This Spice Might Extend Your Life

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic in Ohio reviewed health records of more than 570,000 people from four large studies and found, as compared to those who rarely or never ate chili peppers, that those who ate them on a regular basis reduced their risk of death from heart-related sources by 26%, from cancer by 23% and from all-cause mortality by 25%.1

This reduction in the potential risk of death is significant and could make an impact on the number of people with heart disease and cancer. An American Heart Association report released in January 2019 found 48%, or 121.5 million, adults in America had cardiovascular disease.2

The 2020 statistical update showed cardiovascular disease continues to be the No. 1 cause of death, accounting for 859,125 deaths in 2017 and claiming more lives every year than chronic lower respiratory disease and all forms of cancer combined.3

According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be an estimated 1.8 million people diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. and an estimated 606,520 people will die in 2020.4 The sheer number of people who may experience an impact on their longevity by making simple changes to their nutritional intake is overwhelming.

While chili peppers are not the answer for everyone, it is important to note that scientific evidence continues to mount supporting the hypothesis that you can take control of your health by making consistent changes in your lifestyle choices.

Chili Peppers May Extend Your Life

You may find chili peppers in your favorite Tex-Mex foods or Indian curry. Preliminary data presented at the American Heart Association virtual conference titled “Scientific Sessions 2020”5 suggest that those who regularly eat chili peppers could have a longer life.6

The researchers hypothesize this is a result of the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and blood glucose mediating properties known to be present in chili peppers. Each of these factors may play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer.

To reach this determination, the team analyzed 4,729 studies and included four large studies with health outcomes from China, the U.S., Iran and Italy. They were surprised that past published studies demonstrated that regularly eating chili peppers could reduce the overall risk of all-cause mortality.

Senior author Dr. Bo Xu commented, “It highlights that dietary factors may play an important role in overall health.”7 Xu, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, went on to say in a press release:8

“We were surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular consumption of chili pepper was associated with an overall risk-reduction of all-cause, CVD (cardiovascular disease) and cancer mortality. The exact reasons and mechanisms that might explain our findings, though, are currently unknown.

Therefore, it is impossible to conclusively say that eating more chili pepper can prolong life and reduce deaths, especially from cardiovascular factors or cancer. More research, especially evidence from randomized controlled studies, is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.”

Xu cautioned there were several limitations, including that the four studies only had limited information on health data and confounding factors that may have influenced the results. He also noted the amounts and types of chili pepper the participants ate during the studies were also different.9 The researchers are continuing to analyze the data and plan to publish the literature review.10

What’s the Secret Ingredient?

Capsaicin is the bioactive compound in chili peppers responsible for the hot and spicy kick,11 and the likely compound researchers named as a potential explanation for the benefits they found.12

Chili pepper is a fruit pod belonging to the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. Other members of the Solanaceae family include tomato, potato, eggplant, cayenne pepper and paprika.13 The plant is a perennial shrub that grows up to 1 meter (3.2 feet) in height and is native to Central America.14

Capsaicin is concentrated in the seeds and the inner white membrane found when you cut the pod open. The plant produces capsaicin as a protection against fungal attack.15 Peppers with more capsaicin are spicier and hotter. While it’s colorless and odorless, it tricks your brain into perceiving heat where it touches your body.

This burning sensation is what you experience when you eat the peppers, as it is not a taste. Instead, the compound stimulates nerves that send two messages to the brain of warmth and intense stimulation. The burning sensation is a combination of these two messages.16

Although the benefits of foods that contain capsaicin are plentiful, as I discuss below, eating chili peppers is not a cure-all and some people cannot tolerate the compound or the flavor. As with many other things, too much of a good thing is not always a better thing. Eating too much capsaicin can trigger nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and a burning sensation in your gastrointestinal tract.17

The Capsaicin Connection

Many of the health benefits from chili peppers come from the compound capsaicin. There are hundreds of varieties of peppers that come in different shapes, sizes, colors and degrees of hotness. How the heat is measured is based on the work of Wilbur Scoville in 1912. He developed a test to measure chili peppers’ pungency and heat that is now called Scoville heat units.18

Different factors can affect the perception of heat and the units are used to measure anything that’s made from chili peppers. Scoville’s first tests depended on a panel of taste testers and the units were based on how dilute the pepper mixture must be before it lost the sensation of heat.

The test now uses high-performance liquid chromatography and measures the concentration of capsaicin in the product. The scale ranges from zero to 2.2 million. For example, the common bell pepper has zero Scoville heat units (SHU). Popular banana peppers range from zero to 500 SHU and Anaheim peppers can go as high as 2,500 SHU. Jalapeno peppers range from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU and serrano peppers top out at 23,000 SHU.

If you’re looking for more heat, Komodo dragon peppers range from 1.4 million to 2.2 million SHU and the supreme hot chili pepper, the Carolina Reaper, is measured at 2.2 million plus SHU. When scientists measure pure capsaicin, they find it contains 16 million SHU.

Capsaicin is the active ingredient used in self-defense pepper spray. The spray burns the skin on contact and has an SHU ranging from 2 million to 5.3 million, depending upon the brand. Yet, it’s this same compound chili makers use to create their spicy concoctions that has health benefits for those who partake regularly.

In the 1980s Paul Rozin, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, studied chili and the people who ate it, describing a form of “benign masochism.”19 The term was used to describe how some people enjoy negative emotions when there is no real threat to their safety, like riding a roller coaster or watching a scary movie.

Later, another team of researchers from Penn State set out to discover if there were personality traits that drew some people to love spicy foods and found those who liked the burn weren’t as sensitive to the heat.20

“They don’t rate it as intense. And again we’re not sure if that means that biologically they’re not getting as much of a response, or if they’re desensitized, or if they are the type of person who went skydiving the day before, so the burn of capsaicin in relation to the rush of adrenalin doesn’t rate that high.

We expected the sensation-seekers to rate spicy meals higher, for example, and they did. But there was variation in their responses depending on the type of spicy meal. Some people like Asian cooking — which may include capsaicin but has other chemesthetic ingredients, too, like ginger and Wasabi — yet they don’t like chili barbecue. Why do they like one type of spicy and not another?”

Adding Ginger Boosts Anticancer Activity

Capsaicin has been studied extensively and it may surprise you how many health benefits have been associated with the compound. For instance, capsaicin may help promote long-term heart health. In one animal study involving rodents with high blood pressure, the animals experienced relief after eating food mixed with capsaicin.21

The researchers suggested the compound activated the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), which contributes to vasorelaxation and lowered blood pressure. Capsaicin may also help promote healthy functioning of the digestive tract.

In one study researchers suggested capsaicin could be a gastroprotective agent in those with Helicobacter pylori mucosal damage or who use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).22 Capsaicin may participate in the fight against cancer by attacking cancer cell growth.23

The results of one study presented at the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando, Florida, showed capsaicin could reduce metastasis in lung adenocarcinoma, which is the majority of all non-small cell lung cancers.24

While it can act on its own, in combination with 6-gingerol, a compound found in raw ginger root, evidence shows it has greater potential. In one animal study using mice prone to lung cancer, researchers found that when fed a combination of capsaicin and 6-gingerol, they had a reduced risk of lung cancer.25

While under observation, all the mice that received capsaicin developed lung tumors; half the mice that received 6-gingerol developed lung tumors, but only 20% of the mice given the combination developed cancer.

Capsaicin Plays a Role in Pain Relief and Weight Loss

Capsaicin plays a role in pain relief, in part by depleting your body’s supply of substance P. This is a chemical component of nerve cells involved in transmitting pain signals to your brain. Capsaicin also works by desensitizing sensory receptors in your skin.26

That’s why capsaicin is used in topical creams and patches, which deliver an intense burning sensation that ultimately relieves pain. In one case study, scientists acknowledged that capsaicin was most often analyzed for relieving postherpetic neuralgia after shingles and in HIV-associated neuropathy.27

In an effort to determine if it had efficacy in other forms of neuropathic pain, capsaicin was used in a man who had persistent wound pain after a bomb explosion. He experienced an 80% reduction in symptoms after using a capsaicin patch.

The compound also may play a role in weight loss when added to your diet. In a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, participants were given 10 grams of red pepper during a meal.28

After eating, the researchers monitored the participants’ energy expenditure and learned that chili peppers increased carbohydrate oxidation for as much as 150 minutes after the meal. Scientists found your body can burn an extra 50 calories per day when you consume capsaicin regularly and:29

“… would produce clinically significant levels of weight loss in 1-2 years. While capsaicinoids are not a magic bullet for weight loss, the evidence is that they could play a beneficial role, as part of a weight management program.”

Several studies have demonstrated that capsaicin may help reduce hunger as well.30,31 According to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, including capsaicin during the meal had no effect on satiety but did reduce the production of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for triggering hunger, within 15 minutes after the meal.32

In another study, after 12 weeks of supplementation, participants were found to eat less and had a reduction in their waist-to-hip ratio.33 While not a magic bullet, chili peppers may be one weapon you can add to your arsenal of healthy food and lifestyle choices that help you take control of your health.

Weekly Health Quiz: Vitamin D, Stress and Gratitude

1 Which of the following enhances vitamin D signaling and works synergistically with vitamin D to enhance your mitochondrial function?

  • Vitamin C
  • Quercetin
  • Glutathione
  • Melatonin

    Melatonin enhances vitamin D signaling and the two work synergistically to enhance your mitochondrial function. Learn more.

2 What is CommonPass?

  • A digital “health passport” initiative

    CommonPass is a digital “health passport” framework initiated by The Commons Project, the World Economic Forum and The Rockefeller Foundation. Learn more.

  • A drug industry-funded fact check group
  • A high-intensity Frisbee game
  • A technocratic term for those of privilege, to whom rules don’t apply

3 Looking at total mortality statistics, the COVID-19 pandemic has:

  • Doubled mortality in most countries
  • Not led to an excess of deaths compared to the last five years’ averages

    There are no excess deaths. The same number of people have died in 2020 that, on average, have died in previous years. This simply wouldn’t be the case if we had a lethal pandemic. Learn more.

