Tag Archives: Liver

Can Bak Kut Teh Herbal Soup Cause Liver Damage?!

Did an Australian study show that Bak Kut Teh herbal soup can cause liver damage?!

Take a look at what the study showed, and what the facts really are!

Updated @ 2023-11-24 : Refreshed after claims went viral again
Originally posted @ 2022-07-15

 

Study : Bak Kut Teh Herbal Soup Can Cause Liver Damage!

Australian scientists caused a ruckus in 2022 when their study alleged that the Asian herbal soup called Bak Kut Teh can cause liver damage.

The media excitedly jumped on it, with alarming titles to draw attention (and drive traffic?) :

Adelaide Now : Adelaide forensic expert issues safety warning over liver failure soup

ABC : Bak kut teh herbal soup may cause liver damage and interact with medication, study finds

Medical Xpress : Popular Malaysian soup can cause liver damage when mixed with medication

The Epoch Times : University Professor Warns of Risks Caused by Popular Chinese Soup

Says : Australian Researchers Find Bak Kut Teh Can Cause Liver Damage When Taken With Medicine

Recommended : Viral Video Proves Japanese Food Is Radioactive?!

 

Truth : Study Does Not Show Bak Kut Teh Causing Liver Damage!

Despite the alarming titles, there is no need to panic… because the study does NOT show the herbal soup causing any liver damage.

Here is a quick summary for those who just need to know the basics :

  1. It was a laboratory study, which means the results may not translate into actual effect in a living human being.
  2. What we eat is digested and broken down, so our body absorbs the nutrients and not the actual food. Hence, the study does not accurately replicate what happens in our body.
  3. They didn’t test bak kut teh… they only tested four soup bases used to make bak kut teh.
  4. The soup concentrations were unspecified, so it is unknown if the doses are equivalent to what our livers are subjected to after a meal.
  5. They did not test drug interactions, so it is amazing how so many media outlets claimed that the study showed that bak kut teh may interact with medication!

In short, this study does not show that bak kut teh causes liver damage. Neither does it show bak kut teh causing drug interactions of any kind.

I understand Professor Byard’s concerns about the “unknown” contents of these soup base preparations. Certain traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) have been associated with acute liver failure.

However, that isn’t so much a “bak kut teh” problem, but rather a problem with traditional Chinese medicine or Chinese herbal medicine.

For those who are interested in the details, please scroll down to the next section.

 

Why Study Does Not Show Bak Kut Teh Causing Liver Damage

Let’s start with the basics, and work our way through the Australian study.

Fact #1 : Study Was Conducted By Australian Scientists

First, the study was conducted by University of Adelaide and University of Melbourne scientists – Susan M. Britza, Rachael Farrington, Ian F. Musgrave, Craig Aboltins and Roger W. Byard.

It was published in the journal Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology, and you can read the study here.

Fact #2 : It Was A Laboratory Study

It is important to note that this was an in-vitro study – a laboratory study, not a clinical study.

In-vitro studies are important, but they cannot be extrapolated to make any conclusion about what actually happens in a human body.

For example, in-vitro studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin have an inhibitory effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus; but once tested in actual human beings – they were shown to have no clinical benefit.

In other words – what happens in a test tube, may not happen in an actual human being.

Read more : Did Study Show Pfizer Vaccine Altering Liver DNA In 6 Hours?!

Fact #3 : What We Eat Is Not What Our Body Absorbs

There is one big problem with doing in-vitro tests on food – what we eat is not what our body absorbs.

Food gets digested, and broken down into nutrients that are absorbed in our intestines. Even simple sugar gets broken down into glucose, fructose, galactose, maltose, sucrose, etc.

So soaking liver cells in a bak kut teh soup would most definitely not reflect what our liver cells actually experience after a bak kut teh meal.

In short, this study does not replicate what happens in our liver when we eat bak kut teh.

Fact #4 : There Are Many Types Of Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh is not so much a “herbal soup” as it is a pork soup dish. The name “bak kut teh” literally means “meat bone tea” in the Hokkien dialect, but there is no tea in it.

