Monday, May 24, 2010

Danish researcher absconds with $2 mil

A central figure behind the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) claims disputing the link between vaccines and autism and other neurological disorders has disappeared after officials discovered massive fraud involving the theft of millions in taxpayer dollars. Danish police are investigating Dr. Poul Thorsen, who has vanished along with almost $2 million that he had supposedly spent on research.

Thorsen was a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote several key studies supporting CDC's claims that the MMR vaccine and mercury-laden vaccines were safe for children. Thorsen's 2003 Danish study reported a 20-fold increase in autism in Denmark after that country banned mercury based preservatives in its vaccines. His study concluded that mercury could therefore not be the culprit behind the autism epidemic.

His study has long been criticized as fraudulent since it failed to disclose that the increase was an artifact of new mandates requiring, for the first time, that autism cases be reported on the national registry. This new law and the opening of a clinic dedicated to autism treatment in Copenhagen accounted for the sudden rise in reported cases rather than, as Thorsen seemed to suggest, the removal of mercury from vaccines. Despite this obvious chicanery, CDC has long touted the study as the principal proof that mercury-laced vaccines are safe for infants and young children. Mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, has relied on this study as the basis for its public assurances that it is safe to inject young children with mercury -- a potent neurotoxin -- at concentrations hundreds of times over the U.S. safety limits.

Thorsen, who was a psychiatrist and not a research scientist or toxicologist, parlayed that study into a long-term relationship with CDC. He built a research empire called the North Atlantic Epidemiology Alliances (NANEA) that advertised its close association with the CDC autism team, a relationship that had the agency paying Thorsen and his research staff millions of dollars to churn out research papers, many of them assuring the public on the issue of vaccine safety.

The discovery of Thorsen's fraud came as the result of an investigation by Aarhus University and CDC which discovered that Thorsen had falsified documents and, in violation of university rules, was accepting salaries from both the Danish university and Emory University in Atlanta -- near CDC headquarters -- where he led research efforts to defend the role of vaccines in causing autism and other brain disorders. Thorsen's center has received $14.6 million from CDC since 2002.

Thorsen's partner Kreesten Madsen recently came under fierce criticism after damning e-mails surfaced showing Madsen in cahoots with CDC officials intent on fraudulently cherry picking facts to prove vaccine safety.

Leading independent scientists have accused CDC of concealing the clear link between the dramatic increases in mercury-laced child vaccinations beginning in 1989 and the epidemic of autism, neurological disorders and other illnesses affecting every generation of American children since. Questions about Thorsens's scientific integrity may finally force CDC to rethink the vaccine protocols since most of the other key pro vaccine studies cited by CDC rely on the findings of Thorsen's research group. These include oft referenced research articles published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the New England Journal of Medicine and others. The validity of all these studies is now in question.

How to Rid Your Body of Mercury and Other Heavy Metals:

A 3-Step Plan to Recover Your Health
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Read More: Autism And Heavy Metal Toxiciy , Autism Mecury Vaccines , Autism Mercury , Autism Mercury Poisioning , Autism Thimerosal , Autism Vaccines , Detoxification , Health , Heavy Metal Toxins , Heavy Metals , Mark Hyman MD , Mercury , Mercury Toxicity , Toxins , Ultrawellness , Wellness , Living News

After my recent blog on mercury, I'm sure many of you are depressed and discouraged about mercury and its toxic effects. The bad news is today I am going to review more of mercury's toxic effects and expand on what I learned at the medical conference on mercury I mentioned in my last article on mercury ...

But the good news is I will provide you with a clear, three-step plan to help your body detoxify from mercury and other heavy metals and recover your health. I have used this same plan successfully and safely with hundreds and hundreds of patients over the last 10 years -- and it's the same process I used myself to overcome mercury toxicity!

But first, let's look at the data presented at "The Impact of Mercury on Human Health and the Environment" conference.

Mercury and Autism: Part One

In my last article on mercury toxicity, I talked a little bit about the link between mercury fillings and autism. Now I'd like to discuss mercury's effects on this condition in greater detail.

Boyd Haley, Ph.D., from the University of Kentucky Medical Center, is a vociferous opponent of dental amalgams. The toxicology literature and decades of his own research fuel his fervor.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded his research for 25 years until he began to seriously call into question the safety of dental amalgams, the use of thimerosol (another form of mercury) in vaccines, and their correlation with autism.

His work is now funded by the private Wallace Foundation, run by the son of President Truman's vice-president, Henry Wallace, who died of ALS and who had been frequently exposed to mercury-containing fungicide on grain.

Dr. Haley believes that fish is not as big a contributor to mercury toxicity in humans as amalgams because methylmercury is generally excreted quickly while mercury vapor from amalgams is not.

