Here is some great information on what to do and not to do when you are coming down with the flu. The vitamin D recommendation is higher than I have heard before, but it is probably based on newer research.
A new study has led to what is perhaps
the most ludicrous recommendation for flu treatment ever -- statin drugs!
The researchers reported that statin use may reduce death risk in people
hospitalized with the flu, and the media is reporting sensational headlines like
"Statins reduce flu death risk by
This is particularly outrageous, because the study was seriously flawed and
designed to make statin drugs useful for another condition while they do nothing
to address the underlying cause.
To validly determine if statin drugs are effective for flu they need to
compare it to placebo, not a poison.
So what did they do?
They compared statin drugs to other toxic drugs, this time antiviral
medications. So what the study actually found was that, more than likely,
antiviral drugs were killing people twice as quickly as the
What did the Study Really Show?
In the observational study published in The Journal of Infectious
Disease, researchers examined data from 3,000 patients hospitalized
with the flu, 33 percent of whom were given statins while the rest received
antiviral drugs. The results showed that people who did not receive statins were
twice as likely to die.
Another way of saying this, of course, is that people who received antiviral
drugs were twice as likely to die as those given statins. And what this really
means is that the antiviral medications were exceptionally harmful, not that
statins were beneficial.
Still, it is not surprising that the drug's manufacturer and the media are
reporting favorable results for statin drugs, even though the researchers
themselves pointed out the many limitations to their study, noting, for
" … it was difficult to ascertain the underlying functional health status
of these patients, which may potentially confound the relationship between
statins and severity of influenza."
Further, one of the study's authors has been a consultant to numerous drug
companies, including Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis, Pfizer, Dynavax, and
GlaxoSmithKline, whereas the study itself was funded by the Emerging Infections
Program Cooperative Agreement of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), which also has worrisome ties to the drug
Statins are Not Wonder Drugs
The drug companies started pushing their statin drugs, which are ordinarily
prescribed to lower cholesterol levels, for the flu back in 2009 during the swine flu
scare, and they are working hard to get the accepted as "wonder drugs" for
the treatment of everything from pneumonia to Alzheimer's disease.
However, as Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior
scientist at MIT, explains, statins are dangerous because they suppress the
synthesis of a true biological wonder drug, namely cholesterol. And she believes
it is actually cholesterol (in high amounts prior to patients' starting
statin therapy) that is responsible for many of the statins' alleged
"Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the
synthesis of a biological wonder drug, namely cholesterol. Repeatedly,
retrospective studies have shown an alleged benefit for statins, which is
actually a benefit derived from the many years of high cholesterol that preceded
statin treatment. This game has been played out for sepsis, pneumonia, multiple
sclerosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer's, and these are just the ones I'm aware of.
When the proper placebo-controlled study is done, the effect reverses -- statins
make the situation worse. But these negative results are kept well concealed
from the public's eyes. This is how the myth has been kept alive that statins,
instead of cholesterol, are the wonder drug."
There are, in fact, 304 adverse health effects that may be
associated with statin drugs, and this may only be the tip of the
The Truth About Antiviral Flu Drugs
Anti-viral flu drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza are conventional medicine's
go-to option for treating the flu, but you should know that they carry serious
side effects -- and may only shorten the time you are sick by one to two days.
These drugs are part of a group of anti-influenza drugs called neuraminidase
inhibitors, which work by blocking a viral enzyme that helps the influenza virus
to invade cells in your respiratory tract.
The problem is that your nervous system also contains neuraminidase enzymes
essential for proper brain functioning, and when blocked with these dangerous
drugs, severe neurotoxicity may ensue (especially in the infants and children
whose blood-brain barrier has not yet developed sufficiently).
Serious side effects include convulsions, delirium or delusions, suicidal
behavior and 14 deaths in children and teens have
been reported as a result of neuropsychiatric problems and brain infections.
Japan actually banned Tamiflu for children in 2007 because of the steep
It was also around this time that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
began reviewing reports of abnormal behavior and other brain effects in more than 1,800
children who had taken Tamiflu. Further, the drug commonly causes a myriad of side effects that,
ironically, resemble the flu symptoms the drug claims to treat. You can decide
for yourself whether these risks are worth a measly one- or two-day
reduction in your flu symptoms:
Statin Study Highlights Flu Shot Ineffectiveness
Whenever I address the topic of influenza, I like to mention flu shots,
simply because the propaganda supporting them is so widespread -- and the truth
deserves to be heard. Not only is there a shocking lack of evidence supporting
the use of the flu vaccine, but a number of studies have actually confirmed the
danger and ineffectiveness of the shots.
