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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, November 2, 2017

Know what else comes through the needle?

by Ralph Campbell, MD

(OMNS Nov 2, 2017) Excipients in vaccines are chemicals that are not the main active ingredient, but are added to vaccines for several purposes. Preservatives are added to prevent contamination, and adjuvants are added to "killed virus" or subunit vaccines, and are designed to make the antigens more reactive and have a longer duration of action. This seems to be a good idea, but unfortunately there is a bad side, particularly to the two most popular additives: thimerosal and aluminum. Thimerosal, a preservative, is a mercury compound, added to vaccines to kill any "live viruses," fungi, and bacteria in the vial. Aluminum (as aluminum hydroxide or aluminum phosphate) is an adjuvant in vaccines meant to boost antibody response. Both of these metals are regarded as environmental toxins.


Thimerosal has received the most negative publicity, as some have claimed that mercury toxicity is a cause of autism. This leads us to the work of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British academic gastroenterologist and surgeon. At about the same time that his theories about toxicity of vaccines became prominent in the news, we in the USA were becoming more aware of environmental toxicity of metals. The emphasis over here was slanted more to this environmental cause, with which Wakefield agreed. But he was more concerned about giving combined vaccines to infants with immature immune systems. He advocated going back to administering single vaccines, a practice that quickly became well accepted by the U.K. and U.S. public, but certainly not by the vaccine industry with its large investment in combined vaccines, particularly the Mumps, Measles, Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Initially, as Wakefield was a specialist in stomach and intestinal disorders, a mother brought her autistic child to him as she wondered if there was a connection between his gastrointestinal problems and autism. Then he began gathering cases of mothers reporting that their little ones rapidly showed behavior regression after receiving an MMR vaccination. He studied 12 children with both gastro-intestinal and developmental issues. This study resulted in an article with several other authors being published in Lancet, the well-known British medical journal. The conclusion: They couldn't prove the significance of the association, because the number of cases was too small and the evidence in the existing published medical literature was inadequate. There were two problems with this conclusion. First, although many things in medicine cannot be proven, research reports should provoke thoughtful consideration. Second, published evidence was and remains inadequate because many of the prestigious medical journals, including Lancet, are practically subsidized by pharmaceutical companies and will not publish a study that bites the hand that feeds them.


A strong campaign of vilification of Dr. Wakefield began when Brian Deer, a British journalist published a paper claiming Wakefield had falsified data and committed fraud. It is almost unbelievable to witness the delight that many had in bringing this good man down, and to read of the counter-punches of the vaccine industry. He had his license to practice medicine revoked and even gave up his British citizenship as he moved to the U.S. in order to pursue the work he totally believed in. Eventually the British high court retracted Deer's paper which was full of more fraud than he had alleged Wakefield had in his study. In spite of the Court's decision, Lancet refused to reinstate Wakefield's original study, effectively enabling Deer's falsehoods.

The mercury level of some vaccines may be as high as 50 mg/L, whereas when soil contains a level exceeding 0.2mg/L it is considered a hazardous waste site.

A paper published in Nutritional Neuroscience explained how mercury could be a potential cause of autism: "There is a vicious circle between nervous system impairment and increasing dysbiosis (faulty metabolism), leaky gut and neurochemical compounds and/or neurotoxic xenobiotics (substances foreign to the gut) production and absorption." [1] A "leaky gut" is one in which the gut lining is abnormally porous, allowing digestive products that don't usually get into the blood stream to do so, a process that can lead to further troubles described below. The "vicious circle" referred to the hypothesis that leaky gut is both a cause and a result in this system, and can lead to the formation of abnormal levels of neurochemical compounds. On top of this, add mercury (the xenobiotic) and you have neurological impairment that includes autism. The mercury level of some vaccines may be as high as 50 mg/L, whereas when soil contains a level exceeding 0.2mg/L it is considered a hazardous waste site.

Due to public pressure, while the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) was dragging its heels, the industry voluntarily stopped the use of Thimerosal in many vaccines. However, it is still in influenza vaccines. Since many more shots are now given, by five years of age the mercury load might still be hazardous.


Another known environmental toxin, aluminum, having had a role as an adjuvant for decades, has become more widely used, and is currently added as an adjuvant in Hep A, Hep B, DT, H. Influenza b, and pneumococcal vaccines in the form of aluminum hydroxide, HPV vaccines as amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate (AAHS) and in the case of Merck's vaccines many were mislabeled for years but were actually AAHS .[2]. By 18 months of age, a child who has received all recommended vaccines will have had a load of 5mg of aluminum, while the FDA regards only 0.85 mg as "safe." Unsafe levels of aluminum and mercury can end up in the brain where they can promote inflammation as in the immune system, and thus they are commonly associated with several neurological diseases including the dreaded Alzheimer's disease.

Couple this aluminum load with the large intake derived from infant formula (bottle) feeding for the vulnerable infant and we have a significant problem. Studies reveal formula levels of aluminum 9.6 times higher than that of human milk, with variation in different brands on the market.[3] Another study shows soy formula levels 20 times that of human milk, levels which are far above "safe" levels set by WHO.[4] Evidently aluminum compounds get in formula from the manufacturing process.[4]

Many antacid products contain aluminum hydroxide, and have for decades. Some newer products list magnesium and calcium carbonates as ingredients, not aluminum hydroxide. Aluminum-containing forms were widely used in the '60s, causing me to wonder about a causal relationship with the now prevalent Alzheimer's disease. Since aluminum in solution competes with calcium in many biological processes, it is significant in the development of osteopenia (weak bones) in both infants and adults. Aluminum inhibits more than 200 important biological functions of the body, is a pro-oxidant, and is a neurotoxin even at very low levels.[5]


The study of squalene is another punch vs. counterpunch story. There is a well-documented problem concerning Gulf War participants who might have received a vaccine or vaccines with squalene as an adjuvant. Those with antibody levels to squalene had a high incidence of an autoimmune disease. Those without, did not. The industry's objection to this study was widely and vehemently publicized. They claimed that by using this substance in an oil-based form it would be harmless. The problem with any environmental toxin that has an affinity for fat is that small amounts in a single dose, with repeated doses, can accumulate in fatty tissues, where they can be released later when the body is under stress. And they act as inflammatory agents while residing in fatty tissue. This discussion is not complete, but there is plenty here to chew on.

