Health Articles
Posted on February 10, 2020 1:38 PM by Dr. Samantha Zimmer

How To Choose A Multivitamin

When you go to the grocery store there are aisles of vitamins. How the heck are you supposed to determine which ones are best for you and which ones are a waste of money? In this article I will give you easy steps to determine the quality of a multivitamin.

 Do I Really Need a Multivitamin?

Yes, unless you eat a pristine diet of organic whole foods, you should be taking a HIGH QUALITY multivitamin. I emphasize high quality because most people do not realize that the cheap multivitamin on the shelf at Target can actually be quite detrimental for your health. Even if you do have a great diet you should consider taking a multivitamin.

The Toxins and pesticides/pollutants we are exposed to has sky rocketed in the last 60 years. Our bodies use vitamins and minerals to support detoxification pathways and get rid of these toxins. Most Americans have poor diets and are exposed to countless toxins throughout the day whether it be from food, plastics, cookware, make-up, air pollution etc. By taking a multivitamin you keep your body stocked with the micronutrients needed to effectively get rid of these harmful toxins. 

Stress is another reason to take a multivitamin. Chronic high stress wreaks havoc on your body and depletes reserves of vitamins and minerals. Other processes these micronutrients are needed for include immune function, energy production, neurotransmitter production, hormone production, and they are the key ingredients for many metabolic processes. I think the most important reasons to take a multivitamin everyday are constant stress and toxic load which apply to almost everyone.

I do NOT want you guys falling for good branding stunts! Here is a checklist for you to become experts at evaluating your own multivitamins. That way you can be sure they are helping you and not a waste of your money or bad for your health.  


Multivitamin Checklist:

1. Vitamin E= D-alpha tocopherol

First step, go to the back of the bottle and locate Vitamin E. Make sure to check the long list of ingredients because it might be hidden in there. The natural form of Vitamin E you want is D-alpha tocopherol and it can also be listed as d-alpha tocopheryl acetate, or d-alpha tocopheryl succinate. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and this is the natural form that is best absorbed and utilized by the body. Many multivitamins will use the cheaper synthetic version DL-alpha tocopherol which is NOT absorbed well and the body actually makes a point to eliminate it. Studies have shown that when it is absorbed it is excreted from the body 3x faster than the natural form.

We Don't Like= DL-alpha tocopherol. 


2. Minerals= Calcium, Magnesium, & Zinc 

Here we need to determine if the minerals are high quality vs. low quality. High quality minerals are easily absorbed and utilized by the body. Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc are the most important. They are used in many enzymatic and metabolic reactions in the body. Magnesium alone is used in over 300 enzymes! If you have a multivitamin with low quality minerals there is a high chance they are just going to end up in your toilet... Literally $$ down the toilet

A GREAT multivitamin will only have High Quality ingredients! If the minerals are chelated that means they are attached to something that is easily absorbed. We like chelated minerals! (TRAACS means it is chelated)

Here is a list of commonly used minerals:


Poor Quality

High Quality


Calcium carbonate

Calcium gluconate

Calcium citrate

Calcium malate

Calcium orotate


Magnesium oxide

Magnesium sulfate

Magnesium- TRAACS amino acid chelated

Magnesium citrate

Magnesium citramate

Magnesium orotate


Zinc oxide

Zinc gluconate

Zinc Acetate (better than others)

Zinc-TRAACS amino acid chelated

Zinc orotate

Zinc glycinate

Zinc picolinate



3. "Fairy Dust"- aka: Proprietary Blend

What is Fairy Dust? It's what I call the Proprietary Blend of 100 herbals in a pinch of the multivitamin. It is usually a long ingredient list of every fruit or vegetable you can think of or a blend of botanicals. (A little apple dust, kiwi dust, kale dust etc.) These ingredients are not going to hurt you they are just given in such an insignificant dose that they do not matter. They have no effect due to the super small dose. Yet brands love to use Fairy Dust as a selling point to trick people into buying their vitamin due to the long list of amazing ingredients on the back of the box. You guys are going to be too smart for that. NO FALLING FOR FAIRY DUST!


4. Harmful Ingredients

You want to make sure your multivitamin is free of fillers, preservatives, chemicals, and food dyes. You take a multivitamin to replenish your body's micronutrients and get rid of toxins. You do not want to be taking a pill of chemicals/fillers every single day because that defeats the purpose. 

Make sure your multivitamin does not contain any of the following:



FD&C Yellow #6 lake, Blue #2 lake, Red #40 lake (Any food coloring!)


Hydrogenated Palm Oil

Trans fat

Modified food starch

Sucralose (aka: Splenda)

Sodium Benzoate

Pregelatinized corn starch

Polyvinyl alcohol

Polyethylene glycol


Talc/Magnesium silicate

Titanium Dioxide


If you are taking a poor quality multivitamin it would be better to just save your money and not take one at all. Brands such as Centrum, One A Day, Nature's Made, etc. have harmful chemicals, fillers, color dyes, and preservatives along with cheap vitamins and minerals that the body can't even use. They are a COMPLETE waste of money and NOT good for your health.


What Multivitamin Should I Get?

Here at Zimmer Chiropractic & Nutrition we recommend Alpha Base from OrthoMolecular Products which can be purchased in house or at our online store. Alpha Base only contains the highest quality ingredients with the most bioavailability, meaning highest absorption rates. It also provides a wide spectrum of antioxidant support. I recommend it to all of my patients. Other trusted brands include Thorne, Metagenics, Integrative Therapeutics, and Designs for Health to name a few.



Let's Evaluate Some Multivitamins:

1. Centrum Multivitamin for Adults

Evaluation: BAD

Vitamin EDL-alpha tocopherol (Don't Like)

Minerals= Cheap poorly absorbed forms (magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, calcium carbonate)

Harmful Ingredients= MANY! There are a bunch of chemicals, preservatives, and food dye!

   -Maltodextrin, BHT, Corn starch, Hydrogenated palm oil, Modified corn starch, Polyethylene glycol, Polyvinyl alcohol, Pregelatinezed corn starch, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Metavanadate, Stannous Chloride, Talc, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 6 Lake.


2. Garden Of Life Vitamin Code Women’s Multivitamin 

Evaluation: OKAY. There is nothing here that is harmful or bad for you. You just can’t tell what forms of vitamins and minerals you are getting and they might not be the more absorbable forms.

Vitamin E: No specification

Minerals: No specification

Fairy Dust: EVERYWHERE! See that paragraph of GREAT ingredients that makes it seem like you just ate a heap of fruits & veggies! Those are GREAT ingredients unfortunately it’s only 400mg of all of those ingredients combined so you are getting “Fairy Dust” of each ingredient. Might as well go lick a strawberry and it would be the same effect. Let me clarify Proprietary Blends of organic ingredients like this are not bad for you, it is just insignificant and should not be a selling point for you to buy the multivitamin.

Harmful Ingredients: NONE woohoo!


3. Flintstones Chewable Multivitamin (WORST FOR LAST!) 

Evaluation: Just throw these in the garbage PLEASE!! Do NOT give these to your kids!

Vitamin E: DL-alpha-tocopheral

Minerals: Does not supply any of the main minerals!

Harmful Ingredients: Basically EVERYTHING on the ingredient list. Look at all of those food dyes! Mannitol, sorbitol, and fructose are the main ingredients which are just sugars! Not sweet enough though so let's add in sucralose (AKA: Splenda!). There is nothing healthy about a Flintstone Vitamin.



I hope that this information gives you the confidence to conquer the vitamin aisle and makes it easier to choose a great multivitamin!

Dr. Samantha Zimmer
Chiropractor and Master of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine 

Posted on February 7, 2019 11:30 AM by Dr. Samantha Zimmer
Is A Calorie A Calorie??
Many of us have tried to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle and have gotten the advice that the key to success is “Calories in vs. calories out!” or “A calorie is just a calorie no matter where you get it from!” I have heard this countless times from professors, friends, and coaches. At first glance it makes sense that the body uses a calorie or a carbohydrate from any source in the exact same way.
However, this concept could not be any more WRONG!
The main reason the body does NOT treat calories equally is that our bodies metabolize (break down) foods differently.  People who are on the Ketogenic diet, Paleo diet, Atkin’s diet, or just eat a high amount of protein, fat, and complex carbs break down their food much slower than someone who is eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) of high refined carbs. 
Our bodies use energy (calories) to break down food! 
Let’s look at an example:
Josh ate a burger patty for lunch with cheese and no bun. He took in about 700 calories mostly from protein and fats. Since these are complex macromolecules his body has to WORK HARD to break them down into amino acids and fatty acids which can be absorbed. While he is digesting his body expends around 300 calories breaking it down for several hours leading to a net gain of only 400 calories. 
Adam ate a can of Pringles for lunch at 700 calories… The body begins to break down simple carbs literally the second you put them in your mouth with an enzyme called salivary amylase. That is why you have the immediate sweet taste when you eat bread or crackers. Once these hit the stomach they are disintegrated easily and the body uses about 100 calories to break it down. That is a net gain of 600 calories.

Josh ate 700 cal – 300 cal= 400 calories 
Adam ate 700 cal- 100 cal= 600 calories

Although both guys ate the same amount of calories Adam ends up with more at the end of the day! The foods are not equal because of how the body uses and digests them. This does not even take into account the hormonal responses our bodies have to these different meals. The hormonal aspect is another reason why not all calories are created equally. 
Are 20g of carbs from M&M’s and 20 g of carbs from Broccoli the same? 
The immediate response is always, “YES! A carb is a carb!” However, Let’s look at the hormonal response our body has to these carbs from different foods:

If you eat a handful of M&M’s it contains about 20g of carbs. These carbs are broken down completely in about 15 mins and released as a quick spike of blood sugar. Your body responds by shooting out a large amount of insulin to get that sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells where it can be used for energy. The insulin spike and high glucose are not good for your health and if they are elevated continuously it can lead to conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Now let’s contrast that and say you ate 20g of carbs from broccoli. First of all that would be a whole lot of broccoli compared to a handful of M&M’s. Broccoli is going to be broken down much slower taking around 45 mins. In this time the body gets a slow release of sugar from the carbs which leads to a blunted insulin release and much healthier stable blood sugar level. (No Spikes!)  There are also many beneficial phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber in broccoli which are great for your health.
This graph shows you how M&M's (blue) cause a high spike in blood sugar followed by a crash. The Broccoli (orange) line shows you how there is a controlled release of blood sugar leading to a stable glucose level. 
You can see that even though these foods are equal in carbs they are EXTREMELY different in how the body utilizes them!

I hope this illustrates to you that all calories are NOT equal. Your body unfortunately does not work like your MyFitness Pal app calorie ledger. There are many complex enzymatic and hormonal interactions that occur due to the foods you eat which can have completely different effects on your health. 
Next time someone tells you “It doesn’t matter what you eat, A calorie is just a calorie!” You can smile and know that it is much more complicated than that and it does in fact matter!
Let Food be Thy Medicine
Dr. Samantha Zimmer
Chiropractor and Master of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine
Posted on March 1, 2018 2:50 PM by Dr. Zimmer
I get asked all of the time why I do not recommend krill oil over fish oil. To many the evidence is so seemingly overwhelming in favor of krill oil that it really does not make sense why anyone would still be taking anything else. I can say that I have always been slow to jump on bandwagons. And, it seems, for good reason. All of the noise generated by the bandwagon can easily distract you from the fact that you are going in the wrong direction.
The truth is that the evidence does not support the use of krill oil. In fact, the evidence shows that krill oil has only one benefit over fish oil and that is the lack of a fishy burp that some people experience from fish oils. The major negative is that krill oil is about 5-6 times more expensive than a good quality fish oil.  So, it should have a significant and measurable benefit over fish oil to justify the increased costs. I would also like to point out that never in the history of man-kind has krill been a food source for humans. Thus, although krill oil comes from nature, it is not natural to the human diet.
Let’s examine the krill oil claims and see if they pass the sniff test.

