When they aren’t talking about toxins, anti-vaccine folks like to talk about two things – the gut and the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
Sometimes they talk about all of them together.
What is the Blood-Brain Barrier?
The blood-brain barrier is exactly what you think it is – a barrier to keep substances in the blood from entering the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Of course, the blood-brain barrier is not impermeable, as some substances, like glucose, ketone bodies, and amino acids have to get to the brain. Brain cells need fuel, just like every other part of the body. And waste products have to get from the brain, across the blood-brain barrier, and back into the blood, so that we can get rid of them.
So the blood-brain barrier doesn’t block everything though. Instead, it is a semi-permeable membrane that lets some things through, but keeps out foreign substances (neurotoxins), lipid insoluble molecules, large molecules (macromolecules), and molecules with a charge.
Why is all of this important?
With a functioning blood-brain barrier, many medications, hormones, and toxins, are kept from affecting our brains! Of course, the blood-brain barrier can make it hard when you do want something to affect your brain, like when you are treating meningitis, anxiety, depression, or migraines.
And there are times when the blood-brain barrier can break down, like after a stroke, certain infections, head trauma, or having high blood pressure, etc.
Vaccines and the Blood-Brain Barrier
So what do vaccines have to do with the blood-brain barrier?
It shouldn’t be surprising that none of the things that anti-vaccine folks say about the blood-brain barrier is true.
“In contrast with the rodent, in which the development of the BBB occurs primarily after birth, the human barrier and its tight junction protein complex develop mainly in utero. More recent evidence has confirmed that the proteins of the tight junction complex are present very early during human fetal brain development.”
Fetal and Neonatal Physiology (Fifth Edition)
So, of course, the blood-brain barrier forms before a baby is born.
“Given sufficient time and dosage most drugs can breach the placenta and enter the fetal circulation, posing a teratogenic risk to the fetal brain. Although the placenta and BBB have several efflux transporters in common, the BBB is a far more structurally complex and restrictive system.”
Goasdoué et al on Review: The blood-brain barrier; protecting the developing fetal brain
The placenta does a good job of most things from getting to your baby, but once inside, you don’t want everything in your baby’s blood to get to their brain, right?
That’s why the blood-brain barrier begins to form well before your baby is born.
“The BBB develops during fetal life and is well formed by birth, especially to proteins and macromolecules.”
Abbott et al on the Structure and function of the blood-brain barrier
And it is well formed by the time they are born.
None of the ingredients in vaccines, whether it is aluminum, polysorbate 80, or anything else, is going to cross the blood-brain barrier and act as a toxin.
“One can question why polysorbate-80 is in the vaccines if it serves to potentially transport vaccine materials across the blood-brain-barrier. After all, what vaccine materials need to enter the brain? The obvious answer is, none. I’ve heard people ask if the polysorbate-80 is in the vaccines intentionally, used as part of a medical experiment on the human race, like we heard about during World War II.”
Lawrence Palevsky, MD in the Holistic Child Health Newsletter August 2013
It should be clear that these ideas about the blood-brain barrier are just more myths to scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids.
Polysorbate 80, for example, is an emulsifier that helps ingredients mix together. It is also used in ice cream and other foods. Maybe someone can ask Dr. Palevsky if he thinks that’s why we sometimes get a ‘brain freeze’ when we eat ice cream – the polysorbate 80 is allowing the ice cream to cross our blood-brain barrier and literally freeze our brain as some kind of medical experiment on the human race.
What to Know About Vaccines and the Blood Brain Barrier
The blood-brain barrier is a semi-permeable membrane that develops before your baby is born. Review how that should affect your decision to vaccinate your kids.
