Friday, November 9, 2012

Health and Wellness Experts Recommend Vitamin C For Onset of Flu Season

Fall foliage season has just passed, but health advocates say it's already time for you to start taking Vitamin C. The National Institutes of Health notes that Vitamin C "helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease." NIH suggests that the safe upper limits of Vitamin C for those from twelve months old to adults ranges from 400 to 2000 mg/day.

According to the CDC, the seasonal flu has not yet hit Vermont, but Vermont Wellness Advocate Charlotte Gilruth says it's not too early to prevent it. Gilruth recommends eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in Vitamin C as well as Vitamin D, while restricting intake of sugar and other refined foods.  She urges everyone to take full advantage of "Nature's doctors”: pure drinking water, fresh air, and daily exposure to sunshine.

Gilruth encourages hygienic practices like hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes. The international not-for-profit Cochrane Collaboration has found that, “Respiratory virus spread can be reduced by hygienic measures (such as hand washing), especially around younger children. Frequent hand washing can also reduce transmission from children to other household members.” The U.S. CDC makes it clear that, “Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.”

Gilruth adds, "If you do get sick, stay home to avoid infecting others and consult your health practitioner to learn which foods, herbs, and remedies will limit the duration of the flu." Stress, including negative emotions like fear and anger, directly suppresses the immune system, so Gilruth says that, in addition to getting ample rest, incorporating lifestyle changes such as regular meditation and exercise can help prevent illness.

Flu shots have now been found to be only 50 to 60 percent effective in preventing the disease rather than the 80 to 90 percent originally estimated. Studies in Canada have found that in some cases the flu shots increase the incidence of flu and make the symptoms worse. The Cochrane Collaboration found that, “In children under the age of two, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine was similar to placebo.”

A new study released two weeks ago by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota finds similar lack of effectiveness, “trivalent inactivated flu vaccines (TIV) yield about 59% protection in adults aged 18 through 64, but consistent evidence of protection is lacking for children aged 2 to 17 and people 65 and older.”

"I think there's a very big concern among the public and wellness community that if we've got something that is at best 50 to 60 percent effective, we really need to be looking at alternatives," Gilruth says. In addition to the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine, there are people that should not get the flu shot— such as those with egg allergies and those who do not want to ingest mercury in their bodies since all four brands of multi-dose flu vaccines—Fluzone, Fluvirin, FluLaval and Afluria—contain thimerosal with mercury levels at 25ug per dose.

1 comment:

Michael Venneri said...

Thank you for the information, so very true!