What is the best method of flu prevention?
The start of autumn brings a change of weather, shorter days and the new flu vaccine. The annual flu vaccination is heavily promoted throughout the country by all factions of the NHS. Everyone over the age of 65, asthmatics, diabetics, pregnant women and even young children (most of the population) are being pushed to get this vaccination. It is worth thinking before simply agreeing to the jab. The vaccine promotes protection against most strains of flu but this does not provide a 100 per cent guarantee that you will be protected. The flu virus is continually evolving, so any specific vaccine can never be an identical match to the latest strain. Health authorities also promote an annual vaccination as the strains of flu evolve each year. By the time you have the vaccine, the new strain of flu is invariably in circulation. This mass vaccination programme, however, does not take into account the individual’s susceptibility to getting the flu symptoms.
The medical authorities do not promote the use of vitamins, healthy diet and regular exercise as a means of naturally boosting the immune system. Taking immune boosting vitamins such as B vitamins, vitamin C and zinc throughout the winter months strengthens your natural defences irrespective of the specific strains of flu that are in circulation. We can even boost natural immunity through our diet. Fried foods and junk food deplete our stores of vitamins and minerals, whereas a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit and water can supplement the immune system. Latest research is looking at a universal vaccine which boosts numbers of CD8 T cells in the body. Experiments have suggested that CD8 cells could protect against the virus, but further studies will need to be conducted. It is worth taking a bit of time to consider other options before having the seasonal jab.