There are many other potentially toxic additives or excipients in vaccines, not all of which have been thoroughly studied for safety. With all the fuss about abortion clinics selling fetal body parts, the public might be appalled to learn that human diploid cells, containing fetal DNA, are used in some vaccines, used in the growth media, and may lead to the development of auto-immune diseases.

Similarly, animal cells may be used in the growth media for growing viruses, including egg albumin, a common allergen. Pig/swine viruses were found in the unfortunate rotavirus vaccine that caused the serious intestinal problem of intusussception. The Simian virus (SV40) was found in a polio vaccine, a virus known to be a carcinogen. One influenza vaccine, Flucelvax, uses tumorigenic dog cells in its growth media cell culture. The fear is that after continuing a culture growth process, these cells could mutate into carcinogens.

Glutamate is included in Flumist (the sniffed form of flu vaccine) because it inhibits oxidation from light. Couldn't the Flumist simply be stored in a dark vial? Flumist was developed in order to spare the infant from suffering a painful shot, but commonly infants express pain when something is squirted up their nose. Monosodium glutamate is in Proquad (DPT-polio) vaccine, and in Zoztavax (varicella for shingles prevention) and Varivax (another shingles preventer). Varivax manufacturers also use diploid cells to grow the virus.


Even though we now know that the risks of adding potentially toxic adjuvants and excipients often far exceed the benefits, I doubt if anything will change, because their use is so well entrenched.[2,6,7] The FDA and CDC will pronounce their usual "more studies are needed," assuming they will do such studies at all. Studies comparing a test group with a control group might take decades. Like a baseball play review: "There has to be indisputable evidence to overturn the call." For now, neither the doctor nor the parent may effectively change any part of the immunization schedule without a penalty.

The toxic burden of aluminum and mercury may be lowered with an adequate intake of vitamin C, which has a chelating effect: vitamin C can bind with these metals and cause them to be excreted.[8-10] One can prevent the leaky bowel problem with dietary practices that control motility and inflammation of the bowel: good B-complex vitamin intake, adequate fiber in the diet (including soluble fiber, as in apples and extractor-juiced vegetables) and probiotics (that make for a healthy microbiome, the new name for good bugs that reside in the gut). I have found some probiotic preparations that cause a degree of intestinal upset, but in my experience buttermilk and yogurt never fail.

While you're at it, get adequate exercise for it enhances intestinal mobility. And when you exercise, use something other than antiperspirant deodorants which usually, as their label will verify, contain aluminum. Choose stainless steel or glass cookware instead of aluminum. "Silver" dental amalgam fillings contain mercury; insist on composite restorations instead. Seafood is good for you, but avoid eating high-mercury-level fish such as swordfish. Seafood relatively low in mercury includes anchovies, herring, sardines, scallops, clams, salmon, pollock, catfish, eel, crab and shrimp. Learn which other foods or personal care products have a high content of harmful metals, and avoid or reduce their consumption.

And think twice before you allow the injection of any questionable substance into your child's body. Parents, you and your doctor should work together while bucking the entrenched system.

( To view a table of excipients added to US vaccines: . You can watch a comprehensive video interview with Dr. Andrew Wakefield at )


1. Mezzelani A, Landini M, Facchiano F et al. Environment, dysbiosis, immunity and sex-specific susceptibility: A translational hypothesis for regressive autism pathogenesis. Nutr Neurosci. May, 2015; 18(4): 145-161. Full text:

2. Humphries S. Merck's dirty little secret.

3. Fernandez-Lorenzo JR, Cocho JA, Rey-Goldar ML et al. Aluminum contents of human milk, cow's milk, and infant formulas. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999, 28:3, 270-275.,_Cow_s_Milk,_and.11.aspx

4. ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition. Agostoni C, Axelsson I, Goulet O, et al. Soy protein infant formulae and follow-on formulae: a commentary by the ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2006, 42:4, 352-361.

5. Kawahara M, Kato-Negishi M. Link between aluminum and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease: The Integration of the Aluminum and Amyloid Cascade Hypotheses. Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2011 Mar 8;2011:276393. .

6. Humphries S. Trojan horses and cluster bombs: Aluminum.

7. Humphries S. Video series on vaccines: Honesty vs. policy

Part I. Is Dr. Humphries a quack homeopath?

Part II. Vaccination of kidney patients. Where's the science?

Part III. Reviewing the situation

Part IV. Trailblazers and outliers

Part V. One size does not fit all

Part VI. The business of vaccination

8. Vitamin supplements help protect children from heavy metals, reduce behavioral disorders

9. Kruck TP, Cui JG, Percy ME, Lukiw WJ. Molecular shuttle chelation: the use of ascorbate, desferrioxamine and Feralex-G in combination to remove nuclear bound aluminum. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2004 Jun;24:443-459.

10. Yanagisawa A. Orthomolecular treatment for adverse effects of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine

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