It’s that time of the year again; the seasons are changing, the sunny days of summer are behind us and cold/flu season is upon us!

Flu season does not mean you should be running to your nearest pharmacy for a shot, it means you should take extra steps to make sure you body is running well and can fight off any invaders!  If anything this is an opportunity to check in with your health so you can take on the busy winter months without being laid up in bed.  You should ask yourself; how’s my stress level, is my immune system optimal, is it time for a check up?  There are plenty of steps to take in order to give you immune system a leg up!

The flu shot is on of those western medicine hoaxes, you don’t need to inoculate your body with the common virus.  Most cases of flu shots cause people to have many of the same symptoms as the flu including fever, headache, aches, pains, cough and runny nose.  Not to mention having to add an extra errand to your already busy life just to stand in line for a shot.  Furthermore, if you get the flu shot and it fails you will suffer the same symptoms and you did nothing to strengthen your immune.

The CDC(1) reported back in February that the vaccine effectiveness is estimated to be 25% effective against A(H3N2) virus, 67% effective against A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, and 42% effective against influenza B virus.  However, you have no idea what virus you are going to get, let alone you are not you guaranteed to fall into the group that will see success.

In addition!  Back in 2015 the CDC reported that between 2005-2015 the flu vaccine was less than 50% effective more than half of the time, and this years overall effectiveness rating comes in at a low 36%.

According to a French(2) study conducted last year, researchers tested the hypothesis that vaccines may reduce the severity of symptoms caused by the flu.  The research didn’t come out with any outstanding results that shows vaccines are a the end all be all!

“Compared to non-vaccinated influenza patients, those who had been vaccinated had a slightly reduced maximum temperature and presented less frequently with myalgia, shivering and headache. In stratified analyses, the observed effect was limited to patients infected with A(H3) or type B viruses. After adjusting by age group, virus (sub)type and season, the difference remained statistically significant only for headache, which was less frequent among vaccinated individuals.”

The flu shot can also make you more susceptible to the flu, and no one wants that!

“[Your] immune system is being programmed by the flu shot making it ready for the exact strains in the shot. It does not protect against other strains but instead opens you up to other flu strains and infection from other pathogens. It’s called heterologous immunity … an extension of basic immunology.(3) 

Heterologous immunity essentially means “unequal immunity.”  With a flu shot the body is prepared to a certain extent if it encounters a pathogen that is “similar enough.” However, it can work in such a way that the body spends all its energy on learning how to protect against the flu vaccine that you were given and it becomes less flexible in handling other invaders that you may encounter.

So what can you do?  Add a few supplements into your daily routine and you will reap the benefits!  Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Green Tea, Smart Silver, get your Omega-3 fats in, and probiotics!  Also, keep an eye on your diet (eat or drink you dark leafy greens!), drink lots of water, exercise, sit in a sauna, manage your stress, get quality sleep, and wash your hands!