Swine Flu: Prevention and Treatment – Summer 2009 Catalog
By Jessica Carter and Stephanie Walker Tallent
Armed and Ready:
In the past few years we have been bombarded with news of some dangerous viral outbreak or another. Seeing images from around the world, images of civilians wearing masks to protect themselves and holding masks over the faces of the young, have become more common place. Perhaps you remember SARS and Avian Flu. Now the most recent strain of influenza A is H1N1, otherwise known as Swine Flu.
There is some alarm among experts that H1N1 could be “the one” that causes a pandemic in our generation. Regardless of whether it is Swine Flu or some media proclaimed super-scary flu of the future, the best defense is a good offense. We at Beeyoutiful firmly believe that it is the responsibility of individuals to educate themselves on how to best protect the health of their families. With that belief and goal in mind, we have researched extensively what tools are the very best to use to protect and defend against viral invaders.
How can a virus kill someone anyways?
Autopsis of victims of Avian Flu, SARS and the deadly Spanish Flu of 1918, which killed an estimated fifty million people, revealed evidence of destroyed respiratory tracts. This suggested that the flu victims had been killed by their own immune systems, not from the flu itself.
The immune system response suspected of being responsible for killing the victims is something called a cytokine storm. Cytokines are the type of white blood cell and are a normal and essential part of a healthy immune system. T1 cytokines are a particularly aggressive part of this segment of immune system super-heroes and typically are very crucial. Some viruses, such as Swine Flu, can cause these cells to over respond and the T1 cells actually become deadly to the body. Just as insulin is normally released in proportions to the amount of sugar intake, so cytokines normally respond in proportion to the assault on our bodies. However, just as the release of too much insulin in the body can result in death, so an overwhelming assault by T1 cytokines can cause the lungs to fill with fluid causing a person to drown.
What does this mean for me?
For those of us who are accustomed to reaching for the nearest available immune boosting super power when we come down with an illness, I have bad news. A lot of our traditional favorite supplements and herbs can potentially cause more harm than good when dealing with the risk of a cytokine storm. Little attention is given to the balance necessary between the T1 and other cytokine cells in order for our immune systems to operate safely. Since the T1 cells are more aggressive front runners than the other T cells, supplements that directly support their production are among the most popular for quick recoveries.
Champion among these treasured products is elderberry syrup, otherwise known as BerryWell for the Beeyoutiful fans. Several studies show a clearly documented connection between elderberry extract and rapid T1 cytokine production.1,2 However, because of the concern of a cytokine storm, if one becomes ill with one of these dangerous viruses I do not personally recommend treating with BerryWell. My personal guideline for usage right now is two-fold:
1) Take BerryWell liberally as a preventative every time myself or family members go out in public.
2) Discontinue giving to any individual that exhibits symptoms and switch to other broader and safer immune boosting treatments.
Is anything safe to take or do we just take our chances?
The good news is that there are several powerful and effective products out there that are known for their support of balanced immune system production. This makes them not only safe to take, but also ideal aids for the body to prevent and even treat Swine Flu as well as other variants of flu. Below is a list of products I will personally be using as both a preventative and treatment should it be necessary.
The often overlooked immune boosting powerhouse: Vitamin D
Although most of us realize that our bodies need this essential vitamin, it is one of the most under-acknowledged resources for combating viruses. There is an amazing body of documentation to prove its effectiveness not only in boosting the body’s ability to resist the flu, but also in powerfully treating it. It might just be the single most important supplement you can take to equip your body to face off with Swine Flu and walk away the victor.
If exposure to sunlight is limited, like during wintertime for example, 4,000-5,000 IU’s per day would be appropriate for most adults. If you weigh significantly more than the typical person, you may need to double that dose. For children the dose can be halved. For supplemental purposes, I would highly recommend using the D3 vs. the D2 form. D2 is the more common and readily available version but is not as easily activated within the body as D3 is. Vitamin D can be used therapeutically to treat the flu but it is also important to understand that, if you are taking the above doses of vitamin D, the chances of you getting the flu to begin with are very remote. The old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be more accurate regarding this treasure of a vitamin. The daily dose of vitamin D you would use to treat the flu would be 1,000 IU per pound of body weight (round down, not up). The dose would be taken once a day for no longer than three days (Note: This could be a very large dose if you are a large person.) This is the dose that Dr. John Cannell, the founder of the vitamin D Council, has been using very successfully for a number of years.
