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Top Headlines

 

California Dem says US would win ‘short war’ against gun-rights advocates: ‘The government has nukes’

Fox – U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell on Friday said the U.S. government would use its nuclear weapons in a hypothetical war against Second Amendment supporters refusing to give up their firearms.

The California Democrat, who is openly considering a run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, made the outlandish remark on social media after a gun-rights advocate pointed out that the lawmaker once called for gun owners to surrender their assault weapons.

“So basically @RepSwalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You’re outta your f—— mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the [government] all the power,” Joe Biggs tweeted at Swalwell.

This prompted Swalwell to defend himself, saying it would be a “short war” because “the government has nukes,” implying the government would use its nuclear arsenal against its own citizens.

The comment drew an immediate backlash, with thousands of people criticizing the lawmaker for the ill-thought-out remark.

“Here is an actual member of the U.S. Congress talking about using nuclear weapons against Americans,” David Freddoso wrote.

“Personally, I have a bigger problem with an elected official blithely talking about nuking his fellow Americans than my neighbor owning an AR-15,” Cam Edwards tweeted.

Swalwell — a member of both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee — tried to defuse the situation, saying the need for a firearm to protect against the government is “ludicrous” and suggested that if an assault weapon ban would happen, people would just follow the law.

He later clarified that he was merely being facetious in his suggestion about the use of nuclear weapons. “I sarcastically point[ed] out USA isn’t losing to his assault weapon (it’s not the 18th Century),” he wrote.

 

U.S. Closes Ports of Entry Amid Reports Caravan Preparing To Rush Border

Infowars – The U.S. has temporarily closed several ports of entry with Mexico after officials received reports that the migrant caravan of 3,000 is preparing to bum-rush the border, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Monday.

 

Broward County election supervisor Brenda Snipes resigns following chaotic Florida recount

Washington Post – After a chaotic recount that drew national attention to South Florida, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes resigned from her post Sunday.

The news, first reported by the Sun Sentinel, comes after an intense two-week period following the November midterm elections and vociferous attacks on Snipes and her office, as Broward recounted ballots from Florida’s contentious Senate and governor races.

Burnadette Norris-Weeks, an attorney for the Supervisor of Elections Office, told the Sun Sentinel that Snipes had submitted her resignation letter to spend more time with her family. Norris-Weeks did not immediately respond to an email from The Washington Post.

Evelyn Pérez-Verdía, a former communications consultant at Snipes’s office, sent out a tweet Sunday night confirming the resignation. “Dr. Snipes has sent her resignation letter to Tallahassee,” she wrote. “I spoke to one of her key people which has confirmed that the resignation letter was sent today.”

 

Trump to give Mueller written answers by Thanksgiving

Politico – Trump’s lawyers set an informal Thanksgiving deadline for the president to finalize his responses to inquiries about the Russian hacking of the 2016 election.

 

World News

 

Theresa May govt to ‘engineer financial crash’ to frighten MPs into voting for Brexit deal – report

RT – Theresa May’s government are planning to “engineer a financial crash” if parliament fails to back their Brexit deal – in an attempt to frighten MPs into voting it through at a second vote, claims a source close to the PM’s aides.

Since agreeing a draft Brexit withdrawal deal with the EU on Wednesday, May has had to contend with a string of cabinet resignations and a huge backlash from rebel MPs.

The Sunday Times reports that, faced with the prospect of the deal being voted down, the UK government will attempt to plunge the financial markets into chaos – in a bid to scare MPs into eventually voting it through on a second vote.

 

Italian town catches 58,000 speeding cars in two weeks

BBC – An Italian town set up a camera on its only pedestrian crossing – and clocked 58,568 speeding cars.

 

Tijuana residents protest the arrival of migrant caravan

Christian Science Monitor – Some residents of border city Tijuana expressed their displeasure over the arrival of the Central American migrant caravan with signs and physical assaults. With only 100 asylum applications processed per day, the influx is expected to last for at least six months.

 

“Mysterious Helicopters” Continue to Evacuate ISIS Militants from Battlefields Across Middle East

Global Research – There have been sporadic, but regular reports of “mysterious helicopters” extracting ISIS militants from battlefields in the Middle East.

