With more cases of Swine Influenza reported to the Center for Disease Control, it is evident that there is a need to improve our immune defenses.
Swine Influenza is being contracted by people who otherwise appear healthy. This is unlike the standard flus which affect the elderly or those with severely comprimised immune function such as HIV patients.
The individuals with Swine Influenza who appear healthy likely do not have an effective immune system.
In order to effectively mount an immune response against Swine Influenza, the body's immune system needs to have the necessary tools to develop antibodies.
The immune system utilizes five main nutrients:
My opinion: The Center for Disease control should demand hospitals to take serum vitamin D, vitamin A, zinc and selenium levels from patients who have Swine Influenza. My bet is at least some of these nutrients are deficient in the victims of Swine Inlfuenza.
Public Health is already working on vitamin D fortification of all dairy products to help reduce the amount of individuals who are Vitamin D deficient.
However, the problem with vitamin D fortification in dairy products is three-fold.
One is they use the less effective form of vitamin D: ergocalciferol, which is vitamin D2.
Two is the amount of Vitamin D2 used is ineffective to raise deficient vitamin D blood levels.
Three is not everyone consumes dairy products nor should they begin to do so. This is especially true of children aged 0 to 2 years old. Dairy products are a common cause of otitis media which is a common ear infection in children.
The proper way to increase vitamin D is:
expose bare arms and legs to the sun for 20 minutes a day - OR -
take a minimum of 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 which is cholecalciferol
If an individual's vitamin D status is normal, but their vitamin A, zinc and selenium status are low, then the immune response towards Swine Influenza may still not be effective.
Imagine how you start your car in the morning and the steps involved. If any of the steps are missed, the car will not start and you don't go anywhere.
This is the exact same process your body goes through in order for you to mount an attack against a virus, keep your eyes moist, activate your muscles, deliver oxygen to your tissues and so on.
I highly recommend that you consider obtaining the proper tools to get your immune system up to speed.
The four nutrients listed above are an essential first step to getting your immune system up to par. Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, zinc and selenium.
We are not quite done yet. There is more.
Proper dietary habits and stress reduction also play a role. This obviously can be a complicated fix so we can side-step changing the average "Stressed-Out person who eats pizza with every meal diet" by increasing intake of amino acids and B vitamins.
Antibodies cannot be built in numbers if one does not have ample supply of antibody building blocks. These building blocks are amino acids.
A great way to obtain amino acids even if you eat poorly is to take Whey Protein. Whey protein is the highest biological value protein available. It contains high levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) and easy to absorb forms of di- and tri-peptides for nitrogen retention support.
Individuals who are stressed out, exercise intensely or have a poor diet are likely low in B vitamins. While B vitamins are not directly linked to proper immune function, they help maintain proper mood. If an individual is stressed, cortisol increases which shuts down certain aspects of our immune system. An interesting article about Cortisol and Immunity is worth a read.
In summary, to improve resistance against Swine Influenza:
increase Vitamin D3 levels
ensure intake of adequate protein with each meal (talk with your doctor about this if you have kidney failure)
decrease stress levels through exercise, intake of B vitamins, proper sleep schedule, activities with friends and family and with the tonifying herb Ashwagandha
increase selenium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D and whey protein when traveling, in crowds of people or at the first sign of an illness.
if lung health diminshes, add N-acetyl-l-cysteine to your daily routine.
The easiest way to take these nutrients is to combine them with each other.
At the first sign of illness, traveling by plane or in a very crowded environment such as a carnival or fair, consider mixing the following for an adult in a 1/4 of Pomegranate Juice or your favorite juice:
Drink quickly and follow with 8 ounces of filtered water. Then have a meal or large protein snack such as a peanut butter sandwich. Fat soluble nutrients such as Vitamin A and D require food intake for best absorption. Zinc also requires food on board to prevent an upset stomach. Never take zinc on an empty stomach.
Cut the above amounts in 1/2 for a child.
If you end up getting ill, consider taking the same suggested amounts above but do it for 3 days in a row. After the 3rd day, stop for 3 days. High doses of Vitamin A and D are ok to take for a few days at a time but not on a consistent basis.
If you do not have a fever, get one. Do not take tylenol or aspirin if your fever is lower than 104 degrees farhenheit. Your body raises your core temperature to combat viral and bacterial infections. Suppressing fever that is within the safe range can be a deadly mistake.
One can induce fever by getting into a sauna or taking a hot moor mud bath. During times of illness, it is best to limit time spent in a sauna or moor mud bath to 15 minutes. You can do this repeatedly over the day but do not exceed 15 minutes of moor mud bathing or sauna time.