Article Video – Understanding How Babylon Works – Friday, May 5, 2023 By Anna Von Reitz

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“Is it safe?”

Is It Safe?

The famous scene in Marathon Man where Dustin Hoffman is asked repeatedly “Is it safe?” This is what we should be asking of our health agencies. We shouldn’t stop asking until they give us the data.

The question you should be asking before you get any vaccine is “Is it safe?”

The standard of safety used for vaccines is fewer than 1 death per 1M doses (see this Paul Offit quote).

Double-blind randomized trials are never powered with millions of people so the only way we can learn this information is by collecting the data in the post-marketing phase by looking at the vaccine records of people who died and doing the analysis on that data.

As far as I know, nobody in the world is exposing the underlying anonymized data or exposing an accurate summary analysis template that would allow us to learn the truth.

Shouldn’t we get started so we can finally answer the question: “Is it safe?”

Here are the 4 steps you need to do to figure out if a vaccine is safe:

  1. Do a join between the death records and vaccine records so you have the vaccination data on the same row as the death data. So a row looks like: Age range, gender, date of death and dates and types for each vaccination

  2. You will also need access to the vaccination data by date, age range, and sex by week (similar to the California data here).

  3. Once you have this underlying data, you are able to create a summary analysis spreadsheet that looks something like this (note that clicking on the link will instantly download the spreadsheet and then refresh the page so it will look like nothing happened).

  4. From that spreadsheet, it will immediately be obvious if the vaccine is safe or not.

Here’s the question: Have you ever seen a spreadsheet like that for any vaccine?

The closest effort I’m aware of is the data from the UK, but the data in the spreadsheet they provide is simply not accurate and not credible because they under count the unvaccinated. This is instantly obvious to anyone with a trained eye because the unvaxxed are instantly dying at twice the rate that they did moments before the vaccine rolled out:

Professor Norman Fenton, Martin Neil, Dr. Clare Craig, and others found the same deficiencies in the UK data before I ever set eyes on the data.

Furthermore, the summary is not fit for purpose because it isn’t granular enough to really see what is going on (there is nothing magical about 21 days; you want to see what is going on in all periods). If you compare my spreadsheet with theirs, you’ll see what I mean.

So here’s my question:

Have you ever seen the spreadsheet template in Step #3 for any vaccine ever from anywhere in the world containing reliable data?

The answer, as far as I know, is “No.” The closest I’ve seen is the UK data. Hats off to them.

Which means:

  1. For the past 200+ years, we’ve been assuming vaccines are safe because nobody has bothered to check it properly

  2. Nobody in the mainstream medical community in the US, as far as I know, has been demanding to see this analysis.

I’m calling for data transparency and doing it right so we will finally know whether vaccines are safe or not.

Two reasons:

  1. It needs to be done

  2. Nobody else is doing it

Here is Chelsea Clinton calling vaccine hesitancy and rejection of vaccines as “unfortunate”:

WTF?!?! I think it’s just the opposite.

People should be very vaccine hesitant because the health authorities have simply never delivered on the data showing the vaccines are safe.

And there’s a reason for that of course. We all know what it is. They aren’t delivering the data on the safety of the vaccine because they know it is not safe.

This is why all the world government agencies I’ve asked refuse to provide the data, even if I offer to pay all the costs. They just stop talking to me.

I totally disagree with Chelsea Clinton on health authorities power.

The health authorities should be stripped of their emergency powers because they misused them by requiring lockdowns, masking, and vaccination. It was a disaster. There were no checks on their power.

Did you ever hear of any health authorities saying “We’re not doing vaccinations until we make the data public for everyone to see”? I never saw this. Did I miss it?

The CDC needs to show us the data before we can answer the question “Is it safe?”

This is best done by publicly providing, for the first time in history, the individual death-vax records and vaccination records. This will then enable any member of the public to construct a summary template similar to the template described in this article. Using that template, it will be immediately obvious to everyone what is going on.

At that point, everyone will know the truth.

Wouldn’t that be nice for a change?

Until then, you should just say “No” or “Show me the data.”

And in the meantime, do everything you can to strip these “health authorities” of their emergency power. They should persuade people by the data, not by coercion.


Linoleic Acid — The Most Destructive Ingredient in Your Diet

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  • Fats are the primary building block of your cell membranes. This is one of the reasons why eating the right types of fat is so important for your health and longevity

  • While most nutritional experts blame the epidemic of chronic disease on the increase in sugar consumption, the role of sugar is relatively minor when compared to the impact of seed oils

  • There are two basic types of fatty acids, based on how many of their carbon bonds are paired with hydrogen: saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are further subdivided into monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), depending on how many pairs of hydrogen atoms they are missing

  • Because your tissues are made up mostly of saturated and monounsaturated fats, your body requires more of them than PUFAs

  • The main dietary PUFAs are omega-3 and omega-6 fats, and while your body does need these, it needs them in relatively small quantities. The most pernicious toxin in the modern diet, and the fat you need to minimize consumption of, is the omega-6 fat linoleic acid (LA). LA makes up 60% to 80% of omega-6 fats and is the primary contributor to chronic disease

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Fats — which are water-insoluble biological molecules also known as lipids

— are the primary building block of your cell membranes. This is one of the reasons why eating the right types of fat is so important for your health and longevity.

What distinguishes one fat from another is the specific combination of fatty acids it’s composed of, and the properties of fats and fatty acids depend on their hydrogen saturation and the length of their molecules, also referred to as “chain length.”

There are two basic types of fatty acids, based on how many of their carbon bonds are paired with hydrogen:

  • Saturated fats are fully loaded with hydrogen atoms forming straight chains, and are typically solid at room temperature (examples include butter and coconut oil)

  • Unsaturated fats have lost at least one of the pairs of hydrogen atoms from their carbon chain and come in two varieties:

    • Monounsaturated fats, which are missing one pair of hydrogen atoms

    • Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs), which are missing more than one pair of hydrogen atoms, hence the name “poly”

The loss of hydrogen results in molecules that kink or bend at each double bond. The more hydrogen pairs that are missing, the more bent the molecules, which causes the molecules to occupy more space. This is what makes the fat a liquid oil at room temperature.

In addition to varying levels of hydrogen saturation, fats also vary in the length of their carbon chains, leading to another classification scheme based on their number of carbon atoms:

  • Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) — Two to four carbon atoms

  • Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) — Six to 10 carbon atoms

  • Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) — 12 to 26 carbon atoms

  • Very-long-chain fatty acids

    (VLCFAs) — 26 to 30 carbon atoms

The chain length and hydrogen saturation level control a fat’s melting point. As chain length increases, melting point increases. Likewise, fats that are solid at room temperature (butter, coconut oil) have longer chain lengths than fats that are liquid at room temperature (fish oil, olive oil). With chain lengths being equal, the polyunsaturated fats found in seeds oils have lower melting points than saturated fats.

PUFAs can also be subdivided into omega-3 and omega-6 fats. The end of the fatty acid chain that is opposite the acid end is the “omega end.” The location of the first double bond from the omega end dictates whether a fatty acid is an omega-3, omega-6, omega-9 (oleic acid) or another member of the omega family.

The most pernicious toxin in the modern diet, and the fat you need to minimize consumption of, is the omega-6 fat linoleic acid (LA). LA makes up 60% to 80% of omega-6 fats and is the primary contributor to chronic disease.

To be clear, it’s only toxic when consumed in excessive quantities, but the vast majority of people nowadays consuming far more than the ideal amounts. The history of how seed oils ended up replacing far healthier animal fats is detailed in the video above.

Many still believe that if you have a distorted omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, the solution is simply to consume more omega-3, but that’s a serious mistake. While you certainly need a certain amount of omega-3s for good health, adding excessive omega-3s is a prescription for disaster, as omega-3 is also a PUFA.

So, when consumed in excessive quantities, omega-3 will cause metabolic damage similar to that of LA, as it breaks down into dangerous metabolites known as ALEs (advanced lipoxidation end products).

It is also important to highlight a primarily plant-based omega-3 fat called alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA should not be confused with LA, as they are quite different from a biological standpoint. LA is an omega-6 fat and ALA is an omega-3 fat.

