Jock Doubleday’s $75,000 vaccine offer

27 Nov

Jock Doubleday, author of such excellent works as ‘The Burning Time (Stories of the Modern-day Persecution of Midwives)’ and ‘Lolita Shrugged (THE MYTH OF AGE-SPECIFIC MATURITY )’ (Jock is a middle aged man by the way) is most famous in the autism community as the creator of the $75,000 vaccine offer in which he;

…offers $75,000.00 to the first medical doctor or pharmaceutical company CEO who publicly drinks a mixture of standard vaccine additives ingredients in the same amount as a six-year-old child is recommended to receive under the year-2005 guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (In the event that thimerosal has recently been removed from a particular vaccine, the thimerosal-containing version of that vaccine will be used.)

The mixture will be body weight calibrated.

Doubleday claims;

14 doctors, or persons claiming to be doctors, have contacted me about publicly drinking the vaccine additives mixture. None have followed through.

Nobody seems sure why participants have to be doctors or big pharma CEO’s and not ordinary folks like you and me. I’m also not sure why Doubleday insists on such a bizarre contract that any participant must adhere to, including psychiatric evaluation, a history of any mental health based counselling (these are probably to add to the air of drama), an email exam of 10 questions regarding vaccine theory and history, the compulsory purchase and reading of at last five altie books on anti-vaccine woo, a 20 question written exam, a certificate of good health…oh, I give up read the rest here.

To be honest, I got bored just reading that contract. And that’s only Part A. If I was a more cynical man I’d say that’s not so much of a contract as an endurance test designed to make everyone with an actual life of their own say ‘Sod this, I could be having a curry or watching Father Ted‘, both of which are activities much more interesting and enjoyable than satisfying the terms of that contract. But then the same could be said of watching paint dry.

Of course, the point of all this is that it shows how few people are willing to ‘take the challenge’. Luckily for Doubleday, someone already ‘took the challenge’ in 1996.

Clinical course of severe poisoning with thiomersal, published by the then Journal of Toxicology – Clinical Toxicology (now just called Clinical Toxicology) was the case study of a German 44 year old man who ingested 5g Thiomersal.

Lets compare that to the maximum load that US kids got before 2001.

The average US child got 187µg of Hg from all thiomersal containing shots. If we bend the rules in favour of the thiomersal (and Doubleday) theory and say that a 1 stone (14 pound) child had had that total of 187µg of Hg we can compare that to our 44 year old man who weighed 60kg (9.4 stone or 132 pounds).

Child Adult Male
187µg of Hg 2,480,000µg of Hg1
13.36µg per pound2 18,787.87µg per pound3

15g Thiomersal = 5,000,000µg of Thiomersal. 5,000,000/49.6% (Mercury in Thiomersal) = 2,480,000µg of Hg
21 stone (14 pound) child 187/14pounds = 13.36µg per pound
3 9.4 stone (132 pounds) 2,480,000/132 pounds = 18,787.87µg per pound

I think we can easily state that this man got vastly more thiomersal per pound then any child would. Even if we inflate the weight of our adult subject to 25 stone (350 pounds) he still gets 7,085.71µg per pound – over 530 times the amount. As it is, using the real figures, he’s getting over 1,400 times more thiomersal than the infant.

So what happened to our German friend? Surely he must’ve had one of the most ‘severe’ cases of autism ever seen right?

He developed gastritis, renal tubular failure, dermatitis, gingivitis, delirium, coma, polyneuropathy and respiratory failure.

Hmm. Sure doesn’t look, act, sound or quack like a duck….I’m going to go right ahead and surmise that in this man’s case, after ingesting over 1,400 times more mercury from thiomersal than an infant that he developed no signs of autism whatsoever and in fact somehow managed to avoid becoming autistic.

And the eventual outcome?

The patient recovered completely…..The decline of mercury concentration in blood, urinary mercury excretion, and renal mercury clearance were not substantially influenced by chelation therapy

It also looks like his total course of recovery took about 5 months. All neurological symptoms were resolved in 46 days. Not several (and ever increasing amounts of) years.

Put your money away Mr Doubleday – its not needed.

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35 Responses to “Jock Doubleday’s $75,000 vaccine offer”

  1. Ruth November 27, 2006 at 19:25 #

    Yep, people who have seen real organomercury poisoning somehow missed their patients turning autistic. Fortunately this man did not lose his sight-damage to the visual center occurs with prolonged exposure.

