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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Higher Vitamin D Intake Drastically Reduces Disease

A new study of serum levels of vitamin D shows that 4000 to 8000 IU per day are required to keep your serum level in a range that will reduce the incidence of disease. This includes cancer, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.  Dr. Cedric Garland says that the incidence of many diseases could be reduced by half.

Here is the news article in Business Week: “Higher Vitamin D Level Could Cut Cancer Risk”

As I have described in many post, the amount of vitamin D required is different for each individual.  The only way to know that you are getting enough is to have your serum 25(OH)D level tested.  Serum levels should be maintained above 40 ng/ml, and for best results the level should be maintained between 60 to 80 ng/ml year round.  You should only supplement with Vitamin D3.

For a better understanding of the science, here is the journal article that was published in Anticancer Research, International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment, made available in its entirety by Grass Roots Health.

Vitamin D Supplement Doses and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in the Range Associated with Cancer Prevention

CEDRIC F. GARLAND, CHRISTINE B. FRENCH, , LEO L. BAGGERLY, and ROBERT P. HEANEY (here is the url in case you cannot go there from the above link  http://www.grassrootshealth.net/garland02-11)

“This paper provides a long awaited insight into a dose-response relationship between orally administered vitamin D3 and the resulting levels of serum 25(OH)D in over 3600 citizens. The results will allow new definition of high vitamin D dose safety and reduce concerns about toxicity. This is a landmark contribution in the vitamin D nutrition field!”

Pandemic Survivor

Sunday Musing

Well there you have it, the CDC claiming that increased vaccination was the reason for so few seasonal flu deaths this year.  But how do they explain that influenza like illness is as low now as it normally is at week 35 of the flu season and we are only at week 15?  Keep taking your vitamin D folks because the wellness is just beginning.

Here is the story from the Baltimore Sun  Overall flu deaths down during H1N1 pandemic

From the article:  “Overall flu deaths are down this year because H1N1 flu crowded seasonal flu out,” said Jeff Dimond of the CDC.       Please Mr. Dimond, give me a small personal break!  – Pandemic Survivor

Vitamin D is having its time in the sun The Vancouver Sun   Now I just wonder why the The Vancouver Sun decided to name their newspaper ‘the sun’?

Let the confusion truly begin in earnest.  We have talked about the three stages of paradigm change in the past.  Ridicule, violent opposition, and accepting as if it has always been.  Here you have two newspapers in Canada releasing opposing stories about whether Canadians are replete in vitamin D.  This is how the battle will be fought as stories by ‘experts’ try to maintain you at some level that is not adequate so the disease state can prevail which means that sales in the medical/pharma/medical insurance industries are maintained.  It will be interesting to see how much confusion revolves (as in major spin) around the FNB on vitamin D and calcium findings are published this year.

Do I sound a little perturbed or less than happy about what is being said about vitamin D then you are wrong.  I am extremely grateful for how far the medical profession has come in such a short amount of time.  I just wish it had happened before I suffered 25 years of pain, ten of them severe pain, loss of income and loss of friends because no one could stand to see me in pain.

I do get perturbed when I hear doctors make statements like: “And Mark, you may think I’m a skeptic, but with all the supplementation that is now being done for those on (list any med for many of the chronic diseases), wouldn’t you think if Vit D were of great benefit that we’d know by now?”

My answer to this question is of course NO!  I first thought that I was just being bated by this person and then I realized she was being serious.  Modern medicine is so great how could  you think that we are not giving you the best there is to offer in other words.  Here is a doctor that has totally forgotten that the institutions of medicine practice for profit and not always for customer satisfaction.  If they can keep the spin going that they are ‘giving the best that there is to offer’ then perhaps their customers will be happy.  Even if they just die along the way.

Be prepared for the continued spin and how you are going to deal with it.  With a replete population we are talking about a 25 to 50% reduction in disease and then what will happen to the medical economy and social security?      – Pandemic Survivor

And Pigs Will Fly Out of My B***?

In early September, 2009 headlines read that 90,000 people could die in the US this flu season.  Get your flu shot!!!  Like this CNN reports that sites this number as well as the worn out typical of 40,000 deaths per year from the seasonal flu.

The swine has truly flown.  We had a very unusual flu season this year.  The peak for the seasonal flu usually occurs sometime between the last of January through the middle of March.  However, this year with the 2009 H1N1 we had a peak that occurred in October and then by the first of January the incidence of all influenza like illness dropped to below the baseline.  You can check out the graph of the hospitalizations for the US here.  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/updates/us/#iligraph There is more detailed information and graphs on this page: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ for week 11/2010.

