Do Flu Shots Cause Dementia?

One of the unfortunate truths about much of today’s most advanced medical care is that, while it’s designed to make profits for hospitals and drug companies and to keep your body alive, it can frequently hamper your brain.

The usual denials greeted a recent charge that flu shots might lead to dementia, but researchers have uncovered plenty of evidence that other medical therapies and drugs can lead to a huge loss of your mental abilities. So let’s take a look not only at flu shots but also at some of the other ways doctors can accidentally mess you up.

Flu Shots Aren’t Good For Much

Even without settling the question of whether the flu vaccination can affect your mind, the arguments against getting a flu shot are well-established. Consider the fact that last year, in people 65 and older, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admits that the shots were only effective in lowering the risk of flu for 9 percent of the senior population. For the other 91 percent of seniors, according to the CDC, the vaccine was worthless.

That seems ridiculous to me. Why get a vaccine that’s so ineffective?

There are many potential problems with vaccines. When they don’t even work, why bother? As you may know, flu viruses mutate like crazy, so this season’s flu epidemic is usually caused by a genetically different bug than last season’s. The flu vaccine was concocted months ago out of scientists’ best guesses as to what strains of flu are most likely to find their way to North America this winter. As the stats suggest, their guesswork is not very good.

Despite this lack of usefulness, the so-called experts still insist everyone should get a flu shot. As William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine in Nashville, admitted to USA Today, “Everyone at CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting was scratching their heads over this.”i

Nevertheless, Schaffner still urges all of us to get a flu vaccination.

Folks, this is a health system on autopilot—unable to change its ways or examine its own assumptions. It’s a frightening and dangerous exercise in group-think and herd mentality.

Avoid Flu The Natural Way: It Works.

Other medical authorities advocate using more natural methods for bolstering your immune system to resist the flu bug. The most basic measures include eating plenty of organic fruits and vegetables. And don’t forgo mushrooms—research shows they are potent immune system supporters.ii

There are a number of immune-boosting mushroom formulas available in supplement stores. And plain, simple vitamin D—in big quantities, as much as 5,000 units per day—is probably the simplest and most effective flu “vaccine.” Colostrum and lactoferrin—extracts from cow’s milk—are also powerful immune boosters.

Also worth heeding is that advice to wash your hands before you touch your food, and to avoid touching your face, especially after contact with other people.

These simple, inexpensive steps work for me. I’m almost 62, have never had a flu shot, and almost never get a cold, much less a more severe virus. In my younger days I used to get colds and flu all the time.

Arsenic And Dementia

Here’s another tip: If you drink water from a well, you should have your water checked for arsenic. A study at the Dartmouth Medical School demonstrates that your immune system’s ability to fight off the flu virus slips if you drink well water that contains even very low levels of arsenic. Arsenic contamination is more common in the western half of the United States than in the eastern half. But that’s not to say easterners can ignore the issue.

The Dartmouth researchers point out that the most vulnerable wells are generally located in upper New England (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine), Florida, the Upper Midwest, the Southwest and the Rocky Mountains.iii

ICU Danger

Aside from the concern about flu shots, studies now show that other brain dangers lurk at the hands of the medical profession. In particular, if you are treated in a hospital intensive care unit, you have a frighteningly high chance of suffering cognitive impairment similar to Alzheimer’s disease. And the brain problem, say researchers at Vanderbilt, lasts at least a year.

The Tennessee scientists found that three out of four people admitted to hospitals with respiratory failure, cardiogenic shock (when the heart’s pumping ability is severely impaired) or septic shock develop delirium when they are hospitalized.iv

And three months after the people in this study were released from the hospital, 40 percent of them had mental difficulties similar to what happens after traumatic brain injury. Twenty-six percent of them had memory problems that were virtually identical to what takes place when you have Alzheimer’s disease.

According to researcher Pratic Pandharipande, modern medical technology seems able to keep your body functioning but the cost may be a serious reduction in brain capacity: “As medical care is improving, patients are surviving their critical illness more often, but if they are surviving their critical illness with disabling forms of cognitive impairment then that is something that we will have to be aware of because just surviving is no longer good enough.”

All of these factors represent good reasons to lead a healthy lifestyle and take responsibility for your own health. Just because doctors have a wide range of technology available to keep you alive when disaster strikes, that doesn’t mean that at the end of a difficult illness your mind will still be functioning well enough to appreciate your high-tech survival.


  1. http://www.usatoday.com/
  2. http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/27/1_MeetingAbstracts/643.17
  3. http://hermes.mbl.edu/news/press_releases/2009/2009_pr_05_18.html
  4. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301372