Krill Oil’s Claimed Benefits
The most important fact you need to be aware of when people refer to “studies” supposedly supporting the claims of krill oil is that all of these studies have been done by the krill manufacturers. In and of itself, this does not mean that a study done by someone who has a financial interest in the outcome will always be bad. But, it most certainly means that you should take a closer look at the study’s claims before giving it a big accepting kiss on the lips.

Claim #1:  Krill Oil Is Absorbed Much Better Than Fish Oil
In one study of 76 obese adults, some were given 212 mg of EPA from fish oil and some were given 216 mg EPA from krill oil. (EPA is one of the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids found in these oils)  The fish oil group increased their plasma EPA levels by 81% while the krill oil increased by 89%. Looking at this in a direct manner the krill oil seems to be slightly better (89% vs. 81%) at similar doses. However, that is not the way studies are evaluated to determine whether there is a real difference. You have to determine a benefit through statistical significance. In other words, you have to look at other possible causes for the differences and take them out of the equation. When this is done there is NO statistical difference between these results. Thus, scientifically and clinically this study showed zero difference between krill and fish oil. It most certainly does not support the claims that krill oil is absorbed significantly better than fish oil.
The same principle affects the other study which is touted as having shown a benefit of krill oil absorption over fish oil. In this study subjects were given 543 mg of omega 3 from krill oil and 864 mg from fish oil. Even though the average increase in omega 3 was higher in the fish oil group, the higher amount was not statistically significant. Thus, krill oil advocates claim this shows that krill oil is more effective at a lower dose.  (Notice how they ignore the principle of statistical significance when it is not in their favor, but embrace it when the opposite occurs.) By itself, this study is not impressive and cannot be utilized to tout the superior absorption of krill over fish oil.
Many of the advocates for krill (Mercola, Oz, etc.) claim that the reason why it is better is because krill supplies the oil in a different form (phospholipid form) than natural fish oil (triglyceride form). Dr. Oz even showed an animation with the krill oil moving into the body at about a 5 times faster rate than the fish oil. He presented this animation as if there were solid and convincing scientific studies supporting this claim. NONE exist!
The only small study (12 subjects) looking at a direct comparison between krill oil and fish oil showed NO statistical difference between the oils studied. But, there was “a trend towards higher plasma phospholipids” with the krill oil. This is what the advocates latch onto to make their exaggerated (bordering on dishonest) claims. The reason why using this finding to make such bold claims about krill oil is dishonest is because it ignores the fact that the fish oil would more likely be absorbed in a different manner. For example, imagine if you bring your groceries into your house in both plastic and paper. You would not count the items in the plastic bags as the only ones “absorbed” into your house. Thus, this study tells us little about krill absorption benefits over fish oil. It most certainly does not support the exaggerated claims of 5 times the absorption!

Claim #2:  Krill Oil Contains Antioxidants Which Will Benefit Your Health
It is true that krill oil contains the carotenoid Astaxanthin. And, it is true that there are a few limited studies showing that Astaxanthins may be of benefit for your health. But, these studies used dosages of 4 mg up to 20 mg per day. Krill oil contains only about 0.5 mg of Astaxanthin per capsule. So, making any health claims because of the Astaxanthin content is called wishful thinking, at best. But, this does not stop exaggerators like Dr. Mercola from making ridiculous statements like; “Astaxanthin and this unique marine-source flavanoid in Pure Krill Oil creates a special bond with EPA and DHA, allowing for direct metabolism of the antioxidants.” He literally just made that up to promote the krill oil he is selling. NO studies to date have shown any health benefits from the antioxidants found in krill oil and because of the minute quantities found in the oil, none would be expected. These claims are wishful thinking mixed with exaggeration and topped with a sprinkle of dishonesty.

Claim #3:  Krill Oil Does Not Give You That Fishy Burp
As far as I can tell this is true.
But, there is something fishy about krill oil. The lengths to which the krill industry will go to try and publish studies that will promote their profits is disturbing. Two recent studies are the perfect example of why you have to find out who is paying for a study before you get that tingle down your leg because of the results.
In one study they claimed, “Krill oil supplementation lowers serum triglycerides without increasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) in adults with borderline high or high triglyceride levels.”  The problem is that at the highest level of supplementation, 800 mg of krill oil, the triglycerides actually INCREASED! So, how were they able to make the claim in the title of their study? They did it with creative mathematics. In other words, if the numbers do not show what you want, make them show what you want.
In the second study, they claimed to have studied equal amounts of krill oil against fish oil. Except they adulterated the fish oil by mixing it with corn oil and did not disclose this in their study. When they were called to the carpet on this they replied, “We agree that we could have included the information about dilution of fish oil in the original manuscript itself.” But, they did not for some reason. My best guess is that they did not want to highlight the fact that you would have to take about 4 capsules of krill oil for every 1 fish oil. So, they diluted the fish oil to keep the krill oil dosage seemingly low. Comparing krill oil to an adulterated fish oil renders the study’s conclusions meaningless. But, that has not stopped advocates from using these studies to promote krill oil.

The Danger Of Taking Krill Oil
The real danger of taking krill oil is that you are being told it will provide the same benefits for your health as will fish oil, but at a much lower dose. Think about that for a moment. If they acknowledged that this was untrue, which seems to be the case, a bottle of krill oil with equivalent amounts of omega 3 as fish oil would cost 5 times as much. No one would buy it. So, they have to try and prove this claim or the whole industry would collapse. They are not going to let this happen and with the help of over-zealous pitchmen like Drs. Mercola and Oz they are accomplishing a successful deception.
The other potential concern, which I have not heard anyone else raise, is that the exoskeleton of krill must be removed before eating because it contains fluorine. Fluorine and its anion Fluoride are toxic at high concentrations. I could not find any information as to whether the krill industry is testing their product for fluorine content. I am not sounding an alarm because I do not know whether they are testing for this element or its anion (fluoride). But, it certainly is of concern with an industry that has shown itself to be less than honest in the representation of their product. Are you willing to trust them on this or would you like to know for sure? I am not so trusting.
Finally, if you go to PubMed and type in Krill Oil you find that there are only 164 articles in the peer reviewed literature. If you type in Fish Oil you find 29,466 articles. With the questions surrounding krill oil, why not pick the one that has 180 times as many studies?
So, if you have been riding the krill oil bandwagon you might want to consider jumping off and letting it go banging down the road without you.  Or, you can go on spending 5 times as much as a good quality fish oil and keep your fingers crossed that the deceptive health claims promoted by those making a profit are real.

Buying A High Quality Fish Oil Is Important
You may have noticed at the beginning of this article I disclosed that I am a proponent of taking HIGH QUALITY fish oils. People ask me all of the time whether it makes a difference as to where they get their fish oil. I am here to tell you, in my not so humble but educated opinion, that taking fish oils you bought at Costco, Sam’s, WalMart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, the Vitamin Shoppe or on the internet may actually be more harmful than helpful for your health.
The reason has to do with two factors: pesticide residues and rancidity. Only the best brands, which are usually only sold through doctor’s offices, test their oil for both of these potentially health harming molecules. Some test for pesticides, but not for rancidity. If you take a rancid oil, you are taking an oxidant, which is just the opposite of an antioxidant (most people know antioxidants are good for you).  Taking a pro-oxidant rancid fish oil is not a good idea if you want to improve your health. But, this is exactly what you may be doing each day!
Some fish oils become rancid at the time of encapsulation. Many others become rancid as they sit in non-temperature controlled warehouses by the tens of thousands of bottles waiting to be shipped to their final destination. Others contain extremely long expiration dates and eventually become rancid because they have sat on a shelf for too long. Thus, I do believe it is possible to potentially harm your health in the long-run by taking poor quality fish oils.
I urge you to stop taking store-bought fish oils. Consider taking Dr. Zimmer’s Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil. Contact me and I will send you a coupon for your first bottle. That way you know you are getting only the best for the money you spend. Why not take the best for your health? Other good brands include Metagenics, Thorne Research, Designs for Health, OrthoMolecular Products (who make my oils for me) or Nordic Naturals.
God bless and I hope this article was educational.
Posted on October 23, 2017 5:17 PM by Dr. Zimmer
Every year, right around the time of Halloween, something very scary begins. That’s right…I am talking about the annual flu vaccination campaign. This is the time of year when your doctors and advertisements urge you to get flu shots for everyone in your family.
Actually, the word “urge” should be replaced with the word “scare.” To understand why all you need to do is to pay attention to the underlying theme of advertisements that scare you to take immediate action in order to “protect” yourself, your children, the elderly and pregnant women. They infer that not getting the shot makes you irresponsible because you are increasing the risk of a grave outcome without reason. As you are about to learn, this is purposefully misleading and has nothing to do with improving your health.
Now, if you are not influenced by this type of "scare strategy" I would argue that you do not have a pulse (or you already know the facts I am about to share). This scare tactic is executed by telling only the part of the story that skews your opinion towards what advocates of the flu shot want you to believe. They purposely deceive their audience into believing that significant illness or even dealth are very real risks for the average person when it comes to the flu. What is the other name we use to describe purposeful deception? Oh, yeah…a lie! I am going to give you information to reveal that the flu shot does little to lower the risk of getting the flu and does not reduced the risk of death at all in a healthy population! I am also going to explain to you the important risks of taking the flu shot, since these risks are NEVER disclosed by either the marketing campaign or the medical community.
I realize that I have an uphill battle to wage here with many reading this article. The reason why is because in addition to the extensive advertising campaigns a more powerful force also urges compliance with getting flu shots every year and that force is the medical community.
Every doctor I know believes that just about everyone should get a flu shot. It is very difficult for most of us to believe that all doctors could be misguided or wrong on any topic. Maybe some…but not all! Really? There are so many examples of how this "group think", influenced effectively by the pharmaceutical industry, has been wrong in the past it is staggering. All doctors freely wrote for the prescription drugs Bextra and Vioxx for years.  That is until the fact that these drugs were killing tens of thousands of people could no longer be ignored. How could ALL doctors have been wrong for so many years? At one time, every doctor vigorously defended the benefits and safety of giving women horse estrogens (Premarin®). Studies revealing the dangers of giving estrogen to women were published all over the literature. They were absolutely and summarily ignored by the medical community because the studies did not agree with the collective thought that giving women horse estrogen was a good and safe practice. They were ALL wrong! These examples are very similar to the flu shot story. Doctors completely ignore any negatives and robotically recite the party line that everyone needs a flu shot. So, do not be lulled into a false sense of security that the flu vaccination must be safe and effective simply because of the medical community’s vigorous endorsement. Look at the facts to make your decision.
What Is The Flu?
Before we start talking about the flu, I want to make sure you understand what it is. Believe it or not, most people mistakenly think that most sicknesses during this time of year are the flu. You may be surprised to learn that the flu is a respiratory disease. It is not a digestive disease. You do not normally get diarrhea or vomiting with the flu. When you get a fever, nausea and diarrhea…YOU DO NOT have the flu! The flu is a sudden onset respiratory virus that causes coughing, fever/headache, and whole body muscle achiness/fatigue. Thus, when you or your child comes home with a fever, diarrhea and vomiting it is not the flu. They have a digestive bug. The flu vaccination does nothing to prevent these illnesses.
The reason why this is so important is that most parents will think that the flu is going around the school when it is a digestive virus, not the flu. Schools even send emails out warning parents that the flu is hitting hard when it is not the flu at all. The perception is that any bad illness is the flu, which makes most parents think that the flu is more prevalent than it really is. In fact, during a BAD season the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimates that only 2 out of 10 people will get the flu. People inherently think the number is much higher because they incorrectly label digestive illnesses as the flu.
The Benefits of Flu Shots
So, what is the real benefit gained from getting a flu shot? How effective is the flu shot at protecting you? If you listen to the flu advertising or to your doctor you would think that the flu vaccine is close to 100% effective. The intentionally mis-representation is if you get the flu shot you will gain significant protection from contracting the flu.
Let’s look at some facts so you can begin to form your educated opinion. As stated, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimates that up to 20% of the population can catch the flu in a bad season. Some years it can be much lower. Thus, at most, only 2 out of 10 people will get the flu in a bad year. So, how effective is the flu shot at lowering this already low risk? The answer is no one can tell you because it depends upon what strain of the flu hits your area. The benefit depends upon how lucky they get in matching the vaccine’s strain with the strain affecting the population. The CDC states that in years when vaccine strains are well matched to the flu virus circulating in the population, “vaccine effectiveness typically exceeds 50%...” For the most recent flu seasons the vaccine effectiveness has been less than 50%. Thus, it is basically less than a coin flip as to whether you will gain any benefit from the flu vaccine. The take home point is that the flu vaccine is not even close to 100% effective as is covertly suggested by flu shot advocates. In fact, in 2014-15 it was only 19% effective. In 2015-16 it was estimated at 48% and in 2016-17 it was only 42% effective. The average effectiveness over the 13 years prior to 2017 was only 41%.
The Dangers of Getting A Flu Shot
When the subject of getting a flu shot is brought up by a doctor or nurse, you are NEVER told about the potentially harmful effects of the shot. The potential side effects are dismissed by telling you there may be a mild (they always use the word mild) reddening and soreness at the sight of the injection. Or, you will be told there is a slight (another word they like to use) chance of experiencing a mild fever or muscle achiness. The dismissive nature used to list these side effects is meant to quell any concerns you may be harboring about getting the shot.
It is important for you to know the flu vaccination causes many serious adverse reactions every single year. The numbers below represent the number of people who experienced signficant reactions to the seasonal flu vaccination during the past ten years. I want you to know that I am not pulling numbers off of an anti-flu vaccination web site. These numbers come from the United States government’s CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Here are some disturbing facts taken from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).
CDC Reported Adverse Events in Last 10 Years for Flu Vaccinations:
Adverse Event Total Number Yearly Total
Deaths 365 37
Permanent Disability 1,191 119
Hospitalization 4,962 496
Emergency Room 28,858 2,886
Not Serious But Reported 80,453 8,045

