As it stands right now every year, on average, as much as 20% of the American population will get the flu. This results in approximately 200,000 hospitalizations each year. The 2017-2018 flu season actually broke the record for most deaths in America from the flu with a staggering 80,000 on record (CDC stats). Now, the Flu is a viral infection, influenza, that has three major types. These consist of influenza A, B, and C, and each type consists of hundreds of subtypes. Not to mention that they are constantly mutating. You might be wondering "what is the best way to give yourself the best odds of avoiding the flu?"
The Flu VaccineAs mentioned earlier there are multiple types of the flu virus and even more subtypes. For this reason, it is very hard to make a vaccine for the specific strain that is going around. When they come out with a vaccine for each season it is really a guessing game of which strain it is going to be. This is reflected in the statistics of how effective the vaccine is. The flu vaccine itself isn't without its share of side effects as well. The CDC's website has a long list of side effects, which include (but aren't limited to), headache, fever, nausea, difficulty breathing, hoarseness/wheezing, and the list goes on(1). Those symptoms sound a lot like the flu! One of the more severe side effects is the autoimmune condition Guillain-Barré syndrome (1). In fact, New York Senator Jose Peralta, age 47, died days after getting the vaccine days before the publishing of this blog. I haven't yet mentioned the mercury-based preservative thimerosal that is used in the influenza vaccine. The half-life of mercury is around 20 years in the brain and nervous system. Meaning that in 20 years half of that mercury will leave the brain and nervous system. This alone makes me want to avoid an annual vaccine. You might be wondering, what are some other ways to avoid the flu. Well, for instance, studies have well documented the fact that bovine colostrum is three to four times as effective than the vaccine at preventing the flu(2). Let's look at some other ways!
Alternative ways to avoid the FluThe flu vaccine is not the only, or even the best way, to prevent the flu. Even if you come into contact with one of the many varieties of the virus you don't have to be affected by it. First let's look at the microbiome, your first line of defense. Eating fermented foods, like sauerkraut or kim chi, will help bolster the microbiome. Secondly, many herbs also contain antiviral activity against influenza. Herbs such as elderberry, astragalus, garlic, and olive leaf to name a few. I try to keep these herbs in my bloodstream throughout flu season. Lastly, strengthening the bodies immune system. Taking these three strategies into account Crucial FOUR has put together a flu bundle to help you to prevent the flu. Let's take a look! The Flu Bundle
Vitamin DLet's start off with one of the more important nutrients in the bundle. Do you think it is a coincidence that flu season just happens to be in the time of the year when vitamin d naturally drops? Think about it flu season is the same time that has the smallest window for vitamin d production due to lack of sun exposure. Vitamin d plays a major role in strengthening the bodies immune system. For the flu, we are specifically focusing on how it affects the adaptive and innate immune responses. Adaptive immunity refers to the production of antibodies, while innate immunity simply means it is non-specific. Since the flu virus is constantly mutating, unfortunately, antibodies for previous flu infections don't really work. While vitamin d is important in this process, it usually takes days to produce new antibodies. Macrophages, innate immunity, engulf infected cells while the body makes the needed antibodies.
Camu Camu (vitamin c)Camu camu fruit is one of the highest natural sources of vitamin c. Similarly to vitamin d, vitamin c also boost both adaptive and innate immunity. It is well documented that low levels of vitamin c result in lowered immunity and an increased risk for infection. Many, if not all, of immune cell development, requires vitamin c. Virtually all of the immune cells also require the vitamin to function. If you want to get sick less often, then make sure that you maintain sufficient levels of this crucial vitamin. Camu camu is my preferred choice for vitamin c source. As it is a whole food form and is low in sugar. I would stay away from ascorbic acid, synthetic vitamin c, as it has been shown in low doses to make certain cancers more aggressive.
Activated Coconut Shell CharcoalNow let's talk about one of the best things that you can take for the flu, activated charcoal! Now it's not just any charcoal but coconut shell charcoal, like what mdetox is, in particular. This is because charcoal made from coconut shells is high in a compound called buckminsterfullerene or C60 for short. C60 has been shown to inhibit the reproduction of both influenza A and B at all stages of the reproduction cycle(3). This is truly amazing as that means that it will not only help with prevention of the flu but also if you already have the flu it should lessen the symptoms. Not only that, but certain toxins suppress the immune response and charcoal will aid in removing them from the body. Being extremely non-toxic charcoal is the safest way to remove harmful toxins. Just make sure you increase your water intake.
mImmune (Chaga Mushroom)Chaga mushroom is well known for helping strengthen the immune system. So much so that it has been documented that the lower class in Russia have been using chaga to treat cancer for centuries. Chaga is even prescribed alongside chemotherapy in Russia. Chaga's immune-bolstering effects come from the compounds known as beta-glucans. Beta-glucans modulate white blood cells (WBC). Beta-glucans also strengthen white blood cells. In one study on breast cancer patients, the women receiving beta-glucans had relatively higher WBC counts after chemo than the women who didn't receive beta-glucans. So not only will chaga strengthen immunity it also has antiviral properties against the flu (4). Both the A and B variations of the virus.
mProtector (Humic Acid)When plant matter decays it produces humates. Humic acid is going to be the specific humate that we will be looking at. When humic acid comes into contact with a virus, i.e. influenza, it binds to it. The bond is very strong. "Why is this important?" you might be asking. Well, when influenza, or any virus for that matter, has humic acid bound to it, it's not able to bind to a cell. When a virus infects a cell it basically turns the cell into a virus factory. The Infected cell will continue to produce viruses until it gets so full the cell pops. So if it isn't able to bind to the cell in the first place it cannot infect the cell. Humic acid may not be able to help a cell that is already infected, but when the infected cell does release all the new viruses into the bloodstream that is where humic acid shines. If one already has humic acid in the bloodstream a virus will have a tough time taking hold.
ConclusionEven if you are only able to employ one of the strategies laid out in this blog you can greatly decrease your risk of getting sick this flu season. Or you can save with the Flu Bundle. If you are one to get the flu vaccine just remember that there are side effects and that it isn't the most effective method out there. The mercury alone is reason enough for me not to get it. Whatever method you choose keep your body in mind. As always, say yes to your health!