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Why Does Cold Weather Increase Your Risk for Heart Attack?





A number of bodily changes occur when you are exposed to cold temperatures. Although irritating and sometimes embarrassing, a runny nose in the cold weather is actually one way your body protects your mucous membranes.1 The additional fluid helps catch bacteria, viruses and other foreign bodies, which then leave as the mucus drips out of your nose.

The winter months are also a time when your skin tends to dry out, leaving it feeling tight, rough and itchy. Aside from being uncomfortable and less than aesthetically desirable, when it becomes severe, it can crack, making it a perfect entryway for germs. Although external variables contribute to dry skin, including omega-3 fats in your diet can help soothe irritated skin.2

On the other hand, one of the simplest strategies to improve mitochondrial function may be exposure to the cold. Called cryotherapy, cold exposure increases your body’s metabolic rate and induces the production of brown adipose tissue. This is incredibly mitochondrial dense fat that helps your body generate heat and lower your blood sugar and insulin resistance.3

However, before jumping into a snowbank this winter or choosing to exercise when the temperature dips below freezing, it is important to note researchers have identified an increased risk of heart attack occurring when temperatures plummet.4

Cold Weather Conditions Increase Risk of Heart Attack

The research was designed as a prospective, population-based, nationwide data gathering study, during which researchers collected daily weather data from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute.5 They also extracted all myocardial infarction reports from the Swedish Nationwide Coronary Care Unit registry between the years 1998 and 2013.

Any patient admitted to any coronary care unit in Sweden with a myocardial infarction was included, totaling over 280,800 patients. Weather data was available for over 274,000 patients, which comprised the population in the final data analysis. The researchers had health information including age, body mass, smoking status and echocardiogram findings.6

The scientists were able to link an increased incidence of heart attacks to lower air temperature, lower atmospheric pressure, higher wind velocity and shorter duration of sunshine. Although they found each was associated with statistically meaningful increased risk of a heart attack, the data supporting the most pronounced effect was from lower temperatures.

As the temperatures rose the rates of heart attacks declined. Dr. Nisha Jhalani of the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center says these findings support the results of previous research. Jhalani also stated:7

“One thing that’s interesting about this study is that they didn’t just look at temperatures. They looked at a number of other factors, such as sunshine hours and wind velocity. It’s also a nationwide study with a lot of patients.”

Cold Temperatures Affect Arterial Resistance

The initial response to exposure to cold is strong capillary vasoconstriction in the skin, which quickly shunts blood to the interior of the body to maintain warmth.8 Rerouting blood protects vital organs against falling temperature, but diminishes flow in peripheral parts of your body, such as your fingers, toes, nose and face, reducing tactile sensitivity, manual dexterity and gross motor function.

It also makes these areas more vulnerable to frostbite, which happens when the fluid around the tissue freezes. Under optimal conditions, the blood vessels in the skin open and close periodically in order to temporarily increase temperature in the fingertips. This has been called the hunting response, or cold induced vasodilation.9

Cold also increases arterial resistance, triggering cardiovascular complications, such a stroke, myocardial infarction and heart failure. Cold temperatures appear to increase the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which then initiates cold-induced hypertension and suppresses the expression and formation of nitric oxide.10

This combination of events increases arterial resistance and blood pressure. Jhalani explains the importance of the rise in blood pressure as it relates to the increased risk of heart attacks or stroke, saying:11

“In someone with 70 to 80 percent blocked arteries — which might not be causing any symptoms normally — the arteries can be clamped down enough that the blood supply doesn’t match demand.”

Past research has documented an increase in blood pressure with exposure to cold weather. Researchers found an increase in systolic blood pressure especially pronounced in those over 80.12 There is some variation in the reaction to cold as taller people become colder faster as a larger surface area increases heat loss.

Although exposure may present a significant risk to those with arterial blockage, several countries take cryotherapy very seriously. Those in Japan use it to treat pain and inflammation from rheumatic conditions and individuals in Finland and Russia are passionate about winter swimming.

Finnish researchers have reported the results of a study using 10 women who took cold water plunges for three months. Blood testing revealed a two- to threefold jump in norepinephrine levels minutes after cold exposure, a chemical in the nervous system that may play a role in pain suppression.13

Caffeinated Drinks May Boost Risk Further

An increased frequency in heart attacks during the winter months is related to an increased load on the heart. Those at risk should stay warm and wrap up well before going outside.14 There is also a greater risk of heart attack in the morning hours. Those who combine cold temperature with physical exercise, and who are susceptible, increase their risk of heart attack even further.

