By Dr. Palevsky

Polysorbate 80 is used as an emulsifier by the pharmaceutical industry to enhance the delivery of chemicals/drugs from the blood into the brain across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Being that the BBB is impermeable to many things in the bloodstream, researchers needed to find a way to deliver chemicals/drugs into the brain from the bloodstream in order to treat hard-to-reach brain infections/lesions/tumors, etc. Polysorbate 80 is one such chemical that helps in this delivery. (study here). 

Since vaccines contain polysorbate 80, we can ask the following questions;

  • What vaccine materials get across the BBB, with the help of polysorbate 80, into the brain of children? and
  • What effect do they have once they get into the brain? Do they contribute to inflammation, toxicity, encephalitis?

Since polysorbate 80 works as an emulsifier, and will also enhance the delivery of vaccine materials into the rest of the cells of the body,

  • What vaccine materials enter the cells of our bodies?
  • Do they remain in the cells once they get in there?
  • Do they impair any parts of the cells, i.e, mitochondrial DNA, nuclear DNA, or other cellular apparatuses – endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparatus?
  • Do they become part of the DNA of the cells since there are whole DNA strands from live viruses in the vaccines, along with foreign animal DNA and bacterial/viral/yeast protein antigens?
  • If they do become part of the DNA, how does this change the function and/or regulatory systems in the cells?
  • Do the materials from vaccines (e.g. aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde) entering through the cell membranes at the hands of polysorbate 80 do anything to impair the electrical charge of the cell membrane, or impair/alter the way materials enter or exit the cell through the cell membrane (nutrients, cellular wastes, manufactured proteins, or enzymes?

Since babies have a poorly developed BBB, which may not solidify for at least the first 6 months, or maybe longer if they have a brewing inflammatory condition yet to be determined that has delayed the full development of the BBB, then questions 3-8 apply to their brains as well.

We don’t know the answers to most/all of these questions because studies have never been done to evaluate them.
We use vaccines all for the sake of producing an antibody to bacteria and viruses that might not give us protection against getting the diseases anyway.
Of note, we are already protected against getting diseases from trillions of bacteria and viruses that live along the linings of our bodies and within the DNA of our cells, for which we don’t have antibodies, so antibodies are not the be-all and end-all of protection from disease. Even the textbooks, the literature, and the CDC admit to this.

With ever-increasing cases of significant neuro-inflammatory conditions in this country, and the fact that the US has one of the highest rates of chronic inflammatory conditions in the world, shouldn’t we know the answers to these questions?


Polysorbate 80 is a chemical used by physicians to open the blood-brain barrier, for the purpose of chemotherapy for brain cancer. The chemicals then bind tightly to the polysorbate 80 and the chemo can reach the cancer cells.

Polysorbate 80 is used in vaccines to reduce the surface tension of the chemicals, and increase the solubility of chemicals that normally would not be able to dissolve together (think oil and water). It also works as an emulsifier so the chemicals can disperse evenly upon injection.

This sounds like a smart plan, right? The problem is, it also opens the blood-brain barrier and the brain is exposed to the chemicals like aluminum (a neurotoxin), formaldehyde (embalming fluid and a carcinogen), glyphosate (another carcinogen), etc. Since it increases solubility and absorbability, it makes it incredibly easy for the brain to absorb the toxins; the toxins bind tightly to the polysorbate 80 and flow right through the blood-brain barrier to do their damage.

Not only does polysorbate 80 open up the brain to toxins, it can potentially be toxic itself. There are numerous studies linking it to infertility, anaphylactic shock, cardiac issues, cancer and even death. See the studies below.

Many of the studies on the toxicity of polysorbate 80 (also called Tween 80) only test via inhalation or ingestion versus injection. But when something is ingested, it is only 1-3% absorbed into the body because the toxin goes through our bodies natural detox filter pathway. But injected toxins go straight into the bloodstream and bypass this pathway — meaning 95+% is absorbed into body tissues. Eventually these toxins will accumulate and cause a health issue. Injection is very different from ingestion.

Polysorbate 80 has NOT been tested for injection!

The Material Safety and Data Sheet (MSDS) does not address the effects of polysorbate through injection, it is only tested for inhalation and ingestion. (MSDS Polysorbate 80, 2013) Nevertheless, in the same toxicology section under special remarks on chronic and toxic effects on human, it states that Polysorbate 80:

May cause adverse reproductive effects based on animal test data. No human data found. May cause cancer based on animal test data. No human data found. May affect genetic material (mutagenic). Ingestion of very large doses may cause abdominal spasms and diarrhea. Animal studies have shown it to cause cardiac changes, changes in behavior (altered sleep time) and weight loss (upon repeated or prolonged ingestion).

