Friday, August 20, 2010
Before you read on about the power of high dose vitamin C against any flu, including swine flu, I recommend you watch the amazing case story of Alan Smith , whose doctors recommended his life support system be turned off because his death was inevitable. The family insisted that, before the life support was turned off, he be given high dose vitamin C. They had to fight, and threaten legal action, but, against all the odds, he made a full recovery.
In my June 2005 newsletter I interviewed Dr Thomas Levy, who has provided the definitive proof in his book ‘ Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases and Toxins: Curing the Incurable’.He is one of the world’s experts in effects of vitamin C on viruses. Here’s what he says “I have not found any flu virus for which vitamin C does not exert a virucidal effect, as long as enough vitamin C reaches the virus, such as in any acute infection. I don’t know about Tamiflu, but the vitamin C is virtually devoid of negative side effects.”
Although I know of no studies yet published specifically treating swine flu with vitamin C, immune expert Dr Robert Cathcart, who has treated thousands of cases of life threatening infectious diseases with high dose vitamin C says “Treatment of the bird flu with massive doses of ascorbate would be the same as any other flu except that the severity of the disease indicates that it may take unusually massive doses of ascorbic acid orally or even intravenous sodium ascorbate. I have not seen any flu yet that was not cured or markedly ameliorated by massive doses of vitamin C but it is possible that the bird flu may require even higher doses.”
Antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir), work by inhibiting something called neuraminidase, produced by viruses and essential for their ability to replicate. So too does vitamin C according to recent research. This study tested the effects of a combination of ascorbic acid, green tea extract, lysine, proline, N-acetyl cysteine, selenium among other micronutrients on cells infected with influenza. This combination was also tested in a study on cells infected with bird flu, in many respects similar to swine flu. According to the authors the nutrient mixture “demonstrated high antiviral activity evident even at prolonged periods after infection. Antiviral properties were comparable to those of conventional drugs (amantadine and oseltamivir); however, the nutrient mixture had the advantage of affecting viral replication at the late stages of the infection process.” Unlike the drugs, there are no significant side-effects. The effect of vitamin C alone was less than that of the combination of nutrients and, in combination, moderate doses of vitamin C exerted a significant anti-viral effect.
The other nutrients given included the amino acids lysine, proline, N-acetyl cysteine, and selenium. N-acetyl cysteine and selenium both promote glutathione levels within cells, which has anti-viral activity. The mineral zinc, in doses of 50 to 100mg a day, has also proved to be anti-viral and is available in lozenges for coughs and colds as found in one study. I recommend half this level in zinc lozenges, for short-term use only. On a daily basis, as prevention, I recommend supplementing 15mg a day. Supplementing this amount of zinc has been shown in recent research to make the body’s T cells much more effective, hence boosting immunity.
Neuramidase inhibition, which prevents viral release from infected cells, is only one of more than ten ways that vitamin C helps knock out viruses, both by inhibiting the virus itself, and by strengthening the body’s own immune response, for example by improving immune cell function (eg macrophages and t-lymphocytes), upping interferon and nitric oxide and making more antibodies which target viruses. In the combined nutrient study I discuss above one of the most significant anti-viral effects was inhibiting viral nucleoprotein, which means the virus cannot multiply. This occurred within 24 hours. Vitamin C, in high doses, has been well proven to be non-toxic in both adults and children over many years. The same cannot be said for this new generation of antiviral drugs. One of the most concerning and rarely mentioned reported side-effects of Tamiflu is bizarre psychiatric problems in children treated with the drug, prompting the US FDA to recommend new warnings concerning possible dangerous psychiatric side effects.
The ideal amount of vitamin C for any flu is up to ‘bowel tolerance’. Start with 3 grams immediately, then 1 gram an hour and if you get diarrhoea, then halve this dose. If you don’t, double it. There are some forms of vitamin C, notably sodium ascorbate with riboperine, and lipospheric vitamin C that allow even more to be absorbed without reaching bowel tolerance. They are marginally better than straight ascorbic acid. Some people find ascorbic acid too acidic, in which case an ascorbate, such as sodium ascorbate, can be taken. It might be useful to have a supply at hand if a flu epidemic does break out. There is no harm in having 100 grams a day short-term, stopping once all symptoms are gone. If even this didn’t stop the flu I’d find a doctor who could administer intravenous sodium ascorbate. The trick with any infection is not to get it in the first place by keeping your immune system strong. I take 2 grams of vitamin C every day. If swine flu breaks out I’m doubling that to 4 grams – one every 6 or so hours, as well as supplementing zinc and selenium on a daily basis. As the studies above show a combination of immune-boosting nutrients appears most effective.
