This blog is mainly interested in the connection between mood disorder, such depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD and nutrition. Articles are for educational purposes only. Self-help therapy should only be in partnership with qualified health care practitioners

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nutrition Against the Pandemic Flu

Nutrition against the Pandemic Flu
Jurriaan Plesman, BA (pych), Post Grad Dip Clin Nutr
ABSTRACT:The epidemic flu usually strike people towards the end of the summer season. It can be shown that with declining exposure to sun-shine one of the factors causing the flu is vitamin D deficiency derived from less sun exposure. Another factor is psychological stress, that decreases one's immune system. Like climate change, the ever increasing risk to epidemic flu appears to be man-made because of our agricultural practice in meat production. Large scale factory farming of chickens and pigs place animals in a constant state of severe stress weakening the animals' immune system, thereby exposing them to opportunistic viruses. 70 percent of all antibiotics produced are used in animal factories, making them less responsive in human diseases. These viruses are sometimes transmitted from animals to humans. When the pathogens are transmitted from humans to humans we have an epidemic of the flu, that usually affects the respiratory system first. There are certain steps individuals can take to reduce the risk of exposure to the flu.

Every year and usually at the end of summer, we hear reports about the flu epidemic. Elderly people are advised to go to their doctors to ask for anti-flu vaccinations. Tamiflu, the drug of choice for the flu epidemic, went through some rough times not too long ago. As the dangers of this drug came to light in 2007, the FDA finally began investigating some 1,800 adverse event reports related to the drug. However, the drug may lessen the effects of the symptoms, and can mean the difference between life and death in marginal cases.
Epidemic influenza kills roughly a million people every year worldwide, usually by causing pneumonia. Over two hundred different viruses can cause upper respiratory infections (colds and flu), and they are around all year long. Christine Ann Leatz Page 224.
We are told that the flu virus may change its 'colours' every year and we wonder whether the flu injection may be the right one. The vaccination could be fighting an outdated virus. Or it could even have evolved accidentally "in eggs scientists use to grow viruses" to manufacture vaccines. Adrian Gibbs & Mercola .
One reason why we seem to become vulnerable at the end of summer and beginning of the winter is related to our sun exposure. The less sunlight we get, as during autumn and winter, the less we get vitamin D3 that we normally obtain from the sun. No wonder
vitamin D is not so much a vitamin but a sun vitamin. The Vitamin D Cure by James Dowd et al., 35 
There are many studies to show that vitamin D has a powerful ability to aid the functioning of the immune system such as T cells and macrophages. As well as having the potential to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and strengthen your immune system and virtually eliminate crippling conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis. Steve Blake Page 101 and Joseph Mercola Page 52 and vii.

For instance, following an epidemic of influenza in a maximum-security hospital for the criminally insane, it was found that in a ward where inmates were given 2,000 units of vitamin D every day for several months, were not affected by the epidemic. According to Dr. John Jacob Cannell, high doses of vitamin D taken at the first sign of influenza can effectively reduce the severity of symptoms. Dr Mercola

A flu epidemic, like climate change, is often related to human activities. It is not by sheer accident that the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI). Millions of soldiers in trenches and people had to endure incredible psychological stresses, that would have affected their immune system. Somewhere between 20 and 40 million people died. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster. Source

Psychological stress is well known to increase the susceptibility of the common cold and flu. Burton Goldberg Page 675 and by decreasing mucosal immunity in the upper respiratory tract. The findings also suggest a multidimensional relationship between stress and susceptibility to cold and flu.  Virginia Hill Rice page 287.

The question is where do these epidemics - such as bird flu and swine flu - have its origin? It is no great surprise to hear that the epidemics have been named after animals.  Let the literature speak for itself by quoting the following extracts:
Let's look at factory farms and the unanticipated consequences that have come with the adoption of factory techniques to produce animals for human consumption.
The crowding of many animals in a small space and confinement of individual animals in small stall creates stress, frustration, and boredom in the animals. John L Seitz Global Issues page 216

Sadly, maximizing productivity is the sole objective on factory farms and no consideration is given to the comfort or quality of life (or death) of the animals that end up on your dinner plate... causing them severe respiratory discomfort and illness. Pigs are intelligent creatures with a higher IQ than dogs, yet in today's pig factories, they are stuffed into narrow steel stall they can barely move in, stacked row upon row on top of each other. The urine and excrement from pigs in the upper levels drop down on those in the lower levels and toxic gases from waste (methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide) build up, causing them severe respiratory discomfort and illness....The Best of All Worlds: A Complete Culinary Guide to Feeling Great, Staying ...‎ - Page 66

See Images here and here and here

Beef cattle, pigs, and sheep are not immune to the cruelties of factory farming. The conditions under which these animals are raised result in severe physiological as well as behavioural afflictions. Anemia, influenza, intestinal ailments plague factory-farmed animals...The pork industry's own research revealed that 70 to 90 percent of persons who work in such places experience acute respiratory symptoms. It was revealed that up to 70 percent of all factory-farmed hogs display symptoms of atrophic rhinitis and pneumonia.
The Bible Diet: 40 Days to Cleanliness‎ - Page 28

Each day these chicken eat about 70-100 grams of specially designed feed, which may contain antibiotics or growth hormones. Although chickens are efficient at converting grains into protein, their living conditions make them very susceptible to respiratory diseases.
Happier meals: rethinking the global meat industry‎ - Page 17