Dr. John Cannell documented his remarkable experiences with vitamin D and the Flu. He shared the story of how his patients, who were in the hospital ward of a maximum security prison for the criminally insane, were being supplemented with vitamin D and how they were able to avoid influenza when an epidemic broke out in the prison. Fascinated and intrigued, he subsequently put the vitamin to even more rigorous trials in the years to follow. His very lengthy and highly worthwhile article can be found here: http://www.medicalnewtoday.com/articles/51913.php
Vitamin D is especially valuable as a preventative and treatment for potentially deadly viruses because it supports a balanced immune system reaction and actually works to keep the cytokine T cells in balance with each other. This makes it particularly helpful when there is a risk of the T1 cytokine cells triggering a “storm.”
The indispensable foundation to a balanced immune system: Probiotics
Rapidly gaining recognition for their multi-faceted and universally beneficial properties, probiotics are considered absolutely essential in any immune system alliance. Most of us are familiar with these beneficial bacteria because they are found in yogurt. Cultures around the world have used these amazing “good” bacteria to culture, safely preserve and leaven a variety of foods and beverages like kefir, kimchee, kombucha, sourdough bread and sauerkraut. Probiotics are the cornerstone of a healthy gut and, subsequently, of a healthy immune system.
Although one can find a limited amount of this bacteria in commercially manufactured yogurt, it does not contain enough strains or enough live bacteria to patrol the yards and yards of digestive tract and war with any offensive bacteria found there. Since most of us have not grown up with a lifetime of eating live cultured foods, we need a more powerful and immediate source. Probiotics are readily available these days in wider varieties than ever before. They come in tabs, chews, loose powder, regular capsules and enteric-coated capsules (a special protective coating on the capsule to get it through the damaging stomach acids and into the gut, safe and sound). They can be found in single strains, like Acidophilus, and multiple strains from a variety of sources. When taking a probiotic supplement, always determine the minimum guaranteed bacteria count, as well as the recommended storage instructions.
Tummy Tuneup is an enteric coated 8 strain probiotic available through Beeyoutiful. It has proven itself again and again to our staff and customers. Tummy Tuneup is an ideal choice for delivering the maximum benefit to the gut. Another Beeyoutiful product, Ultimate Defense, has a large variety of bacteria and is very beneficial to take on a daily basis, or specifically as a preventative gut-based immune booster.
Here is a quote from a study illustrating how probiotics aid in inflammation control and a balanced, healthy immune response.
From the Study:
Probiotics are dietary supplements known to reduce or alter inflammation and inflammatory cytokines. Histological analysis revealed that edema, inflammation and vacuolization as well as polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration in the lung tissue was significantly reduced in the probiotic treated group. Bacterial translocation was significantly reduced in the probiotic treated group compared with the other groups. As a result of this, reduced proinflammatory cytokines and systemic inflammatory response was observed.
The full report available at the following link: http:..www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19375719?orfinalpos=3&itoll=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed_ResultPanel_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Colostrum is the super nutrient-dense, pre-milk substance that mammals produce for their young before a normal milk supply sets in. Few things in nature are known to have such amazing life sustaining properties and seemingly magical immune building properties as colostrum.
When dealing with these potentially deadly flus, it is important to insure that the balance of T2 cells will be produced in proportion to, if not in excess of, the T1 cells while the immune system is attacking the offending virus. Studies show that nothing does this better than colostrum. Researchers in Australia set out to learn if dried bovine colostrum protein (a popular supplement with athletes) had the same ability to stimulate cytokine white blood cells in humans that the fresh colostrum does in cows. In the study, researchers saw that the T2 “retreat” cytokines were activated and the T1 “attack” cytokines were suppressed when measured 6 hours after administration.
Multiple studies show colostrum to be an incredibly vital product to have on hand if there is any danger of a cytokine storm related illness. It has no known side effects and is very safe for even small children (capsules of the dried powder can be opened into food or drinks).
Healer from the inside out: Aloe Vera
Many of us know of aloe’s healing properties having used it by slapping a fresh cut of aloe leaf on sunburns and feeling the instant relief. Aloe is also an amazing miracle worker and support for the body from the inside out. Aloe Vera is chock full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and micronutrients that can help the immune system to be strong and resilient against infection. Consuming Aloe Vera on a regular basis provides your immune system with the extra boost of nutrients it needs in order to perform at a superior level. Aloe Vera is known for its synergistic properties, meaning all of the nutrients it contains work together to bring about the desired result of a strong and balanced immune system response. What makes aloe particularly good to take in an antiviral regimen is that it, like colostrum, directly supports a balanced and therefore safer immune system response.