Also, do not confuse LA with CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Although CLA is an omega-6 fat and most think CLA and LA are interchangeable, they’re not. CLA has many potent health benefits and will not cause the problems that LA does.

As a general rule, vegetable and seed oils are high in PUFAs and low in saturated fats while animal fats are the converse. Saturated and monounsaturated fats are more easily used by your body than PUFAs, hence animal fats are generally healthier than seed oils.

“One significant problem with PUFAs is that they are chemically unstable, which makes them highly susceptible to being damaged by oxygen species generated from the energy production in your cells.”

Because your tissues are made up mostly of saturated and monounsaturated fats, your body also requires more of them than PUFAs. The main dietary PUFAs are omega-3 and omega-6 fats, and while your body does need these, it needs them in relatively small quantities.

One significant problem with PUFAs is that they are chemically unstable, which makes them highly susceptible to being damaged by oxygen species generated from the energy production in your cells. This damage causes them to form ALEs, which in turn generate dangerous free radicals that damage your cell membranes, mitochondria, proteins and DNA.

What’s worse, PUFAs are integrated into your cell membranes and can remain so for five to seven years. The missing hydrogen atoms also make PUFAs highly susceptible to oxidation, which causes the fat to break down into harmful metabolites such as OXLAMs (oxidized LA metabolites), which have a profoundly negative impact on your health.

“Essential fatty acids” (EFAs) is a term referring to the PUFAs that scientists believe are crucial for health and that your body cannot produce. Hence, you have to get them from your diet. Currently only two types of fats are considered “essential”:

  • Omega-3 (EPA, DHA, and ALA)

  • Omega-6 fat (LA)

The inclusion of LA is unfortunate, as excessive amounts of LA actually wreck your cellular and mitochondrial function. The reality is you need very small amounts of LA, and because it’s found in most foods, it’s virtually impossible to become deficient. Moreover, modern research has shown that up to 10 generations of animals can be raised without any LA in their diet whatsoever and remain perfectly healthy.

Research has also shown that when you have a large amount of LA in your diet, an enzyme called delta-desaturase — which converts the plant-based omega-3 fat, ALA, to the long-chain fats DHA and EPA — is inhibited. So, consuming high amounts of LA increases your dependence on sea food as a source of preformed EPA and DHA.

This is important, as DHA and EPA are indeed essential and provide a wide range of health benefits. One of the most important benefits of DHA is lowering inflammation, which is a factor in most chronic and degenerative diseases. EPA, meanwhile, is important for heart and cardiovascular health.

However, the first demonstration of essential requirement for LA in animal diets was in 1929-30. Rats receiving the nearly unachievable outside of a lab, 0.5% of their total dietary calories as LA were 30% higher in body weight compared to total fat deficient rats and did not develop skin lesions and tail necrosis.

This led to the establishment of the requirement of 1% of total daily calories being omega-6 fat which was later extended to 2% of the total daily calorie intake in humans to ensure sufficiency. This was confirmed by two studies where the physiological symptoms of omega-6 deficiency in human infants, as established by scaling of the skin, were abolished.

But careful review of the data used to establish LA being essential to the diet finds that this conclusion was established using control diets that were not only deficient in omega-6 fatty acids, but also omega-3 fatty acids. This dual deficiency in the control diets seems to invalidate the establishment of an omega-6 fatty acid requirement.

Subsequent studies have demonstrated that the dietary omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is able to diminish the symptoms of LA deficiency.

This strongly suggests that the absence of ALA in the original studies have probably heightened the significance of the physiological symptoms caused by LA deficiency.

It seems that at least for the rat model, the nutritional requirement for LA has probably been seriously overestimated. A more precise estimation of the LA requirement is likely closer to a 75% reduction or, 0.5% of the dietary energy rather than 2%.

This calls into question how “essential” LA really is in the human diet, especially since, outside of a research lab or parenteral nutrition, it is virtually impossible to avoid getting enough LA to meet physiological needs. Currently, most adults are consuming far more than recommended amounts of LA.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the dietary guidelines for LA intake recommend an upper limit of 10%,

which is much higher than the optimal level of 1-2%.

Despite, the less-than-ideal IOM dietary guidelines, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that most adults are still consuming far above that limit.

The video above reviews the health risks associated with vegetable oils and seed oils, which are found in most processed foods. It shows how chronic diseases such as heart disease began to skyrocket after the introduction of these oils to the market.

Before 1866, the Western world for the most part only consumed animal fats. Tallow, suet, lard and butter are examples of these fats. Eastern societies used cold-pressed fats like coconut and palm oil. Vegetable oils like we know them today simply did not exist.

The single-greatest change to the human diet in all of history was the introduction of industrially processed seed oils around 1866.

At that time Procter & Gamble used a newly invented hydrogenation process to convert surplus unusable cotton seeds into a synthetic seed oil, sold to this day under the name Crisco.

Shortly after that, margarine, which is made from seed oils, was introduced. In recent years the company has largely converted to using palm, soy and canola oil for its Crisco, but cottonseed oil is still very much in use for cooking, especially in restaurants for their fryers.

Historically, we can see that seed oil use increased from approximately 2 grams per day in 1865, to 5 grams per day in 1909, to 18 grams a day in 1999. As of 2008, the average consumption was 29 grams a day. In terms of percentages, seed oils accounted for approximately 1/100th of total calories in 1865 and increased to more than 1/4th of total calories by 2010 — a 25-fold increase!

While most nutritional experts blame the epidemic of chronic disease on the increase in sugar consumption, the role of sugar is relatively minor when compared to the impact of seed oils.

In 1822 the average U.S. sugar consumption was 6 pounds per person per year. This rose to a high of 108 pounds per person per year by 1999.

This is a 17-fold increase, but seed oils went up 25-fold during that same time period.

In the 1960s and ’70s,

cardiologist Dr. Robert Atkins was largely responsible for creating the interest in low-carb (low-sugar) diets that seemed to work for many. However, eliminating foods like french fries, potato chips, breads, pasta, pizza and donuts not only eliminates sugar-based carbs, but also seed oils. It is not intuitively obvious, but the carb-loaded foods his diet eliminated are also loaded with dangerous refined seed oils.

Processed foods typically contain about 21% sugar. However, up to 50% or more of the overall calories contained in most processed foods come from seed oils.

The connection is further confirmed by looking at the U.S. carb consumption. It’s been declining since 1997, yet obesity and Type 2 diabetes have steadily increased. Interestingly, this continued rise coincides with the surge of seed oil consumption.

sugar and vegetable oils consumption vs. adult obesity

seed oils and sugar vs. diabetes and obesity

Another major reason why seed oils are exponentially more pernicious to your health than sugar is that they last much longer in your body. The half-life of LA is around 600 to 680 days, or approximately two years. This means it will take you about six years to replace 95% of the LA in your body with healthy fats. This is the primary reason for keeping your LA intake low as possible.

Meanwhile, your glycogen stores will be exhausted in about one to two days. So if you go on a sugar binge, that sugar doesn’t stick around for years destroying your health like the LA in seed oils does.

The main reason why excess LA causes disease is that it prevents your mitochondria from working well. Mitochondria are subcellular organelles responsible for producing most of your cellular energy in the form of ATP, and without ATP, your cells cannot function and repair themselves normally.

As mentioned earlier, PUFAs such as LA are easily damaged by oxygen in a process called oxidation,

which triggers the creation damaging free radicals.

These, in turn, give rise to ALEs

and in the case of omega-6 fats, OXLAMs.

These ALEs and OXLAMs then go on to cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which is a hallmark of most all chronic disease. In addition to oxidation, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction, processed seed oils can also:

  • Damage the cells lining your blood vessels

  • Cause memory impairment and increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease (canola oil, in particular, has been linked to Alzheimer’s)

  • Strip your liver of glutathione thereby lowering your antioxidant defenses

  • Inhibit delta-6 desaturase (delta-6), an enzyme involved in the conversion of short-chained omega-3s to longer chained omega-3s in your liver

  • Impair your immune function and increase mortality

  • Make your fat cells more insulin sensitive, thereby causing insulin resistance

  • Inhibit cardiolipin, an important fat in the inner membrane of your mitochondria

The inhibition of cardiolipin in the inner membrane of your mitochondria explains much of the damage caused by LA. You have about 40 quadrillion to 100 quadrillion mitochondria throughout the cells of your body. The cristae of the inner membrane of the mitochondria contains a fat called cardiolipin,

and its function is dependent on the type of fat you get from your diet.