At the conference he reported on the dramatic rise in autism rates. The numbers were stunning -- over 900 percent in less than a generation in California and 714 percent nationwide. The dramatic increase in autism rates in California was due in part to the introduction of the hepatitis B vaccine in 1990 and an increase in the overall vaccination schedule.

In 1999, thimerosol was removed from these vaccines as parents gained increased awareness of the danger it poses. You see, thimerosol is quickly converted to ethyl mercury in the body, where it moves rapidly from your blood to your brain. In the first three quarters of 2004 -- five years after thimerosol was removed from vaccines -- the data showed a decline in the incidence of autism in California for the first time.

Recently the vaccine court, a special branch of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims established to handle claims of injury from vaccines ruled that there was no connection between vaccines and autism. We must remember that judicial opinion is not scientific proof. Statistics and data can be manipulated and construed in differing ways depending on who does the analysis. Often what is hidden or between the lines obscures the real data, we have seen this over and over in scientific research. Studies funded by drug companies or food product companies on balance show positive outcomes compared to independently funded studies on the same products whether it is analyzing the benefits of chemotherapy, anti-depressants, blood pressure medication and even the health benefits of dairy or soft drinks. Following the money is a good rule in assessing the objectivity of scientific data.

For example, one of the main studies quoted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) used to disprove the connection between vaccines and autism is the Danish study showing an increase in autism rates after thimerosol was removed from vaccines. However what was NOT reported in the study was that at the same time as the mercury was removed for vaccines, the Danish government mandated reporting of autism and offered free clinics and increased services for those with autism. And, suspiciously, the lead author on that study who has worked closely with the CDC recently absconded with $2 million in research grants. The Danish police are searching for him.

How the Lancet and The New York Times Got it Wrong on Dr. Wakefield's Research

The recent retraction of the Dr. Andrew Wakefield's publication in the Lancet showing intestinal inflammation and vaccine strains of measles virus (proven by DNA analysis) in the intestinal tracts of autistic children seemed more about inquisition and less honest scientific inquiry. He never claimed that autism was caused by vaccines, but simply made a scientific observation. That should be the impetus for further open scientific inquiry and investigation, not excommunication from the church of science. Science should not be about beliefs, but about questions. And because of the economic and public health implications of questioning the safety of vaccines we have chosen to close the door to open scientific debate, rather than inquire about increasing the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, one of the most important public health advances in medical history.

Let's look at little more closely at the work of Dr. Wakefield and the questions it raises and direction it provides.

Mostly doctors and scientists have ignored the fact that up to 95 percent of autistic children have intestinal problems, especially big swollen bellies. How can their belly problems destroy their brains, interrupt their language, and lock them in their own private world?

Dr. Wakefield asked why. He happened to notice inflammation (or lymphoid nodular hyperplasia), in the bowels of some children with autism. Could this observation be brushed off as coincidence? Dr. Wakefield dug deeper and discovered this is common in autistic children.

In a study of 148 children with autism compared to 30 normal controls (children without autism), 90 percent of autistic children showed inflamed bowels on biopsy compared to only 30 percent of controls (which makes me wonder if many non-autistic children have bowel inflammation from poor diet and allergies as well).(i)

He also noticed the inflammation was much more severe in autistic children. Food allergens, bacteria, viruses, and toxins (such as mercury), could all be the cause. These same things are the common causes of all disease and create imbalance in every key system of the body -- toxins, infections, allergens, poor diet, and stress.

Making Sense of Measles Vaccine Controversy

Other studies have linked the live measles virus from vaccinations to the inflamed gut. Living measles viruses have been identified in people with inflamed guts. How does this happen? And how does it relate to autism?

Normally when you get a vaccine, even with an "inactivated" live virus, it just stimulates the body's own immune system to create antibodies which will defend you in the event of a real infection. But sometimes, as in the case of autistic children, their weakened immune systems can't handle this "inactivated" live virus, and can't fight it off. So the live virus hangs around in the body creating inflammation on a low-grade level -- both in the gut and the brain.

In fact, a study of children with developmental delay found that 75 of 91 patients with autism and inflamed bowels had live measles virus detected in samples of their intestinal tissues. Only 7 of the 70 normal patients (or controls) were found to have the measles virus in their gut.(ii)

In another study DNA analysis was performed on the measles strains found in autistic children and compared them to non-autistic children with inflamed bowels. The shocking finding was that the DNA of the measles virus in autistic children came from vaccine strains of measles (the ones made specially for vaccines), not wild types (the type of measles virus that comes from a community acquired infection).(iii)

This doesn't mean that ALL children who get vaccinated have problems, but for some reason autistic children are unable to handle the live measles viruses used in immunizations, and it triggers an inflammatory response in the gut, and the brain. These children can't handle the vaccine (maybe because mercury suppresses their immune system) and then the normally benign live measles virus in the vaccine takes root in the body and sends these kids into an even deeper spiral of brain dysfunction.

