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To Vaccinate or not Vaccinate: That is the Question

To Vaccinate or not Vaccinate: That is the Question

Should I vaccinate against the current CoronaVirus (SARS CoV2)?  That is my most frequently asked question in the last few weeks.  It is easy for me to answer.  It may be difficult to hear.  Can we have a discussion or a critical look at m-RNA coronavirus vaccines dispassionately?  Without being labeled an anti-vaxxer?  Without the hype or invoking conspiracy theories.  That is the critical question.

I have often stated there is good science, there is bad science and there is science denial.  There is a lot of happy talk today from notable “authorities” or “experts.”

So let me give you some very critical bullet points.  After which you can decide for yourself.  Ideally, I would like you to make this decision based on the facts and not out of fear.  However, we know there is a concerted effort to convince you all that vaccination is not only medically necessary but a patriotic duty.  I see this as happy talk propaganda – newly formulated groupthink.

  • This is not a classic vaccine.  It is an entirely new technology.  They are injecting m-RNA fragments into your system whereby your cells are instructed to manufacture coronavirus antigenic spikes. Then your (intact) cellular immunity hopefully reacts by producing protective antibodies.  What could go wrong?
  • Operation Warp Speed is a Rush-to-Market biological without adequate phase 3 trials
  • This is the first product Moderna has ever produced.  They have no track record
  • All these “vaccines” are not FDA “approved.”  They are FDA “authorized” (EUA or Emergency Use Authorization).  They will eventually need to reapply to the FDA for final approval.  If you have ever asked whether a drug or nutritional is “FDA approved” then consider this.
  • Be concerned about the stability of the Pfizer vaccine distributed and stored at -70º and secondarily of the Moderna product.
  • There is a real concern being voiced about a delayed hyper-immune response. Anyone with an autoimmune condition beware.
  • The companies did not prove the vaccines competently prevent disease or death.  Only to mitigate symptoms.   Otherwise, why do they insist that you still wear a mask — even after vaccination?
  • The 95% effectiveness rate is bogus.   It is not 95%.  More statistical chicanery
  • No pandemic has ever been cured with a vaccine.   Only after the disease is endemic is it eventually “cured.”    i.e. smallpox
  • And just organizationally, how is this going to work?  They gave all of the pharmaceutical companies blanket immunity against all liability.  So they derive all the profits without any risk.  But they never set up the necessary infrastructure.  Large-scale vaccination centers, trained nurses, technicians, backup physicians for any “vaccine reactions.”  There was no command or implementation structure.
  • When we were kids we all eventually took the Sabin vaccine.  Not the Salk vaccine.  It was very simple.  Tiny pink sugar cubes.  We all marched in lines.  This is far more complex.

Now I think the most critical oft-quoted “fact” is 95% effectiveness.  I often emphasize the difference between relative and absolute risk reduction.  So let me quote from a BMJ opinion section in November 2020:

In the United States, all eyes are on Pfizer and Moderna. The top line efficacy results from their experimental covid-19 vaccine trials are astounding at first glance. Pfizer says it recorded 170 covid-19 cases (in 44,000 volunteers), with a remarkable split: 162 in the placebo group versus 8 in the vaccine group. Meanwhile Moderna says 95 of 30,000 volunteers in its ongoing trial got covid-19: 90 on placebo versus 5 receiving the vaccine, leading both companies to claim around 95% efficacy.

Let’s put this in perspective. First, a relative risk reduction is being reported, not absolute risk reduction, which appears to be less than 1%. Second, these results refer to the trials’ primary endpoint of covid-19 of essentially any severity, and importantly not the vaccine’s ability to save lives, nor the ability to prevent infection, nor the efficacy in important subgroups (e.g. frail elderly).

[my emphasis added]

Once again, this is a triumph of marketing, not science.

Even Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, has said the Coronavirus is never going away. It will remain endemic.   And it will mutate.

Mr. Bancel’s remark echoes warnings from public health officials and infectious disease experts that COVID-19 will become an endemic disease, according to CNBC. As Becker’s reported previously, an analysis published Jan. 12 in Science said that once COVID-19 becomes endemic, it may be no more virulent than the common cold.