Cardiolipin is important because it influences the structure of the cristae inside your mitochondria, which is the area where energy production occurs. If cardiolipin is damaged, then the complexes will not be close enough together to form supercomplexes and thus the mitochondrial energy production will be impaired.

Cardiolipin also works like a cellular alarm system that triggers apoptosis (cell death) by signaling caspase-3 when something goes wrong with the cell. If the cardiolipin is damaged from oxidative stress due to having too much LA, it cannot signal caspase-3, and hence apoptosis does not occur.

As a result, dysfunctional cells are allowed to continue to grow, which can turn into a cancerous cell. The type of dietary fat that promotes healthy cardiolipin is omega-3 fat, and the type that destroys it is omega-6, especially LA.

The image below illustrates a typical mitochondria on the left. Figure C shows how the folds cause cardiolipin to provide the curve in the mitochondrial cristae. The folding causes the super complexes in the electron transport chain to get closer together and more efficiently transfer electrons to produce ATP.


The good news is that dietary changes can improve the composition of fats in your cardiolipin in a matter of weeks, or even days. So, even though it will take years to lower your total body burden of LA, you will likely notice improvements well before then.

Heart disease and cancer are two of the primary killers in the Western world, and LA is a significant contributor to both of these lethal conditions. One of the first things that happens in atherosclerosis, which is the precursor to heart disease, is that your macrophages (a type of white blood cell) turn into foam cells — essentially a macrophage stuffed with fat and cholesterol.

Atherosclerotic plaque is basically dead macrophages and other types of cells loaded with cholesterol and fat. This is why heart disease is blamed on saturated fat and cholesterol. However, researchers have found that for foam cells to form, the LDL (low density lipoprotein cholesterol) must be oxidized, and that is precisely what seed oils do.

Seed oils cause the LDL to oxidize, thereby forming foam cells. So, LDL in and of itself does not initiate atherosclerosis. LDL’s susceptibility to this oxidative process is controlled by the LA content of your diet. Excess PUFAs also make cell membranes more fragile, allowing them to be easily damaged by oxidation.

Seed oils are also a major contributor to cancer. In fact, a surefire way to induce cancer in many animal models is to feed them seed oils. Animals typically develop cancer once the LA in their diet reaches 4% to 10% of their energy intake.

And, as mentioned, most Americans get approximately 25% of their total daily calories from seed oils, so we’re far over the safety threshold for these fats — at least based on the laboratory work in animals. Remember our ancestors typically got less than 2% of their calories in the form of omega-6.

There’s even evidence showing that eliminating seed oils from your diet will dramatically reduce your risk of sunburn and lower your risk of skin cancer,

as susceptibility to UV radiation damage is controlled by how much LA is in your diet.

Primary sources of LA include seed oils used in cooking, processed foods and restaurant foods made with seed oils, condiments, seeds and nuts, most olive oils and avocado oils (due to the high prevalence of adulteration with cheaper seed oils), and animal foods raised on grains such as conventional chicken and pork.

Ideally, consider cutting LA down to below 7 grams per day, which is close to what our ancestors used to get. If you’re not sure how much you’re eating, enter your food intake into Cronometer — a free online nutrition tracker — and it will provide you with your total LA intake.

Cronometer will tell you how much omega-6 you’re getting from your food down to the 10th of a gram, and you can assume 90% of that is LA. Anything over 10 grams of LA is likely to cause problems. Healthy fat replacements include tallow, butter or ghee, all of which are excellent for cooking.

The table below provides a fairly comprehensive list of the most commonly consumed oils and their approximate LA content.

In general, the lowest LA-containing fats — butter and beef tallow — would be the fats of choice. These excellent cooking fats would not only be the lowest in LA, but will also provide the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, and K2. Coconut oil is also very low in LA but doesn’t provide the important fat-soluble vitamins that tallow and butter contain.

cooking oils

Most people introduced to the topic of omega-6 toxicity have questions about olive oil and avocado oil. Consumption of olive oil has increased more than 10-fold in the U.S. over the past 35 years.

Olives and olive oil are well-known for their many health benefits, especially for your heart, but using adulterated olive oil will not do your health any favors.

Tests have revealed that anywhere from 60% to 90% of the olive oils sold in American grocery stores and restaurants are adulterated with cheap, oxidized, omega-6 vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil or peanut oil, or nonhuman-grade olive oils, which are harmful to health in a number of ways.

This is even true for “extra virgin” olive oil Cheap seed oils are added and will not be listed on the label, nor will most people be able to discern that their olive oil is not 100% pure. Chances are, you’ve been eating poor-quality olive oil so long — or you’ve never tasted a pure, high-quality olive oil to begin with — you don’t even realize there’s something wrong with it.

The same applies to avocado oil. Many believe avocado oil is as healthy as olive oil, but this is simply not the case. A 2020 study showed that 82% of avocado oil is adulterated, mislabeled or of poor quality.

In general, people believe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is policing and regulating food fraud, but that’s not the case. Its primary focuses are making sure the ingredient label is accurate and tracking food-related disease outbreaks.

The FDA does little in terms of preventing illegally adulterated foods from being sold. This makes discerning quality a difficult task, and unless you can somehow ensure you’re getting 100% pure, unadulterated olive oil and/or avocado oil, you’re better off avoiding them altogether.

Most people who are interested in health believe that nuts and seeds are “heart healthy” staples.

However, as you can see in the table below, most nuts and seeds are exceedingly high in LA. For example, 50% of the fat in pecans is LA.

The only exception is macadamia nuts.

So, while nuts and seeds are often unprocessed and are the best type of omega-6 fats to eat, they will still contribute to the LA content of your diet, and once you hit 5 grams of LA per day, the perishable double bonds will begin to oxidize and generate dangerous free radicals that lead to health problems.

So, nuts and seeds need to be significantly minimized or even eliminated if you want to lower your LA. As mentioned, the exception to this rule is macadamia. Since only 2% of their fat is LA, you can have 10 to 30 a day without significantly raising your LA level.

nuts and seeds

While seed oils are a primary source of LA, a number of animal foods you might not suspect are also loaded with this harmful fat. Ruminant animals such as cows, buffalo, sheep, lamb, goats, deer, elk and many other game animals have low LA content in their milk and meat, no matter what they eat, thanks to the fact that they have multiple stomachs with bacteria that can convert the high LA fat they eat into saturated and monounsaturated fats.

Animals with a single stomach, however, like chickens and pigs, cannot make this conversion. So, when they’re fed corn and soy, which are high in LA, their meat and eggs will also be high in LA.

Most chicken and pork have over 25% LA. Chicken eggs are acceptable, though, as each egg has less than 1 gram of LA, and that is assuming they are fed commercial feeds that are loaded with high LA.

Interestingly, the difference in LA in ruminants that are 100% grass-fed and those that are fed corn and soy is only about 0.5%, which is why, from an LA perspective, there isn’t much difference between conventional beef and grass fed-only beef. That said, grass fed beef is still preferred as it typically has less glyphosate and hormones.

So, in summary, your best option is to get most of your animal protein from ruminants and avoid or limit all chicken and pork. My favorite meats are bison and lamb, but any of the ones listed above will work. Ideally it should be organic and the animals should not be fed any food that is contaminated with glyphosate or other pesticides.

Ideally, you’d get your omega-3s from healthy seafood. However, not all seafoods contain omega-3s. Only fatty, cold-water fish do. Examples include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel and herring.

Farmed fish, especially farmed salmon, is best avoided altogether due to the exaggerated potential for contamination. At first glance, farmed fish may seem like a good idea to help protect wild seafood populations from overfishing, but in reality, the industry is plagued with many of the same problems surrounding land-based concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), including pollution, disease, toxicity and inferior nutritional quality.