  • Quadrupled mortality in a handful of countries, including the U.S.
  • Killed nearly half the population of India

4 Which of the following emotions has been shown to reduce stress and improve sleep, heart health and immune function?

  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Gratitude

    Gratitude has been shown to reduce stress and improve sleep, heart health and immune function. Enhancing your well-being can be as simple as taking some time each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for. Learn more.

  • Acceptance

5 Opioids control moderate to severe pain:

  • Two to four times better than over-the-counter pain relievers
  • About 50% less effectively than over-the-counter pain relievers
  • No study has ever assessed opioids for moderate to severe pain
  • No better than over-the-counter pain relievers

    Research shows opioids do not control moderate to severe pain any better than over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen. Learn more.

6 Which of the following has a healthy success record when used for conditions such as chronic pain, autoimmune diseases and opioid dependence?

  • Low-dose naltrexone (LDN)

    Low-dose naltrexone, an opiate antagonist, can benefit most autoimmune and chronic pain conditions. When microdosed, LDN has also been shown to help long-term users of opioids wean off their medication. Learn more.

  • Melatonin
  • Omega-3
  • Opioids

Are Enzymes a Key to COVID Endothelial Injury?

Enzymes catalyze many biological reactions in your body. They regulate the rate of these chemical reactions, speeding them up so necessary functions like digestion, muscle contractions and other aspects of cellular metabolism can occur.1

Enzymes are also emerging as key players in COVID-19, as studies suggest damage to the endothelium, which are cells covering blood vessels, is contributing to the development of blood clots, or thrombosis, in the blood vessels of severely ill COVID-19 patients.2 Enzymes may turn out to be the missing link in helping to break up clusters of clotting proteins involved in this dangerous thrombosis.

Endothelium Damage Found in Critically Ill COVID-19 Cases

After noticing blackened fingers and toes — signs of what appeared to be microvascular thrombosis, or tiny blood clots in small blood vessels — in COVID-19 patients in advanced stages of the disease, physicians at the Yale School of Medicine began running clotting tests on their patients.3

Levels of Von Willebrand factor (VWF), a clotting protein released by endothelial cells, were found to be significantly elevated, which suggested to hematologist Alfred Lee that damaged endothelial cells may be releasing large quantities of VWF, leading to clots.4 This prompted the team to screen for additional markers of endothelial cell and platelet activation in critically and noncritically ill COVID-19 patients.

The study, which was conducted in April 2020, included 68 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and 13 asymptomatic controls. VWF antigen was significantly elevated in COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) compared to non-ICU COVID-19 patients,5 as was soluble platelet selectin (sP-selectin), which is sometimes used as a biomarker for infection and mortality.6

Specifically, mean VWF was 565% among ICU patients and 278% among non-ICU patients while soluble P-selectin was 15.9 ng/mL compared to 11.2 ng/mL.7 “Our findings show that endotheliopathy is present in COVID-19 and is likely to be associated with critical illness and death. Early identification of endotheliopathy and strategies to mitigate its progression might improve outcomes in COVID-19,” the researchers concluded.8

Likely not coincidentally, endothelial dysfunction is also associated with insulin resistance and plays a role in the vascular complications of diabetes,9 as well as being involved in obesity and high blood pressure,10 conditions that raise the risk of severe COVID19.

Even mild obesity may raise the risk of COVID-19 severity — COVID-19 patients with mild obesity had a 2.5 times greater risk of respiratory failure and a five times greater risk of being admitted to an ICU compared to nonobese patients. Those with a BMI of 35 and over were also 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19.11

Another study looking into the impact of coexisting health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes on COVID-19 outcomes found they’re linked to “poorer clinical outcomes,” such as admission to an intensive care unit, a need for invasive ventilation or death.12

It’s possible that the endothelial damage in all of these conditions plays a role in worsening COVID-19 outcomes, but it’s unclear which comes first — endothelial damage or COVID-19.

Endothelial Cells Are the ‘Main Target’ of SARS-CoV-2

Imperial College London cardiologist Thomas Lüscher told The Scientist that the endothelium is the main target of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.13 Under healthy conditions, blood cells can pass through the endothelium lining blood vessels, but when exposed to viral infections and other inflammatory agents, the endothelium becomes sticky and releases VWF.

The end result is a cascade of clotting and inflammation, both characteristics of severe COVID-19. According to a case report published April 8, 2020, “A hallmark of severe COVID-19 is coagulopathy, with 71.4% of patients who die of COVID-19 meeting … criteria for disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) while only 0.6% of patients who survive meet these criteria.”14

Writing in the European Heart Journal, Lüscher argues, “COVID-19, particularly in the later complicated stages, represents an endothelial disease,”15 which may help explain why multiple organ systems, including the lungs, heart, brain, kidney and vasculature, may be affected.

An additional study by Canadian researchers, published in Critical Care Explorations in September 2020, also revealed elevated VWF and soluble P-selectin levels in COVID-19 patients, along with higher glycocalyx-degradation products,16 a sign of damage to the glycocalyx, which envelops the endothelium.17 This can also be a sign of sepsis. Taken together, the research suggests that therapies targeting the endothelium may be useful for COVID-19, which is where enzymes come in.

Enzymes Used to Treat COVID-19

With the role of coagulopathy in severe COVID-19 becoming clearer, researchers have experimented with enzymes in the treatment of the disease. Fibrinolytic therapy, which uses drugs or enzymes to break up blood clots, has been used in a Phase 1 clinical trial that showed the treatment reduced mortality and led to improvements in oxygenation.18 Further, researchers wrote in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis:19

“There is evidence in both animals and humans that fibrinolytic therapy in acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) improves survival, which also points to fibrin deposition in the pulmonary microvasculature as a contributory cause of ARDS.

This would be expected to be seen in patients with ARDS and concomitant diagnoses of DIC on their laboratory values such as what is observed in more than 70% of those who die of COVID?19.”

The researchers reported three case studies of patients with severe COVID?19 respiratory failure who were treated with tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), a serine protease enzyme found on endothelial cells that’s involved in fibrinolysis, or the breakdown of blood clots.20

All three patients benefited from the treatment, with partial pressure of oxygen/FiO2 (P/F) ratios, a measure of lung function, improving from 38% to 100%.21 While it should be noted that several of the authors have patents pending related to both coagulation/fibrinolysis diagnostics and therapeutics, the results suggest such treatments deserve further evaluation in certain COVID-19 patients.

An evaluation of organ tissues from people who died from COVID-19 also revealed extensive lung damage, including clotting, and long-term persistence of virus cells in pneumocytes and endothelial cells.22

The findings indicate that virus-infected cells may persist for long periods inside the lungs, contributing to scar tissue. In an interview with Reuters, study co-author Mauro Giacca, a professor at King’s College London, described “really vast destruction of the architecture of the lungs,” with healthy tissue “almost completely substituted by scar tissue,”23 which could be responsible for cases of “long COVID,” in which symptoms persist for months.

“It could very well be envisaged that one of the reasons why there are cases of long COVID is because there is vast destruction of lung (tissue),” he told Reuters. “Even if someone recovers from COVID, the damage that is done could be massive.”24 Dissolving scar tissue is another area where enzymes, particularly proteolytic enzymes, may be useful.

Three Top Enzymes Act as Natural Anticoagulants

Holistic prophylactic alternatives that might be beneficial against blood clots include proteolytic enzymes such as lumbrokinase, serrapeptase and nattokinase, all of which act as natural anticoagulants by breaking down the fibrin that forms the blood clot. Fibrin is a clotting material that restricts blood flow, found both in your bloodstream and connective tissue such as your muscles. Fibrin accumulation is also responsible for scar tissue.

It is important to understand that when using these enzymes for fibrinolytic therapy they need to be taken on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after meals. Otherwise these enzymes will be wasted in the digestion of your food and will be unable to serve their fibrinolytic purpose.

As noted in Scientific Reports, some of the key mechanisms by which proteolytic enzymes exert their anticoagulant effect include “defibrinogenation, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and/or interference with components of the blood coagulation cascade.”25 Here’s a closer look at these important enzymes, all of which are available in supplement form or, in the case of nattokinase, via the food natto.

1. Lumbrokinase — This enzyme is about 300 times stronger than serrapeptase and nearly 30 times stronger than nattokinase,26 making it my strong personal preference and recommendation if you are using a fibrinolytic enzyme. Extracted from earthworms, lumbrokinase is a highly effective antithrombotic agent that reduces blood viscosity and platelet aggregation27 while also degrading fibrin, which is a key factor in clot formation.

2. Serrapeptase — Also known as serratiopeptidase, serrapeptase is produced in the gut of newborn Bombyx mori silkworms, allowing them to dissolve and escape from their cocoons. Research has shown it can help patients with chronic airway disease, lessening viscosity of sputum and reducing coughing.28 Serrapeptase also breaks down fibrin and helps dissolve dead or damaged tissue without harming healthy tissue.29

3. Nattokinase Produced by the bacteria Bacillus subtilis during the fermentation of soybeans to produce natto,30 nattokinase is a strong thrombolytic31 comparable to aspirin but without the serious side effects.32

It’s been shown to break down blood clots and reduce the risk of serious clotting33 by dissolving excess fibrin in your blood vessels,34 improving circulation and decreasing blood viscosity. Interestingly, in one in vitro study, the thrombolytic activity of equivalent amounts of nattokinase and TPA were found to be identical35 — TPA, remember, is the enzyme that led to improvement in the three COVID-19 case studies.36

The Remarkable Benefits of Low-Dose Naltrexone

In this interview, we review some of the remarkable benefits of low-dose naltrexone (LDN), including the surprising benefits of microdosed LDN. The two experts featured in this interview are Linda Elsegood, a Briton who founded the LDN Research Trust1 in 2004, and Dr. Sarah Zielsdorf, who has a medical practice in the Chicago area in the U.S.