The question arises what happened to the normal spike for the regular flu.  I can see the spike occurring for the H1N1 for people who were susceptible to the virus and it occurring early in the winter.  However, how did that affect the seasonal flu that should have peaked in late February?  Every year up until now the spike has typically occurred in late winter.  What is different?

Perhaps what happened was the fear of people dying from the H1N1 motivated more people to get the regular flu vaccination.  Also if you think about it the H1N1 vaccine was not readily available until November.  People got vaccinated and the flu stopped?  I wonder when President Obama will make a speech taking credit for getting more people taking the flu vaccine and this is what caused the significant reduction and how as you read the following.

More confusion!?  The really interesting thing is that the table for total influenza like illness for hospitalizations shows 41, 551 with 2, 077 deaths. (table below the graph: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/updates/us/#iligraph).  How do you rationalize these numbers with the totals of what the CDC claims as typical at over 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths.  The insurance companies should really be happy this year as they had to pay significantly less to providers because of the low incidence of illness or have we just been lied to by the CDC.  It is truly confusing.  Do hospitals not report death?  I do not believe the federal guidelines would allow this.  Here is what the CDC has been telling you: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

Since the drug companies or Obama have not taken credit, I think that I will just jump right in.  It is my hope that what really happened was that there was enough in the press about the antiviral affects of vitamin D that people in general took more.  It would not take a lot to make a huge impact in the population.  The one thing that did change this year is that for the first time, CVS, Walgreens, and the local Kerr Drug all carried vitamin D3 in 5,000 IU capsules.  Thank you Dr. Cannell!

I tried to find the percent of the population that took the vaccination for the H1N1 and for the seasonal flu without success.  This seems to be a closely held number.  I know that there are some reports that more than half of the H1N1 vaccines that the US ordered were not used but I cannot confirm.

Taking my D3 and getting a tan in the winter and the blues and flu just fly away.  I just love flying pigs  – Pandemic Survivor

Eliminate the Common Cold!

The common cold has long been one of the ailments of man that is most times more of a nuisance than anything else.  Of course the remedy manufacturers love it because ‘modern medicine’ has convinced us that there is no cure.  I am sure that many billions of dollars are spent every year in trying to obtain relief from the aches and stuffed-up noses and general lack of the feeling of well being.  It is also responsible for many lost days of work and in general can stop the person from performing normal task for days.  We take aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen for aches and pains and any of many different remedies to help clear the nasal passages.  And yet when winter comes we get a cold and most times two to four colds per year and children as many as six or more.

I would like to stop here with a note of warning for those of you that like to take acetaminophen for your aches.  It is generally recognized that over use of acetaminophen and in particular with alcohol is now responsible for about one third of liver failures.

Have you stopped to think about the name that we have given to the ‘cold’?  I would suppose we have given it this name because we get the ‘cold’ when it is cold.  We just believe that when cold weather comes we will get a cold.  What if this were not true?  How would it be if we could go for many decades without getting a cold?

It is generally reported in medical discussions of colds that there is really no correlation between cold temperatures in causing us to get colds.  It is more about us crowding together in the winter time to pass the viruses to each other.  I say that this is completely upside down thinking.  With modern air conditioning we crowd together just as much in the summer as we do in the winter.  There are two things that happen in the winter time that is different than summer.  First it gets cold and second we do not have as much exposure to the sun’s UVB.

First on the cold:  Airways temperatures do drop during the inhalation of cold air.  For ambient air temperature of 73 F (23 C) we find that the pharynx temperature to be about 96 .8 (35.8 C).  When we inhale cold air at 0 F (-17.5 C) we find the pharynx temperature to be about 93 F (33.5 C).  In general the lower bronchi temperatures stay in the 98.7 F (37 C) to 99.8 F (37.7 C) temperature range.  It is shown that the common cold replicates best at temperatures of 33 C (91.4 F) to 35 C (95 F).  So when the air is room temperature then our upper airway passage temperatures are above the best temperature for replication.  When we inhale cold air our upper airway passages fall to the range of temperature that is best for the cold virus to grow.  It only makes sense that colds will most likely happen when it gets cold outside and hence its name.  It is interesting that the lower airway passages typically stay above 98.6 which is a good thing as it is above the temperature that colds like.