Most farmed fish are fed genetically engineered (GE) corn and soy, which are a completely unnatural diet for marine life and are loaded with hazardous omega-6 fats. Others are fed fishmeal, which is known to accumulate industrial chemicals like PCBs and dioxins.

From a nutritional perspective, farmed salmon also have the drawbacks of containing only half the omega-3 of wild salmon,

and one-fourth the vitamin D,

while having more than 5.5 times the amount of omega-6.

Farmed salmon are also routinely exposed to antibiotics and pesticides.

While your body will slowly eliminate stored LA over time, provided you reduce your intake, a peptide supplement called carnosine can help reduce the oxidative damage caused by LA while your body is cleaning itself out.

Carnosine is a dipeptide your body makes and it consists of two amino acids, beta-alanine and histidine. It serves as a sacrificial sink for reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ALEs, meaning it lets these very damaging molecules destroy it rather than your mitochondria, DNA or proteins, as depicted in the image below.


Carnosine is found in meats, and eating animal protein is known to efficiently raise carnosine levels.

It’s not found in any plant foods. Alternatively, you could use a supplement. In this case, beta-alanine is a superior choice, as it’s the rate limiting amino acid in the formation of carnosine and raises carnosine levels more efficiently. It’s also far less expensive than carnosine.

Do yourself and your family a favor and embark on a journey of eliminating all seed oils from your diet today to ward off virtually all chronic degenerative diseases. This means avoiding all seed oils, and even fruit oils like olive oil and avocado oils as they are frequently adulterated with cheap seed oils.

Cook with ghee, butter or beef tallow, and avoid all processed foods, as they are typically loaded with seed oils. Also avoid eating in restaurants, as nearly all use massive amounts of seed oils to cook with and put it in their sauces and dressings. Lastly, avoid chicken and pork, and stick to bison and lamb as your primary meat sources.

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When Industries Value Profit Over Human Life

war climate change ruined environmental movement

By: A Midwestern Doctor

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Disclaimer: Some of what I will write here will likely raise strong disagreements with some of you. I am completely fine if you disagree with this piece, particularly since it is not my field of expertise, and I likely made some unintentional errors in writing this.

I grew up reading alternative literature which included every “conspiracy theory” under the sun. I have also directly known people who had been in black ops overseas and had the misfortune of being present when a village was executed in cold blood by mercenaries because a U.S. investor wanted their land. Beyond being profoundly concerned about the state of the world, all of this led me to wonder, at the end of the day, “What was actually true?”

Since childhood, I’ve heard stories of highly effective technologies that meet the essential needs of human beings (e.g., transportation, food production, water production, education) being buried to protect business interests.

This led me to formulate the hypothesis that anytime a party wants to “take over society,” they will move to monopolize each life-essential resource, as in addition to it being highly lucrative, it makes it impossible for the population which depends upon that resource to rebel against the system which provides it.

For instance, a classic example of this principle is that each time a communist regime takes power, one of its first moves is to eliminate the independent farmers so that food can only be obtained from the state. Sometimes the process of doing this requires carnage on a massive scale, best shown by Stalin’s Holodomor in Ukraine (and to a lesser extent by Mao’s Great Leap Forward).

The two areas of suppressed life-essential technologies I’ve always been the most drawn to are Energy and Medicine. One of the key things which eventually motivated me to become a doctor was that I felt it would give me a way to see firsthand if all the “conspiracy theories” I had read about suppressed medical innovations* were true (since I could try them on patients and see if they worked), whereas this would be much more difficult to do with energy.

Before discussing those topics, I’d like to briefly detour into another predatory industry that paints valuable context for what we see in the energy and medical sectors.

*At this point, I feel some of those forgotten medical technologies are incredible, many others are junk, and many more were effective in earlier eras where the body’s vitality had not been decimated by our modern environment, but now only are marginally effective.

When I looked at everything that had happened in the energy sector, it became immediately apparent that the same playbook was being reused. Over and over, I saw the same methods utilized to outlaw effective therapies and force bad medicines on the public used to keep bad energy sources on the market and cover up the good ones.

If you take a step back, those issues aren’t just consigned to medicine. Any industry that makes a considerable amount of money will go to extreme lengths to put people before profits, and it should come as no surprise that the military-industrial complex holds nothing back on this one.

Because of my childhood, I feel very strongly about war, and I’ve done a lot of work to try and oppose it. The tragic thing about war is that unless someone has seen it firsthand, people cannot grasp just how horrific war is and just what emerges from people in war zones.

Unfortunately, after Vietnam (which destroyed public trust in the government), the U.S. Military realized that as long as they could censor all the carnage and provide a positive spin on war with the national propaganda apparatus, most civilians would not care what happened. Consider for a moment this timeless quote from George Orwell:

“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

One of the major challenges of the modern era is that everyone is in a state of malaise because they are so disconnected from many of the things which used to connect us to life and everything around us. Because of this malaise, it is often extremely difficult to motivate people to engage with a challenging topic that does not directly affect them, regardless of its significance or the indirect costs they bear.

This in essence, describes the struggle I found when trying to raise people’s awareness about the current costly war we have no good reason to be involved in.

In college, I realized that becoming a doctor offered a perfect solution to this issue. This is because the predatory forces that exploit human suffering for profit in medicine are the same ones doing the same thing in numerous other fields. However, what is unique about medicine is that people can directly see how this predatory behavior harms them and are thus motivated to do something about it, thereby providing a way to break through our spiritual malaise.

My theory, in turn, was that in a worst-case scenario, I get to make a big difference in a few individuals’ lives (my patients). However, in the best-case scenario (assuming the medical system had really abused those people), once they became red-pilled on the medical-industrial complex and regained their ability to function, they would then be motivated to start looking at how their experiences were also occurring in other areas and start doing something about them too.

I’ve previously received many requests to publish a post on the war in Ukraine, and I’ve gone back and forth on publishing a 20-page article I’ve drafted. However, now feels like the right time to share its key points.

When Trump was president, he did something no one since Carter had done. He started no new wars and, furthermore, pulled America out of numerous existing conflicts. Once Biden was declared president, I became very worried he would try to make up for revenue that the defense industry had lost from Trump’s policies, so I watched with bated breath to see who Biden nominated for Secretary of Defense.

Once Biden nominated Lloyd Austin on December 8th, I looked into his background and felt a profound degree of sadness that is difficult to describe. Briefly:

  • Austin has proven himself to be one of the worst Secretaries of Defense in history, but, there has been no criticism of him by the press whatsoever. Was he approved strictly based on fulfilling diversity rather than ability?

  • Austin left the military in 2016 to be a board member for one of our largest defense contractors, Raytheon (plus a few others). Predatory corporations “bribe” officials to support the industry’s interests by promising lucrative board positions (e.g., the FDA commissioner who helped get Pfizer’s vaccine to market is now on Pfizer’s board).

    This means Austin was almost certainly abusing his command (he was a four-star general) to give Raytheon defense contracts.

This meant that once Austin became Secretary of Defense, Raytheon was going to get a lot of business, which meant reasons were going to need to be found to kill a lot of people.

Soon after I realized this, a colleague asked me for advice on what to invest in. I said, if it were me, I’d invest in Raytheon, but there is so much bad karma for investing in death (consider the example I shared above of the village being executed once investment capital was raised to fund the mercenaries), I refused to do it. My friend didn’t believe me, so I made a bet on the spot that the stock would do well. Let’s for a moment consider how Raytheon’s stock has done since the election.

raytheon technologies

In 2014, the existing government in Ukraine was toppled through a violent series of protests and replaced with a strongly anti-Russian government. Many people at the time suspected the U.S. was responsible for these events, which Trump recently confirmed.

I felt, given Ukraine’s vital strategic importance to Russia (it has always been their buffer state as Ukraine has the traditional land route for invading Russia), it was terrible foreign policy to interfere in this relationship as Russia, nuclear power, would eventually retaliate.