It is usually just a dish of pork ribs simmered for hours in a broth of common herbs and spices like star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dong quai, fennel seeds and garlic.

But there are many variants of bak kut teh. In Malaysia and Singapore where bak kut teh is most popular, there are at least four main “styles” :

  • Teochew style : light in colour, with more pepper and garlic
  • Hokkien style : darker and more fragrant, thanks to a variety of herbs and soy sauce
  • Cantonese style : includes medicinal herbs for a stronger flavoured soup
  • Klang style : a thick and sticky gravy, like a stew

On top of that, there are also chicken and beef versions of bak kut teh. Muslims, for example, love the chicken version, which is colloquially called chi kut teh, chi being short for chicken.

And the Malaysian town of Melaka serves a delicious beef bak kut teh, which is based on a unique black pepper soup with red fermented bean curd.

Fact #5 : They Tested Four Soup Bases

The Australian team were somewhat aware of the wide variety of bak kut teh soup bases. They tested four varieties :

  • Formulation 1 : Dried hawthorn
  • Formulation 2 : Goji berries, ginseng, bark, and dried mushrooms
  • Formulation 3 : Polygonatum odoratum, ligusticum chuanxiong, codonopsis pilosula, cinnamomum cassia, angelica sinensis, illicium verum, piper nigrum, and Eugenia caryophyllata
  • Formulation 4 : Spices, pepper and salt

It is important to note that instead of preparing bak kut teh like you and I would – with meat, vegetables, bean curd slices, etc., the researchers tested soups that were created only using the ingredients listed above.

In short, they did not actually test bak kut teh… they tested soups made from the ingredients above.

Fact #6 : Soup Concentration Was Unspecified

To prepare the four soups for testing, researchers added a sachet of each soup mix to boiling water (of unspecified quantity) for 5 minutes.

The concentration of each soup base was unspecified. They only listed the dilution factor. As such, it is quite impossible to draw any sort of conclusion from the results.

As any toxicologist will tell you – the dose makes the poison. This is why the concentration of any substance is critical in any study. Even water and oxygen – essential to human life to be sure – is toxic at high doses.

Fact #7 : Soups Were Prepared In 5 Minutes

It is important to point out that the soups the researchers used were prepared in just 5 minutes. Bak kut teh is usually prepared by simmering the meat in the soup for hours.

It would have been a good idea to prepare the soup bases like real bak kut teh soup, because boiling the soup for several hours could potentially break down toxins present in its ingredients.

In fact, it would have been better for the researchers to just buy real bak kut teh, instead of resorting to their soup bases prepared in just 5 minutes.

Fact #8 : They Tested Using HepG2 Liver Cancer Cells

It is also important to note that the researchers tested the soup bases by adding them to HepG2 cell cultures, not normal liver cells.

HepG2 is a hepatoblastoma (a type of liver cancer) cell line that was obtained from a 15 year-old boy suffering from liver cancer in 1975.

Now, there is nothing wrong with that – HepG2 is commonly used to test cytotoxicity of substances. Still, it must still be pointed out that HepG2 is not the same thing as normal liver cells.

In-vitro studies based on these cells should not be used to draw any conclusion, only used to drive further research.

Differences HepG2 Cells Normal Liver Cells
Cell Size 12-19 µm 15 µm
Cell Shape Polygonal Cube
Nuclei Single large nuclei
with 3-7 nucleoli
Two or more nuclei
Mitochondrial Content Low High
Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum Poorly Developed High
No. of Chromosomes 50-60 46
DNA Content 7.5 pg ~6 pg
Genome Stability Unstable Stable

Fact #9 : Spices, Pepper + Salt Did Worst In Their Tests

What I found most interesting in their results was the fact that the most “toxic” soup was Formulation 4, which consisted of nothing more than spices, pepper and salt.

Formulation 4 showed the most significant toxicity to the HepG2 cell line with approximately 83% cell death before dilution (p < 0.0001) and persistent toxicity even with dilution 1:10 (15% ± 3.7, p = 0.023) and 1:1000 (14% ± 3.8, p = 0.024)

Well, that’s gonna worry fans of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which boasts 11 herbs and spices, including pepper and salt!

