Top Health Questions & Answers | Natural Health Newsletter

Date: 03/07/2015    Written by: Jon Barron

Q and A with Jon Barron

Answers to Email Questions by Jon Barron

It's time once again for one of our regular features: Q and A. We receive thousands of questions every month at The Baseline of Health® Foundation, not to mention the numerous questions received by Baseline Nutritionals®, with whom I'm also associated. Although, most are answered by staff, some make their way to me. I've selected some of those questions to share with you today. Note: these questions come from both the Baseline of Health Foundation and Baseline Nutritionals. Normally, I keep these two sites separate and only rarely mention a Baseline Nutritionals' product by name on the Foundation website. This, however, is one of those occasions where it makes sense to do so because many of the questions that come to me are product/ingredient specific.

Incidentally, one of the things our long time readers may notice is that over time, the nature of the questions has changed. Whereas previously, most questions looked for clarification or expansion of things that we had previously dealt with, we're now seeing more and more internet inspired questions--where someone has read a study or seen something on another site that they feel contradicts something that I have written. While it is true that I am not always 100% right (when it comes to health and nutrition, no one ever is--and certainly not your doctor), I tend to support whatever I say with extensive references. With that in mind, isolated studies taken out of context that express a contrarian POV should not necessarily be assumed to be convincing evidence. And a theory or opinion merely expressed on someone else's site, regardless of how passionately it is stated, should be taken with a grain of salt unless it comes with substantiation--and the more against the grain it runs, the more substantiation you should look for. Remember, just because it's on the internet does not make it automatically true. 

With that said, let's take a look at some of the Q and A.

Blood Pressure


Thank you for your comments on High Blood Pressure.  Please, it would be very helpful if you folks would publish an article on what really constitutes a valid procedure for taking blood pressure. In Dr. Kenneth Bersteins book "Diabetes Solution," he comments (Page 456) that a BP measurement should be a relaxed reading, taken only after 15 to 30 minutes of rest, and the valid reading should be the lowest recorded, taken every 5 minutes. This is in great contrast to the way my provider takes BP readings, systematically inflating them. I wonder if they profit by treating people for high BP whether their patients have high BP or not. In other words, I think my doctor engages in Disease Mongering.


Actually it's a little more complicated than that.

Blood pressure fluctuates every day for a variety of reasons: activity level, stress, age, and physical condition, among others. The time of day in which you take the reading is also critical. In most people, blood pressure rises rapidly in the early morning hours, in anticipation of rising and beginning the day. This is not the result of the physical act of rising but is a preset system that automatically increases a person's blood pressure at that time. Likewise, pressure normally starts dropping early in the evening in anticipation of going to sleep. And to complicate matters even more there is something called "white coat hypertension," which is when your blood pressure is high ONLY in the doctor's office.1 

Any informed doctor is aware of these factors and will take them into account. If they don't, you should look for another doctor.

Chlorine and Fluoride in Your Water


I appreciated the detailed article that Jon Barron wrote explaining Heavy Metal Hysteria, but I have one question.

Barron's article includes the following statement, without any references: "The organic form of fluorine combines with calcium (when in the presence of molybdenum) to form calcium fluorapatite, which is an essential component of healthy teeth and bones."

Can you please send me the publication of clinical trials or other study that supports that statement?


There are no "clinical trials" for observation. To understand why, you need to first understand what a clinical trial is. 

A clinical trial is a scientifically controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic agent (as a drug or vaccine) using consenting human subjects.

scientific observationsNo drug or therapeutic agent was being tested here. Instead, what we're talking about falls under the heading of "scientific observation."  It's like asking to see the clinical studies that prove that carbon is the foundation of organic chemistry. They don't exist. The conclusions result from scientific observation, not double blind studies. In fact, the whole basis for adding toxic fluoride to water came from the scientific observation in the early 1900's that the teeth of people who drank water high in natural fluoride were more resistant to cavities.2 The fact that fluoride in water combines with calcium (when in the presence of molybdenum) to form calcium fluorapatite is a given. It is also a given that all foods contain at least small amounts of fluoride. In other words, it is a given that this process is happening all the time. But that scientific fact is a long, long way from coming to the conclusion that it is a good idea to add toxic forms of fluoride to water. Again, it is naturally present in many water supplies and all foods.3 The bottom line is that natural fluoride is essentially inescapable. In other words, you better hope there is a huge difference between natural fluoride and the industrial byproduct version now added to municipal water supplies and toothpaste--not only in terms of quantity, but also in terms of effects. And fortunately there is.

