Sunday, February 25, 2007

Vaccination v. Faith in Vitamins: Touching, But Insufficient Evidence

Images of children's vitamin preparationsIt's been a very odd week. The sort of week that makes me wonder whether all the media coverage of health matters has about as much relevance to the nation's health as the cookery programmes, columns and features have to the nation's cooking skills. I think that vaccination is a medical and social marvel and I state my arguments in favour of it whenever people tell me that vaccination is ineffective, irrelevant, dangerous etc.

This week, I was told that my stance on vaccinations is proof that I am a fool and a pharma shill which is par for the course. I was informed that it has been proved both that healthy children don't get childhood illnesses and that if they do, those illnesses strengthen their immune systems. It is hard to pin down the origin of these assertions (although I have located one egregious documentary in which these claims are included (I will discuss this at another time); in the interim, Skeptics has put up a fine examination of Dr. Scheibner's 'science').

The example that was quoted to me was measles. Apparently, it is only those children who are deficient in vitamin A who develop measles; just to cover all of the bases, the categorisation of 'deficient' applies both to those with clinical and sub-clinical deficiences (of course). I was told that WHO had used vitamin A with remarkable success in developing countries.

I attempted to distinguish between vitamin A being used to prevent measles infection or to reduce the morbidities of children who had already contracted measles. I pointed to the remarkable reduction in measles' deaths thanks to an aggressive vaccination programme. The success of the Measles Initiative reflects the increased uptake in measles vaccination; the countries involved have not suddenly had a influx of quickly-built civil engineering projects that have provided clean water and better sanitation. Nor, sadly, has there been a remarkable upswing in the nutrition of the children. There is no evidence of a co-simultaneous vitamin A supplementation programme in the same countries that were covered by the Measles Initiative. Vaccination is responsible for the different outcomes for these children. I argued that prevention (vaccination) was much better than treatment and less devastating for the child.

I was then informed that having childhood illnesses like measles protects you from developing cancer and a range of auto-immune diseases. In the following quotation, I'm unclear as to whether it is the vaccines that stand accused of causing these dread diseases or the lack of immunity conferred by failing to contract preventable childhood illnesses.
There is growing suspicion that immunization against relatively harm-less childhood diseases may be responsible for the dramatic increase in auto-immune diseases since mass inoculations were introduced. These are fearful diseases such as cancer, leukemia. rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, lupus erythematosus, and the Guillain-Barre syndrome. An autoimmune disease can be explained simply as one in which the body's defense mechanisms cannot distinguish between foreign invaders and ordinary body tissues, with the consequence that the body begins to destroy itself. Have we traded mumps and measles for cancer and leukemia? [I'm not going to sic out all the errors in this piece. N.B., I'm horrified at what this link will do to this blog if it is submitted to the Black Duck's quackometer but these things have to be discussed.]
Nonetheless, it wasn't difficult to find epidemiological studies to rebut these claims: e.g., a study that reported no possible causation between MMR vaccines and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Dr. Flea has compiled More notes from the lunatic fringe and reports sightings of claims that Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a mis-diagnosis of vaccine injury. The vaccine injuries in question include scurvy which is said to be responsible for the pattern of bony injuries seen in SBS. Dr. Scheibner claims that her services are in demand as an expert witness in SBS legal cases and as an expert addressing governmental committees. Dr. Kalokerinos is the source of many of the claims about scurvy as a vaccine injury (you can read more about him, courtesy of Rat Bags discussion of a meeting that Kalokerinos addressed) during which he claimed that:
massive doses of vitamin C would cure just about every ailment, and that vaccination was a deliberate process of genocide carried out under the auspices of the World Health Organization and the Save the Children Fund. He went on to say that these two groups "put Hitler and Stalin in the shade" when it came to deliberate and intentional mass killings. [Emphasis added.]
I did try to consult Kalokerinos' papers on Entrez PubMed but because most of them had been published in the Australasian Nursing Journal, none of the abstracts were available and I haven't been able to find them in the British Library. I've had to fall back on an extract from one of Kalokerinos' books to learn more about his claims for the value of vitamin C:
The matron was convinced that the diagnosis was meningitis so she prepared a lumbar puncture. I had however, seen this problem before. Lumbar punctures performed by me had been negative and the infants died....the trauma of inserting a needle..might result in a haemorrage that might cause spinal cord paralysis. So I decided to give an injection of vitamin C..I probably gave as many as 6 injections, each 100mg. After half an hour Mary was normal. It was hard to believe, but I had performed a miracle!...I found that any viral infection, including measles and hepatitis, could be dramatically 'cured' by administering Vitamin C intravenously in big doses--provided that treatment was commenced early. Dr. Kalokerinos MD (Medical Pioneer of the 20th century pg. 175.) [Emphasis added.]
Kalokerinos claims that without his vitamin C intervention, 1 in 2 aborigine children were dying after vaccination. Unfortunately, without being able to consult any of his papers on the matter (and I have reason to believe that none of these is a substantial or refereed paper), these claims are only available in his books, e.g., Every Second Child.

