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How to Have the BEST Protection against
both the Swine Flu and the Swine Flu Vaccine

By Don Bennett, DAS

Whenever a new health crisis appears, whether real or invented, the pharmaceutical industry will usually be there ready to help. People who are aware of the nature and cause of disease have come to understand that this "help" is of no real help at all, and either deals with the management of symptoms without addressing their underlying cause, or does nothing more than increase the coffers of the pharmaceutical companies while causing some harm to you in the process. But the alternative health market will be out in force too, and will tout their better, "natural" remedies. So it was inevitable that when the swine flu scare came down upon us, natural preventatives would pop up. These may appear as herbs, herbal medicinals, homeopathic preparations, antiviral supplements, and "immune system boosters". Forgetting for the moment that there is no magic bullet that can truly boost an over-worked and under-supported immune system that is operating at a sub-optimal level, any help that these items could offer is nothing compared to the risk-reduction you can get from following some optimal health basics. Without some adherence to the basics, as with most things, it is impossible to have the best outcome.

First a word about the swine flu scare. And I call it a scare because it is deserving of that term: health authorities are using exaggerated stories to try to drum up demand for and counter the ever-increasing questioning of and backlash against the flu vaccine. It may be hard to believe, but all things considered, both the swine flu vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine are not in the public's best interest (I know, how can this be true when everybody knows that vaccines are helpful. Well, everybody knows that dairy products help build strong bones when in reality dairy products contribute to osteoporosis... there's a big difference between what one knows to be true and what one believes to be true.)

Here are some facts: While the infection rate of H1N1 is high, the fatality rate is very low; it's about the same as the regular, seasonal flu. And in cases of fatality, it's not the virus that kills; the deaths are from bacterial pneumonia, an opportunistic disease that affects those with less than robust immune systems who are susceptible to it. And let's put things in perspective: there are more deaths from incorrectly prescribed medications than from flu initiated pneumonia.

Next, there is absolutely no scientific evidence showing that the swine flu vaccine offers any real-world protection against the H1N1 virus (or the flu vaccine against the seasonal flu). Vaccines are a multi-billion dollar industry. There's nothing wrong with that if vaccines were truly helpful, but in reality they do more harm than good, and there is growing evidence that shows they don't do any good either. So why is there such a well-orchestrated effort to get a treatment that has little to no efficacy to the entire public? Re-read the second sentence of this paragraph.

And if this is not enough, there has been an effort on the part of the vaccine manufacturers and certain health organization to convince the public that the flu shot is their best defense against the flu, but in reality this is not true; there are many things you can do that will give you far better odds of not contracting the flu than the flu shot, but these preventative measures do not generate billions of dollars and do not support an industry that supports politicians and therefore influences politics and policies, so these preventative measures are not likely to be shouted from the rooftops by our public officials. So, "Let the buyer beware" applies to the flu shot.

But the truth can't be suppressed for long; public support for the swine flu vaccine is diminishing by the day as the rationale for the vaccine appears increasingly questionable to those closely following this issue. Moms, nurses, day care workers, and some members of the general public are realizing that the pharmaceutical industry's justification for swine flu vaccination just doesn't add up. In fact, legal action against the FDA's approval of the swine flu vaccine is already underway. Informed people everywhere are saying no to this vaccine (and are learning about the fallacy of the flu vaccine in general).

As anyone who has ever had the flu can tell you, they would rather not have had it. So here are the best and worst things you can do during flu season. The "best" things will give you the best odds of not being adversely affected should you come in contact with a flu virus (regardless of strain or type). The "worst" things will increase your risk of having a bad outcome if you are exposed (or if you have any cancerous cells or fatty deposits in your arteries).


1. Proper nutrition
Your body has a system designed to deal with things like viruses, bacteria, and cancerous cells. Its ability to effectively deal with these potentially disruptive entities correlates closely with the health of the body's defense and maintenance system (what many still refer to as the "immune system"). Although there are many nutrients required for optimal health, I am going to focus on one that most people are definitely deficient in: Vitamin D. Not truly a vitamin, but a hormone, D deficiency is, without question, one of the primary nutritional causes of influenza susceptibility. The verdict is in: If you're not getting copious amounts of skin-tanning sun on you every day, you should be taking a high quality D3 supplement. The daily dosage varies a little bit from person to person, but is about 3,000 IUs a day. The dosage goal is to get your blood levels of D to between 50-80 ng/ml year-round as measured by a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D test, sometimes referred to as 25(OH)D. And don't be talked into taking the 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D test; it is NOT an accurate indicator of Vitamin D deficiency; some docs do not stay current.

