fluThey’re calling it the worst flu in 5 years. The H1N1 strain, the infamous ‘swine flu’ is back. The authorities want everyone vaccinated, but what if you have a compromised immune system? Over the age of 65? Already showing symptoms? What should you do?

The flu shot is redesigned every year based on the predictions of experts who determine which strains of the flu virus they expect to be the most prevalent in the coming season. Since you can’t vaccinate for all strains, and the virus mutates and evolves constantly, it makes it a bit of a dice roll as to how effective the flu shot will be in a given year.

This year, the predominance of the H1N1 strain is something that flu experts admit has caught them by surprise. So far in California 95 people have died this year from the flu, but the number is likely greater since the state of California only requires reporting flu deaths in children and young adults.

According to Dr. Gil Chavez, the state's epidemiologist and deputy director of the Center for Infectious Diseases, says that 80-90% of the flu deaths in California occurred in those who had a health condition that put them at greater risk. People who are smokers and obese are at higher risk of complications, as well as pregnant women and people with lung, heart and immune system problems.

In a meta study on flu vaccine effectiveness, it was shown that flu shots are roughly 2% effective. The common claim that they are 60% effective is a statistical misrepresentation. You can read more about this in our article on flu shots here: http://www.nutrikon.com/blog/cat/news/post/flu-epidemic-flu-shots/

Considering that the people most likely to die from the flu are those with compromised immunity. Smoking, alcohol, obesity, hormone imbalances, autoimmune diseases, poor diet, excess sugar consumption, and a host of other factors can all affect your body’s immune system performance. Even if you got the flu shot, if you have an impaired or under performing immune system, your body will not be able to make antibodies against the virus as effectively as someone with a healthy immune system. Also, even if you do make some antibodies and develop some immunity with the flu shot, it may not even be the right strain of flu!

There may actually be negative health consequences to getting the flu shot. An examination of the ingredients of some of the common flu shots reveals a host of toxic ingredients, most notable among them formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), Triton-X100 (an industrial detergent), and a myriad of preservatives mixed together in egg protein.

We have many clients with compromised immune systems, If any of the above ingredients were in any of our health products, we’d be in jail, or at least bankrupted from lawsuits.

If flu shots were truly effective, we would advocate them passionately. Unfortunately, the shot is not only ineffective, but poisonous. The most effective flu prevention strategy is based on the realities of the human immune system and understanding its mechanisms of transmission.

sneezeAirborne viruses are transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and heavy breathing of infected individuals, as well as through body fluids. This is nothing new, and it is the reason people are asked to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough.

If someone you know is showing flu symptoms, keep strict hygiene standards when interacting with them. Do not share eating utensils wit them. Disinfect surfaces they contact and always wash your hands before eating, drinking, or putting your hands to your face.

As far as preventing infection from sources or individuals you are unaware of, or if you have an impaired or under performing immune system, to provide your body with additional immune system support through proper diet and supplementation.

First are the don’ts: Don’t consume ANY sugar, which includes fructose. A little fructose is fine now and again, but if you are concerned about the risk of viral infection, it is best to avoid it altogether. Sucrose, glucose, fructose, sugar, brown sugar, etc are all immune system depressants. They severely reduce the performance and activity of T-cell which are the part of the immune system that fight viruses.

Don’t smoke or drink alcohol. These should be permanent health improvements, but especially if you wish to prevent a flu infection. These habits deplete essential nutrients from the body and impair the immune system and liver.

Don’t consume pro-inflammatory foods. These foods produce improper immune system responses and can leave the body more vulnerable to infections, as well as cause harm by an over aggressive immune system that actually damages the body rather than heals it. The major foods to avoid are gluten and dairy, as well as egg yolk, coffee, and peanuts.

veggiesWhat you should do to support your immune system is eat lots of cruciferous vegetables, not just green leafy vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, watercress, cauliflower, bok choy and others contain special nutrients that actually help protect against viruses and bacteria, even some types of cancers! For more info, see our article on cruciferous vegetables here: http://www.nutrikon.com/blog/cruciferous-vegetables/

There are also several strong immune boosting supplements that you can take preventatively to reduce your risk of flu infection. The major ones are:

Vitamin C

BRM4 and Humacel are the key supplements that provide protective support against viral infections. BRM4 boosts activity of T-cells, also called natural killer cells because they kill viruses, harmful bacteria, and other invading organisms. It also works progressively, meaning that the longer you take it, the greater the immune system activity becomes. This is why it is important to start taking these supplements and modifying your diet as early as possible to build up the immune system for the greatest protective benefit.