  2. clone3g November 27, 2006 at 19:27 #

    Brilliant. I’m sure we’ll hear that this poor man ingested thimerosal alone thus avoiding myriad synergistic effects and incalculable interactions with the other jab ingredients.

    Say, whatever happened to Buttar’s challenge? If I recall he offered to inject himself with thimerosal knowing he would be safely protected by his patented microencapsulated transdermal chelation cream. Couldn’t he snatch Jock’s coin purse while JB preemptively slathers magic potion lotion on Buttars thighs?

    Come on, who wouldn’t pay to see that?

  3. Ms Clark November 27, 2006 at 21:09 #

    I’d be willing to be injected with the amount of thimerosal (and vaccine-s) a preterm infant got in the “worst case scenario” which I think was .25 micrograms on the day he was born… calibrated up to my weight, but then I might not have the same testosterone levels as a preterm baby boy… On the other hand, it was a man who injested all that thimerosal in hopes of killing himself… what happened to all that business with sheets of testosterone and mercury… oh, yeah, that turned out to be a fib.

    I own a bottle of merthiolate and a bottle of mercurochrome. I haven’t cut myself accidently (I don’t cut myself on purpose) since I got them, but I intend to put merthiolate on the next open sore I get. I put it some of each on the back of my hand a while back and I didn’t die, yet…

    I bought them from “antique” dealers, basically. They are both from about 1965 to 1980 age. The merthiolate is in a plastic squeeze bottle and the mercurochrome has the little glass dauber. I also have some antique eye ointment that has merthiolate in it. It might be from the 1940’s or 1950’s.

    I also have a glob of mercury from a thermometer, I keep it in a glass vial. Ooooh.

    The real tests that no one wants to do, because it might show they are dead wrong, is go look at all the kids who are now getting thimerosal containing vaccines at birth, in other countries. See how fast the stuff clears their bodies (there should be a way to get urine samples from babies isn’t there? Stool samples would be easy enough to get. They could see how much goes into their hair, etc. They certainly could watch for symptoms of mercury poisoning.

    No one wants to know how non-poisoning thimerosal is to infants, or anyone else, they’d rather handwring over it or make wild accusations, I guess.

    Good grief, the Russians are getting thimerosal containing flu vaccines in imports from France, or the Netherlands. Who knows who all is getting TCV’s and not complaining?

    The Chinese gov’t was going to try to vaccinate all their children for Hep B, and the GAVI (read: Illuminati) people were going to put all the vaccines in individual pre-loaded syringes. But that was because of fear of vaccinating babies with reused the needles.

    http://www.gavialliance.org/Media_Center/china/pr_chinaGAVIHepB_25Jul2006_en.php

    Or maybe it was to keep them all from reproducing in the future… not sure. I have to check with Erik Nanstiel on that.

  4. anonimouse November 27, 2006 at 21:44 #

    Jock Doubleday makes Dawn Winkler look sane.

  5. Mercury Dad November 27, 2006 at 22:07 #

    Kevin: You are an idiot!!

    First off, are you trying to imply it’s OK to inject children with Thimerosal?

    Second, do you think there might be any difference between ingesting and INJECTING mercury.

    Thirdly, is it plausible that a one week old would be a touch more sensitive to a toxic substance than some grown-up, who, by the way, didn’t exactly have no reaction?

    The only part of your post that made any sense was the end: he recovered!!!!

    “All neurological symptoms were resolved in 46 days.” Wait, aren’t you all the morons who say that if mercury were involved, it would be permanent damage?

    Your blog is getting very stale, mate, I’m sure a little opposition posting will ratchet up the replies.

    Did I mention you are an idiot??

    MercuryDad

  6. Kev November 27, 2006 at 22:19 #

    “First off, are you trying to imply it’s OK to inject children with Thimerosal?”

    No Brad, I’m not.

    “Second, do you think there might be any difference between ingesting and INJECTING mercury.”

    You should approach Doubleday about this – he set the terms and conditions

    “Thirdly, is it plausible that a one week old would be a touch more sensitive to a toxic substance than some grown-up, who, by the way, didn’t exactly have no reaction?”

    Of course its plausible. Is it plausible that 1,000 times more thiomersal might cause a more severe reaction than a baseline 187mg? Was that reaction one that even slightly resembled autism by the way?

