Yes, it's that time of year again. You see all the ads encouraging, almost pleading, you to get your flu shot. They even offer it for free with a 20-cent gas discount!
Despite this pleading, year after year there are reports of the vaccine missing the most prevalent strains for that year but the experts claim that you should still get the shot because it "may" help you recover from the flu "if" you get it.
Interestingly, a meta-analysis of the literature by the Cochrane Collaboration examined "flu vaccines in healthy adults, a body of literature spanning 25 studies and involving 59,566 people, finds an annual flu shot reduced overall clinical influenza by about six percent. It would reduce absenteeism by only 0.16 days (about four hours) for each influenza episode, a small effect given that the average flu bout lasts five to seven days.
What was most illuminating was the authors’ conclusion: “There is not enough evidence to recommend universal vaccination against influenza in healthy adults.”
Now the decision to get a flu shot is entirely up to you but the above analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration provides conflicting information surrounding the efficacy of the flu shot and suggests that the data presented by the manufacturers of the vaccines in vaccine inserts and in study results may be biased toward the funder of the studies. An idea supported by New England Journal of Medicine report that study conclusions tend to favor the sponsor of the study in as many as 40% of studies performed.
Couple the Cochrane evidence that the flu shot may not be as effective as once believed with the epidemiological data showing that the average person gets the actual flu only 3-4 times throughout their life, and the need for a naturally effective preventative measure becomes evident.
An alternative to the flu shot that I have used for the last few years is a system of supplements shown to improve your immune system's function, so not only am I being protected against the flu, but I am also being protected from all the other illnesses that pass through our clinic. This system has worked so well that I have not been sick once in the last 18 months and only missed work 2 times in the last 3 years due to illness.
The system of supplements I use are:
Immucore: (2 per day) Provides 3-pronged approach to immune support with bioavailable vitamin C, zinc, and a concentrated blend of mushroom extracts, shown to improve immune cell communication and system function. It also uses a buffering delivery system to prevent potential stomach upset associated with vitamin C. It includes Vitamin D for long-term immune health support, as well ass Oleanolic acid and selenium help protect cells against harmful free radicals.
Immune Booster: (1 per Day) Provides a blend of highly viable, pure strains of L. plantarum HEAL9 and L. paracasei 8700:2. A unique probiotic blend demonstrated in research to support nasal, sinus, and respiratory health when taken daily for 12 weeks.
In case you don get sick, there is a really effective protocol I have come across in the last year. It involves taking high dose Vitamin A for a few days and has been super effective for everything from colds to pneumonia. You start the protocol at the first sign of a symptom that you might be getting sick, slight fever, body aches, the start of a sniffle, etc.
For the vitamin A protocol it is important to use Progressive Labs Vitamin A because not all vitamin A is processed the same way, in-fact, I was getting sick and went to a local grocery store for some vitamin A because I was sold out of the Progressive Labs Vitamin A and despite taking the recommended dose the protocol did not work. On a subsequent onset of illness for me I took the Progressive Labs Vitamin A and I was better in one day.