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Oolong Tea: Benefits and Nutrition Facts

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While there is growing interest in green tea, particularly the famous matcha green tea from Japan, there are other varieties that can offer exemplary benefits as well. Take oolong, for example: It offers potential for weight loss, heart health and a wide array of health issues;1 yet, it only accounts for 2 percent of overall tea consumption worldwide.2

This article puts the spotlight on oolong tea: its origins, how it’s produced and potential effects it can have on your health. Brew yourself a delicious cup of this tea and take delight in every sip.

What Is Oolong Tea?

Some say oolong is a type of black tea, while others often pit oolong against green tea, claiming these two are the same. But oolong actually doesn’t fall under either type.

Various teas are enjoyed all over the world, but actually there are only four main types of tea: black, white, green and oolong. These are the varieties produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas are not considered “true” teas, as they do not come from Camellia sinensis.3

What sets the four true teas apart is their degree of fermentation. Organic oolong tea, made from the buds and stems of the plant, is described as “slightly fermented and semi-oxidized,”4 and as a result has a taste that falls between green tea and black tea.

Oolong’s flavor depends on its oxidation level, which can vary from 10 to over 80 percent.5 Less oxidized oolongs may have a fresh green tea flavor, while more oxidized varieties may have a “woodsy” black tea flavor.6

Oolong tea is said to have originated from China and Taiwan. There are many different types of oolong tea, with the most famous type hailing from the Fuijan province in China.7 The word “oolong” actually means “black dragon” in Chinese. One folklore tale has it that a plantation owner went to check his harvest only to find a black dragon in the fields, scaring him away. After coming back a few days later, the creature was gone. However, the tea leaves had gone dark and fermented under the sunlight.8

You can brew oolong by steeping loose tea leaves or you can simply buy oolong tea bags. Just make sure to avoid tea bags made with plastic, such as nylon, thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene, which can leach unwanted and potentially harmful chemicals into your beverage.

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

Because it falls between black tea and green tea, oolong tea offers both of these teas’ benefits, making it one of the healthiest tea varieties you can consume.

Oolong tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which include theaflavins, thearubigins, catechins and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These beneficial compounds account for oolong tea’s positive effects. Another beneficial component in it is theanine,9 an amino acid with relaxing properties.10 The caffeine in oolong tea is also responsible for some of its benefits, particularly in fat metabolism and weight management.11

Sipping a cup of oolong tea can go a long way in improving your well-being. If you want to know what oolong tea is good for, just take a look at these potential effects:

Helps with weight management — The polyphenols in oolong tea help control fat metabolism in the body by activating certain enzymes.12 A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that participants who ingested either full-strength or diluted oolong tea burned 2.9 to 3.4 percent more total calories daily.13

Assists in free radical elimination — The antioxidant properties of polyphenols help remove excessive free radicals in the body,14 which play a role in various diseases, such as stroke, cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

May boost brain function — One study conducted on elderly Chinese people found that those who regularly drank black and oolong tea had a 64 percent lower risk of brain function decline.15

This may be because of various factors, such as the caffeine, which can increase the release of the brain messenger hormones norepinephrine and dopamine, therefore improving mood, attention and brain function. The theanine in oolong is believed to help boost attention and relieve anxiety as well.

Helps keep your bones strong — Drinking black, green or oolong tea every day (in a 10-year period) is said to increase bone mineral density by 2 percent, according to one study.16 Having a higher bone mineral density may help reduce the risk of fractures.

Maintains good heart health — This is believed to be brought on by the antioxidants in the tea. One study involving over 76,000 Japanese adults found that those who consumed 8 ounces or more of oolong tea daily reduced their heart disease risk by 61 percent.17 In a separate study done in China, a 39 percent reduced stroke risk was seen in adults who drank 16 ounces of green tea or oolong tea daily.18

How to Make Oolong Tea

Oolong can come in different leaf shapes and may have varying oxidations levels. For this reason, there is no one-size-fits-all technique for steeping this tea. The Kitchn provides general guidelines on how to brew oolong tea:19

Procedure

  1. If the oolong is rolled into balls, use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per 6 ounces of water. If what you have are large open leaves, use 2 tablespoons for the same amount of water.
  2. Use fresh cold water that has not been boiled. Do not used distilled water, as it will give your oolong a flat flavor.
  3. Boil your water to 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit before steeping the tea.
  4. How long you should steep oolong depends on how weak or strong you want the tea to be. Ideally, steeping time should be anywhere from one to five minutes.

