Thursday, January 26, 2012

vaccines in the news

breastfeeding baby | photo: irene
Over on my Facebook page recently I shared an article about a study which appeared to indicate that breast milk inhibits the effects of childhood vaccines.   The authors posited that mothers should not breastfeed their children so that the vaccines would be able to effectively do their thing.

I disagree strongly.  Breastmilk is nature's way of conferring immunity from mother to child in a safe, effective way.  If breastmilk lessens the effectiveness of vaccines perhaps the vaccines themselves need to be looked at more critically.  And just maybe those vaccines are not really as thorough as the pharmaceutical companies claim they are.  I find myself frequently dismayed when manufacturers attempt to improve on a natural biological process just so they can sell drugs, etc.

Now it turns out that there are other inhibitory factors that can lower vaccine effectiveness.  These common chemicals, (perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), found in things like teflon and microwave popcorn bags), appear to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.

I'd like to start by reminding folks that I am really against microwave popcorn (see addendum 1 of this blog post).  PFCs sometimes referred to as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are just nasty business.  If you want to eat popcorn choose organic popcorn (to avoid GM contamination) and make it on the stovetop or in a hot air popper.  Dressed with melted coconut oil and the seasonings of your choice it's a great snack.  [side note:  I admit the snarky side of my nature wonders if now that pharmaceutical companies know that PFCs reduce the effectiveness of their vaccines will they somehow lobby to remove them from use?  Because in spite of consumer protests the manufacturers are still using them.]

However, back to the topic at hand, the main point here is that we need to think about our health.  This means thinking about our food, what touches our food, where it comes from, how it nourishes us, our environment, and the impact that all of these things have.  There is a cumulative effect from eating badly.  And by badly I mean not only food that is not wholesome and nutritious, but food that is contaminated in some way.

Those babies who were born with PFCs in their bloodstream got it from their mother and from the environment that she lived in.  If we support healthier mothers we will make healthier babies.

Whether you believe in vaccines or not surely you believe that it is not right for our environment to be so toxic.  For babies to be born with a "sluggish" immune system that "doesn't respond as vigorously against micro-organisms."  We need to clean up our food.  We need to make changes to our environment which support health.  And we definitely need to breast feed our babies.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Per your blog, I wanted to share some relevant info on behalf of DuPont. This study should be considered in the context of other existing studies, which have not demonstrated a consistent relationship between PFOA exposure and immune response. DuPont has commercialized next-generation offerings that are made without using PFOA, and that cannot break down to PFOA in the environment, including for consumer applications such as nonstick coatings for cookware. For more info, click here