Viruses get into body cells by puncturing their walls with tiny spikes made of a substance called hemagglutinin. According to research by virologist Madeleine Mumcuoglu, working with Dr Jean Linderman, who discovered interferon, an extract of elderberry disarms these spikes by binding to them and preventing them from penetrating the cell membrane. ‘This was the first discovery,’ said Mumcuoglu. ‘Later I found evidence that elderberry also fights flu virus in other ways.’ In a double blind controlled trial she tested the effects of the elderberry extract, called Sambucol, in people diagnosed with any one of a number of strains of flu virus. Their results, published in 1995, showed a significant improvement in symptoms – fever, cough, muscle pain – in 20 per cent of patients within twenty-four hours, and in a further 73 per cent of patients within forty-eight hours. After three days 90 per cent had complete relief of their symptoms compared to another group on a placebo, who look at least six days to recover. In another double-blind controlled trial it cut recovery time in those with influenza by four days. So this is an added bonus. Sambucol has proven to reduce the viral load without toxicity in anin-vitro trial on swine flu.
I’d also recommend ensuring your vitamin D level is good. A study earlier this year, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, of 19,000 people found that with the lowest average levels of vitamin D were about 40 per cent more likely to have a recent respiratory infection, compared to those with higher vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is made in the skin in the presence of sunlight. During autumn and winter months we just don’t make anything like enough. Most experts recommend at least 30mcg a day - half an hour sun exposure and eating oily fish three times a week and half a dozen eggs might give you 15mcg a day, so I also supplement 15mcg in a multivitamin on a daily basis. Most multis, however, only contain 5mcg, the desperately out of date RDA.
One interesting observation is that most of the so-called ‘high risk’ groups - namely asthmatics, diabetics, smokers, pregnant women, babies and the elderly - have all been reported to have lower vitamin C status and/or a greater need. Even so-called healthy young adults are often vitamin C deficient. For example a recent study in Canada of 979 non-smoking 20-29 year-olds found that 33% had sub-optimal vitamin C levels and 14% were deficient according to blood tests. various drugs that might be used during flu treatment, such as aspirin and corticosteroids, further deplete vitamin C. it is possible that a greater need, low intake from diet, depletion from eg drugs, alcohol, smoking, and further depletion from treatment-related medication might all increase risk. As far as I’m aware no-one has investigated the possible link between flu-related mortality and vitamin C depletion but there is good reason to.
If you’d like to know more about how to Boost Your Immune System read my book on the subject, or complete your on-line 100%Health Check which helps identify the key changes that will give your health, and your immune system, a boost.
As an asthmatic, I’m very interested in the information here, and remember it from previously when avian flu was constantly in the news. However, I’m also a breastfeeding mother of a 7 month old, and really would like to know how much vitamin C/elderberry is safe to take in that case. And is there anything I can give my baby?
Posted by minty on 07/11 at 08:53 AM
Both vitamin C and elderberry are safe for you and your baby. In the case of vitamin C go up to ‘bowel tolerance’ - the level just below that that gives loose bowels. You can get Elderberry in a syrup (Sambuccol) in health food stores. My vitamin C (ImmuneC from http://www.totallynourish.com) contains elderberry extract, plus zinc and ginger. Did you read the Special Report on asthma? Hope this is helpful.
Posted by patrick on 07/11 at 09:08 AM
I have read your comments regarding vitamin C and elderberry for the breastfeeding mother. However, as a grandmother of a 2 year old and two babies who will be about 6 and 8 months by the autumn when the second phase of flu is expected, what advice regarding dosages of each (Sambucol for kids and vitamin C powder) would you give for these children should they catch the flu? Does the elderberry and/or Vitamin C get into the breast milk should the mother need to take it and would this affect the baby’s dosage? Sorry for the lengthy query!
Posted by Pauline Schofield on 07/14 at 09:01 PM
Again, the advice of up to bowel tolerance is appropriate. I’d start at 1 gram of powder diluted in a drink over the day and see how that is tolerated. There is no doubt that a woman who consumes more vitamin C passes more onto their child so that’s another way to keep levels high. Sambuccol is a bit of an unknown in terms of dose. I’d give a teaspoon twice a day. This is slightly uncharted territory so I’m giving you my opinion - what i would do for my own child.
Posted by patrick on 07/16 at 06:31 PM
My wife is currently 10 weeks pregnant. Would you give the same advice regarding taking vitamin C for her?
Posted by Matthew Hopkins on 07/19 at 03:14 PM
Yes. I have looked extensively and cannot find any indication of risk in pregnancy in relation to high dose vitamin C. The body excretes excess and absorbs less the higher the dose, so, in effect, all that is happening is that taking high dose vitamin C is raising blood levels up to a point where viruses find it hard to survive.
Many herbal remedies have a caution regarding pregnancy, but this is often because the herb hasn’t been tested during pregnancy so nobody knows.
I would be less cautious regarding vitamin C because we have over 30 years use of high dose vitamin C and no concerns in relation to pregnancy have been raised.
Posted by patrick on 07/20 at 08:06 AM
hi can you please advise what dose zinc and selenium you would give a 8 year old child as a precaution against swine flu, and can they be given immune-C ?
Posted by Alison Knowles on 07/20 at 02:17 PM
It is reassuring to have information like this as I have heard that tamiflu has such awful side affects. I do take vit c and zinc as extras on top of usual vitamins and it does lessen the cold.