Oolong leaves needs room to “unfold” and release their flavor, so you should use a basket-style infuser instead of a ball-style infuser. Another good idea is to directly brew the tea leaves in the pot or cup and then just strain them out.

Many people love using oolong to make milk tea, with various recipes available today. However, I advise doing this sparingly, as adding milk may significantly reduce its health benefits. This is because the proteins in the milk may bind to and neutralize the antioxidants in tea.20

How to Store Oolong Tea

Because oolong is semi-fermented, its shelf life is somewhat longer than green tea, with heavily oxidized oolong varieties lasting as long as two years. However, this still largely depends on the degree of fermentation and how well it is stored. Loose leaf oolong tea sold in bulk also tends to become stale quicker.

The trick to prolonging the shelf life of oolong, as well as any tea variety, is making sure that it’s stored properly. Put it in an airtight container and keep in a dry, dark cabinet. Refrain from placing it under direct sunlight or heat, and put it away from pantry items like spices and coffee that can leach their flavors and odors onto the tea.21

A Note Regarding the Caffeine in Oolong Tea

Oolong does have caffeine, but its levels actually fall somewhere in between black tea and green tea. The caffeine levels in oolong are also lower than coffee. Caffeine Informer tested four types and found that their caffeine content can be as low as 16.6 milligrams per cup (mg/cup) or as high as 55.4 (mg/cup).22

Keep in mind that numerous factors may influence the caffeine content in oolong, such as the processing method and how the tea was brewed. If you are truly concerned about the caffeine in oolong tea, you can reduce the brewing time. One study found that oolong tea that’s steeped for five minutes had 40 mg/cup, while another that’s steeped for three minutes had only 30 mg/cup. One minute of steeping produced only 13 mg/cup of caffeine.23

It’s also a good idea to ask the vendor or manufacturer about the caffeine levels in the product you’re buying.

Oolong Tea May Have Side Effects for Caffeine-Sensitive People

Even if the caffeine content of oolong is significantly lower than that of coffee, those who are sensitive to this stimulant should still limit their intake. Excessive consumption may lead to caffeine overload, causing potential side effects such as:24



Palpitations

Rapid heartbeat

Headaches

Tremors

Nervousness

Increased urine flow

In addition, tea, in general, may decrease the amount of iron you get from plant foods. Hence, if you want to drink oolong tea, you should make sure to get enough vitamin C, which can increase the amount of iron from plant foods.25

Don’t Miss Out on the Outstanding Benefits of Oolong Tea

Oolong may not be as widely talked about as green tea, but maybe it should be. The health benefits mentioned above should be enough to convince you to try this tea.

Just make sure to get oolong from a reliable manufacturer and drink it in moderation, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Brew yourself a cup of oolong today and start enjoying the many wholesome benefits of this beverage!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Oolong Tea

Q: Is oolong tea a type of black tea?

A: No. While they both come from the same Camellia sinensis plant, oolong tea is not black tea. Black tea is fully oxidized, while oolong is semi-oxidized. It falls between green tea and black tea.

Q: What does oolong tea taste like?

A: Depending on the oxidation of oolong, its flavor may vary. Less oxidized oolong may have a fresh green tea flavor, while heavily oxidized varieties may have a malty taste reminiscent of black tea.

Q: Where can you buy oolong tea?

A: You can buy oolong tea in any health store, and some specialty tea online stores carry this tea variety as well. The most famous oolongs come from Taiwan and China, although other countries, such as Japan, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand, also grow Camellia sinensis plants for oolong tea production.26

Q: Is oolong tea caffeinated?