Let’s analyze the meaning of these numbers. First, you have to understand that the flu shot does not reduce the risk of death in a healthy population at all! The redection of death in the elderly and very sick is minimal, if at all.
A study published in the Lancet Infectious Disease journal (Lancet Infect Dis. 2008 Aug;8(8): 460-1) had this to say about flu vaccinations:
“Recent excess mortality (death) studies were unable to confirm a decline in influenza-related mortality (death) since 1980, even as vaccination coverage increased from 15% to 65%.”


“New studies, however, have shown substantial unadjusted selection bias in previous cohort studies…We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits…The remaining evidence base is currently insufficient to indicate the magnitude of the mortality (death)  benefit, if any, that elderly people derive from the vaccination program.”
But, the flu vaccine causes 37 deaths and 119 permament disabilities each year! Almost 3,000 people go to the hospital and 500 of those are hospitalized each year thanks to the flu shot! Over 8,000 adverse effects are bad enough to be reported and how many tens of thousands are not reported at all?
Unfortunately, the direct risk of getting sick from the flu shot is not the only risk. There are a number of toxic ingredients found in a flu vaccine. The negative impact upon you and your child’s health from these ingredients are impossible to determine. The influenza virus is grown in egg protein and is deactivated with formaldehyde. Other ingredients include MSG (MonoSodium Glutamate), polyethylene glycol p-isooctyl-pheyl ether, polyoxyethylene 9-10 nonyl phenol and thimerosol (mercury). Mercury is found in adult vaccines. Most children’s vaccines only contain a trace of mercury. But, many clinics give children and adults the same vaccine. I guess I would advise you to ask yourself how much formaldehyde and other chemicals you are comfortable having injected into your child. My answer would be none unless the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives.
The Bottom Line:
The flu shot has the potential to impart some protection from contracting the flu. The facts suggest that, at most, it reduces your chance by less than a coin flip. There is no solid evidence that the flu shot reduces mortality (death) in any age group. Remember, also, the flu does not cause digestive symptoms. These illnesses will not be helped by getting a flu shot. Thus, the benefits gleaned from getting a flu shot are not impressive by any manner.
You would not come to this conclusion if you listened to the medical community or to the advertising blitz. The medical community is willfully ignorant and those making money from these shots intentionally deceive the public as to the dangers of the flu and to the benefits from getting a flu shot. Are they deceiving you for your own benefit or for theirs? Do you really think they intentionally deceive you because they know you are too stupid to figure out the benefits for yourself if they give you all of the information? No, they deceive you because they know if you found out that the flu shot is minimally effective, not completely safe, and contains toxic ingredients you would more than likely opt out of getting the shot. If, however, they paint a false picture of danger and amplify the benefits of the cure you will be motivated to go out and get the shot.
No health professional can attest to the true safety for you or your child in getting a flu shot. In their minds no immediate reaction equates to safety. As is true with any vaccine, health professionals are reluctant to admit the negatives. If you don’t believe me, just call your doctor and tell them that you think your child is getting a reaction from a vaccination. Their first inclination will be to dismiss this claim. I have heard this story more times than I would like to admit.
Here is what you should be told when you ask your doctor whether or not you should get a flu shot:
“You should know the risk of getting the flu is typically less than 20%, which means you have more than an 80% chance of not getting the flu. The shot may help reduce this chance by less than a coin flip. The shot does contain egg, formaldehyde, mercury and other chemicals, but in very small amounts. We have no idea whether you will experience any negative effects from these ingredients, but you most likely will not. It is extremely rare, but you should know the shot can cause serious illness such as death, permanent disability or hospitalization. Again, this is extremely rare. Do you want the shot?”
I have no problem at all if you want to get the flu shot for you or your family after you consider all of the information. I think you would be better served by washing your hands immediately after touching any surface that is contacted by multiple people. The funny thing is that when you go to your doctor’s office you grab a door knob that has been contacted by MANY sick people. How many times do you use a tissue to open that door or wash your hands immediately after entering the office? Doctor, I am here to get my flu shot because I just touched your door knob! The irony is that you increase your chance of getting the flu simply by going to the doctor to get a flu shot.
So, is the flu shot a Trick or a Treat? I would say it is both. There is a lot of tricking going on and the treat is like that person who gives you a handful of pennies… not that great of a treat.
Posted on September 21, 2017 11:11 AM by Dr. Zimmer
I get asked about the topic of cholesterol on a regular basis. If you didn’t know better you would think the only reason God put cholesterol in your body was to cause cardiovascular disease. Nothing could be further from the truth as cholesterol is used to make some pretty heavy hitting hormones. Did you know that cholesterol makes your Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, Cortisol (stress control), Aldosterone (blood pressure) and Vitamin D?
But, thanks to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, most of our medical doctors are quick to prescribe a statin drug (Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, etc.) if your level of total cholesterol is found to be above 200 mg/dl. The problem is that statin drugs cause a reduction of the heart and brain important nutrient CoQ10 and can also cause numerous side-effects (some of which can be life-threatening). Thus, if you are taking a statin drug, but are not taking CoQ10, you are actually increasing your risk of suffering from diseases affecting the organs that rely on adequate levels of CoQ10. This includes not only your heart, but also your brain! Additionally, as levels of cholesterol are pushed to unnaturally lower levels, I see patients who suffer from low testosterone and other hormonal imbalanced issues.
Because of these and other problems associated with statin drug use, I want to introduce you to a supplement that not only has cholesterol lowering effects, but also has antioxidant protection, blood sugar lowering and anti-inflammatory effects in the body. This supplement is Bergamot BPF.
Bergamot BPF
Bergamot is a citrus plant that is found in southern Italy. The “BPF” in the name stands for Bioactive Polyphenolic Fractions. These fractions have been shown, in placebo-controlled studies, to balance cholesterol, lower vascular inflammation, increase antioxidant activity, lower blood sugars and preserve CoQ10 levels. Statin drugs decrease CoQ10 levels, cause side-effects and do nothing to help antioxidant activity. Bergamot accomplishes what statin drugs do and much more!
One study showed that when used with a statin drug, Bergamot BPF allowed for a reduction in the amount of statin drug used while maintaining lowered cholesterol levels. Thus, even if you decide to continue on your statin drug therapy, you can use Bergamot BPF to lower the statin drug dose, which will make the drug safer to use!
Other studies show that Bergamot BPF helped to lower blood sugars by between 15-20%. This is great news for anyone suffering from Metabolic Syndrome or pre-diabetes.
Placebo-controlled studies show that the BPF’s in Bergamot lower total cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol, improve HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides!  When you add to this the fact that these polyphenols lower inflammation, lower blood sugars, improve vascular function and increase antioxidant activity in the body, I strongly recommend that you consider taking this supplement if you have cholesterol or cardiovascular concerns.
There are no known serious side-effects from the use of this natural supplement. Heck, people in southern Italy drink the juice of this orange-like fruit on a regular basis.
The supplement is easy to take as you consume only two (2) capsules a day. Let me know if you have any questions. I can send you copies of the studies referenced in this article if you want to read them for yourself.
Posted on August 15, 2017 11:08 AM by Dr. Zimmer
The use of “natural” progesterone creams, along with other so-called "natural" hormone replacement therapy, has skyrocketed in the last decade. It has led to the rise of numerous alternative health clinics (M.D.’s, Nurse practitioners, Physician Assistants, Chiropractors, Naturopaths) specializing in the prescription of "natural" hormone therapy. With few exceptions, women who present to these clinics with any health problem are found to need a “natural” hormone prescription.
I have treated countless patients and have received  emails from women all over the world (U.S., Canada, Netherlands, Japan, Europe, Saudi Arabia) who are suffering from life altering symptoms thanks to using “natural” hormone replacement therapies. The biggest culprit is the use of progesterone creams. The stories typically follow a similar pattern. She started using hormone replacement because someone determined that she was “estrogen dominant” and needed balancing. She initially experienced a reduction in symptoms with the start of hormone replacement therapy (sometimes a significant benefit), only to develop an array of new symptoms (anxiety attacks, depression, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, etc.) months later. Most who experience this scenario have the gut feeling that these new symptoms are being caused by the use of their progesterone, but they are afraid to stop using it because they could not bear to go back to having their old symptoms along with these new ones. They are paralyzed by not knowing what to do next. Many times, and I am shocked by how often, they are told that they just need more progesterone! Yikes!
If you are thinking about starting hormone therapy or if you are already doing so, I am here to WARN you to be very careful. Your over-all, long-term health could be in real danger! This warning applies to anyone taking these “natural” hormones, even the ones who have experienced an initial benefit from taking them. And, the most important warning to you is that NO ONE in the health profession is using hormone replacement in a natural manner. NO ONE!  Let me prove it to you!
Creating A Hormone Balance Is Impossible
Let me ask you a few very simple questions that you do not need medical experience or training to answer. First, do you think it is important to have your hormones be in balance or is it better for them to be out of balance? Secondly, if your hormones are out of balance for a period of time, do you think it is possible you may experience some negative health symptoms? The answers to these first couple of questions are obviously that proper hormone balance is important and hormones being out of balance can certainly cause health concerns. Now I ask what is your perfect hormone balance, does it stay the same month to month and is it the same as other women you know? The answers are that you have no idea what your hormone balance should be (and neither does your doctor), hormone levels can change monthly depending upon numerous factors and hormone balance can be significantly different among women!
As noted, hormone balance changes constantly depending on many factors (natural cycle changes, stress, illness, diet, exercise, toxic exposure to endocrine disrupters, and many more). One of the major factors is stress. High stress can cause a significant change in sexual hormonal production. What person do you know who never has stress or who has stress that stays the same at all times? Let me give you the perfect familiar example. How many times have you heard the story of a couple who is trying to have a child, but cannot get pregnant? Going through infertility treatments is VERY stressful. Then, after spending a lot of money (stressful) and without results (emotionally stressful), they give up and decide to adopt a child. What happens next? Yep, they soon find out that they are expecting.
Another good example is how testosterone levels drop in service men going through Navy Seals BUDS training. At the end of training they have testosterone levels well below most women reading this article. Stress changes hormone balance.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, who prescribes hormones to their patients will tell you that proper hormone balance is extremely important. That is why many, but not all, utilize hormone testing (blood, urine, saliva) to measure your levels before and after you start using “natural” hormone replacement. The ones who prescribe hormones without testing or who only test at the beginning of treatment, but never again, are guilty of malpractice. Unfortunately, that includes a majority of practitioners who prescribe hormone therapy. The ones using testing multiple times during treatment are guilty of believing that they actually have the ability to create hormone balance in their patients with the use of testing. They, at least, are trying to provide hormones in a way that is perceived to create balance. But, make no mistake, they are fooling themselves on many levels.
The major problem with hormone testing is the question of accuracy. First, each type of testing has limitations in the ability to accurately test hormone levels, whether it is urine, blood or saliva. For example, cortisol levels can accurately be tested in saliva. But, sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are not as accurately measured in saliva and may not reflect hormone levels in body tissue. This is especially true when hormone replacement creams are being used. Secondly, tested hormone levels vary from lab to lab and they vary from sample to sample, even at the same lab. This lack of reliability in testing makes it all but impossible to determine specific levels of hormones in order to prescribe the accurate use of hormone replacement.  Thus, the best that any practitioner can do is to get a “ball park” estimate of what your hormone levels are at any given point in time. They most certainly cannot determine, from this testing, a dose of hormone replacement that will create balance in your system.
Creating Hormone Imbalance Is Inevitable
Think about the big picture for a moment. It is a fact that no one knows what your perfect hormone balance should be at any given time of the month (keep in mind that your levels of especially estrogen and progesterone vary greatly within your monthly cycle). It is a fact that your hormone levels can change depending upon many outside and sometimes uncontrollable factors. It is a fact that testing is inaccurate, at best, and cannot be used to determine specific dosing of female hormones. With these facts in mind, tell me how your doctor determined the specific amount of hormone replacement you needed to create a balance? Additionally, almost all prescriptions are for a steady dose of hormone instead of varying the dose to account for changes during the month. This fact alone illustrates how the idea of creating a proper hormone balance cannot be achieved. Thus, the new imbalance that they are creating in you may end up causing a whole new set of health conditions and future problems.
Take a look at the month long hormone test from one of my patients who was using progesterone cream.
Figure 1: Estradiol and Progesterone Test 1
Look at Figure 1: Estradiol and Progesterone Test 1 above. As you can see from the legend of this test, found on the bottom left side, that the (black circles) represent progesterone. The Blue shaded area represents the expected normal ranges for progesterone during the monthly cycle. At the beginning of the cycle there is typically little progesterone being produced. Thus, the Blue shaded area is towards the bottom. Right after ovulation progesterone is produced in significant amounts. You can see how the Blue shaded area goes way up after this time. If the egg is not fertilized progesterone levels fall drastically and menstruation begins. If in balance, all of the (black circles) should fall somewhere within the Blue shaded area. You can see that the progesterone levels (black circles) are buried across the top indicating super high levels of progesterone throughout this patient’s cycle.
The (black squares) represent estrogen levels and the Green shaded area shows the expected levels of estrogen for the female cycle. At this point estrogen was not high and was basically at normal expected levels. Notice, however, at the very bottom of this test that her testosterone levels were off the chart high (182.6)!