Reading about these self-styled voices in the wilderness and truth-tellers encouraged me to adapt a piece that was recently written about autism 'experts'. The similarities are striking.
So these mavericks continue to circulate, paddling in the same scientific shallows, attending the same conferences and boasting connections with the same research institutes. They travel the world quoting each other in circular support, reinforcing a fringe belief in unproven interventions for [vaccine injuries] and propagating the mistaken view that ordinary doctors are cowed by mysterious vested interests (pharmaceutical companies?) into not doing their best for children...

Their [anti-vax] agenda is, regrettably, assisted by newspapers with acres of space to fill, who delight in feeding the middle-class paranoia over perfect parenting...

There is nothing wrong with a scientist pursuing a hunch, and everything right about parents wanting to do the best for their child. There is nothing even particularly sinister about [anti-vax proponents] gambling [their] reputation on an instinct. But there is something depressing beyond belief about a scientist who refuses to recant in the face of overwhelming opposing evidence.
I am more than a little puzzled that it is acceptable to believe that medicine is involved in a vaccination hoax, conspiracy and deception. I also find it quite touching that some people appear to be so ready to place so much faith in vitamins and vitamin supplements. The latter seem to be necessary because in the West, unlike much of the world, we tend to have sub-clinical rather than verifiable deficiencies. We appear to have been brainwashed into this by the progaganda about the poor nutrition of the average mixed diet. Oddly enough, it is media nutritionists who attempt to convince us of this, and those self-same people tend to have their own brands of vitamins and minerals to remedy those deficiencies.

Now, I think that most parents would readily dismiss most of the stranger anti-vax arguments and refuse to waste precious minutes of their lives even thinking about them. I don't imagine that people who are swayed by these arguments would be at all convinced by discussion about the correct interpretation of medical literature that is cited in support of some anti-vax claims. I also think that it is verging on the impossible to anticipate where the next anti-vax argument will come from (e.g., it's an instrument for genocide; it leads to cancer; it is linked to diabetes; it is linked to a decline in fertility; it's linked to pervasive developmental disorders). You can not successfully counter the bizarre or irrational. Attempting to counter some of the anti-vax stuff that is out there would be a sisyphean task. And yet, I am still horrified at the search results from Google. Irrelevant or worth countering some of the more egregious nonsense?

Edited 28 Feb. I am grateful to a correspondent for sending me a link to The Anti-Immunization Activists: A Pattern of Deception. Dr. Friedlander is board-certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology; he has specifically addressed the misuse of scientific articles by anti-vax activists.

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Blogger mcewen said...

So many people are visual and kinesthetic learners these days. Maybe we should club together to buy a few air fares for some people - they could go out and visit my daughter in Mozambique. Seeing is believes.
Best wishes

7:37 pm  
Blogger Flea said...

Another excellent post, well argued.

I'll expand on my response to the "Sisyphean" nature of the task of rebutting outlandish claims.

I'm not a classics major, but the problem with poor Sisyphus was that at the end of a day of rolling the boulder up hill, he would collapse in exhaustion and be crushed by his burden. Then he'd get up the next day and go at it again. Those of us who practice science and exchange our ideas on the free market need not fear being crushed. If we err, we certainly don't get up the following day and roll the same rock. This is what differentiates us from the anti-vax crowd.

A more suitable literary analogy might be to Don Quixote, who tilted at windmills, believing they were dragons. In this case, the Scheibners of the world are the Don Quixotes and the children are the windmills. It is our job to play Sancho Panza and politely redirect the crazy bastards' attention.



8:47 pm  
Blogger Shinga said...

Hello McEwen - what does your daughter do in Mozambique?

Regards - Shinga

2:17 pm  
Blogger Shinga said...

Thanks for the helpful re-frame, Dr. Flea.

I was looking upon rebuttal as a pointless task because it would never convince those who are convinced that vaccination is a hoax, conspiracy or socially-promoted form of genocide. However, that is the extreme end of the continuum and there must be people in the middle who are genuinely curious because of the claims but don't know what to think.

All of which begs the question of how to improve the Google rankings of anything that does rebut the crazier claims. Does it need a separate blog or way of compiling the posts that all health or medical bloggers would be asked to put in their sidebars?

Regards - Shinga

2:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why isn't there any mention of Dr. Clemetson's publications when refering to scurvy and shaken baby syndrome? Please respond to his publications on the subject.