Jokes aside, this result suggest that common spices, pepper and salt are more toxic to HepG2 liver cells than the more fanciful bak kut teh preparations!

Fact #10 : They Did Not Test Drug Interactions

I’m not sure how this study touches on drug interaction, since they didn’t test the soup bases with common hepatotoxic drugs like paracetamol to see if there is a synergistic effect.

No matter how you slice and dice this study’s results, they tell us nothing about any possible interaction with other herbs / drugs.

Yet so many media outlets made the startling claim that the study showed that bak kut teh may interact with medication! Nowhere in the study does it say that!

It appears that most of these journalists probably did not even bother to read the study, and perhaps only paraphrased what other people were writing.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Did Study Show Pfizer Vaccine Altering Liver DNA?!

Did a Swedish study show that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine altered the DNA of human liver cells in just 6 hours?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Study Show Pfizer Vaccine Altering Liver DNA In 6 Hours!

The Expose is back again, with yet another “fakexpose” on the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This time, they are recycling a February 2022 fake story that I fact checked earlier.

Here are selected excerpts from their long-winded article. Feel free to skip it, and head to the next section for the facts.

A Swedish study has demonstrated and confirmed that the mRNA in the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid injections infiltrates cells and transcribes its message onto human DNA within 6 hours, altering our own DNA.

The findings come after a previous study published in October 2021 from Sweden found the spike protein enters our cells nuclei and impairs the mechanism cells have to repair damaged DNA.

Read more : Did 800 People Quit Pfizer Vaccine Trial Over Death / Injury?!

 

Truth : Study Did Not Show Pfizer Vaccine Altering Liver DNA In 6 Hours

This is yet another example of vaccine fake news based on the intentional misinterpretation of a single scientific study.

Here is what you really need to know about this Lund University study… and The Expose.

Fact #1 : The Expose Is A Fake News Website

The Expose (formerly Daily Expose) is notorious for creating and propagating fake news on everything from COVID-19 to vaccines and the Ukraine war.

I investigated several articles they wrote, and they were all found to be completely false, or intentionally misleading.

Everything posted by The Expose must be considered fake news, until proven otherwise.

Fact #2 : Study Did NOT Say Pfizer Vaccine Alters Our DNA

First things first – the Lund University study is called Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line, and you can read it in its entirety here.

If you read just the discussion, you will note that the study authors actually pointed out that their study does NOT show that the Pfizer vaccine integrates with the liver cell DNA, or alters it in any way.

At this stage, we do not know if DNA reverse transcribed from BNT162b2 is integrated into the cell genome.

To be clear, the study offers no evidence that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine alters our DNA in any way or form.

Fact #3 : It Was A Laboratory Study

I should also point out the obvious fact that this was an in-vitro study – a laboratory study, not a clinical study.

In-vitro studies are important, but they cannot be extrapolated to make any conclusion about what actually happens in a human body.

For example, in-vitro studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin have an inhibitory effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus; but once tested in actual human beings – they were shown to have no clinical benefit.

In other words – what works in a laboratory, may not work in an actual human being.

Read more : Study Shows 10X Ivermectin Can’t Prevent Severe COVID-19!

Fact #4 : Study Was Based On Liver Cancer Cells

The casual reader of the Lund University study will not realise that Huh7 (or Huh-7) cells are not ordinary liver cells that you or I have.

Huh7 cells were derived from the liver tumour of a 57 year-old Japanese man, and are special because :

  • they are immortal liver cancer cells that can keep multiplying
  • they are highly-susceptible to Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection
  • they are genetically different, with an abnormal number of chromosomes (between 55 and 63, normal human cells have 46)

The Huh7 cell line is useful for the study of liver cancer and Hepatitis C, as well as drugs that may combat HCV; but it is important to understand that Huh7 cells are not representative of normal human cells.

Fact #5 : Huh7 Liver Cells Were Cultured In Plates

For a “more physiologically relevant study of viruses“, these Huh7 cells have to be cultured in a NASA-designed 3D Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactor.