All of that said, you might find the following study interesting since it relates to naturally occurring fluoride:


Jon, I have been meaning to ask for years but never remembered: while I've always believed in the chlorine absorption issue while showering, how do you account for swimmers, especially dedicated ones, spending 4 or more hours sometimes in the swimming pool training? Their absorption problem would be major. And how do you counteract that? Routine chelation? Or something else? Please advise. Thanks!


Actually, chlorine in swimming pools is a serious problem--not just through absorption, but also as result of the chlorine gas that swimmers breathe.5 Chelation won't help since chlorine is a halogen gas, not a metal. Vitamin C, however, does neutralize chlorine.6 In fact, it's now being used in some shower filters to remove chlorine.7 Also, if desired, both chlorine and chloramine can be removed for bathing purposes by dissolving Vitamin C in the bath water (1000 mg Vitamin C tablet will neutralize chloramine in an average bathtub).8


I understand chlorine can be absorbed through the skin. Is the same true for fluoride? In my city, fluoride is present in the city water, although it is not added. It is naturally present. People drink de-fluoridated water via reverse osmosis mini-plants, but we all take showers with water high in fluoride.

Also, in your article, Heavy Metal Hysteria, you explained that heavy metals incorporated in the vegetables tissue via their roots are generally safe to eat (unlike those incorporated in animal tissue). Does that really mean that vegetables grown in areas high in heavy metals in the soil and well washed (to get rid of heavy metals ON the vegetables) are always safe regarding heavy metal content and its absorption in digestion?


getting fluoride while showeringYes, some fluoride is absorbed through the skin and through the lungs when showering--especially soluble forms which have been added to municipal water supplies. And while inhalation and skin absorption can be significant for some occupational exposure situations, they are not important exposure routes for fluoride in drinking water, at least compared to drinking that same water.9 That said, I've always recommended filtering not only the water you drink but also the water you bathe in--with a whole house filter being the best option.  Note: several years ago, I negotiated a deal with the people at Aquaspace water filters to offer a 20% discount to any of our readers who mention my name when buying a filter from them.10 The entire discount is passed onto you. I get nothing from it.

As to the last part of your question, when it comes to heavy metals, less is better than more, obviously--but we're talking about what's actually absorbed. And heavy metals bound to food fiber are significantly less absorbable than free heavy metals. Take arsenic as an example. Most inorganic forms of arsenic are highly active and readily bond with molecules in the human body. In other words, the more likely it is to be toxic. Organic arsenic molecules such as arsenobetaine and arsenocholine, on the other hand, have little tendency to bond with human tissue and are rapidly excreted in unchanged form in the urine -- thus making them relatively nontoxic. What I said in my newsletter is that numbers on a table don't necessarily tell you that. Nevertheless, you don't want to eat food grown on a former toxic waste site. But when you're dealing in PPB of bound heavy metals, as found in most clean soils, it's not a significant factor.



I read your article on carnosine. Methinks it's snake oil. 


As long as you're willing to overlook the hundreds of studies that prove it works, then that's certainly a possible call11--but probably not one based on good science.


First of all, congrats with your unbiased approach of nutrients for therapeutic use and anti-aging. I came in on the 2012 article "Carnosine, Still the Best for Anti-Aging."

Carnosine is a dipeptide chain of histidine and b-alanine. I find it strange that we should supplement with such a supplement since any chain will dissociate when it is exposed to stomach acid. After all, that is the task of our stomach: to reduce our food to the basic building blocks for easy assimilation. I am aware of the research behind carnosine but why would we have to buy a quality carnosine supplement whereas separate histidine and b-alanine would probably do the same job?

Compare it with glutathione, which is a tripeptide that is also naturally produced in our body. I have always distrusted glutathione supplements since the tripeptide just dissociates in stomach acid. Few people are aware of this and in fact what they buy is an expensive triple amino acid supplement. Liposomal glutathione is another story, which is likely to deliver the tripeptide directly to the cells.