Posted by SUE KESTIN on 07/20 at 02:24 PM
ImmuneC contains both vitamin C, black elderberry extract, bilberry extract, zinc and ginger. If you take 1 every two hours that would give you:
vitamin - 10.8 grams a day
Black elderberry extract (4% flavonoids) 600mg
bilberry extract (2% anthocyanadins) 120mg
This is quite a substantial dose, consistent with optimal for these nutrients if actively fighting a viral infection. However, there is no known harm, and considerable potential benefit, of increasing vitamin C up to bowel tolerance.
For an eight year old half this amount would be more appropriate with the same bowel-tolerance principle applying.
Seneium is one of the few minerals where the difference between optimal and dangerous is not so great. For an adult the optimal intake is considered to be 100 to 200mcg a day.For a child I’d stay below 100mcg. The potentially dangerous level is 1,000mcg a day.
Posted by patrick on 07/20 at 03:19 PM
I think I have swine flu with a terrible cough and phlegm. What do you recommend I eat and drink?
Posted by Fiona Wright on 07/22 at 04:04 PM
I think it is interesting that Swine Flu has taken off much more in Britain than in other European countries. I am sure that is because of the high level of rubbish food that is consumed here - supermarket pap, in other words. Because the public have been bombarded with false information about supplemnts being “dangerous”, I think there are a lot of people here with quite compromised immune systems. I’m taking increased C and also Siberian Ginseng (Elagen)and also trying to avoid crowded places. I’m a bit bothered about my very elderly mother who, in spite of my encouragement, eats rubbish food, smokes and eats no fresh veg. She is a sitting duck for it. But I have to let her make her own choices.
Posted by S Ditmar on 07/22 at 11:49 PM
If you any flu the best advice is to maximise your intake of both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and ensure adequate protein.
That means eating loads of fresh fruit and veg, however some are better than others. My July 08 issue of the newsletter (see >advice>newsletters) has a list of the top twenty antioxidant foods and drinks. By far the best is CherryActive, a pure concentrate of montmorency cherries. Each shot, which you dilute with water, is 8,260 ORACs. That alone is equivalent to about ten servings of fruit and veg. I have also found it to be exceedingly good for the throat and would recommend three shots a day if you are suffering. It’s available in most health food stores and from http://www.totallynourish.com.
The other thing you’ll find that helps is fresh carrot juice with ginger. It is best if you can make this yourself with enough ginger to really taste it. Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory.
Also make what i call my ‘Primordial Soup’. primordial soup. It’s based on seven anti-inflammatory and immune boosting foods. The quantities aren’t exact – in fact, you can play around with them to suit your taste, but the basic recipe goes like this (for about four decent servings):
Chop up two large red onions. These are high in quercitin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that stops you sniffling and snuffling.
Press three garlic cloves – one per serving.
Sauté in a little coconut oil, but don’t burn.
Chop up six carrots and three sweet potatoes or a butternut squash. These are loaded with beta-carotene.
Add to the onions and garlic and pour in enough boiling water to just cover.
Add in loads of fresh, chopped ginger – literally a whole small bulb.
Add in a teaspoon of turmeric. Both ginger and turmeric are powerful infection fighters.
Add in a quarter teaspoon of cayenne, depending on your taste for spicy foods.
Bring to the boil and simmer.
Once the carrots and sweet potato are soft (15 mins max) add in a chopped up red pepper, high in vitamin C, and half a cup of coconut milk. Shake the can well so it’s creamy.
You’re aiming for a thick soup. Now puree, ideally with a hand held blender, and serve, perhaps with a couple of oatcakes or a slice of pumpernickel bread.
It takes about 15 minutes to take effect.
It’s really important to drink lots of water and get as much phlegm out as possible, not suppress your elimination with drugs.
Dairy products are best avoided completely as they encourage mucus. But the immune system does need protein when fighting an infection. Fish is an excellent source of protein, as are beans, lentils and quinoa. Oily fish has the added benefit of providing omega 3 fats which are also anti-inflammatory.
Sleep is vital for good immunity so make sure you get plenty of rest. The immune system turns up your temperature to function better when fighting an infection. You can help by having a hot bath and keeping warm.
Get well soon!
Posted by patrick on 07/23 at 04:41 AM
Many thanks for this advice. What’s your opinion on the swine flu vaccine?
Posted by Fiona Wright on 07/23 at 09:08 AM
I read a really good letter in the Times on the pros and cons of the swine flu vaccine by Dr Richard Halvorsen. See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6722428.ece . He thinks it could be a terrible mistake to vaccinate everyone without first finding out if the vaccine is effective and safe. You may recall I interviewed Dr Richard Halvorsen back in July 08 (see advice>newsletters).
The important point is that swine flu, at this point in time, is not nearly as bad as was predicted and, unless you are in one of the high risk groups, it is better to get it mildy, which is what will happen if you follow all the nutritional advice, then develop your own natural immunity. The issue with the high risk groups, for example the elderly, is that flu vaccines tend to be less effective anyway.