Most recently, on November 13th, Syria’s official news agency SANA cited an anonymous source claiming that US-led military helicopters conducted an operation in the village of al-Suwayda in Hasakah province near the border with Iraq. They reportedly rescued several members of ISIS and transported them to an unknown location.

Between November 10th and 11th, an alleged US-led aircraft landed in the outskirts of al-Susah in Deir Ezzor province and took away three ISIS members.

Earlier, on October 7th, SANA also cited residents of the town of al-Shaafah who claimed that American helicopters evacuated ISIS commanders from the Abu Kamal area of Deir Ezzor province to an undisclosed location.

SANA also reported that on September 22nd the US-led coalition carried out an air landing operation in the outskirts of al-Mrashde village located in the pocket where ISIS militants spread in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, transferring a number of ISIS commanders.

On August 23rd, TASS reported that Russia recorded flights of mysterious helicopters supplying weapons to ISIS units active in Afghanistan.

 

Yemen Peace Talks Imminent

Infowars – Houthi leader orders cease-fire, Saudis claim talks will occur soon

 

Trump blasts Pakistan as ‘fools,’ charging the country let bin Laden hide there despite receiving US $$

Fox – President Trump on Monday blasted Pakistan, charging that its government helped 9/11 mastermind Usama bin Laden hide in the country as the president defended his administration’s decision to pull hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid.

He first made comments about Pakistan and its alleged lack of cooperation with the U.S. during the hunt for bin Laden during an exclusive interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!” Trump tweeted Monday, doubling down on his comments from over the weekend.

 

U.S. News, Politics & Government

 

Democratic 2020 Candidate Wants Government-Sponsored ‘Social Credit’ System Comparable To China’s
Daily Caller – New York entrepreneur and Democratic 2020 candidate Andrew Yang wants to implement a system in which a government-run mobile app rewards Americans with “digital social credits” (DSCs) for good behavior.

Americans would receive DSCs under Yang’s system for things such as “participating in a town fair,” “fixing a neighbor’s appliance” or “tutoring a student,” his presidential campaign website explains.

“As individuals rack up DSCs, they would have both a permanent balance they’ve earned over their lifetime and a current balance. They could cash the points in for experiences, purchases with participating vendors, support for causes, and transfer points to others for special occasions,” Yang states on his website. “As their permanent balance gets higher, they might qualify for various perks like throwing a pitch at a local ballgame, an audience with their local Congressperson or meeting their state’s most civic-minded athlete or celebrity.”

“The most socially detached would be the most likely to ignore all of this,” he added. “But many people love rewards and feeling valued.”

Yang’s social credit plan bears some similarities to the social credit system implemented by China’s authoritarian government.

Every citizen in China is assigned a social credit score that determines whether they can buy plane or train tickets.

Unlike the Chinese system, Yang’s plan does not include using digital social credit for punitive measures.

 

Palm Beach may be counting votes ’til Christmas

Miami Herald – With election workers in most of Florida’s 67 counties wrapping up their recounts on Sunday, Palm Beach was preparing to continue counting votes past Thanksgiving — and possibly Christmas.

Even by Florida standards, where the mid-terms have dragged on for nearly two weeks after Election Day, Palm Beach has distinguished itself by drawing out the drama even longer. Decade-old ballot-counting machines only capable of recounting one race at a time have malfunctioned, lawsuits have flown, the canvassing board has struggled to keep up with court orders, and an employee reportedly jammed a paper clip into a high-speed scanner, possibly causing a short circuit that cut off the power. At one point during the chaos, Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher told reporters she was “in prayer mode” to finish by the state deadline.

At times, said volunteer election observer Karyn Macy, it was hard to tell if the recount had stopped because of a problem with the equipment or because of a court order. “Stop, stop, machines. Stop, stop, stop, we have to wait for a court order, we’re waiting for an appeal,” she said, describing the rapid-fire instructions given to observers and election workers. “It’s like the planets were aligned to make sure this recount was not possible in time.”

 

Texas students to be taught slavery played ‘central role’ in Civil War
Fox – Texas’ 5.4 million students will be taught that slavery played a “central role” in the Civil War, according to reports.