So what is the rationale behind taking carnosine? Is there something I missed about its chemistry?


overwhelming researchYour supposition only works if you ignore the hundreds of studies that show that carnosine supplementation actually makes its way into the bloodstream and provides benefits to the body. Quite simply, not every dipeptide is broken down by the digestive process. Check out the update to the article you referred to. "Carnosine: 18 Years of Anti-aging and Going Strong."

Note: your assessment that glutathione is not absorbed in the intestinal tract is correct, but your understanding as to why that happens is not. In fact, the reason that it's not easily absorbed is because glutathione is NOT broken down in the stomach. The glutathione molecule is simply too big and heavy to pass through the intestinal wall. Same end result--but for the exact opposite reason. The carnosine molecule, on the other hand, can be absorbed through the intestinal wall, which explains why people who eat a lot of meat have higher levels of carnosine in their bloodstream than vegetarians.12 That result, of course, would not be observed if the carnosine in meat was not absorbed through the intestinal tract.

Esophageal Cancer


My name is XXX with The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation. The purpose of this email is to suggest a topic for Jon's website and email newsletter. Esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma) is the fastest growing cancer in the United States with over a 600% increase in the past decades. One of the primary risk factors associated with the cancer is acid reflux disease (also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD). Heartburn is the most common symptom of reflux disease and affects millions of Americans. Many are unaware of the dangerous risk associated between chronic heartburn/reflux and esophageal cancer. Poor nutrition, obesity and lack of exercise are undoubtedly contributing to this dramatic increase in acid reflux sufferers and people diagnosed with esophageal cancer.
Unfortunately, many turn to acid medications which are either prescribed by their doctors (many are not explaining the dangerous side effects) or purchased over-the-counter without ever consulting a doctor. Since these medications only treat the symptoms of GERD and not the actual disease (a weakened lower esophageal sphincter) damage is still occurring to the esophagus and the risk of cancer and other diseases continue to increase with time.

Esophageal cancer is amongst the deadliest of cancers as the majority of patients are diagnosed in later stages when the cancer begins to show symptoms and has progressed. When the cancer becomes advanced, there are fewer treatment options and rarely a cure. Stage IV has a survival rate of only 3.8%.

April is dedicated to ‘Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month' and our charity is working to bring awareness to this devastating cancer and its relation to acid reflux disease. Men and women of all ages and ethnicities are at risk of esophageal cancer and we would greatly appreciate any help that The Baseline of Health Foundation can provide with spreading the word.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments. Thank you for the consideration.


Although I have not specifically addressed esophageal cancer, I have addressed the issue of acid reflux, its primary cause, in some detail--what causes it (a weakened lower esophageal sphincter may actually be a secondary factor, not the primary factor) and how to get rid of it. For example: check out



You have left me hanging!  Mentioning "co-opting" and then ending your article makes me reply for a definition...please...


thief in actionI'm not sure which article you're referring to since I frequently talk about how mainstream medicine loves to disparage alternative health treatments until it co-opts them and takes them on as their own. IN any case, let me clarify. One of the definitions of co-opt is: to take over, to appropriate. I have frequently explained how the medical community loves to disparage the alternative health community, saying no alternative treatments are proven to work. And that's because every time one is proven to work, the establishment co-opts it, takes it over, renames it, and never acknowledges where it came from. One of my favorite examples is how for decades the medical community made fun of alternative healers who talked about distortions and bulges in the colon. Alternative health practitioners called them herniations of the colon. Medical experts said that no such thing existed, it was all nonsense. They had performed countless autopsies and never seen one example. Then in the early 50's they "discovered" them and renamed them diverticula--never acknowledging the fact that the alternative health community identified the condition decades earlier. Now, diverticula are recognized as a "medical" condition, and every single person will have many of them if they live long enough.13 There are two significant conclusions we can draw from this:

  • It's fascinating how "herniations" have gone from fantasy to every single American having many of them--once they were co-opted, renamed "diverticula," and declared a disease.
  • And now that it's a "medical" condition, alternative healers are no longer allowed to "treat" it. This is textbook co-option.

If that's too far in the past for you, the co-option of probiotics is a more recent example. Hope that helps.