These RWV bioreactors create 3D aggregates of Huh7 cells that are more “similar in structure and function” to their in vivo counterparts, with “completely altered gene expression and differentiation patterns“.

In other words, these RWV-grown Huh7 cells look and behave differently, more like regular human cells compared to plate-cultured Huh7 cells.

For the record, the Lund University study used plate-cultured Huh7 cells, and not RWV-grown Huh7 cells.

There is nothing wrong with that, but we should keep in mind that these cells are not an ideal representation of human cells.

This is what a 24-cell culture plate looks like

Fact #6 : Normal Human Cells Don’t Produce LINE-1 Enzyme

The scientists chose to use these Huh7 cells because like many cancerous cells, they express (produce) the LINE-1 enzyme.

LINE-1 is a reverse transcriptase that converts mRNA into DNA, so it is not surprising that the study would show it converting mRNA from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into DNA. That is literally what it is meant to do.

Normal human cells have the LINE-1 gene, but it is not expressed. Normal human cells do not produce the LINE-1 enzyme, which is why they could not use regular human cells in this study.

That is also why it is inappropriate to use the Huh7 cell culture to evaluate how mRNA vaccines would actually work or behave in humans.

Fact #7 : Transcribed DNA Did Not Enter Nucleus

The study only looked at whether mRNA from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be transcribed into DNA by the LINE-1 enzyme.

As the study showed – yes, it can… because that’s what the LINE-1 enzyme does. But the study does not show that the transcribed DNA entered the cell nucleus and altered human DNA.

While that is plausible, it would require another enzyme called integrase, that viruses produce, to move that DNA into the cell nucleus itself.

Without the integrase enzyme, the DNA transcribed by the LINE-1 enzyme will only float outside, and will never integrate with the DNA inside the cell nucleus.

Did Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Combine With DNA In Liver Cells?!

Fact #8 : mRNA Vaccines Do Not Modify Our Genes

An mRNA vaccine only contains a limited number of lipid nanoparticles containing those delicate mRNA instructions. So only a limited number of cells are involved in the vaccination process.

Even if it is somehow possible for the mRNA instructions from the vaccine to enter the cell nucleus and integrate with the DNA inside, it will only affect those cells.

Our cells die and are replaced by new cells all the time, so even if hypothetically the vaccine “infects” and modifies the DNA of a few hundred thousand cells, those cells will eventually die and be replaced by new cells without the modified DNA.

It is simply not possible for mRNA vaccines to modify our genes.

Fact #9 : Viruses Integrate With Cell DNA

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 (diagram below) integrate their genes with the host cell DNA, to hijack the cell and use it to produce copies of itself.

You can see how a typical RNA virus would infect a host cell, convert its RNA into DNA which is moved into the cell nucleus using the integrase enzyme.

HIV-1 virus cell infection, credit : Günther Witzany

Once inside, the viral DNA integrates with the host cell DNA, which gets transcribed into instructions for the cell to produce copies of the virus.

This is the same way how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells, to produce copies of itself to infect even more cells.

If you are truly worried about anything modifying your cell’s DNA, you should try to avoid viral infections like COVID-19. Better still – vaccinate yourself, and get protected against COVID-19!

Everything posted by The Expose must be regarded as FAKE NEWS, until proven otherwise.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this article out, and supporting our work!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Health | Fact Check | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Can Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Change Our DNA?!

Did Swedish scientists just prove that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine changes our DNA?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Changes Our DNA!

Anti-vaccination and ivermectin proponents have gone bananas over the new study from the Lund University in Sweden.

They are sharing it as evidence (finally!) of the Pfizer COVIDS-19 vaccine actually integrating with our DNA, and changing our genome, as they had always claimed.

Let that shock and horror sink in for a minute… and then let me explain to you what the facts really are in the next section…

Recommended : Are Residual DNA In mRNA Vaccines Dangerous?!

 

Truth : Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Did NOT Change DNA At All!

This is yet another example of vaccine fake news based on accidental / intentional misinterpretation of a single scientific study.