Elsegood, who was diagnosed with MS in 2000, has been involved in LDN research and public education for 16 years. LDN is a powerful, safe and effective treatment for many autoimmune diseases, yet few, including most health care professionals, know anything about it. Remarkably, LDN may even be helpful in the fight against COVID-19, as it acts to normalize your immune system.2

Elsegood recently published a book on LDN called “The LDN Book, Volume Two: The Latest Research on How Low Dose Naltrexone Could Revolutionize Treatment for PTSD, Pain, IBD, Lyme Disease, Dermatologic Conditions and More.” Each chapter is written by a medical professional with clinical knowledge of the drug’s use. Zielsdorf is one of the contributing authors. Elsegood also hosts a radio show called The LDN Radio Show.3

In the interview, she tells the story of how she discovered LDN and the dramatic benefits she has experienced from it. In summary, beneficial effects became apparent after about three weeks on the drug and, after 18 months, her condition had significantly improved.

Zielsdorf — who has an undergraduate degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in public health microbiology and emerging infectious disease — also has a personal health story that brought her to LDN. She was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) in 2003. Ten years later, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid.

“I learned about functional nutrition and triggers for autoimmunity, and started to do all of the things I needed to do to optimize my biomarkers, remove systemic inflammation, and was able to return to my [medical] training. I had been told that I could never have children and surprisingly became pregnant and had a daughter in my second year of training.

After having her, I [had a flareup]. It was then, in 2014, that a doctor put me on LDN. It changed my life … Once I graduated from residency, I started treating patients with a variety of issues with LDN. I’ve treated thousands of patients with LDN.”

Naltrexone — A Rare Gem of a Drug

Naltrexone in low or even microdoses is one of the few pharmaceutical drugs I wholeheartedly endorse. Not only is it remarkably safe, it’s also a profound adjunctive therapy for a wide variety of conditions. As explained by Zielsdorf:

“Naltrexone is one of the few things that actually enables our own bodies, our own immune systems, to be able to function better and really restore function.

After World War II, they were looking for more opioid medications. By accident, scientists figured out how to block the opioid receptor. They did the exact opposite of what they were supposed to do, which is to find morphine analogs for soldiers.

[In] the 1960s, they were able to synthesize naloxone and naltrexone … FDA approved it in the 1980s for opioid addiction at a dose of 50 to 100 milligrams, and then in the 1990s for alcohol dependence.

But it was Dr. Bernard Bihari and Dr. Ian Zagon in the 1970s that had this amazing idea that if you took a very small dose of naltrexone, compounding it in a clean way [down] to a few milligrams, if would briefly block the opioid receptor in the central nervous system — very briefly kissing that receptor and then unblocking it.

This upregulates the body’s immune system by increasing the opioid receptor’s own production of beta-endorphin and met-enkephalins. Beta-endorphins help with mood, pain, sleep and the immune system, and met-enkephalins are also known as opioid-derived growth factor, and there are receptors for these on many different tissues, including the thyroid.

We now use it for nearly all autoimmune conditions, as an adjunct for cancer, and as a treatment for chronic pain. We also use ultra-low dose [microdosed] naltrexone, which I wrote about, to help potentiate pain relief for people who are on opioids and help them to be less dependent on opioid medications.

I’ve actually been able to get patients off of fentanyl patches and get them off chronic oxycodone or Norco use where their pain specialists said, ‘You will never ever get off these pain medications.’ It’s been an incredible journey and I’m a huge advocate of it.”

Naloxone Versus Naltrexone

Naloxone (Narcan) is what is carried on ambulances and used in ERs and trauma bays as an antidote to an opioid overdose. When given at a high enough dose, naloxone or Narcan acts as a complete opioid blocker, which is why it’s used acutely when someone has taken too high a dose of an opioid.

Naltrexone blocks the opioid receptor only briefly, and by a different mechanism. When used in low dosages as LDN, the chief benefit is actually in the rebound effect, after the opioid receptor has been briefly blocked.

Foundational Treatment Strategies for Autoimmune Diseases

With regard to autoimmune diseases, it’s important to realize there are other, equally important, foundational strategies that will benefit most patients with a dysfunctional immune system. These include optimizing your vitamin D level and omega-3 index, for example.

It’s also important to eliminate potential triggers. The reason why people have an autoimmune disease is because they’re exposed to something in the environment which serves as an antigen that their body recognizes as a foreign invader, and as a result attacks it. If you can avoid those antigens, you can often suppress and frequently eliminate symptoms without anything, because you’ve removed the stimulus.

One common autoimmune trigger is lectins, found in many otherwise healthy vegetables. Zielsdorf will typically place her autoimmune patients on a Mediterranean-style paleo diet or an oligoantigenic elimination diet to optimize detoxification, liver and kidney function, and the microbiome.

Others may be placed on a nose-to-tail carnivore diet. As noted by Zielsdorf, it’s “a way of offloading and simplifying what antigens the body is seeing.” Other helpful diets in this respect include the autoimmune paleo diet and the low-histamine or low FODMAP diet.

“I am a microbiologist and I do a ton of advanced testing, and then we start looking deeper at triggers,” she says. “I used to put everybody on LDN first, but now we know that certain patients will flair because their immune system is so suppressed due to co-infections.

We see it most with Lyme disease and with yeast overgrowth. If I suspect or I have tests confirming that a patient has one of these things, or their immune system is super suppressed … I’ll work on their microbiome before I start LDN …

I test everybody’s gut, and what I see universally is you get this hyper intense intestinal permeability in these cases … What’s so interesting is a leaky gut equals a leaky brain, and we overwhelm our immune system. I do see this. The first step is getting them off the most common triggers, and sometimes I’ll be testing for lectins too.

Universally, for all of my autoimmune patients, is that they can’t eat wheat. There are over 150 antigens in wheat that you can be sensitive to … It is also desiccated with Roundup, glyphosate, right before processing, so we get that extra toxicity. I test my patients for their environmental toxic load, and I see a lot of patients with glyphosate toxicity.

The wheat that we used to eat 10,000 years ago at the beginning of agriculture is not the wheat [we now eat]. It’s not even the same chromosome number as what our bodies ate in small amounts as hunter gatherers.”

Why You Should Avoid Monogastric Animal Meats

As mentioned by Zielsdorf, a nose-to-tail carnivore diet can be an excellent intervention in some cases, especially for those whose immune function is severely suppressed. However, you should avoid monogastric animals, meaning animals that have only one stomach.

Whereas cows have two, chickens and pigs have only one. The reason for this recommendation is because conventionally factory farmed chicken and pork will be very high in the omega-6 fat linoleic acid. This is because they are typically fed corn, which is high in this type of fat. And a high linolenic acid diet can metabolically devastate your health. So, a diet high in chicken and bacon is not doing your body any favors.

Animals with two stomachs are able to fully process omega-6-rich grains and other foods, as they are equipped with gut bacteria that can break it down into a healthier fat. Aside from cows and steer, this includes buffalo, beef and lamb.

What Can LDN Treat?

Aside from autoimmune diseases, LDN is also used in the treatment of the following conditions. Bear in mind this is not a complete list. Some of these conditions have been featured in various documentaries4 produced by the LDN Research Trust. You can find links to those documentaries in the references.

Cancer5 — Research by professor Angus George Dalgleish and his colleague Dr. Wei Lou showed LDN could bring cancer cells into remission using pulse dosing.6 LDN also works synergistically with cannabidiol (CBD), and works well for cancer, autoimmunity and pain conditions

Opioid addiction, dependence and recovery7 — Using microdoses of 0.001 milligrams (1 microgram), long-term users of opioids who have developed a tolerance to the drug are able to, over time, lower their opioid dose and avoid withdrawal symptoms as the LDN makes the opioid more effective.

For opioid dependence, the typical starting dose is 1 microgram twice a day, which will allow them to lower their opioid dose by about 60%. When the opioid is taken for pain, the LDN must be taken four to six hours apart from the opioid in order to not displace the opioid’s effects

Lyme disease and its coinfections8

Fibromyalgia

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Restless leg syndrome

Depression

Dermatological issues

Infertility

General Dosing Guidelines

Dosing will, of course, depend on the condition being treated, but there are some general guidelines that can be helpful. Downloadable guides can be found on the LDN Research Trust site, and are available in several languages. Keep in mind that LDN is a drug, not something you can buy over the counter, and you need to work with a knowledgeable physician who can prescribe it and monitor your health.

“With a general pain condition, we may use 1.5 to 3 or 4.5 mg. With Hashimoto’s, we start lower and slower because patients with Hashimoto’s may actually have to reduce their thyroid hormone medication if they’re on it because they get reduction of that inflammation and they can produce more of their own thyroid hormone. So, we usually start at 0.5 mg.

For patients with mood conditions … 0.5 to 1 mg. There was an important paper that came out showing LDN is an important agent for depression, for patients who fail those meds or as an adjunct to antidepressants. PTSD patients may have to go higher. There are all sorts of strategies and you just need to find a doctor who’s well-versed in that condition.”

More Information

The LDN Research Trust’s website is an excellent resource for all things LDN. It has a variety of resources to guide patients, prescribing doctors and pharmacists alike. It also has a page where you can find LDN-literate prescribers around the world.

Of course, to learn more, be sure to pick up a copy of “The LDN Book, Volume Two: The Latest Research on How Low Dose Naltrexone Could Revolutionize Treatment for PTSD, Pain, IBD, Lyme Disease, Dermatologic Conditions and More,” and/or “The LDN Book: How a Little-Known Generic Drug ? Low Dose Naltrexone ? Could Revolutionize Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases, Cancer, Autism, Depression and More,” which is the first of the two volumes.

Both books are also available on the LDN Research Trust website, along with videos featuring all of the doctors that contributed chapters to the books. You can also check out The LDN Radio Show.9 Last but not least, LDN Research Trust is a nonprofit that depends on public donations, so if you would like to contribute to the Trust’s LDN research and education efforts, please make a donation.