Olive Oil


I just read with interest your healthy oils chart article and am quite confused about two of points in the article Smoke Points for Oils:

  • The article says to save Olive oil for low temperature uses (e.g., salad dressings, etc.) due to its low smoke point and not use it for high temp cooking.
  • Olive oil is listed 4 times but not really distinguishable as to what the difference is between them and why the large difference in smoke points


Olive oils are graded by production method, acidity content, and flavor. The difference between extra virgin and virgin olive oil is one of acidity. Extra virgin is about a half percent less acid. The difference may be small, but it's enough to make one olive oil very good and the other one great. It is best to use extra-virgin olive oil uncooked in order to appreciate its flavor.

Some olive oil with higher acidity levels is further refined after the first pressing. This extra refining involves processing with agents such as heat, chemicals, and/or filtration. These oils can no longer bear the title "virgin."

Those are actually five primary differentiated types of olive oil and are labeled as such in stores:

  • Extra virgin olive oil. Maximum 0.8 percent acidity
  • Virgin olive oil. Maximum 2 percent acidity.
  • Extra light olive oil has undergone an extremely fine filtration process (without the use of heat or chemicals) to remove most of the natural color, aroma, and flavor. This makes it suitable for cooking or baking in recipes in which a fruity olive flavor isn't needed.
  • High quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil (also sold as refined olive oil and pure olive oil). This oil is obtained by refining virgin olive oils (not olive-pomace oils) that have a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects that are eliminated after refining. No solvents are used to extract the oil. It is refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters. It is generally tasteless, odorless, and colorless. Many countries deem it unfit for human consumption due to poor flavor, not because of any safety issues.
  • Olive pomace oil is made using heat and chemicals to extract the last little bit of oil in the olive paste that is left in the centrifuge after the olives are pressed and the oil-water mixture has been extracted.

In general, the more refined the olive oil is, the higher the smoke point--but the less the desirable it is as olive oil.



There is so much evidence against the dangers of vaccines, publishing this article does you no favours! Here in the UK, hundreds of thousands of young children's lives have been so terribly damaged by vaccines, they will never live a normal life. Their parents have such a burden to carry, the whole business is beyond words. The government's response................they shut them up!

The molecular structure of vaccines are highly toxic to the body's cellular system. This is what keeps the body in good working order. To damage it in this way (by pumping individuals with nasty chemicals), then blame them and their parents for the ill health, which will undoubtedly ensue, is the height of barbarism. 

Nature knows best. Always will.


In my article, I acknowledge that vaccines are not as safe as claimed by the medical community and governments, but "hundreds of thousands" of victims "terribly damaged" in the UK alone seems just a skosh high. Do you have any references that can validate that number in any way other than just your own opinion or an article written by someone simply asserting it? I can find validated numbers that show that the incidence of measles dramatically increased in the UK as more parents refused to have their children vaccinated, whereas, just a few decades ago measles was virtually non-existent. Incidentally, measles kills 145,000 children worldwide every year. And that number is documented.14 Being the parents of one of those 145,000 documented children is indeed a heavy burden to carry--"beyond words" as you said.

But let's be clear on what I stated in the article. I did not give vaccines an unqualified endorsement. What I said was:

  • Vaccines don't work as well as promised.
  • Aren't as safe as advertised.
  • But also, not as useless as you imply.
  • Nor as dangerous as you assert--without documentation I might add.

getting an injectionUltimately each vaccine must be evaluated on a case by case basis--risk vs reward. I don't think anyone really wants to return to the days when children were mowed down by diphtheria and crippled by polio. Yes, I realize there are those who claim that the incidence of those diseases had fallen by 90% before any vaccines were introduced and that the vaccines had nothing to do with their decline.15 But what we are seeing today with measles and polio belie that assessment. When vaccinations for measles were universal, measles was almost non-existent. When vaccinations for measles were turned down by large numbers of parents, measles began to reemerge. Likewise with polio. It has been eliminated in countries which vaccinate but is spreading in countries that resist vaccination. It really comes down to whether you chose to believe what someone tells you based on their unsupported analysis of historical data or what you can see and document with your own eyes today.

Ultimately, the question you really need to ask yourself is: would you really want to console a family that lost half its members to smallpox last century by telling them that "nature knows best?"

Private Reserve Superfood


In your article about Private Reserve superfood, when you talk about aloe/acemannan, you write that it,

  • Improves macrophage activity as much as tenfold.
  • Enhances macrophage effectiveness in modulating the entire immune system.
  • Enhances macrophage effectiveness in stimulating, producing, and releasing antibodies.

