By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
December 7, 2011
In This Issue:
- What Australia knows about flu shots that we don’t
- Why flu shots give a false sense of security
- The #1 most effective flu-fighting vitamin
What Does Australia Know About The Flu Shot That We Don’t?
Australia is not happy with the vaccination industry. In an ongoing investigation, they have recently discovered that flu vaccine manufacturers knew two years ago that a 2009 vaccination was linked to a high rate of fever – and in some cases seizures – in children. But they neglected to mention it.
Makes you wonder how much vaccine manufacturers, not to mention the FDA, neglect to tell us about the possible reactions and side effects of their products.
Australia drew the line. For the last two years they have had a moratorium on flu vaccinations for children under 5 years old. And they are showing no signs of lifting the ban until they get some real assurances that they are safe. Bully for them.
But what about adults like you and me? Is the flu shot safe for us? More important, is it necessary?
Here’s what I do personally…and what I advise my patients to do during the fall and winter months as the flu is making its annual rounds…
The problem with the influenza virus is that it is constantly mutating – making it nearly impossible to predict its form far enough in advance to create an effective vaccine. Which is one of the many reasons that I don’t encourage my patients to get the flu shot unless they have such weakened immune systems that even an approximation of protection is better than none.
I also find that when people get the flu shot, they don’t bother to take other preventative measures, figuring they are covered. This false sense of confidence doesn’t serve anyone.
Vaccinations work by providing what is called “herd immunity.” The idea is that if enough people in the population have immunity, it will not only protect individuals, but can eventually wipe out the disease altogether. That’s why there is so much emphasis on vaccinating everyone – with rare exceptions – instead of the other way around.
There’s one problem: it doesn’t work. At least, not with the flu.
We have a better chance of protecting ourselves, and others in our family and community, if we take natural and common sense preventative measures ahead of and all throughout the fall and winter months, typically considered “flu season.”
- Be Attentive to Hygiene: It’s no mistake that Dec 4-10 is National Hand Washing Awareness Week. This one simple precaution goes a long way in maintaining health – and it’s so simple to do. And while you’re at it, break out the hydrogen peroxide. One study showed that wiping down surfaces – such as car seats and bathroom counters – with hydrogen peroxide could help prevent the spread of the influenza virus. And some health practitioners have suggested that a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in the ears not only removes earwax, but can kill off the virus at one of its prime points of entry.
- Feed Your Immune System: Maintaining a healthy diet, rich with fresh fruits and vegetables and low on refined sugars and saturated fats, goes a long way to keeping your immune system strong. Make sure to take a high quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement every day. And add in the extra protection of Elderberry. I personally like the elderberry syrup preparations from Sambucol, Nature’s Way or Gaia Herbs. Its powerful flu-fighting properties have been known for ages, and as an added bonus, it even tastes good. Take one tablespoonful 4 times a day for 5-7 days. When combined with other flu fighting measures, it should significantly reduce not just the symptoms, but will attack the cause of your viral misery.
- Get Enough Sleep: Flu season is a bad time to compromise on getting rest. And an even worse time to give in to stress. Allowing your body to get rundown is like issuing an invitation to the flu to come and take up residence.
Last but not at all least, one CRITICAL vitamin should be the keystone to your entire flu prevention strategy…
The #1 Most Effective Flu-Fighting Vitamin
Studies are gradually proving what now seems obvious – vitamin D plays a critical role in proffering immune support against the flu and other seasonal viruses. And yet, one out of every two Americans is likely to have low levels of this crucial nutrient!
Maybe it isn’t that the flu is so hard to avoid…it’s that vitamin D is so hard to come by during flu season.
My strongest recommendation for flu prevention is to be sure you are getting enough vitamin D. Get outside midday when the sun is at its strongest. Eat foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D such as salmon, shrimp, cod and shitake mushrooms, as well as vitamin D-fortified foods such as milk, yogurt and some cereals. And take additional supplements as well – I recommend 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D…in lieu of getting that flu shot!
Am J Infect Control. 2009 Dec. Inactivating influenza viruses on surfaces using hydrogen peroxide or triethylene glycol at low vapor concentrations.Rudnick SN, McDevitt JJ, First MW, Spengler JD.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Jan. A review of the critical role of vitamin D in the functioning of the immune system and the clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency. Schwalfenberg GK.
Eur Cytokine Netw. 2001 Apr-Jun. The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. Barak V, Halperin T, Kalickman I.
Int J Infect Dis. 2010 Dec. The seasonality of pandemic and non-pandemic influenzas: the roles of solar radiation and vitamin D. Juzeniene A, Ma LW, Kwitniewski M, Polev GA, Lagunova Z, Dahlback A, Moan J.