Retrain Your Brain How to Smell Again

Loss of sense of smell, a condition known as anosmia, has emerged as a hallmark symptom of COVID-19. It’s estimated that 33.9% to 68% of COVID-19 patients1 — and as high as 98%, according to one study2 — experience some type of olfactory dysfunction, which is often regarded as more of an inconvenience than an actual health threat. In reality, however, you may not realize how important your sense of smell is until it’s gone.

When you lose your sense of smell, you also lose your normal sense of taste. In the case of COVID-19, anosmia often occurs alongside dysgeusia, an altered or impaired sense of taste.3 In fact, the combination of anosmia/dysgeusia was a far better predictor of COVID-19 than other common symptoms like fever/chills or respiratory difficulty.4

“It’s mentally tough knowing the foods you used to love now simply taste like sewage. I no longer crave food or enjoy eating. It’s a chore,” Lucy Packman, a university student who developed COVID-19 along with anosmia in March 2020, told Medium.5

Beyond that, cutting off your sense of smell detaches you from the environment in ways that can be isolating — like an inability to smell your partner or your baby — or dangerous, such as missing the scent of something burning.

The silver lining in COVID-19 is that 89% of those with an altered sense of smell had complete resolution or improvement in severity after four weeks.6 For those whose smell impairment is ongoing, or caused by one of the many risk factors beyond COVID-19, smell training may be the key to regaining this invaluable asset.

What Causes Loss of Smell?

COVID-19 aside, there are many reasons why you may lose your sense of smell. The common cold is among the most common, along with other illnesses like influenza, sinus infections, hay fever and nonallergic rhinitis.7

Virtually anything that causes your nasal passageways to become obstructed, including tumors, nasal polyps or nasal deformity, can also interfere with your sense of smell, as can conditions that impair your olfactory pathways, which transmit messages between your nasal passages and brain.

A variety of neurological conditions, certain medications and even advancing age can also affect your sense of smell. As you age, especially beyond age 70, loss of nerve endings and less mucus production in your nose may diminish smell, in part because mucus plays a role in keeping odors in the nose longer, so they can be detected by the nerve endings there.8

It’s estimated that 62.5% of 80- to 97-year-olds have some type of olfactory impairment,9 while even about 12% of people over the age of 40 may have some trouble smelling, along with close to 25% of men in their 60s.10

One important side note: Those with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to have smell impairment, and researchers believe this deficiency may play a significant role in age-related smell and taste impairment.11 This is especially relevant since vitamin D deficiency is also linked to COVID-19. The following health conditions can also cause a dulling or diminishment of the sense of smell:12

Alzheimer’s disease

Brain aneurysm

Brain surgery

Cancer

Chemical exposures to insecticides or solvents

Diabetes

Huntington’s disease

Kallmann’s syndrome

Klinefelter’s syndrome

Korsakoff’s psychosis

Malnutrition

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple system atrophy (MSA)

Paget’s disease

Parkinson’s disease

Pick’s disease

Radiation therapy

Rhinoplasty

Schizophrenia

Sjorgren’s syndrome

Traumatic brain injury

Zinc deficiency

Lost Your Ability to Taste? It Could Be Anosmia

As mentioned, when you lose your sense of smell, your taste goes along with it. Ann-Sophie Barwich, a cognitive scientist and assistant professor in the department of history and philosophy of science and medicine at Indiana University Bloomington, explained in STAT:13

“Many people don’t immediately recognize they’ve lost their sense of smell, but instead report they’ve lost their sense of taste. Most of what you think of as the taste of your food and drink, however, is actually due to smelling. When you chew, aromatic molecules are released from your food. These molecules travel up to your nose via the pharynx, the opening at the back of the throat that connects the mouth with the nasal cavity.

Think about it for minute. Your tongue detects salty and sweet, bitter and sour, umami (savory) and, according to recent research, fatty. There are no taste buds for mint or strawberry or vanilla. These flavors are created via ‘mouth-smelling,’ a process known as retronasal olfaction. It acts as a second sense of smell.”

This is one reason why anosmia is far more than an inconvenience or minor annoyance. Not only can you no longer detect if you’ve eaten something spoiled, which would prompt you to quickly spit it out, you can no longer enjoy your favorite foods and the scents that go along with them.

Odor-evoked memories also come along with powerful emotions and are known to activate the “neurolobiological substrates of emotional processing,” according to neuroscientist Rachel S. Herz, an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University.14

Research published in Learning and Memory even suggests that odors may modulate the dynamics of memory consolidation,15 and, by boosting mood, lowering stress and reducing inflammation, it’s likely that the powerful emotions elicited by positive odor-evoked memories can influence psychological and physiological health.16

Without your sense of smell, however, you miss out on experiencing those powerful, odor-evoked memories. “Two of the great joys in people’s lives are the sensations of smell and taste,” says Dr. R. Peter Manes, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Yale Medicine. “When these senses are altered or absent, people lose that pleasure and can feel isolated from those around them who are not afflicted.”17

Losing Your Sense of Smell Is Linked to Serious Health Risks

In a study of 3,005 community-dwelling adults, those who had a dysfunctional sense of smell were more likely to die in the next five years than those with a good sense of smell. Olfactory function was deemed to be one of the strongest predictors of five-year mortality, and researchers suggested it may “serve as a bellwether for slowed cellular regeneration or as a marker of cumulative toxic environmental exposures.”18

Another study of adults aged 71 to 82 also found those with “poor olfaction had a 46% higher cumulative risk for death after 10 years” compared to those with a good sense of smell, and poor olfaction was associated with a higher risk of death from neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.19

An inability to identify odors is also an early symptom of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.20 Beyond the physical risks, losing your sense of smell can cause psychological distress. People with smell and taste disorders often report a negative emotional impact, including feelings of isolation and problems with relationships and day-to-day functioning.21

Among COVID-19 patients, smell and taste loss were associated with depressed mood and anxiety, while fever, cough and shortness of breath were not, even though the latter may be harbingers of more dire COVID?19 outcomes,22 highlighting the power that these senses have over your emotional well-being. In a Harvard Health Blog post detailing his own experience with loss of smell and taste, Leo Newhouse, LICSW noted:23

“Our senses — smell, vision, hearing, taste, and touch — are bridges that connect us to the world we live in, to life itself. Knock out two of the five bridges, and 40% of our sensory input is gone. Senses add richness and texture to everyday life; they are intricately tied in with our emotions.”

Retraining Your Nose How to Smell

Treating anosmia involves identifying its underlying cause and addressing it at the foundational level. Loss of smell due to a cold or influenza, for instance, should resolve along with the viral infection. In some cases, however, the cause of the olfactory dysfunction is unknown, making treatment difficult.

AbScent, an organization providing support to those affected by anosmia and other smell disorders, has developed the Sense of Smell Project in collaboration with patients with smell disorders and scientists.24 They’ve developed a smell training app for members of the project, and also a simple smell training protocol designed to help those who have lost their sense of smell for two weeks or more to regain the sense.

The training is based on the protocol first described by professor Thomas Hummel of the Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus in Dresden, Germany.25 He published research in 2009 showing that olfactory training involving exposure to four intense odors (rose, eucalyptus, lemon and clove) twice daily for 12 weeks led to an increase in olfactory function.26

To try it, all you need is four different fragrances, such as those Hummel used — rose, lemon, clove and eucalyptus essential oils. Essential oils are ideal for scent training due to their highly concentrated scents. Once you’ve gathered your fragrances, actively sniff each scent for about 20 seconds a couple of times a day, such as immediately after waking up and before going to bed. AbScent explains:27

“Open a jar and hold it close to your nose. Take some gentle sniffs for 20 seconds. During this time, concentrate on what you are doing. Keep your mind on lemon for instance, or one of the other smell training smells. Try to block out any intrusive thoughts. Be as attentive as you can and try to recall what your experience of lemon was. Close the jar after 20 seconds and take a few breaths. Then go on to the next jar.”

Smell Training May Strengthen Neural Pathways

The basis for smell training is that using a neural pathway, such as that used by your olfactory nerve cells, reinforces and strengthens it.

According to cell biologist Nancy Rawson, associate director at the Monell Center in Philadelphia, in an interview with AbScent founder Chris Kelly, “… Not only is smell training helping the olfactory receptor cells, but it also is helping to create pathways in the brain that will be better able to receive, interpret and remember the information that it is getting.”28

Research trials suggest smell training is beneficial in many cases,29 and, when used in people with a normal sense of smell, can enhance the sense to the level of a high-performing group of wine professionals. This suggests “the olfactory system is highly responsive to training,” according to researchers in the journal Chemical Senses.30

In another study involving 10 anosmic patients and 14 healthy controls, a 12-week smell training session significantly increased the sensitivity to detect odors in the anosmic group, and modifications in the functional connections of networks used to process chemosensory input were also noted.31

Another study in adults aged 50 to 84 found significant improvement in olfactory function after olfactory training (OT), along with improved verbal function and well-being, and decreased depressive symptoms, with researchers concluding, “OT may constitute an inexpensive, simple way to improve quality of life in older people.”32

Even if you feel it’s too soon to try retraining your sense of smell, it’s important to give the training a try. AbScent notes that “the earlier you begin, the greater the benefit to you in the long run.”33

Considering there’s no risk involved to giving it a try, and the process takes only a few minutes a day using scents that are easily accessible, there’s every reason to give scent training a try if you’re experiencing any level of anosmia.

Also, as noted, since vitamin D deficiency is associated with smell and taste impairment, be sure to get your vitamin D levels tested and optimized. An overall healthy lifestyle will also support healthy olfaction, and exercising even one time a week — long enough to break a sweat — may reduce your risk of losing your sense of smell as you age.34

Addicted: America’s Opioid Crisis

The featured 2019 BBC documentary, “Addicted: America’s Opioid Crisis,” explores the depth of the nation’s addiction to opioid painkillers and the role played by Purdue Pharma and other makers of the drug.

As noted in the film, opioids kill more people than any other drug on the market, and it’s the only type of drug that can condemn a person to a life of addiction after a single week of use.