Macrophages play a significant role in promoting atherosclerosis and multiple sclerosis.  Is the Private Reserve supplement appropriate for individuals with either of these conditions? Is the combination of ingredients balanced enough to reduce the negative side effects of individual ingredients?

 There are a lot of articles, like the following that raise red flags.



It's very important not to take things out of context and read studies carefully before making judgments based on what you've read.

If you actually read the studies that you cited carefully, you will see that the problem lies not with the macrophages, but the process that triggers the activation of overlying endothelial cells in a manner that leads to the "recruitment" of blood-borne monocytes (i.e., macrophages). As the studies point out, the key initiating step is the subendothelial accumulation of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins (apoB-LPs). Blaming your macrophages for responding to this self-inflicted trigger is like blaming your immune system for making you feel sick when you get a cold. Yes, your immune system is causing the plugged nose, fever, and body aches, as it defends you, but it's the virus that's responsible. Also, it should be noted that aloe is actually an immunomodulator. That is: it ramps up a weak immune system, but it helps throttle down an overactive one. You don't need to "balance out" the "negative side effects" of aloe/acemannan. It's essentially self-regulating. Bottom line: you want a healthy immune system, but you also want to avoid creating scenarios in your body where the immune system is being forced to over-respond to any triggers. Immunomodulators play a key role in that regard.

But even more to the point, studies have shown that aloe's anti-inflammatory abilities may actually help ameliorate atherosclerosis--the exact opposite of what you thought the studies were telling you.16

Heart Disease in Women


heart attack symptomsI have read with great respect your research and related work that educates people to better care for themselves. I do, however, have some comments to add to this article about women's heart health

I was surprised to read that the standard symptoms for men facing a potential cardiac event were used for women. The symptoms for women are usually different, such as a pain in the back, a pain in the jaw, indigestion, difficulty breathing. When a woman seeks medical help for these symptoms, coronary care is not the initial focus. Unfortunately, I personally know this to be true. Since my heart attack I have found that many women have the same symptoms as I did, and they are not the same symptoms as men experience. 

When research programs base findings on the results of only one gender, they have failed to include the variations that are due to gender. 

When the opportunity arises, I make a point to tell every woman, and man, about the differences in symptoms for cardiac events. Please consider this for any future articles on heart health. Many thanks!


You are absolutely correct in the symptoms you list; however, all of the symptoms you cite, without exception, are known warning signs of an impending heart attack for both men and women. For example, WebMD listed all of these symptoms in an article concerning heart attacks in women.17  The diagnosis problem that you and your friends are experiencing would seem to be more connected with the physicians that you're seeing as opposed to the medical profession being ignorant of the issue.  

Proteolytic Enzymes


Do you know of any correlation between use of systemic proteolytic enzymes and the stimulation of tumor metastasis?


I think you're confused by what "proteolytic enzymes" are. You might want to reread this newsletter.

But to summarize:

Proteolytic is a catchall phrase for hydrolytic enzymes that specifically facilitate the chemical breakdown of proteins by severing the bonds between the amino acids that make up those proteins. There are upwards of 70,000 enzymes in the body. Each one is specific as to the function it performs in the body by acting on specific proteins. Some digest food and some regulate chemical reactions in the body. Some break down invading pathogens, and some play a role in regulating immune function.18 The bottom line is that there are thousands of different proteolytic enzymes in your body, and they all do different things.

Yes, some of these proteolytic enzymes produced in the body, if they misbehave or become misprogrammed by your DNA, can promote the growth of tumors, but these are not the proteolytic enzymes used in a systemic proteolytic enzyme formula. All they share in common is the use of the word proteolytic. In fact, alternative therapies for treating cancer and tumors have been developed around the use of systemic supplemental proteolytic enzymes.19 And some studies have validated their efficacy.20 That's kind of just the opposite of what you thought they might do.

But again, you probably want to read the article on proteolytic enzymes again.