Once the new government came to power, it began aggressively targeting the ethnic Russians, and before long, the military attacked the border regions with significant Russian populations. At the time, I was in Europe and met Russian refugees who had been assaulted for their ethnicity and then sent out of Ukraine by their parents who did not want their children “to take up the Kalashnikov” once war broke out.

Shortly after, armed conflict broke out, and despite Russia repeatedly engaging the United Nations to find a way to end it, the conflict remained relatively ignored.

However, once Biden became president, it rapidly escalated, and before long, something provoked Russia into invading the country. Many theories have been proposed to explain what that provocation was.

Since governments always lie when it comes to war, there is no way to know what the provocation was, only that the provocation was sufficient to have Russia decide it needed to enter what it knew would be an extremely costly war. Many things could be said about the Ukraine conflict, but I will only emphasize a few points:

  • It has had a horrendous toll on Ukraine that will likely take the county years to recover from. There has been a horrendous loss of life for the Ukrainians, much of their infrastructure has been destroyed, the stress the war caused will cause a large spike in fatal heart attacks for years to come, many have permanently lost their homes since Russia citizens are now occupying them, and the economy will be a mess for a long time.

  • The U.S. (and the U.K.) have had numerous opportunities to prevent the war and to allow peace deals that would end the war but appears to have prevented every one of them from happening.

  • The U.S. has made a lot of money selling weapons to Ukraine.

  • Like pushing a deadly (or disabling) and ineffective vaccine on the entire population, the risk of a nuclear conflict with Russia outweighs any conceivable benefit of a war with them. It illustrates that the system has been so corrupt the usual common sense that prevents these catastrophic decisions from being made has just gone out the window.

One of the curious things you discover about the current corporate structure is that as people ascend in power, they become more and more detached from the human costs of their decisions (e.g., consider how many different people at Pfizer green-lighted something that was abundantly clear would hurt a lot of people). The most curious thing about this phenomenon is that many of these people aren’t evil individuals, and in their personal lives they really care about others.

Lord of War is an excellent movie that depicts Nicholas Cage simultaneously playing the role of a mass-murdering arms dealer and a kind family man. His character was based on Victor Bout, a Russian arms dealer colloquially known as the Merchant of Death. To illustrate the human costs of one of Bout’s many “business” deals:

He was the main supplier of arms and ammunition … to that terrible conflict in West Africa [Sierra Leone], which saw the murder, rape, maiming and mutilation of over 1.2 million human beings.”

It took a lot of work, but the United States eventually arrested Bout for brokering an arms deal to Columbian rebels with weapons that they intended to use on US forces, and in 2010, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for this.

Once Biden was president, Brittney Griner (a basketball player well known for advancing diversity in her sport) was arrested and sentenced in Russia for illegally bringing hash oil (a form of concentrated marijuana) into the country. After some deliberation, Biden decided she was worth exchanging for Viktor Bout.

I would now like to share my favorite scene from Lord of War (if you haven’t watched the movie and plan to, this somewhat spoils it). This iconic scene conveys many of the core themes of this article, and I hope that you can find the time to watch it.

Not too long ago, my friend met someone through his peer group he thought was a bit intense but otherwise was a very ordinary individual he’d have a beer with. Midway through the conversation, my friend asked him what he did for work, and he said nonchalantly:

“Oh you know that movie* about the arms dealers? I’m like the big guy in it. The US government needs people to move arms for them, so its fingerprints aren’t on them, and we’ve gotten over 100 million dollars of merchandise over to Ukraine. *He was referring to a different movie than Lord of War.”

What my friend was so appalled about with this (as was I when I heard the story) was that the guy had no guilt whatsoever about his actions (think for a moment about how many deaths his sales were directly responsible for), but simultaneously genuinely cared about the people around him.

When I shared this story with a colleague, he stated that it represented the “banality of evil,” a term coined after the Holocaust to describe Nazis who committed horrific crimes but had neither malice, fanaticism, or sociopathy. Instead, they did not even think about their actions and were simply motivated by a desire to follow orders and fit in.

Since the initial conversation, my friend has periodically run into this arms dealer, and in the most recent encounter, informed without a shred of guilt that business is still booming in Ukraine.

Since I have friends in Taiwan, I was concerned about the recent Chinese military buildup there and Warren Buffet’s decision to divest himself from Taiwan’s semiconductor industry. When I asked a Chinese friend who was well connected to the Chinese financial markets if there were any chance Taiwan would be attacked, he said:

“There is absolutely no way that will happen right now. Biden is a *********** and is just using this to have a way to make Taiwan buy a bunch of our armaments.”

As “luck” would have it, when China’s exercises around Taiwan started, we had one of the largest leaks of classified US military documents in history (and still no explanation as to how they were made available to the leaker who should not have been authorized to access them). The media oddly chose to publicize the leaks and repeatedly (in different ways) cite one thing that had been unearthed about Taiwan:

“The classified documents seen by the Washington Post reveal that Taiwan’s military leaders doubt their air defenses can “accurately detect missile launches” and that only about half of the island’s aircraft are capable of effectively engaging the enemy.”

Just in case you are wondering, that is a lot of sales.

One of the sad facts about humans that has been repeatedly observed is that whenever there is a shared resource, everyone will exploit it for their own benefit until it becomes unusable for everyone. Furthermore, because they do not consider the far greater cost everyone has to bear for that exploitation (not unlike the individuals mentioned in the previous section), this behavior will go to the point the local environment is made dysfunctional and sometimes not even livable.

This dynamic is known as the tragedy of the commons and inevitably eventually creates enough damage that the public is inspired to do something about it. Presently, one of the best examples we have is the epidemic of microplastics:

“At least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, and plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. Marine species ingest or are entangled by plastic debris, which causes severe injuries and death.

Plastic pollution threatens marine ecosystems, food safety and quality, human health, coastal tourism.”

Since there are no penalties for putting plastic in the ocean, this is where it often ends up. Similarly, humans are presently ingesting around 5 grams or 50,000 pieces of microplastics a year, which is not good for your health. However, while the previous things are abysmal, the more significant issue is that plastic pollution has a real chance of collapsing the ocean ecosystems, something all life on this planet (including humans) depends upon.

The most common resources that get destroyed by a polluter are either the air or water. Typically people do not appreciate the consequences of this until they directly have to deal with their communities being destroyed (at which point the economic costs to everyone greatly exceed any profit made by cutting corners on basic pollution control measures).

This was best shown by the recent train derailment and “controlled” explosion in East Palestine, Ohio, which has made the area unlikeable and killed off a lot of wildlife, but is being largely ignored by much of the population, including self-proclaimed environmental activists.

This situation is somewhat analogous to what I have observed throughout my life with medical injuries. People don’t think about them (and often actively dismiss them) until they or an immediate family member is affected.

Once it affects them personally, however, they become perplexed as to how everyone, including those who espouse the importance of medical rights (e.g., protecting patients from micro-aggressions, making healthcare accessible to everyone) can be so blind to the dangers of that life-impacting drug.

In this light, I view the extreme harm the COVID-19 vaccines have created everywhere as having one significant upside — they’ve made such a debacle this time around it is impossible to sweep their injuries under the rug.

When you look at each case where a company destroyed the air or water around it (there are so many tragic cases in America I don’t even know where to start), you repeatedly see a very familiar playbook being used by the polluter:

  • It will do everything it can to stonewall investigation of the subject by denying any issue is present.

  • It will launch initiatives to claim it is a steward of the environment.

  • It will pay off scientists and non-profit groups to claim either no damage is happening or that the polluter is not responsible for the destruction everyone can see.

  • It will do everything possible to sow doubt about the science on the subject (e.g., by using its scientists to author fraudulent papers).

  • It will often directly attack and go after anyone criticizing their polluting.

Due to how corrupt the system is, this is often very challenging to win against it. For example, I had a good friend who was a lawyer in one of the top environmental litigation firms and was able to score quite a few monumental victories against air and water polluters. Nonetheless, he eventually became so disheartened with the process that he decided to move into a completely different field where he felt he could do much more to help people.