The research on Tamiflu, by the way, shows that IF you start taking it immediately at the onset of symptoms you, on average, reduce the duration of the infection by about 1 day. People, including the government, are clutching at this drug as if it’s an essential. I think that’s got more to do with the government being seen to do something than actually science. That being said, if you are in in a high risk group and take both very high dose vitamin C (plus other nutrients discussed above) and Tamiflu at the immediate onset of symptoms that might maximise your chances of recovery.
I suspect that many people not in a high risk group will end up taking Tamiflu, painkillers, and cyclazine for the side-effects of the Tamiflu (nausea ,vomiting and dizziness) and will end up worse off than they would be if they had taken very high dose vitamin C, plus the other nutrients and diet recommendations I have given here.
Posted by patrick on 07/23 at 11:35 AM
What would you advise I take whilst the Swine Flu is around - I have been recommended D3 (5000 IU a day) and immune boosting supplements (such as: Beta-1, 3/1, 6 Glucan), it this correct?
Posted by christine.flachi on 07/25 at 08:24 AM
The Vitamin D recommendation is on the right track since vitamin D regulates the expression genes that control macrophages, cells in the immune system that attack and destroy viruses. These make antimicrobial peptides that attack and destroy viruses. Vitamin D also expresses genes that stop macrophages from overreacting to an infection and releasing too many inflammatory agents - cytokines - that can damage infected tissue. This is important because the danger of swine flu is when the body over-reacts and produces too many cytokines.
The dose you’ve been recommended (5,000iu/125mcg) is very high and I wouldn’t recommend this on a continuous basis. However, for a couple of months, or during an infection, I don’t think this is a problem and, indeed, may be a benefit.
Beta Glucan is a complex sugar (polysaccharide) is derived from the cell wall of oats, and barley, as well as some medicinal mushrooms. As a supplement it primes white blood cells in your immune system to engulf alien microorganisms such as viruses. One animal study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15030604) showed a protective effect on the lungs in those animals given beta-glucans prior to being infected with swine flu. Generally, for prevention you can supplement 250 mg of beta glucan a day on an empty stomach. If you are experiencing flu symptoms you could take 1,000 mg a day in divided doses.
We are in slightly uncharted water here and it would be good to hear from people who have tried one or more of these remedies for a swine flu infection and share that information.
Posted by patrick on 07/25 at 05:09 PM
HOW VIRUSES WORK - To better understand potential remedies for swine flu it is useful to understand how viruses cause symptoms. This particular virus is called H1N1. The ‘H’ and ‘N’ refer to two types of protein on the surface of viruses. H for haemagglutinin (called hemagglutin in the US) is what allows the virus to bind to an uninfected cell and inject its contents into it. That is what black elderberry inhibits. N stands for neuramidase which is an enzyme which the virus used to break open the newly infected cell in order to release new viruses, which can spread infecting other cells.Tamiflu, vitamin C, and especially vitamin C in combination with other nutrients, all inhibit neuramidase.
To get inside cells they have to destroy enzymes that destroy connective tissue surrounding the cell, containing collagen. Vitamin C and lysine help to strengthen connective tissue and inhibit these enzymes.
Viruses have the ability to change its antigenic markers, the ‘flag it flies on neuramidase and haemagglutin. This is what the immune systen needs to recognise a virus it has been previously exposed to. For example, it could become H2N2. This is how viruses survive once everyone is immune. That’s why flu vaccinations have a limited life. However, neuramidase and haemaglutin inhibitors still remain effective.
other remedies such as vitamin D and beta-glucans work more on strengthening the immune system and it’s ability to fight infections.
Posted by patrick on 07/26 at 07:04 AM
Thank you for your advice and information
Posted by christine.flachi on 07/26 at 10:00 PM
Could you confirm whether I am giving my 3.5 year old boy the correct supplements to boost his immune system, he is asthmatic and very mucousy although he is having a trial off steroid inhalers but still needs his salbutamol particularly at night. He had alot of hospital admissions and oral steroids last year. He is not vaccinated and currently sees a homeopath. Like everyone I am very concerned about the flu this winter and am about to travel to spain for a holiday. He is having o.5 tspn OmegaBerry (BioCare), 1 tspn Sambucol, 1 level tspn Kids complete complex powder (BioCare) and a 0.25 tspn probiotic powder (Higher Nature). He spends alot of time outdoors but is not keen on most fruit and veg! Sorry for waffling! Thank you for your help
Posted by Rebecca Jeffery on 07/28 at 10:43 AM
What would you advise for a suspected swine flu patient whose main symptom is diarrhoea/gastrointestinal symptoms? I am wondering if extra vitamin C might worsen my symptoms.
Thanks in advance!
Posted by Julie Marchant on 07/29 at 12:15 PM
I am trying to ensure that both of my sons (aged 2 and 9) are well prepared to battle the impending flu season. I currently give my eldest son 500mg of Vitamin C per day - along with Echinacea, 2 teaspoons of Sambucol and a teaspoon of Colloidal Silver. My youngest gets about the same. Is this enough? And is there a childrens Vitamin C powder that you can specifically recommend? I can’t seem to find one on the Totally Nourish website - only capsules.