    ““All neurological symptoms were resolved in 46 days.” Wait, aren’t you all the morons who say that if mercury were involved, it would be permanent damage?”

    Uh, no.

    Why is it you think that this man who had 1,000 times more thiomersal in his system than the average child recovered in a couple of months compared to your statement that chelation should take 2 years? How is that going by the way? Been over two years now. Indistinguishable from his peers yet?

    Did I mention you are a liar and a fool?

    Oh and re: the ‘staleness’. I keep telling you Brad – visitors and readers are important, not commenters. They’re just a nice side-effect. You should know that after the fantastic performance putchildrenfirst put on ;o)

  7. Ms Clark November 27, 2006 at 22:36 #

    Why does Brad’s pseudonym, “Mercury Dad” link him to scientology.org?

    That’s so weird. Ooops, can I say that?

  8. HN November 27, 2006 at 23:08 #

    More about Jock here:

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/gentlebirth.htm

  9. notmercury November 27, 2006 at 23:26 #

    Mercury Dad said: “First off, are you trying to imply it’s OK to inject children with Thimerosal?”

    That isn’t and has never been the question. One can be against injecting children with thimerosal without thinking it contributes to autism in anyway. Clearly use of thimerosal in vaccines and it’s subsequent removal has had absolutely no impact on autism rates.

  10. Ruth November 28, 2006 at 00:39 #

    People have looked at how thiomersal is cleared from infants:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed

    Lancet. 2002 Nov 30;360(9347):1737-41.
    Mercury concentrations and metabolism in infants receiving vaccines containing thiomersal: a descriptive study.Pichichero ME, Cernichiari E, Lopreiato J, Treanor J.
    Department of Microbiology/Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, NY, USA.

    METHODS: 40 full-term infants aged 6 months and younger were given vaccines that contained thiomersal (diptheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, and in some children Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine). 21 control infants received thiomersal-free vaccines. We obtained samples of blood, urine, and stools 3-28 days after vaccination. Total mercury (organic and inorganic) in the samples was measured by cold vapour atomic absorption. FINDINGS: Mean mercury doses in infants exposed to thiomersal were 45.6 microg (range 37.5-62.5) for 2-month-olds and 111.3 microg (range 87.5-175.0) for 6-month-olds. Blood mercury in thiomersal-exposed 2-month-olds ranged from less than 3.75 to 20.55 nmol/L (parts per billion); in 6-month-olds all values were lower than 7.50 nmol/L. Only one of 15 blood samples from controls contained quantifiable mercury. Concentrations of mercury were low in urine after vaccination but were high in stools of thiomersal-exposed 2-month-olds (mean 82 ng/g dry weight) and in 6-month-olds (mean 58 ng/g dry weight). Estimated blood half-life of ethylmercury was 7 days (95% CI 4-10 days). INTERPRETATION: Administration of vaccines containing thiomersal does not seem to raise blood concentrations of mercury above safe values in infants. Ethylmercury seems to be eliminated from blood rapidly via the stools after parenteral administration of thiomersal in vaccines.

    PMID: 12480426 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  11. Ruth November 28, 2006 at 02:20 #

    One mystery around real organomercury poisoning is the delayed onset of symptoms. A Dartmouth professor died several years ago from contacting dimethylmercury. Her notebooks noted using it in August, but she had no symptoms until December. Why the delay? In the Iraqi poisoning, the contaminated bread was eaten for weeks before people became sick. Mercury poisoning is interesting, it just doesn’t look like autism.

  12. Joseph November 28, 2006 at 03:28 #

    Sure, there might be a difference between injecting and injesting, but come on, we’re talking 5 *grams* of thimerosal. People complain about vaccines still containing trace amounts of thimerosal, i.e. 1 *microgram*. To emphasize that, “micro” means one millionth.

    And no one said the guy was doing fine. He had some noticeable symptoms like gingivitis and comma. Even the neurological symptoms were nothing like autism. Not that we didn’t already know that mercury poisoning is dangerous with various physiological symptoms that look nothing like autism.

  13. Gwen November 28, 2006 at 10:13 #

    Please don’t attack when I ask this.
    I am a mother of a six year old autistic male. I am no Doctor or chemist, I have no knowledge in any medical field. I don’t believe the vaccinations are the 100% cause of Autism, but I do believe they are a trigger for some children.
    My question is this: Can mercury mutate itself within the human body and be passed on from generation to generation?
    Can DDT mutate itself within the human body and be passed from generation to generation? Can either affect the other?