Shoveling snow is associated with nearly 100 fatal events in adults and children each year. A recent study found an average of over 11,000 snow shoveling related injuries in medical emergencies treated in U.S. emergency departments each year.15 Most of the injuries are related to bumps, bruises, cuts and broken bones to the back, head, arms and hands.

In those who received emergency treatment, men over 55 were twice as likely as women to get snow shoveling related heart symptoms.16 The same study found healthy young men shoveling snow increased their heart rate and blood pressure more than when they exercised on a treadmill.17 Combined with cold air triggering arterial constriction and increased workload, this may just be the perfect storm.

Snow shoveling is particularly strenuous on the cardiovascular system as it uses upper body work, which is more taxing than leg work. Also, many hold their breath while lifting, placing an additional strain on the heart.

Barry Franklin,18 director of cardiac rehabilitation at Wayne State University and an expert in the hazardous effects of snow removal, advises those over 55 not to shovel snow and believes those at greatest risk have been habitually sedentary with no known or suspected coronary artery disease.

While you may be tempted to come in from shoveling snow and drink a tall hot cup of coffee, this could be the worst thing you could do. Caffeine causes a short, but dramatic increase in blood pressure, even if you don’t have high blood pressure.19 Jhalani warns adding caffeine to an already at-risk situation may only increase your potential for experiencing a heart attack or stroke.20

Cold Weather May Create Additional Hazards to Your Health

Yet another stress on your heart is triggered by dehydration as a result of cold diuresis.21 As blood is shunted from your skin to your organs, it increases the volume in your body’s core.

The increase in arterial pressure triggers a response in the kidneys to reduce blood volume by removing water to the bladder. If you are already dehydrated, this can create additional stress on your cardiovascular system as your body begins to warm up.22

As the temperature dips below freezing any water will turn to ice, increasing your risk of falling. Under icy conditions, normal footwear may not be enough. Overshoes or boots with an aggressive sole pattern help to reduce slipping and falling.

Cold weather also increases your risk of frostnip and frostbite.23 Frostnip happens as an area becomes so cold that blood flow slows and the skin becomes unnaturally pale. It happens first to your nose, ears, cheeks, fingers or toes. This can lead to frostbite where ice crystals form inside the body’s cells, killing them in the process.

Superficial frostbite may be painful but it may not result in the loss of body parts or limbs. Deep frostbite often kills enough cells that an area may have to be amputated. If you suspect frostbite, move somewhere warmer if possible and seek immediate medical attention. Do not rub the area.24

When your body’s core temperature falls (hypothermia) it can result in slowed reaction times and impaired judgment. You’ll have plenty of warning of hypothermia as you’ll be shivering, will have reduced dexterity and will be miserably cold.

Stay Safe and Warm in Cold Weather

If you have determined to exercise outdoors or to shovel snow, it is prudent to be cautious. Dressing appropriately and paying attention to the following safeguards may keep you safe and warm:

  • Dress in three or more layers — Avoid heavy cotton material as it absorbs sweat and traps wetness, increasing your risk of hypothermia. Add a second layer of wool or fleece for insulation and an outer layer of lightweight, water-repellent, wind-resistant material. Lightly colored or reflective clothing at night helps ensure you are visible to drivers.
  • Cover your head and extremities — You lose 50 percent of your body heat from an uncovered head. Layering thin gloves with heavier mittens helps if you need to remove a layer without exposing your bare skin to the frigid air. Cover your face with a mask or scarf when the temperature is below freezing, which may help warm the air before entering your lungs.
  • Wear proper footwear — Sturdy shoes or overshoes with an aggressive grip help prevent slips and falls on the ice and snow.
  • Stay hydrated — Drink enough fluids to keep your urine a light straw color. Proper hydration is as important during cold weather as hot weather. Drink before and after being outside, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Stay dry — Dressing too warmly when shoveling snow or exercising in the cold weather is a common mistake. Exercise generates body heat. Once sweat begins to accumulate it may freeze and contribute to lowering your body temperature. Remaining dry is equally important as being warm, so using a wicking layer closest to the skin helps reduce the impact.

When you leave, tell someone what route you’re taking if you’re exercising, and when to expect your return, just in case something goes wrong. If you slip and fall in the winter, hypothermia can be deadly if no one knows to look for you.

Keep in mind wind chill may make exercising riskier, even if you dress warmly. As a general suggestion, I recommend taking a break from outdoor activities if the temperature dips below zero degrees Fahrenheit (-17.8 C), or if the wind chill factor is high.


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Sweet! Here are 7 reasons to eat sweet potatoes





(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





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





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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