As for me, I recently had pneumonia twice in 11 months and so am really concerned about the flu pandemic - especially as I am also overweight (which I absolutely cannot seem to rectify - regardless of lots of time in the gym etc…) What vitamin regime should I embark upon to strengthen my immune system? I always seem to forget about myself and focus on the children when it comes to matters of health - but I actually want to be around for them as they’re growing up!
Sorry that was such a long post!
Many thanks x
Posted by Vix on 07/29 at 03:39 PM
Rebecca - The only thing lacking is vitamin D. Make sure he supplements at least 4mcg a day, if not 6mcg. See Biocare’s Optimum Nutrition for Children. I’d advise 2 a day. Keep vitamin C on hand in case of infection.
Julie - I had a glitch in my on-line accessibility so sorry to not pick this up until today. if your main system is gastrointestinal you may not have swine flu as it targets the lungs. The amazing thing about vitamin C is that the more you need the more you can taking with (adding to) gastrointrestinal symptoms. If you can find a supply of liposomal vitamin C you can take even more without any additional loose bowels.
If your body is trying to eliminate something, and you keep well hydrated, taking high dose vitamin C for a few days is more likely to help than make matters worse.
Vix - I am not sure that Echinacea is the right thing for swine flu during infection. RE vit C BioCare do a good value vit C powder. I don’t see it on the Totally Nourish website though. I’m sure they can get it for you if you ask. That, in some diluted juice, works best for children.
As per you maintaining a healthy immune system - I’ve been taking 4 x ImmuneC a day (vitamin C, black elderberry extract, zinc, ginger) plus the Optimum Nutrition Pack with Brain Food. This gives 15mcg of vitamin D plus many other things. (all the packs do - the Brain Food is an ptional extra). Normally I take 2 x ImmuneC but have increased when around infected people and mid-epidemic. Hope that helps!
Posted by patrick on 07/31 at 04:05 AM
Thank you for replying to my post, will get some vit D in!
Posted by Rebecca Jeffery on 08/01 at 04:50 PM
I have type 2 diabetes, the thoughts of contracting swine flu frighten me, could you please advise me what quantities of vitamins I should be taking to increase my immunity.
Posted by Patricia Ryan on 08/02 at 10:50 AM
The concern, in relation to diabetes, is that your body may be pre-disposed to inflammation, hence react more strongly. While all the recommendations I’ve made viz swine flu are still valid - in fact vitamin C helps to stabilise blood sugar balance - one of the most important things to do is to to get your diabetes under control. Make sure you read my Special Report ’ Reversing and Preventing Diabetes’ in the advice section. Also, follow my low GL diet. The new Low GL Diet Bible specifically contains a strategy for diabetes. Your most important single measure - apart from stable blood sugar levels - is to get your glycosylated haemoglobin levels (HbA1c) below 6. Your doctor should routine test this. If not http://www.yorktest.com have a home test kit. Hope that helps, Patrick
Posted by patrick on 08/02 at 02:47 PM
As Swine flu is a virus and you have already recommended lysine as a supplement to help reduce its ability to get inside the cell, would it therefore follow, as in the case of the herpes virus, that arginine should be reduced in the diet - ie beans, nuts, lentils, chocolate - and if so the Mexican diet would probably be the worst kind to follow?
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on 08/05 at 04:56 PM
I’ve never heard of success by having an arginine free diet for a flu virus. I believe this approach may be specific to the herpes virus but I don’t know for sure. Lysine, together with vitamin C, strengthens connective tissue and that makes it harder for viruses to penetrate cells. So this is a different mode of action for a potential benefit of upping lysine. Anyone know anything about arginine-restricted diets (less beans, nuts, seeds etc) for flu?
Posted by patrick on 08/06 at 12:29 AM
We started taking 1g lipo vitc to prevent bowel problems over a week ago and recently upped it to 2g daily. Have you heard of any side effects from taking this type of high dose vit c? I’ve been abit off my food and my eyes have felt hot, since I upped it to 2g about 2 days ago, but don’t know if that’s me getting used to it or the second gram is too much. I feel well and full of more energy since I started taking it apart from that. I’ve been on the multi vit/min Opt. Nutrition caps for about a month as well and have improved my diet considerably.
Posted by email@example.com on 08/14 at 11:21 AM
hi,as i have ordered some immuneC and vit,c powder and as i have not been taking any i would imagine that taking 4 tablets a day maybe too much ? I would imagine that start off with 2 a day first would make sense.Also i wondered what should i start a ten year old and five year old on ?
Posted by sudha on 08/20 at 04:15 PM
Hi, I recently posted a message about my little boy who is 4 in January and you recommended I add Vit D to his supplements - I got Biocares Vit D drops and it says 1-4 drops a day so I am giving the 4 drops, is this enough or should I give more? Also I bought some Vit C powder (BioCare Magnesium Ascorbate) how much Vit C can I safely give at this age and should I start it now before the autumn kicks in - he is due to start nursery in September so am starting to worry due to his asthma as he is still getting wheezy alot but not as severe as in past. Thanks again and sorry if i’m waffling! Bex
Posted by Rebecca Jeffery on 08/21 at 08:44 AM
4-6mcg is what you need to give, however many drops that is. There is no danger with vitamin C. if you give too much you get loose bowels, then give less. I’d recommend 500mg a day. My book Optimum Nutrition for Your Child gives this kind of information to provide clairty on what to supplement children.