The second hypothesis, published in 2002, concerned the “shaken-baby syndrome” as a variant of Barlow’s Disease, [5] or infantile scurvy -- with bruises, broken bones, and sores that will not heal. Barlow’s disease was a well-recognized condition in the first 75 years of the 20th century. Sir Thomas Barlow, MD, in 1883,[15][16] established the true nature of infantile scurvy. By postmortem studies (after death), Barlow established that subperiosteal hemorrhage (hemorrhage under the skin of the bone) was the anatomic basis for limb affliction in infantile scurvy.[17] To this day, Barlow's clinical description of infantile scurvy, with the appropriate pathologic correlation, remains a classic. Barlow stated that the extreme pain and tenderness seen in cases of infantile scurvy reflected bone pathology. Clemetson published additional papers concerning infantile scurvy, or a "variant of Barlow’s Disease", caused by toxic levels of histamine, and producing a weakness of the retinal vessels and the bridging veins and venules between the brain and the dura mater in infants, [18][6] and also published “Elevated Blood Histamine Caused by Vaccinations and Vitamin C Deficiency May Mimic the Shaken Baby Syndrome.” Clemetson points out that in early papers describing shaken baby syndrome, reference is made to the possibility of infantile scurvy. We now know that capillary fragility, so characteristic of scurvy, is the result of elevated blood histamine levels, which occur with even mild ascorbate depletion, as shown both in guinea pigs [19] and in human subjects. [13] The probability of Barlow’s disease can be increased by maternal malnutrition, by hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive vomiting in pregnancy), and by bacterial or viral infections in the mother or the infant. The retinal hemorrhages of severe hyperemesis gravidarum are a manifestation of vitamin C deficiency and are similar to petechial hemorrhages seen elsewhere.

Early electron microscope studies in 1961 by Majno and Palade [20][21] and by Gore in 1965 [22] demonstrated that toxic levels of histamine in the blood cause openings in the tight junctions between the vascular endothelial cells (lining of blood vessels), leading to extravasation (the forcing of liquid from a vessel out into surrounding tissue) of blood. The leakage of rat blood vessels occurred within minutes after the intravenous injection of histamine. Leakage of blood into the tissue slowly leads to local hemolysis, and also leads to local ascorbate depletion.

In 2004, Clemetson published two hypotheses. After reviewing Fung et al., [23] concerning the case review of nine infants, he states that Fung and her colleagues found no history of shaking or physical abuse of the patient, or in the infant's family, of the subdural hematomas reviewed. Clemetson questioned the causes of the cerebral hemorrhages, lesions, and delayed development, and published "Capillary Fragility as a Cause of Substantial Hemorrhage in Infants." [6] Based on his prior medical experience of 50 years in Obstetrics and Gynecology and his previous work with capillary strength, he states subdural hemorrhages can sometimes be detected by ultrasound examination before birth and even before labor. Never assume that bruises and broken ribs, or other broken bones, must always indicate trauma, because variants of infantile scurvy (or Barlow's disease) still occur today. No blood coagulation defect was found in any of the infants, so one has to consider capillary fragility as a possible cause.

The second hypothesis published in 2004 concerned "Elevated Blood Histamine Caused by Vaccinations and Vitamin C Deficiency May Mimic the Shaken Baby Syndrome." [7] A combination of ascorbate depletion and the injection of foreign proteins can cause a very high blood histamine level, leading to capillary fragility and venular bleeding. In 2006, he published another paper, [24] reviewing Caffey’s 1946 paper, [25] and found In addition to the long-bone fractures and subdural hematomas, other clinical signs consistent with infantile scurvy were evident in most of Caffey’s six cases. Another review of the early "shaken baby" literature was also conducted and published, finding that the bone pathology and subdural hematomas associated with Caffey's theory of the "shaken baby syndrome" are in fact typical scurvy fractures and bleedings.[26] Dr. Clemetson cautions the use of radiographs to determine scurvy: Although osteopenia and contrasting white lines of healing are said to be characteristic radiological features of classical scurvy, absence of these findings on radiographs does not rule out a scorbutic state. The precise time course of increased susceptibility to fractures and the development of osteopenia and white lines of healing seen on radiographs is not known. Bones may be vulnerable to fracture because of proline and lysine hydroxylase deficiencies (dependent upon vitamin C) affecting chondroblasts and osteoblasts before these classic radiological signs appear, especially if scurvy develops rapidly at an early age.[24]

Dr. Clemetson also based his vitamin C / histamine hypotheses concerning “the shaken baby syndrome” on bioengineering studies that have demonstrated since 1943[27] inflicted brain injury by manual shaking could not occur, before the appearance of cervical spine and neck injuries. A recent bioengineering study was published in 2005, [28] finding that forceful shaking can severely injure or kill an infant; this is because the cervical spine would be severely injured and not because subdural hematomas would be caused by high head rotational accelerations. Furthermore, shaking cervical spine injury can occur at much lower levels of head velocity and acceleration than those reported for the SBS. These findings are consistent with the physical laws of injury biomechanics as well as our collective understanding of the fragile infant cervical spine from (1) clinical obstetric experience, (2) automotive medicine and crash safety experience, and (3) common parental experience. We have determined that an infant head subjected to the levels of rotational velocity and acceleration called for in the SBS literature, would experience forces on the infant neck far exceeding the limits for structural failure of the cervical spine.

