize the H3N2 viruses circulating that year.

But the hope that cell-based vaccines might solve this problem appears overly optimistic. Dr. John Treanor, a flu vaccine expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center, told STAT News in 2017,28 “There wasn’t convincing evidence that it [cell culture flu vaccine] was better, so why would anyone spend extra money to buy that?”

This was before the FDA data came in on the 2017 to 2018 season, which offered proof that the effectiveness was virtually identical to the conventional egg-based version.

Lack of Quality Vaccine Science and Transparency

In his 2013 article,29 “Influenza: Marketing Vaccine by Marketing Disease,” BMJ associate editor Peter Doshi, Ph.D., points out the lack of quality science underpinning the annual call for flu vaccination and the government’s lack of transparency. He noted that in its marketing of influenza vaccines, the CDC fails to uphold its pledge “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data, openly and objectively derived.”

The Vaccine Reaction summarizes Doshi’s comments, in part:30

“Promotion of influenza vaccines is one of the most visible and aggressive public health policies today … Closer examination of influenza vaccine policies shows that although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality, and do not substantiate officials’ claims.

“The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated … Mandatory vaccination policies have been enacted … forcing some people to take the vaccine under threat of losing their jobs.

“The main assertion of the CDC that fuels the push for flu vaccinations each year is that influenza comes with a risk of serious complications which can cause death …

“The only randomized trial of influenza vaccine in older people found no decrease in deaths. This means that influenza vaccines are approved for use in older people despite any clinical trials demonstrating a reduction in serious outcomes.

“Even when the vaccine is closely matched to the type of influenza that’s prevalent … randomized, controlled trials of healthy adults found that vaccinating between 33 and 100 people resulted in one less case of influenza … For most people, and possibly most doctors, officials need only claim that vaccines save lives, and it is assumed there must be solid research behind it.”

Health Care Worker Flu Shot Mandates Are Based on Four Invalid Trials

A perfect example of what Doshi is talking about was published January 2017. This scientific analysis31,32 of four randomized controlled trials, which claim vaccinating health care workers against influenza offers significant protection for patients, were in fact overstated, and grossly so.

According to the authors:

“In attributing patient benefit to increased health care worker influenza vaccine coverage, each cluster randomized controlled trial was found to violate the basic mathematical principle of dilution by reporting greater percentage reductions with less influenza-specific patient outcomes … and/or patient mortality reductions exceeding even favorably-derived predicted values by at least six- to 15fold.

“If extrapolated to all long-term care facilities and hospital staff in the United States, the prior cluster randomized controlled trial-claimed number needed to vaccinate of 8 would implausibly mean > 200,000 and > 675,000 patient deaths, respectively, could be prevented annually by health care worker influenza vaccination, inconceivably exceeding total U.S. population mortality estimates due to seasonal influenza each year, or during the 1918 pandemic, respectively.

“More realistic recalibration based on actual patient data instead shows that at least 6,000 to 32,000 hospital workers would need to be vaccinated before a single patient death could potentially be averted.”

The researchers concluded that these four trials, which are the basis for policies of enforced vaccination of health care workers “attribute implausibly large reductions in patient risk to health care worker vaccination, casting serious doubts on their validity,” adding that “The impression that unvaccinated health care workers place their patients at great influenza peril is exaggerated.”

Independent Scientists Unable to Obtain Vaccine Trial Data

Europe also suffers from the same lack of transparency in vaccine research and public policy, as evidenced by Cochrane scientists’ failure to obtain the necessary vaccine trial data required to evaluate the quality of 11 clinical trials on the HPV vaccine held by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Detailed information about a study’s design, conduct and outcome can only be found in the trial’s clinical study report (CSR), which drug companies are required to submit when applying for a new drug license. Transparimed.org reports:33

“Since 2014, in theory, independent scientists can access these documents by filing a request with the European regulator. In practice, the Cochrane team reports:

“‘After three years, we had obtained just 18 Clinical Study Reports (62 percent of the EMA’s 29 reports) … Unfortunately, the reports still lacked important sections, such as protocols and serious harms narratives … Only three reports included completed case report forms … One study report of 4,263 pages was released in 17 files across seven batches over 12 months.'”

What’s more, the Cochrane scientists discovered that the EMA itself does not always receive all of the scientific evidence, as some of the submitted CSRs were incomplete. The team’s attempts to obtain the CSRs directly from the drug companies were equally fruitless.

According to Cochrane:

“Although GlaxoSmithKline published versions of its Clinical Study Reports on its trial register, the reports often lack serious adverse events narratives and case report forms, and the data on serious adverse events in the reports we downloaded was heavily redacted.”