Posted by patrick on 08/21 at 10:54 AM
Elderberry extract sounds magical! Can you advise me if freezing the home-made extract I’ve just produced will harm the anti-oxidant and anti-viral properies?
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on 08/28 at 06:29 PM
It is the black elderberry that contains the magical ingredient. If this is what you have then I’m sure it will be effective (freezing won’t significantly damage anything). The question is dose - what you want is the most concentrated extract, and lots of it when you have an infection.
Posted by patrick on 08/30 at 03:56 AM
Sambucol is concentrated elderberry extract available in health food shops or internet
Posted by Rebecca Jeffery on 08/30 at 01:32 PM
Can you comment on how Codex Alimentarius will affect the availability of high dose vitamin C and other supplements after 31 December 2009?
Posted by Samantha Forrest on 09/02 at 01:17 PM
I don’t think it will have any impact. The more important legislation is the setting of upper safety limits for vitamins by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). I have not heard anything that suggests the level for vitamin C will be below 1 gram, which effectively means not change in availability of 1 g vitamin C tablets or powders.
Posted by patrick on 09/03 at 04:16 AM
I have made the primordial soup a few times and freezed it also it is lovely and works a treat thank you
Posted by Sharon Bingham on 09/04 at 10:25 AM
PATRICK WOULD YOU IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE ADVISE THE WINTER FLU VACCINE. MY SISTER IS ALMOST 80, HAS A LOT OF TROUBLE WITH ASTHMA, AND APPEARS TO EASILY
CATCH COLD FLU ECT UP TO NOW SHE ALONG WITH MYSELF HAVE GONE ALONG TO THE SURGERY, WHEN ASKED TO ATTEND FOR FLU JABS. I HAVE TOLD HER THAT I AM TAKING THE HIGH DOSE VIT C, AND IF I GET FLU WILL DOUBLE THE DOSE.AM I O.K. ADVISING HER TO DO THE SAME?
Posted by joan.doyle on 09/04 at 03:20 PM
I’ve written about the swine flu vaccine in the September newsletter, just out - (http://www.patrickholford.com/index.php/advice/newsletters/). I’m sure it helps some but the wild card is the small number of people you develop auto-immune problems as a result. One would imagine that someone with a pre-existing inflammatory disease has a relatively higher risk of this.
Personally, I think following the advice I give about and the ‘six ways to beat swine flu’ article in the next newsletter, should suffice. By the way, the amount of vitamin `c for maximum effect is not ‘double the usual daily dose’. It’s more like 1 gram an hour.
Posted by patrick on 09/05 at 02:15 AM
what should i give my 3.5 year old boy who’s very intolerant to cow’s milk and is going to nursery to help boost his immune system and deal with any upcoming flu? all i’m giving him for the moment is 1ml of echinacea added to his soya milk in the morning. he’s been off any form of medication since april. i take him to a homeopath to treat any sickness he has and he’s been more or less fine.
as for me, i’m very intolerant to cow’s milk too, and my throat and sinuses have been on and off in a state of inflammation/infection (one episode of strep A throat) for the past 7-8 months. i have refused to take any antibiotics or antihistamine for the past 2.5 years and do not want to start now. i’m traveling soon on a much needed vacation and my throat is a little more than sore. i’m afraid i might be more prone to catch viruses or infections this way. i would be grateful for any advice you might have for both me and my son.
thank you, lara
Posted by lara assouad khoury on 09/14 at 06:05 PM
Have you tried Allex? It contains quercitin, vitamin C, glutamine, MSM and bromelain. I find it highly effective and take it whenver I eat anything I’m allergic to. Also, as explained above, keep some vitamin C powder close at hand, which can always be added into juice as needed.The best ‘alternative’ milk is oat milk. have you tried this?
Posted by patrick on 09/16 at 03:38 PM
After contracting swine flu 3 months ago I found I wasn’t recovering. My doctor tells me I now have “Post Viral Fatique” and the only help and advice I have been given is about coping with depression. I am not depressed but I am frustrated. I suffered with CFS 10 years ago after having “Glandular Fever” aged 24 and I now seem to be dealing with the same thing again! How is this possible? I was eating very well working out frequently and supplementing before I got ill. I was very healthy and looked after myself.
I am currently taking a multi Vitamin & Mineral (bioCare)2x daily, Antioxidant Complex (bioCare) 2x daily, In addition I am taking Echinacea 400mg 2x daily, Vitamin E 400iu 2x daily, Vitamin c 1000mg 4x daily, Beta-Carotene 6mg 1x daily, Evening Primrose Oil 520mg 1x daily, Zinc 25mg 1x daily, Cysteine 600mg 1 x daily, MSM 1500mg 2x daily. Is this a good combination and one which is likely to help me or can I improve this?