This patient started taking progesterone cream about 1 year prior to this test.  Notice the complete imbalance she had created in her body. Her progesterone and testosterone levels were abnormally very high. We then waited 7 months to see if her level of progesterone would come back down to normal. The results of this follow-up test are shown in Figure 2: Estradiol and Progesterone Test 2. You can see that even after 7 months her levels of progesterone (black circles) were still grossly elevated throughout her cycle. But now her levels of estrogen (squares) had also increased significantly. Her testosterone continued to be off the chart high.
Figure 2: Estradiol and Progesterone Test 2
Explaining What Happened…
I think that it is important to evaluate how this patient got herself into this mess.
Progesterone cream dissolves in fat and can thus be stored in your fatty tissue. The levels of progesterone steadily increase within fat tissue with prolonged use. After a while, the amount being added every month, along with the amount being released from the fatty stores, causes elevated progesterone levels throughout the female cycle. So, instead of supplementing a little progesterone during a short period of time the body becomes subjected to elevated levels throughout the female cycle.  The body can then take the extra progesterone and make it into either testosterone or extra estrogen. Excess testosterone can also be made into estrogen. (See Figure 3: Hormone Synthesis below) Thus, the body is thrown into a dangerous hormonal imbalance that does not serve to promote proper health.
Figure 3: Hormone Synthesis
The ironic part of this is that Dr. Lee, the father of the progesterone cream movement, had this to say about hormone balance:
    “There’s no doubt that it’s not a good idea for most women to take large doses of progesterone in any form over a long period of time. That’s just not good medicine, it’s not balanced, it’s not common sense, and it’s bound to cause trouble sooner or later.”
So, one of the founders of the progesterone cream movement himself acknowledged that creating an imbalanced state is not good medicine and is bound to cause trouble sooner or later. And, he is correct. If you use "natural" hormone replacement you will create a new imbalance in your body. No one can argue that this is wrong. The only question is what this new imbalance will do to your body.  Unfortunately, many women have found the answer to this question and it is not good.
What Can You Do?
Notice that I use "quotes" around the word "natural" throughout this article. This is because the word is misunderstood when it comes to hormone replacement therapy. It makes you think that this is a natural way to use hormones. But, the word natural only applies to the chemical form of the hormone. It has NOTHING to do with the hormone being used by your body naturally. When people refer to natural hormone replacement they are only noting that the chemical formed being used is identical to the form found in your body. There are benefits to using chemical forms that are identical to those found in your body, instead of unnatural forms. However, water is also natural. But, if you drink too much you can cause serious health problems. Don't be fooled into thinking that "natural" equates to being good or safe.
As I have illustrated in this article, it is IMPOSSIBLE to use hormones the way your body would for the numerous reasons listed. Look again at the blue shaded area of the tests above. Notice that progesterone only increases for about 4-6 days during your cycle. Then days later it should drop quickly and significantly. All women do not experience the rise or fall at the same time during the cycle. So, tell me how you are going to take progesterone to only increase levels for 4-6 days, let it level off for a day and then have it drop drastically days later? Most doctors tell you to take the same level of progesterone cream for two weeks after ovulation! Clearly, that does not match the natural pattern.
The problem is that I currently do not see how anyone could use progesterone creams or any hormone replacement for a prolonged period of time without creating this potentially dangerous imbalance. I have challenged dozens of practitioners who prescribe hormones to explain how they can create balance in light of the facts I have outlined in this article. To date, none have been able to give an answer. I find it interesting that they fight so hard, though, to defend their position that they are creating balance when they are not. The reason is because deep down they know that creating an imbalance is not good and if they admit this then that leaves them with having to acknowledge that what they are doing is not as good as they pretend. In other words, it is rightfully hard for them to admit that balance is important, while also admitting that it is impossible for them to achieve balance.
If you are one of those women who have been taking hormone replacement therapy and think you may be experiencing side-effects from the new imbalance you have created in your body, you should take action to get off of these hormones as quickly as possible. If you need help, feel free to email me as so many have already. I am happy to give you some direction. It is likely that you would benefit from setting up a 1/2 hour out of state phone consult or an in person consult if you live in or near Indianapolis.
You may be surprised to find out, after reading this article, that I am NOT completely against the use of natural hormone replacement. There are cases when symptoms are so life altering that short term use of hormone replacement makes sense to get symptoms under control. Also, there are medical situations which require total hysterectomy at a younger age where long-term hormone replacement may be needed. If you are considering starting hormone replacement therapy, I suggest you only taking them for a short period of time (2-4 months) in order to overcome whatever symptoms you may have. It is important to take certain nutrients in order to improve your hormone metabolism for protection. Again, feel free to email me with questions or to set up a nutritional consult.
I have preached for years for patients to educate themselves and ask questions when it comes to health care decisions. The person who believes that their doctor knows what they are doing simply because they are a doctor is a fool! My hope is that this article sheds some light on the topic of "natural" hormone replacement by giving you a look at the other side of the coin.
Posted on July 7, 2017 1:35 PM by Dr. Zimmer
The sky is falling…the sky is falling! Make sure you and your children get vaccinated ASAP with the Whooping Cough vaccine in order to save lives!
A recent California increase of whooping cough cases,  also known as Pertussis, renewed the call to vaccinate. Although this seems logical, the tactics being used are meant to scare and/or guilt you into getting this vaccine with the use of half-truths and partial information. The tactic is effective because the majority of the population really does not know anything about the Whooping Cough vaccine beyond the claim that it is vital to get and that it saves lives.   Read on, if you want to find out the facts in order to make a truly informed decision.
I like to start my factual articles regarding any vaccine with the full disclosure that I am NOT completely anti-vaccine. If you read my other articles regarding this subject, this fact will become very clear to you. I am, however, strongly against the pro-vaccine misinformation campaigns meant to scare or guilt you into being injected with these substances for reasons of profit and ego preservation.
So, the reports of 6 infant deaths along with 1,500 cases of whooping cough in California seemed to paint a compelling picture as to why everyone should get a whooping cough vaccine right away. Pro-vaccine zealots used these numbers to claim that the rational debate is over and that those who do not vaccinate are actually “immoral”! The Today Show’s chief medical editor at the time, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, stated that she found people who did not vaccinate to be “offensive and immoral”. Hypocritically, she does not find it "offensive and immoral" to purposely present only part of the facts regarding vaccinations in order to skew public opinion.
To help illustrate how the news and the medical profession report only partial facts to influence opinion, look at the picture below:
Now, what conclusion would you come to if you only knew that a dangerous three hundred pound Bengal tiger was two feet away from a young child? You would think that this child was in grave danger and would likely lose his life should nothing drastic be done right away. The information you got was not false. This deadly tiger is indeed two feet away from this little boy. But, if you also knew that there was an impenetrable glass barrier between the tiger and the child, your sense of urgency would be calmed by having gained the knowledge of all of the facts. People, like Dr. Snyderman, willfully leave out any information that would calm your alarm and sense of urgency when it comes to vaccinations.
Let’s look at a more complete analysis of the facts, so you can get the full picture when it comes to the whooping cough story.
There are three main claims made by the vaccination industry. The first is that people (especially infants) are dying from whooping cough. The second is that vaccination will protect them from the disease and the final one is that the disease epidemic is being driven by the non-vaccinated. Let's see if these claims hold any water.
In a segment on the Today Show, Dr. Snyderman said she was angered by the fact that 6 infants lost their lives who “frankly should not have died!” As a parent, I can tell you that this is gut wrenching to me. The thought of one of my children dying as an infant from whooping cough when a vaccine would have saved his or her life over-whelms me with guilt. The claims made by Dr. Snyderman were two-fold. If you get vaccinated you will be protected from this disease and anyone who does not get their children vaccinated has blood on their hands. This is a tactic meant to cause a palpable fear of not being able to bear the guilt if your child got this disease. It is very effective, even though it is inaccurate. Now for the rest of the story.
The first pro-vaccine claim is that infants are dying needlessly. Is this true? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that you do not get full immunity from this disease until after you get 5 shots. Under the schedule of vaccination this means that your child will not get immunity until he or she is at least 4 years old. The CDC emphasizes that infants under 6 months of age are not yet protected by the whooping cough vaccine. ALL of the children who died in California were under 4 months of age! Thus, the CDC reveals that the whooping cough vaccine would not have been expected to have “saved” these infant’s lives in any case. Dr. Snyderman is either grossly misinformed regarding the facts of the Pertussis vaccine or she is willfully misrepresenting the facts to support her position. In the California whooping cough epidemic, the facts reveal that no lives were lost due to lack of vaccination. The claims by the news media certainly do not accurately reflect this truth.
The second pro-vaccine claim is that the vaccine will protect you from the disease. This is an interesting one for me. There is no doubt that the whooping cough vaccine has some effectiveness. But, and this is a huge “But”, a very large portion of the people who got whooping cough in California were fully vaccinated. Now, you will hear them state that they “think” the epidemic is being driven by the non-vaccinated or under-vaccinated. This may or may not be true. We simply do not know. What cannot be denied, however, is that many of the people getting the disease are indeed fully vaccinated. Research showed that 81% of the people who got whooping cough in California were fully vaccinated. This fact is completely glossed over because of the fear that the next logical question will be asked to which they have no answer. How effective is the vaccine if a large number of fully vaccinated people are getting the disease? The answer undermines the implied claim that if you get vaccinated you will be safe from the disease. The reality is that the vaccine does not provide full protection from the disease and is thus, not as good or effective as implied.
Later on in the interview, Dr. Snyderman gave a completely ridiculous illustration of how a selfish unvaccinated person puts cancer and Multiple Sclerosis victims at risk when they go grocery shopping. She says the unvaccinated are “offensive and immoral”. How in the world could an unvaccinated person put a vaccinated person at any risk? Again, if the other person was fully vaccinated they would be safe from contracting the disease; would they not? Her illustration was meant to cast aspersions upon the unvaccinated, but it actually undermines her own argument. How can she argue that a vaccinated person is completely protected against contracting a disease unless they come in contact with the disease? See how ridiculous that is? She is either being disingenuous or grossly ignorant. Additionally, her implication is that a person with cancer or M.S. would die if they contracted Pertussis. Yet, this is NOT a deadly disease and deaths from Pertussis are rare. There would be little to no expectation of death in either of these groups of people.
Whooping Cough Vaccine Safety
Now let me put a spot light on some facts that may cause you to become outraged. The topic of vaccine safety is completely glossed over by advocates like Dr. Snyderman. She simply states that the vaccine is safe under a completely unquestionable tone. The claim of vaccine safety inherently suggests that the benefits greatly outweigh any potential negatives. The facts I am about to share with you come from the CDC’s website. These are official government numbers. They are not taken from some anti-vaccine website. Decide for yourself if you think the whooping cough vaccine is equal in safety to drinking a glass of water, as is always implied.
The CDC states that between 2012 and 2015  there were 130,649 cases of Pertussis reported, including 52 deaths (around 30,000 cases with 13 deaths per year). Here is a sickening fact from the CDC VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System): Pertussis containing vaccines caused 147 United States deaths and 156 permanent disabilities between 2012 and 2015! Thus, the vaccine caused almost three times as many deaths as did the disease and disabled another 156 children! Come on…this could not be true. How could our doctors even support this vaccine, let alone claim it to be safe, if this number is true? The answer is that this fact illustrates just how influential the pharmaceutical industry is over your doctors.
Prove it to yourself. Ask your doctor if more children currently die from the vaccine or the disease each year. I guarantee you will be told that the disease kills way more than the vaccine and they will minimize the chances of death from the vaccine. The vaccine kills three times as many children as does the disease and disables another 156! I am telling you that this information will be news to your doctor. How could this be? The answer is they only get information from the pharmaceutical industry, which has a very big interest in not letting doctors evaluate the complete facts.
To be fair and accurate in my analysis of this vaccine, we have to look at a couple of other facts. Let’s say that no one received the Pertussis vaccine. The number of cases of Pertussis would certainly be higher than the 30,000 cases and 13 deaths per year average between 2012 and 2015. Prior to vaccination there was an average of 175,000 cases of Pertussis per year. At the same rate of death of 52 deaths per 130,649, we would expect to see around 70 deaths a year from Pertussis, if there was no vaccine. Thus, if there was no vaccine, we would see an average of 57 more deaths a year (70 deaths a year without a vaccine minus 13 deaths a year with vaccine).
We are not done yet. Notice that I only gave you the CDC’s number for deaths (147) and permanent disabilities (156) caused by Pertussis containing vaccines. In addition, there were 7,447 emergency room visits and 1,238 of those kids were hospitalized! Over-all there were 19,005 adverse reactions reported to the CDC because of Pertussis containing vaccines between 2012 and 2015! In total, 75 children are killed or permanently disabled each year because of this vaccine. Thus, the vaccine actually hurts more people than it helps.
Below is a screen shot from the search of negative events between 2012 and 2015:
Why in the world would your doctor, who so strongly advocates for vaccination, not know this information? How is it that I am the one who is giving you this information instead of the person ordering the injection of vaccine? How many people would actually decide to get the injection if they got all of the information? How much money would then be lost?
Now that you have more complete information, ask yourself this question: Is the cure worse than the disease?

