Protect Yourself From the Flu … and the Vaccine

Media chatter about the expected flu pandemic has been ramping up lately.

Could it be because of “Big Pharma”? Pharmaceutical giants like Baxter and Novartis are preparing for mass inoculations against H1N1 (swine) flu by this fall.

A while back, a batch of Baxter’s seasonal flu vaccine was “accidentally” contaminated with the human form of the deadly avian flu virus. It was then distributed to 18 countries. This virus has a 60 percent kill rate. And if a lab in the Czech Republic hadn’t discovered it, this “mistake” could have resulted in millions of deaths.

When I heard about the contamination, I made a decision to avoid getting a flu shot. I have also warned friends and family that a mild case of the flu ultimately may be safer than the long- term effects of the vaccine.

And now I have news to share that may protect you from the flu itself.

I recently read an article by John J. Cannell, MD. Dr. Cannell is a psychiatrist at Atascadero State Hospital in California. In 2005, an influenza A epidemic broke out in the hospital. One by one, each ward became infected. Patients came down with chills, fever, cough, and severe body aches.

Only one ward remained free of infection: Dr. Cannell’s.

Why? His patients intermingled with patients from other wards. And they were not noticeably different in terms of age, health, or medical treatment.

The only difference? Dr. Cannell’s patients had been receiving a daily dose of 2,000 IU of vitamin D for several months. That’s it. All his patients took vitamin D. And not one caught the flu!

Dr. Cannell’s research then led him to some remarkable discoveries… including one about the effectiveness of vitamin D as a potent antibiotic and antiviral. Vitamin D boosts the body’s production of antimicrobial peptides. This class of proteins quickly destroys the cell walls of bacteria, viruses (including influenza), and fungi. They also keep the lungs free from infection.

But that’s not all. While vitamin D destroys flu-causing viruses, it simultaneously performs another life-saving function. It prevents the immune system from producing a dangerous amount of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) that attack sensitive respiratory membranes. Cytokines are an important part of your immune system. But in severe cases of the flu, their production spirals out of control, causing high fever and extreme fatigue. In fact, in most cases, this “cytokine storm” is the actual cause of death .

Vitamin D can be taken as a supplement. But the best source of vitamin D is moderate and consistent sun exposure.According to Dr. Al Sears, Chairman of the Board of A dvisors for Total Health Breakthroughs, sun exposure :

  • Increases the number of disease-fighting white blood cells in the body.
  • Increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This helps fight cancer and stimulate immunity.
  • Moderates and down-regulates your immune response. (It is the over-activity of the immune system that is responsible for autoimmune diseases.)

Our prehistoric ancestors wore loin cloths and spent most of their time out doors. With only 20 minutes of full body exposure to strong sunlight, they were able to synthesize as much as 20,000 units of vitamin D within 48 hours. That exposure gave mankind built-in immunity to contagious diseases.

Compare that to the way society has evolved. We spend most of our time indoors. And when we do spend time outside, most people slather their skin with sun block. Which means even less vitamin D for our already deficient bodies.

No wonder influenza continues to be a plague.

It is an established fact that most of us are deficient in vitamin D. Says Dr. Sears, “Vitamin D deficiency is truly reaching a crisis. One recent study suggests that more than 1 billion people worldwide are deficient in this vital nutrient.”

There is absolutely no doubt that sunlight is the best source of vitamin D. But most people cannot get enough from sun exposure alone. Either our lifestyle and work schedule does not allow us to spend enough time in the sun. Or, for those who live in a northern (or far southern) climate, the sun is too low in the sky most of the year to produce adequate vitamin D. The elderly and those with dark skin are also at much greater risk of deficiency.

This means most people should be supplementing with vitamin D. Knowing this, I recently began taking 2,000 units per day. (Though I live in Florida, I’m not outdoors as much as I would like to be.)

Dr. Sears – along with ETR Health Editor Jon Herring – has put together a powerful expose that explains why most medical professionals are so against sunshine. And why they’re dead wrong.

But that’s not all. Jon and Dr. Sears also advise you on:

  • The test you need to determine your optimal level of vitamin D
  • How much you should be taking to keep your levels in the normal range
  • How to know if you are at risk for deficiency
  • Which brands offer the highest quality, most active form of vitamin D
  • Take the time to educate yourself about vitamin D and the natural healing power of the sun. You’ll be one step ahead of the flu … and the vaccine.