  14. Kev November 28, 2006 at 10:26 #

    Hi Gwen, I’m not a scientist or Doctor either but some who post here are so I’ll wait for their answers but I’ve never heard of mercury itself being passed from parent to child.

  15. Catherina November 28, 2006 at 11:22 #

    Gwen,

    mercury is an element, it can neither “mutate” nor become part of our genetic make up. The only way to pass mercury on to a child is through breastfeeding. DDT passes through breastmilk as well, but again, this is not a genetic or “inheritance” thing and depends on the acute mercury/DDT burden of the mother. Do DDT and mercury interact? I don’t think so, but I am a neuroscientist and not very good in chemistry.

  16. Gwen November 28, 2006 at 12:24 #

    They stopped using DDT because of the harm to the environment. The Bald eagles I believe were having soft eggs (not proven) from the DDT. There were other environmental factors involved too.
    I was raised with the DDT trucks in the 60’s when you ran from the cloud of smoke.
    I have researched some of the information on DDT and the way it killed the insects was by attacking their neuron transmitters the sparks in their brain didn’t work anymore. It just seems funny (not really) that autism has a lot of similarity. They banned DDT in 1972. Is it possible we are the DDT generation passing it to our children?

  17. Ruth November 28, 2006 at 14:14 #

    Some data suggest DDT can act as an endocrine disruptor. Male lab animals given large doses will have small testicles, females will develop a condition similar to fibroid tumors. No good data showing carcinogenesis. So if a woman was exposed to large doses of DDT in pregnancy, her offspring may have reproductive problems, much like women who took DDS years ago.

    Lowest effect dose is 10 mg/kg and acute symptoms are CNS-numbness of extremities, headache, blurred vision, dizziness. The traces found in food are not a real problem.

    DDT was used far too casually, but the ban has caused millions to die from malaria in the 3rd world. It seems limited spraying may begin again, a good balance between human health and the environment.

  18. Ruth November 28, 2006 at 15:48 #

    JBH: “Second, do you think there might be any difference between ingesting and INJECTING mercury.”

    See Pinchichero’s paper-thiomersal was injected, most Hg is in the stools. Organomercury taken by any route will be excreted mostly (90%) through the feces.(Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology, chapter 23, Toxic Effects of Metals).

  19. Catherina November 28, 2006 at 16:44 #

    Gwen,

    Is it possible we are the DDT generation passing it to our children?

    No, that is not possible. Any effect on the offspring is a direct function of the acute burden of the mother and doses that cause problems in offspring usually cause very noticeable problems in the mothers. So unless a mother is exposed to DDT at the time of pregnancy, she cannot “pass” any thing on to her children.

  20. clone3g November 28, 2006 at 20:56 #

    KB isn’t the first or last one to jump ship. Eventually Autism Speaks will be staffed by fallen rescue angels.

  21. Gwen November 29, 2006 at 00:06 #

    After this I will leave you guys alone. You have been very professional and sweet to answer my questions. I just have one more. Do you know of any research that has been done on the male reproductive system pertaining to autism? The reason I ask:
    DDT PCB
    It was the condor that was laying soft eggs not the eagle my mistake. (not proven)
    Alligators had deformed penises from over use of DDT (not proven)
    It also affects the progesterone levels of male animals. (proven PCB)
    Autism affects more males than females, could this be why?
    I know I am overstepping my boundaries but I have an autistic 6 year old and a father in law debilitated with Alzheimer’s, from taking care of both of them. Both diseases look like they are one in the same.
    Again I thank you for letting me ask and not attacking me.
    Gwen

  22. Gwen November 29, 2006 at 02:48 #

    I appreciate your professionalism with answering my questions. I have one more.
    Can anyone tell me if research is being done on the men that have been contaminated with pcb or their offspring?
    thanks
    gwen

  23. burntcherry November 29, 2006 at 07:56 #

    Thanks for bringing up the issue of the Doubleday offer, Kev. It reminded me about a certain DAN docs thimerosal offer back in 2003.

    http://burntcherry.blogspot.com/2006/11/mccandlesss-thimerosal-offer-1.html

  24. Kev November 29, 2006 at 09:21 #

    Ah yes, the infamous Buttar made a similar offer didn’t he. Thank _you_ for reminding _me_ of that ;)

  25. Catherina November 29, 2006 at 18:09 #

    Gwen,

    yes such research is being done and as far as I can see, men exposed to PCBs have less motile sperm and the sex ration between male and female sperm changes. The data on sperm quality is not quite consistent, but despite a number of studies that looked at detrimental effects of PCB on testis development and sperm quality, there does not seem to be a clear cut detrimental effect of PCBs.

