The government and pharmaceutical companies relentlessly promote flu shots every year, insisting that supposedly “high risk” groups like pregnant women, children less than 5 years of age (especially under the age of 2) and everyone over age 50 should be vaccinated. But there are serious questions about the advisability of these shots. In some cases, a flu shot may interfere with immunity rather than boost it.
Safety and Efficacy
In recent years, medical experts around the world have questioned the conventional wisdom that argues in favor of flu vaccines. One researcher who reviewed the studies on influenza vaccines concluded in an article published in British Medical Journal that their effectiveness cannot be confirmed. He also observed that there is inadequate research to demonstrate vaccination safety, stating, “The large gap between policy and what the data tell us (when rigorously assembled and evaluated) is surprising.”
Childhood Flu Vaccine Inhibits Development of T-Cells
A newly published study in the Journal of Virology adds additional weight to the case against routine influenza vaccinations. Researchers have found that vaccinating children annually against the flu virus interferes with the development of virus-specific killer T cells. This means that the annual flu vaccine may protect children against the actual viruses in the vaccine; but, at the same time, it makes them more vulnerable to other viruses they are exposed to.
Support Your Immune System Naturally
As an integrative medical doctor, I believe you can support your immune system naturally with a combination of healthy lifestyle choices and targeted supplements for immune support. It is generally not necessary to introduce viruses, chemicals and heavy metals into our bodies in the form of a vaccination. Natural solutions that enhance immune activity while also promoting overall health are always my top recommendation for supporting immunity and vitality in both adults and children.
Common sense and scientific research tell us that one of the most important strategies for staying well is to wash your hands frequently. Washing with soap and running water for 20 seconds is the most effective way to cleanse your hands of all kinds of germs.
It is also important to get enough sleep (more than seven hours per night), get moderate exercise and do not overwork.
Adequate hydration with pure, filtered water is also critical for keeping your immune system healthy and flushing out toxins and harmful invaders. This is one important factor often overlooked in our busy lives.
Nutritional approaches to a healthy immune system include eating plenty of green vegetables; reducing or eliminating consumption of refined sugars and processed/fried foods; and supplementing with immune-boosting vitamins, minerals, herbs and botanicals.
Some of the most widely recommended immune nutrients also offer critical support for overall health and vitality. These include vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D-3, B vitamins with minerals and co-factors, selenium, vitamin A and probiotics. By combining these critical nutrients with other powerful immune-supporting supplements and following a healthy lifestyle, you can protect and support health from multiple angles.
Immune Support Supplements
In addition to immune supporting vitamins and minerals, some of the most powerful immune enhancers are natural formulas and compounds that combine cutting-edge science with traditional botanical wisdom. These powerful immune supplements also offer comprehensive health support and can provide protection against both acute and chronic illnesses, increase vital energy and promote longevity, naturally. Following are some of my top recommended supplements that offer powerful support for immune and overall health, during the winter and year round.
One of my top recommendations is a blend of six medicinal mushrooms with additional immune-boosting beta glucans. The mushrooms in this formula have been used for thousands of years to promote optimal functioning of the immune system and support overall health. However, this formula is unique because the mushrooms are cultivated in the United States on a blend of powerful immune-supporting herbs that enhance the mushrooms’ natural immune-boosting properties. When combined in a comprehensive formula with additional beta-glucans, medicinal mushrooms are an excellent way to boost your body’s natural defenses and combat infection, especially on a long-term basis. Mushrooms are also of great benefit during times of acute stress or infection and they can be taken in frequent doses with no known side effects.
Another recommendation is Padma Basic, which is a Tibetan Herbal Formula, made with a blend of 19 rare and powerful botanicals that contain a multitude of health-promoting tannins, polyphenols, flavonoids and essential oils. This traditional formula has cooling properties that support balanced immune function, increased circulation, healthy responses to inflammation and powerful antioxidant activity.
Last, but most importantly, is modified citrus pectin, the first natural galectin-3 blocker. Scientists are now finding that blocking harmful excess galectin-3 molecules in the body is critical in promoting cellular health and long-term wellness. In addition to binding and blocking galectin-3 throughout the body, research demonstrates that regular use of modified citrus pectin offers powerful immune support and also safely detoxifies harmful heavy metals and environmental toxins without side effects.
Integrative medicine treats the whole person, rather than the symptom or illness. As a result, these and other natural health solutions offer substantiated immune support while simultaneously promoting overall health and protecting against chronic illness over the long term. And that’s an area where many conventional solutions fall short.