As flu season has arrived once again, this question is bound to be in many of my readers’ mind. Every year people ask me what I do and my answer has not changed in decades, I take vitamin C. In fact, I have never had a flu shot in my life and have no plans to start doing so now.
I can be accused of being quite the vitamin C fan, but I can report in all honesty that the only times when I got the flu in my entire adult life are times when – for one reason or the other – I had stopped taking my vitamin C.
In fact I take vitamin C all year long. My usual dose is 1 gram per day in addition to what is in my multivitamin, but I increase that to 4 grams per day when the weather turns chilly and parents start to bring by my office their children with runny noses and a high temperature. Not only does vitamin C seem to protect me from the flu, it also keeps me from catching whatever it is that children with their runny noses, coughs, and fevers are bringing to my office.
When it comes to flu shots many people still think that – in spite of potential negatives – they do at least guarantee that you will not get the flu. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact I have known many people who got the flu from the vaccine or right after being vaccinated.
According to a scientific report quoted in a recent New York Times article, flu vaccines provide “only modest protection for healthy young and middle-age adults, and little if any protection for those 65 and older, who are most likely to succumb to the illness or its complications”. Find the New York Times article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/reassessing-flu-shots-as-the-season-draws-near/
Although vitamin C seems to do a very good job for many people in preventing the flu, provided that enough is taken, it does little or nothing once the symptoms begin. A better choice when you feel like you are getting the flu or at least a bad cold is an herbal product from India called Flucomune.
For adults, at the first sign of illness take 3 capsules 3-4 times a day for 2 days. Then reduce to 2 capsules three times a day until the symptoms subside. For children reduce the dose in relation to their weight. Consider the average adult to weigh 150 Lbs. If a child weighs one third of that give him or her one third the recommended adult dose, and so on.
Flucomune is available from my office. I have seen it work many times by shortening the duration and easing the symptoms of the flu.
If you are interested in the vitamin C I use and recommend, here are two types I like. One is called Esterol and it comes in capsules, and the other is called Vitamin C powder. It is mild tasting and easy to take. Both products are buffered and not likely to cause upset stomach even when taken at high doses.
By the way, drinking extra orange juice is not going to give you enough vitamin C to protect you from the flu. It will, however, give you plenty of sugar which might in fact weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to the flu or other infections.