We often hear the argument that anyone who supports the ideas that vaccines work and that they are safe and necessary must be a shill for Big Pharma. And that pediatricians, even though they are among the lowest paid doctors, are making tons of money from vaccines and even getting bonuses to get kids vaccinated.
appearing as “experts” in court, as they push the idea that everything is a vaccine injury
Those who are health care providers can also establish integrative or holistic medical practices that don’t accept insurance and only see patients that can pay cash. In addition to selling supplements, these providers offer unproven and disproven alternative therapies, like homeopathy, integrative testing, IV therapy, and cranio-sacral therapy.
But only if you have plenty of cash handy.
Kelly Brogan, MD, for example, who believes in a paleo approach to vaccines and thinks we should co-exist with viruses and bacteria, charges up to $4,497 for your first appointment! But if that’s too much for you, for only $997, you can start living a “happy, healthier life” with her 44 day online program.
“We coexist with bacteria and viruses to a level of enmeshment that makes the perception of ‘vaccine-preventable infections’ a laughable notion.”
Kelly Brogan, MD on Where do Vaccines Fit into a Paleo Lifestyle?
Oliver argued that Sears likes to have it both ways, seeming to support science-based medicine while once in a while saying things like “vaccines don’t cause autism except when they do.”
The line inspired Oliver to fire back with this: “Don’t worry, opportunist quacks writing books that fan the flames of people’s unfounded fears don’t cause a legitimate public health hazard, except when they do.”
John Oliver takes a shot at the anti-vaccine movement and the ‘opportunistic quacks’ behind it
They instead turn to alternative medicine when their kids get sick and for their preventative care.
Those Times Alternative Medicine Got It Wrong
While it is true that science gets it wrong sometimes, these people seem to fail to consider that alternative medicine does too.
“…there’s no such thing as conventional or alternative or complementary or integrative or holistic medicine. There’s only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t. And the best way to sort it out is by carefully evaluating scientific studies – not by visiting Internet chat rooms, reading magazine articles, or talking to friends.”
Paul Offit, MD on Do You Believe in Magic
More than that, they hardly ever get it right.
Need some examples?
Ayurvedic treatments can be contaminated with toxic metals
biomed treatments for autism – from restrictive diets and chelation to coffee and bleach enemas, these “cures” and treatments have not been shown to be safe, are sometimes known to be dangerous, and don’t even work
Cannabis Oil for kids with cancer – while marijuana-derived products might help some medical conditions, it doesn’t cure cancer
chiropractic neck manipulation of newborns and infants has no benefits and has caused deaths
chronic Lyme disease is not a recognized condition in modern medicine, but that doesn’t keep some ‘Lyme literate’ practitioners from recommending and charging patients for all sorts of unnecessary and sometimes harmful “treatments”
faith healing is still allowing children to die of very treatable conditions, from diabetes and appendicitis to common infections and premature babies
Gerson protocol – often discussed with other forms of cancer quackery this “radical nutritional program combined with purges (particularly coffee enemas)” is believed by some to cure cancer – it doesn’t
HIV denialism – yes, this is a thing, and tragically took the life of Christine Maggiore, her daughter, and many others who eventually died of AIDS
homemade baby formula – notorious for leaving out important nutrients, from iron vitamin D to enough calories for a growing baby
Hoxsey treatment – a natural treatment for cancer that has been around since the 1950s and has never been shown to work, except in people who never actually had cancer
laetrile for cancer – in the late-1970s, kids with treatable forms of cancer had parents who were convinced that this latest fad cure was better. It wasn’t.
naturopathy – although mostly looked at as a holistic alternative to other providers, some of these treatments include vitamin injections, hydrogen peroxide injections, and alternative cancer therapies
shark cartilage – this was the fad cancer cure in the 1990s that was killing kids who’s parents sought alternative cancer treatments. It didn’t work.
What’s the harm with these treatments?
Many, like Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Reiki, and Reflexology, etc., aren’t necessarily dangerous on their own. In fact, most don’t do anything at all, but they can lead people away from real treatments. And that essentially leaves people untreated.
Getting a fake treatment might not be a big deal when it is a condition that can go away on its own, like when Angelina Jolie talked about getting acupuncture when she had Bell’s Palsy, but it often leads to disastrous consequences when a life-threatening condition goes untreated.