The Texas Board of Education voted Friday to make the change, which goes into effect beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, NPR reported.

Students were being taught that there were three causes for the Civil War: sectionalism, states’ rights and slavery.

The board’s Democrats favored listing slavery as the only cause.

“What the use of ‘states’ rights’ is doing is essentially blanketing, or skirting, the real foundational issue, which is slavery,” Democratic board member Marisa Perez-Diaz, of San Antonio, said at a Tuesday board meeting, NPR reported.

Republican board member David Bradley, of Beaumont, argued for keeping the other causes in the social studies curriculum.

“Each state had differences and made individual decisions as to whether or not to join into the conflict, correct?” he said. “I mean, that’s the definition of states’ rights.”

As part of a compromise, the Republican-led board said students will be taught about “the central role of the expansion of slavery in causing sectionalism, disagreements over states’ rights and the Civil War.”

The board also decided to keep Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller in the curriculum.

 

Democratic senators sue to block Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general

Fox – Three Democratic senators on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general.

Whitaker was appointed by Trump to lead the Justice Department after Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced out of the role earlier this month.

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono filed the complaint against Whitaker in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday. All three issues fiery statements.

“Installing Matthew Whitaker so flagrantly defies constitutional law that any viewer of School House Rock would recognize it. Americans prize a system of checks and balances, which President Trump’s dictatorial appointment betrays,” Blumenthal said.

“The stakes are too high to allow the president to install an unconfirmed lackey to lead the Department of Justice – a lackey whose stated purpose, apparently, is undermining a major investigation into the president,” Whitehouse said.

“Donald Trump cannot subvert the Constitution to protect himself and evade accountability,” Hirono said.

The senators argue that Whitaker’s appointment is in violation of the Constitution’s appointments clause. They ask the federal court to declare Whitaker’s appointment unconstitutional and block him from carrying out duties.

 

5G “Epidemic” to hit Sacramento, also Los Angeles, Houston, Indianapolis

Activist Post – Officials may say it was a bad flu with strange features that hit Sacramento residents, and that vaccines could not prevent it. They may even blame foreign actors. But the real and very simple explanation will be that Verizon’s 5G roll-out in California’s capital has severe public health repercussions, just as predicted by international scientists and physicians. These reactions to 5th generation pulsed microwave radiation frequencies will also be experienced in Los Angeles, Houston, and Indianapolis. They are all test subjects in the first large-scale 5G experiments on U.S. populations without full disclosure or express consent.

Pogo said, “We have met the enemy…” This 5G experiment is being conducted by the FCC, the wireless industry and the city of Sacramento, despite California Department of Public Health and the National Institutes of Health research showing present exposures are fraught with risk. State legislators exempted fire stations from 4G/5G “small cell” infrastructure last year in Senate Bill 649 due to the health effects, and granted ADA accommodation at hearings for those disabled by electromagnetic sensitivities. City officials are ignoring the huge public costs from this dense roll-out, despite ample evidence.

These reactions are correlated to microwave radiation exposure — cell towers, Wi-Fi, wireless Smart Meters, and wireless devices. The NIH National Toxicology Program research released and peer-reviewed this year further corroborates that this radiation is a carcinogen.

Invisible reactions found by researchers include: breaches in the blood-brain barrier, DNA damage, sperm damage, red blood cell clumping, oxidative stress, free radical production, and interference with voltage-gated calcium channels which are fundamental to health.

Environmental impacts to insects, including bees, and to trees, plants, and birds are clearly demonstrated in the scientific literature. Also, chitin, the major component of the outer covering of insects, may be severely damaged by microwave radiation. Bees, butterflies and other insects also have chitin in their wings. 5G could cause insect populations to vanish.

Severe unintended economic costs from a 5G roll-out due to health and environmental effects will include increased disability, stresses on health, social service, and welfare programs, loss in tourism, agricultural impacts, in addition to property devaluation and job loss from 5G automation. This roll-out will likely cost Sacramento millions of dollars and injure thousands of people.

