“Doc, should I get the flu shot?” I hear this question almost every day at this time of year. My answer is not a simple yes or no. Patients need to do their research and make an informed decision. For those who choose not to get the shot, here are some suggestions on how to prevent or reduce the effects of the common cold and the flu.
1. Vitamin C:
You need more than 100mg of Vit C a day. A glass of OJ with your cereal in the morning is not enough. You would have to drink several gallons of orange juice to get the amount of Vit C Dr. Linus Pauling recommends. He suggests you take enough C so you have loose but formed bowel movements. The dose varies for each individual based on weight, health, and genetic disposition. It’s for this reason that you need to monitor your bowel movement. When I am not fighting a cold – I take about 10,000mg of Vit C a day; when fighting a cold, I can take up to 50,000mg before I get loose stools. You may have heard the objection that taking large doses of Vit C is wasteful and that essentially you’re just making expensive urine. On the contrary. The National Institute of Health has done studies showing that the body will use large amounts of Vit C when fighting infection. It is recommended that patients take no more than 5,000mg of Vit C an hour. If you start having diarrhea, your body has hit its saturation point, and you can lower your dosage. If you find that the Vit C bothers your stomach, try a buffered Vit C. I use powered Vit C: 1 teaspoon = 5,000mg of Vit C. It tastes good in orange juice.
2. Vitamin D:
It is not a vitamin; it is a hormone. Among many other functions, it contributes to bone health, intelligence, and fights depression. Every cell in the body has Vit D receptors. One of Vit D’s important functions is that it helps the body fight infection. The average recommended dose of Vit D is between 400-800 units a day. This is sufficient to prevent rickets. When fighting an infection, the body requires significantly larger doses. Based on the research of experts on Vit D, a one-time oral dose of 40,000 units of Vit D before bed can prove very effective in fighting a cold or infection.
It breaks up mucous so that the sinuses can drain easily. It makes the mucous in your lungs very watery, allowing it to be easily coughed out. If the mucous is thin or watery, it is harder to make mucous plugs which cause the wheezing in asthma.
4. Protein: Your immune system is made up mostly of proteins. You need 1 gram of protein for every 2.2 lbs of lean body weight to build an effective immune system.
5. Ozonated olive oil:
Ozone kills viruses, molds and disease-causing bacteria. If I feel a head cold coming on, I’ll take a Q-tip, dip it into some think ozonated olive oil, and lightly coat the inside of each nostril. It’s amazing how my head clears up by morning.
Zinc is a mineral that keeps a virus from attaching to a healthy cell. You may be familiar with zinc nasal sprays – a common over-the-counter remedy for head colds. It keeps the infection from spreading.
Sugar depresses the immune system. It’s no coincidence that there is a surge of illness after Halloween. During the holiday season, we tend to eat more sweets, making our bodies more susceptible to illness.
Strong immune systems require adequate amounts of sleep. You cannot work all day, party all night, and expect to fight an infection.
Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy holiday season. Merry Christmas.