A: Yes, oolong tea contains caffeine, albeit in smaller amounts than black tea and coffee.

Q: How much caffeine is in oolong tea?

A: This depends on the brand or variety. Caffeine Informer tested four oolong types and found their caffeine levels to range from 16.6 to 55.4 milligrams per cup.27 In general, oolong has more caffeine than green tea, but less than black tea.

Q: Is oolong tea fermented?

A: The correct term is “semi-fermented.”28 Oolong is partially oxidized, and is somewhere in the middle of green tea and black tea.

Note: When buying tea of any kind, make sure that it’s organic and grown in a pristine environment. The Camellia sinensis plant in particular is very efficient in absorbing lead, fluoride and other heavy metals and pesticides from the soil, which can then be taken up into the leaves. To avoid ingesting these dangerous toxins, a clean growing environment is essential, so you can be sure you’re ingesting only pure, high-quality tea.


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Sweet! Here are 7 reasons to eat sweet potatoes

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(Natural News) Sweet potatoes may not be as popular as regular potatoes, which is too bad — since they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of sweet potatoes can provide more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A. It’s also rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Both purple and orange varieties contain antioxidants that can protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Eating sweet potatoes is beneficial for your health

Sweet potatoes are brimming with micronutrients and antioxidants —  making them useful to your health. Below is a list of reasons why you should incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

They improve brain function

The purple variety of sweet potato contains anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have revealed that anthocyanins are effective at improving cognitive function. Moreover, the results suggest that purple yams can help protect against memory loss. Antioxidants from the purple variety safeguard the brain against damage from free radicals and inflammation.

They aid digestion

Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. This macronutrient prevents constipation, diarrhea, and bloating by adding bulk and drawing water to the stool. In addition, fiber keeps a healthy balance in the gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria.

They slow down aging

The beta-carotene in orange sweet potatoes can help reduce damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. This is especially true for people diagnosed with erythropoietic protoporphyria and other photosensitive diseases. Sweet potatoes also contain antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. Free radicals are not only linked to diseases but also premature aging.

They boost the immune system

Orange and purple sweet potatoes are loaded with a good number of antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful molecules that cause inflammation and damage DNA. This, in turn, protects the body from chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

They can prevent cancer

Eating sweet potatoes can help protect against various types of cancers. The compounds in sweet potatoes restrict the development of cancer cells. Test tube studies have shown that anthocyanins can prevent cancers in the bladder, breast, colon, and stomach.

They lower blood sugar

Despite its relatively high glycemic index, studies have shown that the regular intake of sweet potatoes can help lower blood sugar, thanks to the presence of dietary fiber. While fiber falls under carbohydrates, it is digested differently, compared to starchy and sugary forms of carbohydrates. Interestingly, insulin doesn’t process fiber (unlike other types which get turned into glucose), and it only passes through the digestive tract.

They promote healthy vision

Orange sweet potatoes are rich in a compound called beta-carotene, an antioxidant which transforms into vitamin A in the body. Adequate intake of vitamin A promotes eye health. Conversely, deficiencies in vitamin A have been linked to a particular type of blindness called xerophthalmia.

Sweet potatoes are easy to incorporate into your everyday meals. They are best prepared boiled but can also be baked, roasted, or steamed — they can even replace other carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, and toast. (Related: Understanding the phytochemical and nutrient content of sweet potato flours from Vietnam.)

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Frostbite: What it is and how to identify, treat it

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Manitoba’s temperature has plummeted to its coldest level this season, triggering warnings about the extreme risk of frostbite.

Oh, we know it’s cold. We can feel Jack Frost nipping at our noses. But what about when he gnaws a little harder — what exactly does “frostbite” mean?

People tend to underestimate the potential for severe injuries in the cold, says the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. We laugh off the sting of the deep freeze, rub our hands back from the brink of numbness and wear our survival proudly like a badge.

That’s because, in most cases, frostbite can be treated fairly easily, with no long-term effects.