What is even more alarming is that vaccine strains of measles virus seem to migrate into the brains of children with autism. That means it may not be only gut related inflammation that is causing the problems, but the measles virus may take root in the brain itself. How this all happens is not clear, but the trail from vaccine to the gut to the brain is smoking hot. Vaccine measles strains have been isolated from the spinal fluid of autistic children.(iv)

Large-scale population studies show no connection between MMR or measles vaccine and autism.(v) That's because in such large populations, the effect on children susceptible to MMR is "washed out". If you study large groups of people, you won't pick up small effects on genetically or biochemically unique individuals. Looking at the problem using this kind of statistical analysis is unhelpful for treating individual patients.

Oddly, in the major study "disproving" this connection, the authors noted an increase in the diagnosis in the six months after the MMR vaccine but dismissed it as unimportant because "this appeared to be an artifact related to the difficulty of defining precisely the onset of symptoms in this disorder." If your child had autism or autistic behaviors you would you know it and/or when it started! This is yet another example of conventional science seeing what it believes, instead of believing what it sees.

The vaccine probably only affects a few genetically susceptible children who are biochemical and immunological train wrecks because of toxic overload. The methods of these larger population studies are not designed to ferret out the uniqueness of individuals. If they looked at all the genetic subgroups in the population, then there could be meaningful data. If they did intestinal biopsies and spinal fluid examinations on affected and unaffected kids like Dr. Wakefield, then we might get some meaningful information.

But in the absence of that we are duped into a false sense of security by studies that are destined to fail because of how they were designed. You only get the answers to the questions you ask. Don't ask the right questions and you won't get clear answers.

Roger Williams, the author of Biochemical Individuality said that, "Nutrition [(and medicine]) is for real people. Statistical humans are of little interest. People are unique. We must treat people with respect to their biochemical uniqueness."

The research shows that autism is a complex, heterogeneous disorder that has multiple causes. Vaccines and mercury, when the data is examined objectively, raise enough of a question to bear further, independent and objective research. The book is not closed as many would want to have us think.

Now back to Dr. Haley.

Dr. Haley has observed that the lowest level of mercury is found in the birth hair of the most severely affected autistic children (vi).

Interestingly, the 4 to 1 ratio of autism in males to females may, in part, be due to the effects of testosterone on mercury excretion. Antibiotics also prevent excretion of mercury, and antibiotic use is higher among autistic children.

Dr. Haley also reported on data showing a synergistic effect of heavy metals. For example, the dose of lead and mercury that would cause death in 1 out of 100 people is magnified when you are exposed to both lead and mercury, leading to a lethal dose 100 percent of the time when combined, even at low levels. You can find more information on this at Dr. Haley's website:

As compelling as Dr. Haley's presentation was, it is only the beginning of the story that connects mercury exposure to autism...

Mercury and Autism, Part Two

Jane El Dahr, M.D., is the Chief of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center. She also discussed the possible link between thimerosol in vaccines and autism. (The data she presented is available at In California, rigorous standards for reporting autism have been put in place because social benefits are tied to accurate diagnosis -- so the increases there are very likely to be accurately recorded.

During the first 25 years this reporting was put in place, 6,527 cases of autism were reported. But then the rates skyrocketed. It took only 3 years during the 1990s to add another 6,596 cases. From 1987 to 1998 there was a 273 percent increase in autism cases in California!

In response, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Autism released an "Autism Alarm" stating that 1 in 166 children in the US have autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently, one-sixth of all children under the age of 18 have a developmental disability. That means nearly 20 percent of the population may suffer from this problem and may not be able to be productive members of society as a result.

Much of this could be due to mercury toxicity.

That's not just a guess -- it's based on the analysis of the actual doses of thimerosol received by children after the change in the vaccination schedule mentioned above. In people with a genetic susceptibility, such as a defect in the enzymes responsible for detoxifying heavy metals, prenatal and early postnatal exposure to mercury leads to neurologic damage resulting in autistic symptoms (vii).

Acrodynia, or "pink baby syndrome," from exposure to calomel or mercury in teething powder has similar symptoms to autism, providing us yet another link between mercury exposure and autism.

Other potential sources of early exposure in fetuses or infants include maternal amalgams, fish consumption, eardrops, and nasal drops. But vaccines may be more problematic than all of these. They present a significant source of mercury exposure in Rho-gam, influenza vaccines during pregnancy, and childhood immunizations.

It has been found that the maximum exposure from these vaccines in the first six months of life is 187.5 micrograms of mercury -- far exceeding limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the EPA, the "safe" daily level of mercury exposure for a five kilogram, two-month-old infant is 0.5 micrograms or 0.1 micrograms per kg. But these limits are set for methyl mercury primarily from fish, not for ethyl mercury from vaccines. The typical two-month vaccination schedule for a baby includes DTP, Hib, and HepB. Combined, these vaccines contain 62.5 micrograms of mercury.

