Treating and Preventing Viral Infections

Modern medicine has solutions to many things that can be treated with drugs or surgery. However, when it comes to viral infections, medicine takes a back seat to the body’s innate immunity.   We have very effective drugs for treating bacteria and fungus infections. When it comes to viruses the best thing seems to be to prevent the disease. This is typically done through acquired immunization. Sometimes the vaccines are not very effective. Have you ever had the flu vaccine and still got the flu? The many varieties of the common cold virus and its constant mutations have prevented the development of a vaccine.

But what about treatment for really serious viral infections like the flu or the present concern over the Ebola virus. It seems that the best course of treatment for these two very serious diseases is to maintain nutrition and hydration as the disease runs its course. I find it odd that we don’t have a vaccine for many of the common bacterial infections that we treat with antibiotics, but we have vaccines for viral infections that we have no drug for treatment. Is there an economic factor in the development of drugs versus vaccines with different types of infections?   Would it not be great to have a vaccine against the streptococcus bacterium? Of course it would “kick the crap” out of the antibiotic economics because of reduced need. Would it not be great to have a vaccine for antibiotic resistant diseases like MRSA? MRSA diseases do account for about fifteen thousand deaths each year in the US.

When there is not a drug to effectively treat an infection, the best course of action is to assure that your innate immunity or your body’s natural immune system is running at peak performance. So how do you accomplish this peak performance to prevent and treat virus infections? I will tell you how I have gone for ten years without getting a cold or the flu. I had one bacterial lung infection during this period that was most likely caused by not wearing a respirator when entering a very nasty crawlspace under an old home. I also had a MRSA infection that was brought home from a hospital by a family member. It seems that our natural immune systems are much more effective at taking care of viral infections versus bacterial infections. Since I have not had a cold or the flu during this period except for the time I tempted fate by not taking my normal course of vitamins and minerals, we have to believe that proper nutrition and exercise to keep the body healthy is the best course of action against viral diseases.

Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, zinc, and iodine: These vitamins work together for producing many effects in the immune system. This includes boosting your white blood cells and the differentiation into the many types of natural pathogen “killers”. Also vitamin D and vitamin A work together to allow the body to make a very effective pathogen killer called cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides. This family of anti-pathogens is very effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungus. The amounts of these nutrients in the body are very critical to their effectiveness.

I read one story about how during a research project, the serum vitamin D of the subjects was being taken once per week. It was noted that one of the subjects had a 25(OH)D level above 60ng/ml one week and the next week the level had dropped to below 20 ng/ml. The next day this subject came down with the flu. When a viral infection becomes active in the body, the immune system can use up its stores of nutrients very rapidly. To repeat, the amount of important micronutrients is extremely critical. For example, you should increase the amounts of vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc if an infection is present.

It may be that you need to take 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 for a couple of days or the amount you would make at the beach in the sun for a week. You may also want to consider the amount of vitamin C that you are taking. A good way for short term increase in vitamin C is to take liposomal vitamin C. I do not think that you should take this form on a regular basis as it will be too much. One gram, 1000mg, of liposomal vitamin C may act as taking as much as 20 grams or more IV. Antidotal cases have shown that vitamin C is a very effective disease fighter. On a regular basis, you should get at least 3 to 4 grams per day. Zinc is another disease fighter that you may also want to increase. You might increase your intake to as much as 50 mg/d until the virus symptoms recede. Also, folate from leafy greens or as supplement of methyl folate with vitamin B12 is critical for the methylation cycle for proper genetic expression. All of the above nutrients can be depleted rapidly during disease.

Since there is not an effective method for treating Ebola, I wonder why nutritional techniques are not practiced on a disease where the death rate is 50 to 70 percent and sometimes higher. I guess modern medicine has simply decided to remove these efficacious tools. It seems that they do understand the need for hydration and the replacement of minerals, but what about all of the other nutrients that get depleted.

Protect yourself this winter as common viruses start to invade the population. Be sure that you are getting enough of the important nutrients. – Pandemic Survivor

Further Reading: Linus Pauling Institute Oregon State University – Immunity: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/immunity.html

Dr. David Brownsteins Blog Ebola: A Scurvy-Like Illness: http://blog.drbrownstein.com/ebola-a-scurvy-like-illness/

List of viral diseases – CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/disinfo/disease.htm

 

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