One major study determined that the best the flu vaccine could do during a
season where, in the rare case, the vaccine actually matched the wild-type
strains in circulation, was to reduce the risk of influenza infection by a paltry 1 percent relative to
unvaccinated controls. This means that despite receiving the shot – riddled, as
it is, with side effects such as the debilitating and potentially deadly nerve
disease Guillain-Barre Syndrome -- there is still an overwhelming likelihood
that you will not be protected from the flu as a result of receiving the
The reason for this has to do with how flu strains work. Along with the
faulty science behind the creation of the vaccine, the act of determining which
flu strains will affect your area is pretty much a guessing game. Mainstream
medical officials urge you to receive the shot, but health officials are fully
aware that it is truly impossible to know for sure which strain to vaccinate
With such a wide selection of strains (hundreds, if not thousands), it is
very rare for officials to actually pick the correct strains – the best case
scenario is that an appropriate match will occur 10 percent of the time,
according to the study. Interestingly, as it was not the researchers' intent, the statin-flu study also highlighted
the striking lack of effectiveness of the flu vaccine in preventing flu
"Our finding that vaccine was not effective in preventing mortality from
influenza is likely explained by the timing of our study. We evaluated the
impact of statins on influenza mortality in 2007–2008, a year in which the
vaccine was not well matched to the circulating viruses … In addition,
vaccination status may not impact mortality in the event of vaccine failure
regardless of match to circulating strains; 50% of our patients were over the
age of 70, an age group in which influenza vaccine is known to be less
Why Doesn't the CDC Fund a Study on Vitamin D for Flu Treatment?
Apparently the CDC would rather throw money at a potential cash cow for the
drug makers than promote the real natural alternatives that can stop the flu in
its tracks without any side effects. Where is the CDC-sponsored study on vitamin
D and the flu, for instance? According to the findings from a 2010 study that didn't get any widespread
attention, vitamin D is a highly effective way to avoid influenza. In fact,
children taking low doses of vitamin D3 were shown to be 42 percent
less likely to come down with the flu.
Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, was one of the first to
introduce the idea that vitamin D deficiency may actually be an
underlying cause of influenza, which would help explain its
apparent benefits as a flu-fighter. His hypothesis was published in the
journal Epidemiology and Infection in
2006, which was followed up with another study published in the Virology Journal in 2008.
Dr. Cannell's hypothesis received further support and confirmation when, in
the following year, the largest and most nationally representative
study of its kind to date discovered that people with the lowest blood
vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the
flu. You can find my full recommendations for how to optimize your vitamin D levels in
this past article.
There are Effective Natural Options for Beating the Flu
I have not caught the flu in over two decades, and you can avoid it too,
without using drugs or getting vaccinated. Following these guidelines will help
to keep your immune system in optimal working order so that you're far less
likely to acquire the infection to begin with -- and if you do, these strategies
will help you to get better, faster.
- Optimize your vitamin D
levels. As I've previously reported, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of
the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds, and vitamin D deficiency is likely the TRUE
culprit behind the seasonality of the flu -- not the flu virus itself. This
is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take.
If you are coming down with flu-like symptoms and have not optimized
your levels, you can take doses of 50,000 units a day a vitamin D3 for three
days to treat the acute infection.
- Avoid sugar and processed
foods. Sugar decreases the function of your immune
system almost immediately, and as you likely know, a strong immune system is key
to fighting off viruses and other illness. Be aware that sugar is present in
foods you may not suspect, like ketchup and fruit juice.
In fact, the
first thing you want to do when you feel yourself coming down with a cold or flu
is to avoid ALL sugars, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods.
- Get enough rest. Just
like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you're tired, if
your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Be sure
to check out my article Guide to a Good Night's Sleep for some
great tips to help you get quality rest.
- Implement effective tools to
address your stress. We all face some stress every day, but if
stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the
flu and other illness.
If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your
health, consider using an effective energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique, which is remarkably effective
in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to
When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow
throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better
circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an
illness before it spreads. You can review my exercise guidelines for some great
tips on how to get started.
- Take a good source of animal-based omega-3 fats like krill
oil. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the
omega-3 found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. It is also
vitally important to avoid damaged omega-6 oils like trans fats found in most
processed foods, as it will seriously damage your immune response.
- Wash your hands.
Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your
nose, mouth or other people. Be sure you don't use antibacterial soap for this
-- antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, and they cause far more harm
than good. Instead, identify a simple chemical-free soap that you can switch
your family to.
- Eat garlic regularly.
Garlic works like a broad-spectrum antibiotic against bacteria, virus, and
protozoa in your body. And unlike with antibiotics, no resistance can be built
up so it is an absolutely safe product to use. However, if you are allergic or
don't enjoy garlic it would be best to avoid as it will likely cause more harm
- Avoid hospitals whenever possible. I'd recommend you stay
away from hospitals unless you have an emergency, as hospitals are prime
breeding grounds for infections of all kinds, and could be one of the
likeliest places you could be exposed to flu bugs.
For even more details on specific immune-boosting foods and supplements that
can help boost your immune function to help you kick your cold or flu faster,
without drugs, please see my article The First Thing to do When a Cold or Flu