The Bottom Line
There is no doubt the Pertussis vaccine can be effective. The amount of cases per year has been drastically reduced because of the vaccine. There is also no doubt that the vaccine now kills and permanently disables way more children than does the disease each year.
As a parent, you have to make the decision as to whether you think the risk of your child getting this disease is worth the risk of injecting them with the vaccine. I would be willing to bet that the parents of the 7,447 children who went to the E.R. after receiving this injection would strongly disagree with the medical community's characterization of the vaccine as unquestionably safe. I know that the parents of those killed and disabled by the vaccine would more than disagree.
You have to consider the fact that at this point in time your child is more likely to have their lives ruined from the injected vaccine than from the disease itself. I fully understand the argument that if no one vaccinates the disease will increase. But the numbers show that the vaccine is indeed more dangerous than the disease even if we did not vaccinate at all.
Could you live with yourself if your child was permanently damaged or killed by the vaccine when the risk of dying from the disease was lower than the risk of dying from being injected by the vaccine? See how that scare tactic can be utilized both ways? My recommendation is if the risk changes, due to lack of vaccination and increased disease, you can always choose to vaccinate at that time.
Dr. Snyderman (along with the majority of the medical community) states that she is unapologetically pro-vaccine. Maybe she and the medical community should consider working on an apology.
Posted on April 18, 2017 9:10 AM by Dr. Zimmer
There are few topics more polarizing than whether or not vaccinations, also known as immunizations, should be given to your children. One side passionately believes that the benefits of receiving vaccines clearly outweigh the risks. The other side feels just as strongly about the opposite position. Both sides feel that the other is being grossly misled.
The indisputable fact is that our children’s well-being is the most important concern. With that in mind, let me outline both sides of the argument and then give you my opinion. Keep in mind that I am only outlining some of the positions these groups have for or against the use of vaccinations. If I covered all of the aspects thoroughly this article would be 50 pages long!


The Medical Community’s View
I can tell you from personal experience that the medical community, as a whole, takes it as a kind of personal insult when anyone questions the validity of giving children multiple vaccinations. In their minds the issue of the great benefits vs. extremely small risks is not open for discussion. Their view is that any person with even a modicum of intelligence would not question the benefits of vaccinations. I can tell you of numerous incidences where doctors have even become visibly upset and verbally amplified when a parent suggests that they are considering not having their child receive the recommended vaccinations. Some even dismiss the child as a patient if they will not get vaccinations!

This begs the questions of, “Why?” Why do they get so upset? Why have they become so convinced of vaccine benefits? Why do they completely dismiss any concern of the risks involved with being vaccinated?

One reason why they get so upset is that they cannot understand how anyone can ignore the benefits of vaccinations. Prior to the widespread vaccination of children the number of cases for numerous diseases was quite high. For example, there were over 100,000 cases of Diphtheria per year; whereas now there are none. There were close to 500,000 cases of measles per year; now there are only a handful of cases each year. Smallpox has been eradicated. Polio has become a disease of the past. In the minds of the medical community these numbers prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that vaccinations are an effective and a necessary part of public health.

The next question is why the medical community, as a whole, ignores any of the risks involved with vaccinations. Those within the medical community will tell you that they do not ignore the risks involved with vaccination. They would contend that the risks are extremely low and basically negligible. And this attitude is definitely portrayed at any meeting with your doctor when it comes to discussing the topic of vaccination. You will hear how vital it is to get your child immunized and about the rarity of any potential side-effects. So, in the view of the medical community any fear about vaccines is unfounded and based on hysteria; not fact.

We will see…

The Vaccine Opponent’s View
Those who dislike vaccines are driven by the belief that there are few to no benefits from vaccines, but very real and significant side-effects. In their view vaccines cause everything from Autism to death and many ailments in between. A good number of those who are vigilantly opposed to vaccines have had children who experienced some sort of reaction after they received a dose of vaccine. NOTHING motivates a person more to take up a cause against something than when one of their children has been hurt.

Most opponents argue that vaccines are not effective and point to a number of facts that support this assertion. First, they point to the fact that the Polio epidemic was actually starting to decline naturally before the Polio vaccine was introduced. In other words, administering of the Polio vaccine was not begun until the number of new polio cases had already started to decrease dramatically, as is the case for the normal course of any epidemic. Next, they point to the fact that people who have received vaccinations actually can and do get the diseases for which they have been immunized.

Another major concern for vaccine opponents deals with the “stuff” found in vaccines. Vaccines may contain toxic substances including mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde; to name only a few. Although these are supplied in very small amounts, opponents to vaccines blame these ingredients for the onset of a wide variety of disease states.

The other aspect of vaccination programs, which opponents dislike, is that they are basically forced upon the majority of the population. Their bottom-line view is that vaccines are forced upon the population for reasons of making money and have little to do with the safety of our children.

We will see…

Dr. Zimmer’s View
I think the best way for me to begin is to tell you what I think right off of the bat. That way you know exactly where I am coming from and you won’t have to spend any energy trying to figure me out. I will provide support for my views after I state them.
  • I believe the evidence is compelling that most vaccines are effective at protecting against the diseases for which they were intended. An exception would be the flu vaccine, which is close to worthless.
  • I believe that the protection provided by most vaccines lasts for only a limited number of years. The evidence also suggests that the immunity we got from our childhood vaccinations has decreased and may not be protective at all in a good number of adults; if not the majority.
  • I believe that we are forcing children to get way too many vaccines and at too early an age.
  • I believe that vaccines are no where near as safe as is claimed by the pharmaceutical industry and health professionals.
  • I believe that the reason why doctors get upset when a patient suggests that they may want to forgo vaccines has little to do with their genuine concern for your child’s health, as will be the claim. It has to do with bruised egos and an incomplete knowledge of the facts.
  • I believe that the government’s forcing of our children to receive vaccinations has very little to do with protecting children. It has to do with making money.
O.K., now let’s go through the reasons why I hold these beliefs. I think you will find that my positions are based on facts and sound logic. If you think otherwise, please let me know.

Vaccines Are Effective (mostly):
It is very hard to support the argument that vaccines do not work at all. The number of disease cases before widespread vaccinations compared to now gives strong evidence that vaccines can be effective. I have never seen a case of polio, but I know at least six 50+ year olds who got polio as a kid and are disabled because of the disease. How many people do you know who contracted polio in the last 10 years? My guess is that your answer is none.

Now the opponents to vaccines will argue that we are not seeing cases, in part, because we are in a naturally occurring low prevalence time between epidemics. That argument might hold more water if other diseases were not so significantly affected by vaccines. Smallpox is gone thanks to vaccinations. The number of cases of Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps, Pertussis, and Rubella are few as compared to their prevalence prior to vaccinations. I think taking the stance that all or most vaccines are not effective is not supported by the facts.

