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Swine Flu - Protection and Prevention

Swine Flu - By Dr. Lynn Toohey, PhD ~ Sept. 2009

On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6 in response to the ongoing global spread of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, otherwise known as swine flu. This virus is cause for concern, but not panic, as the pandemic alert is a reflection of the spread, not the severity of illness caused by the virus. However, since the virus gained strength in a time that was not even considered "flu season", concern is once again raised, now that flu season is upon us in a pandemic state. There are shifts in the normally higher ratio of the elderly and very young affected by the virus, however the immune-compromised are still being hit the hardest. Each year 50 to 100 children die of seasonal flu. It is not clear whether the new virus is more dangerous than ordinary seasonal flu for kids, though some health officials suspect it is. Swine flu is causing more suffering in children and young adults than the normal flu (Normally, half or more of the children who die of the flu are 4 and under, however more than 80 percent of the kids who died with swine flu were 5 through 17. ) At least 40 children have died, accounting for about one in 13 U.S. swine flu deaths, scientists with the CDC said Thursday, Sept. 3; two-thirds of those had high-risk health problems, whereas only a third of the children who died in a previous flu season had those conditions. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) experts hypothesize that since it is a new virus that will spread the fastest with new exposure, and children/young adults aged 5-17 are in schools, it would explain the different ratios with this flu. Doctors speculate that older age groups have some protection, because the virus resembles a strain of flu that circulated before 1957, to which older people have been exposed, says Colin Lee, associate medical officer of health in Ontario's Simcoe-Muskoka region. That might explain why people aged 20-50 are actually harder hit than the elderly with this flu.

Influenza viruses are generally constantly mutating, but every once in awhile, the virus shifts its genetic structure so that our immune systems are challenged. (This usually happens when a flu virus found in animals - like the avian flu still circulating in Asia - swaps genes with other viruses in a process called re-assortment, and jumps to human beings.) A flu pandemic occurs when a new flu virus emerges for which humans have little or no immunity and then spreads easily from person to person around the world. Avian flu is severe but not easily spread. Swine flu is not severe but easily spread. In the 20th century we had two mild flu pandemics (1968 and 1957), and the severe "Spanish flu" pandemic of 1918, which was both deadly AND spread quickly, killing an estimated 40 to 50 million people worldwide.

What Can You Do To Strengthen the Immune System?

The H1N1 strain does not appear to be more virulent than a normal flu strain, but how do we build defenses for such a widespread virus?

Nutri-West's Total Virx: (Olive leaf powder and extract, elderberry extract, astragalus, glycerol monolaurate, lysine, vitamin C, etc.). Olive leaf extract and elderberry extract are strong immune support nutrients. Researchers report that a female, taking no HIV drugs, used an elderberry extract with olive leaf extract and experienced a viral load drop from 17,000 to 4,000, and also that a placebo-controlled double-blind study demonstrated that elderberry extract led to a rapid recovery from influenza and inhibited replication of nine other strains of the flu virus. A theory is that elderberry renders viruses nonfunctional by staining and coating them" (Konlee, M. A new triple combination therapy. Posit Health News. 1998 Fall;(No 17):12-4.) Other well-controlled trials also report that a "complete cure was achieved within 2 to 3 days in nearly 90% of the elderberry extract-treated group (Zackay RZ et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Altern Complement Med. 1995 Winter;1(4):361-9.) Other nutrients in Total Virx combine to make a powerful formula.

"Take 2 tablets of Total Virx and Total Multimune initially, then one per hour for the first day, and then lower the dose. Flu symptoms are usually better in six hours. If vomiting is present, add L-Glutamine Plus, 4 tablets initially and then one per hour; if bowel disturbance, add Total Probiotics, one capsule every four hours; Drink plenty of filtered water and rest." - Dr. Ben Markham (D.C.)