Beeyoutiful carries Aloe in concentrated form in gel capsules. Aloe is safe for children to take and the capsules can be cut open and squeezed into yogurt or a smoothie. Excess Aloe Vera can cause diarrhea, so if this occurs simply reduce the quantity or frequency.
Perhaps no plant has been more treasured throughout history for its incredible flavor and culinary contributions than garlic. As anybody who has eaten a clove of raw garlic will tell you, there are few things that come close to the incredibly powerful and pungent flavor of garlic. This little powerhouse has also been documented to have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties and has been used medicinally for thousands of years in many countries around the world.
Several studies have shown that high doses of garlic help to regulate cytokine response. What constitutes a high dose is difficult to define because garlic potency varies from one variety to another, from one region of the country to another, and from one harvest to another.
If your stomach and taste buds can tolerate it, the most beneficial way to utilize garlic is to eat it raw, ideally from an organic or all-natural, pesticide-free source. For those of us that prefer a supplement to a burning tongue and watering eyes, there is good news. Allicin is a component of crushed/raw garlic that is considered incredibly beneficial but is also highly unstable. For years the only way to get it was by eating fresh, crushed garlic. However, a couple of years ago they figured out a way to stabilize allicin so that it could finally be offered in a supplemental form. Although garlic in just about any form will be beneficial in some way to your body, if you can find a stabilized allicin source I highly recommend it.
Beeyoutiful carries an aged 100:1 potency odorless garlic product that has been used with great success by our customers and staff. An added bonus to odorless garlic is that you don’t have people crinkling their noses as you walk by or spouses refusing to share bed space with you due to the aromatic fumes wafting from your pores.
Fresh garlic can be a challenge to get into small children orally and the gel capsules are not much better. For babies or small children, I highly recommend a garlic poultice as an effective way to get the benefits of garlic into small people’s bodies (see side bare for instructions).
A note of caution before consuming gigantic quantities of garlic: There is risk that, if you have a bleeding or clotting disorder, very VERY large amounts of garlic could exacerbate the problem or cause some drug interactions. Individuals on blood thinners should be especially aware of this concern.
My Personal Dosage Guide
Prevention Dosage Suggestion
|Prevention Kids||Prevention Toddler / Infant|
|Vitamin D3||2,000 iU / day||500 iU / day|
|Multi Vitamin||Daily||Liquid multi, daily||Liquid multi, daily|
|Tummy Tuneup||Probiotic||1+ /day||1 /day||½ capsule 2x / day|
|Ultimate Defense||Probiotic||1+ /day|
|Berry Well||Immune booster||3 x /day||3 x /day||3 x/day (Only if 1 year and older!)|
|Immune boosting Anti Viral Essential oil||Mix of Eucalyptus and Lemon, Oregano, Cassia and Clove (Check for Sensitivity first!)||Diffused in home or office||Rubbed on feet 1x per day (Dilute and check for sensitivity first!)||Rubbed on feet 1x per day (Oil Blend, HEAVILY diluted in carrier oil. Check for sensitivity first!)|
|Prevention Kids||Prevention Toddler / Infant|
|Vitamin D3||1,000 iU / day per pound of body weight (round down, not up)||500+ iU2x / day|
|Garlic||Raw 3+ x’s per day OR Aged Odorless Garlic 3+ x’s per day (if symptoms persist or seem to be Swine flu , take hourly)||Odorless Garlic Capsules from (liquid can be squeezed out and put in food or drink) 3+Day||Fresh Garlic Poultice on bottoms of feet and chest (always check skin sensitivity first and can coat chest with oil to protect the more sensitive skin from burning) every hour|
|Tummy Tuneup||Probiotic||3x/pay , up to every hour if symptoms persist||2+ per day||¼ capsule up to every hour|
|Ultimate Defense||Probiotic||3x /day|
|Aloe Vera||3+ times per day||2+ times per day||1/3 Gel cap 3 times a day|
|Colostrum Powder||3+ times per day, if symptoms persist and seem to be Swine Flu, up to every hour||3+ times per day||¼ capsule up to every hour|
|Berry Well||Immune booster||NONE||NONE||NONE|
Please remember that the information shared in this article is our personal opinion based upon hours of personal research. We do not in any way intend for this to take the place of your personal research or the advice and counsel of your doctor. We hope instead that it is an encouragement and a starting point for you to educate yourself on the best ways to protect your family.