Cold and Flu Season: Fasting and Immune Health
The cold and flu season is upon us and that means one thing: people will be told it’s time to get their flu shots. We are already seeing more advertisements for people to get their flu shot, and many places are set up to handle the large influx of people looking to get the flu vaccine. Many people are unaware of the benefits of fasting and immune health.
As people are urged to get flu shots by the government and their employers, drug companies are reaping big benefits:
- According to the CDC, for the 2018-2019 season, manufacturers have projected they will provide as many as 163 to 168 million doses of injectable influenza vaccine for the U.S. market.1
- The U.S. flu vaccine market is expected to reach 3 billion dollars by 2024.2
As we can see, flu shots are big business. Not only that, many who get the flu shot seem to have a false sense of security. They believe the flu shot will protect them from getting the flu, but that’s not necessarily the case. The flu shot is not as effective as people think.
According to another report from the CDC:
- The overall vaccine effectiveness (VE) of the 2017-2018 flu vaccine against both influenza A and B viruses is estimated to be 40%.3
In other words, the flu shot fails 60% of the time.
Fasting and Immune Health: Flu Studies
In addition to this report from the CDC, there have been many studies conducted on the ability of flu vaccines to protect against reducing flu symptoms.
The results may surprise a few people:
In 2015, Dr. Edward Belongia, an epidemiologist and fellow scientists at the Marshfield Clinic reported that children who had been vaccinated annually over a number of years were more likely to contract the flu than kids who only vaccinated in the season in which they were studied. Dr. Belongia is quoted as saying:
“The vaccine was significantly more effective … if they had not been vaccinated in the previous five years.”4
A report written by Peter Doshi, PhD from the John Hopkins School of Medicine disputes claims by the CDC that flu vaccines are safe and effective. He believes they are less effective and cause more side effects than people may realize:
“Officials and professional societies treat influenza as a major public health threat for which the annual vaccine offers a safe and effective solution. In this article, I challenge these basic assumptions. I show that there is no good evidence that vaccines reduce serious complications of influenza, the outcomes the policy is meant to address. Moreover, promotional messages conflate “influenza” (disease caused by influenza viruses) with “flu” (a syndrome with many causes, of which influenza viruses appear to be a minor contributor).
“This lack of precision causes physicians and potential vaccine recipients to have unrealistic assumptions about the vaccine’s potential benefit, and impedes dissemination of the evidence on non-pharmaceutical interventions against respiratory diseases. In addition, there are potential vaccine-related harms, as unexpected and serious adverse effects of influenza vaccines have occurred. I argue that decisions surrounding influenza vaccines need to include a discussion of these risks and benefits.”5
Another study on the flu was conducted by the Cochran Review, who is recognized globally as having the highest standard in health care resources that are backed by factual evidence. In 2013, they analyzed 90 reports of 116 studies and compared the effects of the flu shot with a placebo, or no treatment. Seventy thousand people participated in the study. At the end of the study, the authors reached the following conclusion:
“Influenza vaccines have a very modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost in the general population, including pregnant women. No evidence of association between influenza vaccination and serious adverse events was found in comparative studies considered in the review.”6
In addition to the various studies involving the flu and its ineffectiveness, it’s critical a person know what’s actually in the vaccine itself. Here are just a few of the ingredients in several flu vaccines and their side effects:
This is just a small sample of the ingredients in flu vaccines. To view the CDC’s entire list of vaccines and their ingredients, click the link HERE.
For people who believe the flu shot is actually good for them, this information could be a shock. A person may be advised they shouldn’t get the flu shot, but it’s also important to know why. Getting a flu shot is a personal decision, and one they must make for themselves. With that said, it’s critical people know what’s in it and any potential side effects.
Fasting and Immune Health: Attack Foreign Invaders
For those who don’t want to have a flu shot, the next logical questions are “what should I do? How can I protect my body against the flu?”
The key to good health and decreasing our risk of getting sick from illnesses like the flu is having a strong immune system. This begins at the cellular level, and this is where intermittent fasting and immune health comes into play.
In its simplest terms, fasting is when we abstain from eating for 14 hours or more. Also known as intermittent fasting, it has been used for centuries as a way to maintain good health. When we are sick, an army of white blood cells attacks the foreign invaders and neutralizes them. These white blood cells are the first line of defense against sickness and disease.
Fasting is the Best Medicine
In today’s society, if we aren’t feeling well, we reach for medicine from the doctor or drug store for relief. Many times, these medicines only suppress the symptoms. They don’t get directly to the source and remove the cause of what’s making us ill. Whereas fasting and immune health go hand in hand to boost immune health.
By strengthening our immune health, we are giving the body the ammunition it needs to defend itself against sickness, thus avoiding our dependence on man-made medications. Prolonged fasting breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. Thanks to the regeneration of newer, younger cells in the body, a better functioning immune system is possible…without medicine.
Fasting and Immune Health: Creating New Cells
It’s also important to note that every day, our body must replace billions of cells. If we aren’t fasting, eating healthy diets and taking care of ourselves, these billions of new cells will be weaker than the cells they are replacing. The result will be a weaker immune system, which increases a person’s susceptibility to many illnesses and diseases, including the flu.
It’s also important to note that the influenza virus is always changing and mutating. This is why there are several flu vaccines. No one truly knows where the virus will go next or what direction it’s headed in, so they keep creating new vaccines and adding ingredients to them that may do more harm than good. This is why it’s important to go directly to the source, which is the cell.
Remember: If you don’t fix the cell, you don’t get well.
Fasting and Immune Health: TH1 and TH2
Another important point to remember is these vaccines stimulate the wrong immune system. This means if we get a disease naturally through the mucous membranes, we stimulate a type one reaction (a TH1 reaction) where we have lifetime immunity. This is what we want. However, the vaccine is stimulating a TH2 reaction, which is more of an emergency reaction that I believe can lead to cancer and other autoimmune issues
Personally, I intermittent fast daily, and I haven’t had the flu shot in years. While people focus specifically on the flu, it’s also important to look at the big picture, which is to improve our overall health.
Don’t rely on the flu shot to protect you from the influenza virus. Intermittent fasting and immune health form a healthy foundation at the cellular level. Not only are we helping the body fight off the flu, but a host of other health issues that plague us, including diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune disorders. Start intermittent fasting today. Your body will thank you.
- Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Supply & Distribution. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/index.htm
- United States $3 Billion Flu Vaccine Market Outlook to 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/united-states-3-billion-flu-vaccine-market-outlook-to-2024-300507750.html
- Summary of the 2017-2018 Influenza Season. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm#anchor_1534865891939
- Belongia-M Sundaram-D & McClure-J et al. “Waning Vaccine Protection Against Influenza A (h3n2) Illness in Children and Older Adults During a Single Season.” Vaccine. 2015 Jan 1;33(1):246-51. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.06.052. Accessed November 23, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24962752.
- P Doshi. “Influenza Vaccines: Time For a Rethink.JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jun 10;173(11):1014-6. Accessed November 23, 2018.”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23553143.
- Demicheli V, Jefferson T, Ferroni E, et al. “Vaccines to Prevent Influenza in Healthy Adults.” Cochrane, Feb 1, 2018. Accessed November 23, 2018. http://www.cochrane.org/CD001269/ARI_vaccines-to-prevent-influenza-in-healthy-adults