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Influenza

Preamble

If you are reading this because you have developed flu symptoms, it is critical that you act quickly to halt the rapid replication of viruses occurring in your body at this very moment. Go to the nearest health food store or pharmacy and purchase:

  1. Zinc Lozenges: Take 2 zinc lozenges (13-24 mg of zinc in each lozenge) immediately and again every 2 – 3 hours for the first day or two. Then slowly reduce the dose until symptoms dissipate.
  2. Garlic: Take 9000-18 000 mg of a high-allicin garlic supplement each day until symptoms subside. Take with food to minimize stomach irritation.
  3. Vitamin D: If you do not already maintain a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D over 50 ng/mL, then take 50 000 IU of vitamin D the first day and continue for 3 more days. Slowly reduce the dose to around 5000 IU vitamin D daily. If you already take around 5000 IU of vitamin D daily, then you probably do not need to increase your intake.
  4. Cimetidine: Take 800-1200 mg daily in divided doses. Cimetidine is a heartburn drug that has potent immune enhancing properties. (It is sold in pharmacies over-the-counter.)
  5. Melatonin: 3 to 50 mg at bedtime.

Do not delay implementing the above regimen. Once a flu virus infects too many cells, it replicates out of control and strategies like zinc lozenges will not be effective. Treatment must be initiated as soon as symptoms manifest!

Introduction

The flu is a highly contagious, potentially deadly viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. It is caused by a number of influenza virus strains (CDC 2012b; MedlinePlus 2012; NFID 2012). The flu is responsible for over 200 000 hospitalizations and thousands of deaths annually in the United States (Ye 2012; Clark 2011; CDC 2011c; NFID 2012).

In the majority of flu cases the illness is self-limiting with recovery typically within 2 weeks (CDC 2012b; Mgbemena 2012; NIH 2008). However, some groups are at high risk for developing flu-related complications (eg, bacterial pneumonia), including people 65 or older, people with certain medical conditions (eg, asthma, COPD, diabetes), and those with weakened immune systems (CDC 2012b; CDC 2011d; Falagas 2010).

Although vaccination is the most effective and inexpensive flu prevention measure, conventional treatment strategies for severe cases of influenza are mainly limited to certain classes of antiviral drugs (eg, neuraminidase inhibitors such as oseltamivir [Tamiflu®]) (Wu 2010; Tang 2010; Cao 2011). However, among otherwise healthy individuals, these antiviral drugs are only associated with a modest 1-day decrease in flu duration (Jefferson 2006). This might be because antiviral therapy is often initiated too late after symptom onset to avert severe illness. Tamiflu® may be especially effective when initiated within 24-48 hours of contracting influenza virus.

Life Extension recommends early and aggressive action at the first sign of flu symptoms. Unfortunately, people often wait until they are very sick before seeking influenza treatment. This delay can preclude rapid eradication of the infectious agent. In some cases, treatment delay can be lethal.

This protocol will discuss the nature of the influenza virus, how it is spread, and how its transmission can be prevented. Conventional flu prevention and treatment strategies will be examined, as will novel drug strategies that may reduce severity of symptoms during influenza infection. Several scientifically studied natural therapies that may prevent or ease symptoms of the flu will also be reviewed.