Although a Barlow’s disease variant may be the most common disease, other diagnoses such as fragile bone disease, hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (vitamin K deficiency), and glutaric aciduria type 1 must also be considered. Dr. Clemetson continues: No one should ever be accused of inflicting shaken-baby syndrome unless analyses for ascorbic acid and blood histamine have been performed and can be placed in evidence. To reduce the risk of Barlow's disease, we should consider the following: (1) Postponing inoculations for infants who are premature or ailing in any way, even with an upper respiratory infection; (2) reconsidering the wisdom of giving as many as six inoculants, all at once, to infants at eight weeks of age; (3) administering 500 mg of vitamin C powder or crystals, in fruit juice, to infants before inoculation; and (4) giving additional ascorbic acid by injection to any infant showing a severe reaction such as convulsions or a high-pitched cry.[6][29]
Published letters
The following Letters are highlights of the many Letters Dr. Clemetson had published. See his Curriculum Vitae. for an extensive listing.

C. Alan B. Clemetson, M.D., et al. (2004) Re: “The evidence base for shaken baby syndrome” BMJ 6 Apr 2004

"Shaken Baby", or Barlow's Disease Variant? 19 June 2004
"Toxic histaminaemia" 28 September 2004
“Subdural haematomas in infants” 22 October 2004
“Errors in the diagnosis of child abuse” 21 December 2004
C. Alan B. Clemetson, M.D., et al. (2004) Re: "The sudden death of a child" BMJ 17 July & 26 July 2004

C. Alan B. Clemetson, M.D., et al. (2004) Re: "Review of Hear the Silence: Public needs to know why adverse reactions to vaccines occur." "The prevention of vaccine reactions." BMJ 15 November 2004

C. Alan B. Clemetson, M.D., (2000) "The prevention of vaccine reactions." JECH June 2000; 54:402-403
Journal articles

Clemetson, CAB (2006) "Caffey Revisited: A Commentary on the Origin of "Shaken Baby Syndrome.” J Am Phys Surg 2006; 11:20-21 (PDF)
Clemetson CAB (2004) "Capillary Fragility as a Cause of Substantial Hemorrhage in Infants." Medical Hypotheses And Research VOL. 1, No. 2/3, July 1, pp. 121-129
Clemetson CA (2004) "Shaken baby syndrome: a medicolegal problem." (Letter) N Z Med J. 2004 Nov 5;117(1205):U1160. PMID 15570337 No abstract available.
Clemetson CA (2004) "Was it "shaken baby" or a variant of Barlow's disease?" J Am Phys Surg 9: 78-80 (PDF)
Clemetson, CAB (2004) "Capillary Fragility as a Cause of Subdural and Retinal Hemorrhages in Infancy." Red Flags – Editorial – August 10
Clemetson CA (2004) "Individual reactions following vaccinations or inoculations are highly variable." (Letter) Mil Med. 2004 Feb;169(2):v. PMID: 15040623 No abstract available.
Clemetson CA (2004) "Elevated blood histamine caused by vaccinations and Vitamin C deficiency may mimic the shaken baby syndrome." Med Hypotheses. 62(4):533-6. Review. PMID: 15050101
Clemetson CA (2002) "Shaken baby or scurvy?" J. Orthomolecular Medicine 17(4):193-196
Clemetson CA (2002) "Barlow's disease." Med Hypotheses. 2002 Jul;59(1):52-6. PMID: 12160680
Clemetson CA (2002) Was the baby shaken? Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients #222, p.112-13
Clemetson CA (1999) "Vaccinations, inoculations and ascorbic acid." J. Orthomolecular Medicine 14:137-142

