With world wide concerns over an
swine flu epidemic, I've been spurred into action in order to help spread
the word about safe and effective ways to prevent and treat influenza that
you won't hear on the nightly news.
Each and every year there are dire
warnings of the worst flu season in decades. Fortunately, each year the
deadly pandemic never manifests. Many feel that this winter the concern
exaggerated once again. However, it seems to me there are a couple of
differences this year.
There have been an unusually high
number of influenza cases & related deaths reported this spring and summer.
I can't recall any significant spring or summer influenza outbreaks in my
life time. Perhaps I missed them, but it's certainly not common. This
concerns me because the 1918 influenza epidemic first appeared in the early
summer with few fatalities. Then in the winter it appeared again with a
vengeance, responsible for over 30 million deaths.
While flu vaccination is heavily
promoted by the government and media, there is little to no evidence
supporting its effectiveness in pregnant women or the elderly - the groups
most strongly encouraged to vaccinate.
As such, it seems only reasonable to
utilize safe and effective natural treatments to protect ourselves,
families and friends, rather than find out what will happen this winter after
it's too late.
~Michael Uzick, N.M.D.
Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly. Cochrane Database Syst
Rev. 2006 Jul 19;3:CD004876. Review.
Delivering influenza vaccine to pregnant women. Epidemiol Rev.
2006;28:47-53. Epub 2006 May 26. Review.
Dramatically Better than Flu Vaccine
is the first substance every infant mammal receives from their mother's
breast. Babies are born without a fully formed immune system and their
mother's colostrum provides them with crucial protection against infections.
Most colostrum used medicinally today
comes from cows. A number of studies on Colostrum and substances contained
within it have been shown to be effective in treating a variety of
infections. As you probably know if you are a patient of mine, I often
use colostrum to boost weakened immune systems and fight different kinds of
infections. It's one of my favorite natural treatments because of
its great safety and effectiveness.
In 2007 a study was conducted
comparing the effectiveness of the flu vaccine with a single capsule of
colostrum each day. The study looked the effects in healthy adults and
people with advanced cardiovascular disease.
This clinical trial examined the
incidence of influenza occurring in four matched groups: 1. Flu vaccine 2. Colostrum 3. Flu vaccine plus Colostrum 4. No flu prevention treatments.
The results showed that Colostrum was
4 times more effective at preventing influenza than flu vaccination. Colostrum was 3 times more effective than doing nothing. The group receiving
only the flu vaccine actually had more cases of flu than the group that had
no treatments (57 vs 41)! The combination of the flu vaccine and Colostrum were equally
effective as the Colostrum only group. Among those with advanced heart
disease, Colostrum was twice as effective as the flu vaccine. In this
smaller group, one person in the flu vaccine group died from complications
of influenza infection.
This research confirms prior animal
research demonstrating Colostrum's antiviral effects against influenza
One of the nice things about Colostrum
is that it's safe enough for babies. Our clinic only uses colostrum that
comes from the 2nd and 3rd milkings. The first milking goes to the calves. In the U.S. they can take colostrum
from the first milking which has the highest amount of Colostrum. However,
the calves are deprived and become sickly.
Prevention of influenza episodes with colostrum compared
with vaccination in healthy and high-risk cardiovascular subjects: the
epidemiologic study in San Valentino. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2007
Winter Declines in Vitamin D
May be the Cause of Influenza
Edgar Hope-Simpson was a country
doctor who captivated the medical establishment in 1965 by proving that the
childhood chickenpox virus reactivates as shingles in adults.
Without any formal training in
epidemiology, he conceived, researched and demonstrated on his own what had eluded medical
researchers for decades and ultimately brought Nobel prizes to others who followed his
Hope-Simpson spent the rest of his
life researching the influenza virus and authored a text book on the
subject. He argued that the flu is not spread by sick people, but rather,
lies dormant and is activated by some unknown force intimately tied to
variations in solar radiation.
Hope-Simpson described several
mysteries about flu epidemics that our understanding of infectious
transmission could not answer. 1. Why is influenza both seasonal and world
wide; and where is
the virus between epidemics? 2. Why do countries of similar latitudes, but
separated by great distances have outbreaks of influenza at the same time?
3. Why do epidemics end so abruptly? 4. Why did outbreaks before modern
transportation spread faster than can be explained by human contact?
John Cannell, MD of the Vitamin D Research Foundation,
has written a fascinating article in which he reviews the meticulous work of
Hope-Simpson on influenza. Cannell illustrates convincing subsequent research which
lends greater support for his ideas. Cannell points out that the unknown
factor intimately connected with solar radiation is the production of
vitamin D in humans. Large studies comparing serum levels of vitamin D
demonstrate that significant winter declines match perfectly with flu
There are few dietary sources of
vitamin D, but humans
manufacture it in substantial amounts when UV radiation contacts oils naturally found in our skin.
What has only been discovered in recent years is that Vitamin D plays an
essential role in our innate immunity which plays a key role in protecting
us from viral infections. This was one of the essential pieces unknown to
One of the shocking aspects of Hope-Simpson's
theory are the studies demonstrating the difficulty of infecting people with
the flu virus. Cannell details numerous studies in which healthy volunteers
were exposed in all manner of ways to the secretions from sick patient's
nasal, throat and lung passages. While other viral upper respiratory
infections are easily transmitted in the fashion, scientists have had great
difficulty infecting healthy patients with influenza viruses.
I'm sure the above might be hard to
fathom since it goes completely against the universal belief that influenza
is highly infectious. However, what is most important to understand is that
in studies of those supplemented with Vitamin D, the incidence of influenza dramatically decreases
and with higher doses of the vitamin, cases seem to be non-existent.