This Trojan horse has already entered Sacramento and the other test cities, moving into neighborhoods next to homes, schools, and workplaces. Verizon may slowly ramp up its power to avoid highly dramatic impacts which would create controversy. Over 200 scientists and physicians have appealed to the EU and UN to stop 5G. It is up to the public to become informed and fight this toxic invasion that will affect your loved ones and your communities.

Take action and stop 5G now.

 

White House Tells CNN They Will Continue Fight to Revoke Jim Acosta’s Press Credentials

The Wrap – The Trump administration says they have no intention to back down on plans to oust CNN’s Jim Acosta from the White House, telling the network in a letter that they would revoke his credentials again when a 14-day injunction from a federal judge expires.

The news was first reported in Brian Stelter’s Sunday evening “Reliable Sources” newsletter.

In a statement from CNN, the network said they would continue to fight.

 

11th child dies, 23 more sick in N.J. outbreak

Daily Mail – New Jersey officials announced on Friday that an 11th child has died and another 23 children have become stricken with adenovirus at a New Jersey center for severely disabled children.

State officials have been forced to admit they are struggling to contain the outbreak at Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, and Pediatric Center, in Haskell, New Jersey.

Dr. Shereef Elnahal, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, told CNN on Friday that the inability to separate those who are sick from those without symptoms has led to the outbreak.

‘Up until this week, it has not been possible to completely separate those patients,’ Elnahal said.

 

Economy & Business

 

Bitcoin falls below $5,000 for 1st time since 2017

RT – Bitcoin has dropped below $5,000 for the first time in over a year as cryptocurrencies’ wholesale freefall continued, as investors fearing new regulations sell up their virtual holdings.

Bitcoin fell to as low as $4,960 on Monday, the eighth consecutive day of losses for cryptocurrency token, and the second low-water mark in days. Last Wednesday, the ten-year-old token dropped 11 percent in a single day of trading, dipping below $6,000 to its lowest price in a year.

After an unprecedented speculation bubble saw bitcoin touch $20,000 in December 2017, the coin’s value has nosedived in volatile trading over the following months. The virtual currency has enjoyed a period of relative stability since early September, hovering between $6,000 and $7,000

Bitcoin’s decline over the last 24 hours alone saw its market capitalization fall by more than $14 billion.

Some critics see US government regulation as fuelling the mass selloff. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a statement on Friday saying that it would require some companies holding ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) – the cryptocurrency world’s equivalent of an Initial Public Offering – to treat their coins as securities, meaning that investors could sue the companies if the coins then crashed.

 

Goldman: U.S. economy will slow to crawl

CNBC – Goldman Sachs believes the U.S. economy will slow significantly in the second half of next year as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates and the effects of the tax cut fade.

“Growth is likely to slow significantly next year, from a recent pace of 3.5 percent-plus to roughly our 1.75 percent estimate of potential by end-2019,” wrote Jan Hatzius, chief economist for the investment bank, in a note to clients on Sunday. “We expect tighter financial conditions and a fading fiscal stimulus to be the key drivers of the deceleration.”

The bank sees the economy expanding at 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of this year, down from 3.5 percent last quarter. Real GDP growth will come in at 2.5 percent again in the first quarter of 2019, but then will slow to 2.2 percent, 1.8 percent and 1.6 percent in the next three quarters, respectively.

 

Energy & Environment

 

Loggers support Trump’s claim that wildfires caused by ‘poor forest management’
Washington Times – A national logging organization is offering support to President Trump following catastrophic wildfires in California and a political debate over the causes of the destructive blazes.

“President Trump blamed poor forest management for wildfires in California and throughout the West, and there is truth to statements he has made,” said Daniel Dructor, executive vice president of the American Loggers Council, a coalition of state and regional associations that represents independent contract loggers.

“It’s time to rise above political posturing and recognize that active forest management — including logging, thinning, grazing and controlled burning — are tools that can and must be used to reduce fire risks and help mitigate the impacts to landscapes,” Mr. Dructor said in a statement.

According to the council, some 60 million to 80 million acres of national forest are at “high, to very high, risk of catastrophic wildfire.”

Citing research from the U.S. Forest Service, the council backs such methods as thinning stressed trees and prescribed burns to reduce wildfires but said “only a small fraction of high-risk acres are being treated.”