^ Clemetson CA, Andersen L (Nov 1964). "Ascorbic Acid Metabolism In Preeclampsia.". "Obstet Gynecol" 24: 744-82. PMID 14227609.
^ Hubel, CA (Dec 1999). "Oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.". "Proc Soc Exp Biol Med." 222 (3): 222-35. PMID 10601881.
^ Preeclampsia. Baby Center (March 2005).
^ a b Clemetson CA (Apr 1992). "The key role of histamine in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.". "Med Hypotheses" 52 (1): 1-8 Review. PMID 10342662.
^ a b Clemetson CA (Jul 2002). "Barlow's Disease.". "Med Hypotheses." 59 (1): 52-6. PMID 12160680.
^ a b c d Clemetson CAB (Jul 2004). "Capillary Fragility as a Cause of Substantial Hemorrhage in Infants."" (PDF). Medical Hypotheses And Research 1 (2/3): 121-129.
^ a b Clemetson CA (2004). "Elevated blood histamine caused by vaccinations and Vitamin C deficiency may mimic the shaken baby syndrome.". Med Hypotheses. 62 (4): 533-6. PMID 15050101.
^ Clemetson CA (Apr 1980). "Histamine and ascorbic acid in human blood.". J Nutr. 110 (4): 662-8. PMID 7365537.
^ Johnston, C.S. (1996). "Chapter 10) The Antihistamine Action of Ascorbic Acid", Ascorbic Acid; Biochemistry and Biomedical Cell Biology. Plenum Press, page 189. ISBN 978-0-306-45148-5.
^ Johnston C S, Martin L J, and Cai X (Apr 1992). "Antihistamine effect of supplemental ascorbic acid and neutrophil chemotaxis.". J Am Coll Nutr 11 (2): 172-6. PMID 1578094.
^ Higdon J. Vitamin C Micronutrient Information Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. 2006
^ Hampl JS, Taylor CA, and Johnston CS. (2004). "Vitamin C Deficiency and Depletion in the United States: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988 to 1994". American Journal of Public Health 94 (5): 870-875. PMID 15117714.
^ a b Clemetson CA (1989). "V III Chapter 1-13", "Vitamin C" Histamine Metabolism. CRC Press Boca Raton, Fla. ISBN 978-0-306-45148-5.
^ Clejan S, Japa S, Clemetson C, Hasabnis SS, David O, Talano JV. (Dec 2002). "Blood histamine is associated with coronary artery disease, cardiac events and severity of inflammation and atherosclerosis.". J Cell Mol Med. 6 (4): 583-92. PMID 12611642.
^ Barlow T (1883). "I. On cases described as `acute rickets' which are probably a combination of scurvy and rickets, the scurvy being an essential, and rickets a variable, element.". Chir Trans (London) 66: 159-220.
^ (December 17, 1983) "“Medical History - Infantile scurvy: the centenary of Barlow's disease”" (PDF). British Medical Journal 287.
^ Rajakumar K (2001). ""Infantile Scurvy: A Historical Perspective”" (PDF). Pediatrics 108: 76.
^ Clemetson CA (2004). "Was it "shaken baby" or a variant of Barlow's disease?" (PDF). J Am Phys Surg" 9: 78-80.
^ Subramanian N, Nandi BK, Majumder AK, Chatterjee IB (Jul 1973). "Role of L ascorbic acid on detoxification of histamine.". Biochem Pharmacol 22 (13): 1671-1673. PMID 4147115.
^ Majno G, Palade GE (Dec 1961). "I. The effect histamine and serotonin on vascular permeability. An electron microscopic study." (PDF). J Biophys Biochem Cytol 11 (3): 571-605. PMID 14468625.
^ Majno G, Palade GE, Schoefl GI. (Dec 1961). "II. The site of action of histamine and serotonin along the vascular tree: a topographic study." (PDF). J Biophys Biochem Cytol 11 (3): 607-626. PMID 14468625.
^ Gore I, Fujinami T, Shirahama T. (Oct 1965). "Endothelial changes produced by ascorbic acid deficiency in guinea pigs.". Arch Pathol 80 (2): 371-376. PMID 5319838.
^ Fung ELW, Sung RYT, Nelson EAS, Poon WS (Jul 2002). "Unexplained subdural. hematoma in young children: is it always child abuse?". "Pediatr. Int." 44 (1): 37-42.
^ a b Clemetson CA (Spring 2006). "Caffey Revisited: A Commentary on the Origin of "Shaken Baby Syndrome."" (PDF). J Am Phys Surg 11 (1): 20-1.
^ Caffey J (1946). "Multiple fractures in the long bones of infants suffering from chronic subdural hematoma.". Am J Roentgen Rad Ther 56: 163-173.
^ Scheibner V (Aug 2001). "Shaken Baby Syndrome Diagnosis on Shaky Ground."" (PDF). “Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine” 20 (2): 5-8,15.
^ Uscinski R (Fall 2004). "The Shaken Baby Syndrome" (PDF). J Am Phys Surg 9 (3): 76-7.
^ Bandak F (Jun 30 2005). "Shaken baby syndrome: a biomechanics analysis of injury mechanisms.". Forensic Sci Int 151 (1): 71-9. PMID 15885948.
^ Clemetson, CAB (3rd Q 1999). "“Vaccinations, Inoculations and Ascorbic Acid”" (PDF). “The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine” 14: 137.

5:35 pm  
Blogger Shinga said...