I am desperate to resume a normal life and cannot afford to be off work for many more months. I have been following this regime for 1 month now and little has changed!
Posted by simonjackson on 10/04 at 03:47 PM
Personally I’d recommend that you swap the Evening Primrose Oil for a formula, such as Essential Omegas, that provides more EPA/DPA/DHA than GLA so you have more omega 3 than 6.If you have a good antioxidant complex, ideally with some CoQ and resveratrol such as AGE Antioxidant, and a good multi, there should be no need to take beta-carotene, vitamin E, zinc and cysteine separately.
Certainly for CFS the usual success route is to sort out the gut, then the liver. The gut’s three best friends are digestive enzymes, probiotics and glutamine. I’d recommend you take these for 2 weeks. The 9 Day Liver Detox Diet is an excellent strategy for supporting both healthy gut and liver function, both of which have the effect of generally reducing inflammation. This is a low-allergen diet (wheat-free,dairy-free). Food allergies are very common in those with CFS and you might want to explore this avenue if you are not feeling better after the nine days.
I don’t know where you live but we have many good nutritional therapists around Britian who are there to help. Click on ‘find a nutritionist’ on the ‘advice page to find one near you.
Hope this all helps get you back on your feet.
Posted by patrick on 10/05 at 12:11 PM
I am an expat living in Spain and have been advised to have the swine flu vacine ( also my family (husband, daughter and grandaughter (8 years old)because i am having chemotherapy for ovarian and bowel cancer. I have been having chemo on and off for 2 years now and all through i have been taking your Optimum Nutrition Formula, Immune C and Essential Omegas twicw a day (these my family also take except my grandaughter who takes your omega berry juice and the childrens one a day vitamin and mineral. Also i take coQ Plus carnitine, age anti aoxidant,joint support and GL support once a day (All from the Patrick Holford Range) I am very wary about taking the vacine and also don’t really want to force my family into having it as well although i am struggling to keep my WBC and platlets up to a reasonable level, so am aware that my immune system is very vunerable. Can you suggest anything else we can all take to prevent the virus coming into our home. By the way my recent TAC SCan has shown that there are no cancer cells accululating in my body at the moment and i have 5 more sessions of Folfox chemo to go to finish the treatment prescribed here. So am winning the battle at the moment and hope to stay that way. /any advise would be greatly appreciated.
Posted by Richard Ocarroll on 10/22 at 01:18 PM
ImmuneC contains black elderberry, zinc and ginger - all good news.
I read a really good letter in the Times on the pros and cons of the swine flu vaccine by Dr Richard Halvorsen. See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6722428.ece . He thinks it could be a terrible mistake to vaccinate everyone without first finding out if the vaccine is effective and safe.
I do think high dose vitamin C is the way to go. The trick with vitamin C is to take it immediately, 1 gram an hour, on onset of flu symptoms.
Posted by patrick on 10/22 at 04:59 PM
I have been suffering with painful sinuses for years and when I get run down,(like now)it is incredibly painful, right behind my eyeballs and the inner corner(underneath where my eyebrows start)I get very painful headaches too.
It’s beginning to effect my work.
I am now run down and have flu like symptoms,what supplements can I take to get rid of it as I do not want to keep taking Decongestants, painkillers and sinus sprays.
I am eating pineapple, ginger,avoiding wheat, dairy and sugar. Adding fresh chilli to my food and drinking green tea. I’m also taking echinacea.
Posted by Gabriella on 10/22 at 08:41 PM
what dose of 1000mg vit c would you recommend for a 3 and 5 yr old?
Posted by Sharon Bingham on 10/24 at 10:47 AM
This depends on whether you are talking about a maintenance dose or the amount to take during infection. The maintenance dose is about 400 to 500mg a day, up to 250mg twice a day. During an infection the ideal amount is the ‘bowel tolerance’ level ie just below that that gives loose bowels. i would give 500mg every two hours. You can get chewable 500mg tablets or use powder in diluted juice. There would be no harm going higher for short term use.
Posted by patrick on 10/25 at 06:21 PM
Gabriella - your question about sinus problems prompted me to update my Special Report on Sinus Problems. Have a look at this at http://www.patrickholford.com/index.php/advice/healthconditionsarticle/382/ . Hope that helps you.
Posted by patrick on 10/26 at 12:10 PM
My husband gets asthma if he has a lot of acidic fruit such as redcurrants or elderberries. Is it safe for him to take the Immune C?
Posted by Liz Trevail on 10/26 at 06:59 PM
ImmuneC does contain elderberry extract and, without knowing what it is your husband reacts to in what you describe as ‘acidic’ fruit, it is wise to be cautious. Berries are quite high in sailylates and phenols, as are apricots, cherries, orange and Tangerine, pineapple, red grapes, tomatoes, peppers, mint, olives and dill. Does his asthma get worse with any others of these? Has he been checked for IgE or IgG food allergies(see http://www.yorktest.com? These would be avenues worth exploring.