Hope this helps!

confusion image

Follow-up Question:

Thanks for taking your time to respond to me. I will review what you sent to me carefully. I was wondering if you might respond to a article: Impact of proteolytic enzymes in colorectal cancer development and progression.21  

Follow-up Answer:

You really, really, really, really need to reread my article on proteolytic enzymes. It explains what proteolytic enzymes are--and how there are thousands of different ones in the human body. Although they are all proteolytic enzymes, they are all different and perform different functions in the human body. The proteolytic enzymes mentioned in this study have NOTHING to do with the systemic, proteolytic enzymes that I talk about using in a supplemental formula. Conflating them is a bit like saying, "Dan, I notice you have the same first name as Daniel Camargo Barbosa, the infamous Columbian psychopathic serial killer. Is there any correlation?" And the answer, of course, is "no," other than sharing part of a name in common.

Make sense?

  • 1. Arthur Schoenstadt "White-Coat Hypertension." MedTV October 29, 2013. (Accessed 26 Feb 2015.)
  • 2. "The Story of Fluoridation." NIH (Accessed 26 Feb 2015.)
  • 3. "FLUORIDE Content of Foods." (Accessed 26 Feb 2015.)
  • 4. Chen C, Wang Z, Saito M, et al. Fluorine in shark teeth: its direct atomic-resolution imaging and strengthening function." Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Feb 3;53(6):1543-7.
  • 5. Bougault V, Loubaki L, Joubert P, et al. Airway remodeling and inflammation in competitive swimmers training in indoor chlorinated swimming pools." J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Feb;129(2):351-8, 358.e1.
  • 6. Brenda Land. "Using Vitamin C To Neutralize Chlorine in Water Systems." USDA Forest Service. April 2005. (Accessed 25 Feb 2015.)
  • 7.
  • 8. "QUESTIONS REGARDING CHLORINE AND CHLORAMINE REMOVAL FROM WATER." SFPUC Website Chloramine Q&A 2013-06-29. (Accessed 25 Feb 2015.)
  • 9. "Fluoride: Health Information Summary." New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. 2008. (Accessed 25 Feb 2015.)
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. Everaert I, Mooyaart A, Baguet A, et al. "Vegetarianism, female gender and increasing age, but not CNDP1 genotype, are associated with reduced muscle carnosine levels in humans." Amino Acids. 2011 Apr;40(4):1221-9.
  • 13. "Diverticulosis." The Merck Manual Home Edition. Last full review/revision August 2013 by Michael C. DiMarino, MD. (Accessed 18 Nov 2014.)  
  • 14. "Measles: Fact sheet N°286." WHO February 2015. (Accessed 27 Feb 2015.)
  • 15. "Disease decline before introduction of immunisation." Whale. (Accessed 27 Feb 2015.)
  • 16. Dana N, Javanmard SH, Asgary S, et al. "The effect of Aloe vera leaf gel on fatty streak formation in hypercholesterolemic rabbits." J Res Med Sci. 2012 May;17(5):439-42.
  • 17. Susan Ince. "Are You Headed for a Heart Attack?" WebMD (Accessed 27 Feb 2015.)
  • 18. George Tetz, Natalia Artemenko, Natalia Zaslavskaya, et al. "Effect of nucleolytic, proteolytic, and lipolytic enzymes on transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in mixed bacterial communities." Universal Journal of Medicine and Dentistry Vol. 1(4) pp. 046-050, April, 2012
  • 19. N Gonzalez. "Pancreatic Cancer, Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy and Detoxification." (Accessed 27 Feb 2015.)
  • 20. Stauder G. "Pharmacological effects of oral enzyme combinations." Cas Lek Cesk. 1995 Oct 4;134(19):620-4.
  • 21. Herszényi L, Barabás L, Hritz I, et al. "Impact of proteolytic enzymes in colorectal cancer development and progression." World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Oct 7;20(37):13246-57.

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    Submitted by Frank Jensen on
    March 9, 2015 - 1:14am
    Santa Maria de Palautordera ,

    HI Jon

    Great info as usual. Now, referring to measles you state:

    "measles was virtually non-existent"

    Again, I think you need to clarify. Measles are never non-existing! The virus is always around, constantly developing or changing like everything else in the universe. Now, with vaccination a child/person has some immunity against the measles, which is why the disease is never manifesting but simply fought off. That does not, however, mean that is it "non-existing". Again, you need to clarify whether an vaccine creates an invisible shield around you that makes it impossible for the virus to get anywhere near you OR it does indeed infect you, but your immunity is able to fight it off. There is a PROFOUND difference in the implications of the two.