Because it is:

1 My blog and I was choosing the subject matter.

2 I'm a journal snob. I don't read references that involve J Am Phys Surg (see, Medical Science as dubious as it gets and its Strange Bedfellows. The musings of conspiracy theorists, true believers, charlatans and ambulance chasers will never be my preferred source for anything. Nor do I abuse my brain with anything published by Medical Hypotheses - colloquially known as the National Inquirer of medical musings. Ditto for the J of Orthomolecular Medicine as mentioned by Quackwatch.

I have looked on Entrez PubMed for support from outside the "same scientific shallows" for the theories relating to histamine, vitamin C and SIDS but couldn't find any. I strongly suspect that there is a reason for this lack of outside confirmation.

Can you supply any references from outside the shallows and in reputable journals?

Regards - Shinga

7:01 pm  
Blogger Dr K said...

I couldn't find any evidence in reputable journals for the theory either, Shinga. I decided to abuse my brain a bit though as I wondered why petechial (or worse) haemorrhages did not seem to be a common feature of autopsies in death due to anaphylaxis. Why is it that histamine apparently causes haemorrhage due to capillary fragility in Barlow's disease and yet it does not do so in anaphylaxis (although severe anaphlaxis can cause disseminated intravascular coagulation - not due to capillary fragility)? I wonder.

Having looked at the paper by Majno and Palade (number 20) it shows mostly extravasation of fluid, chlyomicra and tracer particles. Where any red cell extravasation was seen it seemed to be fragments or whole cells and they rarely extended past the vascular basement membrane (out of the wall of the vessel) - hardly enough to produce a petechial haemorrhage from what I saw in the pictures. This study looked at capillary PERMEABILITY which is not the same as fragility as I understand the terminology.

The study was done by giving subcutaneous (in the scrotum) histamine to rats and the sections of tissue were taken from the scrotum so not the closest model system to Clemetson's postulated histaminaemia.

Clemetson's paper in Medical Hypotheses (2004) states several things as fact without referencing any supporting evidence (for example "many infant deaths occur within 13 days of multiple inoculations", "mild histaminaemia due to ascorbate depletion can be turned into severe histaminaemia following injection of too many toxins"). Many of the studies referenced were done in animals and there is no confirmation in humans. Associations are said to indicate causation without evidence. Overall it looks like a theory without anything concrete to support it.

But if there is real evidence (and I stress the words real and evidence) then I would be pleased if anonymous would point it out rather than just pasting an abridged wiki entry.

10:08 pm  
Blogger Shinga said...

Dr, K - I am very grateful to you for the time and effort that you put into your response. I'm sure that your knowledgeable response will be very helpful to people who are looking for a counter-view to some of the more extreme claims on this matter that are omnipresent in parts of the internet.

I am becoming alternately depressed and annoyed at the amount of quote mining and misrepresentation that is used to give a veneer of respectability and rationality to the most dubious claims.

I'm unsure of how easy it is to find Blogger comments when Googling (I know that it finds Haloscan comments but I have not seen Blogger for some reason) - would it be OK with you if I pulled up your comment into its own post? I'd like to do this because I have had a poke about on the internet and I have been horrified by the number of people in parenting forums who are expressing concern about bouncing their babies on their knees for fear of the level of injury being interpreted as SBS or are convinced that the SBS is yet another Big Govt. Big Pharma conspiracy to conceal vbaccine injuries.

Regards - Shinga

12:24 pm  
Blogger Dr K said...

Hi Shinga

Of couse you can use my post. What surprises me is the number of people who quote/believe things reported to have been said in scientific papers without going back to the original paper to check. If I'm going to cite a paper then I feel I've got a responsibility to read it - not rely on somebody else's secondhand version.

5:36 pm  
Blogger george said...

A very interesting discussion and I thank Flea for his efforts to disable the enthusiastic application of ignorance to the treatment of children, guised in a cloak of quotes from journals of doubtful quality.

However, it should be no surprise that there are abundant numbers of people who clip quotes to support their beliefs (which sadly seems to be inculcated by high school essays and book reports).

It shows the strength of belief systems, the power of correlative thinking and the perseveration of beliefs founded on fear. When doubt and fear rule, we are much more likely to do what we did yesterday

It also shows how reluctant most of us are to undertake the hard work necessary to actually test a hypothesis using a valid aplication of the scientific method.

For examples, on the light hearted side, there are websites devoted to proof that the lunar landings of the 1960s were hoaxes staged by NASA. On the less light hearted side, there are those devoted to exposing the Holocaust as a hoax and the WTC disaster as controlled explosions. According to the Washington Post, polling found that 36% of the population share the view that the government knew and took no action to stop it.

Of course, there's little truly new under the sun, eg. Pearl Harbor theories that Roosevelt let it happen so we'd come into WWII.

I guess it's like eating only the chocolate chips from a chocolate chip cookie and then claiming it was really a chocolate bar.

5:50 pm  
Blogger Shinga said...