Posted by patrick on 10/26 at 07:24 PM
I am currently 14 weeks pregnant and so I am looking to protect myself as best I can against cold and flu this winter. I would normally take Immune C. I see you have previously mentioned that high dose vit c is considered safe, but as Immune C contains additional extracts and zinc, will it be safe to take in higher doses if needed now that I am pregnant?
Posted by Lynette Dyer on 10/29 at 12:29 PM
Your need for both vitamin C and zinc increase in pregnancy so having more is great. So too are berry extracts. To quantify this the ideal intake of zinc in pregnancy is 20mg - 25mg during breast-feeding. The average diet provides 8mg. So, most pregnant women are 12mg short. ImmuneC provides 6mg in 2 tablets. The level of zinc that has been used in lozenges for short-term trials is around 50mg. Above 100mg there are signs of toxicity. Your ned for both vitamin C and zinc increases during infection. Hope that helps answer your question.
Posted by patrick on 10/29 at 06:56 PM
hi Patrick, my son is on immune suppressants ( liver transplant). I really dont want to give him the swine flu vaccine.
He is taking 0.5 teaspoon of kids complex in the morning and then at night I give him biocare vit C (15 mg) vit D ( 1ug) kids echinacea 4drops….
Is that enough or should I be giving him more or anything different?
Posted by nishma shah on 11/13 at 06:57 PM
How old is he?
Posted by patrick on 11/13 at 09:14 PM
4 years old
Posted by nishma shah on 11/14 at 10:40 AM
Nish - as I’ve discussed above the key nutrients that boost immunity and are protective against flu are vitamin C, zinc, black elderberry and vitamin D.
The first three assist liver function anyway so, in reasonable amounts, I can only think that they would help. Vitamin D is fat soluble and the liver processes and stores some fat soluble vitamins so, again ,useful but not too much.
In terms of vitamin C, as you’ll see in the chart in the book Optimum Nutrition for Your Child (see ‘books’ to get a copy) the recommended intake of vitamin C for a child of 4 is 300mg. Given yor child’s circumstances I’d aim for 500mg a day, plus 7mg of zinc, plus 4-6mcg of vitamin D. Get the best chewable kids multi you can find in relation to these doses then add vitamin drops to make up the difference. You can get black elderberry as a syrup. Also, for your background knowledge read my 9 Day Liver Detox Diet because that shows you how to best support your son’s liver.
There is no danger with vitamin C. if he does get flu-like symptoms give more. if you give too much you get loose bowels, then give less.
Posted by patrick on 11/15 at 09:03 AM
I have a 17 month old boy who’s been diagnosed with viral induced wheeze. He had bronchiolitis at 6.5 months and, ever since then, whenever he gets a cold it progresses to a full-on wheeze. We give him puffs of a Ventolin inhaler as soon as the cold begins, but he always ends up in hospital 36-48 hours later where they give a 3 day course of oral steroids. (This has just happened 3 times in as many months and twice before that.) They have also now put him on a daily dose of Montelukast (a leukotriene receptor antagonist?). I would much rather he didn’t take this or the steroids. I’m a firm believer in good nutrition and natural remedies and am trying to read all I can on boosting his immunity and strengthening his lungs.
I have read all the above comments re. doses for 3 and 4 year olds, but can you please recommend doses for a 17 month old, and anything else you think might help.
Posted by Ali M on 11/20 at 03:00 PM
Ali - I am sorry to hear your boy is suffering. One area you do need to epxlore is allergy but the IgG test from yorktest.com cannot be done before the age of 2. Therefore I’d recommend you keep him off all dairy for a couple of weeks, and during an infection/attack and see what effect that has.
On the vitamin C front I’d make a drink using water, Cherry Active concentrate and magnesium ascorbate and experiment with the daily dose, starting with 4 grams in a 250ml bottle. If this doesn’t cause loose bowels then you could double tyhis during a reaction. The reason for magnesium is that there are good studies showing that magnesium, which relaxes muscles, given during asthma attacks, can halve recovery time. I wish there was spray form that could be taken to reach the bronchioles. next best thing is to increase intake, hence magnesium ascorbate. I hope this makes a difference.
Posted by patrick on 11/22 at 05:32 AM
Thanks, Patrick - I will definitely get some magnesium ascorbate. Just to confirm though, is 4 grams OK as a maintenance dose for one so young? I thought I had read you were taking only 2-4g yourself, so I want to be sure it’s not a typo!
Also, I wonder if you can advise how much zinc to give him on a daily basis, and what to increase it to when he gets an infection.
Thank you so much.
Posted by Ali M on 11/23 at 12:35 AM
Ali - 4g of magnesium ascorbate is not a maintenance dose but one to give during an infection. I take up to 20g a day under these circumstances. The amount of magnesium provided is about 300mg which is the maximum I’d recommend for short-term use in a child. In relation to zinc I’d recommend supplementing 5mg during infection. For maintenance levels please read Optimum Nutrition for your Child. I have formulated a chewable for children which tastes very good called Optimum Nutrition for Children, made by BioCare (available through http://www.totallynourish.com). That covers most bases.
Posted by patrick on 11/23 at 06:21 AM