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Mistletoe Injections for Cancer Treatment

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According to the National Cancer Institute,1 an estimated 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2018. The most common cancers are breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer and colon and rectum cancer. Cancer mortality is higher in women than in men and over 35 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life.

Based solely on statistics, it is likely most people either have a personal experience with or know someone who has had cancer. Emerging scientific data show the development of cancer as not a genetic problem but rather a metabolic disease, primarily rooted in mitochondrial dysfunction.

Unfortunately, significant damage may also be done after exposure to environmental toxins found in personal care products, weed killer and house cleaning supplies. Dr. Lee Cowden comments most individuals do not die from cancer but rather from the side effects of the treatment.

One of the major concerns with chemotherapy is the indiscriminate toxicity used to poison your body systematically in an attempt to knock out cancer cells. There have been signs these treatment options may cause more harm than good. In a case of breast cancer, the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen reduces the risk of breast cancer but more than doubles a woman’s risk of uterine cancer.2

Increasingly, more are seeking a natural approach to the treatment of cancer, including supplements, exercise, quality sleep and a cyclical ketogenic diet designed to boost fat metabolism, support mitochondrial health and starve cancer cells that derive most of their nutrition from sugar.

Mistletoe extract is now the most widely studied complementary and alternative medicine therapy treatment for cancer3 and one which Suzanne Somers used in her breast cancer treatment.4

Suzanne Somers Opted for Iscador Injections

Somers is an American actress best known for the role she played in the sitcom “Three’s Company.” She’s also an author, singer, businesswoman and health spokesperson. In 2001 she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Following a lumpectomy to remove the tumor and radiation, she opted for alternative medicine, refusing chemotherapy despite her physician’s recommendations. Somers said:5

“My cancer has become a veiled gift because when confronted with standard of care — the standard treatment protocol for cancer [being] radiation, chemotherapy and after-care drugs — I looked at the doctor and I said, ‘I can’t do this.’ And he said, ‘But you’ll die.’ And I said, ‘I honestly believe I will die if I do what you tell me. The idea of flooding my body with chemical poison just doesn’t reckon with who I am.”

Somers reports her lumpectomy removed nearly as much of her breast as a mastectomy. She refused an implant and wore an insert to ensure she didn’t add any other foreign substances to her body. Following personal research, Somers treated herself with injections of Iscador, mistletoe extract, and placed a higher priority on sleep and other lifestyle choices.

Years after her lumpectomy Somers discovered a plastic surgeon in Japan doing experimental procedures to “regrow” a woman’s breast tissue using her stem cells. Stem cells were removed from her body fat. These cells were then inserted into congealed fat and inserted in her breast.6 Over the next two years, blood vessels formed and she regained complete feeling over the area.

Somers also practiced gratitude in her effort to heal her body and spent time each night writing down what she did each day to move toward health. She suggests women dealing with breast cancer try to “look for the good.” She goes on to explain:7

“As someone who has survived breast cancer, you can be a victim, and ‘poor me’ and ‘why did this happen to me?’ And I don’t mean that in a cold or judgmental way at all. But what good does that do you?

How is that going to inspire others, move you forward as a person? Everything that happens to us as individuals is an opportunity for growth, spiritually and emotionally.”

Mistletoe Extract in the Treatment of Cancer

Mistletoe extract is usually given by injection under the skin.8 Less frequently it’s injected directly into a vein, into the pleural cavity or into a tumor. Very few serious side effects have been reported and minor side effects have included soreness and inflammation at the injection site, headache, fever and chills. Very few cases of allergic reaction, including anaphylactic shock, have been reported.

The products derived from mistletoe vary depending upon the type of host tree on which the mistletoe grew, the species of the plant and the time of year the plant is harvested. Most extracts are made in a water-based solution or a solution of water and alcohol.9

At present, most clinical trials have been done in Europe. Many of these have reported positive results, although the National Cancer Institute finds some weaknesses, including small trial size, lack of dosage information and poor study design. However, they also report10 many of the in vitro studies demonstrated growth inhibition, cell death and antitumor activity using mistletoe extract.

In simplest terms, cancer cells are unable to die like normal cells. Your body usually uses a checks and balances system to remove old cells, called apoptosis. Phytonutrients, such as those found in the extracts of mistletoe, have demonstrated the capacity to restore apoptosis to cancer cells so they don’t grow unchecked, and to support your immune system.11

Cancer cells also proliferate through a process of developing new blood vessels. Mistletoe extract demonstrates the ability to block the formation of new vessels. Mistletoe is used widely in Germany as their health care system pays for the treatments. In one meta-analysis, researchers reported a review of Iscador treatments showed a lower risk of mortality.12 Other studies demonstrate:13

A retrospective study gathering data between 1993 and 2000 evaluated the use of mistletoe extract as a long-term adjuvant therapy in 804 patients being treated with chemotherapy and or radiation for colorectal cancer. Those treated with mistletoe extract had fewer adverse events, better symptom relief and improved disease-free survival.

