Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Vaccine Ingredients: What You Should Know
Throughout all of these discussions, one point kept rising to the surface about all of the ingredients that anti-vaxxers complain about, and that is the fact that they don't appear to know what these ingredients actually do or why they are found in vaccines. Instead, they simply read on one of their many anti-vaxxer websites that these ingredients are harmful, and the nonsense began to take hold. They never actually bother to research the ingredients to determine why they are included or what function they hold. They never even bother to determine at what quantities they can be found or how much of these ingredients are already found in the human body even before a single vaccine is administered.
Admittedly, telling someone you are going to inject them with aluminum or formaldehyde seems like a bad idea at face value, but once you know the facts about these ingredients it is an entirely different story. In fact, most people may not even understand that the human body already contains chemicals such as formaldehyde even if that person has never had a vaccination in their life. Also, vaccine conspiracy theorists try to suggest aluminum may be responsible for all types of neurological disorders or other medical issues, yet they have zero evidence to support that viewpoint. I chalk these views up to simple ignorance about what aluminum really is and how the body reacts to it, but in the mind of a vaccine conspiracy theorist any form of metal has no reason to exist in the human body apparently.
I can only assume that vaccine conspiracy theorists conveniently ignore that the human body includes trace amounts of various metals and in fact relies upon these elements for proper function. Take zinc for example. Zinc is used for protein synthesis, it contributes to would healing, it contributes to a strong immune system, it has been found to help with memory, and even contributes to skeletal growth. Then you have iron which is required for the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin.
Next you have copper. Copper is required to help regulate blood pressure and helps with nerve function. Chromium enhances the action of insulin as well as assists with carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. Magnesium helps maintain a strong immune system, helps maintain muscle and nerve function, and contributes to energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
As you can clearly see, the human body contains a various amount of metals and numerous other trace minerals. In fact, the human body already contains trace amounts of aluminum, mercury, and even lead. They key point here is that it is important to know and understand what levels are acceptable, and what levels could result in toxicity. Any mineral including those mentioned here can be harmful to the human body if they are found in excessive quantities. Obviously we all know iron is essential for many bodily functions, but if someone has excessive amounts of iron in their blood it can result in numerous side effects including weight loss, shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue.
The phrase "all good things in moderation" comes to mind here. Given in proper amounts, most minerals will not be harmful to humans, but obviously if excessive amounts are ingested there can and will be side effects.
Because of the common misunderstanding of what various vaccine ingredients are capable of, it seems some education is in order - and the following PDF file from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Vaccine Education Center does a fabulous job of explaining some of the basics in layman's terms that even the most prolific anti-vaxxer should be able to understand.
Of course the PDF also includes references for those who are interested in learning even more about the science behind vaccines and although most anti-vaxxers tend to ignore anything which requires independent research, some others might find those articles interesting as well. It is a good read, and something everyone who has any interest in vaccine ingredients should take the time to review.
Vaccine Ingredients: What you should know