Needless to say, without access to the CSRs, independent scientists such as the Cochrane group cannot assess the benefits and harms of the drugs or vaccines under review with any significant degree of accuracy or confidence.

“In our view, independent researchers ought to be able to obtain complete and unredacted Clinical Study Reports within a reasonable time frame without too many constraints or limitations,” Cochrane writes.

“[R]egulators should release complete and coherent Clinical Study Reports… Urgent changes are essential for open and transparent assessment of the harms and benefits of interventions.”

Professor Makes Bizarre Claim for Children’s ‘Vaccination Rights’

In related news, Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D.,34 a New York University (NYU) professor and founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU School of Medicine, raised more than a few eyebrows by claiming that a child’s presumed right to be vaccinated supersedes the parents’ legal right to exercise informed consent to vaccination on behalf of minor children.

In plain English, Caplan believes minor children should be vaccinated according to government recommendations regardless of whether parents have made an informed decision to decline one or more vaccinations for their child. As reported by The Vaccine Reaction,35 Caplan “claims that vaccinating children represents a higher moral imperative than respecting the informed consent rights of parents.”

“‘I want to point out a moral stance that I don’t think has gotten enough attention, which is that every child has the right to be vaccinated,’ said Caplan. ‘We keep talking about parents’ right to say yes or no, to avoid mandates or requirements, or to do what they choose to do. Someone has to speak up and say, ‘Well, what about the kids? Don’t they have any rights?’

“Caplan believes that if parents refuse to vaccinate their kids the government has the right to override the legal right of parents to make medical care decisions for their children. Caplan argues that the government has the duty to vaccinate the children without the consent of the parents and by force, if need be.”

In other words, what Caplan is saying is that parents should be prevented from making medical care decisions, especially vaccination decisions, on behalf of their minor children if those decisions do not conform with government policy. What kind of freedom is that? Coming from a self-appointed medical ethicist, this is scary, mind-boggling stuff. It’s barely one step away from all children being treated like property of the government.

Disturbingly enough, attempts to move this kind of public health policy and law forward are already underway, and parents everywhere need to join in the fight to retain their right to make medical decisions for their minor children. If government officials can vaccinate your child against your will, there’s no telling where it will end. As reported by The Vaccine Reaction:

“Legislation has been introduced in states like California that would seek to give government the right to make health care decisions for children, even against the wishes of their parents, if the state deems the decisions to be in the best interests of the children.

“Such legislation would also allow government authorities to take legal physical custody of children in cases where parents refuse to comply with mandates forcing or coercing them to vaccinate their children.

“The thrust of Caplan’s thought process is that, at least when it comes to vaccination of children, parents should be stripped of their informed consent rights. Apparently, Caplan takes the view that the informed health care decisions that parents make for their children are just not relevant if those decisions conflict with government policy.

“But it is precisely this ‘long held legal right to make informed, voluntary decisions about pharmaceutical products and medical procedures that carry risks for their children,’ says Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center, that is ‘all that stands between parents and exploitation of their children by those in positions of power in society with a personal or professional vested interest in forcing every child to use pharmaceutical products that are not safe or effective for every child.'”

By Dr. Joseph Mercola, Guest author

From the author: The existing medical establishment is responsible for killing and permanently injuring millions of Americans, but the surging numbers of visitors to Mercola.com since I began the site in 1997 – we are now routinely among the top 10 health sites on the Internet – convinces me that you, too, are fed up with their deception. You want practical health solutions without the hype, and that’s what I offer.

References:

Scientists have discovered a way to destroy cancer tumors using nothing but sound waves

Source: Natural News

By Earl Garcia

A recent breakthrough in high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy (HIFU) technology has proven its use as an effective cancer treatment. A multi-institutional research team from China developed a semi-enclosed, spherical cavity transducer that can produce a focused, standing-wave field with a subwavelength-scale focal region and extremely high ultrasound intensity. The spherical cavity transducer appeared to generate tighter focal regions and greater pressure amplitude compared with the traditional concave spherical transducer. Researchers said the level of intensity generated by the new transducer design may lead to significant improvements in HIFU therapy. The findings were published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

HIFU is a non-invasive, targeted treatment that makes use of sound waves to eradicate cancer cells. HIFU uses an ultrasonic transducer to convert electrical signals into sound waves, then concentrates ultrasound into a small focal region to raise the temperature to more than 65 decrees Celsius, thereby killing cancer cells in the process without inducing damage to surrounding tissues. The technique works in the same manner as focusing sunlight through a lens, which helps eliminate the disease-causing cells.

