The government and pharmaceutical companies would have us believe that many segments of the population must get vaccinated against the flu every year to protect their health. These supposedly “high risk” groups include pregnant women, children less than five years of age (and especially children under the age of two) and everyone aged 50 and older. Is this information truly accurate and based on sound science? Maybe not.Safety and Efficacy
In recent years, medical experts around the world have been questioning the conventional wisdom of flu vaccines. One researcher who reviewed the studies on influenza vaccines concluded in an article published in British Medical Journal that their effectiveness cannot be confirmed. He also observed that there is inadequate research to demonstrate their safety, stating, “The large gap between policy and what the data tell us (when rigorously assembled and evaluated) is surprising.”

Childhood Flu Vaccine Inhibits Development of T-Cells
A newly published study in the Journal of Virology adds additional weight to the case against routine influenza vaccinations. Researchers have found that vaccinating children annually against the flu virus interferes with the development of virus-specific killer T cells. This means that the annual flu vaccine may protect children against the actual viruses in the vaccine, but at the same time makes them more vulnerable to any other virus that they are exposed to.

Support Your Immune System Naturally
As an integrative medical doctor, I believe that you can support your immune system naturally with a combination of healthy nutritional choices and targeted supplements for immune support. It is generally not necessary to introduce viruses, chemicals and heavy metals into our bodies in the form of a vaccination.

Common sense and scientific research tell us that one of the most important strategies for staying well is to wash your hands frequently. Washing with soap and running water for 20 seconds is the most effective way to cleanse your hands of all kinds of germs.

It is also important to get enough sleep (greater than 7 hours per night), get moderate exercise and not overwork (less then 10 hours per day).

Nutritional approaches to a healthy immune system include eating plenty of green vegetables, reducing or eliminating consumption of refined sugars and processed foods, and supplementing with immune boosting vitamins, minerals, herbs and botanicals.

Immune Support Supplements
You can support your body’s innate health mechanisms with certain scientifically-researched formulas and compounds that combine cutting edge science with traditional wisdom. These will offer comprehensive health support whenever you need it most: during the winter season, when under stress, while travelling and for daily protection. Here are some of my top recommendations for supporting immune health during the winter and year round.

One of my top recommendations is a blend of six medicinal mushrooms with additional immune boosting beta glucans. The mushrooms in this formula have been used for thousands of years to promote optimal functioning of the immune system and support overall health. However, this formula is unique because the mushrooms are cultivated in the US on a blend of powerful immune supporting herbs which enhance the mushrooms’ natural immune boosting properties. When combined in a comprehensive formula with additional beta-glucans, medicinal mushrooms are an excellent way to boost your body’s natural defenses and combat infection, especially on a long term basis. Mushrooms are also of great benefit during times of acute stress or infection, as they can be taken in frequent doses with no known side effects.

Another recommendation is a Tibetan herbal formula made with a blend of 19 rare and powerful botanicals that contain a multitude of health-promoting tannins, polyphenols, flavonoids and essential oils. This traditional formula has “cooling” properties that support balanced immune function, increased circulation and healthy antioxidant activity.

Last, but most importantly is Modified Citrus Pectin, the first natural Galectin-3 blocker. Scientists are now finding that blocking harmful excess Galectin-3 molecules in the body is critical in promoting cellular health and long term wellness. In addition to binding and blocking Galectin-3 throughout the body, research demonstrates that regular use of Modified Citrus Pectin offers powerful immune support and also safely detoxifies harmful heavy metals and environmental toxins without side effects.

Integrative medicine treats the whole person, rather than the symptom or illness. As a result, these and other natural health solutions offer powerful immune support while simultaneously promoting overall health and protecting against chronic illness over the long term.  And that’s an area where many conventional solutions fall short.

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