References for the above info:  http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/full/174/12/1284 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine – 2006  ‘Rhinovirus Infections More Than a Common Cold’,  Marc B. Hershenson, M.D. , University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Sebastian L. Johnston, M.D., Ph.D. , National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom

November 1988 Farley and Patel  Journal Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing http://www.springerlink.com/content/014gn23616354312/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10223554 ‘Rhinoviruses replicate effectively at lower airway temperatures.’  Papadopolous, et. Al. J. Med. Virol. May 1999

So from the above discussion you can see that one of our main defenses against the cold is body temperature or more important temperature of the airways.  You know when I was growing up one of my brothers used to call it ‘sweating out a cold’ when he would put on about four quilts and spend enough time there until his cold left.  I do not suggest this but it does seem to help the common cold when I spend time in a dry sauna which is at a temperature of about 120 F.  It is also apparent that when we start to ‘run a fever’ this is our body trying to fight off the infection.  It really makes you wonder about the wisdom of trying so hard to keep the body temperature down using aspirin or acetaminophen. We certainly do not want it to get above 105 F as our brains start to ‘fry’ but there is nothing wrong with 101 F as our body is just trying to fight off the infection and is certainly a signal that we are infected.

So from this discussion it is best to stay warm during the winter to help fight off the common cold.  Of course in the summer we are not exposed to cold air temperatures that are conducive for the cold virus to flourish.  Also do not be so quick with remedies to reduce body temperature when you have a cold.  Of course if it starts to get too high then act quickly to get it down.

Now here is the exciting part the SUN!  This is the second method of our body’s natural response to fight off the common cold.  First the temperatures that prevent the cold from forming and second our innate immunity that is significantly improved when we have enough vitamin D3 in our bodies are our body’s major defenses.  Isn’t it interesting how over the last fifty years we have gotten so good about getting our body’s temperature down and scared out of the sun so that we do not get enough vitamin D.  These things are just wrong for good health.

When I first started taking vitamin D for my back pain I had no idea that there were all of these other benefits.  My thought was that since I had degenerative disc disease and that was so close to rickets then maybe the vitamin D would help to heal my back.  Boy did I hit the jackpot in health.  My back healed but so did the rest of my body.  I have not had a viral infection since 2004 when I started to take vitamin D3.  Before I started taking vitamin C on a regular basis I typically had two to five colds per year.  After vitamin C I would have one to two colds a year and really dreaded it as these colds would be really hard to shake.  And since I have added vitamin D at 10,000 IU per day I have not had a cold or any other viral infection including the flu.

Another ‘survivor story’ is that of a 20 year old college student that had a severe cold that had hung around from Thanksgiving until the week of Christmas.  After being advised that she might be able to help the cold with vitamin D she decided to supplement.  She took a 50,000 IU D3 for three days in a row and the cold just simply went away.  She has not had a cold since and that was three years ago as she has kept her vitamin D level up by supplementing.

I had another friend whose twenty something son had a cold that had been around for three months.  After reading about the vitamin D he decided to supplement and his cold just went away.  My friend also started to supplement and now she tells me it is the first time that she has gone for more than a year without a cold.

Is there science to support this understanding that vitamin D3 formed in our bodies from the sun is a super viral infection fighter.  Yes consider this story released last year in February about how vitamin D reduced the common cold CNN.  Also this article from Dr. Mercola – ‘Can Vitamin D Cure the Common Cold’.

Also these items from Dr. John Cannell at the Vitamin D Council:

Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D Newsletter.

Research on Vitamin D and Influenza

Research on Tuberculosis and Vitamin D

You know we try so hard to show how vitamin D helps to rid our bodies of the real killers like tuberculosis and the flu that sometimes we just forget about a nuisance like the common cold.  However, when you add things like asthma and COPD in combination with a cold then it becomes a killer also.

Can the common cold be eliminated?  Based on the ‘survivor stories’ from myself and people that I know then absolutely yes.  It appears that vitamin D3’s major gift to us is its ability fight virus infections in addition to other pathogens.  However, it particularly seems to really destroy viruses in the human body.  In fact a near future post will be about how vitamin D can fight the virus hepatitis C from a new study that was just released.

Eliminate the common cold by:

  1. Keeping your serum 25(OH)D3 above 60 ng/ml by UVB exposure or by supplementing.
  2. Stay warm!

Don’t you know the cold remedy manufacturers really hate to hear this!

