by Informed Choice WA
Babies are born perfectly designed to transition safely from the cozy and protected womb environment to the outside world. Perfectly designed does not mean ready to be independent.
Infants and children are dependent on their parents for their very survival, needing their loving care and protection. This, of course, has been always intuitively known and practiced for eons of human existence. Current science, much of which is still not incorporated into modern day child health care recommendations, has shown us the importance of this nurturing, growing, and acclimating time of life, which is needed for optimal health and well-being. Yet, for many decades, society has mistakenly developed practices that are—as the old saying goes—“throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”
Many of the modern practices in children’s health care negatively impact something very important to human health: the microbiome.
What is human microbiome? It’s the 10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells or microbiota, mostly bacteria and some yeast that inhabit the gut, the skin, and every orifice of the human host. Think of the microbiota as the trees and inhabitants of a forest forming the entire forest ecosystem.
Microbiota “talks” to its human host through gene expression and is critical to how human immune and nervous systems develop and function. It’s estimated that about seventy percent of the human immune system is in the gut, dependent upon a healthy microbiome for proper functioning. Many developmental and chronic health issues have now been linked to factors that undermine the ability to create and sustain a healthy microbiome.
From Development of Microbiota in Infants and its Role in Maturation of Gut Mucosa and Immune System:
“Dysbiosis of the gut microbiota has been associated with increasing numbers of diseases, including obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergy, cancer and even neurologic or behavioral disorders. The other side of the coin is that a healthy microbiota leads to a healthy human development, to a mature and well trained immune system and to an efficient metabolic machinery. What we have learned in adults is in the end the result of a good start, a programmed, healthy development of the microbiota that must occur in the early years of life, probably even starting during the fetal stage.”
With a healthy and robust microbiome, children thrive and their immune systems protect them from infections. It’s therefore important for parents and health care providers to learn how to incorporate practices that build or restore a healthy microbiome and limit those that disrupt it.
BABY IN THE BATHWATER
What practices have been found to disrupt the microbiome, thereby negatively impacting baby’s immune system? Here are a few:
- C-sections, which prevent proper colonization of the newborn’s gut with maternal microbiota;
- washing baby too soon after birth, which removes the vernix–the white coating on baby’s skin found to contain important immune cells that protect baby during the first few days of life;
- formula feeding, which simply cannot mimic the numerous complex components of human breastmilk and provide not only optimal nutrition but also ready-made maternal immunity against infections, all adjusted to baby’s day-to-day needs and exposures;
- vaccination, which attempts by artificial means to force antibody production to a few selected pathogens via inflammatory immune reactions, sometimes at a cost of predisposing infants to other infections and skewing their immune system toward chronic dysregulation;
- using antibiotics to treat the resultant infections, which also kills off the good microbiota, thereby impairing immune defenses and perpetuating the cycle of new infections;
- glyphosate, which is a carcinogenic herbicide contaminating our food and water supply due to the widespread use of GMOs and which can negatively impact host’s microbiota as well.
DEPENDENT ON MATERNAL IMMUNITY AT BIRTH
Inflammation is an important part of a mature immune system’s response to infection. Acute inflammation is necessary to overcome infection, but if it becomes chronic or gets out of control, it is damaging, even fatal, at any age, let alone in infancy. Maternal antibodies and immune cells, transferred via the placenta and breastmilk, temporarily shield infants from needing to mount strong inflammatory immune responses of their own, while at the same time protecting them by supplying ready-made immunity from their mothers.
Furthermore, animal studies have shown that newborn and infant immune systems do not engage in strong immune responses until the gut biome populates, because the gut microbiota is essential for mounting an appropriate immune response.If maternal immunity is short-lived or artificially obviated by vaccination practices, babies are left vulnerable in their early months of life to the very infections for which vaccination programs are created and have to increasingly rely upon the physical isolation barriers of protection provided by parents, such as avoiding coming in contact with those who are sick.
While not understood when vaccination was first introduced, public health authorities are now well aware that vaccination, when applied across the span of generations, diminishes passive transfer of maternal immunity (from mother to child), which protected infants in pre-vaccine era during their first year of life, and which is still needed today. But mothers who had a measles vaccine do not have the robust maternal immunity to protect their babies from measles exposure compared to mothers who had acquired natural immunity from measles. And, unfortunately, vaccinologists and vaccine developers are looking for ways to further circumvent maternal immunity, or artificially replace it with suboptimal fixes, while public health authorities bank on the so-called herd immunity to attempt to patch up the consequences of their initial ignorance.
DOES HERD IMMUNITY WORK AS CLAIMED?
“Herd immunity” means that enough of the population has acquired life-long immunity to an infection to keep it from further spreading in a community. It was once assumed that vaccine protection was nearly infallible and life-long and that it prevented disease transmission. A closer look reveals that this is often not the case. For example, the mumps vaccine (a component of MMR) has such a low effectiveness that mumps outbreaks currently happen in fully-vaccinated communities, such as college campuses and military ships. Whooping cough (or pertussis) is another example where herd immunity is completely unattainable due to the currently used (acellular) pertussis vaccine failing to prevent colonization by and transmission of pertussis bacteria. The flu shots with their abysmally low effectiveness and inability to induce antibodies on mucosal surfaces, where the flu virus first lands, are poor candidates for inducing herd immunity, too. Finally, measles is making a comeback not because of under-vaccination (the rates of measles vaccination are still very high) but to due primary and secondary measles vaccine failure in the vaccinated, coupled with the gradual elimination of the naturally-immune pool. Before the introduction of the vaccine in 1963, virtually everyone caught measles in childhood and acquired lifetime immunity by the age of fifteen. But soon, the vaccinated U.S. population will have more people susceptible to measles than in the pre-vaccine era, as predicted in a 1984 public health paper.
