It’s that time again, the time of year when sniffling can be heard around every corner, the time of year when a shared elevator ride brings paranoia over a stranger’s cough. The cold and flu season is not something to look forward to over the course of winter. Sinus congestion, body shivers, headaches, sore muscles, and nausea are just a few of the inconveniences brought along with catching the cold or flu. However, where there’s an ailment, there’s always a natural remedy. The following two supplements are proven and effective warriors in the battle against viral infections.
Tried Tested & True
Let’s start with a well-known supplement, vitamin D. Having optimal vitamin D levels is crucial for overall health and fighting all disease and illnesses-including influenza A, B, C, and H1N1 viruses. According to Dr. Mercola, one of the reasons you are susceptible to getting the flu is because your vitamin D levels are low. Dr. John Cannell, a medical doctor who was responsible for criminally insane patients, noted that his ward never contracted the flu although there was a flu epidemic sweeping through the maximum security hospital in April 2005. The main difference between his patients versus the other patients was that he had been giving his patients 2000 units of vitamin D for several months.
According to Dr. Mercola, shortly after the 2005 flu epidemic, Nature, an international weekly journal of science, published a paper stating that vitamin D was a potent antibiotic, which works by increasing the body’s production of proteins called antimicrobial peptides. These peptides destroy the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including influenza. This is why Dr. Cannell’s patients remained influenza free while the other patients and staff were stricken with the flu.
Dr. Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine, states it has been estimated that 1 billion people world-wide are vitamin D deficient or insufficient.
Without vitamin D only about 10-15 percent of dietary calcium and about 60 percent of phosphorus is absorbed by the body. This is directly related to bone mineral density which is responsible for osteoporosis and fractures, as well as muscle strength and falls in adults. In utero and childhood, calcium and vitamin D deficiency prevents the maximum deposition of calcium in the skeleton.
Studies have shown people living at higher latitudes (where the angle of the sun’s rays are unable to sufficiently produce adequate amounts of vitamin D in the skin) are more likely to develop and die of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, colon, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, breast and other cancers. According to Holick, both prospective and retrospective epidemiologic studies have also shown an association between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk for Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Holick believes the current recommended adequate intake for vitamin D needs to be increased to 800 — 1000 IU vitaminD3/d. “However, one cannot obtain these amounts from most dietary sources unless one is eating oily fish frequently,” says Holick. “Thus, sensible sun exposure (or UVB irradiation) and/or supplements are required to satisfy the body’s vitamin D requirement,” he adds.
Bringing In The Big Guns: Meet Chlorella
A single-celled, water-grown micro-algae, chlorella is widely known as a powerful “superfood” supplement with extraordinary nutrient density. It is believed to have been around for eons. One of the few edible species of water-grown algae, chlorella is full of chlorophyll. It contains all of the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, amino acids, magnesium, iron, trace minerals, carbohydrates and a higher amount of protein (more than 50%) than meat, per grams of weight. It also has a unique set of phytonutrients. It binds to toxins and carries them out of the body. Its high amount of protein makes it a staple for many people who do not eat meat. It is virtually a complete food.
Although chlorella is packed with all the goodies previously mentioned, its reputation for knocking out the flu is due to its ability to increase your (Ig) A antibody levels.
A Japanese study shows that when pregnant women consume chlorella pyerenoidsa supplements, they have significantly higher amounts of (Ig) A antibody concentrations in their breast milk, which means that the women were producing more (Ig) A in their bodies. When the researchers studied the milk of the 35 Japanese women, they found that 18 of the women, who took chlorella while pregnant, had more of the (Ig) A antibodies than those who did not take chlorella supplements. So why is (Ig) A important?
(Ig) A antibodies are found in areas of the body such as nose, breathing passages, digestive tract, ears, eyes and vagina and are important because they protect your body surfaces that are exposed to outside sources. According to Virology Blog, (Ig) A antibodies are extremely necessary to neutralize mucosal viral infections like all types of influenza. Virology Blog goes on to report, “Virions that infect mucosal surfaces encounter secretory (Ig) A antibodies present at the apical surfaces of epithelial cells,” which neutralizes the virus and stops it from spreading to the cells and infecting you further. In other words, when the influenza virus comes into contact with your (Ig) A antibodies, they are immediately neutralized which stops them from replicating and spreading.
Here’s a list of the additional benefits of chlorella:
• Balancing hormones (relieving PMS, regulating cycles, etc.)
• Treatment of ulcers
• Balancing the digestive system (improving digestion, relieving constipation)
• Increasing the white blood cell count (helps with infections, warding off of illness)
• Reduces or eliminates body odors
• Balances blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar (fighting/preventing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity)
• Reduces occurrence of asthma attacks and allergies
• Treats fatigue
• Helps boost immune response
• Protects the brain and nervous system
• Supports elimination of many kinds of pollutants, from heavy metals to molds
• Boosts tissue growth, healing and repair
• Detoxifies harmful radiation, protects organs
Ready Your Ammo
Implementing vitamin D and chlorella into your daily regime will not only a pack a powerful punch against the cold and flu, but it will supply you with a nutritionally dense kick-start to your day to help you feel more energized and overall happier. Do your body a big favour and start using them today!