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Each year, millions come down with the seasonal flu. And each year, millions get their annual flu shot.
Depending on which bug you find yourself infected with, the flu vaccine may or may not protect you.
Research indicates that vaccines, at best, might be effective against only influenza A and B, which represent about 10% of all circulating viruses. (1)
Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends which viral strains should be included in vaccinations for the upcoming season.
There are over 200 viruses that cause the flu and flu-like illness. Without laboratory tests, doctors cannot tell what is the flu virus and what is not. Both the flu and flu-like illnesses last for days and rarely lead to death or serious illness.
Often, cases of the flu that require hospitalization involve:
- Those who did not receive treatment within 48 hours of when flu symptoms first appeared.
- Those who developed co-infections, like pneumonia.
- Those with pre-existing illnesses.
This flu season, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the flu vaccine is 62% effective against the flu.
The War on Bugs
Getting the flu vaccine may not be the answer to your problems. The CDC confirms that the flu shot is only 62% effective against the flu.
Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites have co-existed with humans for as long as mankind has walked the planet. In fact, these bugs stimulate the immune system in a way that can benefit the whole body.
Many of you who are already familiar with the Body Ecology Diet know that beneficial bugs in the gut (or probiotics) help to optimize the immune system. But did you know that these bugs can generate disease if allowed to overgrow or if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time? Even good bacteria can act unpredictable and cause disease.
Or take, for example, parasites. While not many of us would willingly volunteer to be a host to parasites, it turns out that parasitic worms produce a sugar molecule that can soothe an inflamed immune system. The only other place in the body where these sugars are found is in human breast milk. (2)
In our war against bugs, we have only created a harsh environment that pushes the evolution of more dangerous bugs. Take antibiotic resistant bacteria superbugs, which are the result of antibiotic overuse. According to the CDC, “Increasing antibiotic resistance is leading to higher treatment costs, longer hospital stays, and unnecessary deaths.” (3)
We now have some strains of infectious bacteria that are resistant to all antibiotics. This means that we have no way of treating a simple infection if it involves antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
For better or for worse, these microscopic bugs will continue to evolve with us.
6 Steps to Build Your Immune System This Flu Season
Every day, new research confirms what traditional medicine has been advocating for centuries. Examples include:
- Traditionally prepared foods, such as cultured vegetables
- Quality rest
- Moderate amount of daily movement
- Stress management
When it comes to the flu virus, chances are that at some point in your life you will come into contact with at least one of the over 200 strains.
Remember that viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites have evolved right along with us through time. And even if we could live without these microscopic critters, we wouldn’t necessarily want to.
For example, good gut bacteria help the body to metabolize toxic heavy metals. They also, just like viruses, fungi, and bacteria, communicate with the immune system and are an essential key to its regulation.
At Body Ecology, we have found that the best way to keep infectious bugs in check is to maintain a healthy inner ecosystem.
During flu season, follow these steps:
- Limit sugar. Sugar feeds disease-causing yeast and bacteria in the body, which weaken immune function and generate acidity.
- Boost your living probiotic intake. This means eating fermented foods and drinking probiotic liquids that build the immune system.
- Wash hands frequently. Use plain soap and practice simple, good ol’ fashioned hygiene.
- Get fresh air and at least 10 minutes of sunshine a day. Sunshine promotes the synthesis of vitamin D, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
- Spend more time sleeping. The winter months mean longer nights. Listen to the seasons and spend extra time resting. Too little sleep can make the body more susceptible to infection.
- Stay alkaline. Start the morning with a glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon or lime, a pinch of Celtic sea salt, and stevia. Then make an alkalizing green smoothie with Vitality SuperGreen and Super Spirulina Plus for an immune boosting blend of greens, algae, minerals, probiotics, herbs, and amino acids.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
The words “flu season” strike fear in the hearts of most Americans. Yet even if you choose to get the flu shot, it may only be effective against 10% of the circulating flu viruses.
In our war against bugs, we have created a harsh environment that has caused more dangerous bacteria to evolve, like antibiotic resistant bacteria superbugs from antibiotic overuse.
The solution? Strengthening your immune system from the inside out will provide protection against bacteria, viruses, and parasites, while supporting your gut with good bacteria to fight infection.
You can use 6 simple steps to boost your immune health this flu season:
- Limit sugar, which feeds disease-causing bacteria and yeast in the body.
- Eat fermented foods and drink probiotic liquids to boost the immune system.
- Wash your hands regularly with plain soap and water.
- Get a minimum of 10 minutes of sunshine a day to promote vitamin D synthesis.
- Get extra sleep to help the body fight infection.
- Keep your body alkaline with an alkalizing green smoothie made from Vitality SuperGreen and Super Spirulina Plus to support immunity.
- Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, Bawazeer GA, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD001269. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub4
- P Bhargava, et al. Immunomodulatory glycan LNFPIII alleviates hepatosteatosis and insulin resistance through direct and indirect control of metabolic pathways. Nat Med. 2012 Nov;18(11):1665-72. doi: 10.1038/nm.2962. Epub 2012 Oct 28.
- Joint Statement on Antibiotic Resistance from 25 National Health Organizations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://healthyamericans.org/assets/files/FINAL%2011-8-12%20Consensus%20Statement.pdf