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NOTE:   The studies we will review are tagged with citation numbers like this: [2]
If you “click” on that red number, you will be transported to the actual study.
Many of the graphics can also be enlarged by clicking on them.

Say Adios to Colds and Flu

 

Cold and flu season returns with a vengeance, slithering its way from November thru April.   The Center for Disease Control (or CDC) statistics suggest that the highest incidences of flu occur between January and March, [1]   so now is a great time to review the benefits of natural prevention program.   We will also review a powerful treatment program, just in case a strange new virus shows up on your doorstep.   Let’s start first, by reviewing the efficacy of the flu vaccine.




Vaccination Hysteria

Recent headlines on the American College of Physicians website claimed that

Influenza is the sixth leading cause of death for older Americans,
causing 300,000 hospitalizations and killing 30,000 to 40,000
Americans every year.
  [2]

Well, first off, those statistics are total rubbish!

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) compiles yearly death rates, categorizing all deaths by their actual cause.

During the year 2002, the ACTUAL number of deaths attributed to influenza was only 753.   [3]   (See p.16 and the table below)   AND... almost all of those deaths occurred in people over the age of 75, in individuals who had pre-existing serious health conditions, AND weakened immune systems.

Accurate statistical analyses are complicated by the fact that the diagnostic codes, which classify diseases (known as “ICD-9 codes”) lump flu and pneumonia together in the same sub-section.

That *could* be why ACP made their mistake, although I seriously doubt it.
These folks are part of the team that created the ICD-9 codes.

Here are the actual statistics:

      DISEASE                     # of deaths
      Influenza and pneumonia ....... 65,984
          Influenza .................    753
          Pneumonia ................. 65,231

Shamefully, during the same year that 753 people died from flu complications,
3,454 Americans died from malnutrition — or 13 times as many people!
It's a shame that we don’t immunize for starvation.
  [3]

Editor's Comment: The yearly National Vital Statistics Report: Deaths: Preliminary Data that is quoted above (Citation #3) has since discontinued breaking out the death rates for "Influenza and pneumonia" into 2 distinct categories, and now lump together the combined incidence, without identifying the deaths caused solely by the flu.

My suspicion is that the vaccine industry "fix" is in, and that CDC (or their admin betters) have made it impossible for CDC researchers like Lone Simonsen, Ph.D. (see below) to continue to rattle their chain.





The Real Story on Flu Shots

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), which is one of the 21 research departments at the National Institutes For Health (NIH), decided to review death rate statistics over a 33-year period between 1968 and 2001.

Their statistics revealed that there were absolutely no reductions in death rates
between 1980, when only 20 million people got a flu shot, and the most recent
years when 80 million did
.


The author Lone Simonsen, Ph.D. concluded that flu shots had NO IMPACT in reducing deaths from flu complications in people over the age of 65.   Thus, flu shots appear to be failing to achieve their major objective, which is: saving lives.   [4]




The Cold Virus

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the common cold is one of the leading causes for doctor visits in the United States. [5]   The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 62 million cases of the common cold occur each year, costing 20 million lost school days and 22 million lost workdays.   These statistics also reveal that the *average* child contracts three to six colds a year, and adults two or three. [6]   That’s a lot of misery, and a lot of lost time and lost income.

A virus is a strange duck.   They consist solely of genetic material (RNA or DNA) surrounded by a protective capsule.   They are unique because they lack any of the characteristics that we normally use to define a living organism.   They don’t eat, breath, or multiply by themselves. [7]

Unfortunately, they do mutate periodically, causing new strains which may be either weaker or more virulent than the original “parent” virus. [8]   More about that later.

How Do We Fight Viruses?

When the body's immune system detects a viral infection, it first responds in a generic way.
A process begins called RNA interference, which is crucial to fighting viruses, because it degrades viral genetic material, enabling hijacked cells to survive the infection.

After cellular attack, our immune system produces specific antibodies that can bind to the virus, making them non-infectious.   Then T-cells are sent to destroy the virus (or bacteria). [9]

Understanding this complete process is what encourages us to explore holistic methods for strengthening our natural immune response by taking immune-boosting nutrients.




Building Natural Immunity

The Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 50% of Americans
are deficient in the following immune nutrients:

Vitamins A, C, E, B-6, B-12 and Folic Acid.

Additionally, 73% of us get too little zinc.
  [10]

This is partly because of our daily food choices, and partly because of how we grow and process
our food supply.

That’s why we need to pay close attention to a randomized trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, because it demonstrated that even a simple, basic nutritional (supplementation) program dramatically increased immune function, specifically T-cell-mediated immune function, in an elderly (over 65) population.   [11]  

A previous issue of HealthQuest discussed the internal or cell-mediated immune system in depth. [12] The important take-away from that review is that robust immune function is completely dependent on a constant supply of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in our blood stream.

We also learned that diets high in cholesterol, and lives filled with chronic stress also depress immune function.   That’s why a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, boosted by a sensible supplementation regimen supports immune function, thereby reducing the incidence of infection in the short term, and chronic disease in the long term.

The statistics from Shaklee’s “Landmark Study” [13] and the NHANES database [14] provide irrefutable evidence that people who used Shaklee supplements maintained better overall health, and experienced the lowest incidences of the diseases of aging:

heart disease, cancer, stroke, pulmonary diseases
(including pneumonia), and stroke
.

Those are the top 5 killers of everyone above the age of 55. [15]  


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Frank M. Painter, DC

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