Given all of the above, I find it quite disquieting that we are on the verge of mandating vaccination in all hospital personnel, nursing facilities, air travel and more.  While masking, social isolation and fitful lockdowns continue indefinitely.

So the answer to my initial question is do I recommend vaccination?  No.  I have written previously on the ineffectiveness of flu vaccination.  I do not recommend these vaccines at this time.  This is an individual choice to be taken only if you feel more reassured or comfortable.

Be filled with knowledge not fear.

 

Philip Lee Miller, MD

Carmel, California.

January 2021

 

 

Is Your Body Digital or Analog?

Is Your Body Digital or Analog?

We live in a digital age.  Do you think of your body as digital or analog?  Answer this simple question.  Do you wear a modern digital watch or a traditional analog watch?

classic analog watchcontemporary digital watch with dateWhy do I ask these questions?  Because it shows how you can look at the time and space in different ways.  An analog watch does not need to be exact or precise.  A quick glance and you know exactly where you are in a diurnal 24 hour cycle.  You immediately see a relational picture.  A digital watch simply gives you a notion.  It does not show you a picture of the day.  Your brain takes a few extra steps converting that to a perceived notion.

Similarly, the problem I see constantly, day by day, is labwork with arbitrary lower and upper boundary values.  All my patients asked me, “well, is that value normal?”  To which I frequently say, “there really is no such thing as normal.”  There is only optimal and acceptable.  And normal changes decade by decade.   Normal for an 80-year-old would not be normal for 35-year-old.

Another easy to understand analogy is your car.  When do you decide to pull into your favorite gas station?  When is your panic time to fill up your tank?  Do you wait until it’s ¼ full?  Until it’s 1/8 full?  Or wait until the dire warning light tells you only have 20 more miles left before you run out of gas?   Just how proactive are you with your car?

You can look at your body in the same way as your automobile.  If laboratory values are “low normal” they are low.  As you will see in the graphic illustrations below.  But first, let me expand upon the title of this blog.  Are you digital or analog?

Because of time constraints and poor learning habits, all lab work is conventionally seen as digital or binary.  You are either in the box or out of the box.  It’s a very simple calculation.  It removes all guesswork, estimates, finesse and discretionary thinking from medical lab analysis.  There are capricious cutoff values that are usually set at 1 to 2 standard deviations (σ) above or below the mean value.  The mistake made by virtually every conventional physician is diagnosing health or disease using in range values.

But lab values represent our personal human physiology.  We are all individuals.  And all these optimal values are better represented by skewed binomial distribution curves.  Seen as part of a continuum — all the way from low to optimal to high.  It is far more physiologic and rational to look at all your lab values as a continuum that fall on a distribution curve. And most often the curve is skewed to the left or right.

This is the basis of Functional and Anti-Aging medicine.

So let’s look at these illustrations taken from my own real clinical data spanning 12 years.  Data from 5000 samples of hematocrit as example.  That is the percentage of red blood cells in the serum. It is essential for oxygen carrying capacity.  A low hematocrit is a measure of anemia.  And that is not a healthy state.  Re-read my blogs on iron deficiency anemia.

Hematocrit viewed as a binary solutionHematocrit seen as a continuum of values

Now let’s say your value is just slightly above the lower cut off with the green stars.  But then you rerun the lab today or tomorrow which will always be slightly different and suddenly the value might be just slightly below the lower level cut off with the red stars.  In the first instance you are “in the normal range.”  In the second instance you are now out of range.  What is the difference between these 2 values?  Essentially nothing.  So the entire practice of looking at lab values in range is neither functional nor rational.  You want to be looking at all lab values as an optimized value on a continuum.  Optimal is the “happy face” zone.

So this then is the difference between digital / binary medicine and optimized functional medicine.

Let’s finish with one more example.  Vitamin D is one of the few lab tests where values are denoted in more rational ranges.

  • 15-25 ng/ml is deficient.
  • 25-33 ng/mL is insufficient.
  • 33-100 ng/ml is sufficient.
  • 100-150 ng/mL is considered excess.
  • And >150 is considered toxic.