One study evaluated the use of mistletoe extract in advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer, a cancer often associated with poor outcome. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either mistletoe extract or no anticancer therapy. The results demonstrated those treated with mistletoe extract had improve survival and less disease-related symptoms.

A study using data from 312 patients evaluated the use of mistletoe extract in non-small cell lung cancer, which could not otherwise be treated. No difference was reported between treatment with mistletoe, an injection made from sheep spleen, or a placebo. Those who received mistletoe extract reported an improved sense of well-being compared to others, though.

In a randomized clinical trial of 830 high-risk melanoma patients, half received treatment of interferon and half received mistletoe extract for one year. At eight years follow-up, there was no increase in survival time between the interferon and the mistletoe group.

However, it’s important to note interferon comes with a long list of side effects. Ten percent of users experience dizziness, loss or thinning of hair, breathlessness and an increased risk of infection..14

History of the Mistletoe Plant

Mistletoe has a long and interesting history. Although kissing under the sprigs of a mistletoe is a well-known holiday tradition, many ancient cultures prized its healing properties.15 The Greeks used it as a cure for menstrual cramps and spleen disorders, while the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder noted use against epilepsy, ulcers and poisons.

Romantic overtones likely started with the Celtic Druids.16 Since the plant blossoms even during the frozen winter months, the Druids saw it as a sacred symbol and administered it to humans and animals in the hope of restoring fertility.

In ancient Scandinavia, the custom was that if out in the woods you found yourself standing under the plant and encountered an enemy, you both had to lay down your arms until the following day.17 The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe started an ancient Greece during the Festival of Saturnalia and was later incorporated into marriage ceremonies as the plant was associated with fertility.18

During the Roman era, enemies would reconcile their differences under a mistletoe plant, which they believed help them come to peace. Mistletoe is actually a parasitic plant that evolved the ability to grow on trees without establishing its own root system. In doing this they absorb the same nutrients and water from the host plant.

Chemotherapy May Make Breast Cancer Aggressive and More Likely to Spread

Preoperative chemotherapy, known as neoadjuvant chemotherapy, is offered to women as it helps shrink tumors prior to surgical removal. This increases the likelihood women will receive a lumpectomy instead of a full mastectomy.

However, after performing tests on mice and human tissue, researchers found this practice may actually increase the likelihood of metastasis by increasing tumor microenvironment of metastasis. When mice with breast cancer are given chemotherapy it altered the tumor microenvironment, making it more conducive for the cancer to spread.

Chemotherapy treatment doubled the number of cancer cells in the bloodstream and lungs compared to the mice who did not receive treatment. Further, in 20 human patients who received common chemotherapy drugs, the tumor microenvironments also became more favorable to cancer spread. Researchers wrote an editorial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, saying:19

“Unfortunately, neoadjuvant chemotherapy does not seem to improve overall survival, as demonstrated in the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) B18 trial, among others.”

This essentially means women may be trading an increased risk of cancer metastasis for a treatment without proof it improves their chances of survival. Although this may sound surprising, it is not a new discovery.

In 2012, researchers found chemotherapy for prostate cancer caused DNA damage in healthy cells and caused them to secrete more of a protein called WNT16B, which boosts tumor growth and encourages cancer cells to develop resistance to treatment.20

Certain chemotherapy drugs can also increase your risk for acute myeloid leukemia occurring within 10 years after treatment for your original cancer. Research has demonstrated the risk for a second cancer is slightly higher for childhood cancer survivors than is the risk for cancer and those of the same age and the general population.21

As research continues to reveal the wide-reaching and devastating effects of chemotherapy to healthy cells, it has also shown it makes only a minor contribution to cancer survival. A clinical oncology study22 found that in terms of five-year survival rates of adult cancer cases, chemotherapy has an average survival rate of just 2.3 percent in Australia and 2.1 percent in the U.S.

Natural Cancer Preventive and Treatment Strategies

There are a number of preventive strategies you may consider, most of which support optimal health. Two primary initiatives in the treatment and prevention of cancer are moving to a fat-burning dietary plan to starve cancer cells, and detoxification to remove as many toxins and heavy metals as possible.

For a discussion of alternative treatments you may consider, see several of my previous articles, including:

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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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