    My follow-up questions are: Are you asserting that "herd-immunity", as many doctors claim, will actually eradicate the virus completely, which is what you reply insinuates?

    If the answer to this is yes, then nothing further, but if it is not, then what can be expected by the virus?

    Is it not conceivable that new and better adapted iterations of the virus will come around?

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    March 9, 2015 - 9:53pm

    Hi Frank:

    Here's a graph of the incidence of measles in the US from 1954 to 2008.

    Keeping in mind that "virtually" means "almost" or "nearly," I think we can say that, relative to previous levels, the incidence of measles had indeed dropped to "virutally" zero from its previous highs. (Unfortunately, it's begun climbing again as travelers bring it in from other countries, now exposing people who have no resistance to it.)

    As to measles never be "non-existing," that's not entirely true. Measles, like smallpox and polio, is carried only in humans. And even though it is suspected that measles is a mutation from distemper as found in canines, the actual measles virus is not carried by animals. That means that if you ever reached the point that there were no measles cases on earth, measles would indeed be non-existent in people, as smallpox now is, and polio might someday be.

    As to new variations of the virus emerging that might be resistant to immunization, that's certainly possible, and in fact happened for several years where, although the shot was not ineffective, it was indeed noticeably less effective. But once the problem was identified, the vaccine was modified.

    Look, vaccines aren't perfect and they are not perfectly safe, but they do work to some degree. And in the case of pathogens that are only carried in humans, those pathogens can absolutely be eliminated--as long is everybody on the planet is onboard. Which leads to the final point.

    Many people mistakenly think that merely having a "strong" immune system is enough to protect you. It's not. The immune system is far more complex than the simple concepts of strong and weak. There's also the concept of immune system memory and training. In the Middle Ages, for example, when it came to smallpox, you were far better off having a middling immune system, but  having been exposed to cowpox as a child, than having the strongest immune system in the world but no immune system memory of smallpox or cowpox. In the first case, you won't contract smallpox because your immune system's memory of cowpox is close enough so that your immune system stomps out any smallpox virus that infects your body within hours of that infection. In the second case, no matter how strong your immune system is, you're likely to end up being carried to a funeral pyre in a plague cart if you're infected, because even though your immune system is super strong, it can't figure out how to defend against the smallpox virus before the virus kills you. It takes days for your immune system to develop customized defenses. Immune system memory is a key factor that many people are unaware of when they talk about having a strong immune system.

    If you are really interested in how the immune system works, I highly recommend checking out my four part series on the immune system starting here.

    Submitted by Dr. Robert Bolmarcich on
    May 26, 2015 - 9:18pm
    Oakdale , Louisiana

    I need a JON BARRON response for this transmittal, I firmly believe! Here goes: Why is it that whenever a certain number of mgs of various nutrients, like Magnesium or whatever, are recommended by a huge number of so called health "experts," there is NO MENTION of the fact that the specific percentage of the actual nutrient (the Magnesium), say in Magnesium Oxide, must be known, in addition to the Bioavailability of the Magnesium, in order to ascertain the actual number of mgs of Magnesium that is finally available for absorption by the body?
    Take for example, a recommendation is made for taking 500 mgs of Magnesium. Most informed people know that there are a number of kinds of Magnesium- from Magnesium Oxide to a number of others. Therefore, for 500 mgs of Magnesium Oxide, we have:
    500 mg x (% elemental magnesium) x (Bioavailability of Magnesium) = actual amount of Magnesium mgs the body will absorb, that is:
    (500 mg) x (0.60) x (0.04) = 12 mgs of Magnesium actually available for absorption by the body.
    Where; 0.60 = % of Magnesium Oxide that is Magnesium
    0.04 = the availability %age
    Therefore, how can a recommendation be made at a stated number of mgs, in this case, 500 mgs, without knowing the elemental and bioavailability %ages of each kind of nutrient, since there are so many different kinds, having different %ages that will affect the final potency of the particular nutrient that the body can absorb? I have asked about this to a number of so called health experts- how many answered? NONE! You will be the first Dr. Barron

    Submitted by Mike on
    July 20, 2015 - 2:53pm
    Amite , Louisiana

    while you don't recommend growth hormone injection, what are the alternatives and where might we find them?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    July 20, 2015 - 7:48pm

    Hi Mike,

    You should check out this article:

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