Although, in reality, vitamin D is never toxic.  Another wild misconception that dates back decades.

You can see how much more rational these multiple discrete quintile ranges are.

So when I speak with my patients, we are always looking for optimal values not lab data points that are necessarily in range or out of range.  And furthermore, I take a Grandmaster view of laboratory.  I look at balances, relationships and longitudinal trends.  I see a picture of overall health or dysfunction.  Not a list of disparate lab values.

So that is your challenge.  Do you see yourself as digital or analog?  Maybe in the next 20-30 years after The Singularity, when we all have various bionic components, the answer to this question might change.  My answer for today is  — your body is analog.

Food for today’s thought.   Now that you have read through today’s blog, go back and read my thoughts on the Tyranny of the TSH.

Write me with any questions, thoughts or comments.

Philip Lee Miller, MD

Carmel, CA 93923

Five Quick Health Tips

Five Quick Health Tips

5 Vital Health TipsFive Vital Health Tips

Here’s a quick overview of five health recommendations that can make a huge difference in the your health and longevity. These are not easy recommendations.  But think how you can start these today.

1. Never drink tap water.  Obviously, tap water varies from locality to locality. We certainly have catastrophic examples in the past such as Love Canal and more recently Flint, Michigan. But even in the Silicon Valley the groundwater is contaminated. Toxic chemicals are leaching into the water supply. This is not widely discussed but it is known by those who monitor toxic dump sites. This would even include water at restaurants. Always ask for bottled water or sparkling water.

Stiff plastic bottles such as Fiji Water is healthier than more flexible bottled water.  The more flexible, squeezable bottles contain Bisphenol A (BPA) plasticizers.   Glass bottles are ideal and preferred.  I prefer San Pelligrino.

2. Avoid microwaving your food. Ideally, never microwave. I know that we live in a fast paced culture where the microwave oven is convenient and the fastest approach. So if you must microwave here are some very important suggestions. Never ever microwave in the native plastic container with plastic top. Remove the contents of the frozen dinner and place in a Pyrex bowl with a Pyrex top. Glass is inert. Microwave energy cooks food by heating water molecules. You will find that food is cooked more easily without “browning.”  And never stand near a microwave.

3. Remove all the chlorine from your shower. Chlorine is highly oxidative. Not good for youthful skin or hair. Chlorine is quite toxic. Chloramine is even worse. I know that your shower will remain much cleaner when chlorinated. I highly suggest using a dechlorinating filter.

The easiest filter is purchased from CustomPure. You replace the showerhead with a CustomPure filter that will remove all chlorine for at least six months. You will see the difference in your skin and hair quality. You absorb more chlorine in the shower than drinking water.

4. Cell phones are potentially dangerous. I know this is ubiquitous. Every age group is now using cell phones. Why would I even broach this subject? No studies to date have been conclusive.  But irregular microwave pulses create disturbing patterns on functional MRI studies. There is a high suspicion that cell phone microwave energy is toxic to brain cells.

Lyon, France, May 31, 2011 ‐‐ The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use.  Int Agency Research on Cancer 2011

In summary, this study provides evidence that in humans RF-EMF exposure from cell phone use affects brain function, as shown by the regional increases in metabolic activity. It also documents that the observed effects were greatest in brain regions that had the highest amplitude of RF-EMF emissions (for the specific cell phones used in this study and their position relative to the head when in use), which suggests that the metabolic increases are secondary to the absorption of RF-EMF energy emitted by the cell phone. Further studies are needed to assess if these effects could have potential long-term harmful consequences.   Jama Network 2011

I personally limit my use of cell phones as much as possible. Never carry your cell phone in your pocket or bra. Again, I know that this may seem totally impractical. So the use of earbuds and not Bluetooth devices is one way of eliminating this energy.

5. Get more sleep. The ideal is still 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is restorative and rejuvenating, especially REM sleep. There are newer studies showing that sleep deprivation increases insulin resistance thereby increasing the possibility of diabetes. Sleep deprivation probably shortens lifespan. Again, I also am not perfect. I have the same problem.  Try to retire earlier by one hour. And possibly wake up 30 to 60 minutes later in the morning.