Vaccine Protection Fades:
There have been numerous outbreaks of diseases for which the population has been vaccinated. This includes the diseases Mumps, Measles and Pertussis (whooping cough). For example, in 2017 there was a significant outbreak of Mumps at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. There were 41 cases of mumps where 39 (95%) of the students were fully vaccinated for Mumps!

In another mumps outbreak at Butler University in 2016, 100% of the students had received two doses of the mumps vaccine. This gives pretty good evidence that there is decreasing disease protection from the vaccinations we received as kids.

Here is a quote from Dr. Amy Middleman, at the time medical doctor and assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine:
"After the immunization series is completed by age six, Pertussis immunization is rarely discussed at healthcare visits. Few parents realize that the protection from the Pertussis immunization wears off after five to 10 years, leaving teens vulnerable to whooping cough."
Thus, if unprotected people are the reason for the spread of these diseases, we should see them running rampant since the majority of vaccines anyone 20 years or older received as children have worn off!  One thing we know for sure is that vaccine effectiveness fades. The negative effect on public health is clearly not as grave as the pharmaceutical industry wants you to believe. It is grave, however, to their bottom line.
We Are Forcing Too Many Vaccines On Our Children:
In 1983 the CDC recommending only 23 doses of 7 vaccines between two months and age six. The government is now recommending (intimidating is a better term) that parents allow their children to get 50 doses of 14 different vaccinations from the DAY OF BIRTH through age six! They recommend 69 doses of 16 vaccines between birth and 18 years of age!

That is a lot of shots. The question is whether or not it is worth giving your child all of these vaccines. I think after you read the next sections you may begin to question the true motivation for these recommendations. Here comes the information that may cause you to become very uneasy with vaccines.

Vaccines Are Nowhere Near As Safe As You Have Been Led To Believe:
The pharmaceutical industry has a vested interest in creating a picture of vaccines as safe. Here is how they portray the safety of vaccines for “worried” parents in a pharmaceutical flier “What To Expect Guide To Immunizations.”.

“While reactions do sometimes occur with some vaccines (such as soreness or redness where the shot was given, fussiness, or a low-grade fever), the vast majority of these reactions are mild and short-lived. Serious reactions are exceptionally uncommon.”

Notice how they use words like sometimes, some, vast majority, short-lived and exceptionally uncommon. These words give the impression that any worries you have as a parent are being made over something of little importance. An honest statement would read more like this:

“While reactions do commonly occur with ALL vaccines (such as soreness or redness where the shot was given, fussiness, or low-grade fever), the vast majority of these reactions are mild and short-lived. Serious reactions including the need for E.R. visits, hospitalizations, permanent impairment, and death are exceptionally uncommon, but do occur.”

When you read the first intentionally misleading paragraph, you get the feeling that your concerns about vaccine safety are indeed misplaced. After reading the revised and more accurate paragraph you would be much more apt to ask your doctor further, more probing questions. This is not welcomed because in the minds of the medical community the topic is not open for discussion. So, anything that causes you to ask more questions is just a waste of their time.

Now, let me give you the facts.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has a website for the reporting of adverse reactions associated with vaccines. It is called VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reaction System). Here is the link:

The number of reported adverse vaccine reactions over a 10 year period of time is staggering. Keep in mind that these are only the reported reactions. I know a number of people who have called their doctor to inquire whether an observed reaction could be related to the vaccination their child received only to be told that it was probably something else that coincidentally occurred at the same time. None of these reactions get reported. Also keep in mind that these numbers come from the CDC, not from some loony website. Check out the website for yourself.

Before you look at the numbers below you need to know a couple of limitations regarding this information gathered by the CDC. These reports of adverse reactions come after a child was vaccinated and then developed a symptom. It is possible that the development of some of these cases were coincidental to the timing of the child receiving the vaccine. But, in reality, what are the chances that a relatively healthy child receives a vaccine and then needs to be hospitalized or dies simply due to coincidence? Simple coincidence or causative? I think that the number of coincidences has to be extremely low; if not negligible.

In addition, you have to know that some of these numbers are reflected in other numbers. For example, the number of Prolonged Hospitalizations is also part of the number for Hospitalizations. The point is that you cannot add up the numbers in each category to come up with a total number of all adverse events. The exception is with death and permanent disability. Obviously, these can be added as they are not associated. My suggestion is that you just contemplate the total numbers for each event.
CDC Reported Averse Events Over Recent 10 Year Period for:
DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis), HIBV (Haemophilus Influenza B), Hepatitis B & A, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Rotavirus, Varicella (Chicken Pox)
Vaccine Related Event Age <6 months 6-11 months
Total Yearly Average
Child Death 1,752 211 234 18 31 2,246 225
Life Threatening 940 306 718 400 246 2,610 261
Permanent Disability 504 237 918 257 217 2,133 213
Hospitalizations 4,753 1,245 3,297 1,378 807 11,480 1,148
Prolonged Hospital. 202 58 99 40 46 445 44
Emergency Room 10,588 4,234 22,595 20,449 8,355 66,221 6,622
Not Serious 18,719 7,488 43,868 47,924 19,476 137,475 13,748

Let these numbers sink in for a moment.

Now let me ask you a couple of questions to put this into a different perspective. If there was an herb that gave short-term protection from a group of mostly non-deadly diseases, but also caused over 6,000 children to go to the E.R. each year, permanently disabled over 200 children per year, caused over 200 deaths per year in children, and caused over 1,000 children to be hospitalized per year; would the U.S. government allow it to even grow on this planet? Let’s take it even one step further. Would they describe this herb as being extremely safe and would they consider the 200 deaths per year acceptable enough to call it a “rare” occurrence? You and I know very well that not one of the medical doctors who tell you that vaccinations are extremely safe would ever consider giving you anything natural that had the above number of reported events associated with its use. Keep in mind if you are thinking, "But, how many lives are saved by these vaccines", that most of these vaccines are NOT for deadly diseases! So, very few lives are saved by the majority of vaccines.

Why doctors get so upset when you refuse vaccinations:
I can tell you the medical community really believes that vaccinations are vital to your child’s health. I can also tell you that the medical community is willfully and stubbornly ignorant when it comes to vaccine facts. I have never met the vaccine advocate (doctor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or nurse) who knows specific facts about the adverse reactions related to vaccines. Next time you see your health professional ask them if there are any vaccines they have concerns over. Almost always the answer is "none." This alone tells you that they are nothing more than biased advocates on the subject.

They do not acknowledge that many of the diseases for which we vaccinate (measles, mumps, chicken pox) are not by any means deadly. But, they commonly employ "scare tactics" regarding the potential "dangers" involved with not getting those vaccines. They have absolutely no idea of how many children die, are hospitalized, are permanently injured, or go to the E.R. each year because of vaccine adverse reactions. They simply parrot back the mindless mantra of "adverse reactions are very rare". I can tell you that they are typically shocked and question the validity of the numbers when they hear the truth! They have no idea how many people would have to contract these diseases to match the amount injured by the vaccines. Read my article on Whooping Cough to learn about this topic. They completely dismiss any correlation between behavior problems and vaccines and always claim that this subject has been studied and proven to have no correlation. Yet, this is simply not true. Read the statement by CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson regarding the CDC destroying information that showed a correlation between the MMR vaccine and Autism. 
So, if your medical health professionals do not know any of this information, how on this green earth can they tell you that the benefits outweigh the risks? They do not know these numbers because they will not listen to any negative information when it comes to the topic of vaccinations.
The real reason why doctors get so upset when you refuse to get vaccines is not because they fear for the safety of your child. They have no idea of any specific benefits versus the risks. The reason they get so upset is because you are questioning one of the absolute truths in medicine. The medical community mindset is that the only people who question vaccines are either quacks, nutty T.V. personalities or unintelligent people. Thus, it really comes down to the bruising of their egos. The collective thought is: How dare you question our expert and educated opinion on a subject that cannot be questioned? They are simply willfully and stubbornly ignorant on the subject of vaccines.
The Real Reason Why We Force Vaccinate Our Children:
By their own admission, the medical community agrees that the diseases for which we vaccinate are not prevalent. The chance of your child getting any of these diseases is so low that no parent should harbor any concern for their child. The chance of them dying after contracting one of these diseases is negligible. No honest health professional can argue with the validity of these statements. Yet, they continue to convey the opposite in order to scare parents into believing otherwise.
So, tell me again why we continue to kill and disable over 400 children per year? Since the late 1990’s we have destroyed the lives of over 4,000 children, including their parents, siblings, and grandparents. I guess it is not a big deal unless you are one of those 4,000 families.

The argument that will be put forth is that the reason why these diseases are not around is because of the wide-spread vaccination program. This is true, in some cases. I do not completely disagree with this argument but I say, so what! The fact is that our children are not currently at risk. Thank you, vaccines, for doing your job. Your services are no longer needed. We will call you when you are needed again.

Why do we not just wait until we see an increase in these diseases and then begin to mass vaccinate? We would only have to subject our children to a few vaccinations every now and then instead of barraging their immature immune systems to 50 doses of at least 14 vaccines!

The reason we continue our current vaccination program has NOTHING to do with concern for your child’s health. Can you guess the real reason? I bet you can.

Let me prove to you that the current vaccination program has nothing to do with what is good for your child. All we have to do is to look at the recommended Hepatitis B vaccination, which they are insanely giving to newborns (usually the day after birth). There are realistically only 3 ways that your child will be at risk for contracting Hepatitis B.
  • The first is if you have Hepatitis B and you give it to your infant during the birthing process. They can test you for Hepatitis B to rule this one out.
  • The second is if your child develops an intravenous drug problem and shares needles with the neighbor’s kids.
  • The third is if your child practices aberrant sexual activity causing blood to be exchanged.

If there is a doctor anywhere on this planet who thinks that your child is at real risk for developing Hepatitis B, we should send him or her to be the personal physician for the president of Iran. How incredibly ridiculous is it that doctors are actually urging parents to have a Hepatitis B vaccine injected into their newborn babies? They have NO expectation that your child is at risk. What is even more disturbing is that the Hepatitis B vaccine has been implicated in causing an increase in Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) symptoms in children. Of course there are dueling studies arguing whether this is true or not. WHO CARES!? Stop giving this unneeded and dangerous vaccine tomorrow. DO NOT LET THEM INJECT YOUR NEWBORN WITH THIS VACCINE!

So, why would any caring doctor ever tell a parent to give their child this vaccine?  They cannot argue that it benefits your child in any manner in light of the most recent studies showing that vaccines loose effectiveness after about 10 years. So, I ask again…why would any caring doctor ever tell a parent to give their child this vaccine? The answer is that they suffer from willful and stubborn ignorance.

The real reason why the medical community now tells parents to get the Hepatitis B shot is because of money. The people who are at the highest risk of contracting Hepatitis B are highly unlikely to voluntarily get the vaccine. The pharmaceutical company cannot make any profit from this vaccine because of this fact. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry targeted their marketing at our politicians convincing them that this was a vital vaccine for our population to receive. Of course, they convinced them that the vaccine was extremely safe and that the eventual reduction in Hepatitis B would be economically beneficial to health care costs in the long-run. The problem is that no one knows whether this is true or not! In fact, it is most likely not true. Now, the pharmaceutical industry makes many millions of dollars off a dangerous and unnecessary vaccine.

