Friday, September 13, 2013
Vaccination is a boon today. So why is there fear? Perhaps a vaccine candidate is on a “metabolic cliff” and gets “knocked off” by the “stress” of the inoculation. History provides a model clue. Beriberi was a scourge in the East for millennia. It is now known to be due to dietary vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency, damaging energy metabolism, chiefly affecting the brain, heart and nervous system. Earlier attempts to find the cause were blocked by a simple observation. Eastern factories were built in blocks with passages between them. In the summer the workers would eat their lunch in the passages. Initially in the shade, the sun would eventually shine on them and several would get their first symptom(s) of beriberi simultaneously, leading to the false conclusion that the disease was caused by an unknown infection. Ultra violet light (UVL) is stressful to the human body, (why tanning is a natural defense). Some of the workers, being “on the dietary edge” of developing beriberi, were stressed by the UVL. Lacking sufficient cellular energy to mount an efficient adaptive response, they were “knocked off their metabolic cliff”, a metaphor for a person succumbing to risk. Both the diet and the exposure to sunlight were risk factors. Nobody today has any idea that a person is at risk. If the “stress” of a vaccination, like UVL, is imposed on a person at risk, it might be “the last straw”. Evidence suggests that the dietary “mayhem” that exists today may be a risk factor. Sugar induces vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency and may reflect known excessive sugar consumption. Most commercial foods contain sugar, pandering to palatability, not health. Consumption by children and adolescents might explain some adverse reactions to vaccination. Imagine 3 interlocking circles labeled Genetics/Stress/Nutrition. Their combined action governs health and disease. The imposed stress, if not itself overwhelmingly the obvious cause,requires an energy consuming response that is dependent on the fitness derived from the state of the other two circles. A simple diet history from a vaccine candidate might depict possible risk, particularly if there is symptomatic evidence. Vitamin B deficiency can be spotted in the laboratory by a test called red cell transketolase, a test that is known to few medical laboratories. Since all disease depends on the state of the three circles, it represents a huge shift in our concepts of health and its breakdown. We cannot "blame" the "stress" of the inoculation anymore than the poor diet or the unknown genetic risk of a given individual.