2. Sufficient hydration
Chronic, sub-clinical dehydration is a major factor both in serious, degenerative disease and in the flu, so have water with you always, and drink healthy water (not to be confused with "smart water" or water from those $1,000 magical water filters that oxygenate, alkalize, ionize, and "structure" your tap water. For $350 you can get the healthiest water from your tap with a high quality carbon block filter (see health101.org/products). The good news is that eating more of the foods you're designed to eat, which are medium to high water content foods, will help you stay properly hydrated.

3. Avoidance of antibiotics and substances with antibiotic properties such as garlic
Antibiotics cannot distinguish between good and bad bacteria, and therefore wipe out the friendly flora that play an important role in the body's defense against influenza. After getting the flu, if a person whose health is in such a sad state that they develop pneumonia, then antibiotics may be needed to save their life. But if taken before that point, even in the form of garlic, they actually hamper the body's ability to deal with viral exposures.

4. Unburdened digestion
This one is going to take a little bit of explanation, but because, like the other four items listed here, it applies to the prevention of all disease (cancer, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, etc) and not just infections, it's important that you have a good grasp of this one.

Digestion is the most energy intensive daily process that goes on in the body. And by energy I don't mean the caloric energy that you get from food; I'm talking about the body's electrical energy, called nervous system energy or nerve energy for short. The less nerve energy that is used for digestion, the more is available for everything else including disease management (It should be noted that disease management by the body is in stark contrast to the disease management provided by a health-care system; they're at opposite ends of the positive outcome scale.) You'll notice that when you run a fever of 103 you have zero appetite, and if someone convinces you to eat, you'll more than likely throw up. Why is this? A fever of 103 means there's something serious going on, and your body needs all the nerve energy it can muster to deal with whatever it's dealing with. At this point it will not tolerate unnecessary digestion (because it's so energy intensive), so if you disrespect your body's wishes by putting food in it when it didn't ask for it, out it comes. The alternative for your body is to redirect nerve energy away from fighting the pathogen (and with a high fever, a lot of nerve energy is being used), and allow it to power digestion. But as this would interfere with what the body has determined to be the highest priority at that moment, and knowing full well it can skip a few meals (or a few days of meals), it sends the food back.

So what about when you're not sick yet, and are eating, and then are exposed to an infectious pathogen? During what some call the "incubation period" if what you're eating requires a lot more nerve energy to digest than healthier meals would, this sets the stage for a very inefficient initial defense by your body, which then leads to a prolonged bout with the flu (although technically prolonged, since this is most people's experience because most people are constantly eating sub-healthy meals, prolonged is what most people consider to be a normal course of the flu). Eating easy to digest meals on a daily basis can allow you to have a 200% increase in nerve energy vs eating the meals of a typical Western diet. And while it's nice that this abundant nerve energy allows for a more effective flu battle (which, along with the other four items, usually translates into a shorter course and/or less pronounced symptoms), it also helps your body's other defense systems keep other, more serious diseases under control... and by under control I mean that you don't get a diagnosis of cancer or Alzheimer's or a stroke, to name a few.

5. Enough deep, restful sleep
This topic naturally follows the previous one because it is during sleep that nerve energy is replenished. And not during just any kind of sleep, but during the deepest phase of sleep called Phase 4. This is when you are as shut down as you can be and still be alive (no dreaming, no tossing/turning) and it is during this phase of sleep that the body can catch up on its stocking up on nerve energy. (And to demonstrate just how vital nerve energy is, when you run low, you fall asleep, even if you're driving 70 MPH on the highway and know that if you fall asleep at the wheel you'll very likely get seriously injured or die.) You'd normally have about a half dozen cycles of Phase 4 sleep during the night, alternating with the other three phases, but there are things that can interfere with you getting from Phase 3 into Phase 4 such as too much light in the room, thinking about problems just before falling asleep, prescription meds, and eating a meal too close to bedtime. And obviously if you need nine hours sleep (because of heavy demands on your nerve energy bank during the day) but only get eight, you're shortchanging at least one Phase 4 cycle that night. And if you do this 250 nights per year, that's a big nerve energy deficit. So getting enough Phase 4 sleep does wonders for your body's ability to prevent all chronic, degenerative diseases, as well as acute conditions such as flu viruses. And if you wake up to an alarm clock on a regular basis, get one that makes sure you're in a light phase of sleep when it rings; an example of a smart alarm clock that mimics both a sunrise and sunset can be seen at health101.org/products.


1. Malnourishing diet
If you cook the majority of your food, you are likely malnourished even if you take one of the popular multi-vitamins. Although the notion about the detriments of eating cooked food have been around for centuries, the verdict is now in, and this is now fact, based on hard science, biology, physiology, and biochemistry (but this doesn't stop the misinformation about cooked Vs fresh/raw from continuing; the cooked food industry is the largest industry on the planet). Sure, you can survive eating cooked food - obviously many people do - but there's a big difference between surviving and thriving, one of those differences being a diagnosis of something serious. So what's the recommendation here? The same one offered by many health organizations: Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. And by vegetables I mean the green leafy ones; we're not talking about uncooked brussel sprouts or broccoli. And by fruits I mean both the sweet fruits and non-sweet fruits such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and red Bell peppers; anything with a seed or seeds is a fruit and should be part of your diet as long as it's delicious as is without any processing.

