Do COVID-19 vaccines cause diabetes? No, just another anti-vax myth

COVID-19 vaccines diabetes

Here we go again, anti-vaxxers are now claiming that COVID-19 vaccines cause type 1 or 2 diabetes. I don’t think I’m over-exaggerating when I say that each new day brings a new claim about COVID-19 vaccines that is easily debunked.

At least I can find the reason, albeit requiring some contortions of logic and science, behind this claim. However, typical of anti-vaxxers, they take it several steps too far.

Anti-vaxxers have tried and failed, to link vaccines with type 1 diabetes. And we know that COVID-19 itself might increase the risk of type 1 diabetes. But is there a link between COVID-19 vaccines either type of diabetes? No.

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Aluminum in vaccines does not cause type 1 diabetes

aluminum vaccines diabetes

We know that there are no links between vaccines and type 1 diabetes mellitus, and now a new study shows that the aluminum in vaccines also isn’t linked to the disease. I’m sure that Christopher Aluminum Exley and James Lyons-Weiler are crying. Or they will just claim that all other scientists are wrong and they are right.

A lot of the vaccine deniers believe that vaccines cause Type 1 diabetes (or here), based on little evidence. As far as I can tell, this myth is based on the “research” from  J. Barthelow Classen, M.D., who has pushed the idea that vaccines cause type 1 diabetes, through some magical process that has never been supported by other independent evidence.

In another example of the anti-vaccine zealot’s cherry-picking evidence to support their a priori conclusions, they ignore the utter lack of plausibility supporting any link between vaccines and Type 1 diabetes. But once again, real scientific research has found no link between vaccines and diabetes.

And new research has provided robust evidence that there is no link between the aluminum in vaccines and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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COVID-19 linked to type 1 diabetes – another reason for the vaccine

COVID-19 diabetes

Well, if you need another reason to get the COVID-19 vaccine, then it should be that the disease itself may increase the risk of type 1 diabetes. Along with many other long-term health issues, some people may develop type 1 diabetes after an acute COVID-19 infection.

I want to briefly discuss this consequence of the disease because the long-term healthcare issues resulting from a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes are deeply concerning.

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BCG vaccine and type 1 diabetes – promising early data

bcg vaccine diabetes

An ongoing clinical trial using the bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, or BCG vaccine, to reverse even advanced type 1 diabetes mellitus has shown promising preliminary data in over 100 patients. Type 1 diabetes is considered irreversible, so if Phase II and III clinical trials shows that the vaccine is safe and effective in reversing diabetes, it would be one of the most important advances in medicine.

In addition, researchers proposed a possible mechanism describing how the BCG vaccine may enhance the immune system, and how it may stop and reverse the damage that leads to diabetes.

Let’s take a look at what we know about diabetes, how the BCG vaccine might be able to reverse type 1 diabetes mellitus, and what the new article reports.

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Vaccine safety – a huge systematic review says they don’t cause autism

vaccine safety

Not that most of us need to be convinced, but there’s another huge systematic review that examined vaccine safety. Unsurprisingly, it shows that there are no major safety signals post-vaccination, plus no vaccine is linked to autism.

It’s ironic that this study is a high-quality systematic review and meta-analysis, the top of the hierarchy of biomedical research, while anti-vaxxers rely upon retracted articles published in predatory journals.

So, I want to do a quick review of this new article so that we can continue to support the settled science of vaccine safety.

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Boosting immunity for COVID-19? Only when we get a coronavirus vaccine

boosting immunity

And here we go again. The interwebs are filled with quacks trying to claim that they have something for boosting immunity to protect oneself from COVID-19. Of course, once you read that someone has the magical potion for boosting immunity, you can almost guarantee that it’s pseudoscience and woo.

Boosting immunity is always the go-to for scam artists whenever there is a deadly outbreak or pandemic like we are seeing now. The pseudoscience of the immune system is pernicious and possibly dangerous.

The problem with these immune system myths is that they overlook or ignore a basic physiological fact – the immune system is a complex interconnected network of organs, cells, and molecules that prevent the invasion of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pathogens and other antigens every single day.

