Everything to be gained by breastfeeding, nothing to lose

In Natural Immunity and VaccinationTetyana Obukhanych, Ph.D states that the measles vaccine has probably eradicated much of the wild measles infection. Then she asks: But is this a good thing?

Answering her own question with a firm ‘no’ she explains that in eradicating the wild measles infection we are also putting an end to something else, something precious and this is maternal immunity. Dr Tetyana adds that we are actually eliminating this amazing maternal immunity even faster than the measles virus.

Natural immunity

In past generations most of us had childhood infections such as measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. We encountered these viruses during our childhood and had acquired natural and lifelong immunity before child-bearing age. This is vital for during pregnancy mothers can pass on this immunity via the placenta and through breastfeeding. Such immunity lasts 6 months after the birth of the infant continuing and extended by length of breastfeeding. Because of this amazing maternal immunity now being eliminated through the mass use of vaccines, it was very rare for an infant to develop measles infection.

In 1990s there was a measles outbreak in USA where it was observed that some young infants developed measles and some didn’t. The infants who didn’t get measles were the babies of mothers who were born before 1963 (date when measles vaccine was introduced in the U.S) and the infants who developed measles were born to younger mothers who were more likely to have been vaccinated. The reason that the babies didn’t develop measles during the outbreak would be due to maternal immunity which was not available to the babies born to younger and vaccinated mothers.

Sadly in the same way as we are eliminating maternal immunity to measles we are on the way to eradicating maternal protection from common childhood infections such as mumps, rubella and chicken pox. (The vaccines for these being introduced at later dates). This is tragic for when there are outbreaks of mumps, rubella and chicken pox, young infants who in earlier times would have been covered by their mother’s immunity, will most likely be infected for young girls all over the world are now vaccinated.

‘Mass vaccination’, says Dr Tetyana, is resulting in a leaky herd immunity and this is because many of the vaccinated are called ‘low responders’ to the vaccine. We have ruined this natural immunity which was reinforced among adults when their offspring developed the childhood infections. How silly are we?

Tetyana Obukhanych discusses the choices available to us in relation to infectious disease control.

Public health model

This model promotes vaccines as the way to control infectious diseases. A better way is the adoption of the personal health model.

Personal Health Model

In this way we choose to leave the virus alone and keep our babies well so if they are infected it will be a very mild case of disease. This involves breastfeeding the infant and  attention given to ensuring a nutritious diet. It also involves avoiding fever suppressing medicine such as paracetamol.

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The immune system gradually matures during infancy. Critical early protection against many infectious diseases previously experienced by the mother is given by the passive IgG antibody transferred from the mother via the placenta and in milk.

The infant immune system is transitioning to deal with life. Breastfeeding provides this protection by way of a ‘surrogate immune system‘ that includes the secretion of proteins that exist in breast milk and have antibacterial functions such as secreted IgA and other protective substances such as oligosaccharides that bind with bad bacteria and eliminate them avoiding gut inflammation.

The gut flora is vital in keeping the infant well. Lactobacteria in the gut is promoted by breastfeeding – the presence of this bacteria regulates the junctions in the gut preventing leaky gut. Breastfeeding has been shown to be protective against diarrhoea and also common ear infections and meningitis.  It also has a role in the prevention of chronic diseases.

Everything to be gained by breastfeeding, nothing to lose

As the child grows, attention must be given to nutrition and the importance of vitamins such as A and D. When infection strikes, macrophages pick up the virus and replicate it.  They then secrete interferon which sends signals to cells to fight the infection. However the function of interferon depends on adequate levels of vitamin A. In countries such as Africa where diets are deficient in vitamin A, measles is deadly, so supplementation of children with vitamin A is given.

Vitamin D is also vital for good health in that it activates some of the cells of the immune system and causes the secretion of substances such as antimicrobial peptides which helps with fighting infections. It is especially effective in fighting influenza. This explains why flu is more virulent in the winter when our vitamin D levels are low. Dietary supplementation with foods high in vitamin D is essential for immunity. Cod liver oil has sustained populations for many generations. See: Weston A. Price Foundation for more information about Vitamin D rich foods.

We have wonderful bodies which are designed to heal. There is no need for vaccines. We can build our immune systems and make ourselves and our children strong.

 

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Filed under books, health, Media and health, media representation, politics, vaccination, vaccines

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