But it can also lead to serious injury, including permanent numbness or tingling, joint stiffness, or muscle weakness. In extreme cases, it can lead to amputation.

Bitter cold can cause frostbite in just minutes. Here’s how to recognize the warning signs and treat them. 0:59

Here’s a guide to identifying the first signs, how to treat them, and when to seek medical help.

What is frostbite and frostnip?

Frostbite is defined as bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and colour in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes — those areas most often exposed to the air.

Cooling of the body causes a narrowing of the blood vessels, slowing blood flow. In temperatures below –4 C, ice crystals can form in the skin and the tissue just below it.

Frostnip most commonly affects the hands and feet. It initially causes cold, burning pain, with the area affected becoming blanched. It is easy to treat and with rewarming, the area becomes reddened.

Frostbite is the acute version of frostnip, when the soft tissue actually freezes. The risk is particularly dangerous on days with a high wind chill factor. If not quickly and properly treated, it can lead to the loss of tissues or even limbs. 

Signs of frostbite

Health officials call them the four P’s:

  • Pink: Skin appears reddish in colour, and this is usually the first sign.
  • Pain: The cold becomes painful on skin.
  • Patches: White, waxy-feeling patches show when skin is dying.
  • Prickles: Affected areas feel numb or have reduced sensation.

Symptoms can also include:

  • Reduced body temperature.
  • Swelling.
  • Blisters.
  • Areas that are initially cold, hard to the touch.

Take quick action

If you do get frostbite, it is important to take quick action.

  • Most cases of frostbite can be treated by heating the exposed area in warm (not hot) water.
  • Immersion in warm water should continue for 20-30 minutes until the exposed area starts to turn pink, indicating the return of blood circulation.
  • Use a warm, wet washcloth on frostbitten nose or earlobes.
  • If you don’t have access to warm water, underarms are a good place to warm frostbitten fingers. For feet, put them against a warm person’s skin.
  • Drink hot fluids such as hot chocolate, coffee or tea when warming.
  • Rest affected limbs and avoid irritation to the skin.
  • E​levate the affected limb once it is rewarmed.

Rewarming can take up to an hour and can be painful, especially near the end of the process as circulation returns. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help with the discomfort.

Do not …

There are a number of things you should avoid:

  • Do not warm the area with dry heat, such as a heating pad, heat lamp or electric heater, because frostbitten skin is easily burned.
  • Do not rub or massage affected areas. This can cause more damage.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not walk on your feet or toes if they are frozen.
  • Do not break blisters.

Seek immediate medical attention

While you can treat frostbite yourself if the symptoms are minor — the skin is red, there is tingling — you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency department if:

  • The exposed skin is blackened.
  • You see white-coloured or grey-coloured patches.
  • There is severe pain or the area is completely numb.
  • The skin feels unusually firm and is not sensitive to touch after one hour of rewarming.
  • There are large areas of blistering.
  • There is a bluish discolouration that does not resolve with rewarming.

Be prepared

The best way to avoid frostbite is to be prepared for the weather in the first place.

Wear several loose layers of clothing rather than a single, thick layer to provide good insulation and keep moisture away from your skin.

The outer garment should breathe but be waterproof and windproof, with an inner thermal layer. Retain body heat with a hat and scarf. Mittens are warmer than gloves because they keep the fingers together.

Be sure your clothing protects your head, ears, nose, hands and feet, especially for children.

Wind chill and frostbite rates

Wind chill: 0 to –9.
Frostbite risk: Low.

Wind chill: –28 to –39.
Frostbite risk: Moderate.

Exposed skin can freeze in 10-30 minutes

Wind chill: –40 to –47.
Frostbite risk: High.

Exposed skin can freeze in five to 10 minutes.

Wind chill: –48 to –54.
Frostbite risk: Very High.

Exposed skin can freeze in two to five minutes.

Wind chill: –55 and lower.
Frostbite risk: Extremely High.

Exposed skin can freeze in less than two minutes.
 

NOTE: In sustained winds over 50 km/h, frostbite can occur faster than indicated.

