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Combatting “FLU SEASON”: Immune Boosting Tips

Nobody wants to get sick.  And while the best way to tackle the inevitable exposure to this year’s new, hot viruses rages on; the following 3 tips are good place to start as a preventative and responsive practice.

Immune Boost: Combating the “Flu Season”

Picking Protein: Weighing the Whey

The mission to achieve optimal health is an evolving journey.  A key component of that journey is finding the best source of nutrients.  In many instances this becomes a case of the least offensive option.  Something that’s going to give you what you’re looking for without leaving too large a trail of collateral damage behind.

Rarely do I find this to be more true than when it comes to protein powder.  Now, in an ideal world all of our protein would safely and conveniently be derived from grass fed animals, free range chickens and eggs, wild fish, etc.  Unfortunately this is not the case and due to convenience, availability and lack of consistently strong alternatives, supplementing with a protein powder is something many (self included) find themselves doing.

All day, everyday we are constantly using protein to carry out life’s functions.  This constant turnover makes it imperative to obtain an adequate amount from an outside source in order to thrive.  Add consequences of life such as elevated stress, physical activity, injury or a virus to the equation and the need for a sustained quality protein source grows .

My personal search for the “best” appears to be a never ending process.  It is a process that also accompanies the search for the best nutritional choices and supplement supply for myself and my patients.  Just when you get comfortable with a product, new research emerges or your own school of thought changes.  Even worse, a report surfaces that your go to product contains traces of antibiotics or metals (true story).

Being that individually we lack the time, knowledge and overall resources to whip up our own concoctions, we will always be at the mercy of a third party manufacturer who to varying degrees, has that bottom line on their mind.  It is our choice and has become my professional and personal duty to avoid the comfort of blissful ignorance and stay diligently abreast on the latest information pertaining to what we put in our one and only body.

One of the most popular, powder protein sources is whey.  And while I personally have not used whey in a couple of years as I try to refrain from dairy products, I do recognize that it does possess many endearing and attractive qualities highlighted by its superior bioavailability.  What I’ve listed below are some buzz words and guide lines to look for if selecting a whey product.

The list is by no means perfect and can be hard to use as a checklist to satisfy all criteria.  It is however a good starting point as you decide which factors are most important to you.  This list has been loosely compiled from research.  Feel free to interject or add your own suggestions as we continue on that quest for the perfect products.

•             NON-DENATURED

WHY:     Traditionally, even the most expensive whey products available (isolates, ion exchange and hydrolyzed) are by-products of cheese manufacture. The milk goes through a heating process at high temperatures (163 degrees F) which damages the whey proteins.

Many manufactured whey proteins are also high in MSG (manufactured glutamic acid), which is toxic to neurological patients. In fact, typical whey protein powders may be detrimental to patients with neurological disorders because they contribute to an excess of glutamate in the body which can damage the nervous system, especially the brain.

True non-denatured whey protein on the other hand, is not a by-product of cheese manufacture; it is a “native” whey protein, which means it is not manufactured at all. It is the optimal natural precursor of glutathione (powerful antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial, detoxifier, etc.). It contains exceptionally high levels of non-denatured Cysteine and Glutamine, the amino acids required for intracellular glutathione production.

•             COLD PROCESSED/MICROFILTERED or ULTRAFILTERED

WHY:     Native Whey protein is obtained through a very specific process that differs from standard whey protein: the proteins are extracted directly from skimmed milk using membrane technologies, preferably COLD PROCESSED or at low temperature (microfiltration and ultrafiltration). The state of the art low temperature process removes casein and lactose to leave only the purest, most biologically active whey protein.

•             NO GROWTH HOMONES or GMOs

It is important to use whey protein from herds that graze on disease-free, pesticide-free, chemical-free, natural grass pastures and the milking of the cows are not subjected to any chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, or injected pathogens.  While some of these may be removed during the filtration process, some remain and can now wreak havoc within your own body.

•             NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS and LOW CARB/SUGAR

•             CONCENTRATE v ISOLATE

Protein isolates are proteins stripped away/isolated from their nutritional cofactors.

Isolates are exposed to acid processing to eliminate the fat, which denatures protein, leaving them deficient in key amino acids and nutritional cofactors.

When you remove fat, you actually remove components of its immune supporting/boosting properties.  Fat provides not only calories; most foods rich in healthful fat – including nuts and seeds like almonds and chia – are carriers of antioxidants, such as vitamin E and phytosterols.

Overall you’re left with an inferior whey protein if you take the fat out.

Flu Shot???

With all of the information out there, the possibilities for the first “real” post were endless. However, I decided to go with something that has been in the headlines quite frequently these days and is always the subject of constant controversy and debate. It is something that pertains to each and every one of us as we all have the desire to remain healthy and feel good. The topic I am referring to is the infamous flu shot and whether or not to take part in the injecting of the masses.