  26. anonimouse November 30, 2006 at 15:27 #

    First off, are you trying to imply it’s OK to inject children with Thimerosal?

    Yes, in the doses commonly found in vaccines.

    Clearly a Stanford education is overrated.

    Second, do you think there might be any difference between ingesting and INJECTING mercury.

    Yes, I’d suggest ingestion of mercury is probably worse on many levels because of what it could do to other organs on its way through the body.

    Thirdly, is it plausible that a one week old would be a touch more sensitive to a toxic substance than some grown-up, who, by the way, didn’t exactly have no reaction?

    Well, there is the pesky “man takes a thousand times more per mercury per kilogram” question to answer? If mercury is so awful in microgram-level doses, wouldn’t you think it would be absurd in quantities as “large” as the one this man ingested?

    The only part of your post that made any sense was the end: he recovered!

    “All neurological symptoms were resolved in 46 days.” Wait, aren’t you all the morons who say that if mercury were involved, it would be permanent damage?

    No thanks to the chelation therapy you espouse.

    Your blog is getting very stale, mate, I’m sure a little opposition posting will ratchet up the replies.

    Did I mention you are an idiot??

    Let’s get real, JB. You’re not a scientist. You’re a venture capitalist – basically, you’re job is to gamble money on start-up companies and hope you see a return on investment. You’re one step above stock hawkers and the guy picking horses at the track.

    So please, do not show up with your smug sense of superiority and try to convince us that because you have a Stanford degree and a few bucks that you know more than the rest of us. Because you don’t.

    You might convince some people with your “I’m just a concerned parent looking for answers” line, but I’ve been around the block long enough to know when something smells fishy. At some point, I’d guess, the real truth about the “mercury militia” will be revealed and the answers will be far more surprising than any of us originally thought.

    And by the way…Scientology?

  27. keeper December 8, 2006 at 00:18 #

    I have never heard so many mean spirited comments from what appears to be somewhat intelligent human beings!!!
    You have no idea what you are talking about – NONE WHATSOEVER!!! The way you talk to and about ‘Mercury Dad’ is just appalling! Mercury toxicity effects people differently – not just autistic like symptoms. It nearly killed my daughter – or actually mainstream medicine trying to heal her with drug after drug – while they tried to figure it all out. Live the ‘mercury life’ before you rattle on. Actually, come to think of it, you all appear mercury toxic to me. Mean, cruel, self-centered, psychotic, with no sign of decency & compassion. You’re what this world needs less of. Awful excuses for ‘human’ beings. You all “need a mother very, very badly!” You are disgusting!

  28. Kev December 8, 2006 at 06:06 #

    Keeper, no one on here doubts the reality of mercury poisoning. We just doubt that its associated with autism.

    ‘Mercury’ Dad’ is someone we know. He didn’t always post under that name and believe me, as you can see, he gives as good as he gets.

  29. forensix 02 December 8, 2006 at 06:38 #

    “Mercury Dad” has done a great deal of real world harm, he’s getting off easy here. He’s done things to some of the commenters here that they would never dream of doing to him. He’s entirely lacking in compassion and shows very little of what anyone would call decency. He claims that before he had his own disabled child he never thought about or cared about disabled children. There’s your compassion.

  30. phil commander December 28, 2006 at 20:34 #

    “philcommander Tijuana testosterone shot”
    wow, i dont remember inventing that…i’m sure it has vodka in it though!

  31. clone3g December 28, 2006 at 21:14 #

    One Thimerostolichnaya video, coming right up.

  32. Gretchen Cuda January 6, 2007 at 00:00 #

    I stumbled across your discussion and I thought I would offer up couple of points on the science. For background information, I am a former neuroscientist. I have a master’s degree in biomedical engineering and concentrated on neuroscience and pharmacology – essentially I studied how drugs interact with the brain. Today I am a science journalist. I am not an expert on mercury, or an expert on autism, but I know more than the average person about both. I do not take a position on the relationship between mercury and vaccines, but I have written about the political confusion surrounding the science of mercury toxicity from seafood consumption for Wired News, and am intensely curious about the science of toxic metals.
    Make no mistake: science is intensely political. Scientists (on both sides of an issue) can be motivated to manipulate data, lobbyists are working very hard to promote specific scientific agendas (some valid, others not), and the government is not always looking out for the interest of individuals. You should be skeptical, and my advice is to be well-informed and never to stop being open to evidence that contradicts your current position. That said, here is some information you might find helpful when making up your mind.

