alive logo

Stop the Colds and Flu Virus from Attacking You


Stop the Colds and Flu Virus from Attacking You

Scientists have found a link between the cause of the common cold and stressors in our lives.

Scientists have found a link between the cause of the common cold and stressors in our lives.

We all know that continual stress can have a negative impact on our health. When we experience stress, be it a combination of physical or psychological stress, the body releases cortisol, the stress hormone which then causes a negative immune factor, Interleukin-6 (IL6), to be excreted by our immune system.

IL6 reduces the good immune factors responsible for halting viruses from reproducing themselves. Dr Sheldon Cohen, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, says the connection between the psychological stress (the mind-body connection) and infection by respiratory viruses is clear. Cohen and his colleagues had established in earlier studies that stress was a risk factor for getting colds and flu but could not find the direct link. Now with confirmation that IL6 causes immune suppression and allows viruses to replicate, they are confident that stress reduction will reduce the occurrence of respiratory illness. Excess stress is one factor in the initiation of the cold or flu and dehydration is the other.

Water Protection

Sam Graci, co-author of Super Foods recommends at least six to eight glasses of purified water a day to keep well hydrated.

Plenty of water keeps the good immune factors found in our saliva, tears and the secretions of our nose flushing invaders, particularly viruses, out of the body. Allowing ourselves to become dehydrated offers an opportunity for the cold and flu virus to get inside our cells and cause three to seven days of sickness. Drink plenty of fresh, purified water–especially during cold and flu season.

3 Ways to Immune Balance

1. Reducing stress is easier said than done. Learn how to breathe. Most of us are shallow breathers. Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Inhale fully, expanding your chest and count slowly as high as you can when exhaling by mouth. Do this several times a day to help alleviate stress and keep IL6 in check. Deep breathing also gives adequate oxygen to your cells

2. Several nutrients are known to help lower IL6 levels and soothe our stressed immune system. Vitamin A, zinc and vitamin C are all effective at normalizing IL6 levels. Thirty milligrams of zinc, 1000 mg of vitamin C and 5,000 IU of vitamin A should be taken daily for normalizing immune function.

Remember, IL6 is the culprit responsible for suppressing the immune system and letting the common cold and other viruses survive and thrive. As well it is elevated in autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis. HIV and the herpes and Hepatitis C viruses use IL6 to replicate.

3. Plant sterols and sterolins quickly normalize IL6 levels, putting the immune system back into balance where it can fight viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. Not only do sterols and sterolins lower IL6, they increase the positive immune factors gamma interferon and IL2 potent cancer fighters, enhancing natural killer cells. Think of the immune system as a see saw. If it is tilted down on one side due to immune suppression, we see cancer and infectious viral and bacterial disease. If it is tilted upward on the other side autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, arthritis, allergies, asthma or painful conditions may occur. Plant sterols and sterolins selectively normalize immune function. Over 3,000 research studies have been performed with over 130 trials involving humans.

Stress reduction, lots of water, nutritional supplements and a healthy organic diet rich in fruits and vegetables are key to fighting the common cold and flu.

Sex May Prevent the Common Cold!

Sex twice a week may prevent the common cold, say researchers at Wilkes University, Pennsylvania. After studying the sex habits of undergraduate students, researchers concluded that students who had sex once or twice a week had one third more immunoglobulin A (IgA) in their saliva. Elevated levels of IgA protect us from colds, flu and other infections. Surprisingly, more sex is not better. Researchers found that those students who had sex more than three times per week had lower IgA levels than those that rarely had sex or had no sex at all. As with everything–moderation–seems to be the key.



Taking Care of the Body’s Supercomputer

Taking Care of the Body’s Supercomputer

Suzanne MethotSuzanne Methot