HIFU can be used as an alternative to traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery.

Sound waves prove to be viable cancer treatment in various studies

High-intensity focused ultrasound therapy proved to be a highly-effective cancer treatment in various studies and clinical trials.

For instance, researchers at the University College Hospital in London examined 625 men with prostate cancer and found that 93 percent of patients who underwent HIFU alone remained cancer-free at five years following the treatment, without requiring surgery or radiotherapy. Data also showed that only one to two percent of patients who had HIFU treatment suffered long-term urinary incontinence, compared with 10 to 20 percent of patients who had surgery. In addition, only 15 percent of patients in the HIFU group developed erectile dysfunction compared with 30 to 60 percent of surgical patients.

“The results of this study are impressive and have the potential to transform prostate cancer treatment for many men in the future. It is extremely exciting technology and these results show that in men diagnosed early by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood testing, this targeted therapy could be as effective as surgery to remove the whole prostate gland or radiotherapy and cause far fewer side effects,” said study co-author Tim Dudderidge.

The findings were presented at an annual meeting of the European Association of Urology in Munich, Germany.

A British clinical trial funded by the Medical Research Council has also found that 95 percent of patients who underwent HIFU therapy for prostate cancer remained cancer-free at 12 months after the treatment. The researchers also found that none of the respondents suffered urinary incontinence during the follow-up period.

Another sound wave innovation to watch out for

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada have developed a new technique that uses focused sound waves to activate minute particles known as nanodroplets. According to the researchers, the new technique was as accurate as using needles in biopsy.

“With a little bit of ultrasound energy, nanodroplets phase-change into microbubbles. That’s important because ultrasound can really oscillate these microbubbles. The microbubbles absorb of the ultrasound energy and then act like boxing gloves to punch the tumor cells and knock little vesicles off. That led us to detect some genes that were indicative of the aggressiveness of the tumour. That’s potentially very powerful. You can get a genetic characterization of the tumour, but do it relatively non-invasively,” said engineering professor Roger Zemp.

Age-reversing pill that Nasa wants to give to astronauts on Mars will begin human trials within six months

Source: Daily Mail

By Harry Pettit

Scientists have made a discovery that could lead to a revolutionary drug that actually reverses ageing.

The drug could help damaged DNA to miraculously repair and even protect Nasa astronauts on Mars by protecting them from solar radiation.

A team of researchers developed the drug after discovering a key signalling process in DNA repair and cell ageing.

During trials on mice, the team found that the drug directly repaired DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or old age.

‘The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice after just one week of treatment,’ said lead author Professor David Sinclair.

Human trials of the pill will begin within six months.

THE ANTI-AGEING DRUG TRIALS

The experiments in mice, from a team at the University of New South Wales, suggest a treatment is possible for DNA damage from ageing and radiation.

It is so promising it has attracted the attention of Nasa scientists in their quest to reach Mars.

While our cells can naturally repair DNA damage – such as damage caused by the sun – this ability declines with age.

The scientists identified that the call signalling molecule NAD+, which is naturally present in every cell in the body, has a key role in protein interactions that control DNA repair.

Treating mice with an NAD+ ‘booster’ called NMN improved their cells’ ability to repair DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or old age.

Human trials of NMN therapy will begin within six months.

‘This is the closest we are to a safe and effective anti-ageing drug that’s perhaps only three to five years away from being on the market if the trials go well,’ said Professor Sinclair.

The work has drawn the attention of Nasa, which is considering the challenge of keeping its astronauts healthy during a four-year mission to Mars.

Even on short missions, astronauts experience accelerated ageing from cosmic radiation, suffering from muscle weakness, memory loss and other symptoms when they return.

On a trip to Mars, the situation would be far worse: Five per cent of the astronauts’ cells would die and their chances of cancer would approach 100 per cent.

Professor Sinclair and his colleague Dr Lindsay Wu were winners in NASA’s iTech competition in December last year.

‘We came in with a solution for a biological problem and it won the competition out of 300 entries,’ Dr Wu said.

Cosmic radiation is not only an issue for astronauts. We’re all exposed to it aboard aircraft, with a London-Singapore-Melbourne flight roughly equivalent in radiation to a chest x-ray.

Professor David Sinclair (front centre) and his research team. During trials on mice, the group found that their anti-ageing pill directly repaired DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or ageing. Human trials will begin within six months

Professor David Sinclair (front centre) and his research team. During trials on mice, the group found that their anti-ageing pill directly repaired DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or ageing. Human trials will begin within six months

Professor David Sinclair (front centre) and his research team. During trials on mice, the group found that their anti-ageing pill directly repaired DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or ageing. Human trials will begin within six months. In theory, the anti-ageing pill could mitigate any effects of DNA damage for frequent flyers. The other group that could benefit from this work is survivors of childhood cancers.

