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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

14 Ways to Prevent Swine Flu

posted by Dr. Frank Lipman author of "Total Renewal: 7 Key Steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long-Term Health"

Don’t know whether or not to get the H1N1 vaccination? You might want to read some of these precautions before you sign up for the shot. If you’re opting for other ways to dodge the flu, here are 14 tips to boost your immunity and stay healthy this flu season.

1. Optimize your vitamin D level. Adequate levels of vitamin D are essential for our immune systems to function optimally. Unfortunately there are no significant dietary sources of vitamin D, most of our intake comes from exposure to sunlight. If you live far from the equator, you simply don’t get enough sun through Fall and Winter to make all the vitamin D you need. So unless you supplement during this period, your innate immunity will be compromised. vitamin D plays such a crucial role in so many aspects of your body’s functioning, that supplementing with it makes sense whether you decide to get the flu shot or not.

We know that influenza always gets worse during the winter months. Now there is good evidence to suggest that this is because as sunlight hours lessen during the winter, the people living in the northern hemisphere become vitamin D deficient and are susceptible to influenza infections of all kinds.

The current recommendations from the Food and Nutrition Board of the U.S. Institute of Medicine: from 200 to 600 IU/day depending on one’s age, are way too low.

These values were originally chosen because they were found to prevent osteomalacia (bone softening) and rickets. It is now recognized that vitamin D has many additional physiological functions, for which these levels are totally inadequate. A number of scientists are therefore calling for the Food and Nutrition Board in the U.S. and its counterparts abroad to reassess their current recommendations. Get your 25 hydroxy vitamin D level checked by your Doctor (if that is not an option, you can self test your level with ZRT labs)

Although the current normal range is between 20 and 50ng/ml, this is much too low for optimal health. You want your level to be between 50 and 70ng/ml.

This is the most important step you can take to prevent the flu! It may require a number of months taking 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily (especially during winter) under a doctor’s supervision, to optimize your blood level. Monitor your 25 hydroxy vitamin D status every three months until you are in the optimal range, then cut back to a maintenance dose of at least 2,000 IU a day.

2. Get adequate sleep. This is an indispensable requirement for a strong immune system.

3. Get adequate exercise. This keeps you robust.

4. Take actions to lower your stress levels.

Do breathing exercises, meditate, practice yoga, spend time doing something that makes you happy. Feeling spent, overwhelmed and or mentally run down has a causal relationship to your physical health.

Read more:
14 Ways to Prevent Swine Flue