2. Dehydration
Not drinking enough water and/or not eating enough high water content foods are not the only things that cause dehydration. There are things that many people consume that act as a diuretic, which is something that robs the body of water, contributing to dehydration. A substance will have a "diuretic effect" when it contains something that is either irritating or poisonous to the body. In an effort to minimize the damage to its cells, the body will pull water out of its tissues to dilute the irritant or poison. An example would be beer: If you drank a six-pack, you'd eliminate more than a six-pack's worth of liquid. The additional fluid came from your tissues in an effort to dilute the damaging effects from the alcohol. So anything with alcohol makes the list of dehydrating substances. Others are: salt and salted products, spicy food, hot spices, coffee, teas, pepper, ginger, onions, mustard, and prescription meds.

3. Consuming things that mess up your body's good bacteria
For some this may be hard to hear, but if you care about your health you need to hear it. Anything that damages the good bacteria in your body is actually hampering your immune system's ability to do its job. Above we mentioned garlic because of its anti-bacterial properties, but there are other substances that interfere with your body's ongoing attempt to have a balanced bacteriological terrain. Not in any order, they are: alcoholic drinks, spicy food, hot spices, coffee, teas, pepper, ginger, onions, mustard, and any kind of salt (Hmm, didn't we see this list once before?). The more you avoid these irritating substances and their toxic properties, the better chance you'll have of making good use of the nutrients present in the foods you eat, and of supporting your immune system's efforts in managing whatever it's dealing with, which includes pathogens like viruses (and its attempt to keep cancerous cells under control).

4. Overeating and too much fat in the diet
What wasn't mentioned in the "Unburdened digestion" paragraph above was the problem with overeating. As you can probably figure out from the knowledge you've gained thus far, the more unnecessary digestion you do, the less nerve energy is available to your immune system. This underscores the importance of not overeating. The best way to not overeat is to make sure that what you do eat is packed full of nutrition so that you don't find yourself getting hungry for the nutrition that your food is lacking. And the best way to do this is to eat lots of uncooked (undamaged) fruits and green leafy vegetables. And if the fat content of your diet, as a percentage of total calories, exceeds 10%, that's where health starts to slowly fail. There is very credible research that shows that when the fat category gets above 10%, health diminishes over time, and even though this failing health may not result in a diagnosis of something serious for 30 years, since you'll still be alive 30 years from now, the question is, do you want that serious diagnosis? So keep the carbs above 80% and the fat under 10% and you'll be amazed at the results, not just 30 years from now, but this year. When you start feeling and looking better, your resolve to keep eating and living in a way that creates health and avoids disease will strengthen. And by-the-way, the category I left out was protein, which, if you keep carbs above 80% and fat below 10%, protein will also be under 10%. And if someone tells you either that this is too little protein, or that it's too much carbs, or that fruits should be avoided, this is a good thing to hear because it will mean that this person does not have correct health information and may therefore also have other incorrect health information, and that this person's advice, though it may be very well-intentioned and sincere, should be taken with a grain of salt (the only thing salt is good for).

Two more important items

Here's something very effective that you can do that specifically addresses things like colds and flu: Keep your hands away from your face! The main route that flu bugs travel is through the membranes of the nose and eyes. Unlike intestinal viruses, flu viruses don't stand a chance in your digestive tract, which is why they aren't transmitted through the mouth. So if you are vigilant, and you can keep your fingers away from your nose and eyes, you'll have much better odds of not coming down with the flu. If you have come in contact with folks who are flu contagious, just rinse your hands with 70% rubbing alcohol as soon as you can so that if you then inadvertently touch your eyes or the inside of your nose you'll be fine (assuming of course that you had picked up some viral material in your encounter).

The other thing worth mentioning about the flu is to avoid taking antacid drugs like Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that these drugs significantly increase the risk of deadly pneumonia. If you're suffering from the flu, pneumonia is the big concern, not the flu itself, because as I said earlier it is pneumonia that is the most common cause of death in folks with the flu, and the above mentioned acid-suppressing medications are linked to a 30% increase in the risk of acquired pneumonia.

Considering the potential health damaging affects from vaccines which is starting to make its way into the public consciousness, and the highly effective preventative measures people can take regarding flu viruses (that need to become more well known), hopefully the flu shot will one day soon be added to the list of nice-ideas-in-theory that turned into profit generating centers with no real health value, along with blood letting, radiation, and chemotherapy.


For a look at why the flu vaccine is ineffective at preventing the flu, click here.

To learn about the dangers of vaccines, click here.

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