Dr Wu says 96 per cent of childhood cancer survivors suffer a chronic illness by age 45, including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancers unrelated to the original cancer.

‘All of this adds up to the fact they have accelerated ageing, which is devastating,’ he said.

‘It would be great to do something about that, and we believe we can with this molecule.’

The experiments in mice, from a team at the University of New South Wales, suggest a treatment for these issues is possible through a new drug.

While our cells can naturally repair DNA damage – such as damage caused by the sun – this ability declines with age.

The scientists identified that the call signalling molecule NAD+, which is naturally present in every cell in the body, has a key role in protein interactions that control DNA repair.

Treating mice with an NAD+ ‘booster’ called NMN improved their cells’ ability to repair DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or ageing

For the past four years, Professor Sinclair and Dr Wu have been working on making NMN into a drug substance with their companies MetroBiotech NSW and MetroBiotech International.

The human trials will begin this year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston.

68 STUDENTS REMOVED FROM CLASS IN ROCHESTER BECAUSE PARENTS REFUSE TO VACCINATE

I choose not to be Vaccinated. There is enough evidence out there to make anyone suspicious about these vaccines.

Timothy Frappier

Source: Collective Evolution

To vaccinate or not?

This was a big question in the 2016 US presidential elections as a result of the mounting controversy surrounding mandatory childhood vaccination.

In 1798, the first vaccination was scientifically documented, and ever since, they have changed how we look at human health and medicine.

Vivian Chou writes in a Harvard blog:

The impacts of vaccines have ranged from the 1979 eradication of polio in the US and the 1980 eradication of smallpox worldwide, to prevention of cancer of the liver and the cervix. In fact, vaccines have been so influential that some scientists consider them among the greatest successes in public health.

Many would say that vaccinations are one of the greatest accomplishments in public health, while others strongly oppose them — particularly those given to children — arguing that they are unnecessary, ineffective, and dangerous. And so, a growing number of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children.

To get a more in depth heavily sourced article as to why this is happening, you can refer to this article;

The Top 6 Reasons Why Parents Are Choosing Not To Vaccinate Their Children

This decision has sparked additional controversy, and prompted laws to be implemented against it. Minnesota, for example, requires all students enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12 to show they have received immunizations or an exemption.

But not everyone is complying so easily, and school district officials are fighting back.

In Rochester, 150 families are being threatened by the law, with officials informing them that if they don’t vaccinate their children, they will not be allowed to attend school. Minnesota schools needed to submit an immunization report to the state Department of Health by Dec. 1 unless they request a 60-day extension.

School district officials took the step because 204 students had been revealed to have ignored the law, and so they told families they had until March 1 to meet the requirement, or their children wouldn’t be allowed to attend classes. According to superintendent Michael Muñoz, it was the first time in his six-year tenure that the district had followed through with the action.

And true to their word, on March 1, 80 students who still hadn’t complied were barred from classes, and their families, guardians, and emergency contacts were notified. By the end of the day, 68 students still hadn’t met the requirements.

In the next seven days, 117 students had proved they were vaccinated, and 19 filed exemptions for heath or religious reasons.

School officials said they have worked “diligently” since January to inform families that students must be vaccinated to attend school or provide documentation for an exemption.

“We sent multiple letters, worked with our bilinguals if necessary, and each school made additional efforts to connect with the families impacted to assist them with submitting the proper documentation,” school officials said, claiming the removal of the students was a last resort.

“The procedure utilized by the district in this situation was an attempt to strike a balance between enforcing the requirements of the statute and being mindful of the fact that the right to an education is a fundamental right in Minnesota,” school officials said. “Preventing a student from enrolling in school is a serious issue. The district wanted to make sure it gave families ample opportunity to bring themselves into compliance before it prevented any students from attending school.”

Experiment Shows What Moderate Alcohol Consumption Does to Your Health

By: Anna Hunt, Staff
Source: Waking Times

There’s no denying it that alcohol over-consumption, binge drinking and alcoholism can have some devastating effects. Nonetheless, alcohol has become so normalized in our society that moderate drinking is considered normal. Now, a new comparison between binge and moderate drinking has raised the question. Is moderate drinking much worse for the body than many of us think?

Drinking Guidelines

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism uses three tiers to identify the different drinking levels:

  • Moderate consumption – up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.
  • Binge drinking – 5 or more alcoholic drinks for males or 4 or more alcoholic drinks for females on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past month.
  • Heavy alcohol use – binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past month.