What Can You Do?
It is extremely difficult to go against the grain when it comes to vaccinations. You are going to be belittled and ridiculed if you even suggest that you do not want to get your child vaccinated. Your doctors, school nurses, family members and friends who live within the herd mentality of willful and stubborn ignorance will try to make you feel like you are the one that has the wacky thinking. You will have a nightmare time when you have to send your child to school, unless you decide to home school your child. This is not an option for most. As I see it you have one of three choices:
  1. You can cave in to the pressure keeping your fingers crossed in the hopes that your son or daughter does not become one of the many thousands of children who experience a life threatening vaccine side effect. Put that gun against their head and pull the trigger. Good luck! The odds are actually in your favor.
  2. You can agree to have your child receive some vaccinations, but for sure forego the Hepatitis B, Chicken Pox, and Gardasil vaccines. If you decide to go down this path of only allowing a few vaccines, I want you to look again at the Adverse Events table.  Take a look at the number of events and then at the age of the child vaccinated. What do you notice? The number of adverse events reduces significantly with age. In just about every category, the older the child the fewer the problems. My recommendation is that if you just don’t have it in you to fight the system and you have to give in, wait until your child is at least 3 years old before you start vaccinations.
  3. You can decide not to have your child vaccinated. You are going to have to create a plan of attack for when your child becomes of school age. Most states have built in religious exemptions and exemptions for high risk children. You will have to check your state’s laws and formulate a letter if you are going to go down the religious exemption route. You will more than likely still have a battle depending upon the attitude of your school nurse and administration. You should investigate and research the information from as many anti-vaccination websites as possible. Here is a good one to check out:
Just know that when you buck the vaccination system you are in for a bumpy ride. Stand your ground. Force your doctor, nurse, friends and family to answer the questions I posed in this article. Force them to realize that the position they hold is not based on all of the facts, just unchallenged beliefs. They will back down on their rhetoric once they know that you are not going to just swallow the party line.
Unfortunately, some self-serving egotists will dismiss your child from their care. Let them know that you do not appreciate their attempt at intimidation and that pediatricians are a dime a dozen. I wish you the best of luck in protecting your child. I hope I have provided you with some useful insights. Please email me with your thoughts.

Posted on March 6, 2017 12:48 PM by Dr. Zimmer
Tamiflu, or oseltamivir, is pushed big time by doctors during the flu season. One of the biggest reasons why is because they really have nothing else to offer a patient in terms of treatment for the flu. But, is Tamiflu really worth taking if you have the flu when it cost upwards of $140? Should you take that prescription for Tamiflu or should you exercise some concern? As I am fond of doing, I am going to give you some facts and then let you decide for yourself if you think you should dose with this drug…or not.

How Effective Is Tamiflu?
I believe the facts show that Tamiflu can indeed reduce the amount of time the average person experiences flu-like symptoms IF they are infected with a strain of influenza that is sensitive to the drug and if they are treated very early on in the infection (within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms). MANY doctors give a prescription for Tamiflu after the person has had the flu for longer than 48 hours. It is completely worthless after this time. But, let me ask you to think about an important question. What constitutes a reduction of symptoms significant enough to consider taking this drug? To answer this question I believe you can look at two sets of data. The first reveals just how well Tamiflu works and the second deals with identifying the risks of taking the drug. So, let’s investigate the benefit/risk ratio so you can make an informed decision.
The attitude of the doctors prescribing Tamiflu is that it is a no-brainer. They see the studies reporting that Tamiflu reduces the time of experiencing symptoms and they have nothing else to offer in the way of treatment. Thus, doctors prescribe and over-hype the potential benefits to the patient in taking Tamiflu. I say over-hype because every patient I know who gets this prescription has told me that their doctor vigorously endorsed the use of this drug without even mentioning the benefit verses side-effects issue. After listening to your doctor you would think that Tamiflu works very well, saves lives, and is so safe that you should disregard any potential side-effects dissuading you from taking the prescription. I had a virologist, who was the director of virology at a distinguished medical research facility, tell me that the medical benefits of taking Tamiflu are enormous both in reducing the duration and severity of the infection. He noted that it works and that it saves lives. Let's see if this position is supported by the studies and facts.

The Benefits…
The studies are pretty clear that Tamiflu may (notice the word “may”; I will get to that in a moment) reduce the symptoms of the flu on the average by one day. Wow! One whole day! But, you may be thinking that you would like to have one day less of flu symptoms.  I do agree. However, let’s take a logical look at the real life application. If you have ever had the flu, when do you get your worst symptoms? Yeah, the first few days! Wouldn't’t it be great if the one day that Tamiflu reduced your symptoms by was one of those days? But, it cannot because you do not even take Tamiflu until you have had the flu for at least a couple of days. Thus, the one day you may experience a reduction in your symptoms will be one of the more tolerable days anyway.
Another benefit touted by advocates for Tamiflu is that it can stop people from having their flu turn into pneumonia, especially in older patients and patients with chronic cardiac disease. This is the stance taken by the virologist who contacted me. He claimed that without question anti-viral drugs save lives. The problem with this stance is that it is not supported by the studies which have been done. It is simply "want it to be true because it supports my belief" logic.
The maker of Tamiflu reports that in three double-blind studies there was no difference in the effectiveness of Tamiflu between those older than 65 compared to younger subjects. Another peer-reviewed study showed that "the risk of hospitalization for respiratory diseases was not reduced" by Tamiflu (Impact of oseltamivir on the incidence of secondary complications of influenza in adolescent and adult patients: results from a retrospective population-based study.) The makers of Tamiflu also report that, "A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial was unable to demonstrate efficacy of TAMIFLU in the treatment of influenza in adult and adolescent subjects with chronic cardiac or respiratory diseases."
A different study concluded, "Oseltamivir has no protective effect on mortality among patients with 2009A/H1N1 influenza." (Neuraminidase inhibitors for influenza: a systematic review and meta-analysis of regulatory and mortality data.) Thus, the claim that taking Tamiflu will saves lives during serious flu infections of H1N1, in the elderly and with those with chronic cardiac symptoms is simply not well supported by the facts. Again, it is "want it to be true because it supports my belief" logic.
Now…onto the discussion of how Tamiflu may reduce your symptoms by one day. Tamiflu has absolutely no effect against many of the strains of influenza infecting our population. So, if you have one of these strains of flu you get no benefits from Tamiflu and only side-effects.  This is becoming more true each year as more and more resistant strains are being identified. How, then, does your doctor know if you have one of the strains that will be sensitive to Tamiflu? The answer is that they have absolutely no idea at all. It is a true crapshoot.
Another problem with trying to determine the benefit one gets after taking Tamiflu is that flu symptoms vary so greatly. Most people experience symptoms for at least 2 days prior to taking Tamiflu. These first two to three days are usually the worst when you get the flu. So, you can take Tamiflu and feel better the next day, but it likely would have NOTHING to do with the Tamiflu. Let me give you an example that I can verify because it happened to my wife. Sherri went to the doctor after a day and a half of bad flu symptoms. She was looking to get relief for her congestion and coughing. She was given a prescription for Tamiflu and was told that it would definitely help her. She called me to pick it up from the pharmacy on my way home from the clinic. I didn't’t stop to pick it up and explained to my wife that Tamiflu was not worth taking in my opinion. Well, the next morning she woke up and felt remarkably better. What would have happened if she had taken the Tamiflu? She would be one of those who would shout from the mountain-top that this drug was the best thing ever. This example illustrates exactly why it is impossible to interpret the benefit of taking a drug like Tamiflu in the patient population through testimonials.
The Negatives…
Anyone who has ever been prescribed Tamiflu knows that their doctor never goes through the benefits verses the side-effects. In fact, most doctors grossly downplay any potential side-effects from taking Tamiflu or act as if there are none to be considered.
Here is the list of some of the post-marketing adverse reactions associated with Tamiflu use. These are important because the side effects observed in the limited studies needed for FDA approval do not even come close to identifying the actual side effects that any drug will cause. The occurrence of most of these symptoms is low, but some of them like vomiting, nausea and headaches are common, occurring in one out of ten. Some of these are very serious side-effects.
Face Swelling Tongue Swelling Allergic Reactions
Anaphylactic Reactions Dermatitis Rash
Eczema Uticaria Erythema Multiforme
Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Hepatitis
Liver Function Abnormality Heart Arrhythmia G.I. Bleeding
Hemorrhagic Colitis Seizures Delirium
Confusion Abnormal Behavior Hallucinations
Nausea Vomiting Headaches
Diarrhea Stomach Pain Anxiety
I want to make sure I clarify one important point about flu symptoms to make sure we are on the same page. The flu does not typically cause digestive symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting or nausea. The flu is a respiratory disease. As a population we commonly say we had the “flu” when we really had a digestive bug. I had one patient tell me they had not gotten the flu the last two years that they had gotten a flu vaccination. When I asked him what symptoms he gets with the flu he said vomiting, diarrhea and fever. This was NOT the flu so the vaccination he received did not affect whether he got a digestive bug or not. The reason I bring this up is that the most common side-effects from Tamiflu are vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. Many would incorrectly think they would have these symptoms anyway because of the flu. They would be wrong.