That's a whopping 125 times the EPA limits for a single day exposure!

Like lead, there may be NO safe level -- and children are more susceptible to toxic effects than adults.

Dr. El Dahr said that there appears to be correlation between immune system malfunctioning in both autism and mercury toxicity. These specific immune abnormalities have been found in 30 to 70 percent of autistic children.

So what do we do about all of this mercury in our children and the resulting health problems?

Mercury in Children: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Stephanie Cave, M.D., is on the clinical faculty of Louisiana State University Medical School, and since 1996 has treated over 2,300 children with autistic spectrum disorder. Her recent book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations, outlines the data and debate in this highly charged field.

Dr. Cave reported on the increased incidence of autism in the last 30 years -- up from one out of 10,000 children to one out of 150 children and one of just 30 males in the United States.

The major toxicity from mercury that contributes to this epidemic, she said, is its ability to severely inhibit enzyme function and structural integrity.

At the conference, Dr. Cave critiqued a well-publicized study in the Lancet, which concluded that there was no toxic effect from thimerosol. She pointed out numerous problems with this study, including the fact that it used various amounts of thimerosol exposure and only involved 33 people.

Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also reported no increased risk of autism with thimerosol (viii). But the problem with this study was that the authors were affiliated with the state-run Statens Serum Institute. Eighty percent of the Institute's profits are from vaccines! The methodology was also called into question because of inconsistencies in their reporting system (ix).

Yet another study had even more ominous findings. A case control study of 221 children with autism and 18 controls found that after a DMSA challenge test, vaccinated autistic children had THREE times the level of mercury in their urine compared to controls (x).

The question that remains is how these kids with ASD should be treated. Dr. Cave reviewed her approach ...

Besides taking a developmental history, she does a thorough laboratory evaluation, testing for numerous things. Her treatment protocols include casein- (from dairy), gluten-, allergy- and seafood-free diets, removal of amalgam fillings, and detoxification support.

Key to the treatment is careful detoxification of heavy metals after repletion of cellular nutrients, repair of gut dysfunction, and enhancement of liver detoxification chemistry. Supplements and treatments may include multivitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, magnesium, digestive enzymes, Coenzyme Q10, and antioxidants like selenium, zinc, and vitamins C, E, and A.

She also suggests bowel ecology restoration which may include anti-fungal drugs, antibiotics, herbs, probiotics, and glutamine.

Enhancement of liver detoxification is facilitated by Epsom salt baths, magnesium sulfate creams, and oral, intravenous, or topical glutathione.

Mercury and other heavy metal detoxification is achieved after a DMSA provocation challenge of 20mg/kg with a 10-hour urine collection. DMSA is given at a dose of 10mg/kg every eight hours for three days, with 11 days off. The cycle is repeated four times, followed by another provocation challenge test.

The results of this protocol were impressive. Dr. Cave presented a number of cases where these treatments showed significant benefit and reductions in autistic symptoms!

But autism isn't the only disease related to mercury toxicity. There are many others.

Mercury and Adult Illness: From Alzheimer's to Heart Failure

We've now seen the devastating effects that mercury toxicity can have on kids. The effects on adults are no less severe.

Robert Nash, M.D., is a practicing neurologist and the Chairman of the American Board of Metal Toxicology. At the conference, he reviewed mercury-associated diseases, mechanisms, controversies, and therapeutic options.

He suggests the toxic effects of mercury spread across a broad spectrum of diseases including autism, Alzheimer's disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, neurodevelopmental diseases, nephrotoxicity, and cancer.

The mechanism of mercury toxicity in the adult brain may be related to proteins involved in mercury excretion, including glutathione, glutathione transferase, metallothionine and ApoE. Mercury depletes glutathione and ascorbate (vitamin C), and inhibits thiamine (B1) and pyridoxine (B6).

Mercury can also affect the central nervous system by concentrating in the spinal fluid, and the kidneys by reducing concentrating capacity. And it inhibits nerve growth, and passes easily through the placental barrier. The chemical can also reduce nerve function and communication, which can lead to the development of neurofibrillary tangles -- a common feature of Alzheimer's. In fact, recent findings suggest that the gene Apo E 4 may increase the risk for Alzheimer's because it has an impaired ability to bind with mercury and transport it from the brain.

Dr. Nash suggests that most, if not all, abnormal biochemistry in the Alzheimer's brain can be mimicked by mercury. He further concludes that, biologically, the case of mercury as a cause of Alzheimer's disease is more complete than that for thimerosol-related causation of autism.

According to Dr. Nash mercury toxicity and retention is enhanced by factors found in the diet, antibiotics, other toxicants such as cadmium and lead, and genetic susceptibilities. So no level of mercury exposure from amalgams can be considered without risk!

In addition to the compelling evidence linking Alzheimer's to mercury toxicity, research shows it may also be linked to cardiovascular disease.

