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SWINE FLU and IMMUNE HEALTH

Tom Kane

The number of questions that I am receiving regarding the "Swine Flu" increases daily. The questions usually take the form of, "What are you doing about this flu bug?" I will skip the theory part, except to inform you that the Level 6 warning from WHO does not describe the severity of the flu, it describes how quickly the virus is spreading. I am not minimizing the Swine flu, but merely attempting to provide balance to the media. There is currently no evidence to support that this flu will destroy large parts of humanity.

First, there are no guarantees with any intervention, including drugs, nutrients, or prayers. I mention this fact in an effort to be realistic. Think of the nutritional interventions to combat illness as a five-point seat belt that is employed by professional Formula 1 drivers. The five-point seat belt will provide the best protection available. Despite this increased safety provided by the five-point seat belt, the professional driver avoids crashing into a wall. The point here is to exercise the normal precautions; wash hands, avoid crowds, avoid the hospital, etc, as well as adding protective nutrition.

  1. Tamiflu and Relenza. These drugs work. They interrupt RNA codes of thee virus by blocking a specific enzyme (neuraminidases) upon which Swine Flu is dependent. Instead of the drugs, I take quercitin, a flavanoid found in tea, and ECCG, a flavanoid in green tea. Quercitin and ECCG also interrupt the neuraminidase enzymes, the same as Tamiflu and Relenza. However, the nutrients have no side effects and they promote health in numerous other ways (something that drugs do not provide). Remember, drugs are for 'Sick care', nutrients are for 'Health care'. Until the medical literature states, "You are not depressed, you have a "Prozac deficiency," or a " You do not have high blood pressure, you have a calcium channel blocker deficiency,' that's my story and I am sticking to it!
  2. Resveratrol. It does not kill the virus, it interferes with virus cellular pathways, inhibiting viral spread within the host organism (you are the host organism).
  3. Vitamin D. It affects so many physiological pathways that, if you are not taking supplemental D, you are not interested in optimum health. There is so much research demonstrating that D modulates immunity (boosts and controls immunity), that even the mainstream media is reporting the benefits. D stimulates genes that create anti-microbial proteins (peptides). Do not be fooled into believing you get enough D from the sun. The oils in the skin that are required to produce D are washed off with regular bathing. I am willing to bet that everyone reading this email bathes regularly (once per day). Therefore, the natural D that you can produce from the sun is limited. Sadly, sunscreen prevents the body from utilizing the sun to produce D. Your tan may look good, but it does not mean you have received the benefits from the sun.
  4. Vitamin C. It works if you take enough of it. Especially when combined with similar nutrients like N-acetylcysteine and lipoic acid.
  5. Selenium. This mineral interferes with enzymes that viruses need to replicate them selves, and it works differently than quercitin and ECCG.
  6. Avoid sugar. Sugars (fruit juice included) negatively impact immunity by reducing T cell and neutrophil activity. Higher protein has the opposite effect. I apologize to all the vegetarians, but those are the facts. Though vegetarians may consume higher amounts of beneficial flavanoids, their elevated blood sugar and lack of protein works against these positive components of plants, which is another reason why the imagined benefits that vegetarians proclaim have never proven.
  7. Consider a natural immune booster — Epicor, Beta glucan, etc.
  8. Exercise. Exercise can boost or suppress the immune system. Mild exercise can stimulate immunity immediately (no equipment needed, just take a walk). Strenuous exercise, especially strenuous 'aerobic' exercise can suppress immunity for a 24-48 hour window. Therefore, during the first 24-48 hours following strenuous exercise, you are more vulnerable to all contagious organisms, especially viruses because they reproduce much faster than bacteria. I know your high school football coach, the guys at the club, and your personal trainers' (many of which have taken a certification course that does not require a high school diploma) will contradict me (personal trainers are the largest source of disinformation for health and exercise). But epidemiological data suggest that athletes (especially joggers, bikers, rowers, swimmers) are at increased risk for upper respiratory infections during periods of training, sometimes for up to 1-to 2-weeks following marathon-type events. The reason is a decrease in immune system function (diminished T cell and neutrophil function). This "open window," after exercise leaves you more vulnerable than the proverbial couch potato. For 'All ye macho men of yore' that may think they are too strong to be brought to their knees by some bug, I have taken the liberty to supply a few scientific references.

Regards to all,

Tom

Selected References

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