Many people who push these alternative “treatments” often also recommend against standard treatments, like vitamin K shots for newborns, RhoGAM shots for their moms, and vaccines.
Those Times Anti-Vaccine Experts Got It Wrong
It shouldn’t be surprising that many of the folks who think that vaccines are dangerous, aren’t necessary, or that they don’t even work also believe in holistic or alternative treatments.
It also shouldn’t be surprising that they are also wrong a lot:
Meryl Dorey – equates vaccination with rape, something many of her followers aren’t even comfortable with
Mark and David Geier – this father and son pair are infamous for pushing a chemical castration treatment (Lupron) for autistic children, a treatment that led to Mark Geier losing his medical license (he’s a geneticist) in several states.
Jay Gordon, MD – once made the comment that “Heaven help us if we have a generation of kids who get a hepatitis B vaccine and a HPV vaccine and they think that now unprotected sex is okay…” Not surprisingly, studies have found that this doesn’t happen. In fact, teen pregnancy rates are at their lowest levels ever.
Suzanne Humphries, MD – a nephrologist who became a homeopath and now pushes anti-vaccine talking points, believes that vaccines don’t work and that polio never really disappeared, and that we don’t “see it anymore” because we changed its name to acute flaccid paralysis.
Neil Z. Miller – a psychologist who has written many anti-vax books, gives lectures at chiropractic associations, and published his daughter’s book, Ambassadors Between Worlds, Intergalactic Gateway to a New Earth, which describes how they are both able to talk to intergalatic beings because she has been doing it for multiple lifetimes. No word yet if folks from the Pleiadians vaccinate their kids…
Tetyana Obukhanych, MD – the Harvard trained immunologist who believes that Immunology has no theoretical or evidence-based explanation for immunity.
Viera Scheibner – the micropaleontologist who thinks that getting a vaccine-preventable disease is good for kids, that vaccines are contaminated with amoebas, and that they cause SIDS and shaken baby syndrome
Stephanie Seneff – the MIT doctor (she has a doctorate in electrical engineering) who thinks that half of kids will have autism in eight years and that glyphosate causes everything from autism to school shootings and terrorist bombings.
Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD – an immunologist who heads the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases and is on the scientific advisory board for the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute. He is the latest to blame adjuvants for causing disease – his Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA), which is often described as being a “basically a made-up syndrome that isn’t generally accepted.”
Sherri Tenpenny, DO – described as an anti-vax “expert” whose advise is “chock full of vaccine pseudoscience.” Once board certified in emergency medicine, Dr. Tenpenny now sells DVDs and supplements on her website, speaks at chiropractic health events, and provides holistic medical care. In a rant about freedom of choice in vaccination, she talks about General Robert E. Lee, Southern war hero and postwar icon of the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy,” the extinction of humanity, and about slavery and eight veils that must be pierced if you want to see what is really going on in the world – that the Illuninati and other secret organizations control us and that they are being controlled by time traveling dragons, lizards, and aliens.
Tim O’Shea, DC – a chiropractor, he speaks at anti-vax conferences and wrote an anti-vaccination book called The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination is not Immunization. Dr. O’Shea does not believe that germs make us sick (germ theory denialism), thinks that vaccines cause peanut allergies, and he sells supplements and seminars.
Kelly Brogan, MD – a holistic psychiatric who recommends that patients wean off their prescribed medications and has talked about HIV denialism.
Erin Elizabeth – is pushing the idea that holistic practitioners are being murdered
Tragically, the pseudo-scientific arguments on many anti-vaccine websites can sometimes be persuasive, especially if you don’t understand that they are mostly the same old arguments that the anti-vaccine movement has been using for over 200 years to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
Sites that are considered anti-vaccine by most people and that push propaganda and myths include:
Age of Autism
Child Health Safety (The facts about vaccine safety your government wont give you)
“…we have been recently convinced through the promise of technology and corporate prowess that processed food is more reliable, nutritious, and beneficial. We’ve been convinced that Hamburger Helper is better for our families than a homemade Bolognese.”