Vaccines that contain Polysorbate 80CDC

  • DTaP (Infanrix);
  • DTaP—IPV (Kinrix);
  • DTaP-IPV (Quadracel)
  • DTap-HepB-IPV (Pediarix);
  • DTaP-IPV-Hib (Pentacel);
  • Gardasil
  • Influenza (Fluad)
  • Influenza (Fluarix);
  • Influenza (Flulaval)
  • Influenza (Flucelvax);
  • Meningococcal (MenB-Trumenba);
  • Pneumococcal (PCV13—Prevnar13);
  • Rotavirus (RotaTeq);
  • Tdap (Boostrix)

Studies on Polysorbate 80

Polysorbate 80 allows toxins into the brain

Polysorbate 80 also opens up the blood-brain barrier allowing toxins into the brain, which would otherwise not reach the brain.
These studies show the use of Polysorbate 80 in drug development as a means to cross the blood-brain barrier, which is there to protect us from these toxins crossing the barrier.

The Blood-Brain Barrier: Bottleneck in Brain Drug Development. NeuroRx, 2005

Preparation and Therapeutic Efficacy of Polysorbate-80-Coated Amphotericin B/PLA-b-PEG Nanoparticles. Journal of Biomaterials Science 20 (2009)

Tween 80 containing lipid nanoemulsions for delivery of indinavir to brain. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, 2013

Stealth lipid polymer hybrid nanoparticles loaded with rutin for effective brain delivery – comparative study with the gold standard (Tween 80): optimization, characterization and biodistribution. Drug Delivery, 2017

Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Modified with Tween 80 Pass through the Intact Blood-Brain Barrier in Rats under Magnetic Field. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2016

Drug transport to brain with targeted nanoparticles. Journal of the Americal Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics

Specific role of polysorbate 80 coating on the targeting of nanoparticles to the brain. Biomaterials 

In vitro macrophage uptake and in vivo biodistribution of PLA-PEG nanoparticles loaded with hemoglobin as blood substitutes: effect of PEG content. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 

Polysorbate 80 and Infertility

Polysorbate 80 in medical products and nonimmunologic anaphylactoid reactions. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 2005

The study included a pregnant woman who suffered anaphylactic shock after being given a IV drip of multi-vitamins containing polysorbate 80.

It is of current relevance as a ‘hidden’ inductor of anaphylactoid reactions”, and “Polysorbate 80 was identified as the causative agent for the anaphylactoid reaction of nonimmunologic origin in the patient. Conclusions: Polysorbate 80 is a ubiquitously used solubilizing agent that can cause severe nonimmunologic anaphylactoid reactions.

Delayed effects of neonatal exposure to Tween 80 on female reproductive organs in rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 1993

Baby female rats were injected with polysorbate 80 at days 4-7 after birth. It accelerated the maturing of the rats and caused changes to the vagina and womb lining, hormonal changes, ovary deformities and degenerative follicles.

Treatment with Tween 80 accelerated maturation, prolonged the oestrus cycle, and induced persistent vaginal oestrus. The relative weight of the uterus and ovaries was decreased relative to the untreated controls. Squamous cell metaplasia of the epithelial lining of the uterus and cytological changes in the uterus were indicative of chronic oestrogenic stimulation. Ovaries were without corpora lutea, and had degenerative follicles.

Studies on Polysorbate 80 toxicity & side effects

Hypersensitivity reaction to parenteral nutrition after severe hypersensitivity reaction to paclitaxel: a case report. American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2013

The vehicle for IV vitamins, polysorbate 80, may be the source of reaction rather than the vitamin, itself. We present a case report of a patient who had a severe hypersensitivity reaction to paclitaxel and also a hypersensitivity reaction to the multivitamin component of parenteral nutrition, as well as to vitamin K administered separate from parenteral nutrition.

Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients 6th edition. Pharmaceutical Press, London, 2009

Polysorbates have also been associated with serious adverse effects, including some deaths, in low birthweight infants intravenously administered a vitamin E preparation containing a mixture of polysorbates 20 and 80.

Safety Data Sheet for Polysorbate 80. Sigma-Aldrich 2009

May be harmful if inhaled. May cause respiratory tract irritation. May be harmful if absorbed through skin. May cause skin irritation. May cause eye irritation. May be harmful if swallowed.

Hypersensitivity reaction to human papillomavirus vaccine due to polysorbate 80. BMJ Case Reports, 2012

A 17-year-old girl reported generalised urticaria, eyelid angioedema, rhino-conjunctivitis, dyspnoea and wheezing 1 h after third intramuscular administration of Gardasil. Prick test performed with PS80 resulted positive in the patient and negative in ten healthy controls.

Hypersensitivity reactions to the polysorbate contained in recombinant erythropoietin and darbepoietin. Nephrology, 2005

The following case reports are of two patients who have developed hypersensitivity reactions to the red cell growth hormones, darbepoietin and erythropoietin. The subsequent skin testing and clinical course suggested that the cause of these reactions was due to the excipient polysorbate 80. This finding might have implications in the recent increase in the incidence of pure red cell aplasia.