How Long Does It Take to Have an Empty Stomach?

By Dr. Mercola

The question posed in the headline is a common one heard by doctors everywhere: “How long does it take to have an empty stomach?” It’s an important question for anyone taking prescription drugs because what you eat and drink, as well as the timing of your meals, can affect the way certain medications work.

Beyond that, there is value in becoming aware of the health benefits associated with regularly emptying your stomach. If your first thought, when you hear the words “empty stomach,” is a negative one, it’s time to update your thinking. Not only can you survive on an empty stomach, you can also thrive.

In my experience, emptying your stomach as a daily habit — through intermittent fasting or another safe type of fasting — can boost your health and well-being. The effects can be so radical that you actually may be able to reduce (or potentially eliminate) your use of prescription drugs as your health improves.

Taking Medications? How Do You Know When Your Stomach Is Empty?

“Ask Well,” a medical question and answer feature presented in The New York Times,1 recently fielded this inquiry: “Many medications should be taken on an empty stomach. How do you know when your stomach is empty?”

Dr. Richard Klasco, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who provided the answer, wrote, “Two hours after eating is a crude rule of thumb. A more accurate answer depends on the drugs you are taking and your medical conditions.”2

Klasco goes on to note that research on gastric emptying — the length of time it takes for your stomach to return to empty after a meal — has been going on since the 1940s.

Over the years, the experiments have changed based on scientific and medical advances. Since 1966, nuclear medicine, which involves the use of a small amount of radioactive material to emit photon energy, has remained as the established standard for measuring gastric emptying. Says Klasco:3

“Standards for such testing have been set by the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society and the Society of Nuclear Medicine. They state that a normal stomach should be 90 percent empty after four hours.4

The difference between this standard and the earlier study probably reflects differences in foods. Solids take longer to digest than liquids; fats take longer to digest than protein or carbohydrates. The [U.S.] Food and Drug Administration [FDA] … defines an empty stomach as ‘one hour before eating, or two hours after eating.'”

Klasco indicates the FDA’s two-hour rule is only an estimate, which means your stomach “will probably not be completely empty” after two hours, he asserts.5 In addition, Klasco points out that the expectations for an empty stomach vary widely from drug to drug.

It’s best, he says, to read the package insert that accompanies all prescription medications dispensed in the U.S. and to clarify any uncertainties with your doctor. The insert contains, Klasco says, each drug’s FDA-approved prescribing information.

It is often found glued to the drug package in the form of a tightly folded, fine-print flyer.”6 For easier reading, you may want to review the insert details online at DailyMed, a website operated by the U.S. National Library of Medicine — a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — that contains more than 105,000 detailed medication listings.7

With respect to stomach emptying and medications, Klasco notes some medical conditions, like diabetes, can delay gastric emptying, whereas a bariatric surgery can accelerate it.8 Again, check with your doctor to find out the best emptying guidelines for your particular situation.

How Fasting Positively Affects Your Mitochondria and Your Health

By far, the best and quickest route to an empty stomach is to stop eating, otherwise known as fasting. This simple act of forgoing food for a certain period of time not only ensures stomach emptying, but it has also been validated as a powerful lifestyle tool for combating insulin resistance and obesity, as well as chronic diseases like cancer and many other health problems.

Not only does fasting upregulate autophagy and mitophagy — two of your body’s natural cleansing processes necessary for optimal cellular renewal and function — but it also triggers the generation of stem cells. Beyond that, cyclically abstaining from food and then initiating refeeding also massively stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, the process by which new mitochondria are created.

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of your cells, producing about 90 percent of the energy being generated in your body. Because energy is needed to support nearly every bodily process, without healthy mitochondria you will be more vulnerable to illness and disease.

Your mitochondria also act as the coordinator for apoptosis —programmed cell death — an important process to ensure the death of malfunctioning cells that might otherwise degenerate into cancer. There’s even evidence suggesting fasting can help prevent or even reverse dementia because it helps your body clean out toxic debris.

The reason for this is because when autophagy increases, your body starts breaking down and recycling old protein, including the beta amyloid protein in your brain that is believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. While water-only fasting can be extremely beneficial for those struggling with excess weight and/or Type 2 diabetes, compliance can be difficult.

Fortunately, research has confirmed that similar results, while not as profound, can be achieved through intermittent fasting. This type of fasting entails following a meal-timing schedule where you’re fasting for at least 16 hours every day and eating all of your meals within a six- to eight-hour window.

Are You Caught in a Cycle of Grazing and Snacking? Fasting Can Help

In the event you’ve not yet considered trying intermittent fasting, I would like to once again remind you of the tremendous health benefits associated with this practice. You may be avoiding intermittent fasting because you associate “fasting” with starvation or simply because it seems too daunting and challenging to make the necessary adjustments.

As mentioned, the goal with this type of fasting is to forego food for at least 16 hours a day. As such, you will want to skip either the first or last meal of the day. (I recommend the first meal.) As such, you will consolidate all of your calorie intake into the remaining block of eight or fewer hours.

I have had great success with intermittent fasting and highly recommend you take your first meal at around lunchtime. I also advise you avoid eating anything at least three hours before you go to bed. The concept of intermittent fasting is still catching on in the U.S., a country plagued by all-day grazing and the continuous availability of food around the clock.