First let’s look at your choices. In this country, for the moment, you still have the right to refuse the vaccine. Although if you’ve clicked on any of the recent headlines that pop-up on your computer screen, you’ve seen that people are beginning to lose their jobs due to refusing vaccination. Your other two choices are to receive an injection (the Flu Shot) of an inactivated or “killed” influenza virus or utilize a nasal spray which contains a live, but weakened influenza virus, sprayed directly into your nostrils. The concept behind the vaccine is that the virus contains these things called ‘antigens.’ When antigens are detected, a properly functioning immune system will respond by creating anti-bodies to combat the foreign invader. The idea is that if you happen to come across that identical viral strand, you should be protected due to the fact that you were previously armed with specific antibodies by the vaccine. You usually do not contract the flu virus from the vaccination, because it is supposed to be deactivated by nutritious substances like formaldehyde, therefore creating an immune response, but not an outright infection.

Unfortunately the flu virus is one that is constantly mutating and the viruses used in the vaccinations are predictions based upon data compiled by the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control. It is at best, a guess based on trending viruses and past successes. Even further, the CDC makes no denial that you can still actually still contract the flu. This isn’t just due to being infected with a strand that it isn’t included in the vaccine, but actually still contract the flu from the identical strand featured in the vaccine. Even further, The Lancet (a general medical journal) recently published a study noting actual prevention of influenza in 1.5 for every 100 people vaccinated. That is a 1.5% chance that the vaccine will actually work in its “intended” manner. In comparison, the same study illuminated that with the concoction of toxic chemicals used in the vaccines, the likelihood of serious neurological side effects occurring is 7.5%. By these numbers, that would make you 500 times more likely to be harmed than helped by the vaccine.

Another issue with the influenza vaccine and other vaccines is that there are no long term studies done on them. A recent Natural News article presented an interesting perspective: “Vaccines are considered “effective” if they merely prevent the flu. But what if they also cause a 50% increase in Alzheimer’s two decades later? Is that still a “success?” If you’re a drug manufacturer it is, because you can make money on the vaccine and then later on the Alzheimer’s pills, too. That’s probably why neither the CDC nor the FDA ever conducts long-term testing of influenza vaccines.”

If you’re already convinced that you need/want the flu vaccination, you should know exactly what else you are putting into your body. Despite many tireless searches on the CDC website to uncover the exact ingredients contained in the latest flu shots, they only make mention of a few common characters that appear in vaccines.

Aluminum

Why? Per the CDC, it is “To promote an earlier, more potent response.”

The Hazard they do not tell you about is it: Amplifies the toxicity of Mercury. Has been linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Anti-biotics

Why? Per the CDC: “To prevent the growth of germs/bacteria during the production and storage of the vaccine.”

Hazard: Anti-biotics do not discriminate. They destroy all bacteria, good and bad within your body. It is essential to cohabitate with a healthy population of intestinal bacteria also known as flora (pro-biotics). These bacteria line your gut and allow for proper digestion, absorption of nutrients and protection against entrance of foreign invaders. While the anti-body-antigen combination described above is crucial in the make-up of you immune system, it only compromises about 30% of your immune system. The other 70% is made up of your flora. So by taking a vaccine or any anti-biotic for that matter you are automatically wiping out 70% of your immune system.

Formaldehyde

Why? “To kill viruses and bacteria that may contaminate the vaccine during production.” – CDC

Hazard: This is the same well known carcinogen (cancer causer) that is used to embalm corpses. It has been linked to blindness, brain damage, seizures, liver damage, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive deformations, respiratory distress and cancer. Recent studies have shown that on occasion formaldehyde actually fails to deactivate the virus in the vaccine, leading to an actual injection and infection with a live virus. Opps.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Why? “To stabilize the vaccine” – CDC

Hazard: This substance is well known to be toxic to your nervous system; the nervous system that includes your brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves; the same nervous system that governs pretty much every function in your body. We are talking about voluntarily poisoning it and opening the door for a multitude of disorders and brain damage.

Thimerosal (mercury containing preservative)

Why? “Used on vials that contain more than one dose to prevent contamination or bacterial growth”
– CDC

Hazard: In as far back as 2003 the government published a report acknowledging a direct link between vaccines containing thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders in children, mainly autism. There is no safe limit of mercury exposure due to the fact that mercury accumulates in your body when you are exposed to it. Small doses add up to accumulated, toxic amounts.
While many vaccines claim to be “preservative” free, the flu vaccine is not one of them. The use of mercury is needed to continue to produce the mass quantities of the vaccine at a favorable price as well as prevent contamination in vaccine doses that contain more than one strand. This year’s flu vaccine is tri-valent, meaning it contains 3 different strands.

As with all posts, the intention here is to provide information to be used at your discretion. Once provided with the information and knowledge, you can become empowered to make an educated choice based upon your own personal belief systems and the information presented before you. Can the flu shot prevent the flu in some people? Maybe. Does everyone that is exposed to the accompanying ingredients demonstrate immediate symptoms? No. Do these ingredients increase the likelihood of serious, life altering conditions in the future? More and more research points to yes. So it comes down to a probable cost vs. a statistically unlikely benefit analysis. If you do choose to forego the flu vaccine, it is all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition, supplementation, sleep, exercise, hydration and chiropractic care in order to optimize the functionality of your immune system. More on how to do that to come in the future…

Good luck out there….

References:

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099%2811%2970295-X/abstract
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm
http://www.naturalnews.com/038420_flu_shots_toxins_chemical_preservatives.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/036748_thimerosal_vaccines_neurological_disorders.html