Effective protection during flu season needs more than vitamin C!
Influenza (flu) is a common viral disease affecting up to 20% of the world’s population. In most cases, the flu is benign, but it can also have serious consequences especially in people with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and children. It is estimated to cause 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide each year1.
The flu virus easily spreads through the air or by direct contact. In most cases, simple measures such as frequent hand washing and good nutrition are effective in preventing the flu. However, every year media fueled campaigns promote influenza vaccination as the best protection against the flu. The influenza vaccine global market generates close to $4 billion a year and it is estimated to surpass $6 billion by 2023. Despite aggressive marketing it has been difficult to prove the efficacy of the flu vaccine since the flu virus frequently mutates (changes) and resistance to the vaccines is very common. Also with every flu vaccine harmful inactive ingredients are injected directly into a bloodstream. Some over-the-counter drugs may reduce the flu-like symptoms by a day or two but some medications, like Tamiflu®, carry the risk of side effects including mood or behavioral changes, hallucinations, seizures, and suicidal tendencies.
Taking extra vitamin C has been a very popular remedy against the flu. Vitamin C and some nutrients such as green tea, N-Acetyl Cysteine, and selenium have antiviral properties and support immunity. However, our research has documented that a combination of vitamin C with green tea extract, N-Acetylcysteine, lysine, proline and other micronutrients works more effectively than these compounds used alone. By working as a team, they can simultaneously target multiple mechanisms associated with flu infection. We have shown that a specific micronutrient synergy combination can inhibit multiplication of human flu viruses by up to 82% and reduce the infection of new cells by 70%2. This micronutrient combination was effective in all stages of viral infection, including before, during, and even after exposure to a flu virus, suggesting its enormous potential in natural control of the flu. Also, a combination of just Vitamin C with Lysine is important in strengthening our body’s natural barrier against the spread of viruses by impairing enzymatic destruction of the connective tissue. These two nutrients not produced in a human body should be provided regularly.
In addition to our studies on human flu virus (H1N1), we also demonstrated efficacy of this nutrient combination in bird flu virus (H5N1) and compared those effects to Tamiflu® and other antiviral drugs. The nutrient mixture was superior in antiviral properties and the protective effects lasted longer than the drugs3, without any side effects.
With the flu season at its peak, take advantage of our research findings to benefit your health!
- WHO, Seasonal Influenza Fact Sheet
- Jariwalla, et al., Biofactors, 31(1), (2007) 1-15
- PG Deryabin, et al., Biofactors 2008, 33(2): 85-97