Laboratory and epidemiologic evidence supports an association between short sleep duration (< 7 hours per night) and the risk of diabetes, and also between poor sleep quality and the risk of diabetes. We will explore putative mechanisms for these relationships.   Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine

So much loss of daytime vigilance is related to lack of sleep. This is why sleep apnea at night is such a major phenomenon. Try to exercise later in the day. Do not eat late in the day. Add some magnesium at night. Remove all electronics from your bedroom.

This tip sheet is guaranteed to enhance your quality of life and lifespan. These are big challenges our modern world. Not easily accomplished because we are so used to each of these “conveniences.”  So make these changes one at a time. You will be happy you did.

My Daily Personal Nutrition Routine

My Daily Personal Nutrition Routine

People ask me what is your personal nutrition routine?  What do you take on a daily basis? What supplements and micronutrient do you take yourself for optimal nutrition? To achieve optimal health and well being in a high stress world today.

Personal Goal

A personal goal and my mission for all of you is health and well-being. Longevity with vigor. Protection from cognitive decline. Prevention of diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.  Growing older without aging.

It was the famous British physician Sir Thomas Sydenham who said.

” you are as old as your arteries.”

Arterial health is a major goal. This is why we strongly advocate CIMT imaging of your carotid arteries here in our office.

My daily routine starts upon arising (on an empty stomach) with fat soluble nutrients.  This includes:

  • 1 tbl of fish oil
  • Vitamin E 1200 units
  • Vitamin K2 15,000 mcg
  • Vitamin D3 10,000 units
  • Thyroid
  • Phosphatidylserine 300 mg and
  • Nattokinase 100 mg to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

These fat soluble nutrients are more efficiently absorbed with fish oil.  They are taken on an empty stomach so they do not interfere with oatmeal for breakfast.

There is a 45 to 50 minute hiatus.  Read my morning emails.  A morning shower after which I apply my first dose of testosterone cream.

Breakfast

Breakfast starts with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oatmeal. Cooked to a creamy consistency over a gas stove. Now my first highly fortified protein shake of the day.

  • 2 scoops of whey-based protein
  • 1 tsp (3 grams) of carnitine tartrate
  • 1 tbl phosphatidylcholine
  • 1 scoop of d-ribose
  • l-deprenyl for cognitive enhancement

This is the most efficient and richest source of high quality protein. The protein shake can be mixed with Odwalla orange juice or your favorite base.

Breakfast is fortified with an array of vitamins and micronutrients.

  • Selenomax 200 mcg
  • OptiZinc 30 mg
  • Nutrient 950 multivitamin
  • DHEA 50 mg
  • Diaxinol
  • 4Sight
  • Vitamin B2
  • Methyl folate 1600 mcg
  • B12 10,000 mcg
  • Alpha lipoic acid 300 mg
  • Ginkgo Biloba 60 mg
  • ProBiotic 100
  • Vitamin C as ascorbyl palmitate
  • “Reacted” chelated Iron 58 mg (read my previous series on iron)

It’s quite a handful, but each of these is designed to improve immune function, cardiovascular function, energy and cognitive vigor.

Lunch

Lunch is a very sparse affair with my second protein shake of the day.

  • 2 scoops of whey-based protein
  • 1 tsp ( 3 grams) carnitine tartrate
  • Gluco-shield.

It is a quick and efficient source of energy.  This carries me through the day until 5:00 or 6:00 pm.

Dinner

Dinner is a rich source of protein including fish, chicken or organic beef with some vegetables, most especially broccoli and carrots. My preference at night is a combination of chocolate Rice Dream and chocolate Hemp Milk.

At night I might cheat with a tiny source of extra carbohydrate. The goal is always low carbohydrate, high-protein. This is not a ketogenic diet.  It is a modified Paleo diet.

Ketogenic diets do promote weight loss. I am still concerned about the quality of fats being advocated in ketogenic diets.  Usually including large amounts of butter, cheese, bacon, sausage and other sources of potentially inflammatory Omega-6 oils.  Omega-6 fats potentially increase arachidonic acid which promotes a cascade of inflammatory metabolites.