Two studies have reported increased risk of heart attack while another has shown no risk. And the data presented on heart failure from unknown causes is very compelling as well. Biopsy samples found 22,000 times the level of mercury in people with heart failure from unknown causes compared to controls whose heart failure was caused by virus, heart attacks, or high blood pressure (xi).

One of my patients had this exact problem. She had no reason for heart failure -- but at 62, she was facing a heart transplant. When I discovered that she had mercury toxicity and treated her, she began to thrive again. Her cardiac function dramatically improved by 130 percent!

Despite all this bad news about the effects of mercury, Dr. Nash concluded on an optimistic note ...

First, he suggested that there appears to be a subset of the population that cannot effectively excrete mercury and is at greater risk than the general population. This susceptibility is likely due to genetic differences, diet, exposure to other toxicants, antibiotic use, etc.

Given that susceptibility, he argued that mercury is a risk factor in many diseases -- but can be safely measured. And he said that the body can be detoxified of mercury, mitigating some of its toxic effects. Of course, more studies should be done to shed light on this important topic. But we are on our way to finding answers to this important health concern.

I know some of what I have reviewed in these articles on mercury was pretty science heavy. But I wanted to take the time to share this fascinating research with you because I believe it's so important. I want people to know that just because this topic is mostly ignored by conventional medicine and dentistry, it isn't any less critical or relevant to our health or our children's health.

More importantly: It CAN be treated!

In my practice, I have seen the benefits of detoxifying from mercury. My patients have recovered from dementia, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Parkinson's disease, heart failure, diabetes, obesity, multiple sclerosis, depression, autoimmune diseases like colitis and rheumatoid arthritis, and many other problems. Of course, that doesn't mean that mercury is THE cause of these conditions, but simply one of the many causes that has to be considered.

So now that you understand the powerful effect mercury can have on your health, let's review how you know if you have mercury toxicity, and then how to treat it.

Diagnosing and Treating Mercury Toxicity

The first thing to understand is that identifying mercury problems and detoxifying from them (or any other kind of heavy metal poisoning) has to be done VERY carefully and under the supervision of a physician trained in the techniques of metal detoxification, but it can be done safely and effectively with an educated doctor's assistance.

What follows is a three-step plan to find out if you are suffering from mercury poisoning and detoxifying from it. Understand that this approach has to be done carefully and systematically to make sure you get your body ready for removing the metals.

Step 1: Getting Ready for Detoxification

This process can take a few months, and I can't stress enough how important this preparation step is. It is accomplished by optimizing your nutritional status and detoxifying ability. Once this is done you will begin mobilizing and binding the metals in your body and excreting them through your urine, bile, stool, and sweat.

Here is what I recommend to my patients.

1. Optimize your gut function. Eliminate the common food allergens (dairy, gluten, corn, eggs, etc.), taking probiotics and enzymes for one to two months before detoxifying.

2. Optimize your nutritional status for detoxification. Use healthy fats (omega-3 fats, olive oil, and flax oil), amino acids (which boost all your liver's detoxification capacity), and minerals, particularly zinc and selenium (which help your body detoxify metals).

3. Enhance your liver's detoxification pathways. Take folate and vitamins B12 and B6 and eating sulfur-containing foods such as broccoli, collards, kale, daikon radish, garlic, onions, and omega-3 eggs.

4. Start sauna therapy. Make sure you take adequate electrolyte and mineral replacements to prevent dehydration and mineral loss from the sweat.

5. Optimize elimination routes for metals including your urine, stool, and sweat. Use fluids, fiber, and saunas.

Step 2: Integrate Additional Steps to Support Detoxification

At this stage you can integrate the following to support your liver detoxification pathways even more:

• Alginate from seaweed (this binds to metal in the gut)

• Selenium, zinc, n-acetylcysteine, lipoic acid, milk thistle, and garlic

Step 3: The Metal Detoxification Period

• Find a biological dentist ( to evaluate the extent of your mercury fillings and options for replacing them.

This can be done slowly over time, but must be done VERY carefully and only under a trained biological dentist's supervision to avoid burdening yourself with more mercury during the removal process.

• Get a test to assess your total body load of mercury. This is called a challenge or provocation test. This is done with a doctor's prescription and under a doctor's supervision. The easiest and safest way to do this is to take 500 mg of DMPS in one dose first thing in the morning after emptying your bladder, followed by a six-hour urine collection. DMPS is a prescription drug and is not FDA-approved in the US, although it has been approved and used for decades in Europe.

The other option is to use DMSA, which is FDA-approved. It pulls out a lot less mercury and needs to be taken at a dose of 30 mg/kg for the challenge test. I find this is not as effective to get a true reading on what is in the body.

• Use binding agents to pull the mercury out of your body. There is a lot of controversy about the best way to do this. But after helping people detox from heavy metals for 10 years, I've found the safest and most effective treatment is oral DMSA.