And no matter how much individuals try to trivialize the complexity of the immune system, it does not make it so. If it were easy as downing a handful of supplements or the magical blueberry-kale smoothie for boosting immunity to coronavirus or any disease, every physician in the world would prescribe.

Unfortunately, even if we could boost our immunity, we shouldn’t – a hyperactive immune system is frequently dangerous to an individual.

Yeah, the pseudoscience crowd doesn’t know their immune system.

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High fructose corn syrup – myths and claims debunked by real science

People demonize food additives all the time. Just see monosodium glutamate, as just one example. And there’s high fructose corn syrup, a sugar that is blamed for everything from cancer to diabetes to climate change. OK, maybe not climate change.

High fructose corn syrup is just sugar, but because it has a complicated name, it must be bad. It’s part of the “chemophobia,” the fear of anything that sounds like a chemical.

The so-called Food Babe has made a lot of money endorsing a belief that all chemicals are evil. Of course, such claims ignore the simple fact that all life, the air, and water are made of chemicals.

They want us to believe that man-made chemicals are more dangerous than “natural” chemicals, but that betrays several things about science:

  1. Many “natural” chemicals are dangerous.
  2. Those “natural” chemicals didn’t evolve for the benefit of humans, so they are not inherently better for humans.
  3. Nature isn’t always better.

And high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is considered one of the evil “chemicals” that are destroying humanity. But is it? Let’s answer that question.

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Rotavirus vaccine prevents diabetes in children – strong scientific evidence

rotavirus vaccine prevents diabetes

Two recent peer-reviewed papers have provided strong evidence that the rotavirus vaccine prevents diabetes in children. Basically, the research shows that a rotavirus infection increases the risk for type 1 diabetes and preventing that infection with the vaccine lowers that risk.

These articles add to previous studies that have established linked between the vaccine and a lower risk of type 1 diabetes. So are we getting close to claiming that the rotavirus vaccine prevents diabetes in children? The evidence is very strong. Continue reading “Rotavirus vaccine prevents diabetes in children – strong scientific evidence”

Vaccines cause diabetes – another myth refuted and debunked

vaccines cause diabetes

If you cruise around the internet, engaging with the anti-vaccine religion (not recommended), you will pick up on their standard tropes, lies, and other anti-science commentaries, like the claim that vaccines cause diabetes. Of course, once one digs into the scientific facts, you find little supporting evidence.

A lot of the vaccine deniers believe that vaccines cause a lot of everything and several claims that vaccines cause Type 1 diabetes (or here), based on little evidence. As far as I can tell, this myth is based on the “research” from  J. Barthelow Classen, M.D., who has pushed the idea that vaccines cause type 1 diabetes, through some magical process that has never been supported by other independent evidence.

In another example of the anti-vaccine zealot’s cherry-picking evidence to support their a priori conclusions, they ignore the utter lack of plausibility supporting any link between vaccines and Type 1 diabetes. At best, Classen has cherry-picked statistics to support his predetermined conclusions, “comparing apples to oranges with health data from different countries, and misrepresenting studies to back his claim.”

Moreover, Classen seems to come to his beliefs based on population-wide correlations that rely on post hoc fallacies, rather than actually showing causality between vaccines and diabetes. It’s like finding that a 5% increase in consumption of Big Macs is correlated with a full moon. Those two things may happen at the same time, but it would take a laughable stretch of real science to make a cause for causality.

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BCG vaccine is priced too low – now, shortage for bladder cancer

bcg vaccine

You probably don’t know much about the BCG vaccine, because it isn’t used much these days. And no, it’s not one of the vaccines on the CDC immunization schedule for either adults or children. 

The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, or BCG vaccine, was initially developed to prevent tuberculosis. The disease is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but they can also damage other parts of the body. Tuberculosis is treatable with advanced medicines, but it takes a long time and can be expensive. Without treatment, the patient will die.

So, why does it matter that the BCG vaccine is priced too low or that we have a shortage of it? Well, it has a couple of important uses (one current, and one potential) that has driven demand for the vaccine. And it’s not because there’s a sudden worldwide epidemic of tuberculosis. Continue reading “BCG vaccine is priced too low – now, shortage for bladder cancer”