>> Related: Exclusive – Sec. Ryan Zinke Backs Trump: Years of Mismanagement Led to California Fires

 

Health

 

‘Breakthrough’ peanut allergy drug ready for FDA review offers hope for those who suffer

USA Today – A new peanut allergy treatment could hold promise for children who otherwise suffer severe reactions.

The experimental drug that shows it’s possible to build up a peanut tolerance over time is ready for U.S. Food and Drug Administration review. Final research results published in The New England Journal of Medicine were also presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting on Sunday.

A phase three trial included 551 people, most ages 4 to 17 with a history of life-threatening reactions after eating peanuts. Participants were given the experimental drug derived from peanuts daily over the course of several months.

Study authors hoped the treatment could allow patients one or two peanuts a day without a severe reaction. Allergist and co-author Stephen Tilles said he was pleased to discover that two thirds of the people in the study could tolerate two peanuts daily after nine to 12 months of treatment — and half could eat four peanuts a day. Almost all children experienced allergic reactions over the yearlong trial funded by Aimmune Therapeutics, but less than five percent were classified as severe.

 

Dangerous Levels of Mercury Found in Skin Creams

Global research – Today, 51 environmental and public health groups, including EWG, called on Amazon and eBay to remove illegal skin care products containing dangerous levels of mercury. The products, purchased and tested by the Mercury Policy Project, in some cases contained as much as 30,000 parts per million, or ppm, of mercury – an astounding 30,000 times the legal limit of 1 ppm set by the Food and Drug Administration.

Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal. Mercury exposure can cause kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, as well as a reduction in the skin’s resistance to infections. Other effects include anxiety, depression, psychosis and nerve damage that can result in pain or numbness in the hands, arms, legs and feet.

These health risks aren’t limited to people who use skin products containing mercury. Mercury vapors can get into the air and cause harm to other people and even pets. People can also be exposed by touching washcloths or skin that has come in contact with one of these products. Babies and children are especially at risk of harm because of their developing brain and nervous systems. Newborns can be exposed to mercury through breastmilk.

Mercury is used in cosmetics as a skin lightening agent and preservative. Cosmetics with mercury are often marketed as skin lightening creams and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles. Adolescents sometimes use these products as acne treatments.

Manufacturers selling products that contain mercury often do not label their products. Companies that do may use any of the following names: mercury, Hg, mercuric iodide, mercurous chloride, ammoniated mercury, amide chloride of mercury, quicksilver, cinnabaris (mercury sulfide), hydrargyri oxydum rubrum (mercury oxide), or mercury iodide. Directions to avoid contact with silver, gold, rubber, aluminum, and jewelry could also indicate the presence of mercury. Marketers of these products tend to target the Asian, African, Latino and Middle Eastern communities.

The FDA banned the use of mercury in most cosmetics at levels higher than 1 ppm in 1973. The agency has investigated skin lightening creams and also created an import alert for skin whitening creams containing mercury, which allows FDA agents to detain certain products at the border.

In recent years, state and local authorities have also taken action against mercury in skin care products.

Despite these actions, skin care products that contain mercury remain on the market, readily accessible to many consumers. The Mercury Policy Project easily purchased the skin lightening creams it tested from the online retailers Amazon and eBay.

 

12 Anti-Aging Herbs and Nutrients

Care 2 – Trying to maintain a youthful appearance but don’t want to undergo the knife, Botox or some other invasive procedure?

Natural herbs and nutrients can help. Here are 11 of the best ones for anti-aging:

  1. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your body from free radical damage. It also helps to recycle other antioxidants like vitamins E and C, giving you greater protection against free radicals. Free radicals are to blame for aging and disease, including skin damage and wrinkling.

  1. Bilberry

Packed with antioxidants, bilberry is potent medicine against many age-related concerns. It is especially helpful to preserve vision and prevent degenerative eye diseases. Research in the online medical journal PLoS One found that bilberry can help protect against damage to the retina and nerves of the eye.

  1. GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)

Declining levels of HGH are linked with many of the symptoms linked with aging: fat gain, muscle loss, loss of energy, poor sleep, skin changes, bone density loss and a decline in libido. Supplementing with GABA, a natural amino acid may help to maintain levels of HGH naturally, lessening these unwanted symptoms. Avoid GABA if you are prone to seizures.