Chickens raised in small quantities, were fed table scraps and hunted and pecked for insects that were attracted to manure. But in large numbers, there are not sufficient table scraps and the chicken must be fed special feeds.
Chicken raised indoors do not get enough sunlight to metabolize calcium properly, so the feed must be supplemented with vitamin D and cod liver oil. Because the birds live in close proximity to each other, antibiotics are often necessary to keep the birds healthy.
Food safety by Nina Redman Page 81
See images here and here and here 
Many of these antibiotics are the same ones used in human medicine. There is now widespread concern among health professionals that agricultural antibiotic use is an important factor in the well-documented declining ability of antibiotics to fight human diseases, and the constant presence of antibiotics selects for drug-resistant strains of bacteria. One study found that 70 percent of all antibiotics use in the United States is for livestock production, mostly for uses other than the treatment of sick animals. (Another 14 percent is used as pesticide in fruit and vegetable production)...An invitation to environmental sociology‎ - Page 60
Farmers add antibiotics to the feed to keep the animals going until slaughter. For poorly understood reasons, antibiotic help fatten some livestock on less food, adding an economic incentive for feeding excess non therapeutic doses. Many of the drugs used on farm animals closely resemble the types used for treating human bacterial infections, the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.
Clearly, antibiotic overexposure undermines the drugs' effectiveness for treating infectious diseases at least, and at worst can render them useless. In other words, continuing to eat these drugs in our food eventually could make us very vulnerable to bacterial diseases. Public health authorities already have found pathogens in antibiotic-fed animals that resist many of our wonder drugs.... But factory-bred farm animals still eat antibiotics at eight times human ...
The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and ...‎ - Page 57

This, in turn, can have serious impacts on human health. About 25 million pounds of antibiotics are fed every year to livestock for growth promotion and ...
Biblical Holism and Agriculture: Cultivating Our Roots‎ - Page 71

Regular swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease, caused by a type-A influenza virus that affects pigs. The current strain, A(H1N1), is a new variation of an H1N1 virus -- which causes seasonal flu outbreaks in humans -- that also contains genetic material of bird and pig versions of the flu. It is interesting to note that some strain of the herpes simplex virus (shingle) can be starved to death by a diet that is high in lysine and low in arginine. (Chaitow L. Page 53).
It is not known whether lysine also inhibits EBV, HHV-6, or CMV, but these viruses are all members of the herpes family. Lysine is safe and inexpensive. The recommended dose is 1,000 milligrams three times a day. It is certainly worthwhile to include high lysine foods in the diet, which will lower arginine sources. However arginine is also the forerunner of nitric oxide and growth hormones. A decrease in nitric oxide may affect Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as this illness is marked by low levels of growth hormones.  Jacob Teitelbaum page 142. Thus it is wise to consul a doctor.

Hence some dietary tips to protect against the epidemic flu are:
  1. Optimize vitamin D levels (up to 2,000 IU's/ day when you have the flu), they should be at levels of 50-65 ng/ml. See: Dr. Mercola 
  2. Avoid sugar and processed foods
  3. Get enough rest
  4. Exercise: this increases your blood circulation throughout the whole body
  5. Supplement with animal based Omega-3 fatty acids like Krill Oil
  6. Wash your hands regularly
  7. Eat Garlic regularly (From Dr J. Mercola)
  8. Eat foods high in lysine:arginine ratio such as: fish, chicken, beef, lamb, milk, cheese, beans, brewer's yeast and mug bean sprouts
  9. Avoid: Foods high in arginine:lysine such as: gelatine, chocolate, carob, coconut, oats, wholewheat and white flour, peanuts, soybeans and wheat-germ. Leon Chaitow page 54
  10. Drink green tea which contains EGCG (50%), together with vitamin A, E, C, L-Lysine, zinc helps in inhibiting the invasion and spread of viral infection. Nutrient mixture of lysine, proline, ascorbic acid, green tea, NAC and selenium. RR Watson Page 210

Please discuss with a Nutritional Doctor, Clinical Nutritionist or a Nutritional Psychologist.

And above all: Vote for political parties that ban the establishment of disease generating animal factory farms and that encourage the creation of humane free-range animal farms.

Video: Swine Flu, Vaccination & You by Barbara Loe Fisher, President National Vaccine Information Center

Further references
The great bird flu hoax: the truth they don't want you to know about the ...‎
The Case for Alternative Healthcare: Understanding, Surviving and Thriving ...‎ - Page 279
Mosby's handbook of diseases‎ - Page 350
Family Medicine Examination and Board Review‎ - Page 295
Oxford Textbook of Medicine‎ - Page 1361
Family medicine: principles and practice‎ - Page 336

About Dr JJ Cannell abstract

Pubmed articles by Cannell JJ et als.

Use of viamin D in clinical practice by JJ Cannell (2008)

On the epidemiology of influenza by Cannell JJ et als. (2008)

Simple Dietary Rules by Jur Plesman

References for free-range farming
Deep vegetarianism‎ - Page 168
Animal Health and Welfare in Organic Agriculture‎ - Page 208
Food for life‎ - Page 17
Happier meals: rethinking the global meat industry‎ - Page 54
Animal Welfare and Meat Production‎ - Page 246
The Gold Coast Cure's Fitter, Firmer, Faster Program: Get a Killer Body ...‎ - Page 26
The 150 healthiest foods on earth: the surprising, unbiased truth about what ...‎ - Page 189

1 comment:

  1. interesting read, and the bit about voting for political parties that encourage free range animal farms as oppose to the 'animal factory' farms is a very important point.