Here is what you really need to know about the Lund University study that went viral…

Fact #1 : Study Did NOT Say Pfizer Vaccine Alters Our DNA

First things first – the Lund University study is called Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line, and you can read it in its entirety here.

In the study’s Discussion section, the authors actually pointed out that their study does NOT show that the Pfizer vaccine integrates with the liver cell DNA, or alters it in any way.

At this stage, we do not know if DNA reverse transcribed from BNT162b2 is integrated into the cell genome.

To be clear, the study does NOT show that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine changes our DNA in any way or form.

Fact #2 : It Was A Laboratory Study

I should also point out the salient fact that it was an in-vitro study – a laboratory study, not a clinical study.

In-vitro studies are important, but they cannot be extrapolated to make any conclusion about what actually happens in a human body.

For example, laboratory studies do show that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin have an inhibitory effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus; but once tested in actual human beings – they are shown to have no clinical benefit.

In other words – what works in a laboratory, may not work in an actual human being.

Read more : Study Shows 10X Ivermectin Can’t Prevent Severe COVID-19!

Fact #3 : Study Was Based On Liver Cancer Cells

The casual reader of the Lund University study will not realise that Huh7 (or Huh-7) cells are not ordinary liver cells that you or I have.

Huh7 cells were derived from the liver tumour of a 57 year-old Japanese man, and are special because :

  • they are immortal liver cancer cells that can keep multiplying
  • they are highly-susceptible to Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection
  • they are genetically different, with an abnormal number of chromosomes (between 55 and 63, normal human cells have 46)

The Huh7 cell line is useful for the study of liver cancer and Hepatitis C, as well as drugs that may combat HCV; but it is important to understand that Huh7 cells are not representative of normal human cells.

Fact #4 : Huh7 Liver Cells Were Cultured In Plates

For a “more physiologically relevant study of viruses“, these Huh7 cells have to be cultured in a NASA-designed 3D Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactor.

These RWV bioreactors create 3D aggregates of Huh7 cells that are more “similar in structure and function” to their in vivo counterparts, with “completely altered gene expression and differentiation patterns“.

In other words, these RWV-grown Huh7 cells look and behave differently, more like regular human cells compared to plate-cultured Huh7 cells.

For the record, the Lund University study used plate-cultured Huh7 cells, and not RWV-grown Huh7 cells.

There is nothing wrong with that, but we should keep in mind that these cells are not an ideal representation of human cells.

Recommended : Are mRNA Vaccines Contaminated With SV40 DNA?!

This is what a 24-cell culture plate looks like

Fact #5 : Normal Human Cells Don’t Produce LINE-1 Enzyme

The scientists chose to use these Huh7 cells because like many cancerous cells, they express (produce) the LINE-1 enzyme.

LINE-1 is a reverse transcriptase that converts mRNA into DNA, so it is not surprising that the study would show it converting mRNA from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into DNA. That is literally what it is meant to do.

Normal human cells have the LINE-1 gene, but it is not expressed. Normal human cells do not produce the LINE-1 enzyme, which is why they could not use regular human cells in this study.

That is also why it is inappropriate to use the Huh7 cell culture to evaluate how mRNA vaccines would actually work or behave in humans.

Fact #6 : Transcribed DNA Did Not Enter Nucleus

The study only looked at whether mRNA from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be transcribed into DNA by the LINE-1 enzyme.

As the study showed – yes, it can… because that’s what the LINE-1 enzyme does. But the study does not show that the transcribed DNA entered the cell nucleus and changed human DNA.

While that is plausible, it would require another enzyme called integrase, that viruses produce, to move that DNA into the cell nucleus itself.

Without the integrase enzyme, the DNA transcribed by the LINE-1 enzyme will only float outside, and will never integrate with the DNA inside the cell nucleus.

Recommended : New Study Proves Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Causes Turbo Cancer?!

Did Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Combine With DNA In Liver Cells?!

Fact #7 : mRNA Vaccines Do Not Modify Our Genes

An mRNA vaccine only contains a limited number of lipid nanoparticles containing those delicate mRNA instructions. So only a limited number of cells are involved in the vaccination process.