While grocery stores and restaurants used to close by 8 or 9 p.m., many establishments now remain open until midnight and some 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Authors of a 2017 study published in the journal Nutrients, reviewing 35 years of snacking behavior by American adults, stated:9

“Results show that snacking remains a significant component of the U.S. diet and the foods consumed at these snacks — sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts and sweets and salty snacks — are not the types of foods recommended by the U.S. dietary guidelines.”

If you realize constant snacking is crippling your health, please review my “Intermittent Fasting Infographic” for more information about this style of eating and the recommended time windows you can establish. If forgoing eating for 16 hours seems overwhelming at first, set a smaller goal and work your way up.

If your experience is anything like mine, the hours you set aside to give your body’s digestive and other systems a break from food will produce health benefits beyond your imagination. In time, as you begin to realize some of the health benefits, you will likely become more motivated to do intermittent fasting on a regular basis.

The Health Benefits Available From Intermittent Fasting

When done well, intermittent fasting delivers a number of impressive health benefits. You will undoubtedly discover others that are meaningful to you beyond what is listed below. Research proves intermittent fasting:10,11,12

Boosts your cognitive function — Intermittent fasting improves your cognitive function by providing your brain with its preferred fuel: fat instead of glucose.

Studies indicate intermittent fasting helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s because of the boost in brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), a protein that is both neuroprotective and brain-stimulating.

Minimizes food cravings and hunger pangs — While you may think you’ll be starving your body through fasting, the truth is it is a helpful technique known to eliminate cravings and reduce hunger pangs. It does this mainly by moving your body away from dependence on glucose for energy.

Normalizes your insulin and leptin sensitivity — Your body’s blood sugar level is closely regulated not only by insulin, but also by leptin. Both hormones influence your food intake and weight, as well as your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

As mentioned, intermittent fasting shifts your body away from being dependent on glucose, which then curtails your sugar cravings, thus normalizing your insulin and leptin sensitivity.

Promotes cellular regeneration — Intermittent fasting promotes cell regeneration by triggering autophagy, a natural, “self-eating” process your body uses to recycle damaged cells. It helps inhibit cancerous growths and the development of chronic disease.

If you are eating throughout the day every day, your body has very little time for repair and renewal. By giving it a break from eating, your body can shift its focus to growing new cells, cleaning up cellular debris and removing toxins — activities it cannot perform otherwise.

Shifts your body to burn fat for fuel — Limiting your food intake forces your body to switch away from glucose to burning fat as a source of energy. This shift often results in weight loss and may lead to other improvements based on the fact fat is a more efficient and longer-burning fuel.

Contraindications Associated With Intermittent Fasting

To be successful with intermittent fasting you will want to ensure your doctor approves and that you do not have a serious medical condition for which it would be contraindicated.

By the way, fasting beyond 24 hours is not recommended for children. A better way to help a child lose weight is to restrict or remove refined grains and sugary foods from their diet. Fasting may not be recommended if you are:

Malnourished — If this is your situation, you will want to put your focus on eating healthier, more nutritious food and adding supplements as needed

Pregnant or breastfeeding — As a mother you need a continual supply of nutrients to ensure your baby’s healthy growth and development; fasting could put both the health of you and your baby at risk

Taking medication — If you’re on medication, check with your doctor before taking up fasting. That said, even if your doctor approves, you’ll need to take care with medications that must be taken with food.

Metformin, aspirin and similar drugs can cause stomach upset or stomach ulcers when taken on an empty stomach. The risk of trouble is especially high if you’re on diabetic medication.

Underweight — If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 or lower, fasting is not safe for you because it may increase the stress on your body and/or cause you to lose more weight.

Tips to Ensure Your Success With Intermittent Fasting

While you can simply restrict your eating window to eight or fewer hours while continuing to eat and drink whatever you want, you’ll get a lot more out of fasting if you:

Drink plenty of water and other healthy liquids — During fasting, make sure you’re getting enough liquids to keep yourself feeling full and satisfied. Drinking clean, pure water and beverages such as organic coffee and tea — in moderation — will help curb food cravings, especially as you first begin fasting.

As you might imagine, drinking alcohol, energy drinks, soda and other unhealthy beverages would be counterproductive to fasting.

Eliminate processed foods from your diet — One of the advantages of fasting is detoxification. As such, you’ll realize more health benefits by eating whole foods such as organic vegetables, healthy fats and grass fed meat.

By eliminating processed foods from your diet, you will support your body in healing and detoxification.

Incorporate exercise into your daily routine — Working out in a fasted state can deliver amazing results. Without a ready supply of glucose and glycogen from which to draw — because it has been depleted over the course of your fasted state and has yet to be replenished — your body is forced to adapt and pull from the only energy source available: fat stored in your cells.

Some of the types of exercise I recommend include: high-intensity interval training, stretching, walking, weight training and yoga.

Make sleep a high priority — Getting about eight hours of quality sleep a night will do wonders for your health. Most adults are chronically sleep-deprived, which has numerous negative health effects, including increasing your risk of accidents and chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Receive support from your friends and family — It is important for you to have the support of your friends and family, especially the people with whom you live, as you undertake intermittent fasting. These folks can share the journey and encourage you in moments of weakness when you may be tempted to give up.

