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Tag: influenza

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.

Homopathic Flu Remedy: Oscillo

Here’s a story about how I cured my flu last weekend. In what looks to be shaping up as a bad flu season around the nation, it’s helpful to have a remedy ready at hand to minimize the illness and speed the recovery.

On Saturday I awoke with what I thought was a head cold: stuffy/runny nose, headache, fatigue, generally feeling lousy. Over the course of the day I took various homeopathic remedies for sinus congestion and colds, did a few rounds of Sinus Rinse, and drank some garlic tea. On Sunday I awoke after an uncomfortable night with little sleep feeling worse and wanting to just stay in bed as much as possible. My head hurt and even reading felt too strenuous. I drank tea but the idea of food was unappealing.Oscillococcinum flu remedy

The thing about homeopathic remedies is that if you don’t have the right remedy, you won’t experience any relief from your symptoms. The wrong remedy won’t make anything worse, but nothing will improve. Clearly I had not hit upon the correct remedy yet for my head cold.

Then, in a conversation with my soon-to-graduate-from-medical-school-younger-brother, he asked if I had experienced any diarrhea. As a matter of fact, I had, though I hadn’t connected it with how I was feeling at the moment. He suggested I might have the flu.

It hadn’t occurred to me that I might have the flu because I hadn’t experienced what I considered to be classic flu symptoms of fever, chills, and body aches. Nor had I vomited, which might also have tipped me off.

I still wasn’t sure what I had was the flu, but thought it would be worth taking the homeopathic flu remedy of Boiron’s Oscillococcinum, just in case. I mixed the contents of a single vial with about 3-4 oz. of clean water, and then put one teaspoon of the water underneath my tongue. I was surprised to find that within 10 minutes I began to feel better. I took another dose 15 minutes later and began to feel even better. I took a third dose about an hour after that, and a final dose at bedtime.

On Monday morning I awoke refreshed after a night of deep, restful sleep. The only lingering symptom was a slight runny nose, but otherwise, I felt energized, hungry, and clear-headed. We loaded up the family and spent a beautiful day skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado, a two-hour drive from our house.

While we of course do all we can to avoid getting the flu in the first place, sometimes you can catch a virus despite your best efforts. Oscillo has worked for my family many times over the years when prevention has failed. Homeopathic remedies are generally safe for anyone to use with no side effects. If, after one teaspoon of the Oscillo water, there is no improvement, it is not the right remedy and you should cease taking it.

This time of year you can often find Oscillococcinum in a Point-of-Purchase display near the check-out stations at natural food stores like Whole Foods.