Because of this, I have immense respect for the earlier work RFK Jr. did taking air and water polluters to task as he was able to secure meaningful victories to protect our air and water. This is extremely difficult to do due to how corrupt our regulators currently are — it requires a lot of grit and intelligence to pull off.

One of the sad things about corporate crime is that regardless of how much you misbehave, a good public relations campaign can typically get the public to forgive what you do and allow business to continue as usual. For this reason, most polluters choose to pollute because the public relations (and legal) costs to fix the consequences of their misconduct are typically much less than what it would cost them to raise their cost of production and not pollute in the first place.

Back in the day, activists noticed that polluters would put together some token environmental initiative and make a big deal about how it showed they were remarkable stewards of the environment. The public would somehow always fall for this and completely ignore their ongoing pollution. This eventually became known as greenwashing, a wordplay on the corporation whitewashing its crimes.

In the last decade, I’ve noticed a variant of this strategy play out where a corporation that does lots of bad things (e.g., Nike habitually using cruel sweatshops overseas to make their products) will make a point to promote some token social justice cause alongside promoting the diversity issue of the day.

Because they do this, a lot of young liberals view the corporation as a steward of social justice and take pride in affiliating with their brand. At the same time, they ignore all the human rights violations that the company participates in. For example, beyond Nike, consider how Apple’s products are made and the extent to which Apple has enabled China to conduct human rights abuses against its citizens.

I’ve never heard a term coined for this, so I refer to it as social justice washing, and it is so sad for me to watch how well it has captured the current generation who would have been the activists who stood up against predatory global capitalism. For example, many of you may remember the violent 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle. We have not had anything similar for decades.

Unfortunately, what was done with social justice washing pales in comparison to the greenwashing that has since conducted over the last few decades.

One of the things I used to do on the side was work with and support environmental activists and scientists fighting to prevent air and water pollution. While I was doing this, the global warming thing took off.

If I had not seen this happen firsthand, I never would have believed it; I watched all the people I’d worked with who previously sincerely cared about legitimate sources of environmental pollution (e.g., acid rain) start getting fixated on carbon dioxide (a harmless gas), while concern over almost every other pollutant was thrown out the window.

Sadder still, I soon after watched them get hooked onto the marketing pitch for the first Prius (drive a hybrid to fight global warming). They zealously began refocusing all their activism on selling Toyota’s product. Once I saw this kick into gear, I did a quick check and found this out:

“The nickel for the [Prius] battery, for instance, is mined in Sudbury, Ontario, and smelted at nearby Nickel Centre, just north of the province’s massive Georgian Bay.

The clouds of greenhouse gases generated by all that smelting, refining, manufacturing, and transporting weren’t the only thing that worried green activists. The 1,250-foot-tall smokestack that spewed huge puffs of sulfur dioxide at the Sudbury mine and smelter operation has left a large swath of the surrounding area looking like a surrealistic scene from the depths of hell.

On the perimeter of the area, skeletons of trees and bushes stand like ghostly sentinels guarding a sprawling wasteland. Astronauts in training for NASA have practiced driving moon buggies on the suburban Sudbury tract because it’s considered a duplicate of the Moon’s landscape.

David Martin, Greenpeace’s energy coordinator in Canada, told the London Daily Mail: “The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants, and the soil slid down off the hillside.”

I tried to explain to my fellow activists that promoting these cars might not be the best idea and we instead should focus on promoting biodiesel since it was carbon neutral (whereas the Priuses were not), affordable to everyone (you just needed a compatible used diesel) and didn’t require incredibly environmentally destructive batteries.

Although I tried to be diplomatic, as you might have guessed, I was kicked out of the group. Two of the common strategies malignant industries use to keep their products on the market are:

  • Make a vague and unreachable target they’ll fix in the “future,” so people forgive the current issues with their product.

  • Get people to focus on something that has nothing to do with the industry’s malfeasance so the malfeasance is ignored.

When I watched the Prius drama play out, I went, “oh no oh no … are they going to use this to make the environmental movement become a whole bunch of people complaining about global warming and give the industry a free pass on everything else?” I then started looking into the global warming thing and realized three important points:

  1. No one was interested in doing the things I thought would most directly reduce carbon dioxide levels and were easy to implement (e.g., enacting economic tariffs to prevent slash-and-burn deforestation of the Amazon).

  2. No solid evidence links carbon dioxide levels to atmospheric temperatures.

  3. Countless erroneous models had been put forward and trumpeted in the media regarding how a climate apocalypse would happen. All of them have failed to materialize — for example, did you know in the 1970s, everyone was freaking out over the coming disaster of global cooling?

    The interesting thing about these models is that they had no objective basis for their predictions, and no establishment source ever criticized them once they abjectly failed to provide their predicted result.

Somewhat analogously, British epidemiologist, Neil Ferguson’s catastrophic predictions with COVID-19 were largely responsible for imposing the lockdowns we saw around the world.

Despite the fact for decades, he had repeatedly made extreme overestimations of the severity of previous infectious diseases, and his COVID-19 model made no sense, it was never challenged or updated once data was made available questioning its fundamental assumptions. To give you an idea of just how inaccurate it was:

non lockdown countries

I don’t think Ferguson even believed his model (the Imperial College one) because during the strict lockdowns, he was responsible for imposing on England, he got caught breaking them to see his mistress.

This a is somewhat analogous to people like Obama, who have preached about the dangers of climate change and rising sea levels, nonetheless choosing to buy oceanfront properties in Hawaii (he even got himself a controversial exemption from environmental protection laws designed to protect Hawaii’s beaches). Similarly, people often point out how the global elite often use private jets to visit climate conferences.

Because of how erroneous the Global Warming models were, they, of course, failed to play out. For example, the catastrophic melting predictions in Al Gore’s 2006 movie An Inconvenient Truth never materialized (although they did help Gore, who is now estimated to now be worth 330 million dollars). This in turn, has led to many memes like this one being created:

al gore

I find this meme fascinating because it almost perfectly encapsulates a scene in Fauci’s recent PBS documentary. He and Washington D.C.’s mayor go door to door attempting to use their authority to convince a black neighborhood to vaccinate under the logic this poor community just needs to be graced with their magnanimous presence (and deliberate lies about the vaccine) to finally vaccinate.

The whole thing was so comical to watch that it became a running joke around the country, especially due to a resident challenging the vaccine’s ability to prevent infection or transmission of the virus and directly calling Fauci out for his dishonesty.

Sometimes you have to keep the dream alive.

Now that we have looked at the common patterns in observed in predatory industries that value profits over human life, we need to explore how this same playbook has unfolded with climate change. In the second part of this series, we will explore the corruption and lust for control that is central to the war against COVID-19 has also been used in the war against climate change.

Numerous solutions exist for the “climate crisis,” but like many of the treatments for COVID-19, they have been deliberately suppressed so that as much profiteering can occur as possible.

A Midwestern Doctor (AMD) is a board-certified physician in the Midwest and a longtime reader of I appreciate his exceptional insight on a wide range of topics and I’m grateful to share them. I also respect his desire to remain anonymous as he is still on the front lines treating patients. To find more of AMD’s work, be sure to check out The Forgotten Side of Medicine on Substack.

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More Than 200 Prescriptions Are Known to Cause Depression

medication causing depression

  • Depression can stem from a wide variety of biological, psychological and environmental factors, including other medications. More than 200 drugs have depression as a listed side effect

  • Thirty-eight percent of American adults are on one or more medications that can cause depression as a side effect. Nearly 10% are on three drugs or more known to cause depression

  • Seven percent of people who used just one drug associated with depression reported depression. Among those taking two drugs capable of causing depression, the depression rate was 9%

  • Those taking three or more drugs known to have depression as a side effect had three times the rate of depression as those who used drugs that did not have depression as a known side effect — 15% compared to 5%

  • Many drugs also raise your risk of suicidal ideation, and the proportion of adults taking at least one drug where suicide is a potential side effect reached 24% as of 2014, up from 17% in 2005

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Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint. It was originally published June 28, 2018.

