Oh, that dangerous squalene!

Someone was saying that “Squalene” was a dangerous substance that is dangerous to inject. They say that with great sincerity. It’s keeping people from getting their innoculations.

The new strain of virus is likely to replace the older one; and if there’s a third wave later in the year it could be more virulent. We had the equivalent of a flu season’s worth of illness and deaths from August to November, when there are normally very few. In Canada, most of the people who died have been younger women (which is most unusual). So getting your flu shot is important, perhaps vital.

The fear-mongers are totally off-base with fears of squalene. It is one of many fats, or lipids as scientists call them, made in our own bodies. If you’ve ever had olive oil, corn oil, cod-liver oil, or shark-liver oil, meat, or fish, you’ve been drinking and eating squalene. Concentrated squalene from shark-liver oil is sold in health stores for high prices as a beneficial natural substance. We have it in every cell of our bodies. It’s stored in our livers, circulates in our blood, and oozes out of our skin. Injecting a few more milligrams of squalene into a body already awash with the stuff is completely safe.

The adjuvant used with the vaccine is made up of squalene, vitamin E, and water. It emulsifies the vaccine to give it more surface area (lots of little droplets) so that you only need 1/4 of the actual virus protein. The search for something causing Gulf War Syndrome found a tiny amount of squalene, so tiny that researchers think it probably came from the oils in someone’s fingerprint.

Here’s a link to a research paper (PDF), “Measurement of squalene in human tissues and plasma.” This paper mentions that human skin secretes squalene, that our fat contains a lot of squalene, and that our bloodstream contains squalene. It’s in our bile and gallbladders.

The article also says that an American eating a diet of 2000 Calories probably eats about 25 milligrams of squalene. Blood plasma levels in healthy, fasting Americans were about 20 – 70 micrograms per decilitre. They note that getting accurate and consistent measurement of squalene in biological samples, they must clean glassware thoroughly:

PRECAUTIONS: The high rate of secretion of squalene by the human skin leads to gross contamination of laboratory glassware unless exceptional care is taken to render every item squalene-free. Only after some experience is gained with the method is it feasible to not use polyvinyl gloves pre-rinsed with petrol ether. After routine cleaning of glassware, including that in which biologic samples are to be collected, we sonicate [agitate by ultrasound –M.] for 3 min in detergent; then, after rinsing away the detergent in distilled water, we sonicate again in distilled water before air-drying. Then, immediately prior to use of the glassware, it is rinsed in chloroform-methanol 2:1 and then air-dried.

So you see that just touching the inside of a container by accident could result in a false positive for squalene.

The Canadian vaccine contains 3.8 micrograms of viral protein (HA) and 5 micrograms of preservative solution mixed with 12 milligrams of Vitamin E, 11 milligrams of squalene, and 5 milligrams of Polysorbate 80, whatever that is.

The article quoted above notes that a person secretes 125 – 475 milligrams of squalene per day from their skin.

The viral material, haemagglutinin (the H in H1), is made up of cleaned and purified fragments of virus shell, so it can’t give anyone flu. If you get flu after the shot, it’s because you were incubating the virus (and infectious to others) but had not yet developed symptoms.

And this isn’t news: the paper is from 1976, more than 30 years ago. The intention of the paper was to see if researchers could learn to make consistent measurements of squalene in samples.

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