With some thoughtful planning and careful consideration, you can empty your stomach and unleash a whole new level of health through intermittent fasting.

For even better results and to maximize your fat-burning potential, I suggest you combine intermittent fasting with a cyclical ketogenic diet. For all the details on how to do this, please refer to my article “Why Intermittent Fasting Is More Effective Combined With Ketogenic Diet.”

Moringa Tea May Help Boost Energy and Promote Wellness

Moringa oleifera may have been unfamiliar to some Americans until recently, but it’s actually been used as a traditional herbal medicine for centuries. In fact, it’s been mentioned in the Annals of Ayurvedic Medicine, one of the world’s oldest medical systems, as a cure for over 300 diseases.1

One of the ways to harness the benefits of Moringa is by steeping its leaves in hot water to create an energizing tea that provides a wide array of nutrients. Continue reading this article to learn more about the benefits of Moringa tea, its nutritional profile and the ways you can make it at home.

What Is Moringa Tea?

Moringa tea comes from the leaves of Moringa oleifera, a tree that’s native to the sub-Himalayan regions of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, but is now commonly grown in various tropical and subtropical areas around the world.2

Also known as “horseradish tree” and “drumstick tree,” Moringa has been dubbed as a “miracle tree” because of its potential medicinal properties. It also earned the superfood status, thanks to its extensive nutritional content, which you may still obtain even after brewing its leaves into tea. Some of these nutrients include:3

Vitamin B6



Vitamin C



Vitamin A


Flavonoids (such as quercetin and kaempferol)

To make Moringa tea, the freshly harvested leaves are dried at room temperature to retain their valuable nutrients before they’re crushed, powdered or shredded into loose pieces.4 These loose Moringa leaves may be steeped as is or placed into tea bags. In terms of flavor, pure Moringa leaf tea is said to have a slightly “green” or earthy taste, though it lacks the bitterness of kale or spiciness of arugula.5,6

Here Are the Many Health Benefits of Moringa Tea

The health benefits of Moringa oleifera tea are attributed to its rich nutritional profile. A lot of these benefits are not just backed by traditional beliefs, but also are supported by scientific research. To get a better idea of what Moringa tea is good for, check out some of its potential health benefits below:

Helps fight against free radicals — Moringa is an excellent source of antioxidants,7 including vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin8 and chlorogenic acid — all of which may help fight the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.9

Helps improve your gastrointestinal health — Moringa has antibacterial properties,10 which may help improve your gut flora and ease bacteria-related digestive problems, such as gastritis and ulcer.11

Helps regulate your blood sugar levels — Studies show that eating 50 grams of Moringa leaves may help lower blood sugar levels of diabetics by up to 21 percent.12

Helps reduce inflammation — The flavonoids, phenolic acids and isothiocyanates that you can get from Moringa tea are found to be helpful in alleviating inflammation, which can be a precursor to chronic diseases.13

Helps reduce the effects of arsenic toxicity — According to animal studies, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Moringa may help prevent the health risks caused by long-term exposure to arsenic, a powerful carcinogen that can be obtained from contaminated water and foods.14,15

Helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system — According to MindBodyGreen, Moringa powder may help improve your cardiovascular health, as it assists in curbing plaque formation in the arteries, reducing cholesterol levels and regulating blood lipids.16,17

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, Moringa tea may also help maintain proper liver function,18 and may even boost brain function,19 which can be beneficial against Alzheimer’s disease.20

Moringa Tea’s Caffeine Content

One of the known benefits of Moringa tea is its ability to give you a natural boost of energy, just like coffee. But unlike coffee, Moringa tea does not contain any caffeine. It owes its energy-boosting effects to its combination of nutrients, particularly its coenzymes. One of these is NADH, which comes from niacin from B vitamins and is involved in the cells’ energy production.

NADH helps improves brain, heart and muscle function. It has cognitive benefits as well as components that help improve your senses and concentration.21 If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you’ll be pleased to know that you can enjoy Moringa tea without putting yourself at risk of caffeine-related side effects, such as insomnia, jitteriness and anxiety.

How to Make Moringa Tea From Scratch

Moringa teas are available in groceries, but you can also make one on your own if you already have access to a Moringa tree. The process is fairly simple, although harvesting the leaves from the stem can be time-consuming.

When making tea, you may either steep the fresh Moringa leaves in hot water or dry them up so you can use them for later when you’re recreating different Moringa tea recipes. If you prefer the latter, follow these steps from Wonder How To:22

  1. Gather three to four stalks of Moringa. Choose the stalks with mature leaves, as they tend to dry up faster.
  2. Air-dry the leaves (including the stalks) at room temperature for a day or until the leaves are crisp. Air-drying allows the leaves to fall out, making it easier for you to separate the stalks later. You may also include the stalk in your tea for additional fiber.
  3. Grind the air-dried leaves for 10 to 15 seconds using a blender.
  4. Place the ground Moringa leaves in tea bags before steeping them in hot water. You may also steep the loose leaves as is.

Give This Soothing Moringa Tea Recipe a Try

Now that you know how to make your own Moringa tea at home, you should try out this health-giving and comforting recipe from Fitlife:23

Moringa Tea With Turmeric Recipe



  1. Combine the water, ginger and turmeric in a pot. Bring to a boil and allow the mixture to simmer for one hour.
  2. Add in the Moringa leaves, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the tea through a strainer, leaving only the liquid.
  4. Squeeze fresh lemon in the tea and add honey to taste.