Historically, conventional science views depression as a side effect of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Most pharmaceutical-oriented solutions for depression still to this day revolve around this theory, even though the serotonin-hypothesis has been largely debunked.

As noted in a 2014 paper on antidepressants:

“Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain … But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect …

Analyzing the data … we were not surprised to find a substantial placebo effect on depression. What surprised us was how small the drug effect was.

Seventy-five percent of the improvement in the drug group also occurred when people were given dummy pills with no active ingredient in them. The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.”

The author of that 2014 study, Irving Kirsch, is a psychotherapist who has performed a number of analyses on antidepressants. In 2002, his team filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking for the trial data provided by drug companies as part of the drug approval process.

The FDA requires drug companies to provide data on all clinical trials they’ve sponsored, including unpublished trials. It turned out nearly half of all clinical trials on antidepressants remained unpublished. When both published and unpublished trials were included, 57% showed the drug had no clinical benefit over placebo. What’s more, the placebo response accounted for 82% of the beneficial response to antidepressants.

These results were reproduced in a 2008 study

using another, even larger set of FDA trial data. Indeed, we now know that depression is far more complicated than previously assumed. “Fixing” depression is not as easy as tweaking the levels of chemicals in your brain with an antidepressant drug. Depression can stem from a wide variety of biological, psychological and environmental factors — including other medications.

With depression,

anxiety and suicide all on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to get to the root causes of all this misery. An astounding 1 in 6 Americans are now on psychiatric medication. Among adult women, the ratio is 1 in 4.

Despite such pervasive antidepressant use, we’ve not seen any improvement at all in depression rates. On the contrary, it just seems to be getting worse.

Part of the problem appears to be antidepressants themselves. As noted by Kirsch, these drugs “induce biological vulnerability” that actually raises your risk of chronic and/or worsening depression. But other nonpsychiatric drugs also play a role, and this is something few are aware of or take into consideration. According to recent research,

38% of American adults are on one or more medications that can cause depression as a side effect.

Nearly 10% are on three drugs or more known to cause depression. “Importantly, many of the medications associated with depression as a potential side effect include commonly used prescription drugs — some of which are also available over-the-counter without a prescription,” lead author Dima Qato, a pharmacy researcher at the University of Illinois, told Reuters.

Unfortunately, few ever take the time to investigate the typically long list of potential side effects for each and every drug they take. Fewer still suspect medication as the culprit when their mood takes a nosedive. Doctors are also more likely to simply prescribe an antidepressant than do the detective work required to determine whether the depression might be caused by a drug you’re on.

To assess the potential influence of drug use on depression rates, the researchers analyzed the medication use patterns of more than 26,190 adults between 2005 and 2014. Overall, nearly 8% reported depression. Seven percent of people who used just one drug associated with depression reported depression.

Among those taking two drugs capable of causing depression, the depression rate was 9%. Not surprisingly, those taking three or more drugs known to have depression as a side effect had three times the rate of depression as those who used drugs that did not have depression as a known side effect — 15% compared to 5%.

Importantly, those who took antidepressants in combination with one or more drugs known to cause depression also had a higher risk of depressive symptoms than antidepressant users who did not take other drugs that have depression as a side effect. This could well be yet another reason for why so few people achieve relief from their antidepressants. Qato told PsyPost:

“The take away message of this study is that polypharmacy can lead to depressive symptoms and that patients and health care providers need to be aware of the risk of depression that comes with all kinds of common prescription drugs — many of which are also available over the counter.

People are not only increasingly using these medicines alone, but are increasingly using them simultaneously, yet very few of these drugs have warning labels, so until we have public or system-level solutions, it is left up to patients and health care professionals to be aware of the risks.

With depression as one of the leading causes of disability and increasing national suicide rates, we need to think innovatively about depression as a public health issue, and this study provides evidence that patterns of medication use should be considered in strategies that seek to eliminate, reduce or minimize the impact of depression in our daily lives.”

In all, the team identified more than 200 prescription drugs that have depression as a listed side effect, including:

  • Proton pump inhibitors, H2 antagonists and antacids used to treat heartburn and ulcers

  • Beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure

  • Birth control pills and emergency contraceptives

  • Interferons used to treat cancer and certain viral infections

  • Anticonvulsants like gabapentin

  • Certain allergy medications

  • Corticosteroids like prednisone

  • Prescription-strength ibuprofen and other pain medication

Barbara Mintzes, a pharmacy researcher at the University of Sydney in Australia, commented on the study saying:

“If a person develops depression, especially without being able to pinpoint a clear reason for it, it’s always important to ask their doctor whether any of the medicines they’re taking might cause depression as a side effect. Patients who do develop depression as a drug side effect can often switch to different prescriptions.”

Disturbingly, many of these drugs also raise your risk of suicidal ideation, and the proportion of adults taking at least one drug where suicide is a potential side effect hit 24% as of 2014, up from 17% in 2005. Could this be part of the answer as to why suicide rates are at an all-time high as well? Statistics reveal suicide rates rose 28% between 1999 and 2015.

In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans committed suicide, making it the 10th most common cause of death that year.

Along with drug overdoses and Alzheimer’s disease, suicide is one of three leading causes of death that are on the rise. Both depression and suicide has also skyrocketed among children and teens, conveniently mirroring a rapid increase in the use of drugs.

This includes antidepressants but also many other drugs identified as high-risk for triggering depression, such as birth control pills and drugs for heartburn, allergies and pain. Even toddlers are receiving psychostimulant drugs such as Ritalin these days.

Among young girls (aged 10 to 19), the suicide rate rose by 70% between 2010 and 2016 alone. Granted, several other depression-inducing factors have also increased in recent years, including the use of social media in lieu of face-to-face contact, and chronic, excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), but rising use of medicines that have depression as a side effect could be a significant contributor or exacerbating factor.

Aside from drug side effects, other factors known to contribute to depression that are frequently ignored or overlooked include the following (keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Chronic inflammation — A growing number of scientists claim depression results primarily from inflammation. In fact, depressive symptoms may actually be downstream manifestations of inflammation. This is because when cytokines, a group of proteins, trigger inflammation in your body, it causes your brain to go into “sickness mode.”

    George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California, who has spent years studying depression told The Guardian,

    “I don’t even talk about it as a psychiatric condition any more. It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health.”

    Researchers have also found that certain classes of depression, such as postpartum depression, melancholic depression and bipolar disorder, are linked to elevated cytokine levels, along with decreased cortisol (a stress hormone that protects against inflammation) sensitivity.

  • Gut dysfunction and inflammation — Inflammation specifically in the gut has also been linked to depression. It’s believed that a disruption in the gut-brain axis is the main cause of inflammation. Keep in mind that your gut is your second brain, as it is made from the same tissue as your brain during fetal development.

    A 2011 scientific review highlights the link between your gut and your brain, stating that,

    “People with gastrointestinal inflammation and autoimmune diseases brought on by chronic low-grade inflammation suffer from depression, and may actually be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.”

    Attenuating pro-inflammatory stimuli, which improve brain function, may help treat gastrointestinal inflammation and may be possible with the help of probiotics and vitamins B and D.

  • Experiencing a traumatic life event — Losing a loved one, relationship problems, financial issues, tragic accidents and other significantly painful life events can severely affect an individual, and play a role in your risk for both depression and suicide.

    In one study, undergoing a traumatic life event was the single biggest determinant of both anxiety and depression. Other factors were secondary, including family history of mental illness.

    This really highlights the importance of having effective tools to address emotional distress and conflicts. One of my personal favorites is the Emotional Freedom Techniques, demonstrated below, but there are also many other ways to boost your emotional resiliency, i.e., your ability to “bounce back” from stressful events.

    Julie Schiffman Discusses EFT for Depression

  • Genetics — Studies found that having low levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is common among depressed individuals, which suggests BDNF may play an important role. Further research

    confirms that an alteration known as a single nucleotide polymorphism in the BDNF gene may also play a role in a person’s risk for depression and anxiety.

    Twenty percent of Americans are said to have this BDNF alteration, which leads to neuron shrinkage in the hippocampus, reducing the connectivity between brain cells. One of the researchers emphasized, “Just like hypertension contributes to the risk for heart disease, the BDNF alteration increases the risk of depression, anxiety and memory disorders — but is not the sole reason why they occur.”

