Discussing the safety of vaccines Part II
Despite the current controversy, vaccination has a proven record to be an effective and economic way to prevent many communicable diseases and their complications. In our last Health Science News Page we explained the important side benefit of vaccination that is population immunity important for protecting infants, the elderly and immunocompromised people in society who are not fit to get individual vaccinations for their health reasons. At the same time, it is also important to be aware of health risks associated with some of the ingredients and adjuvants present in vaccines such as aluminum, thimerosal, formaldehyde, MSG, and so on. Since the vaccination process mimics a real infection, and micronutrients are known to protect against various infections and modulate our immune system, this Health Science News Page focus is on the micronutrients required for the protection of health, improved immunity and increased vaccine safety.
Deficiency of many vitamins and minerals compromises the immune system and our body’s ability to fight infections. Vitamins such as A, C, D, the B group and the minerals iron, zinc, copper, and selenium are especially important for optimum immune function. Chronic deficiency of essential nutrients is not only affecting poor and developing countries but it is very much prevalent in developed nations as well. Despite abundant resources, deficiency of vitamins A, B, C, and D, and iron, calcium, magnesium, and iodine, is quite common in the developed countries as it is mainly attributed to poor food and lifestyle choices, and cultural and socio-economic status. This deficiency manifests as decreased resistance to infectious agents and increased incidence to adverse reactions to foreign agents.
While there are no controlled human studies available to show the efficacy of micronutrients in increasing safety of vaccinations, there exists evidence that some micronutrients may alleviate the toxicity of additives. For example, toxic effects of aluminum and mercury present in vaccines can be chelated by vitamin C. In addition, a higher intake of vitamin C can also improve immunity, and its antioxidant properties nullify the oxidative burden from vaccinations. Vitamin C, the B vitamins, N-acetyl cysteine and other nutrients assist the body in neutralizing and metabolizing toxins present in vaccines.
However, healthy immunity is not a product of any single nutrient. According to research conducted at the Dr. Rath Research Institute the micronutrients are most effective when they are properly selected and combined based on their synergistic interactions. This research has documented that specific combinations of vitamins and other micronutrients supplied in moderate doses can support immune system functions, help fight both viral and bacterial infections, and decrease adverse reactions associated with pharmacologic treatments (for more information go to www.drrathresearch.org/publications).
The public information booklet “Can we make our vaccines safer?” that was recently published by the Dr. Rath Research Institute describes in more detail how various micronutrients help in improving immunity and alleviating some adverse effects associated with vaccination. At this point, vaccines are being manufactured with adjuvants, and therefore in order to protect our health we should educate ourselves on how to take advantage of micronutrients when deciding to vaccinate.