    1) Ingestion vs. Injection.
    The effects of any drug or toxin are determined by the amount in the bloodstream and the length of time it remains there. This is a function of how fast the dose enters the blood and how fast it leaves. When you ingest a drug, it typically enters the bloodstream much slower than when you inject it. Intravenous (in the veins) injection means that the total dose enters the bloodstream almost instantaneously. Most vaccines are administered by Intramuscular (in the muscle in your arm) injection, which means that the total dose enters the bloodstream somewhat slower. Ingestion is usually the slowest route a drug can take, and depending on the drug, much of the dose never enters the bloodstream at all.
    The reason is that the body is very adept at eliminating toxins from the bloodstream that are ingested orally. To begin with, drugs take a while to be absorbed from the gut into the blood – it isn’t instantaneous like IV injection – so the amount of drug in the blood at any given time is significantly less than the total administered dose, and the body has time to start removing it before it is completely absorbed.
    Furthermore, the removal system is very efficient in orally administered drugs. Why? Because drugs taken orally are absorbed from the gut wall and go directly to the liver and kidneys which filter them out or metabolize them (convert them) into different substances that are often (but not always) less toxic. Those toxins are quickly excreted in the urine or feces, and never reach the general bloodstream.
    This is known as the “first pass system” and is the reason that most drugs given orally are given at significantly higher doses than they would be if they were given by IV injection. In fact, many common drugs would be lethal if the same dosage taken orally was given intravenously.
    Of course, the liver and kidneys can only handle so much at any one time, so they remove what they can and the rest does make it into the general blood.
    The take home message here is that a man who ingests Thimerosal is likely getting only a fraction of the dose he is ingesting, and it will enter his bloodstream at a much slower rate, so the comparison of the dose/lb of the infant versus the German man is inaccurate. In fairness, even taking those factors into account, the man most certainly received a much larger dose/lb body weight of Thimerosal than the infant, consistent with his clear adverse reaction.
    2) The effects of age and genetics on drug reaction
    Age affects many aspects of how drugs interact with the body. It can affect the function of the kidneys – newborn infants for example, have only about 20% of the kidney function of adults. Liver function also changes with age. Now remember how I said that the amount of drug in the blood is also dependent on how fast it leaves? If elimination by the kidneys or liver is impaired then the body is subject to higher doses for longer periods of time than someone with optimal kidney or liver function – so age cannot be ignored in determining the actual dose in the blood.
    Other factors that can affect kidney or liver function are disease, the presence of other drugs (including things like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol which keep the liver and kidneys busy, and prevent them from devoting their full attention to removal of other toxins) and genetics. The reason the FDA does such long studies on new drugs is because people are genetically different – some people are missing important enzymes in their livers that are required for the elimination of specific toxins. If those people take the same amount of drug as a normal person they might die. One of the purposes of the FDA safety studies is to determine how many people in a population might have adverse effects – 1/10? 1/1000? 1/10 million? Take alcohol for example – most Asians have much less of the enzyme needed to break down and eliminate alcohol -alcohol dehydrogenase-in their livers. In fact they metabolize ethanol in a completely different way. One of the byproducts of this metabolism is high concentrations of the metabolite acetalaldehyde, which is responsible for flushed skin and a racing heartbeat. This is why many Asians have a lower tolerance to alcohol than Whites. Many other drugs have similar genetic specific reactions, not all of which can be easily attributed to race.
    NOW, what does this have to do with autism? It has been postulated that autism sufferers belong to a subset of the population that are unable to remove toxic metals like mercury from their bodies efficiently. Thimerosal contains mercury; ironically much more mercury is administered by vaccines than is recommended by the WHO to be consumed by children or childbearing women from fish. Perhaps many children are able to eliminate the mercury from their bodies, and suffer no ill-effects. But if some segment of the population cannot efficiently eliminate the mercury, those people would suffer neurological effects.
    3) The developing brain
    Finally let’s think about the developing brain – the brains of infants and children are still developing at a rapid rate. The brains of children are in a constant state of “remodeling” in which neurons are reorganizing their connections with other neurons. Rapid growth of cells and changes in molecular signaling involves reproduction of DNA molecules at rates far higher than in an adult.
    Exactly how mercury interferes with the brain is not well understood, and what is happening in the autistic brain is perhaps even less understood, but here is what is suspected. We do know that the brain is damaged by mercury – this is uncontested. It is thought that mercury is doing this in a number of ways: interfering directly with the actions of neurotransmitters, interfering with the effects of growth signals that guide the reorganization of the neurons in the brain, and interfering with methylation of DNA, which is important in turning genes on and off. Presumably mercury interferes with one or all of these processes – since the processes are occurring at a much more rapid rate in children, and result in permanent changes to the brain, the effects of mercury on the brain are different in children than adults, and are much more permanent. Does this explain autism? Probably not entirely, but it does explain why mercury exposure in children may result in profoundly different effects than those seen in adults.
    It also just seems like something to be aware of. And I look at it this way – there is absolutely no reason for vaccines, or any other medications to be preserved with Thimerosal – EXCEPT COST. Pharmaceutical companies use it so they can package multiple doses of vaccine in a single vial. I imagine they would say that this is an essential cost-reduction that is passed onto the consumer, and particularly important in making widespread vaccination available in third world countries but I would be suspicious. Drug companies are always thinking about the bottom line, and it’s not because they want to pass the cost savings onto you and me.
    4) DDT and PCB’s
    Toxicity by mercury or any other substance cannot be passed on genetically. The only disorders that can be passed on to future generations are those that are present at birth, and caused by a defect in the genetic makeup of the individual. Exposures to environmental toxins do not change the essential genetic makeup of a person that is passed on to children. Keep in mind however, individuals who cannot excrete toxic metals because they genetically lack the appropriate mechanism, could possibly pass that same genetic flaw onto their children, making them more sensitive to mercury exposure as well.
    Another note – DDT and PCB’s are thought to have a synergistic effect with mercury, meaning that people who are exposed to high levels of DDT and PCB’s may be more sensitive to mercury. These substances are also thought to be “endocrine disrupters” meaning that they imitate natural hormones like estrogen and testosterone but don’t function. Thus they fit into hormone receptors and block the response of real hormones. In other words, they turn off the hormone system and as you can imagine that causes all sorts of problems.
    No one seems to know exactly why boys are more susceptible to autism than girls, but it appears that boys are also more likely to be affected by mercury poisoning as well – some people argue this is because males are more sensitive to oxidative stress, particularly at a young age. This makes some sense to me, because I have read that estrogen often has protective effects against oxidative cellular damage.