It is taken as follows: One 100 to 250 mg capsule of DMSA orally three times a day before meals. Take it for three days. Then take 11 days off. Do this for six months. Then recheck your level of mercury through the challenge test.

• Do saunas daily -- especially on those days when doing DMSA.

• Consider getting intravenous vitamins and antioxidants for three months while undergoing this process this to administer glutathione, phospholipids, vitamin C, and B vitamins to boost detoxification. This is harder to get, but can help the process work better and help you feel better throughout the process.

• Drink enough filtered water and fluids to make urine clear.

• Make sure you have bowel movements twice a day. This is very important or you will reabsorb mercury from the gut. You can add ground flax seeds to shakes or foods, or take one to two 150-mg magnesium citrate capsules twice a day if you are not going regularly. You can also try even stronger laxatives if you have to such as senna or cascara.

• Consider whey protein to boost glutathione if you are not allergic to dairy.

Understand that I am simply sharing my experience and knowledge with you here. I recognize this is a controversial area. Unfortunately, there are no large controlled studies looking at this problem. I am working on getting studies on this and other areas of systems medicine and functional medicine funded so we can have better answers. For now, we have to go with what we know and the experience and knowledge of many physicians over many years of doing this.

Realize that we DO know how to help you detoxify effectively and deal with the effects of low level mercury toxicity! While it may be difficult you MUST find a doctor skilled at dealing with heavy metal toxicity to undergo the protocol above safely.

What I have outlined in this blog are only my guidelines. They may be the same or similar to what you find others are using. What is essential is that you get assistance. I DO NOT recommend you detoxify from mercury without a doctor's supervision!

But I DO recommend you find out if mercury toxicity is a problem for you. It is an essential step to achieving lifelong vibrant health.

Now I'd like to hear from you...

Are you surprised by the links between mercury and conditions like Alzheimer's disease?

Do you agree with childhood vaccinations? Why or why not?

Have you tried detoxifying from mercury? What was your experience?

Please let me know your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.


(i) Wakefield AJ, Ashwood P, Limb K, Anthony A. The significance of ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia in children with autistic spectrum disorder. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Aug;17(8):827-36.

(ii) Uhlmann V, Martin CM, Sheils O, Pilkington L, Silva I, Killalea A, Murch SB, Walker-Smith J, Thomson M, Wakefield AJ, O'Leary JJ.Potential viral pathogenic mechanism for new variant inflammatory bowel disease. Mol Pathol. 2002 Apr;55(2):84-90.

(iii) Kawashima H, Mori T, Kashiwagi Y, Takekuma K, Hoshika A, Wakefield A. Detection and sequencing of measles virus from peripheral mononuclear cells from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism. Dig Dis Sci. 2000 Apr;45(4):723-9

(iv) J.J. Bradstreet, M.D.; J. El Dahr, M.D.; A. Anthony,  M.B., Ph.D.; J.J. Kartzinel, M.D.; A.J. Wakefield, M.B. Detection of Measles Virus Genomic RNA in Cerebrospinal Fluid of Children with Regressive Autism: a Report of Three Cases. J. Am . Phys. Surgeons 9 no. 2 (2004) 38-45

(v) Taylor B, Miller E, Farrington CP, Petropoulos MC, Favot-Mayaud I, Li J, Waight PA. Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association. Lancet. 1999 Jun 12;353(9169):2026-9.

(vi) Holmes AS, Blaxill MF, Haley BE. Reduced levels of mercury in first baby haircuts of autistic children. Int J Toxicol. 2003 Jul-Aug;22(4):277-85.

(vii) S Bernard. Autism: A novel form of mercury poisoning. Medical Hypothesis. 2001:56 (4): 462-471.

(viii) Hviid A. Association between thimerosal containing vaccine and autism. JAMA. 2003; 290: 1763-1766.

(ix) Rimland B, Bernard S. Letters. JAMA. 2004; 291:180-181.

(x) Bradstreet J. A case-control study of mercury burden in children with autistic spectrum disorders. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Volume 8 Number 3 Summer 2003.

(xi) Frustaci A, Magnavita N, Chimenti C, Caldarulo M, Sabbioni E, Pietra R, Cellini C, Possati GF, Maseri A. Marked elevation of myocardial trace elements in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy compared with secondary cardiac dysfunction. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 May;33(6):1578-83.

Mark Hyman, M.D. practicing physician and founder of The UltraWellness Center is a pioneer in functional medicine. Dr. Hyman is now sharing the 7 ways to tap into your body's natural ability to heal itself. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on Youtube and become a fan on Facebook.