Source: Environment Canada

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Awkward Flu Jabs Attempted at Golden Globes

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In what can only be described as a new level of propaganda, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh featured a flu shot stunt during the 76th Golden Globe Awards ceremony. They told the audience to roll up their sleeves, as they would all be getting flu shots, while people in white coats stormed down the aisles, syringes in hand.

Most of the audience looked thoroughly uneasy at the prospect of having a stranger stick them with a needle in the middle of an awards show. But perhaps the worst part of the scene was when Samberg added that anti-vaxxers could put a napkin over their head if they wanted to be skipped, basically suggesting that anyone opposed to a flu shot deserved to be branded with a proverbial scarlet letter.

The flu shots, for the record, were reportedly fake,1 nothing more than a bizarre gag that left many people stunned by the Globe’s poor taste in turning a serious medical choice into a publicity gimmick.

Flu Shot Stunt Reeks of Desperation

Whoever came up with the idea to turn the Golden Globes into a platform for a public health message probably thought it was ingenious, but the stunt only serves as a seemingly desperate attempt to make flu shots relevant and in vogue. During the 2017 to 2018 flu season, only 37 percent of U.S. adults received a flu shot, a 6 percent drop from the prior season.2

“To improve flu vaccination coverage for the 2018-19 flu season, health care providers are encouraged to strongly recommend and offer flu vaccination to all of their patients,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote. “People not visiting a provider during the flu season have many convenient places they can go for a flu vaccination.”3

Yet, perhaps the decline in people choosing to get vaccinated has nothing to do with convenience and everything to do with their dismal rates of efficacy. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.4

The 2017/2018 flu vaccine was a perfect example of this trend. The overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B virus infection was just 36 percent.5

Health officials blamed the flu season’s severity on the dip in vaccination rates, but as Dr. Paul Auwaerter, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told USA Today, “[I]t is also true that the vaccine was not as well matched against the strains that circulated.”6

But bringing flu shots to the Golden Globes, and calling out “anti-vaxxers,” is nothing more than “medical care, by shame,” noted Dr. Don Harte, a chiropractic activist in California. “But it was entertaining, in a very weird way, including the shock and disgust of some of the intended victims, notably [Willem Dafoe],” he said, adding:7

“This Hollywood publicity stunt for the flu vaccine is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen from celebrities. But it does go with the flu shot itself, which is, perhaps, the stupidest of all the vaccines available.”

Did 80,000 People Really Die From the Flu Last Year?

The CDC reported that 79,400 people died from influenza during the 2017/2018 season, which they said “serves as a reminder of how severe seasonal influenza can be.”8 It’s important to remember, however, that the 80,000 deaths figure being widely reported in the media is not actually all “flu deaths.”

According to the CDC, “We look at death certificates that have pneumonia or influenza causes (P&I), other respiratory and circulatory causes (R&C), or other nonrespiratory, noncirculatory causes of death, because deaths related to flu may not have influenza listed as a cause of death.”9

As for why the CDC doesn’t base flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that list influenza, they noted, “Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease … Additionally, some deaths — particularly among the elderly — are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias).”10

In other words, “flu deaths” are not just deaths directly caused by the influenza virus, but also secondary infections such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, as well as sepsis.11

According to the CDC, most of the deaths occurred among those aged 65 years and over, a population that may already have preexisting conditions that makes them more susceptible to infectious diseases. As Harte said of annual flu deaths, “[M]ost if not all, I would assume, are of people who are already in very bad shape.12

CDC Claims Flu Vaccine Reduces Flu Deaths in the Elderly — But Does It?

Since people aged 65 and over are those most at risk from flu complications and death, the CDC has been vocal in their claims that the flu shot significantly reduces flu-related deaths among this population. The research, however, says otherwise.

