Studies have shown that this “seasonality” associated with flu incidence can be abolished by supplementing the diet with just an additional 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
For someone without the flu, the following are the recommended daily maintenance doses:
1,000 IU for children under 2 years old
2,000 IU for children over 2 years old
3,000 IU for individuals weighing 80 to 130 lbs.
4,000 IU for individuals weighing 130 to 170 lbs.
5,000 IU for individuals weighing over 170 lbs.
For an adult who contracts the flu, the dosage can be increased to 50,000 IU for three days and then reduced back to the above dosage. Doses for children can be adjusted accordingly.
If 50,000 IU a day for three days sounds excessive, consider the following.
Studies have shown that taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D a day for six weeks resulted in no signs of toxicity whatsoever. And single injections of 600,000 IU have been recommended and used to prevent deficiencies in the elderly without any problems as well. A single full-body tanning session even triggers the formation of around 20,000 IU of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is essential in fighting infections and keeping your immune system active. We now know that vitamin D is an essential element required by our immune systems to produce NK (natural killer) cells, our first line of defense against invading pathogens.
Vitamin D also stimulates the body’s natural production of various protein compounds that effectively destroy viruses and other pathogens. Increasing your vitamin D intake to 50,000 IU per day for the first three days after being infected is probably one of the most underutilized, yet effective, methods of treating the flu.
As I mentioned above, immediately increase your vitamin D consumption to 50,000 IU for three days before returning to the regular dosage. Increase the frequency of Xlear nasal wash use. Add two teaspoons four times a day of an elderberry extract such as Sambucol or Sambucus. Crank up the vaporizer and flood the room/house with eucalyptus fumes. (Breathing eucalyptus fumes has saved me on numerous occasions. Misting a tissue or the inside of a facial mask, or confining yourself to a closet, sauna, or small room that has a high concentration of eucalyptus several times a day, can work wonders.)
Mushrooms to the Rescue
I’ve written before about the hybridized mushroom extract, called AHCC (active hexose correlated compound) when it comes to fighting cancer and even AIDS. It is sold under the name ImmPower. To my knowledge, AHCC has been shown to be one of the most powerful immune boosters to date.
I’ve had numerous discussions with those working with AHCC about what dosages should be used during bouts of the flu. The researchers feel that to achieve the effects seen in the above studies an initial dose of 3 grams a day for two weeks and then dropping to 1 gram a day would represent the “equivalent human” dosage. The research indicates that once the NK cell activity ramps up it will continue to increase and stay at the higher levels, even on the lower maintenance dose.
The AHCC product ImmPower is available from The Harmony Company, PO Box 93, Northvale, NJ 07447. You can contact them by phone at 888-809-1241. A bottle of 30 capsules is regularly $49.95 plus $9.95 for shipping and handling. As a special benefit for Alternatives subscribers, they are now offering a 10 percent discount and free shipping. Use the code DRWSWI to get the discount.
Make sure you’re taking adequate amounts of selenium. Look at your current multi-vitamin/mineral supplement and take an additional selenium supplement, if necessary, to ensure you’re getting between 200 and 400 micrograms (mcg) per day. Selenium is another very inexpensive supplement. The above recommended doses will run about $1 a month. One excellent products is NSI Selenium Select, available online at www.vitacost.com or 800-381-0759. A 300-count bottle will run you around $10, and will last for about 10 months.
Brazil nuts are also an excellent source of selenium, and generally provide about 100 mcg per nut.
Adequate amounts of selenium impede the survival and replication of viruses and increase your glutathione levels – which seem to be one of the best single indicators of one’s ability to both prevent and overcome disease, slow the aging process, and increased longevity.
Additionally, you can increase your levels of glutathione by consuming high quality whey protein or by supplementing with N-acetylcysteine. From a food aspect you can achieve many of the same effects by increasing your intake of cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and mustard or collard greens.