Dr. K - I think that we possibly don't expect people to misrepresent the research in such an important area. Plus, I have to say, that it can be very tricky to get access to full papers, e.g., my difficulty in looking at any of Kalokerinos' publications.

I've been caught up in the YorkTest nonsense today but I am looking forward to putting up another post about this vaccination issue.

Thank you again - Shinga

7:11 pm  
Blogger Shinga said...

Your description of the matter is entirely on the money, George.

It would be laughable if this were not so serious. This mis-information about vaccines has to stop because it is causing appalling concern among parents and it is given disproportionate airtime on the internet. E.g., in a discussion about vaccine on Respectful Insolence, there was a remarkable comment from a parent in the UK: "...deciding to go with MMR, and taking my son to be vaccinated was still one of the most terrifying things I have ever done. I think there is little that is more horrifying to a parent than the idea that your own actions could directly and irreperably harm your child. I am a rational individual, and a strong proponent of the scientific method, and all that I had read on this subject could still not completely eradicate that fear".

How did we get to the point where the preponderance of coverage of vaccination issues has resulted in parents feeling that a routine medical procedure is "terrifying"? Similarly, Dr. Flea received a grateful email from a mother who thanked him for quieting her anxiety about the risk of immunisation.

Maybe somebody in the US could apply to the Gates Foundation for funding to pull together some positive information about vaccinations and post it somewhere where concerned parents can find it. Goodness knows, it needs to be done.

Regards - Shinga

7:26 pm  
Blogger Jenny F. Scientist said...

On the claim "both that healthy children don't get childhood illnesses and that if they do, those illnesses strengthen their immune systems"- I have a certifiably-mentally-ill aunt who refused to vaccinate her son lest it cause whatever. He got whooping cough and gave it to my maternal grandmother and another aunt. My paternal grandmother, who had seen siblings and friends DIE of whooping cough, was angry beyond measure. Quackery upon quackery.

3:03 pm  
Blogger Shinga said...

Hello Jenny F. Scientist,

Commiserations for the aunt and her son. I realise that people don't have immediate experience of the consequences of preventable childhood illnesses but do not understand why it is acceptable to ignore the very real risks of having these illnesses.

Thanks for stopping by - Shinga

9:41 pm  
Anonymous D.J.Thompson said...

"I'm a journal snob. I don't read references that involve J Am Phys Surg"

I had to smile at this. Reputable journals? Do you mean the pharma controlled rags who had to rescind their ruling on accepting articles from contributors without without vested interests from pharma sources because there weren't any, who have had editors quit in disgust over the fraud committed and other journalistic atrocities, who refuse to print anything antagonistic to vaccine interests and other drug cartel powers, and who only accept material from those who maintain the status quo?

I love the journal scoffed at--doctors and scientists who have the courage to do so can submit truthful articles to a peer-reviewed journal that is free from the corruption of mainstream journals, and the same response function is available to all who question, disagree, and challenge the findings and documentation presented.

On the issue of histamine poisoning causing "capillary fragility", which means a hemorrhagic condition which also affect bone formation, anyone doing research on the subject knows that this reference is to blood histamine levels increasing as a result of vaccinations or as a result of vitamin C deficiency (they are inversely related) and not tissue histamine levels which cause anaphalapsis.

As for vaccines, when my unvaccinated 5-year-old daughter was forced to submit to a tetanus shot and immediately after developed a flesh-eating virus infection coupled with antibiotic-resistant staph in, and her father and I both became infected from her, that set me out on a journey of research into vaccination adverse events in 1986, that took me back to the beginning with that quack Edward Jenner, who bought his medical license, and the disasters that followed to the present day.

If anyone actually wants the truth and not revisionist history or Madison Avenue hype, look up SV40 and Hela Cells just for starters to get a glimpse of the real vaccination picture.

For the last 15 months I've been working on a case of vaccine-induced, accelerated infantile scurvy-endotoxemia AKA "Shaken Baby Syndrome".

Talk about Journals--John Caffey presented his unproven theory in an attempt to explain dead babies with catastrophic bleeding in the head and lesions on the long bones without benefit of a peer-reviewed process. Basically, he was guessing with no supporting science. What he did do correctly was to list infantile scurvy as a "differential diagnosis" since it fit all of the symptoms found on these children, but they weren't expecting to find scurvy in the 1940's, nor in babies younger than 7 months. What he didn't factor in was the switch to baby formula, mothers eating processed junk foods and smoking, or the use of dangerous antibiotics where the increasingly susceptible infants were more prone to bacterial infections, all of which were capable or causing massive vitamin C loss not replaced with breast milk or orange juice supplements.