Even if it is somehow possible for the mRNA instructions from the vaccine to enter the cell nucleus and integrate with the DNA inside, it will only affect those cells.

Our cells die and are replaced by new cells all the time, so even if hypothetically the vaccine “infects” and modifies the DNA of a few hundred thousand cells, those cells will eventually die and be replaced by new cells without the modified DNA.

It is simply not possible for mRNA vaccines to modify our genes.

Fact #8 : Viruses Integrate With Cell DNA

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 (diagram below) integrate their genes with the host cell DNA, to hijack the cell and use it to produce copies of itself.

You can see how a typical RNA virus would infect a host cell, convert its RNA into DNA which is moved into the cell nucleus using the integrase enzyme.

Recommended : Did New Study Show Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Causes Autism?!

HIV-1 virus cell infection, credit : Günther Witzany

Once inside, the viral DNA integrates with the host cell DNA, which gets transcribed into instructions for the cell to produce copies of the virus.

This is the same way how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells, to produce copies of itself to infect even more cells.

If you are truly worried about anything modifying your cell’s DNA, you should try to avoid viral infections like COVID-19. Better still – vaccinate yourself, and get protected against COVID-19!

Now that you know the truth, please help us fight fake news by SHARING this article out!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Health | Fact Check | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Did Pfizer Vaccine Combine With DNA In Liver Cells?!

Did scientists prove that the Pfizer mRNA vaccine combined with the DNA of liver cells?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Combined With DNA In Liver Cells!

Anti-vaccination and ivermectin proponents have gone bananas over the new study from the Lund University in Sweden.

They are sharing it as evidence (finally!) of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine actually integrating with our DNA, and changing our genome, as they had always claimed.

Let that shock and horror sink in for a minute… and then let me explain to you what the facts really are in the next section…

 

Truth : Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Did NOT Combine With DNA In Liver Cells!

This is yet another example of vaccine fake news based on accidental / intentional misinterpretation of a single scientific study.

Here is what you really need to know about this Lund University study…

Fact #1 : Study Did NOT Say Pfizer Vaccine Alters Our DNA

First things first – the Lund University study is called Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line, and you can read it in its entirety here.

If you read just the discussion, you will note that the study authors actually pointed out that their study does NOT show that the Pfizer vaccine integrates with the liver cell DNA, or alters it in any way.

At this stage, we do not know if DNA reverse transcribed from BNT162b2 is integrated into the cell genome.

To be clear, the study offers no evidence that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine alters our DNA in any way or form.

Fact #2 : It Was A Laboratory Study

I should also point out the obvious fact that this was an in-vitro study – a laboratory study, not a clinical study.

In-vitro studies are important, but they cannot be extrapolated to make any conclusion about what actually happens in a human body.

For example, in-vitro studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin have an inhibitory effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus; but once tested in actual human beings – they are shown to have no clinical benefit.

In other words – what works in a laboratory, may not work in an actual human being.

Read more : Study Shows 10X Ivermectin Can’t Prevent Severe COVID-19!

Fact #3 : Study Was Based On Liver Cancer Cells

The casual reader of the Lund University study will not realise that Huh7 (or Huh-7) cells are not ordinary liver cells that you or I have.

Huh7 cells were derived from the liver tumour of a 57 year-old Japanese man, and are special because :

  • they are immortal liver cancer cells that can keep multiplying
  • they are highly-susceptible to Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection
  • they are genetically different, with an abnormal number of chromosomes (between 55 and 63, normal human cells have 46)

The Huh7 cell line is useful for the study of liver cancer and Hepatitis C, as well as drugs that may combat HCV; but it is important to understand that Huh7 cells are not representative of normal human cells.

Fact #4 : Huh7 Liver Cells Were Cultured In Plates

For a “more physiologically relevant study of viruses“, these Huh7 cells have to be cultured in a NASA-designed 3D Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactor.

These RWV bioreactors create 3D aggregates of Huh7 cells that are more “similar in structure and function” to their in vivo counterparts, with “completely altered gene expression and differentiation patterns“.