  33. HN January 6, 2007 at 02:42 #

    Hmmmm… lots of unreferenced verbage that has nothing to do with the Jock Doubleday bogus challenge:

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/boguschallenges.htm

    You would be much more believable if you posted on an on topic posting (better, yet actually READ what Kev wrote!), and if you provided some actual references… something like this:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16919130

    That reference was posted in the comments of Orac’s blog (see link on the left side of this page)… which has several well referenced postings that show thimerosal is not the cause of autism.

  34. notmercury January 6, 2007 at 02:42 #

    It has been postulated that autism sufferers belong to a subset of the population that are unable to remove toxic metals like mercury from their bodies efficiently.

    Postulated, yes. In the case of EtOH metabolism by Asians, would this be due to a relatively clear and understood mechanism involving genes for key enzymes? Maybe, oh I don’t know, something like ADH1B and ADH1C polymorphisms?

    The idea that autistics are less able to remove toxic metals is an idea put forth by people involved with the chelation industry. The suspected SNP’s haven’t panned out. That’s not to say it’s not possible but postulation is possibly premature.

  35. Do'C January 6, 2007 at 05:12 #

    “It has been postulated that autism sufferers belong to a subset of the population that are unable to remove toxic metals like mercury from their bodies efficiently”.

    I disagree, in a strict scientific definition, it has been hypothesized.

    Postulated (accepting as true without proof, or assuming as a given) is an accurate description for many of the believers in the thimerosal-autism hypothesis. I’d suggest it’s actually become an urban legend.

    However, in scientific terms it is hypothesis – and a likely flawed hypothesis when you look closely at the study that proposed it.

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