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By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

On February 12, the federal "Vaccine Court" in Washington issued a sweeping ruling in three highly touted "test cases" against families who claimed that their childrens' autism had been caused by vaccines. The Special Masters in those three cases found that Petitioners failed to establish causation between MMR vaccines, the mercury-laced vaccine preservative thimerosal, and autism (the court decision, which is under appeal, deferred any finding on a thimerosal-only theory of causation). The rulings could have a significant precedential impact on some 5,000 families who opted to bring their cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP) hoping that the vaccine court would officially hold that the MMR vaccine or thimerosal had caused autism in their children.

The New York Times joined the government Health Agency (HRSA) and its big pharma allies hailing the decisions as proof that the scientific doubts about vaccine safety had finally been "demolished." The US Department of Health and Human services said the rulings should "help reassure parents that vaccines do not cause autism." The Times, which has made itself a blind mouthpiece for HRSA and a leading defender of vaccine safety, joined crowing government and vaccine industry flacks applauding the decisions like giddy cheerleaders, rooting for the same court that many of these same voices viscously derided just one year ago, after Hannah Poling won compensation for her vaccine induced autism.

But last week, the parents of yet another child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were awarded a lump sum of more than $810,000 (plus an estimated $30-40,000 per year for autism services and care) in compensation by the Court, which ruled that the measels-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine had caused acute brain damage that led to his autism spectrum disorder.

The family of 10-year-old Bailey Banks won their case quietly and without fanfare in June of 2007, but the ruling has only now come to public attention. In the remarkably clear and eloquent decision, Special Master Richard Abell ruled that the Banks had successfully demonstrated that "the MMR vaccine at issue actually caused the conditions from which Bailey suffered and continues to suffer."

Bailey's diagnosis is Pervasive Developmental Disorder -- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) which has been recognized as an autism spectrum disorder by CDC, HRSA and the other federal health agencies since at least the 1990s.

In his conclusion, Special Master Abell ruled that Petitioners had proven that the MMR had directly caused a brain inflammation illness called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) which, in turn, had caused the autism spectrum disorder PDD-NOS in the child:

The Court found that Bailey's ADEM was both caused-in-fact and proximately caused by his vaccination. It is well-understood that the vaccination at issue can cause ADEM, and the Court found, based upon a full reading and hearing of the pertinent facts in this case, that it did actually cause the ADEM. Furthermore, Bailey's ADEM was severe enough to cause lasting, residual damage, and retarded his developmental progress, which fits under the generalized heading of Pervasive Developmental Delay, or PDD [an autism spectrum disorder]. The Court found that Bailey would not have suffered this delay but for the administration of the MMR vaccine, and that this chain of causation was... a proximate sequence of cause and effect leading inexorably from vaccination to Pervasive Developmental Delay.

The Bailey decision is not an isolated ruling. We now know of at least two other successful ADEM cases argued in Vaccine Court. More significantly, an explosive investigation by CBS News has found that since 1988, the vaccine court has awarded money judgments, often in the millions of dollars, to thirteen hundred and twenty two families whose children suffered brain damage from vaccines. In many of these cases, the government paid out awards following a judicial finding that vaccine injury lead to the child's autism spectrum disorder. In each of these cases, the plaintiffs' attorneys made the same tactical decision made by Bailey Bank's lawyer, electing to opt out of the highly charged Omnibus Autism Proceedings and argue their autism cases in the regular vaccine court. In many other successful cases, attorneys elected to steer clear of the hot button autism issue altogether and seek recovery instead for the underlying brain damage that caused their client's autism.

Medical records associated with these proceedings clearly tell the tale. In perhaps hundreds of these cases, the children have all the classic symptoms of regressive autism; following vaccination a perfectly healthy child experiences high fever, seizures, and other illnesses, then gradually, over about three months, loses language, the ability to make eye contact, becomes "over-focused" and engages in stereotypical head banging and screaming and then suffers developmental delays characteristic of autism. Many of these children had received the autism diagnosis. Yet the radioactive word "autism" appears nowhere in the decision.

Instead the vaccine court Special Masters rest their judgments on their finding that the vaccines caused some generalized brain injury, mainly Encephalopathy/encephalitis (brain inflammation) or "seizure disorders" -- conditions known to cause autism-like symptoms. A large number of the children who have won these judgments have been separately diagnosed with autism. HRSA acknowledged this fact in a recent letter, but told us it does not keep data on how many of these children were autistic.

The Vaccine Court, in other words, seems quite willing to award millions of dollars in taxpayer funded compensation to vaccine-injured autistic children, so long as they don't have to call the injury by the loaded term "autism." That hazard is particularly acute for vaccine victims who appear before the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP). Since that body's decisions are closely watched, published and accorded the weight of precedent, many lawyers consider the burden of proof for petitioners to be impossibly high before the OAP Panel. It was for this reason that Bailey's attorney, Mark McLaren, elected to opt out of the OAP and try his case separately, even though Bailey has been receiving autism-related services in his home state and was eligible to file a case in the Court's Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP).