  1. Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic is renowned for its potent effects on viruses and bacteria, but it also reduces cholesterol levels, helps lower blood pressure and prevents excessive blood vessel clumping, all of which can contribute to heart disease. The sulphur compounds found in garlic have been found in research published in the journal Molecules to have significant antioxidant activity against free radicals.

  1. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

While we attribute memory loss, reduced cognitive function and dementia to age, the use of natural medicines like the herb ginkgo biloba may help to protect the brain from age-related damage or impairment. A growing body of research that supports the use of ginkgo to increase blood flow to the brain and to protect brain cells and blood vessels in the brain.

  1. Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

Among the Chinese, ginseng is considered the Fountain of Youth. According to renowned late herbalist Dr. James Duke, it tones the skin and muscles, improves appetite and digestion, and restores sexual energy. Ginseng comes in many forms including: raw herb, tea, liquid extract, tincture, tablets and capsules. Follow package directions for the product you choose.

  1. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

Frequently used in India to improve memory and extend longevity, gotu kola is excellent when made into an herbal tea. It has been shown in research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology to demonstrate significant antioxidant ability, as well as to improve cognitive function and mitochondria health.

  1. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

Loaded with the mineral silicon that often declines with age, horsetail plays a role in increasing the silicon in arteries, skin, bones, cartilage and connective tissues. Researchers studied the effectiveness of horsetail in building bone and preventing infections that can be linked to fractures and osteoporosis. Published in the journal Cell Proliferation, the study showed that horsetail improved the bone-building ability of osteoblasts—cells that make bone by laying down a matrix to which minerals bind to form bone. Horsetail is also available as a tea., tincture and in capsules.

  1. Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Since the liver has more than five hundred functions, including processing and filtering medications and environmental toxins, it can suffer from the stresses of the modern world, particularly over time as we age. Silymarin, an active ingredient in milk thistle stimulates liver cell regeneration to help the liver rebuild after it has been damaged. A standardized extract of 140 mg of silymarin per day is suitable to help protect and repair the liver.

  1. Peppermint (Metha peperita)

In addition to helping with digestion and gastrointestinal problems linked with aging, peppermint contains antioxidants that help prevent cancer, heart disease and other age-related disorders. It is readily available as an herbal tea.

  1. Turmeric (curcuma longa)

Turmeric is powerful against many types of pain and inflammation associated with aging. A spice, commonly used in Indian curries, you can add it to your soups, stews and curries to benefit from this valuable spice. Research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology showed that within only one hour after taking a supplement containing one of turmeric’s active ingredients, curcumin, study participants had a significant improvement in memory and attention tasks compared to the placebo group.

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps protect against bone loss linked with aging, as well as many chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Staying free of these diseases can certainly help you live a longer, healthier life. Additionally, even the flu can become increasingly dangerous as we age.

 

Vitamin D for Asthma

Care 2 – Asthma, “a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways,” affects approximately 10 percent of children. About half the risk is genetically determined, but we may have some control over the rest, which is the focus of my video Vitamin D for Asthma.

We can’t make vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, from the light coming from our TV, phone, and computer screens. “The primary sources of this vitamin are natural production in the skin secondary to sun exposure, and secondarily from fortified foods and supplements.” So, do kids with lower vitamin D levels in their blood have worse asthma? Apparently so. One of more than a dozen observational studies suggests that vitamin D is protective against “asthma exacerbations.”

Should we start giving kids with asthma vitamin D supplements if they’re not going to play outside? Correlation doesn’t mean causation. Perhaps “subjects with more severe asthma are likely to spend more time indoors,” thereby leading to less vitamin D, instead of the other way around. To prove cause and effect, we need to put it to the test. How? Randomize kids with asthma into one of two groups, receiving either vitamin D or an identical-looking sugar pill, and see what happens. There had never been clinical trials like that…until now.

Asthmatic kids were given 500 to 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 a day, and their asthma exacerbations were cut by more than half. Researchers suggest this may be due to decreasing the incidence of respiratory infections by boosting immunity, while, at the same time, diminishing inflammation.

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