It is important to consider that “1 drink” equals to no more than 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine.

Binge drinking effects over 20% of the US population, according to a recent report published by the U.S. surgeon general. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (USDUH) estimates this to be even higher at 27%. Alcohol misuse in the U.S. contributes to over 88,000 deaths each year. Globally, deaths in 2012 attributed to alcohol consumption stacked up to 3.3 million.

The statistics are even more staggering when you consider USDUH’s estimate that 86% of people 18 or over who live in the U.S. consume alcohol. 56% of survey respondents reportedly drank within the last month.

How Harmful Is Moderate Consumption?

Statistics about alcohol misuse may be quite scary. But if you’re not a heavy or binge drinker, do you have to worry? New evidence suggests that even moderate alcohol consumption can be quite harmful.

In the BBC television segment below, doctors explored the difference between binge drinking and moderate drinking. Identical twin brothers each consumed 21 alcohol units. One brother drank 21 units in one night. The other had three drinks per day over the course of one week. The experiment continued for four weeks.

Doctors compared medical tests before and after the experiment. They discovered that moderate drinking was actually quite harmful to the body. Liver stiffness increased by about 25% for both the binge drinker and the moderate-drinking brother. This type of inflammation can lead to an irreversible condition called liver cirrhosis.

In addition to liver stiffness, the tests measured five different inflammatory markers in all. Over time,chronic inflammation can cause DNA damage and lead to cancer. Both brothers had significant increases in all markers, although the binge drinking twin had a more dramatic rise.

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Drinking alcohol is very common, regardless of the negative effects on the body. But let’s consider the potential dangers. Mercola reports that alcohol consumption:

  • Depresses your central nervous system, including the limbic system that controls emotions, the prefrontal cortex that governs reasoning and judgment, and the cerebellum that plays a role in muscle activity and impacts balance.
  • Increases liver stiffness, which increases your risk of liver cirrhosis.
  • Diminishes the formation of memories due to ethanol buildup in the brain. Alcohol also causes your hippocampus to shrink, which affects memory and learning.
  • Promotes systemic inflammation. In other words, your body reacts to alcohol in the same way as it reacts to injury or infection.
  • Increases stress on your heart, raising your risk for cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, high blood pressure and stroke.
  • Significantly increases endotoxin levels. In other words, alcohol causes gut damage allowing bacteria to escape from your gut into your blood stream.
  • In terms of chronic disease, studies have linked excessive alcohol consumption with an increased risk for poor immune function (which raises your risk for most diseases), pancreatitis and cancer.

A more detailed listing of how alcohol affects all of the body’s systems can be found on Healthline.

Mitigating Health Risks

The effect that alcohol will have on a person differs depending on various factors. These include body weight, amount of body fat and genetic makeup. Other important factors that can mitigate the effects of alcohol consumption are lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise.

“Exercise is a foundational aspect of good health, but may be even more important if you drink alcohol on a regular basis. According to recent research chronic drinkers who exercise five hours a week have the same rate of mortality as those who never drink alcohol, in large part by counteracting the inflammation caused by alcohol.” (source)

Furthermore, alcohol depletes the body of vital nutrients. It is important to ensure that if you drink alcohol, you eat foods rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C, Magnesium and B Vitamins, or take a supplement.

Milk thistle is another beneficial supplement. It contains antioxidants known to help protect the liver from toxins, including alcohol. Researchers found that the antioxidant silymarin found in milk thistle may help to regenerate liver cells.

Alcohol Misuse Impacts More Than the Body

In the U.S. alone, alcohol misuse and alcohol use disorders carry a significant social cost. An estimated $249 billion is spent on lost productivity, health care expenses, law enforcement, and other criminal justice costs.

In addition, there is the issue of codependency. What is codependency? It is a behavioral problem where people in the lives of those who are afflicted with alcohol or drug dependency engage in mutually destructive habits. It typically affects family members, friends or coworkers of heavy drinkers.

You Choose

Alcohol consumption is a personal choice, similar to the foods one eats and the amount of exercise one gets. It is important to understand, though, that alcohol has many negative health effects. Even though moderate alcohol use is widespread, it does not necessarily mean that it is safe for everyone. Limiting consumption or abstaining altogether is the best way to mitigate the harmful effects on the body.

About the Author

Anna Hunt is co-owner of OffgridOutpost.com, an online store offering GMO-free healthy storable food and emergency kits. She is also the staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Anna is a certified Hatha yoga instructor and founder of Atenas Yoga Center. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Visit her essential oils store here. Visit Offgrid Outpost on Facebook.