Colds and flu prevention

February 23, 2012

Colds, Flu, Health Concerns, Vaccination

The common cold and flu are the result of a viral assault on an impaired immune system, not an inevitable result of viral exposure alone.

Many scientific studies have repeatedly found that there is little or no evidence backing flu vaccines as an effective flu-prevention strategy. Evidence is mounting in support of vitamin D as a potential cold and flu prevention strategy. However, optimizing your vitamin D levels through regular sun exposure is preferred, as the sun imparts health benefits beyond what you can get from oral supplements.

The common cold and flu are the result of a viral assault on an impaired immune system, not an inevitable result of viral exposure alone. Factors that influence your immune function include diet, well-chosen supplements, exercise and proper sleep. Effective all-natural cold and flu treatments include zinc, green tea, vitamin C, mushrooms, chicken soup and more.

Colds and various influenzas are caused by a wide variety of viruses (not bacteria). While the two ailments typically affect the respiratory tract, there are some differences. Symptoms of a common cold include runny nose, congestion, cough and sore throat. Symptoms of the flu tend to be much more severe, as influenza viruses are capable of causing severe lung infection, pneumonia and even respiratory failure. They also tend to affect the joints — hence, that achy feeling. These viruses are most commonly spread via personal contact. However, exposure to a cold virus does not mean that you will catch a cold.

Your immune system can be suppressed by lifestyle factors that, alone or in combination, include eating too many grains and sugar, particularly fructose. The average person consumes approximately 75 grams of fructose per day, and when fructose is consumed at that level, the immune system can become compromised. It is wise to limit your total fructose consumption to less than 25 grams a day if you are in good health, or below 15 grams a day if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or are insulin-resistant.

Consuming too much sugar, fructose and grains will unbalance your gut flora. Sugar is fertilizer for pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi, which can set your immune system up for an assault by a respiratory virus. Remember, 80 percent of your immune system actually lies in your gastrointestinal tract, which is why controlling your sugar intake is crucial for optimizing your immune system.

Source: www.naturalnews.com and www.mercola.com.

 

Reprinted from AZNetNews, Volume 30, Number 6, Dec/Jan 2012.

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