This is the source of another blog soon.

Dinner is also supplemented with:

  • Nutrient 950 multivitamin 3 caps
  • Diaxinol 1 cap
  • 4Sight 1 cap
  • Ginkgo biloba 60 mg
  • Magnesium 400 mg
  • Alpha lipoic acid (a stellar antioxidant) 300 mg

Bedtime

Just before retiring at night I take

  • Magnesium 200 mg
  • Nattokinase 100 mg

Coda – Ask Jack

Jack LaLanne at age 60. Original fitness guru
Jack age 60

Does that sound like too much? We could have asked Jack LaLanne. Our supreme nutrition and exercise experiment. He took all known supplements and micronutrients for well over 70 years.

Jack once said, “I can’t die, [he most famously liked to say]. It would ruin my image.”

I can remember Coach Dees in high school. He was our cross country coach.  On the first day he said, “Now I want all of you to go out and start drinking wheat germ oil.”   This was 1960 when you went into a tiny proto health-food store with an old guy sitting at the bar drinking carrot juice.  Wheat germ oil was supplied in plain unattractive brown bottles.   It was my first source of concentrated Vitamin E.

In Medical School at UCSD a group of us would read Adele Davis.  Then Linus Pauling started writing about OrthoMolecular Medicine.  He was advocating therapeutic, supra-physiologic doses of vitamins, minerals and selected micronutrients.

It’s been a life-long quest.

We all want healthy and robust longevity in a chaotic world. The ultimate goal of the preventive medicine physician is to set an example and show the way.

Thank you for reading. Now what are you taking? Drop me a line. Don’t forget your Fullscript source of all supplements and micro-nutrients.  Then read (or re-read) my bestselling book.  The Life Extension Revolution.

Philip Lee Miller, M.D.

Carmel California

Not So Random Thoughts on Aging

Not So Random Thoughts on Aging

Baby boomers and aging

Why Are Baby Boomers Dying Prematurely?

I am a pioneer antiaging/age management physician.  I co-authored the best-selling book on the age management – The Life Extension Revolution: the New Science of Growing Older without Aging. I was the founder of the Los Gatos longevity Institute rebranded as California Age Management Institute. These credentials are well known.

I have been giving serious thought and reflection on an alarming dichotomy of generations. It appears that so many individuals who were born in the 20’s and came of age during the Great Depression and World War II are living well into their 90s. They are living forever. I have wondered what is it that promotes this longevity?  This even includes survivors of horrific POW and Concentration camps.

Meanwhile, baby boomers are dying prematurely in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Notable names like Leon Russell, Glenn Frey, Tim Russert. The list grows every day.

At first I thought these were all entertainers. Like the premature death of Jim Morrison, James Dean, Andy Kaufman, Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin.  But I have also seen a number of my own medical school classmates pass well before their time.

So what is it about those who grew up and came of age during the Depression and World War II?

They lived a less stressful life. There were no microwaves, cell phones, television, DVDs, Internet, computers. Before there was traffic congestion with cosmopolitan smog and more recently invisible and lethal EMF smog. They ate sparsely. They ate healthy foods that were enriched in non-depleted soils. From “victory gardens.” They did not overeat because there were no fast food restaurants. Modified caloric restriction.  Food was expensive.

Generational Age Categories

An interesting headline published by the WJ Schroer shows these descriptive categories.

  1. Depression-era — born 1912 – 1921
  2. World War II — born 1922 -1927
  3. Post-War Cohort — born 1928 – 1945
  4. Baby boomers — born 1946 – 1965 (early and late waves)
  5. Gen X – born 1966 – 1976
  6. Gen Y or Millennial’s – born 1977 – 1994
  7. Generations Z – born 1995-2012. These are not Millennial’s. These are the victims of the most recent Florida shooting.

Each one of these generations is characterized by an ethos and environmental factors. It must have an effect on aging and longevity. I often talk about life attitudes that can be characterized by decades.

