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Natural Defense Against The Flu

You’ve no doubt seen the recent media activity drumming up public awareness about the “pandemic” swine flu authorities anticipate this winter.

There’s talk about high death rates, people at risk and in some circles near panic about possible draconian measures by the government to use this outbreak as an excuse for martial law.

In addition, there are very real concerns about how quickly the new vaccines are being rushed through the approval process without adequate testing.

In contrast to all the media noise about this, there is strong evidence that the so-called swine flu (H1N1) is no more deadly than the average, garden variety flu we see every year. That’s the good news for anyone concerned.

Even so, wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to naturally defend yourself from getting any flu this winter?

Fortunately, there is.

The key to supporting your immune system naturally is to make sure that you are taking care of two aspects of your overall health.

First, it’s important to eat well. By well, I mean whole, fresh, natural foods as close as possible to their original form. If you can’t pick it from a tree in the form you buy it, don’t buy it.

For example, there aren’t any “bread trees” where you can pick a fresh loaf of bread. And “pasta bushes” for gathering fresh pasta don’t exist. If it comes in a box, a jar, a can, a bottle or a package, avoid it.

Since one of the biggest hidden stressors anyone faces is eating the wrong foods, this one step will take a huge stress load from your system. That frees up energy and reserves for other physiological functions such as fighting off infections.

Second, you want to be sure to support your body’s immune system so you’ll be ready for whatever flu strains emerge.

The best way to easily accomplish this is to take N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC).

You’ve read about NAC in some past issues of Balance Point (view past articles on NAC by clicking here).

Today I’d like to offer yet another study supporting NAC as a powerful immune enhancing supplement.

This study, done in Italy in 1997, clearly demonstrated that people who took daily doses of NAC developed few if any flu symptoms, even though blood tests confirmed influenza infection.

The study, conducted at the Institute of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Genoa, gave participants either two 600 mg NAC tablets or placebo versions daily, for six months throughout the winter flu season.

Blood tests of both groups showed similar presence of influenza A Singapore/6/86 H1N1, indicating that NAC did not prevent infection… however, the majority of those taking the supplement did not develop symptoms.

In fact, just 25% of those taking NAC actually developed flu symptoms, compared with 79% of the placebo group. And those symptoms were milder.

The researchers concluded that NAC treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the frequency, severity and length of flu-like episodes.

Please note that the strain in the year this test was done was a variation of H1N1, the same as the currently anticipated flu strain.

Immune system support is accomplished by taking 1,200 to 1,800 mg daily of NAC. That works out to 600 to 900 mg twice a day. If acute symptoms emerge, that amount can be increased to between 2,000 and 3,000 mg a day in divided doses. It’s best to take NAC with food so you absorb it easily.


References:

Swine flu death rate similar to seasonal flu: expert“, Reuters Article, September 16, 2009

Hyperhealth Pro Database, In-Tele-Health, Hansville, WA, 2008.

De Flora S, Grassi C, Carati L. Attenuation of influenza-like symptomatology and improvement of cell-mediated immunity with long-term N-acetylcysteine treatment. Eur Respir J 1997;10:1535-41.

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