According to the BBC, “1 in 8 American children live with a parent who suffers from a substance abuse disorder,” and “every 15 minutes, a baby in America is born suffering from opioid withdrawal.” Middle school-aged children interviewed also say they have easy access to drugs, should they want them.

Many now blame the drug companies that make these drugs and have falsely promoted them as safe and nonaddictive for patients of all kinds, including children.

That includes one of the former addicts followed in the film, who says he thinks the drug companies need to be held responsible for their role in creating this epidemic, and made to help pay for the solution.

Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty and Folds

One of the most prominent drug companies involved in the creation of this opioid addiction crisis is Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. At the end of October 2020, Purdue Pharma agreed to plead guilty to three federal criminal charges relating to its role in the opioid crisis, including violating a federal anti-kickback law, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.1,2

To settle the charges, Purdue is supposed to pay $8.3 billion in fines, forfeiture of past profits and civil liability payments,3 but because it doesn’t have the cash, the company will instead be dissolved and its assets used to erect a “public benefit company” that both makes opioids and pays for addiction treatment.

Legal Painkillers Now the Gateway Drug to Heroin

While marijuana was long known as the gateway drug to other illicit drug use, that distinction now belongs to prescription opioids. According to data4 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription opioid use is a significant risk factor for subsequent heroin use.

The incidence of heroin use is 19 times higher among those who have used opioids nonmedically than among those who have no history of opioid use, and 86% of young, urban injection drug users report using opioid pain relievers nonmedically before starting heroin. Overall, nearly 80% of heroin users now report using prescription opioids prior to heroin.

Similarly, data5 from the University of Michigan shows just under 1 in 3 people (31.8%) who misused opioids during their high school years ended up using heroin by age 35.

When it comes to children and teens, a major source of opioids are dentists, who wrote a staggering 18.1 million prescriptions for opioids in 2017.6 Opioids are frequently prescribed when extracting wisdom teeth, even though there’s no evidence to support this strategy.

This is especially true if you see a biological dentist who knows what they are doing. Earlier this year I had a periapical abscess and had to have the tooth extracted. I saw one of the best dentists in Florida, Dr. Carl Litano, just south of Tampa. He used platelet rich plasma (PRP) at the extraction site and I had zero pain and no swelling without any medication. Afterward, no one could tell I had an extraction the previous day.

Children are also recklessly prescribed addictive opioids for minor surgical procedures. For example, insurance claims data from 2016 and 2017 reveal 60% of children between the ages of 1 and 18 with private insurance filled one or more opioid prescriptions after surgical tonsil removal.7,8

Meanwhile, research9 shows opioids (including morphine, Vicodin, oxycodone and fentanyl) fail to control moderate to severe pain any better than over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen.

An Epidemic Caused by Greed

As noted in the film, this is an epidemic caused by greed within the medical system. Purdue Pharma was exceptionally skilled at marketing its product, cleverly disguising its advertisements as educational material. (The same can clearly be said about many other drug companies and their wares today.)

There can be no doubt that false advertising played a central role in the opioid epidemic,10 and for doctors, it highlights the importance of staying on top of published research rather than relying on drug company sales reps for their education.

The fraud has its roots in a short letter to the editor11,12 published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1980. The letter — which was simply commenting on a cursory examination of patient files in a Boston hospital — stated that narcotic addiction in patients with no history of addiction was very rare.

Purdue built its marketing of OxyContin on this letter, for years falsely claiming that opioid addiction affects less than 1% of patients treated with the drugs. According to Purdue’s marketing material, featured in the film, “the most serious risk with opioids is respiratory depression.”

In reality, opioids have a very high rate of addiction and have not been proven effective for long-term use.13 A number of court cases in recent years have demonstrated how Purdue systematically misled doctors about OxyContin’s addictiveness to drive up sales.

As noted by David Powell, a senior economist at Rand, to produce the most lethal drug epidemic America has ever seen “you need a huge rise in opioid access, in a way that misuse is easy, but you also need demand to misuse the product.”14

According to the documentary, Purdue made more than $1 billion a year from its sales of OxyContin. OxyContin’s success also quickly led to other drug companies mimicking Purdue’s tactics. Other companies being called to account include Allergan, Cephalon, Endo International, Egalet Corporation, Insys Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt plc and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

In the final analysis, it’s clear that unconscionably deceitful marketing tactics have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans; 46,802 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2018 alone.15 As of June 2017, opioids became the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50.16

That said, the BBC also rightfully points out that we need stronger regulations and more effective checks and balances to prevent this kind of situation from happening again in the future. Merely making drug companies pay is not enough. 

Purdue Lured in, Then Abandoned Doctors

Steven May, a former Purdue sales rep, also highlights yet another scandal. The company came up with a plan to help doctors to better document their treatment of pain. Sales reps were taught how to instruct doctors to use these tools.

When those same doctors eventually got in trouble for overprescribing opioids, using Purdue’s tools, the company walked away and offered no support. Many doctors lost their medical licenses. Some ended up doing jail sentences and some committed suicide. “And they were doing exactly what [Purdue] taught us to teach them to do,” May says.

No Remorse

Adding insult to injury, when it became clear that people were dying in droves from opioid overdoses, Purdue launched an extensive damage-control operation that included the suggestion that those dying from opioids were already addicts, and that this wouldn’t happen to patients who were not already addicted to drugs. It was basically just a variation on the original lie.

According to lawsuits filed against Purdue, the company knew as early as the 1990s that OxyContin was one of the most abused drugs in the country, yet they did nothing to change their marketing and sales strategies.

That the Sacklers, the owners of Purdue, had no remorse and didn’t care about the societal effects that overprescription of their drug was having is illustrated in a 2001 email exchange between then-Purdue president Richard Sackler and an acquaintance.

In the documentary, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong reads this exchange, which begins with the unnamed acquaintance stating: “[Drug] abusers die, well that is the choice they made. I doubt a single one didn’t know the risks,” to which Sackler replied, “Abusers aren’t victims; they are the victimizers.”

“It’s hard to stomach that someone would write that about people who are suffering, people who are in real distress and people who have died,” Tong says, “and that is the kind of thing that powered this company during a period and led to deceptive, fraudulent, misleading product development and marketing … [They] made money off people’s misery and I think that is what these emails show.”

Unemployment and Poverty Fuel Addiction

Many of the opioid and heroin abusers featured in “Addicted” live on the streets. Desperation and despair are evident in all. Several investigations seeking to gain insight into the causes fueling the opioid epidemic have been conducted in recent years.

Among them is a 2019 study17 in the Medical Care Research Review journal, which looked at the effects of state-level economic conditions — unemployment rates, median house prices, median household income, insurance coverage and average hours of weekly work — on drug overdose deaths between 1999 and 2014. According to the authors:18

“Drug overdose deaths significantly declined with higher house prices … by nearly 0.17 deaths per 100,000 (~4%) with a $10,000 increase in median house price. House price effects were … only significant among males, non-Hispanic Whites, and individuals younger 45 years …

Our findings suggest that economic downturns that substantially reduce house prices such as the Great Recession can increase opioid-related deaths, suggesting that efforts to control access to such drugs should especially intensify during these periods.”

Similarly, an investigation published in the International Journal of Drug Policy19 in 2017 connected economic recessions and unemployment with rises in illegal drug use among adults. Seventeen of the 28 studies included in the review found that the psychological distress associated with economic recessions and unemployment was a significant factor:20

“The current evidence is in line with the hypothesis that drug use increases in times of recession because unemployment increases psychological distress which increases drug use. During times of recession, psychological support for those who lost their job and are vulnerable to drug use (relapse) is likely to be important.”

Another 2019 study21 published in Population Health reviewed the links between free trade and deaths from opioid use between 1999 and 2015, finding that “Job loss due to international trade is positively associated with opioid overdose mortality at the county level.” Overall, for each 1,000 people who lost their jobs due to international trade — commonly due to factory shutdowns — there was a 2.7% increase in opioid-related deaths.

Trauma Raises Addiction Risk

Abuse-related trauma is also linked to unemployment and financial stress, and that too can increase your risk of drug use and addiction. As noted in The Atlantic,22 when the coal mining industry in northeastern Pennsylvania collapsed, leaving many locals without job prospects, alcohol use increased, as did child abuse.

Many of these traumatized children, in turn, sought relief from the turmoil and ended up becoming addicted to opioids. All of this is particularly pertinent today, as many parts of the U.S. have been shut down for extended periods of time over fears of COVID-19.

Not being allowed to work, being forced to stay at home for weeks or months on end, maintaining an unnatural distance even to your loved ones and not being able to see people’s faces when out in public — all of these things can contribute to fear, anxiety and, ultimately, despair that fuels addiction. Indeed, reports23 warn that substance abuse is on the rise as a result of pandemic measures, as is domestic violence.24

Struggling With Opioid Addiction? Please Seek Help

It’s vitally important to realize that opioids are extremely addictive drugs that are not meant for long-term use for nonfatal conditions. If you’ve been on an opioid for more than two months, or if you find yourself taking a higher dosage, or taking the drug more often, you may already be addicted. Resources where you can find help include the following. You can also learn more in “How to Wean Off Opioids.”

I also urge you to listen to my interview with Dr. Sarah Zielsdorf, which is being published in tomorrow’s newsletter. In it, she explains how low-dose naltrexone (LDN), used in microdoses, can help you help combat opioid addiction and aid in your recovery.26

Using microdoses of 0.001 milligrams (1 microgram), long-term users of opioids who have developed a tolerance to the drug are able to, over time, lower their opioid dose and avoid withdrawal symptoms as the LDN makes the opioid more effective.

For opioid dependence, the typical starting dose is 1 microgram twice a day, which will allow them to lower their opioid dose by about 60%. When the opioid is taken for pain, the LDN must be taken four to six hours apart from the opioid in order to not displace the opioid’s effects.

Nondrug Pain Relief

Many types of pain can be treated entirely without drugs. Recommendations by Harvard Medical School27,28 and the British National Health Service29 include the following. You can find more detailed information about most of these techniques in “13 Mind-Body Techniques That Can Help Ease Pain and Depression.”