If this winter's Swine Flu
does manifest as the deadly epidemic some are predicting, supplementing with
Vitamin D could be a safe and inexpensive way to powerfully protect yourself
and your loved ones.
Another good reason to bring
your serum vitamin D levels into an optimal range is that recent research
has shown you can decrease the incidence of breast, colon, prostate, lung,
ovarian and pancreatic cancers by an incredible 50-80%.
The most effective approach to
ensuring optimal levels is having your serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D tested and
then supplementing accordingly. Then retest to make sure you're in the right
spot (55-70 ng/ml). All doctors can perform this basic
blood test. All insurance companies will cover the cost of the test. For
those of you without insurance the cost of the test at our clinic is $66 - if
you paid the lab directly the cost is $292.
It's important to realize typical
doses like 400-800 IU's won't change your blood levels. It literally takes
months to move your serum vitamin D levels using many times those dosages. But you
can get into the optimal range in a couple of weeks with higher and
completely safe dosages.
On the epidemiology of influenza. Cannell JJ,
Zasloff M, Garland CF, Scragg R, Giovannucci E. Virol J. 2008 Feb 25;5:29.
What is the dose-response relationship between vitamin D and cancer risk?
Nutr Rev. 2007 Aug;65(8 Pt 2):S91-5.
Molecular basis of the potential of vitamin D to prevent cancer. Curr Med
Res Opin. 2008 Jan;24(1):139-49
Stop the Flu Dead
in Its Tracks
my life I've tried every imaginable natural cold remedy. Here's a list of some
that I recall: Echinacea and goldenseal - numerous times and in high doses, a
slew of other powerful herbal concoctions, 2 cloves of raw garlic every 2 hours,
hydrogen peroxide in the ears, zicam, hyperthermia baths combined with sweat inducing
herbal teas, massive doses of oral vitamin C - several times I've taken up to 60
grams of powdered vitamin C. None of the remedies stopped my colds and all of
them are claimed to be cures.
What I have found that can reliable stop a
cold ~70% of the time is high dose intravenous Vitamin C. Regardless of how much
Vitamin C one takes orally, blood levels can't go above a certain point.
However, delivered intravenously serum concentrations rise many fold higher
even with relatively small amounts of Vitamin C.
To stop a cold this way you do have to catch it early.
If you've had the cold for a couple of days or more, the treatment can be very
helpful, but it won't "shut it off." I've had numerous cases of early onset
cold's completely resolve after treatment. Most patient's said they had never
experienced anything like that in their lives. I've had the exact same
experience myself and it's pretty great if you're like me and it takes 3-weeks
before you sound normal again.
The above is based on my clinical
experience. No studies have looked at intravenous vitamin C in the treatment of
colds and flu. However, a number of studies have looked at the effect of Vitamin C
on cold & flu viruses in cell culture and in humans taking it orally.
A meta-analysis of 29 controlled studies
looked at the benefit of ≥200 mg/day of Vitamin C for colds
& flu in over 11,000
people. Vitamin C was shown to decrease the severity and duration of colds and
flu, but not the incidence. A major flaw of this meta-analysis is that the
majority of studies used 1 gram or less of Vitamin C daily. If we consider that
blood levels of vitamin C reduce by half after 30 minutes, dosing what would be
considered a small amount once daily is hardly a fair assessment of this
Interestingly a subgroup of 6 studies
looking a 642 athletes and soldiers exposed to physical stress and cold weather
showed a 50% reduction in the incidence of colds and flu among those taking oral
A 2-year study of 715 students used
high dose Vitamin C to treat cold symptoms compared with OTC decongestants and
pain relievers. The Vitamin C group received 1 gram every hour for the first 6
hours and then 1 gram 3 times daily there after. Treatment with Vitamin C
resulted in a 85% decrease in symptoms compared to the group treated with OCT
Cell culture studies show very potent
inhibitory effects against a number of viruses, including influenza strains. The
reason I believe Intravenous Vitamin C is so effective at stopping colds, is
because we are able to flood our cells with high concentrations of the vitamin,
in the same manner cell culture studies do.
Douglas RM, Hemila H. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2004;4:CD000980.
Colds & Flu: How
to Tell Them Apart
>100 viral strains;
rhinovirus most common
3 strains of influenza
virus: influenza A, B, and C
Site of Infection
Gradual: 1-3 days
Sudden: within a few
Occasional, low grade
(>101° F), lasting 2-4 days
Frequent, usually mild
General aches, pains
Mild, if any
severe & affecting the entire body
Common, may become
Common, usually mild
Runny, stuffy nose
accompanied by bouts of sneezing
Mild, if any
Usual, may be severe
and last2-3 weeks
Frequent, usually in
early stages of illness
Year around, peaks in
Most cases between
November and February
No, unless secondary
bacterial infection develops
No, unless secondary
bacterial infection develops
Sunstone Cancer Foundation
This Friday 9/25/09 at 9:00 am I will
giving a lecture on Naturopathic approaches for Ovarian cancer at Sunstone
There are a limited number of seats
available, if you would like to attend please call Sunstone at the number
below to be sure there's a seat and confirm your attendance.
Sunstone Resource Center NE 2545 N.
Woodland Road Tucson, AZ 85749 (Near Tanque Verde and Catalina Highway)
Phone: (520) 760-0607
Click here for Map
I've had a couple of exciting
professional changes this year. In addition to private practice, once a week
I'm teaching Oncology to 4th year Naturopathic medical students at the
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe Arizona. I'm currently
in the middle of my second semester teaching and enjoying it immensely!
In July of this year I was nominated
and elected to the board of directors for the Oncology Association of
Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP). I was also voted Secretary
and appointed by the president as the Chair of research for the
It's a great honor to be recognized
for all these positions, especially because working with cancer patients is both a
great privilege and passion of mine.
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