How to Store Your Moringa Tea Properly

To prolong the shelf life of Moringa tea, make sure that you store the tea bags in a cool, dry place. Be careful not to leave them open in moist places. If you have loose Moringa tea leaves, store them in an airtight glass container.24

Side Effects Associated With Moringa Tea

While Moringa oleifera tea is generally considered safe for consumption, it may still cause rare side effects, especially if consumed in excessive quantities. According to Organic Facts, some of these effects include:25

Studies also suggest that Moringa may have antifertility and abortifacient properties. Pregnant women should consult a physician before drinking Moringa tea, even though it’s believed to help increase breastmilk production.26

Make Sure That Your Moringa Tea Is Really Organic

Many Moringa products today claim to be organic, but lab tests show that some actually contain pesticides and heavy metals,27 which may compromise your health if ingested. To avoid these health risks, double check the source of your Moringa tea. Make sure that you only buy from trusted organic brands or, better yet, make your own Moringa tea using homegrown ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Moringa Tea

Q: How much Moringa tea can I take in a day?

A: There is currently no set recommendation regarding how much Moringa tea is OK to take per day.

Q: What does Moringa tea taste like?

A: Moringa tea has a mild earthy taste.28,29

Q: Is Moringa tea good for you?

A: Yes, Moringa tea is great for your overall health. It contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that work together to help lower your blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, fight free radicals and prevent the effects of arsenic toxicity.

Q: Where can you buy Moringa tea?

A: You can buy Moringa tea from groceries or health food stores. Make sure that you only buy products from trustworthy organic brands.

‘Vaxxed’ — How Vaccine Safety Is Undermined and Suppressed

Can vaccines trigger autism? This is the topic of the film “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,”1 directed by Andrew Wakefield and produced by Del Bigtree, an Emmy Award-winning producer of “The Doctors” talk show.

The film became the center of controversy when it was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival lineup in 2016 by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, the two founders of the well-known film festival. According to Rosenthal, other filmmakers had threatened to withdraw their films from the festival if “Vaxxed” was shown.

While De Niro admitted feeling pressured to pull the film, he urged people to see it, saying there are many issues relating to the way the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evaluates and monitors the safety of vaccines that are not being openly spoken about, and really should be addressed.

Are Vaccines as Thoroughly Researched as Claimed?

The official stance repeated by most mainstream media is that vaccines have been thoroughly researched, that “hundreds” of studies have proven their safety, and that no link between vaccines and health problems, such as autism, have ever been found.

Again and again, you hear that the autism-vaccine link was based on a single study published in 1998 by a now-“discredited” doctor (Wakefield), and the hypothetical association between vaccines and autism has since been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked. It sounds definitive enough, and is often repeated as established fact. Yet it’s far from the whole truth.

Importantly, the vaccine industry has long shied away from evaluating vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations to determine potential differences in general health outcomes. The few independent scientists who have attempted such an investigation have little comfort to give to those who believe vaccines are essential for health, and mandatory use of vaccines by all children is the only way to protect society from disease.

One such study,2 published in 2017, examined health outcomes among infants 3 to 5 months old following the introduction of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) and oral polio vaccine in Guinea-Bissau, which took place in the early 1980s. This population offered the rare opportunity to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children due to the way the vaccines were rolled out in the West African country.

Shockingly, researchers discovered “DTP was associated with fivefold higher mortality than being unvaccinated.” According to the authors, “All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis.”

In other words, the researchers concluded that DTP vaccine weakened the children’s immune systems, rendering them vulnerable to a whole host of other often deadly diseases and serious health problems.

Other clinical trials in West Africa revealed that a high-titer measles vaccine interacted with the DTP vaccine, resulting in a 33 percent increase in infant mortality.3 In this case, the finding led to the withdrawal of that experimental measles vaccine targeting very young infants, but what would have happened had those studies never been done? Clearly, we need many more like them.

In the U.S., the CDC now recommends that children receive 69 doses of 16 vaccines by the time they’re 18 years old, with 50 doses of 14 vaccines given before the age of 6.4 How does this affect their health? And is anyone actually tracking the health outcomes of children adhering to the federally recommended childhood vaccine schedule and state mandatory vaccination programs?

The answer is no. We do not know if or how all of these vaccinations are affecting the general health and mortality of our children.

We do, however, know that the U.S. has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates of any developed nation,5,6 and we also have the highest vaccination rates with 94 to 96 percent of children entering kindergarten having received multiple doses of vaccines.7 This high vaccination rate among kindergarten children, mostly due to state vaccine laws that require vaccinations for school attendance, has been maintained in the U.S. since the 1980s.8

Whistleblower Admits CDC Manipulated Data

A central part of the “Vaxxed” storyline centers around William Thompson, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases (NCIR), who confessed that he conspired with colleagues to cover up links found between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.

According to Thompson, this scientific fraud was committed for the express purpose of covering up potential safety problems so the agency would be able to maintain that the MMR vaccine had been proven safe to give to all children. Thompson explained they simply eliminated the incriminating data, thereby vanishing the link.