Gentle exercise

Physical therapy or occupational therapy

Hypnotherapy

Distracting yourself with an enjoyable activity

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule

Mind-body techniques such as controlled breathing, meditation, guided imagery and mindfulness practice that encourage relaxation. One of my personal favorites is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Yoga and tai chi

Practicing gratitude and positive thinking

Hot or cold packs

Biofeedback

Music therapy

Therapeutic massage

In “Billionaire Opioid Executive Stands to Make Millions More on Patent for Addiction Treatment,” I discuss several additional approaches — including helpful supplements and dietary changes — that can be used separately or in combination with the strategies listed above to control both acute and chronic pain.

Practicing Gratitude During COVID-19 Pandemic

To say that 2020 has been a challenging year for most of us is a profoundly serious understatement. While it’s easy to fall into quiet despair, now might actually be the best time to cultivate positive mental health habits, one of them being gratitude.

Paradoxically, suffering can yield a grateful heart, if approached with care and mindfulness. As reported by CNN Health:1

“In his 1994 book, ‘A Whole New Life,’ Duke University English professor Reynolds Price describes how his battle with a spinal cord tumor that left him partially paralyzed also taught him a great deal about what it means to really live.

After surgery, Price describes ‘a kind of stunned beatitude.’ With time, though diminished in many ways by his tumor and its treatment, he learns to pay closer attention to the world around him and those who populate it

A brush with death can open our eyes. Some of us emerge with a deepened appreciation for the preciousness of each day, a clearer sense of our real priorities and a renewed commitment to celebrating life. In short, we can become more grateful, and more alive, than ever.

Inspirational speaker and YouTube sensation Claire Wineland also embodied this truth. This lovely young woman died in 2018 at the age of 21 from a massive stroke following an otherwise successful lung transplant.2 Born with cystic fibrosis — a progressive and terminal genetic disease — she spent the bulk of her short life inspiring people to “love what is,”3 to love every breath; to not waste life and to make a life that matters.

Start a Gratitude Journal

Enhancing your well-being can be as simple as taking some time each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for. A simple and proven way of doing this is to keep a gratitude journal.4

In one study,5 participants who kept a gratitude diary and reflected on what they were grateful for just four times a week for three weeks improved their depression, stress and happiness scores. In another study, people who kept a gratitude journal reported exercising more and had fewer visits to the doctor.6,7 Indeed, there’s an entire field of study looking at the health benefits of gratitude.

For example, studies have shown it helps regulate stress by stimulating your hypothalamus and ventral tegmental area.8 It also improves your sleep,9 heart health10 and immune function,11 and boosts mental health by triggering the release of antidepressant and mood-regulating chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and oxytocin.

Gratitude, or a generous attitude, is also neurally linked with happiness.12 Strengthen one and you automatically boost the other.

Save Not for Tomorrow the Joy You Can Feel Today

Thanksgiving Day is, of course, “the” day of the year when thoughts of gratitude linger in the minds of most Americans. Hopefully, you are spending this day with family and friends.

While many areas have issued pandemic restrictions for the holidays, banning large indoor gatherings and so on, I hope the plans you’ve made are the result of your own conscience rather than fear of breaking some tyrannical rule (which the government leaders are likely to ignore themselves). 

As I noted in “How Would You Prefer to Spend Your Last Holiday Season?” we don’t know how much time we have left, and for an untold number of people, this Thanksgiving will be their last. For most, relationships and human connection are the most valuable parts of life, and if “staying safe” means forfeiting that which matters most, what are we trying to save?

If for whatever reason you cannot join your near and dear ones, consider making good use of technology. Instead of a text or a phone call, you could use Facetime or Zoom for a virtual face-to-face. You could even set up a monitor at the end of the table and patch in family members virtually so you can talk while sharing your Thanksgiving meal in separate quarters.

What I’m Grateful for Right Now


I have much to be thankful for as I look back on this remarkable year, including my awesome staff, without whom this website would not be what it is. There are many editors, customer support, an IT tech team and great managers and administrators that make all of this possible.

You, my readers, are also at the top of this list. With censorship gripping us ever more tightly, we would not be able to get the news out without you. Since mid-2019, Google, Twitter and YouTube have all censored or outright banned nearly all of our articles and videos, forcing us to rely on you to share the information within your private networks.

Thank you for subscribing and forwarding these articles to others. It’s less convenient than it was before, which makes me all the more grateful that so many of you are taking the time and making the effort. One person, one share at a time, we are making an impact.

I often receive notes of thanks from readers, some of which are featured in the video above. Knowing that people are turning their lives around and regaining their health brings me great joy and satisfaction. My search for optimal health has been a lifelong journey, and I am thankful for all who walk this less-trodden path with me.

So many people struggle needlessly, having been fooled by the food and drug industries deceptive propaganda that, for decades have pointed everyone in the wrong direction. Today, more than ever, people are being misled by the technocratic propaganda machine that seeks to eliminate our freedoms in every respect.

Together, we are making a difference though. While it’s certainly true that we still have a long way to go, in time, I believe truth and sanity will prevail. We just have to maintain a positive attitude and keep going, keep searching for the truth, and share it when we find it.

Tap Your Way to Gratitude


If the daily news steers your mind in unproductive circles and stirs your anxiety, consider unplugging and taking a holiday from it. The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can also be a helpful tool if you struggle with pessimism.

EFT is a form of psychological acupressure based on the energy meridians used in acupuncture. It’s an effective way to quickly restore your inner balance and healing and helps rid your mind of negative thoughts and emotions. In the video above, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to tap for gratitude.

Practical Strategies to Strengthen Your Gratitude

Aside from EFT and journaling, there are many other strategies that can help you flex your gratitude muscle. Following are a diverse array of practices, recommended by various experts and researchers,13 that can boost your gratitude quotient. Pick one or more that appeal to you, and make a point to work it into your daily or weekly schedule.

If you like, conduct your own little experiment: Write down your current level of happiness and life satisfaction on a piece of paper or your annual calendar, using a rating system of zero to 10. Every three months or so (provided you’ve actually been doing your gratitude exercise), re-evaluate and re-rank yourself.

Write thank-you notes14 Make it a point to write thank-you notes or letters in response to each gift or kind act — or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life. Verbalize your recognition of the effort or cost involved and be specific.

Say grace at each meal — Adopting the ritual of saying grace at each meal is a great way to practice gratitude on a daily basis,15 and will also foster a deeper connection to your food. You don’t have to turn it into a religious speech if you don’t want to. You could simply say, “I am grateful for this food, and appreciate all the time and hard work that went into its production, transportation and preparation.”

Let go of negativity by changing your perception — Disappointment — especially if you’re frequently struggling with things “not going your way” — can be a major source of stress. Since stress is virtually unavoidable, the key is to develop and strengthen your ability to manage your stress so that it doesn’t wear you down over time.

Rather than dwelling on negative events, learn to let things go. A foundational principle to let go of negativity is the realization that the way you feel has little to do with the event itself, and everything to do with your perception of it. Wisdom of the ancients dictate that events are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. It is your belief about the event that upsets you, not the fact that it happened.

As noted by Ryan Holiday, author of “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living,”16 “The Stoics are saying, ‘This happened to me,’ is not the same as, ‘This happened to me and that’s bad.’ They’re saying if you stop at the first part, you will be much more resilient and much more able to make some good out of anything that happens.”

Be mindful of nonverbal actions — Smiling and hugging are both ways of expressing gratitude, encouragement, excitement, empathy and support. These physical actions also help strengthen your inner experience of positive emotions.

Give praise — Research17 shows that using “other-praising” phrases are far more effective than “self-beneficial” phrases. For example, praising a partner saying, “thank you for going out of your way to do this,” is more powerful than a compliment framed in terms of how you benefited. Also, be mindful of your delivery — say it like you mean it. Establishing eye contact is another tactic that helps you show your sincerity. 

Prayer and/or mindfulness meditation — Expressing thanks during prayer or meditation is another way to cultivate gratitude. Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. A mantra is sometimes used to help maintain focus, but you can also focus on something that you’re grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze or a lovely memory.

Create a nightly gratitude ritual — One suggestion is to create a gratitude jar,18 into which the entire family can add notes of gratitude on a daily basis. Simply write a quick note on a small slip of paper and put it into the jar. Some make an annual (or biannual or even monthly) event out of going through the whole jar, reading each slip out loud.

Spend money on activities instead of things — According to research,19 spending money on experiences generates more gratitude than material consumption.

Embrace the idea of having “enough” — According to many who have embraced a more minimalist lifestyle, happiness is learning to appreciate and be grateful for having “enough.” When you buy less, you tend to appreciate each item more. The key here is deciding what “enough” is.

Consumption itself is not the problem; unchecked and unnecessary shopping is. Make an effort to identify your real, authentic emotional and spiritual needs, and then focus on fulfilling them in ways that does not involve material accumulation. 

Breathwork Helps Tame Stress, Benefits Your Mind and Body

Breathing is universal, habitual and nearly always automatic. However, you do have choices about the way you breathe — fast or slow, shallow or deep. This can send messages to your body that affect your blood pressure, immune function, mood and stress level.

For instance, when you get stressed, your breathing pattern and rate change, often resulting in more chest breathing in response to a fight-or-flight situation. This is triggered by the autonomic nervous system.1 What’s interesting about the function of breathing is that it’s both a voluntary and involuntary process.

This means that your body breathes automatically, but you also can consciously control your breathing, which is one strategy that has proven effective in reducing physiological stress markers and increasing feelings of calm.

So, simply by changing the way you breathe, you influence your health. This is a strategy taught most frequently in the practice of yoga. Breathing consciously, maintaining awareness and intent on the function, is called breathwork. Yogis have used this technique for centuries as a tool for healing and to relieve physical, mental and emotional stress.2

Common Breathing Habits May Promote Anxiety

If you have ever watched a baby breathe, you may have noticed they are obligate nose breathers, which means they breathe through their noses except when they’re crying.3 You may also have noticed that their belly rises and falls with each breath, and not their chest.