The Bottom Line
Now that you have the facts about Tamiflu you have to decide whether or not you think it is a good idea to spend $140 per person to dose yourself or your children with this drug. Tamiflu may help reduce the symptoms of the flu by one day only if you get lucky and have a strain of the flu that is affected by this drug and only if it is taken within the first 48 hours of having symptoms. The one day of reduction will be after you have already experienced the worst symptoms. Tamiflu has not been shown to be effective at reducing the symptoms of serious flu viruses like H1N1, it does not significantly reduce the progression of the flu to pneumonia, and there is NO evidence that it saves lives.  If you disagree, send me the list of studies which support the opposite and I will be happy to revise my position appropriately. Experiencing symptoms like nausea, diarrhea or vomiting are not uncommon. Potentially severe symptoms can and do occur, but are very rare.
Here is the conclusion from another study published in The Lancet:
“In view of the advantages and disadvantages of different management strategies for controlling seasonal influenza in healthy adults, recommending the use of antiviral drugs (like Tamiflu) for the treatment of people presenting with symptoms is unlikely to be the most appropriate course of action.” Prescription of anti-influenza drugs for healthy adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
So, is it worth the risk of taking Tamiflu for the benefit? Now you have the facts to make an educated decision.
What Other Options Do You Have?
To answer this question let me tell you what I do as soon as I begin to feel the onset of any respiratory symptoms. I use the following products and they seem to work very well at keeping me from ever becoming seriously ill. I suggest you keep these products in your medicine cabinet so you can start using them as soon as you feel that yucky feeling signaling that your body is fighting something.
I take C-BioFizz, Thorne Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Esberitox. For the kids, I give them either Esberitox or ImuMax and mix C-BioFizz with the Thorne Vitamin A and Vitamin D. You can get these products by clicking on this link:  Immune Support
Posted on March 5, 2017 4:20 PM by Dr. Zimmer
Everyone has an opinion and I thank God for our uniqueness. Otherwise, this world would be robotic, completely predictable and quite boring. The problem caused by considering multiple opinions when it comes to following natural medicine advice is that it typically makes it very difficult to determine who and what to believe. The task of gathering topic relevant information is both helped and hindered by the internet. If you are not sure to what I am referring simply Google any natural health topic and watch the avalanche of differing opinions and suggestions that will flood your screen.
To gain direction we typically rely upon information gleaned from those whom we perceive as having more expertise in our topic of query. In Western health care the medical doctor reigns supreme. Taken as a whole, any opinion rendered by the medical community is given significant weight of consideration in helping us formulate our final stance towards any health topic. This makes perfect sense to the majority, since medical doctors typically represent a portion of our society considered to be of higher intellect and who form their opinions based on scientifically sound information. And, we have an inherently higher level of comfort with this group since we have relied upon them from childhood to give us direction and care when we were sick.
On the other end of the spectrum are those who seemingly question nothing and somehow think it logical to run a power crystal on your solar plexus in order to heal anything that ails you. We inherently have a lower level of comfort in taking advice from this group because the common perception is that those who tender this kind of advice are typically in the clan of con artists or nut-bags.
Solving the problem of whom and what to believe is not an easy one when it comes to the topic of natural health. We all have the innate knowledge that it is simply impossible for anyone to know everything. Deep down you understand the extent of anyone’s knowledge is limited by their experiences, intellect, biases, passion (or lack there-of), and inability to assimilate all the information about any one topic. Can a medical doctor be wrong at times? Can a crystal wielding nut-bag be right at times? The answer to both of these questions is yes, which tells you that you may not be served very well by accepting everything spoken by your M.D. or by disregarding everything claimed by the so-called “Quacks”.
My goal in this article is to give you some tools and understanding by which you will be able to formulate an opinion on natural health care topics that goes beyond hearing and believing. My hope is that you become more “critically open-minded” in your approach of determining what is good for your optimal health.
Defining Critically Open-minded
I began using this term almost two decades ago when I came to the realization that being too critical was severely limiting my ability to give my patients cutting edge, yet sound, natural health care information. By learning to balance being critical with an open mind, you will be able to form a defensible and logical opinion about any health care topic.
The Critic
By allowing yourself to become too critical you severely limit the range and effectiveness of what treatment you can accept as valid. You create a tight paradigm within which you only allow information that passes the test put forth by a strict set of guidelines. A great example of this would be the medical community. Very little in the realm of natural health is accepted within their treatment paradigm unless it passes the test of being studied under scientific methods. Their recommendations are governed by the use of “studied medicine” which, in turn, is almost completely directed by the pharmaceutical industry. If you have not had a chance to read my recent article, “Studied Medicine: Quit Fooling Yourself!”, I suggest you click on the link to learn why this term represents a glass house built adjacent to an area of rock slides.
Let me give you an interesting and thought-provoking example to illustrate how being too critical may limit knowledge. I recently received an email from a patient giving me an update on her condition after following my direction for the treatment of her digestive issues.
“Dr. Z, I wanted to update you on my condition since our last phone conversation. (We did a phone/internet consult since she lives outside of Indiana.) My digestive pain is completely gone for the first time in over a year. I am no longer bloated and I have much more energy than before I found you.”
The interesting part of this story is that she had been to her primary care doctor, the E.R. and TWO Gastroenterologists (G.I. specialists) without results prior to our consult. How on this earth could an alternative health doctor have helped a patient who had seen four different medical doctors with two of those specializing in only digestive issues? Another important question would be if the treatment I recommended was so effective in contrast to the medical specialist’s failures, why would they not adopt such a therapy?
The answers to these questions are simply that they were limited by being too critical in their thinking. When a patient tells the G.I. specialist she had success with a treatment that falls outside of the doctor’s paradigm he quickly classified this information in his X-files. In other words, it is the stuff that he cannot explain, but has to be chalked up to the placebo-effect in his mind. The biggest problem is that he will rarely even hear about these successes. Do you really think this patient is going to pay for an expensive follow-up appointment with the G.I. only to tell him that she is symptom-free and just wanted to inform him of the alternative treatment she used? No way! So, as far as the G.I. knows his treatment protocol was effective, since the patient did not return.
I can tell you that I have had many dozens of these types of successes and have NEVER received a call from a G.I. specialist asking me to explain the logic of my treatment protocols. Thus, they gained no wisdom from the exposure to this successful treatment and a couple of patients later, their chance to widen their treatment options and to grow intellectually was lost.
The Absolute Open-minded
The other side of the coin is the person who is too open-minded. The only evidence they need to believe in anything is that someone reported feeling better after following that procedure. This leads to the wackiest of the wacky that gives alternative health care a serious black eye. In addition, this opens you up to a much higher chance of trying totally ineffective or worthless treatments. I will share a kind of funny, but eye-opening, experience with you to help illustrate just how being too open-minded is not the way to go.
I had a discussion with an energy-type healer recently and, as is my nature, I was challenging some of her core beliefs. She became more than a little bit upset with my lack of faith in her faith and ended up scolding me because I admitted that I had not personally experienced her type of treatments first hand. So, I set an appointment with her.
Upon my arrival she asked me if I had any areas of concern. I told her that I was under a lot of stress and that I thought it was affecting my energy levels. (This was completely true, by the way.) Her treatment room was dimly lit with candles and I laid face up on a very comfortable massage-like table. The quality of her touch was outstanding. Her hands were soft and her fingers were refreshingly cool, but not cold. I became ultra relaxed and felt a release from the tension that had ruled my body just prior to the onset of treatment. I quickly realized how someone could conclude that this was going to be an effective treatment for what ever symptoms they were experiencing.
As I laid on my back I thought of how I could test her in the wackiest of ways. So, I first told her that something very weird was going on. I told her that I felt like there was something like electricity coming out of my big toe, but only on the right side. (This was completely made-up, by the way.) She was not surprised at all and even told me that this was negative energy leaving my body from my liver. A short while later I told her of another alarming, but completely made-up, symptom. I told her that I felt like there was a beam of energy coming out of my belly button that was going up to the ceiling! For the life of me I can not remember what she told me to explain this made-up phenomena, but I can tell you that she was not at all surprised by my belly button light saber.
This experience illustrates how completely open-minded people will believe anything without question. Does this mean that they will be wrong all of the time? Not at all! But, their chance of being completely off base is no doubt higher than their overly critical counterparts.
Becoming Critically Open-minded
So, how do you train yourself to look at natural health information in a critically open-minded manner? I have a number of practical suggestions for you.
Stop Putting Your Faith In Studied Medicine
You need to come to the realization that studied medicine only gives you questionable information suggesting a benefit or lack there of for any treatment or substance. That is why one study shows a benefit and why another concludes there is none. Statistics and outcomes are so massaged and planned in these studies that no one should give them more weight than they deserve. Consider the outcomes of studies as a small piece of the puzzle without having the ability to give you the whole picture. Realize that NO study proves or disproves anything and that whoever is funding the study has great influence over the outcome of the study.
Do you remember a number of years ago when a study came out concluding that a high sugar intake was associated with hyper behavior in children? Months later a different study came out stating just the opposite. Guess who funded this second study? Yep…the sugar industry. Another example is that 100% of the studies funded by the aspartame (artificial sweetener) industry revealed no negative findings for their product. However, the vast majority of independent studies raise serious questions about this product.
There are MANY other examples I could give you but let me use anti-depressants as a final example. St. John’s Wort has been much maligned over the years in the news. The basic take home from the reporting is that St. John’s Wort is worthless and your medical doctor will quickly opine in this manner. Evaluation of numerous studies shows that St. John’s Wort only has about a 40% effectiveness. That is O.K., but not super. Studied medicine also tells us that just about all anti-depressants work, on average, in only 40% of cases. But, that is the same as St. John’s Wort and St. John’s Wort has way fewer side effects. Thus, if doctors evaluated the science in an unbiased manner they would most certainly tell their patients to try St. John’s Wort first. But, alas, this NEVER occurs.
Probability verses Possibility
I have patients ask me all of the time whether it is possible that a certain product could cure their condition…and I stop them right there. I always tell them, “Yes, it is possible.” The question, though, needs to be is it probable. I learned a long time ago that we know very little about the human body and that everyone is different. This means that someone could very well experience a “cure” from using a product. How can I say no way without being a complete know-it-all ego-maniac? My concern is whether it is likely, not if it is possible.
To determine the probability of benefit you can hope to gain from any procedure, drug or product you can use good old fashion common sense. Ask yourself these questions:
Does your type of symptom or condition typically resolve quickly or deep down do you know that getting rid of it is difficult? The more chronic or complicated your condition the less likely it is that any one procedure, drug or product will afford you a significant resolution of symptoms. Thus, the probability of resolution is low.
How sensational are the claims of benefit? It is not atypical for someone to want a cure so badly that they would do anything to get rid of symptoms. Thus, many of us are attracted by claims of quick cures or miraculous results. NOTHING cures chronic conditions for everyone. The probability of curative qualities from sensationalized products or procedures is very low.
Finally, what does your gut tell you? I know this is highly unscientific, but remember we are practicing being critically open-minded. There is no substitute for good old fashion gut feelings. Shady sales people sell a lot of products even though people know down deep that the chance of something living up to expectation is low. Is your gut’s B.S. ‘o-meter going off or is your gut filled with genuine excitement and hope? Follow your gut. The probability of success goes way down if your gut tells you no and you do not listen.
NO ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING! I just wanted to point that out again. So, you will never find an “Expert” who can give you direction on everything within the natural health care arena. I can tell you with confidence that if you rely on one source for all your information you are missing out. This applies to popular health care internet sites and this especially applies to me!
I always find it peculiar that so many of us wholly ignore this universal truth that no one knows everything when we ask our doctors questions. This is especially true when that doctor has an M.D. behind his or her name. Let me let you in on a little secret. Doctors, in general, know a little about a lot of topics. Doctors know very little detailed information about any specific topics. The secret is that they are good at faking it and will enthusiastically give you their opinion even when it covers a topic well outside of their expertise.
For example, I get told on a regular basis that, “My doctor says all I need is a Centrum.” I say your doctor is completely wrong and the fact that he/she told you this displays a gross lack of knowledge when it comes to taking supplements. But, instead of honestly telling a patient that they really do not have any training or knowledge in this area, they give an answer anyway. And, they give that answer with an air of confidence.
Tell me…is it not refreshing when a doctor admits that he just does not know the answer to your question? Or, if she tells you that she does not have expertise in a certain area? Do you think less of him/her or do you respect him/her for acknowledging his/her limitations?
So, if none of us knows everything, how do you pick your experts? The answer is that you test them. Challenge them with questions to identify why they believe what they believe, read what they write, get opinions from others in the field for comparison and test to see if what they say passes your scrutiny. Here are some questions you should ask to determine the amount of faith you will put in anyone’s level of expertise.
  1. Is the “expert” selling you something specific? This is an easy one. If an expert is endorsing a unique and specific product, your chance of getting a well balanced opinion from that person is very low. Ignore claims of “World renowned”, “Internationally known”, “Recognized expert” or “Leader in his field” type of claims. The people I look up to as leaders in natural medicine NEVER tell you how great or accomplished they are. They prove it with their work.
  2. Does the “expert” study in the field for which they are rendering an opinion? This may sound like a “No, Duh” type of question. But, as I mentioned earlier, people ask their medical doctor’s opinion about natural health care all of the time. When you are going to obtain an opinion from someone do you not want to know if they actually study that topic? So, ask your doctor if they specialize in and study the use of vitamins, herbals or supplements. If they say yes, then ask your question. If they say they have some knowledge or that it is not an area of expertise, don’t take the chance on confusing yourself with their opinion. If you were a mother expecting your first child and wanted to get some expert information about labor and delivery, you wouldn’t go to your friend’s husband to ask him his opinion just because he had familiarity with the subject. No, you would ask the person who actually had a more intimate level of experience with childbirth.
  3. Does that “expert” actually work with patients or do they just render opinions? I constantly read information spewed by those who do not even work with people. Many are researchers who make claims based on theory and not on real life experience. Google the name of the expert and see if they work in a clinic or if they are an academic.
  4. What has this “expert” written? Every expert I know has written numerous articles in order to share their views and knowledge with those who need help. I would be very cautious about accepting an opinion from someone who does not write articles for the lay public. Get a couple of their articles and read them. Then let your gut’s B.S. o’meter (I like that term) go to work. Does what they write seem to be solid in logic? Do they back it up or do they just use rhetoric?
The Bottom Line
Those who tend to dismiss anything not endorsed by their medical doctors are limiting their health care options by being too critical and closed-minded. On the other hand, if all you need is a well written testimonial to make you believe in something, you are way too open-minded. If you tend to be too critical, my recommendation is to temper that with a dose of open-mindedness. If you are too open-minded, throw in some critical thinking in order to find a balance.
First, stop putting your faith in studied medicine. Never let the words, “But, it is not FDA approved!” come out of your mouth again. Give studies a relatively small amount of consideration when deciding the merits of any natural treatment. Next, determine the PROBABILITY that something is worthwhile. Is your gut telling you something? Listen to it. Finally, find a few experts in natural medicine and evaluate what they have to say.
Use all of this information to practice the art of becoming critically open-minded and you will benefit your over-all health tremendously
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