How FDA and CDC Hid Evidence of Mercury Poisoning

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., founder of the former World Mercury Project and chairman of the Children’s Health Defense, has exposed how officials at the CDC and FDA knew that infant vaccines were exposing American children to mercury far in excess of federal safety guidelines since 1999.

Even so, when they held a meeting in 2000 to discuss it, the CDC “moved aggressively to hastily gin up five poorly designed epidemiological studies” to deny any link between mercury (thimerosal) and its dangers to children.

As Kennedy told The Epoch Times, three of those five studies were published in the journal Pediatrics, which is severely compromised since it depends heavily on vaccine revenues for its existence. He added:9

“In response to pressure from Congress and the public, the FDA conducted a review in the late 1990s that found that the amount of mercury in the childhood vaccine schedule surpassed some federal safety guidelines. Accordingly, the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a lukewarm statement in 1999 about thimerosal’s potential risks.

The statement’s authors called for the phase-out of thimerosal-containing vaccines ‘as expeditiously as possible,’ while still avowing that ‘the large risks of not vaccinating children far outweigh the unknown and probably much smaller risk, if any, of cumulative exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines over the first 6 months of life.'”

The reason you don’t hear about this is because federal health officials conceal it with a statistical trick that massages the numbers to reflect what the CDC and FDA want them to say — a trick they employ often when determining vaccine “safety” — while journalists continue to spout whatever the CDC tells them. As noted by Kennedy:10

“Thimerosal is 50% ethylmercury, which is far more toxic and persistent in the brain than the highly-regulated methylmercury in fish.

Hundreds of peer reviewed studies by leading government and university scientists show that thimerosal is a devastating brain poison linked to neurological disorders now epidemic in American children. My book, ‘Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak,’ is a summary of these studies, which CDC and its credulous journalists swear don’t exist.”

This is why journalists who merely parrot the approved FDA and CDC talking points do readers such a tremendous disservice. Both federal health agencies have been accused of malfeasance and cover-up of important drug and vaccine safety data and, until the truth is known, it is unwise to blindly accept them as the final arbiters of what’s safe and what’s not.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which includes the CDC, FDA and NIH, also owns a number of vaccine patents and sells $4.1 billion in vaccines each year while simultaneously being responsible for vaccine regulation, policymaking, monitoring of vaccine safety and promotion of universal use of all CDC-recommended vaccines.

How can these federal health agencies effectively meet all of these different goals when they have inherent conflicts of interest? They cannot. Yet, these conflicts of interest are rarely if ever mentioned by the media.

What You Need to Know About the ‘Discredited Autism Study’

In the film, Wakefield explains the genesis of his now infamous paper, the so-called “discredited autism study” that vaccine advocates insist is the sole evidence for a link between autism and vaccines.

What many people don’t know is that Wakefield and 12 other coauthors of the paper never actually performed a study to ascertain whether the MMR vaccine caused autism. They also did not state that MMR vaccine causes autism in the paper, but simply called for more research into the potential association.

It all began when a mother contacted Wakefield about her son, whose gastrointestinal and autism symptoms began after he received his MMR vaccination. An academic gastroenterologist, Wakefield told her he couldn’t help, as he had no knowledge about autism. She insisted, saying her son had terrible digestive problems but no one was taking them seriously.

Wakefield decided to look into it and, in 1998, he and 12 colleagues published a case series paper in The Lancet, reporting that parents of 9 of 12 children, who had been seen for chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, reported their children’s health deterioration began shortly after MMR vaccination.

It’s important to realize that a case series paper is very different from a case control study. A case series simply describes the experiences of a single patient or group of patients with a similar diagnosis.

As Wakefield points out in his book, “Callous Disregard,” the purpose of a case study is to “generate new hypotheses.” It is not supposed to determine or investigate possible causality — and Wakefield’s paper did not make any causal claims. Rather, he and his colleagues concluded:11

“We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps and rubella immuni[z]ation.

Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.”

The paper also explicitly stated that:

“We did not prove an association between measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described …

If there is a causal link between measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and this syndrome, a rising incidence might be anticipated after the introduction of this vaccine in the U.K. in 1988. Published evidence is inadequate to show whether there’s a change in incidence or a link with measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.”

Was Wakefield’s Paper Fraudulent?

Wakefield’s paper was eventually retracted after generating massive international controversy and denials by public health officials and doctors giving vaccines to children, who claimed the paper unnecessarily frightened and caused parents to question the safety of MMR and many other vaccines.

But to use Wakefield’s case series paper as “proof” that there is no link between vaccination and autism simply because this paper was retracted is grossly misleading.

It wasn’t a case-controlled clinical study designed to investigate or determine causation by comparing health outcomes of two different groups of patients; it was merely a case series paper that described similar health outcomes in patients and presented a hypothesis, nothing more.

According to detractors, including Bill Gates, Wakefield’s paper was based on fraudulent, completely made-up data, but such accusations have been rebutted by David Lewis, Ph.D.,12 a research microbiologist and director of the Research Misconduct Project13 of the National Whistleblower Center in Washington, D.C.

