Nutritional medicine versus vaccines for swine flu
Nutritional medicine versus vaccines for swine flu
A recent study showed colostrum, a nutritional medicine, was at least 3 times more effective than vaccination to prevent flu and is also very cost-effective. There are also other nutritional medicines which have been researched and have been shown to raise immunity against invading pathogens and flu.
There is much controversy about the best approach to take with the H1N1 “swine flu” virus. Symptoms so far have in general been relatively mild, however, the flu has such unique characteristics that nobody can really predict which way it may develop.
Reports in the July New England journal of Medicine note that “historically, pandemic viruses have evolved between seasons and the current strain may become more severe or transmissible in the coming months”.
Currently there is no conclusive evidence to show that mass vaccination is the answer to this pandemic. Oxford University researchers have warned Government that anti virals are not a “magic bullet” against flu and that resistance to the drug could develop making it useless to fight any stronger strain in the future.
So concerned is flu expert Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor at Aberdeen University, that he has called for the national flu line to be shut down.
What makes Swine flu different from other types of flues?
There is currently no vaccine for this strain. There are 3 types of virus, A,B and C. Swine flu is a type A virus and has already appeared 3 times, with differing levels of virulence. It was originally circulated around North America in pigs. It is an RNA virus and its geno is in at least 8 different segments from 4 different sources. This makes it a hybrid and very difficult to assess.
Vaccines for Swine Flu
How risky is the new swine flu vaccine?
Over 60% of GPs surveyed in the healthcare Republic, the website of GP magazine have said they would oppose immunisation because they are concerned that safety trials are being rushed and could not guarantee safety.
In another much bigger survey of nurses published by Nursing Times it found over a 1/3 of 1,500 nurses would refuse vaccination. 50% said they “believe that swine flu is too mild to justify taking the vaccine”. Only 8.7% said they did not believe they were at risk.
How effective is the antiviral Tamifu?
No one really knows how effective Tamiflu may be in reducing swine flu mortality. It has rarely been used in the UK and mass use safety profiles do not exist. There could be problems with illness and even mortality due to the drug.
Are there side effects to using Tamiflu and other antivirals?
Yes. Tamiflu has been used since 1999. Most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, insomnia, cough, dizziness and nightmares. Half of all children may get these side effects, although it is difficult to know how severe they could be. Currently, the over use of Tamiflu is resulting in extra visits to GPs and placing additional strain on the NHS.
How are Influenza viruses made and are they safe for people with egg allergies?
They are presently produced in embryonic chicken eggs. It requires a huge amount of eggs, an extensive purification process to reduce the amount of contaminating egg protein. It has been recommended by the ACAAI (American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology) that people with egg allergies should be given a patch test to the flu vaccine itself.
Does exposure to Swine flu give us any adaptive immunity?
No. Exposure to Swine flu does not impart any adaptive immunity to Swine flu. This virus is a combination of genes (8) that has never been seen before. As our immune systems have had no exposure to this combination before there is no inherited memory and it is capable of mutating so quickly that we cannot catch up.
Nutritional medicine for Swine Flu
Nutritional medicine works with our ‘innate’ immunity and it is a remarkably sophisticated branch of our defence system. It is “hard-wired” to respond rapidly to viruses by using genetically encoded effectors that are ready for activation against an antigen. Swine flu is an example of an antigen.
When the body perceives there to be an antigen, it brings out an army of responses, chemical and physical to kill or neutralise the attack.
The body also has mechanical barriers to viruses. The respiratory tract is lined with various mucus secretory cells. Foreign particles that enter the nasal cavity and go down into the lungs are trapped in mucus and carried to the back of the throat where they are swallowed or spat out. 95% of infections are started at these mucosal surfaces.
SIgA is the first line of defence against viruses, bacteria, food residues, yeast and parasites. It is an antibody which plays a primary role in mucosal immunity. It is found in phlegm and other mucous secretions.
1. Supplementation of a non pathogenic yeast. It has been shown in animal and human studies to be an effective promoter of SigA. It also reduces gut permeability, stopping pathogens from getting into the blood stream via the digestive tract.
2. Supplementation of specified and researched probiotics which increase SigA and improve immune tolerance, as well as restricting viral and pathogen adhesion and penetration. Probiotics are live “friendly bacteria” found naturally in the gut, particular foods and supplements.
3. Supplementation of vitamin D. Vitamin D has profound effects on human immunity including the prevention of influenza. It acts as an immune system modulator and prevents inflammation, which in itself can be life threatening. It plays a major role in protecting the lungs from infection. Vitamin D deficiency is common in the winter.
There are at least 6 studies that show an inverse relationship between colds and flues and low levels of vitamin D
In 1981, R. Edgar Hope-Simpson proposed that a ‘seasonal stimulus ’ intimately associated with solar radiation explained the remarkable seasonality of epidemic influenza. The sun triggers robust seasonal vitamin D production in the skin; vitamin D deficiency is common in the winter.
Review article. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol. Infect. Page 1 of 12. f 2006 Cambridge University Press
Widespread Vitamin D deficiency in infants and toddlers
A shocking new study has found wide spread deficiency of vitamin D in children from 2 to 8 years old. There have been concerns that this may be due to lack of exposure to sunlight and over-use of sunscreens due to skin cancer concerns.
Colostrum, both in healthy subjects and high-risk cardiovascular patients was at least 3 times more effective than vaccination to prevent flu and is very cost-effective
Prevention of influenza episodes with specified probiotic, compared with vaccination in healthy and high-risk cardiovascular subjects. A study involving 144 healthy and unhealthy subjects over a 2 month period.
Healthy group. After 3 months of follow up. The number of days with flu was 3 times higher in non probiotic subjects. TheThe probiotic group had 13 episodes versus 13 in the probiotic + vaccination group, 41 without any preventative medicine and 57 in and 57 in non treated subjects. High risk group, 65 were very high-risk cardiovascular subjects, all of whom were taking preventative medicine. The incidence of complications and hospital admission was 3 times higher in the group that received only a vaccination compared with specific probiotic groups.
The Epidemiologic Study in San Valentino-Spoltore Vascular Screening Project, Dept of biomedical Sciences, GD Annunzio University, Chieti, Pescara, Italy.
|About The Author
Jill Hyams is a qualified Nutritional Therapist based in Muswell Hill, North London. She typically sees clients from the surrounding areas of Finchley, Highgate, Hampstead, Haringey, Crouch End and New Southgate
To find out more about Jill’s work, visit her GoToSee profile page here
If you would like to purchase any of the remedies researched in the article or would like to discuss a health concern please email: firstname.lastname@example.org , telephone 020 8883 5378 or mobile 07815 111502