The symptoms of SBS have changed over the last few decades. Does that mean more caretakers are becoming violent and causing infanticide, or that human physiology is changing? Or could it be (just coincidentally OF COURSE) that when they started vaccinating babies and have increased the schedule continuously, that the consequences have been extremely damaging to undeveloped immune systems and babies lacking development of blood-brain barriers?

Dr. Archie Kalokerinos received Australia's highest civilian award for his work among the Aborigines, for bringing the death rate from 50% in some place down to zero by supplementing vit C and nutrients before and after vaccines forced on them by the government. After he left, they refused to continue his supplement program and the survival rate bottomed out again. He has accused the government of intentional genocide, to rid them of those little brown babies.

The growing number of doctors and scientists who are now daring to speak out do so at great peril. Most must wait until they are retired, because their reputations and livelihoods would be destroyed for having the audacity to publish the truth.

I don't have time to play, so I'll just leave a few quotes:

Getting a vaccination does not guarantee immunity. (~CDC, January 28, 1994.)

"Neutralizing antibodies are reported to reflect levels of protection, although this has not been validated in the field." (~Journal of the American Medical Association, June 9, 1999, Vol. 281. No. 22)

Vaccines made from animal substrate contain animal viruses that are impossible to filter out. By 1961, scientists discovered that animal viruses in vaccines, including smallpox, could act as a carcinogen when given to mice in combination with cancer-causing chemicals, even in amounts too small to induce tumors alone. They concluded that vaccine viruses function as a catalyst for tumor production. (~Science, December 15, 1961.)

Encyclopedia Americana Vol.27, P.852
(1986) Vaccination Article--Smallpox vaccinations ended in 1972 because the vaccines were found to be more dangerous than the disease.

THE WASHINGTON POST, Feb.2, 1986 "Vaccines can be a risk for infected persons--virus in vaccines, like natural virus infection...MAY ACTIVATE LATENT VIRAL INFECTIONS."--Dr. Robert Gallo, National Institute of Health

By the 1920s, several British medical researchers documented that smallpox was not only more common among the VACCINATED, but that the DEATH RATE from smallpox was actually higher among those who had been vaccinated. This indicates that the vaccine was ineffective and predisposed vaccinated persons to more lethal disease. (~Vaccination, Dr. Viera Schreibner, Australia, 1993, pp. 205-220.)

(the home page is being revised--for the original drop the "4" from the url.

12:22 am  
Anonymous D.J.Thompson said...

The url from the second website didn't come through.

1:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Scheibners of the world are the Don Quixotes"

Yes, imagine some silly scientist who had no idea there was any controversy in the world of vaccination conducting scientific cot monitor tests with computerized results, noting that exceptional stress was documented following vaccinations, and in a pattern of key days, and then having the sheer audacity to approach research with an open mind and after examining thousands of documents, most in "appropriate" peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals over the last 100 years, came to the conclusion she now holds on the inefficacy and danger of vaccines.

I wonder how many armchair critics have actually read her book and articles? (Perhaps Sancho Panza was illiterate?)

It's quite interesting how pro-vaxers ignore the fact that every vaccine created for epidemic childhood diseases came at the end of the last epidemic and had no effect on it other than spiked increases while unvaccinated countries also saw the end without those spikes. Even the CDC admits that cleaner water, food supplies and waste disposal ended the so-called "filth diseases" of children. Every surveyor and public engineer in the country learns that history as part of their training.

Blood histamine: May I kindly suggest to the scientists here that they visit and use the search words blood histamine levels + capillary fragility. My 60 second search brought up 1,120 cites of varying degrees of relevance, but quite interesting in their summaries skimmed on the run.

Vaccines + endotoxin yielded
such 22,000 hits such as the following:
1: J Pediatr. 1978 May;92(5):818-22.Links
Meningococcus group A vaccine in children three months to five years of age. Adverse reactions and immunogenicity related to endotoxin content and molecular weight of the polysaccharide.
Peltola H, Käyhty H, Kuronen T, Haque N, Sarna S, Mäkelä PH.

Vaccination of 21,007 children between the ages of three months and five years was completed with five different lots of the meningococcal group A capsular polysaccharide vaccine. A correlation was found between the frequency and severity of adverse reactions and the endotoxin content of the vaccine lots. All vaccine lots elicited a serum antibody response. The endotoxin content of the vaccines did not correlate with the serum antibody response.

Endotoxins + capillary fragility drew 610 hits (relevance unknown--no time to peruse).

That crazy Clemetson (undisputed world authority on vitamin C deficiency)-- what was he thinking?

For anyone who actually wants to study to subject of vaccination rather than just searching for hype to support their personal opinions, may I suggest putting your money where your mouth is and taking Sherri Nakken's online classes (former nurse) which are more comprehensive and extensive than one could imagine. I have hundreds of files from her, none of which I've even had time to read yet. The courses are inexpensive and require nothing but email lessons one need not respond to.

6:23 pm  
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