For some reason, she does not seem to be vegan, as one might expect. Not even vegetarian…
She does seem to believe that people with mental health conditions not should be treated with medication. In fact, she thinks the medications that are routinely used to treat common mental health conditions are behind some of the biggest tragedies happening today.
“The records also listed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as one of his medical conditions” the proverbial smoking gun of every mass shooting in this country.”
Kelly Brogan on the Sutherland Church Shooting
And she was mentored, not by a psychiatrist, but by a doctor who pushed “a largely dietary treatment for cancer including an individualized organic diet, large amounts of supplements, and pancreatic enzymes,” a regimen that was actually studied and found to be harmful and reduced the quality of life for people with a deadly form of cancer.
Who Is Kelly Brogan?
Kelly Brogan is a holistic psychiatrist.
“Eastern wisdom tells us that when we think we know, we don’t. But when we admit ignorance, we achieve enlightenment. The most profound part of my departure from conventional medicine has been the depths of my surrender to all that we do not, cannot, and must not understand about the body and its experience. Humble awe and wonder are truly the only appropriate states for approaching the complexity of the human condition.”
Do holistic psychiatrists use a different definition for the word humble?
“All suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction.”
I’m actually surprised that she hasn’t written about RhoGAM. Maybe she hasn’t gotten around to it. But she doesn’t disappoint. She has shared an article on her Facebook page that claims that the RhoGham shot is just a “Big Pharma Profit Ploy.”
Kelly Brogan is a holistic psychiatrist that wants you to live a medication free life. I guess that could have made her some kind of psychoanalysist, but that doesn’t seem to be the route she went.
“In fact, ‘treatment’ with chemotherapy and radiation not only disrupts a complex process that needs to actually be supported, but also it induces secondary harm, both psychically and physiologically. When we interfere and war with the body, we keep the fight alive – you can’t win the battle against yourself.”
Is she telling people to stop their cancer treatments?
Do folks get a lot of training in treating cancer in their psychiatry residency these days?
And she advises that you “think long and hard about vaccination.”
“As we discover more about the near infinite sophistication of your interconnected bodily systems, and the hyper-individuality of any cause and effect process resulting from a healthcare decision, the one-size-fits-all, indemnified vaccine program may begin to make less and less sense to you. Educate yourself before you make a choice that could change everything for you and your family. Trust your body. Invest in your immunity. And explore a mindset shift that offers you a fear-free way to understand health and wellness.”
Shortly after talking about informed consent, she lets you know how she really feels about vaccines.
“Don’t buy into the lore, don’t make assumptions, and understand that the philosophical underpinnings of the vaccination program are predicated on an antiquated perspective: warring against and attempting to eradicate bad germs. Science has left that childlike notion in the dust, and so should we.”
“One of my favorite medical terms, anosognosia, means lack of awareness of a deficit. I have come to find this useful in description of so many of my colleagues who practice the medicine they were trained to practice without conscious acknowledgement of its gross limitations and even hazards.”
Does anyone else think that it is wildly ironic that anosognosia is Kelly Brogan’s favorite medical term?
Can a psychiatrist be suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect?
I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure that a holistic psychiatrist can.
A history-making case report? Considering that case reports are the weakest type of scientific evidence, just above YouTube videos and articles on her website, that’s not likely.
Kelly Brogan is a holistic psychiatrist who has flirted with HIV denialism.
You can get educated about vaccines if you are on the fence, but it won’t be from Kelly Brogan, a women’s health holistic psychiatrist.
What to Know About Kelly Brogan
Kelly Brogan is a holistic psychiatrist who seems to charge folks a lot of money in private consultations to help them know that she has faith in their potential to heal themselves naturally – with her help.