20-year-olds are fearless and have no concept of limits. Evel Knievel dare devils , Olympic athletes and Army recruits. 30-year-olds have a glimmer of age limits but it is fleeting.

40-year-olds begin to sense time is beginning to take its toll and are the most motivated and dedicated to achieving optimal health and well being. 50-year-olds are more aware of non-infinite mortality. 60 year olds sense the quickening of the sands of time.

70-year-olds are well aware of time limits. 80-year-olds are either highly motivated to passing the 90-year-old barrier or are totally accommodated to the facts of their own mortality. 80-year-olds are either marking time or actively engaged in longevity prolongation.

The Challenge for You

How do you characterize yourself? In what generation do you find yourself? In what decade do you find yourself? What are your goals and aspirations? What are your hopes and most fervent desires? What motivates you? These are vital questions at all ages but gather increasing importance with advancing age.

I hate the term senior citizen. It makes me want to blurt out, “right on, junior citizen.” My mother-in-law hates the term the Golden Years. So did my mother. They refer to it more often as the Rust Years not the Golden Years.

This dichotomy between Depression-era/WWII babies and Boomers needs more study and thought. It is today’s challenge to you. What do you want to do? We most definitely live in highly challenging times.

Epilogue

As Jerry Garcia said, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”

“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Your Personal Supplement Prescription for Optimal Health

Your Personal Supplement Prescription for Optimal Health

Supplementation Regimen Can Optimize Your Health

Personal supplement daily regimen for your health and vitality

Patients often ask how do you maintain your health and youthfulness? What do you personally take? I need to walk the walk and practice what I preach.  I need to set an example for you.

You can do this.  You may need our help and motivation.  There are many variations of this rigorous approach.  You do not need to follow this implicitly.   But the closer you can approximate this, the better your results.

For 20 years I have advocated the same routine. The basic approach is consistent. Variations on a theme. The Paleo diet. Low Carb. Modified Atkins diet. Basically high protein low carbohydrate.  You can read the classic Protein Power by Michael and Mary Eades.

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Anti-Aging Medicine — the Promise of a better tomorrow

Anti-Aging Medicine — the Promise of a better tomorrow

Anti-Aging Age Management Medicine

the Future of Health and Wellness

looking for the right path and highway to the future
finding the road to the future

Anti-Aging Medicine / Age Management Medicine.  What is it?   Is it real? Are there real controversies here? In a word, yes.   Can it be fulfilled in today’s guideline, task force, economic environment?

We are poised at a very important juncture.   Anti-aging medicine offers promise of a goal oriented path to optimal health and well being.  Or we can pursue restrictive policy driven, algorithms of cookbook medicine.

What needs to change?  What gives it the stamp of approval?   Is it science or politics?  As the great philosopher Schopenhauer said:

“All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

There is a plethora of terms that have been spun off to better describe this new field. Longevity Medicine, Age Management Medicine, functional medicine, integrative medicine. These are all descriptions in pursuit of a new paradigm.

All medicine has from the beginning, most notably Hippocrates, been an effort to mitigate illness and suffering with the implicit goal of increasing life span. One yardstick could simply be life span or longevity. But we are more interested in quality of life. And here is the key. Increasing HealthSpan. It is about “squaring the curve” — living longer in a healthy, vibrant, vigorous, independent, and happy state of health and well being.

The paradigm shift is tectonic. We don’t have a health care system. We have a disease management system. All ICD-9 (now ICD-10) codes are a codification of disease. If you feel weak, fatigued or just “not right” you may not be suffering from a disease.   You can have a battery of tests and nothing will “show positive” for a disease.  You have a dysfunction. Pre-menopause is not really a disease. Yet it lasts for upwards of 4-5 years and can be seriously disabling. A dysfunction. Andropause is not even widely recognized as such. It is also a dysfunction that men suffer later than menopause. There is no formal ICD-10 code for andropause — just hypogonadism.

The wonderful medicine of the last 50 years has been disease-based , pathology-oriented with the goal of finding the right drug to cure or mitigate your disease. But there is a rapidly growing residua of conditions and patients who are not right, dysfunctional, that do not respond to the conventional or traditional approach.

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