How My Kids Fight The Flu Season

If my boys were to explain this, it would involve swords and light sabers along with some pretty cool sound effects.  My method is not that dramatic nor fun-filled, but it’s effective.  With the flu season still in full swing where we live, my kids have thus far stayed healthy. They’ve had a few, short-lived colds, but overall, they’ve fared well this winter season.  I didn’t even realize until the other day when a friend was telling me her horror stories about her entire family just getting over the stomach flu, seasonal flu and head colds that my kids did not have any type of flu virus this winter.  First time ever, that I can recall.  How is that, you may wonder? Luck? I don’t think so.

My family does not get annual flu shots. My kids’ bodies just can’t handle the toxic additives that are in the flu vaccinations; it does them more harm than good.  So then how do I protect my kids from the seasonal flu? Well, we have a variety of police patrolling our house and one of them is the “hand washing” police. Everyday when they get home from school, the first thing they have to do is wash their hands. Now I know they aren’t washing their hands before they eat lunch at school; they are kids after all.  So how are they staying healthy?

I believe the secret lies in boosting their immune system to fight off those nasty bugs. The key immune boosters at our house are vitamin D and zinc. Let’s not forget important ones like vitamins C and A, which are also great for fighting colds, but vitamin D has gotten a lot of attention lately for its ability to increase immune activity.

Because humans obtain most vitamin D from sun exposure and not from their diet, a varying percentage of the population is vitamin D deficient, at any time, during any season, although the percentage is higher in the winter. We live in sunny southern California and both of my son’s vitamin D levels were tested and came back low. I know you’re thinking, wow, lots of sunshine and still not high enough vitamin D levels? That’s crazy!  Imagine the levels in kids living in the northernmost hemisphere.

Circumstantial evidence has implicated wintertime low levels of vitamin D to the seasonal increases in colds and flu, but some smaller studies have also hinted at a link between low vitamin D level and a higher risk of respiratory infections.  In one study* the results showed those with the lowest vitamin D levels were 36% more likely to report having a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with higher levels. This association persisted during all four seasons and was even stronger among those with a history or asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Unless you eat a lot of fish and drink a lot of milk, you just can’t get enough vitamin D from your diet. That is why I supplement it at our house every day and don’t wait for a cold to begin.

The other immune booster in our house is zinc. It’s been shown that zinc deficiency impairs the immune response in our bodies. I know that there are popular over-the-counter remedies for treating cold and flu viruses including Zicam and Cold EEZE zinc lozenges.  Problem is, you’re waiting until you get sick to take any form of zinc.  Think preventative, not just curative.

My sons take between 20 – 40 mg. of a zinc supplement every day.  Along with the 1,000 I.U.s of vitamin D3 per day, they are winning the battle against cold and flu viruses.  And to their disbelief, no swords or light sabers were necessary.

* Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed information on vitamin D levels and respiratory infections from nearly 19,000 adults and adolescents who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) from October 1988 to October 1994.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/24/health.vitamind.cold/index.html

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100319/hl_nm/us_vitamind_study

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3 Responses

  1. No doubt vitamin D is important for many reasons. Here is an article from a wellness site that talks about the importance of vitamin D in overall health. Also, there is a recent study from Australia linking vitamin D deficiency to food allergies.

  2. Thinking preventative not curative is something that Americans typically have had a difficult time doing. We’re definitely motivated, just not the best long term planners. Another thing you can do to boost your immune system is to start eating nutrient dense foods. Go for the green, orange and yellow, the kind that is ultra bright. Better for you, and better for your immune system. Great article.

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