In other words, these RWV-grown Huh7 cells look and behave differently, more like regular human cells compared to plate-cultured Huh7 cells.

For the record, the Lund University study used plate-cultured Huh7 cells, and not RWV-grown Huh7 cells.

There is nothing wrong with that, but we should keep in mind that these cells are not an ideal representation of human cells.

This is what a 24-cell culture plate looks like

Fact #5 : Normal Human Cells Don’t Produce LINE-1 Enzyme

The scientists chose to use these Huh7 cells because like many cancerous cells, they express (produce) the LINE-1 enzyme.

LINE-1 is a reverse transcriptase that converts mRNA into DNA, so it is not surprising that the study would show it converting mRNA from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into DNA. That is literally what it is meant to do.

Normal human cells have the LINE-1 gene, but it is not expressed. Normal human cells do not produce the LINE-1 enzyme, which is why they could not use regular human cells in this study.

That is also why it is inappropriate to use the Huh7 cell culture to evaluate how mRNA vaccines would actually work or behave in humans.

Fact #6 : Transcribed DNA Did Not Enter Nucleus

The study only looked at whether mRNA from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be transcribed into DNA by the LINE-1 enzyme.

As the study showed – yes, it can… because that’s what the LINE-1 enzyme does. But the study does not show that the transcribed DNA entered the cell nucleus and altered human DNA.

While that is plausible, it would require another enzyme called integrase, that viruses produce, to move that DNA into the cell nucleus itself.

Without the integrase enzyme, the DNA transcribed by the LINE-1 enzyme will only float outside, and will never integrate with the DNA inside the cell nucleus.

Did Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Combine With DNA In Liver Cells?!

Fact #7 : mRNA Vaccines Do Not Modify Our Genes

An mRNA vaccine only contains a limited number of lipid nanoparticles containing those delicate mRNA instructions. So only a limited number of cells are involved in the vaccination process.

Even if it is somehow possible for the mRNA instructions from the vaccine to enter the cell nucleus and integrate with the DNA inside, it will only affect those cells.

Our cells die and are replaced by new cells all the time, so even if hypothetically the vaccine “infects” and modifies the DNA of a few hundred thousand cells, those cells will eventually die and be replaced by new cells without the modified DNA.

It is simply not possible for mRNA vaccines to modify our genes.

Fact #8 : Viruses Integrate With Cell DNA

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 (diagram below) integrate their genes with the host cell DNA, to hijack the cell and use it to produce copies of itself.

You can see how a typical RNA virus would infect a host cell, convert its RNA into DNA which is moved into the cell nucleus using the integrase enzyme.

HIV-1 virus cell infection, credit : Günther Witzany

Once inside, the viral DNA integrates with the host cell DNA, which gets transcribed into instructions for the cell to produce copies of the virus.

This is the same way how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells, to produce copies of itself to infect even more cells.

If you are truly worried about anything modifying your cell’s DNA, you should try to avoid viral infections like COVID-19. Better still – vaccinate yourself, and get protected against COVID-19!

Now that you know the truth, please help us fight fake news by SHARING this article out!

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Experts Warn Of Ivermectin Causing Liver Damage!

Several experts are warning that ivermectin can cause liver damage.

Find out why it is so dangerous to self-medicate with ivermectin!

 

Can Ivermectin Cause Liver Damage?

Ivermectin is generally a well-tolerated drug. However, it has NOT been extensively used in human beings, because it has only been used to treat parasitic diseases which are not common in most parts of the world.

Even in countries where it is available for use in human beings, it is often prescribed as a single dose, and is not used over a long period of time.

Hence, its safety profile outside of the typical use cases in past decades is UNKNOWN.

Unfortunately, evidence is mounting that ivermectin can cause liver damage.

Some experts have started speaking out about this risk, and a few recent examples of liver damage caused by ivermectin.

 

Switzerland : Acute Liver Damage From Ivermectin

In 2006, a 20 year-old woman from Cameroon living in Switzerland developed severe hepatitis from a single dose of ivermectin.