Ah, warm and in the sun what could better!!!!     – Pandemic Survivor

You may want to check out this comment by John at a recent post.

Healtcare Reform – Heal the People

Sorry to not have posted in a while.  I had vacation and business to take care of.  I am trying to post two to three per week.  Send me your vitamin D3 survivor stories to email vitamindmark@gmail.com.

I have been truly amazed at the amount of misinformation that is thrown about during the debate over healthcare reform.  There are both good and bad parts of the legislation that is being proposed.  I believe that it is good if we can get to a health coverage that takes the enormous profits of the health insurance industry out of play and how the intent to profit negatively impacts health.  I do not believe that the government taking over these profits as another form of tax is proper either. On the other hand the intrusion of government into our private lives can be devastating.

As I was surfing the channels listening to the comments by various ‘news’ channels I found Bill O’Rielly and Dick Morris talking about one of President Obama’s recent speeches on the mater.  They were just about to end the segment when Dick Morris made the comment that Canada’s death rate from cancer was sixteen percent higher than the US.  “Why would we want a healthcare system that would cause this much higher death rate”, he said.  Bill agreed and they ended the segment.  I decided to follow this line of argument.

I found the total death rate from all neoplasms or ‘new growth’ to be 184 deaths per year per 100,000 in the US  for 2005.  From Reuters. I did confirm that that Canada’s death rate from cancer was about 16% higher.  In following the logic of modeling a country with low cancer death rates, I then looked at Mexico.  I found the death rate to be about 90 per 100,000 or about half of what the death rate was for the US.  Article in the Oxford Journals.  This is about half the rate as the US so we most likely would want to adopt the healthcare industry in Mexico?  Dick Morris, get a grip!  Fear mongering is not the answer to healthcare.

I then looked at the death rate from all causes from the CIA  data to follow Dick’s logic in how to discover a healthcare system that is most appropriate.  I found the 2009 est. for the US to be 8.3 per 1000 with a worldwide rank of 102.  I also found the death rate in Canada to be 7.74 per 1000 with a rank of 117 and Mexico at 4.8 per 1000 with a rank of 194.  The highest death rate with the number 1 rank is Swaziland at 30.8 per 1000 and the lowest was the United Arab Emirates with a rate of 2.11 per 1000 and a rank of 223.

Now what are we to make of this?  It is to be noted that the lowest death rates in the world are primarily in countries that are awash in sunshine.  Countries in the Middle East are highly populated in the lower rankings as well as countries along the lower latitudes, closer to the equator, in the world. Swaziland at the highest is totally understandable because it has been devastated with the HIV virus.  It is also the world’s last absolute monarchy which means that if you do not do what the government wants you die.  With the amount of war going on in the Middle East, it is surprising to find the deaths rates so low.  However, think of how these countries have so many days of no clouds and just bright sunshine.

Let’s think about Mexico.  Mexico City has the highest population of any city in the world at almost 9 million.  It is also located at approximately 7400 ft in elevation.  This puts it above a lot of the atmosphere that blocks out UVB waves that generate vitamin D in the skin.  As an aside it was the practice to build solarims for the treatment for TB in the first par of the first part of the 20th Century above 5000 ft.  As we have discussed in other post, vitamin D3 has a vector in the pathology of all disease.  It is interesting that the death rate from the H1N1 virus has been so high in this country.  However, in general as the H1N1 has spread the countries with low vitamin D levels have much higher death rates from this disease.

Could it be that Dick Morris is just wrong in his statement?  I think that the answer is absolutely yes.  What should we do for the health of the population?  The best answer for healthcare reform is to treat the populations of the world with the best available science.  That is to be sure that everyone’s serum 25(OH)D3 level is above 50 ng/ml.  As discussed earlier from a paper by Dr. William Grant of SUNARC.ORG the serum level of people in a sunny country is 54 ng/ml to 90 ng/ml.  This could be done for about $20 dollars per person per year.  What an inexpensive way to improve the health of all people.  For the US this is only 6 billion dollars per year.  I suspect that this is going to be significantly less than we spend on the H1N1 vaccine alone for this year.  It is also just a ‘drop in the bucket’ of that 2.5 trillion dollar US medical economy.  But here lies the problem.  The medical economy could drop by 30% if we healed the population and what would we do with all those lost insurance jobs.  I would not want to be president, but if I were, normalizing the serum 25(OH)D3 level would be the first thing I did.

Spend time in the sun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  – Pandemic Survivor