If herd immunity cannot be created by vaccines as claimed, can we really entrust public health authorities with protecting the health of our children?
THE GERM AND THE TERRAIN THEORY
The justification for the development of more and more vaccines is based on the “germ theory” of disease, which says that infectious diseases are caused by microorganisms invading the body. The French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur played an important role in making this theory become dominant. But it’s only part of the truth. There is a complementary theory, now referred to as the “terrain theory” and Antoine Béchamp, another French scientist, was its pioneer. The “terrain theory” postulates that the state of health of the individual determines whether any given microbe will be able to cause a serious disease in that individual. It is said that on his deathbed, Pasteur recanted his support of the “germ theory,” saying, “the microbe is nothing; the terrain is everything.”
In a nutshell, followers of the “germ theory” wage war on microbes, whereas followers of the “terrain theory” seek peace with microbes by pursuing healthy nutrition and a lifestyle that strengthens the “terrain.”
History has shown that infectious disease mortality plummeted with access to clean water, good nutrition, and proper sanitation – which gives validity to the “terrain theory.” In the Journal of Pediatrics in 2000, even the CDC scientists credited improved living conditions with the decline in infectious disease mortality, saying,
“Thus vaccination does not account for the impressive declines in mortality seen in the first half of the century…nearly 90% of the decline in infectious disease mortality among US children occurred before 1940, when few antibiotics or vaccines were available.”
All the recent biological and immunological discoveries about the microbiome support the “terrain theory” as well.
INFORMED CONSENT OR INFORMED DISSENT?
The “germ theory,” however incomplete in its portrayal of our relationship with microbes, has stuck around because it provides an endless list of target infections for the development of new vaccines aimed at their purported eradication. Hundreds of new vaccines are in the pipeline and it’s projected that vaccine industry revenue will reach $56 billion by 2025, much of that spurred on by governments around the world carrying out most of the marketing, purchasing, and distribution of vaccine products at the behest of the vaccine industry.
As just one example of Public Health serving the agenda of the vaccine industry rather than protecting the people of the United States, the head of every U.S. state immunization department belongs to the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM), which is a collaboration with Merck, Pfizer, GSK, and all the other vaccine manufacturers. State immunization departments share vaccine policy development with vaccine manufacturers and are given educational and promotional materials and support. AIM’s annual conferences and presentations are paid for and sponsored by the vaccine industry. There are many other such organizations, collaborations, and nonprofit fronts working with federal and state Public Health agencies which, when examined closely, reveal that they are funded by vaccine manufacturers. There is no separation between Public Health and vaccine manufacturers, and this is dangerous for vaccine consumers.
In 1986, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act absolved vaccine makers and administrators from liability for vaccine injury. In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that even flawed vaccine design is exempt from liability under the 1986 Act. Justice Sotomayor dissented the ruling, saying:
“The majority’s decision leaves a regulatory vacuum in which no one—neither the FDA nor any other federal agency, nor state and federal juries—ensures that vaccine manufacturers adequately take account of scientific and technological advancements. This concern is especially acute with respect to vaccines that have already been released and marketed to the public. Manufacturers, given the lack of robust competition in the vaccine market, will often have little or no incentive to improve the designs of vaccines that are already generating significant profit margins . . .”
We are currently in a regulatory vacuum in which public health and mainstream media only emphasize cases of vaccine-targeted infections, while omitting to publicize cases of vaccine injury or vaccine failure. Nobody—not the vaccine makers, not the doctor who administers them, not the public health agencies promoting them—are responsible for vaccine injuries and death. Health agencies currently condone inadequate scientific testing for vaccine development and licensing, which means that the vaccines we now use and the ones still in development are never tested against an inert (saline) placebo and are never subject to a long-term safety evaluation. And the real-world health outcomes of vaccine recipients are not thoroughly tracked.
Environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said:
“The checks and balances in our democratic system that are supposed to stand between corporate power and our little children have been removed, and there’s only one barrier left and that’s the parents.”
Yet, the political clout of vaccine industry lobbyists is eroding this last barrier, state-by-state, in a blitzkrieg of legislation aimed at removing vaccine exemptions for day care and school attendance.
Parents today feel intense pressure, if not coercion, to consent to vaccination. In this regulatory vacuum, it is up to parents to take the time to research the subject of vaccines deeply so they can make decisions based on knowledge, not fear or pressure. That knowledge should include familiarity with the infant immune system, approaches to prevent and treat infections, and the limitations and risks of artificial immunization. Parents also need to be prepared to stand up for or take back their right to make informed vaccination decisions if they are to raise healthy children in a nation that ranks last among developed countries in children’s health.
Cecilia Ximenez, Javier Torres, Development of Microbiota in Infants and its Role in Maturation of Gut Mucosa and Immune System, Archives of Medical Research, Volume 48, Issue 8, 2017. Pages 666-680. ISSN 0188-4409 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2017.11.007.
DAVID L. LEVY, THE FUTURE OF MEASLES IN HIGHLY IMMUNIZED POPULATIONS A MODELING APPROACH, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 120, Issue 1, July 1984, Pages 39–48, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a113872