She had no history of liver disease or viral hepatitis, and did not drink alcohol or take any other medications, over-the-counter products or herbals.

But after a month of receiving a single 15 mg dose of ivermectin, she complained of abdominal pain.

A liver biopsy was taken, and showed “acute hepatocellular necrosis, apoptotic bodies and lymphocytic lobular infiltrates“.

Her liver function tests showed markedly elevated serum aminotransferase, although she had no jaundice.

Lab Test
Taken
ALT
(U/L)
Alk P
(U/L)
Bilirubin
(mg/dL)
Medication
Given
Pre 21 58 0.6 Albendazole 600 mg
for 21 days
0 35 40 0.5 Ivermectin 15 mg
single dose
1 month 907 61 1.3
2 months 111 57 1.0
3 months 54 43 1.2
6 months 13 38 0.8
Normal < 42 < 126 < 1.2

Fortunately, she recovered and her liver function normalised within 3 months.

However, the acute liver damage she suffered was only caught because she received routine monitoring in Switzerland.

Without similar routine monitoring, such liver damage from ivermectin is likely to go unrecognised as mere “abdominal pain”.

 

Brazil : Liver Transplant + Hepatis From Ivermectin

Ivermectin was heavily used in Brazil, especially after it was heavily promoted by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

However, Brazilian experts are speaking out about the damage caused by use of ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19 in Brazil.

In February 2021, pulmonologist Frederico Fernandes, who is also President of the São Paulo Society of Pulmonology and Tisiology (SPPT), shared about his young patient who needed a liver transplant after self-medicating with 18 mg of ivermectin every day for a week.

Hepatologist Paulo Bittencourt, who is President of the Brazilian Liver Institute of the Brazilian Society of Hepatology, stated that 27% of acute hepatitis or fulminant acute hepatitis in Brazil occurred as a result of medications, likely from the indiscriminate use of ivermectin.

He warned that taking ivermectin, chloroquine or azithromycin can lead to acute hepatitis. Even though it’s relatively rare, large-scale use by millions of people will lead to many cases of hepatitis.

Bittencourt himself recounted about a patient who used ivermectin every 15 days to prevent COVID-19. Even limited to bi-weekly use of ivermectin, his patient still developed nausea.

Raymundo Paraná, an expert in drug-induced liver injury and head of gastro-hepatology at the Federal University of Bahia in northeast Brazil, described how one of his patients came in with “clear symptoms of liver toxicity, with high levels of liver enzymes, yellowed eyes and dark urine” after taking “ivermectin, nitozoxanide and hydroxychloroquine“.

I’ve seen people taking pills once a week, three times a week, every day, three times a day.

Today, I saw a prescription recommending a dose 12 times higher than the dose that has been studied in humans.

 

South Africa : Liver Damage In 90% Of People Taking Ivermectin!

Dr. Emmanuel Taban – a leading pulmonologist in South Africa, recently wrote that two out of three COVID-19 patients who were admitted to his hospital were taking ivermectin.

Despite self-medicating with ivermectin, their condition worsened to the point they had to be hospitalised.

Even more worrying – he shared that some “90% of the patients using the drug presented with liver damage“.

Specifically, his patients were presenting with “deranged liver function tests“, which is a sign of liver damage.

He also shared examples of the type of ivermectin that his patients were using before they were admitted to his hospital for treatment.

Read more : SA Pulmonologist Warns Of Liver Damage In People Taking Ivermectin!

 

Don’t Risk Liver Damage With Ivermectin

Ivermectin is currently being investigate in a number of clinical trials, to ascertain its safety and efficacy against COVID-19.

These trials are being conducted in hospitals, where volunteers are under constant monitoring. If they develop liver damage, doctors can quickly treat them.

This is not possible for those who are self-medicating at home using ivermectin.

So please don’t put your life at risk by taking ivermectin. Wait for clinical trials on ivermectin to complete, to determine its safety and efficacy against COVID-19.

There is already a proven way to protect yourself against COVID-19 – vaccines. Instead of self-medicating with ivermectin, GET VACCINATED!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!