A summary of the Wakefield case can be found on in the article, “How the Case Against Andrew Wakefield Was Concocted.”14 In fact, Lewis’ investigation led him to accuse The British Medical Journal of institutional research misconduct15 for publishing false accusations of fraud against Wakefield. According to Lewis:16

“Documents recovered from Dr. Wakefield’s files during my investigation at the National Whistleblowers Center reveal that a pathologist associated with the study, Dr. Andrew Anthony, interpreted a number of the children’s biopsies as evidence of colitis.

Altogether, the evidence contained in Wakefield’s files suggested to me that the BMJ’s fraud theory was more tabloid news than science.”

In the end, what happened to Wakefield is powerful testimony of the danger that research scientists and physicians face if they draw the ire of the vaccine industry, government health officials and medical organizations promoting mandatory vaccination. The threat to one’s livelihood is in and of itself a factor that prevents much-needed independent vaccine safety research.

Does Age of Exposure to MMR Vaccine Influence Autism Risk?

According to Wakefield, the history of the MMR vaccine may offer valuable clues to its safety, or lack thereof. The original MMR vaccine was linked to meningitis,17,18,19 and the filmmakers cite research suggesting the age of exposure was a significant factor. The younger the patient at time of the vaccination, the higher the risk of developing meningitis.

Wakefield wondered if perhaps there might be a similar age-related link between MMR vaccine and autism. This research was ultimately done by the CDC, and Thompson was part of that team. As explained in the film, CDC whistleblower Thompson ended up contacting Brian Hooker, Ph.D., and advising him on how to obtain this and other vaccine data from the CDC.20

Copies of the files Hooker obtained from the CDC — about 10,000 in all — can be downloaded from the Vaxxed website.21 While Thompson could not legally give the studies to Hooker, he told Hooker to file a citizen’s request to the CDC, and guided him on which studies and data sets to ask for.

Among them was a study22 Thompson co-wrote that looked at autism rates and time of MMR vaccine administration, and found evidence for a heightened risk for autism when the first MMR dose was given at 15 months — a finding that was subsequently covered up.

A letter23 requesting the retraction of this study has been sent, based on the evidence of fraud presented by Thompson.

Protecting MMR Vaccine More Important Than Children’s Health

Wakefield also describes the research he did into the testing and licensing of the MMR vaccine and how, based on that research, he could no longer support the use of the combination MMR vaccine. After he urged parents to avoid the triple vaccine and get the single vaccines (i.e., the individual vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella), demand for the single vaccines dramatically increased.

However, rather than allowing parents to choose between MMR and individual vaccines, the U.K. stopped importing the single vaccines and Merck decided to cease production of the single vaccines in the U.S. This action effectively removed parental choice altogether, compelling parents to use the combination MMR vaccine if they wanted to vaccinate their children.

When Wakefield questioned the rationale behind the U.K.’s decision to eliminate the single vaccines, a senior representative at the British department of health told him that if parents were allowed to choose between the triple MMR and single vaccines, it would destroy the MMR program. “In other words, the concern was for the protection of the program, over and above the protection of children,” Wakefield said.

Whistleblower Admits Omitting Data Showing MMR-Autism Link

Thompson also co-wrote a widely cited 2004 CDC study24 that concluded there was no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. However, Thompson admitted this conclusion is actually false, as the team simply massaged the outcome by excluding the data that showed a link.

According to Thompson, he and the other scientists who worked on the study were pressured “from the top” to come to conclusions that would support the government’s policy on MMR vaccine safety. The omitted data, Thompson claimed, showed a distinct link between early MMR vaccination and a risk for the development of autism in young African-American boys.

Hooker published a reanalysis of the 2004 CDC data set in 2014, in the journal Translational Neurodegeneration,25 concluding that African-American boys who receive their first MMR vaccine before the age of 36 months have a 3.36 times greater risk of developing autism, compared to those who receive the vaccine after the age of 36 months. (The CDC’s childhood vaccination schedule recommends getting the MMR vaccine between 12 and 18 months.)

For males in general, regardless of race, the risk for autism was 1.69 times greater when MMR was given prior to 36 months of age. Just how was Thompson’s team able to hide this rather obvious connection? In short, data were originally obtained on 2,583 children living in Atlanta, Georgia, born between 1986 and 1993.

The original scientific analysis plan specified that school records and/or birth certificates were to be used to obtain race data. By excluding children who did not have a valid state of Georgia birth certificate, they were able to reduce the cohort size by more than 40 percent, and by including fewer subjects — through the introduction of the arbitrary criteria of a valid birth certificate to ascertain race — the statistical power of the findings was eliminated.

How Vaccines May Cause Harm

While a lot of attention has been given to thimerosal, a mercury compound used in some vaccines as a preservative, it’s a mistake to think thimerosal is the sole problem when it comes to vaccine safety.

Thimerosal preservatives are not present in live virus vaccines such as MMR, and are not even included in significant amounts in most inactivated childhood vaccines anymore, yet vaccine-related injury and death, including the unexplained big increase in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders among children in the past three decades, is still a pressing reality.

What’s more, vaccine safety is not simply a matter of proving or disproving the link between vaccines in general and autism specifically. There are many other, potentially severe vaccine side effects, including immune system dysfunction, that can lead to or exacerbate any number of health problems.