Research published in 2005 found no correlation between increased vaccination rates among the elderly and reduced mortality. According to the authors, “Because fewer than 10 percent of all winter deaths were attributable to influenza in any season, we conclude that observational studies substantially overestimate vaccination benefit.”13

A 2006 study also showed that even though seniors vaccinated against influenza had a 44 percent reduced risk of dying during flu season than unvaccinated seniors, those who were vaccinated were also 61 percent less like to die before the flu season ever started.14

This finding has since been attributed to a “healthy user effect,” which suggests that older people who get vaccinated against influenza are already healthier and, therefore, less likely to die anyway, whereas those who do not get the shot have suffered a decline in health in recent months.

Journalist Jeremy Hammond summed up the CDC’s continued spreading of misinformation regarding the flu vaccine’s effectiveness in the elderly, as they continue to claim it’s the best way to prevent the flu:15

[T]here is no good scientific evidence to support the CDC’s claim that the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations or deaths among the elderly.

The types of studies the CDC has relied on to support this claim have been thoroughly discredited due to their systemic ‘healthy user’ selection bias, and the mortality rate has observably increased along with the increase in vaccine uptake — which the CDC has encouraged with its unevidenced claims about the vaccine’s benefits, downplaying of its risks, and a marketing strategy of trying to frighten people into getting the flu shot for themselves and their family.”

Death of Vaccinated Child Blamed on Not Getting Second Dose

In January 2019, the state of Colorado reported the first child flu death of the 2018/2019 flu season — a child who had received influenza vaccination. But instead of highlighting the vaccine’s failure and clear limitations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment blamed the death on the child being only “partially vaccinated.”

“It’s an unfortunate but important reminder of the importance of two doses of influenza vaccine for young children who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who is the state communicable disease epidemiologist, said in a news release.16 For those who aren’t aware, the CDC notes that one dose of flu shot may not be enough to protect against the flu. Instead, they state:17

“Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season …

The first dose ‘primes’ the immune system; the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine.”

Not only may the flu vaccine fail to provide protection against the flu, but many people are not aware that other types of viruses are responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory infections during any given flu season.18 The flu vaccine does not protect against or prevent any of these other types of respiratory infections causing influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms.

The chance of contracting actual type A or B influenza, caused by one of the three or four influenza virus strains included in the vaccine, is much lower compared to getting sick with another type of viral or bacterial infection during the flu season.

Does Flu Vaccine Increase the Risk of Influenza Infection, Contribute to Vaccine Shedding?

There are serious adverse effects that can come along with annual flu vaccination, including potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). They may also increase your risk of contracting more serious flu infections, as research suggests those who have been vaccinated annually may be less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.19

Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego also revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.20

There’s also the potential for vaccine shedding, which has taken on renewed importance with the reintroduction of the live virus vaccine FluMist during the 2018/2019 season. While the CDC states that the live flu virus in FluMist is too weak to actually give recipients the flu, research has raised some serious doubts that this is the case.

One recent study revealed not only that influenza virus may be spread via simple breathing (i.e., no sneezing or coughing required) but also that repeated vaccination increases the amount of virus released into the air.21

MedImmune, the company that developed FluMist, is aware that the vaccine sheds vaccine-strain virus. In its prescribing information, they describe a study on the transmission of vaccine-strain viruses from vaccinated children to nonvaccinated children in a day care setting.

In 80 percent of the FluMist recipients, at least one vaccine-strain virus was isolated anywhere from one to 21 days following vaccination. They further noted, “One placebo subject had mild symptomatic Type B virus infection confirmed as a transmitted vaccine virus by a FluMist recipient in the same playgroup.”22

Are There Other Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season?

Contrary to the CDC’s and Golden Globe’s claims that flu vaccinations are a great way to prevent flu, other methods exist to help you stay healthy during the flu season and all year, and they’re far safer than annual flu vaccination. Vitamin D testing and optimization have been shown to cut your risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu, in half if you are vitamin D deficient, for instance.23,24

In my view, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best respiratory illness prevention and optimal health strategies available. Influenza has also been treated with high-dose vitamin C,25 and taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of respiratory illness can also be helpful.

Following other basic tenets of health, like eating right, getting sound sleep, exercising and addressing stress are also important, as is regularly washing your hands.

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