One reason this feels unnatural for adults is the impact body image has on your breathing patterns.4 Women and men find a flat abdomen attractive and many work hard to attain strong core muscles to achieve it. While a strong core is necessary for good posture and to protect your back, it isn’t healthy to hold those strong muscles in while breathing.

This gradually makes chest breathing seem more natural, which creates vertical breathing, so named since as you breathe your chest and shoulders rise. This type of breathing limits the amount of air that gets into the lowest part of the lungs and creates a shallow breathing experience.

Breathing Is Connected to Your Nervous System

The link between shallow breathing and your emotions is found in your neurological system. It is critical that your body engages the fight-or-flight response during emergency situations, but chronic activation is unhealthy. For instance, when faced with running away from a bear or an assailant, your breathing quickens and becomes shallower.

The response begins in the amygdala of your brain, an area of the brain which plays a role in how you handle emotions.5 It sends a signal to the hypothalamus, which communicates through the autonomic nervous system. This controls your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.

The autonomic system has two parts: one that raises the alarm (sympathetic nervous system) and one that helps you to calm down (parasympathetic nervous system). The sympathetic system triggers the fight-or-flight response and the parasympathetic system helps apply the brakes to the release of hormones so your body can rest.

These changes happen quickly and without any input from you. However, you have some control over the autonomic nervous system through your breathing. By using controlled breathing, you can calm yourself and create real physiological changes including:6

  • Lowering levels of stress hormones
  • Balancing carbon dioxide and oxygen blood levels
  • Lowering your heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increasing feelings of calm
  • Improving immune functioning and energy levels

One way to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system is through deep breathing. Anatomically, diaphragmatic breathing can trigger the vagus nerve that plays a major part in the parasympathetic nervous system.7 This stimulation can help reduce the experience of stress, anxiety and the release of stress hormones.8

Diaphragmatic breathing helps correct shallow chest breathing and stimulates the vagus nerve, thereby helping to reduce the effects of chronic stress many experience every day. Americans are no strangers to stress. In April 2019, a headline in The New York Times announced “Americans Are Among the Most Stressed People in the World …”9

It was an announcement that likely shocked no one, and yet came slightly less than one year before the COVID-19 pandemic raised stress levels even further. The benefits of controlled abdominal breathing include a full exchange of oxygen and lowering or stabilizing blood pressure.10 Siri Rishi Kaur — yogini, meditation facilitator and KRI Kundalini teacher — spoke with a reporter from Get Pocket about the benefits that controlled breathing have on health:11

“The quality of breath directly effects the quality of our life, our health, our emotions, our mind, and our ability to feel connected.

When we practice breathing exercises, we are relaxing the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing built-up toxins in our lungs, stimulating endorphins, stimulating our pituitary gland which will activate our intuition, cleaning our blood, strengthening our electromagnetic field, expanding our lung capacity, and balancing our brain hemispheres. The benefits are truly endless.”

Healthy Breathing Starts With Your Nose

Before diving into the different techniques you might try, it’s important to recognize that the most basic is to be sure you’re always breathing through your nose. Mouth breathing tends to promote hyperventilation, which decreases the amount of oxygen delivered to your tissue and brain.12 This can sometimes result in fatigue or lightheadedness.13

It also decreases the ability of your body to filter toxic air pollutants14 and diminishes your levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the body.15,16 This is important since your body needs a balance of oxygen and CO2 to function optimally. While most of the time CO2 is recognized as a waste product, it also has biological roles, one of which is helping your body utilize oxygen.17

When your CO2 levels get too low, it changes your blood pH, which in turn impairs your hemoglobin’s ability to release oxygen, called the Bohr effect.18,19 Nose breathing is a strategy you should also attempt to use while exercising. Although it’s tempting to huff and puff through your mouth, consider reducing your effort until you can breathe through your nose most of the time.

This will only be temporary until your body adjusts to the slight increase in CO2 levels. To achieve this, you’ll have to get used to air hunger, which is an admittedly uncomfortable feeling of mild suffocation. It’s important to realize it’s normal, safe and helps your body develop a tolerance for increased CO2 that ultimately improves your body’s ability to use the oxygen being delivered to your cells.

Chronic mouth breathing has been associated with several health problems, such as sleep problems and poor dental health, which I discuss in “Have You Tried Box Breathing?

What’s Your CO2 Tolerance?

There’s a simple self-assessment you can do at home to estimate your body’s tolerance to CO2. Dr. Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, a Russian physician, discovered that the level of CO2 in your lungs is related to your ability to hold your breath after exhaling normally.20 To do this test you can use a stopwatch or simply count the number of seconds to yourself.21

  • Sit straight without crossing your legs and breathe comfortably and steadily.
  • Take a small, silent breath in and out through your nose. After exhaling, pinch your nose to keep air from entering.
  • Start your stopwatch and hold your breath until you feel the first definite desire to breathe.
  • When you feel the first urge to breathe, resume breathing and note the time. The urge to breathe may come in the form of involuntary movements of your breathing muscles, or your tummy may jerk or your throat may contract.
  • Your inhalation should be calm and controlled, through your nose. If you feel like you must take a big breath, then you held your breath too long.

The time you just measured is called the “control pause” or CP, which reflects the tolerance of your body to carbon dioxide. Here are the criteria for evaluating your CP:

CP 40 to 60 seconds — Indicates a normal, healthy breathing pattern and excellent physical endurance.

CP 20 to 40 seconds — Indicates mild breathing impairment, moderate tolerance to physical exercise and potential for health problems in the future (most people fall into this category).

To raise your CP, physical exercise is necessary. You might begin by simply walking with one nostril occluded. As your CP increases, consider incorporating more intense exercise to build up an air shortage.

CP 10 to 20 seconds — Indicates significant breathing impairment and poor tolerance to physical exercise; nasal breath training and lifestyle modifications are recommended. When your CP is less than 20 seconds, do not keep your mouth open during exercise, which is particularly important if you have asthma.

CP under 10 seconds — Serious breathing impairment, poor exercise tolerance and chronic health problems.

Short CP times correlate with low CO2 tolerance and chronically depleted CO2 levels. As a result, the shorter your CP, the more easily you’ll get breathless. The good news is that you will feel better and improve your exercise endurance with each five-second increase in your CP.

Breathing Exercises Are ‘Massively Practical’

Belisa Vranich is a psychologist and author of “Breathe,” a book about using breathing exercises to affect your health. She spoke with a reporter from The New York Times about controlled breathing, saying, “Breathing is massively practical. It’s meditation for people who can’t meditate.”22

Dr. Chris Streeter and colleagues published a small study evaluating the effects of breathing exercises on depression and found improvement in psychological symptoms in participants with major depressive disorder.23

The team concluded the intervention “reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety and increased feelings of positivity.” She also spoke to the Times reporter: “The findings were exciting. They show that a behavioral intervention can have effects of similar magnitude as an antidepressant.”24

Below are five different breathing techniques you may consider that use controlled breathing. You’ll find several more at “Top Breathing Techniques for Better Health,” along with a video of my interview with Vranich.

Choose a quiet place where you can comfortably and quietly do the exercises once or twice a day. Consider using a journal or diary to record your results, because after a couple weeks and different techniques, it may be difficult to remember which works best for you.

Engage your diaphragm — This technique is foundational to all the other breathing exercises, so it’s crucial to learn this first since it helps activate your diaphragm and teaches you how to fill your belly with breathing.25

? Begin by relaxing and unbracing your midsection.

? Take a deep breath in and feel the middle of your body get wider. Let your belly go.

? On the exhale, roll backward, tipping your hips underneath you while pressing your fingers gently into your belly, giving it a little squeeze.

Box breathing — This is a technique Navy SEALS use to calm their mind under duress.26 They practice box breathing, so tactical breathing is effective when it’s needed. There are four steps to practice box breathing and each is done for the same amount of time.

Step 1 — Begin by exhaling the air out of your lungs to a slow count of four. Some recommend exhaling through your mouth; others recommend exhaling through your nose.

Step 2 — Hold your breath for a slow count of four.

Step 3 — Inhale slowly to a slow count of four through your nose, keeping your back straight and breathing through your abdomen so your shoulders do not rise.

Step 4 — Hold your breath for a slow count of four and return to Step 1.

Coherent breathing — The goal in this strategy is to breathe five times every minute. This means you’ll inhale for a count of five, pause and then exhale for a count of six. If this is difficult at first, start with inhaling and exhaling to a count of three and work your way up to a count of six.27 Work your way up to practicing this for about 10 minutes each day.

Rock and roll — This is a technique you can use while under stress that has the added benefit of engaging your core muscles.28 Start by sitting up straight and placing your hand on your stomach. As you breathe in, lean forward and expand your stomach. As you breathe out, curl forward and lean backward at the same time until you’ve completely emptied your lungs. Repeat this up to 20 times.

Relaxing breath 4-7-8 exercise — I first learned this exercise when I attended a presentation by Dr. Andrew Weil at the 2009 Expo West in California. Here’s a quick summary of the process. Weil also demonstrates the technique in the video below.

? Sitting straight, place the tip of your tongue up against the back of your front teeth. Keep it there through the entire breathing process.

? Breathe in silently through your nose to the count of four.

? Hold your breath to the count of seven.

? Exhale through your mouth to the count of eight, making an audible “whoosh” sound.

? That completes one full breath. Repeat the cycle another three times, for a total of four breaths.


Former Pfizer Science Officer Reveals Great COVID-19 Scam

I’ve written several articles about scientists and medical doctors who question the official narrative about the COVID-19 pandemic and the global measures put into place because of it, from useless testing, mask wearing and social distancing, to lockdowns, tracking and tracing and the baseless fearmongering driving it all.

In the video above, British journalist Anna Brees interviews Michael Yeadon, Ph.D., a former vice-president and chief scientific adviser of the drug company Pfizer and founder and CEO of the biotech company Ziarco, now owned by Novartis.

