I've taken the flu vaccine for the past several years.

But now I'm beginning to regret that I did.

There is growing concern among many sources that the yearly flu vaccine isn't such a good idea.

One source, NaturalNews.com, an independent resource that empowers individuals to make positive health changes, published a story outlining ten reasons why the flu shot is a bad idea.

NaturalNews says studies reveal a lack of evidence that children benefit from the shot.

But worse, they say, injecting flu vaccines can lead to serious health problems such as harmful reactions and a host of infections.

For instance, in the1976 swine flu outbreak, some who took the government-sponsored flu shot developed permanent nerve damage. Flu vaccines are known to contain harmful materials including detergent, mercury (Thimerosal), and formaldehyde.

Thimerosal is especially worrisome. It's used as a preservative but some say mercury can lead to Alzheimer's.

It "has been used for decades in the United States in multi-dose vials of some vaccines to prevent the growth of germs, bacteria and fungi that can contaminate them," says the Food and Drug Administration, downplaying the concern.

But wait. Hasn't the incidence of Alzheimer's also been increasing for decades?

And do we really want to inject this stuff inside of us anyway? NaturalNews says no.

"The flu vaccines contain mercury, a heavy metal known to be hazardous for human health. The amount of mercury contained in a multi-dose flu shot is much higher than the maximum allowable daily exposure limit. Mercury toxicity can cause memory loss, depression, ADD, oral health problems, digestive imbalances, respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases and many more such serious health ailments." they report.

On top of that, "there is mounting evidence that flu shots can cause Alzheimer's disease. One report shows that people who received the flu vaccine each year for 3 to 5 years had a 10-fold greater chance of developing Alzheimer's disease than people who did not have any flu shots."

I'm not sure I trust the Center for Disease Control in their push for flu vaccines, based on what I understand.

The CDC appoints a 15-member Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for deciding who should be vaccinated each year. Almost all members of the ACIP have a financial interest in immunizations. "It's all about the money and may have very little to do with your health and well being. The very people pushing these vaccines stand to make billions of dollars," reports NaturalNews.

I did some research and found a U.S. House of Representatives "Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making Majority Staff Report" by the Committee on Government Reform, dated June 15, 2000.

Their investigation looked into possible conflicts of interest on the part of many federal policymakers, including the ACIP.

For one, the mere fact that such an investigation was deemed necessary is cause for concern. Secondly, the investigation seemed only to focus on the financial disclosure forms of participating members.

But what if a member lied on a form? Or maybe disclosed only partial information? Besides, I'm never comfortable with the idea of the government investigating itself. Essentially, the fox is watching the henhouse.

Bottom line: I'm not so sure I did the right thing by taking the annual flu shot.

Until the public gets the answers it needs, I think it's best for everyone to do similar research and talk with your doctor.

I'm not telling anyone to avoid taking a flu shot. But I think a red flag needs to be raised in the interest of health.

I always thought that the only time I gamble is when I occasionally buy a lottery ticket.

But now I realize that my seemingly innocent seasonal flu shot might be the wager of a lifetime.