Examples of other vaccine ingredients and factors related to vaccination that may be harmful to health include:

Lack of research into the safety of the CDC’s recommended childhood vaccine schedule that subjects infants and young children to 50 doses of 14 vaccines during the first six years of life, starting on the day of birth, including receipt of six to 10 vaccines on the same day.26

Failure of one-size-fits-all vaccine policies and laws to acknowledge increased individual susceptibility to harm from vaccination that include genetic, biological and environmental high-risk factors often not identified, or, dismissed as unimportant by doctors and other vaccine providers.27

Research28 showing an increase in death following receipt of inactivated vaccines. Aluminum adjuvants might be a factor, but it appears inactivated vaccines may also program your immune system in a way that decreases your body’s ability to fight off disease later. To learn more about this, please follow the hyperlink provided.

The gut-brain axis, and the compelling synergy between compromised gut flora and autism, where vaccines can act as a trigger. To learn more, please see the hyperlinks, as I’ve written about this on previous occasions.

The association between autism increases with the introduction of vaccines using human fetal cell lines and retroviral contaminants.29

The potential for DNA fragments in vaccines to produce an exaggerated and potentially fatal immune response.30

What Do Statistics Suggest About Vaccine Safety?

Barring large-scale studies comparing unvaccinated and vaccinated populations, general health statistics can give us an inkling as to how well the U.S. vaccination program protects our children’s health, and it doesn’t look promising.

  • One in 6 children today has a developmental disability,31 which includes ADD/ADHD, autism, hearing loss, learning disabilities, mental and behavior disorders and seizures, which have been associated with vaccine side effects.
  • Fifty-four percent of children have a diagnosed chronic illness,32,33 including anxiety, asthma, behavioral problems, bone and muscle disorders, chronic ear infections, depression, diabetes, food and/or environmental allergies and epilepsy.

This list again mirrors brain and immune system dysfunction that has been reported following vaccination. The rise in prevalence of these chronic diseases among children and young adults parallels the rise in the numbers of required vaccines, yet promoters of mandatory vaccination insist that these illnesses are in no way associated with vaccinations.

In his book, “Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies,” Neil Z. Miller also provides eye-opening information about vaccine safety. He downloaded the entire vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) database and created a program to extract all reports involving infants. In all, the reports of 38,000 infants who experienced an adverse reaction following the receipt of one or more vaccines were extracted.

Another program was then created that was able to determine the number of vaccines each infant had received before suffering an adverse reaction.

Next, reports were stratified by the number of vaccines (anywhere from one to eight) the infants had received simultaneously before the reaction took place. They specifically homed in on serious adverse reactions requiring hospitalization or that led to death. Here’s what he found:

  • Infants who received three vaccines simultaneously were statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die after receiving their vaccines than children who received two vaccines at the same time
  • Infants who received four vaccines simultaneously were statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who received three or two vaccines, and so on all the way up to eight vaccines
  • Children who received eight vaccines simultaneously were “off-the-charts” statistically in that they were significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die after receiving those vaccines
  • Children who received vaccines at an earlier age were significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who receive those vaccines at a later age

Why We Must Protect Vaccine Exemptions

All of these facts are why we simply must protect the legal right to exercise voluntary, informed consent to vaccination and to obtain vaccine exemptions in the U.S. We must have the right to choose, which includes the right to refuse one or more vaccines for ourselves or our children if we determine the risks are too great.

Make sure you take action to protect and expand the legal right to make voluntary vaccine decisions in your state by signing up to use the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Moreover, when an individual experiences a deterioration in health after vaccination, doctors need to understand the danger of giving more vaccinations until or unless the vaccine can be conclusively exonerated as a causative or contributing factor to that health deterioration.

Physicians who recommend and administer vaccines to people, particularly to vulnerable infants and children, need to apply the precautionary principle of “first do no harm.” This is critically important when the foundation of science supporting the safety of any given vaccine, alone or in combination, for any given individual is so weak — and in some cases, based on outright fraud.

If you haven’t watched “Vaxxed” yet, I hope you will take the time to view it now, while you can watch it for free.

About the Director

Andrew Wakefield

DIRECTOR Andrew Wakefield, MB.BS., is an academic gastroenterologist. He received his medical degree from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London, in 1981.

He qualified as Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985 and trained as a gastrointestinal surgeon with a particular interest in inflammatory bowel disease. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Traveling Fellowship to study small-intestinal transplantation in Toronto.

He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in the U.K. in 2001. Wakefield has published over 140 original scientific papers, reviews and book chapters.

In 1995, as an academic physician working in a London teaching hospital, he was contacted by the parent of an autistic child with stomach issues. He soon learned from several other parents of children with autistic behaviors that their children’s regressive behavior immediately followed an MMR vaccine. He then started investigating a possible role between gastrointestinal issues, the MMR vaccine and neurological injury in children.

In pursuit of this possible link, Wakefield participated in a study of 12 children with both stomach and developmental issues. The ensuing report, written with 12 other authors, would catapult Wakefield into becoming one of the most controversial figures in the history of medicine.

  • To read a complete bio along with more resources about director Andrew Wakefield, please visit the “Vaxxed” website here.
  • For a complete director’s statement by Andrew Wakefield about the making of “Vaxxed,” please visit the “Vaxxed” website here.
  • For a complete producer’s statement by Del Bigtree, visit the “Vaxxed” website here.
  • For the complete production notes from the film, go here.
  • For more additional resources about “Vaxxed,” including the four requests that the film asks of Congress, health agencies and vaccine companies, and William Thompson’s official statement, please go here.