In it, he discusses several concerns, including his belief that widespread PCR testing is creating the false idea that the pandemic is resurging, as the total mortality rate is completely normal. He also discusses his concerns about COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

PCR Testing Is Causing a False ‘Casedemic’

As I explained in “Asymptomatic ‘Casedemic’ Is a Perpetuation of Needless Fear,” by using PCR testing, which cannot diagnose active infection, a false narrative has been created.

Currently, rising “cases,” meaning positive tests, are again being used as the justification to impose more severe restrictions, including lockdowns and mandatory mask wearing, when in fact positive tests have nothing to do with the actual spread of illness.

According to Yeadon, the U.K. has now tested an estimated 30 million people, or close to half of the population. “A large number of those tests have been recent,” Yeadon says, noting that the definition of a “coronavirus death” in the U.K. is anyone who dies, from any cause, within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test.

So, what we’re seeing now is a natural death rate — about 1,700 people die each day in the U.K. in any given year, Yeadon says — but many of these deaths are now falsely attributed to COVID-19. “I’m calling out the statistics, and even the claim that there is an ongoing pandemic, as false,” he says.

He challenges anyone who doesn’t believe him to seek out any database on total mortality. If you do that, you will find that the daily death count is “absolutely bang-on normal,” Yeadon says.

For some months, the death count is actually slightly lower than the average norm over the past five years. And, he adds, “You cannot have a lethal pandemic stalking the land and not have excess deaths.”

Lack of Routine Medical Care Is Causing Uptick in Deaths

The slight uptick in deaths that are now being reported simply aren’t directly due to COVID-19, he insists. Data show these deaths — primarily people aged 45 to 65, with equal distribution between the sexes — are mainly from heart disease, stroke and cancer, which suggests they are excess deaths caused by inaccessibility of routine medical care as people are either afraid or discouraged from going to the hospital.

These deaths may be characterized as being COVID related, but that’s only because they have been falsely lumped into that category due to false positives being recorded within 28 days of death.

Again, people are being tested very regularly, and the rate of false positives is extremely high. All hospital patients are also tested upon admission, so when they die — regardless of the cause — they’re likely to have a false positive on their record, which then lumps them into the death tally for COVID-19.

“The longer you stay in hospital, the more likely you are to die, obviously,” Yeadon says. “You would be released if you were well and improving. So … long-stay patients are both more likely to die statistically, and much more likely to be tested so often that they’ll have a false positive test.

That is what I think is happening … It’s a convenience for someone playing some macabre game, because I don’t think it’s an error anymore … I’ve spoken to people in [public health] and they’re embarrassed that they’re not even being allowed to characterize and publish the information you would need to know to work out how useful the test is. That’s not being done.”

Can You Get Reinfected?

Yeadon also says he’s “sick and tired” of people claiming that immunity against SARS-CoV-2 may wane after a short time, leaving you vulnerable to reinfection. If you’ve been ill with COVID-19 and recover, you will have antibodies against the virus, and you will be immune, he says.

He understands that journalists may get this wrong, or may be given incorrect information, but if a scientist says this, “they are lying to you,” he says. Yeadon categorically denies the premise that you can recover from COVID-19 and later get reinfected and experience severe illness again.

According to Yeadon, there are only two ways by which COVID-19 would not provide lasting immunity. The first would be if it destroys your immune system. The HIV virus, for example, which causes AIDS, disarms your immune system, causing permanent impairment. Hence you do not become immune to the HIV virus. Coronaviruses do not do that.

The second way is if the virus mutates, which is common among influenza viruses. If the virus mutates, your immune system may not fully recognize it and will have to mount a defense again, thereby creating another set of antibodies. However, coronaviruses are genetically stable, Yeadon says.

(For transparency, there have been reports of SARS-CoV-2 mutating,1 so it’s not impossible that some people might get reinfected with a slightly mutated version of the virus that might make them sick again.) 

Hidden Agenda in Plain Sight

As noted by Yeadon, people are now changing the laws of immunology, which simply shouldn’t happen. This should not be a political issue, but somehow it is being treated as one. He claims to have no ideas at all as to why these false narratives are being created, and why scientific truth that contradicts the mainstream narrative is being censored.

Others, however, have become more outspoken about this issue, pointing out how the pandemic is being used as a convenient excuse and justification for redistribution of wealth and the technocratic takeover of the whole world under the banner of a Great Reset to a “more equitable” social order and greener commerce.

It’s being used to usher in social changes that simply could never be introduced without some sort of calamity, be it war or a biological threat, because they involve a radical limitation of personal freedoms and the elimination of privacy. Those in charge of pandemic response measures also refuse to take into account the price of these measures.

When making public health decisions, you need to calculate the cost in terms of lives saved and the price in dollars and cents of saving those people, against the cost of not implementing the measure in question. This is not being done. The question is why is such an illogical stance being taken?

Yeadon on Vaccination

Toward the end of the interview, Yeadon addresses the issue of COVID-19 vaccination. Many are nervous about it becoming mandatory, and rightfully so. Vaccine passports are already being rolled out, and all the indicators point to vaccination becoming a requirement for travel, perhaps even within national borders.

Having spent his career in the pharmaceutical industry, Yeadon fully supports vaccination, believing they prevent large numbers of deaths. However, when it comes to SARS-CoV-2, he believes the vaccine will only benefit the elderly. For those over 80, a vaccine might give them a few more months of life.

“Nobody else needs this [vaccine],” he says. “You don’t vaccinate a population because 1 in 1 million might have a bad outcome [from the infection].” He also strongly believes the vaccine must be voluntary:

It’s an appalling … public platform to suggest that the only way we get our lives back is to mass vaccinate the population. Something very smelly is going on. It’s simply not appropriate. I don’t even think it would work.”

In an open letter to the British health minister, Yeadon wrote:2

I have read the consultation document. I’ve rarely been as shocked and upset. All vaccines against the SARS-COV-2 virus are by definition novel. No candidate vaccine has been in development for more than a few months. If any such vaccine is approved for use under any circumstances that are not EXPLICITLY experimental, I believe that recipients are being misled to a criminal extent.

This is because there are precisely zero human volunteers for whom there could possibly be more than a few months past-dose safety information. My concern does not arise because I have negative views about vaccines (I don’t).

Instead, it’s the very principle that politicians seem ready to waive that new medical interventions at this, incomplete state of development, should not be made available to subjects on anything other than an explicitly experimental basis. That’s my concern.

And the reason for that concern is that it is not known what the safety profile will be, six months or a year or longer after dosing. You have literally no data on this and neither does anyone else.

It isn’t that I’m saying that unacceptable adverse effects will emerge after longer intervals after dosing. No: it is that you have no idea what will happen yet, despite this, you’ll be creating the impression that you do …

don’t trust you. You’ve not been straightforward and have behaved appallingly throughout this crisis. You’re still doing it now, misleading about infection risk from young children. Why should I believe you in relation to experimental vaccines?”

What Can You Do?

In his interview with Brees, Yeadon suggests medical professionals, especially those who are members of a professional society, who disagree with further pandemic measures — based on the medical facts — write an open letter to the government, urging them to speak to and heed the recommendations from independent experts.

Arm yourself with mortality statistics and the facts on PCR testing, so you can explain how and why this pandemic simply isn’t a pandemic anymore. First and foremost, there are no excess deaths. The same number of people have died this year that, on average, have died in previous years. This simply wouldn’t be the case if we had a lethal pandemic.

Second, the PCR test is not a valid diagnostic tool and should not be done on the scale we’re now doing it. The high rate of false positives is only fodder for needless fearmongering. “People should demand to know what [the false positive] rate is,” Yeadon says.

Additionally, “testing people who are well — it’s just a madcap thing,” he says. Virtually no one who is asymptomatic has the live virus, but when you run the test at a cycle threshold over 30, meaning you amplify the viral RNA more than 30 times, you end up with a positive test even if the virus is inactive and noninfectious.

“Let’s get back to the facts,” Yeadon says. “There are no excess deaths. But that’s not what you hear from the BBC now, is it? I’m never going to trust the BBC again, by the way. I’ve watched BBC for 41 years. [They’re] never coming back into my ears, because they’ve lied in my face all year … There’s a fraud going on …

You’re walking into voluntary house arrest when there are no excess deaths. Why are you doing that? Seriously? … I’m fearful, because it doesn’t make any sense and there are no benign outcomes.”

Get Organized

It’s easy to get so confused that you can no longer think straight these days. As explained by Dr. Peter Breggin, featured in “Psychiatrist Blows the Whistle on Pandemic Fearmongering,” when you add uncertainty to fear you end up with anxiety, a state in which you can no longer think logically.

If this applies to you, I urge you to turn off mainstream media news and turn to independent experts, such as Yeadon. Do the research. Read through the science. Reorient yourself to the facts and turn off the propaganda. Next, join a group so that you can have support.

A number of groups have formed around the world that are now rising up against mask mandates, mandatory vaccinations and lockdowns. A few examples of such groups include:

  • Us for Them, a group campaigning for reopening schools and protecting children’s rights in the U.K.
  • Keep Britain Free
  • The COVID Recovery Group (CRG), founded by 50 conservative British MPs to fight lockdown restrictions3
  • In the U.S., a team of attorneys, doctors, business owners and parents started the Freedom to Breathe Agency, which is fighting to protect freedom and liberty

Additional sources of information and groups fighting for truth and transparency that are worth checking out include:

  • The Great Barrington Declaration,4 which calls for an end to lockdowns. As of November 18, 2020, it had been signed by 34,973 medical practitioners, 12,070 medical and public health scientists, and 634,838 concerned citizens5
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s The Defender, a new newsletter that publishes “banned” news
  • The German COVID-19 Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee (ACU2020.org), which is launching an international class-action lawsuit against a long list of authorities over the global pandemic response
  • In Spain, more than 600 doctors have formed Doctors for the Truth (Medicos por la verdad)
  • In the U.S., doctors have formed a group called America’s Frontline Doctors, which is fighting to make hydroxychloroquine available across the nation