Nutri-West's China West Ilex Formula (CW #15) "is one of those items that have a permanent space allocated in my personal medicine cabinet. It is not something I would ever be without. I have not experienced the full manifestation of Influenza (or the common cold) in 15 years nor has my wife. At the first symptom, I take my temperature. If it is elevated I make the assumption that it is probably due to the influenza virus. My regimen consists of taking two tablets of CW #15 initially, followed by one tablet every waking hour. My experience has been that by the following morning, all symptoms are gone*. Also, I have been in telephone communication with a woman in Colorado whose husband was diagnosed by his opthamologist with the Herpes virus in his eyes. I recommended the same dosage schedule for him and the last report I received from her indicated that the herpes virus was gone after two weeks of therapy." (*The CW# 16 Lonicera formula is also a wonderful formula to use at first signs of flu. Again, symptoms can nearly be gone in 24 hours, and if symptoms persist on the second day, switch to Ilex #15; the strength of CW #16 is in early detection to avoid wind-heat invasion). - Dr. Ken Edwards (D.C., D.A.C.B.N).

Nutri-West's Sago-C 500 (Includes 500 mg Sago palm vitamin C with bioflavonoids, propolis, and synergistic immune ingredients) OR C-1000 TR (1,000 mg vitamin C with bioflavonoids):

In a controlled trial of over 700 students, the vitamin C-treated test group (showing flu/cold symptoms) given 1,000 mg every hour for the first six hours (and three X daily afterwards) vs. the control population (reporting symptoms) who were treated with pain relievers and decongestants showed an 85% reduction in symptoms. Vitamin C "administered before or after the appearance of cold and flu symptoms relieved and prevented the symptoms in the test population compared with the control group" (Gorton HC. The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Oct;22(8):530-3.)

Nutri-West's Total Flu-Cld #1 Nasal Spray (Homeopathic) (includes: Gel 12x, Eup perf 12x, Ferr phos 12x, Byr 12x, Merc sub cor 12 x, Ars alb 12x, Ird 12x, Echin 3x, Bapt 3x and Phyt 3x)

Homeopathic Remedies have been found to be useful in conditions of flu (Jaber R. Respiratory and allergic diseases: from upper respiratory tract infections to asthma. Prim Care. 2002 Jun;29(2):231-61.) Gelsemium and Byronia, for instance "are the two most frequently indicated homeopathic flu medicines used to treat the flu… and homeopathy carries the potential to make a dramatic difference in any flu epidemic without the risk of drug side effects" (Randall Neustaedter OMD, Flu: Alternative treatments and prevention. North Atlantic Books, 2005). Eupatorium Perf is a well-known homeopathic remedy for flu-like symptoms (Jaric S, et al. An ethnobotanical study on the usage of wild medicinal herbs from Kopaonik Mountain (Central Serbia). J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 20;111(1):160-175.) It is especially good for relief of headache, violent chills, and bone-pains. Echinacea Purp homeopathic has been found to "modulate peritoneal inflammatory reaction and have a cytoprotective action on leukocytes" (Pedalino CM, Effect of Atropa belladonna and Echinacea angustifolia in homeopathic dilution on experimental peritonitis. Homeopathy. 2004 Oct;93(4):193-8.) It is particularly helpful in controlling fever and lymphatic inflammation.

If you are a client of mine, feel free to call NutriWest at 1-800-443-3333 and order any of the above remedies for prevention and protection from the flu. I f you are not a client and want to order any of the above supplements, you can call NutriWest and tell them I am your referring doctor and that you would like to set up an account to place an order, they take visa or master card and can ship internationally. And, feel free to call me or drop me a line with any questions or concerns.

Dr. Di

Dr. Diane Spindler has 20 years of experience in Microbiology and Biochemical research. Her continued education in related fields combined with a passion for healing inspired her to open her practice ?Mountain Holistic Health, Inc.? in Indian Hills, Colorado in 1996. Dr. Di is a Licensed and Certified Traditional Naturopath with a PhD in Nutrition. Her services are availible locally and long distance. To contact her call 303-697-1736 or diane@mountainholistic.com.

The statements in all articles have not been evaluated by the FDA. The nutritional information, suggestions, and research provided are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease and should not be used as a substitute for sound medical advice. Please see your health care professional in all matters pertaining to your physical health.

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