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Tag: flu vaccine

Vitamin D Can Help Prevent and Recover From Flu

Vitamin D is not a vitamin after all. Turns out it’s a “steroid precursor” with direct effects on our immune systems.

Personally, I prefer taking Vitamin D-3 in a liquid form as it is easy to control the dosage.

Maybe we should have taken our cue from the ability of the human body to produce “Vitamin D” from sunshine alone whereas we must take in other vitamins and minerals through food sources. Science is still figuring out so much about how the human body works that we are in a constant state of catch-up in our knowledge about nutrition.

A recent double-blind, randomized study in Tokyo, Japan, of over 300 schoolchildren aged six to 15 years found that those with higher levels of Vitamin D in their blood experienced a 50% or greater reduction in flu infections. Only one in ten children given Vitamin D during the study came down with flu, while one in five of the children given a placebo got the flu.

During the 2012-2013 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) credit the flu vaccine for reducing doctor’s visits for flu by one-half, or about 50%. This efficacy rate varies each year as vaccine makers have to guess which flu strains might be common months ahead of the actual flu season.

“Mitsuyoshi Urashima, the Japanese doctor who led the trial, told The Times that vitamin D was more effective than vaccines in preventing flu,” reports

Since Vitamin D increases the body’s production of anti-microbial peptides (AMP), it makes sense to increase Vitamin D supplements during times of infection from cold and flu viruses. Research suggests that the correct dosage of Vitamin D3 is as much as 5,000 IUs (International Units)/day for adults, particularly those with impaired immune function, and perhaps even higher doses during times of health crises.

As with any supplements, be careful as over-supplementing can sometimes bring harmful effects.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

My son came home the other day and asked why I didn’t take him to get a flu shot.

“We don’t get flu shots,” I answered. “We drink Good Belly instead.”

Yes, I was being flippant, but still. While the vitamins and probiotics in Good Belly won’t kill any flu germs we might pick up, I’ve seen how it helps to keep our bodies from being inviting environments in which germs can flourish. Why do you think some people who work in an office will come down with the flu while others won’t? When my family drinks Good Belly, we don’t get sick. When we don’t drink Good Belly, we see colds and flu. I’m reminded of this every year. And no, I don’t have any connection with the company; this is just my own experience.

If/when we do get sick, we employ a variety of homeopathic, herbal, and nutritional remedies to bring relief and healing.

Besides, there’s a lot to be wary of when it comes to pharmaceuticals for hypersensitive people like me and my children. We’ve already learned the hard way that we are hypersensitive (I have MS and my kids have food sensitivities), and that our tolerance thresholds are already lower than the average person’s. I feel no need to push the envelope.

Please don’t interpret this as advice not to get vaccinated; I struggle with this question myself every time it comes up with my own family. Personally, I’ve tried to strike a balance between the essential vaccinations and the non-essential vaccinations, and although getting the flu sucks, I consider the flu shot to be non-essential to my toxic load.

Here’s a fascinating documentary starring Dr. Bob Sears about vaccines and their possible side effects. It’s free to view until November 5, 2011, so take a few minutes now to watch it.

THE GREATER GOOD from BNP Pictures on Vimeo.

Avoid the flu… and flu shots!

I was pleased today to see Dr. Mercola’s advice for avoiding the flu… and the flu vaccination. I’ve been agonizing over whether to get a flu shot this year.

He suggests that the flu may be caused by a vitamin D deficiency since “flu season” comes during the winter months when sunlight is scarce. He recommends taking vitamin D supplements of levels up to

Here are the other “secrets” Dr. Mercola uses to keep the flu (and other illnesses) at bay:

Another useful supplement you could try, should you come down with a case of the flu, is olive leaf extract, which you can find in most any health food store.

Olive leaf extract has been found to be a potent broad-spectrum antiviral agent, active against all viruses tested, including numerous strains of influenza and para-influenza viruses.

Personally, I have found homeopathic Oscillococcinum to be quite effective against flu symptoms, and always keep some in my supplement drawer.

Flu shots for kids?

Vaccinating young children against the flu appeared to have no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons, a new study shows.

That’s not to mention that flu shots are the last early childhood vaccines to continue to contain the preservative thimerosal, a form of mercury. It seems that the vaccine doesn’t have to contain thimerosal, but the manufacturer uses it so that they can package the vaccine in multiple doses. (It seems you can make a special request of your doctor for the single-use, thimerosal-free vaccine.)

Beyond the mercury issue, should we be injecting our children with dead viral strains that have been grown on raw eggs when the efficacy rate of protecting them from getting the flu is somewhere between 7% and 52%? Those don’t seem like very good rates to me.

The natural health community believes that bodies in balance do not offer an appropriate breeding ground for viral infections like the flu. Rather than vaccinating, they would rather see everyone eat healthily, digest cleanly, assimilate fully, and eliminate regularly. While practicing good hand washing and other other hygene habits. Here are 7 tips for staying healthy this flu season.

I mentioned last month that I hadn’t made up my mind about getting my family flu shots this season as we have for the last 5 or 6 years. This morning my sister called from her pediatrician’s office, wondering if she should get the flu shot for her 1-year old daughter. Her husband, who completed his medical studies both here and in Russia (where alternative health practices are more accepted by allopathic doctors), advised against it. He pointed out that he wasn’t vaccinated against the flu as a child in Russia, and neither was my sister as a child growing up in the US. He wasn’t convinced that the vaccine was effective, and why put a foreign substance in your body if it didn’t make any difference as to whether or not you caught the flu?

My medically-trained brother-in-law and I often see eye-to-eye on health matters and value each other’s opinion and advice.

At this point, I have no plans to vaccinate my children against the flu this year. I know I will receive the most parental pressure to get myself the vaccine, since a case of the flu, or any viral infection, can trigger a multiple sclerosis exacerbation. Still, I think I’m going to pass on the flu shot this year for myself, too.

Who needs the flu vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just announced new guidelines for flu vaccinations this season and for the first time are recommending that ALL children 6 months – 18 years receive flu vaccinations. This recommendation used to be only for children under 5.

This means about 30 million more children could be getting vaccinated this year. A record number.

Why is the CDC expanding the recommendation? Not because it has any hopes that this season’s vaccine will be more effective than last season’s, when two of the three strains were not good matches, and the vaccine was only 44 percent effective overall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But do flu vaccinations really work? Some studies show that when it comes to the elderly at least, the answer is “not really.” And many of the vaccines may still contain the preservative thimerosal, a form of mercury, which may cause developmental delays and early onset of dementia, among other ills.

Every year for almost a decade I have reluctantly bowed to the pressure of my parents in the medical community and dutifully lined up to receive my flu shot. Because viral infections are thought to trigger MS attacks, it was considered prudent for me to get the vaccine. And I pushed my husband and kids to do it, too. Now, I’m not so sure.

The naturopathic community doesn’t believe in vaccinating at all, but as a world traveler I have depended on vaccinations to emerge from countries unscathed from undesirable ailments like yellow fever and tetnus.

Growing up I knew a friend of my parents who had survived polio as a child, and I realize that the polio vaccine is what made stories like his obsolete. So I do value the contributions of the vaccination movement.

Then again, I go ahead and vaccinate my children against chicken pox, yet they get them anyway.

I guess I don’t know what I’m going to do about the flu vaccine this year. I’m going to have to give it more thought before I rush in to march in lock-step toward the vaccination clinics.