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Archaeologists Discover Another Buried Sphinx in Egypt

Archaeologists Discover Another Buried Sphinx at the Kom Ombo Temple Near Aswan, Egypt

by Ivan

Egyptian archaeologists working on a groundwater reduction project at the Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan have discovered a sandstone sphinx, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on Sunday.

The discovery comes as a surprise as in the last few months, archaeologists working in Egypt have uncovered the remains of two Sphinx statues.

The Sphinx found near the Kom Ombo Temple

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Hidden Maya Civilization Revealed Beneath Guatemala’s Jungle Canopy

More than 61,000 ancient Maya structures — from large pyramids to single houses — were lurking beneath the dense jungle canopy in Guatemala, revealing clues about the ancient culture’s farming practices, infrastructure, politics and economy, a new aerial survey has revealed.

The Guatemalan jungle is thick and challenging to explore, so researchers mapped the terrain with the help of a technology known as light detection and ranging, or lidar. The lidar images were captured during aerial surveys of the Maya lowland, a region spanning more than 810 square miles (2,100 square kilometers). [See Photos from the Maya Lidar survey]

“Since lidar technology is able to pierce through thick forest canopy and map features on the Earth’s surface, it can be used to produce ground maps that enable us to identify human-made features on the ground, such as walls, roads or buildings,” Marcello Canuto, director of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University in New Orleans, said in a statement.

The aerial lidar survey covered 12 separate areas in Petén, Guatemala, and included both rural and urban Maya settlements. After analyzing the images — which included isolated houses, large palaces, ceremonial centers and pyramids — the researchers determined that up to 11 million people lived in the Maya lowlands during the late Classic period, from A.D. 650 to 800. This number is consistent with previous calculations, the researchers noted in the study, which was published online Friday (Sept. 28) in the journal Science.

It would have required a massive agricultural effort to sustain such a big population, the researchers said. So, it was no surprise when the lidar survey revealed that much of the wetlands in the area were heavily modified for farming, the researchers said.

Jungle Topology Maps
A newly discovered site north of Tikal shows the range of features revealed by lidar. The long building (top right) is part of the so-called E Group complex, which largely dates to before 500 B.C. Across the valley from this building is an acropolis, which is likely 1,000 years younger. Credit: Luke Auld-Thomas/PACUNAM

In all, the surveys revealed about 140 square miles (362 square km) of terraces and other modified agricultural land, as well as another 368 square miles (952 square km) of farmland.

Lidar map shows more ruins under jungle canope
The lidar analysis (bottom) shows the hidden structures in the jungle of northern Guatemala (top). Credit: PACUNAM/Estrada-Belli

In addition, the lidar analysis uncovered 40 square miles (110 square km) of roadway networks within and between faraway cities and towns, some of which were heavily fortified. This finding highlighted the links between the Maya’s hinterlands and urban centers, the researchers said.

“Seen as a whole, terraces and irrigation channels, reservoirs, fortifications, and causeways reveal an astonishing amount of land modification done by the Maya over their entire landscape on a scale previously unimaginable,” Francisco Estrada-Belli, a research assistant professor of anthropology at Tulane University and director of the Holmul Archaeological Project, said in the statement

ruins locations showing on arieal maps
Analyzing lidar terrain data can take months. Here, shaded relief terrain (left) can conceal important details, such as low mounds. More-complex visualizations, such as the red relief-image map (center) can make those details pop. But even more analysis is needed to identify and classify features (right). All three images show the site of Dos Torres, which is located between the cities of Tikal and Uaxactun. Credit: Luke Auld-Thomas and Marcello A. Canuto/PACUNAM

However, even though the lidar evaluation revealed so many previously unknown structures, researchers described it as a complement to, but not a replacement for, traditional archaeology. In a perspective article on the new research published in the same journal, Anabel Ford, an adjunct professor of archaeology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Sherman Horn, a visiting professor of archaeology at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, wrote that even with lidar, “boots on the ground” would always be needed.


Large Cross Monument on Greek Island Leveled to the Ground Because it Could be ‘Offensive to Muslim Migrants’

The ancient mythical Greek island of Lesbos is today better known as anchorage ground for human traffickers and the problems and conflicts that have arisen in connection with the boat traffic.

by Emma R.

It is now reported that a large cross monument on the Greek Orthodox Christian island has been leveled to the ground. This after a group claiming to promote intercultural coexistence argued that the cross could be perceived as offensive to the predominantly Muslim boat migrants.

The cross monument was built on the cliffs of Apellia, beneath the castle of Mytilene, in memory of people who have died in the sea. According to the local coexistence group, however, the cross was offensive because many who have drowned, and many migrants on the island are not Christians.

The removed cross monument

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Ajwa dates preserve liver function in cancer patients

(Natural News) Most people have recently found an increased interest in alternative medicines for cancer treatment, thanks to rising mortality rates and adverse side effects following chemotherapy and radiotherapy. An alternative believed to possess anti-cancer properties are ajwa dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.). In a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ajwa date extracts were…