McLaren told us he wanted to avoid the added burden facing petitioners under the media glare and precedential weight attending OAP panel trials. "We considered [the OAP route] because [Bailey] is on the autistic spectrum of disorders, but we thought we could try it separately and apart from the Omnibus, and not as a test case," explained McLaren. "We thought we'd have a better chance if we tried to on its own merit, away from the spotlights and the precedent setting pressures that attend these OAP test cases - and it worked."

Bob Krakow, a leading attorney for vaccine damaged children told that many lawyers are now convinced that filing a claim in the OAP is a losing proposition. "There's a growing conviction that if you have a autistic client who has also been diagnosed with encephalopathy/encephalitis or seizure disorder, you are better off not mentioning the word "autism" if you want to win the case." He recommended instead filing a non autism claim like "mental retardation with seizure disorder" for an autistic client.

Although the vaccine court is mandated to fairly serve the victims of vaccine injuries, their primary purpose and raison d'etre is to protect the vaccine program and vaccine makers. Damages are doled out from a 75-cent tax on every vaccine sold and not from the vaccine makers. "You can understand why special masters, burdened with their duty to protect vaccine programs, might be unwilling to make the direct causal link between autism and vaccines," Krakow observed. "If you ask the big question and answer it in the affirmative, there is a sense that it will damage the vaccine program irreparably."

Vaccine Court judges are equipped with a draconian armory of weapons deployable against plaintiffs intent on proving the causal connection between vaccines and autism. Jury trials are prohibited. Damages are capped; awards for pain and suffering are strictly limited and punitive damages banned altogether. Vaccine defenders have an army of Department of Justice attorneys with virtually unlimited resources for expert witnesses and other litigation costs. Plaintiffs, in contrast, must fund the up front costs for experts on their own. In a cultural choice that clearly favors defendants, vaccine court gives overwhelming weight to written medical records which are often inaccurate -- over all other forms of testimony and evidence. Observations by parents and other caretakers are given little weight.

Worst of all -- plaintiffs have no right to discovery either against the pharmaceutical industry or the government. Since autism is a behavioral affliction rather than a precisely defined biological injury -- epidemiological studies are critical to establishing its causation. But the greatest source of epidemiological data is the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) -- the government maintained medical records of hundreds of thousands of vaccinated children -- which HHS has gone to great lengths to keep out of the hands of plaintiffs' attorneys and independent scientists. Unfortunately the vaccine court has judicially anointed this corrupt concealment by consistently denying every motion by petitioners to view the VSD. The raw data collected in the VSD would undoubtedly provide the epidemiological evidence needed to understand the relationship between vaccines and autism. The absence of such studies makes it easy for judges to say to plaintiffs they have not met their burden of proving causation.

Meanwhile, CDC has actively, openly and systematically suppressed and defunded epidemiological studies that might establish a causal link. CDC has ignored repeated pleadings that it fund peer reviewed studies of unvaccinated American cohorts like the Amish and home-schooled children. At the same time the agency has worked overtime ginning up a series of fatally-flawed European studies purporting to dispute the link. Even a cursory critical examination reveals that the oft-cited Danish, English, and Italian studies are rank tobacco science. Many of them were funded by CDC, a badly compromised agency, performed by vaccine industry scientists, and published in miserably conflicted journals.

Needless to say, the existence of these phony studies, combined with the deliberate dearth of epidemiological evidence makes it easy for the special masters to dodge a politically explosive finding by holding that there is "insufficient evidence."

And, speaking of tobacco, it's worth recalling that for sixty years the tobacco industry successfully defended a product that was killing one out of every five of its customers against thousands of legal actions brought by its victims and their families. Tobacco lawyers protected the cigarette companies by arguing that there was no proven link between tobacco and lung cancer. Bob Krakow sees many parallels. Big tobacco uses the same tactic of manufacturing research that seems to dispute the connection to exploit the burdens on plaintiffs to prove causation. Big tobacco prevailed for six decades even without the help of supportive government agencies deliberately suppressing real science and research. In that sense vaccine victims must leap a much higher hurdle.

Despite the perilous odds stacked against them in vaccine court, the evidence of a vaccine/autism link is so strong that vaccine court judges and government agencies have now recognized at least two theories of how vaccines cause autism: the Vaccine-to-ADEM-to-ASD link in Bailey Banks' case, and vaccine-induced aggravation of an underlying mitochondrial dysfunction that caused full-blown autism in the Hannah Poling case. Both theories are different from those rejected in the three cases last week.

Perhaps, these new disclosures will prompt The Times, with all its influence, to actually make prudent journalistic inquiries into the phony science CDC uses to defend its claims of "vaccine safety." If it does, the paper will realize it has once again been ill used by government agencies in a tragic campaign of public deceit. The Times should make the reasonable demand that the government health agencies finally release the Vaccine Safety Datalink for independent scientific research and that CDC and HRSA lift their opposition to genuine epidemiological studies that might finally provide real scientific answers to this debate.