Dealing with the latest flu scare

When it comes to flu scares, I guess you could consider me a skeptic. Basically I continue to see the flu as a mild though annoying seasonal illness that can be effectively prevented, or its impact lessened, with a few simple measures.

Over centuries there have been a small number of more severe flu outbreaks that caused thousands of deaths over short periods of time. While the risk of such an outbreak in our lifetimes is remote, it does exist, as do the risk of being struck by lightning, being run over by a car, or drowning at the beach.

If and when a severe flu outbreak does strike it will be from a suddenly mutated strain of the flu virus and vaccines will be of no use. In fact, there will be little to do aside from the simple preventive measures I am about to discuss below.

In the past decade or so we faced a SARS outbreak that was sure to be the next killer flu, then bird flu with regular updates on its spread until it was suddenly dropped from the news, and now swine flu. Once again, at least from what I am seeing, aside from an original and small nucleus of people in Mexico City, and a couple who travelled out of Mexico City, this newest killer flu isn’t killing anyone. Meanwhile we continue to move towards broader mandates for flu vaccines and a public perception of the flu as a serious illness…

Here are the products I recommend to prevent the flu, which are ones I have researched and used personally and in my practice, and have found that they will effectively prevent the flu the great majority of the time. Occasionally, even those who take these preventive measures – in addition to others such as frequent handwashing – may still get the flu but it will be milder than in the general public.

All products are available through my office or my online shopping cart.

Vitamin C
Though most people have heard about the benefits of Vitamin C I am not sure why it is so often forgotten, or how it became widely accepted that it isn’t effective, when nothing could be further from the truth.

In my work I am exposed to just about every bug around and, through trial and error, i have found that 2 grams of Vitamin C in the morning and 2 at night give me optimal protection, and that’s what I take and recommend. Some people may find that taking this much Vitamin C causes intestinal side effects (uncomfortable but not dangerous) and in these cases I recommend backing down to the highest dose tolerated without any side effects.

The idea that eating oranges or drinking orange juice is equivalent is simply not true. I tried it and it doesn’t work. You simply cannot get sufficient amounts of Vitamin C in that way to produce adequate protection.

For children I recommend dividing 4,000 mg by 150 (the average weight of an adult as measured in pounds) then multiplying it by the child’s weight. Then round the amount up. As with adults, if the childhas trouble tolerating this amount, I recommend reducing it to the highest dose tolerated. When taking high doses of Vitamin C, it is important to take it in buffered form or its acidity could be a source of digestive side effects. I recommend two products: one is Vitamin C Powder and the second, in capsules, is called Esterol.

Vitamin D3
Although it is well known that flu viruses tend to die off or weaken in spring and summer, the reason for this was not understood until recent research uncovered that the level of Vitamin D – which goes up in people’s blood as the days become longer and there are more hours of sunshine every day – also dramatically increases the body’s defenses from viral infections.

One factor that interferes with Vitamin D synthesis in the body is high levels of atmospheric pollution, which prevents the sun’s radiation needed to make vitamin D from reaching the earth. So it is very interesting that the severe form of this flu hit in late spring in Mexico City, where pollution is horrendous.

To increase your body’s viral defenses at any time of year I recommend 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day for adults and children weighing more than 60 pounds, and 1,000 IU for smaller children.

The products I carry at my office are Vitamin D3 in 2,000 IU capsules and Vitamin D3 Liquid, which is tasteless and provides 1,000 IU per drop. These amounts have been determined to be universally safe regardless of exposure to the sun, and any additional amounts of Vitamin D in a multivitamin you might be taking are usually small and therefore not influential.

Although most people are familiar with Echinacea, and it is definitely a beneficial herb, a mix of traditional herbs from India called Flucomune is, in my opinion, better. It can help prevent the flu and, if taken at a higher dose if the disease is contracted, it can lessen its duration and severity. One of the other many benefits of this powerful mix of herbs is relief from seasonal and other allergies.

For flu prevention or allergies, take 2 capsules twice a day (with food) daily. For acute illness, such as a flu, take 3 capsules three times a day for as long as needed. For children, reduce these doses proportionately depending on their weight. For example, for a child who is around 60 pounds I would recommend 1 capsule twice a day for prevention and 4-5 per day total for acute events. For a 40-pound child I would recommend half a capsule twice a day and 1 twice a day respectively for prevention and acute events.

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