  • Low vitamin D — Vitamin D deficiency has been a well-recognized cause of seasonal affective disorder, one of the common types of depression. A 2006 study

    also found that elderly people with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml are 11 times more likely to experience depression than those with higher vitamin D levels.

    If you’re struggling with depression, I strongly recommend checking your vitamin D level and address any insufficiency. Ideally, you’ll want a level between 60 and 80 ng/ml year-round. The best way to optimize your vitamin D levels is through sun exposure, but if that’s not possible, taking a vitamin D3 supplement may be the next best strategy.

  • Low omega-3 index — The animal-based omega-3 fat DHA is perhaps the single most important nutrient for optimal brain function and prevention of depression. While you can obtain DHA from krill or fish oil, it is far better to obtain it from clean, low-mercury fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and fish roe.

    In addition to getting your vitamin D checked, I recommend getting an omega-3 index test to make sure you’re not deficient. Ideally, you want your omega-3 index to be 8% or higher.

  • Low cholesterol — You may also want to check your cholesterol to make sure it’s not too low. Low cholesterol is linked to dramatically increased rates of suicide, as well as aggression toward others.

    This increased expression of violence toward self and others may be due to the fact that low membrane cholesterol decreases the number of serotonin receptors in the brain, which are approximately 30% cholesterol by weight.

    Lower serum cholesterol concentrations therefore may contribute to decreasing brain serotonin, which not only contributes to suicidal-associated depression, but prevents the suppression of aggressive behavior and violence toward self and others.

  • Vitamin B deficiency — Low dietary folate is a risk factor for severe depression, raising your risk by as much as 300%.

    If you’re using a supplement, I suggest methylfolate, as this form of folic acid is the most effective. Other B vitamin deficiencies, including B1, B2, B3, B6, B8 and B12 also have the ability to produce symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders. Vitamin B12 deficiency, in particular, can contribute to depression and affects 1 in 4 people.

    One study

    showing the importance of vitamin deficiencies in depression involved suicidal teens. Most turned out to be deficient in cerebral folate. One of the 33 subjects was also severely deficient in CSF tetrahydrobiopterin, a critical cofactor for monoamine neurotransmitter synthesis.

    According to the authors, “All patients with cerebral folate deficiency, including one with low CSF levels of 5-MTHF and tetrahydrobiopterin intermediates, showed improvement in depression symptom inventories after treatment with folinic acid; the patient with low tetrahydrobiopterin also received sapropterin … Treatment with sapropterin, a tetrahydrobiopterin analogue, led to dramatic and long-lasting remission of depression.”

  • A processed food diet — Three mood-wrecking culprits you’ll automatically avoid when avoiding processed foods are added sugars, artificial sweeteners and processed vegetable oils — harmful fats known to cause mitochondrial dysfunction. A number of studies have linked high-sugar diets to a higher risk of depression.

    In one, men consuming more than 67 grams of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop anxiety or depression over the course of five years compared to those whose sugar consumption was less than 40 grams per day.


    published in 2002, which correlated per capita consumption of sugar with prevalence of major depression in six countries, also found “a highly significant correlation between sugar consumption and the annual rate of depression.” A Spanish study published in 2011 linked depression specifically to consumption of baked goods. Those who ate the most baked goods had a 38% higher risk of depression than those who ate the least.

    Similarly, a 2016 study,

    summarized in the video above, found a strong link between high-sugar diets (high-glycemic foods such as processed foods, sweetened beverages and refined grains) and depression in postmenopausal women. The higher the women’s dietary glycemic index, the higher their risk of depression. A diet high in whole fruit, fiber, vegetables and lactose was associated with lowered odds of depression.

    High-sugar diets also promote chronic inflammation and suppress BDNF, both of which are discussed above, and adversely affects dopamine, a neurotransmitter that fuels your brain’s reward system

    (hence sugar’s addictive potential ) and is known to play a role in mood disorders.


    have also linked artificial sweeteners to depression and compromised emotional functioning, so switching to “diet” products is highly inadvisable.

    Lastly, processed foods are a significant source of genetically engineered ingredients and toxic herbicides like Roundup. In addition to being toxic and potentially carcinogenic, glyphosate, the active ingredient, has been shown to preferentially decimate beneficial gut microbes. Many grains need to dry in the field before being harvested, and to speed that process, the fields are doused with glyphosate a couple of weeks before harvest.

    As a result of this practice, called desiccation, grain-based products tend to contain rather substantial amounts of glyphosate. This reason alone is enough to warrant a grain-free diet, but if you do choose to eat whole grain products, make sure it’s organic to avoid glyphosate contamination.

    Your beverage choices may also need an overhaul, as most people drink very little pure water, relying on sugary beverages like sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks and flavored water for their hydration needs. None of those alternatives will do your mental health any favors.

  • Gluten and lectins — Gluten also appears to be particularly problematic for many. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, you’d be well-advised to experiment with a gluten-free diet.

    Certain types of lectins, especially wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), are also known for their psychiatric side effects. WGA can cross your blood brain barrier

    through a process called “adsorptive endocytosis,” pulling other substances with it. WGA may attach to your myelin sheath and is capable of inhibiting nerve growth factor, which is important for the growth, maintenance and survival of certain target neurons.

  • Chronic EMF exposure — Another foundational strategy to prevent or treat depression and anxiety is to limit your exposure to wireless technologies and electric fields. Studies have linked excessive EMF exposure to an increased risk of both depression and suicide.

    Addiction to or “high engagement” with mobile devices can also trigger depression and anxiety, according to recent research.


    by Martin Pall, Ph.D., reveals a previously unknown mechanism of biological harm from microwaves emitted by cellphones and other wireless technologies, which helps explain why these technologies can have such a potent impact on your mental health.

    Embedded in your cell membranes are voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), which are activated by microwaves. When activated, a cascade of biochemical effects occurs that result in the creation of extremely destructive hydroxyl free radicals.

    Peroxynitrite produces oxidative stress that decimates mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their membranes and proteins. The end result is mitochondrial dysfunction, which we now know is at the heart of most chronic disease. The tissues with the highest density of VGCCs are your brain, the pacemaker in your heart and male testes.

    Hence, health problems such as anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, cardiac arrhythmias and infertility can be directly linked to excessive microwave exposure.

    So, if you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technologies. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.

    The electric wiring inside your bedroom walls is probably the most important source to address. Your best bet here is to turn off the power to your bedroom at night. This will work if there are no adjacent rooms. If there are, you may need to shut those rooms off also. The only way to know would be to measure the electric fields.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,

affecting an estimated 322 million people, including more than 16 million Americans. Clearly, something is horribly wrong. I’m convinced diet plays an enormous role, but as you can see, there are many other aggravating factors beyond diet.

Among them is the fact that at least 200 commonly used drugs have depression as a side effect, and that many take more than one such medication. Should you struggle with depression and are taking medication on a regular basis — be it an over-the-counter drug or by prescription — be sure to check and see whether depression is a known side effect. If it is, quitting or swapping out that drug may be enough to get you back on an even keel.

That said, regardless of your drug use, I strongly recommend addressing your diet, paying careful attention to the specifics mentioned above — avoiding sugar, artificial sweeteners, grains, lectins and processed food in general, and making sure you’re getting enough B vitamins, animal-based omega-3, healthy fats and vitamin D.

As mentioned, inflammation is a significant culprit, and a healthy diet (low in sugar, high in healthy fats with moderate protein) will go a long way toward quelling the flames of inflammation.

I firmly believe addressing EMFs is an important aspect of depression treatment as well, as is strengthening your emotional resiliency and not allowing daily stress to get out of hand. In the case of a singular traumatic event, such as the end of a marriage or the death of a loved one, seek help to work through it.

Remember, in many cases, antidepressants only worsen the situation as they’re associated with an increased risk of suicide, violence and worsened mental health in the long term. So, before you resort to medication, please consider addressing the lifestyle basics first.

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