by Ann Hutyra
It’s that time of year again when many experience the winter cold and flu. Lately, we’ve had many reach out to us asking for our protocols. And if you’re one of them, you’re in luck because I am sharing with you our tried and true winter cold and flu protocols that you’ll want to keep in your supplement cabinet just in case you need them.
When it comes to a cold or flu, we often think that viruses (or bacteria) are the enemy, and all are bad. It’s good to know that not all viruses and bacteria make us sick. In fact, our human bodies are made up of more viruses and bacteria than they are human cells, and without these allies, we would not be alive! But there are some bacteria and viruses that don’t play well with our bodies, and when we are stressed or have depressed immune function (either from chronic illness, mental illness, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, or any other stressors to the body that lower our resiliency) these unwanted guests can make us sick.
When we are talking about the common cold or flu, these are viral-based and there are many types of strains that typically go around each season. These strains change rapidly due to the evolving survival nature of these viral strains.
Our immune system is a powerful force in our bodies, working hard to protect us from the countless pathogens we come into contact with every day. Though it usually succeeds at keeping us safe and healthy, sometimes even an incredibly robust defense may not be enough against more virulent invaders. If left unchecked by our body’s own immunity defenses, these unwelcome guests can quickly spread throughout the body, sometimes making us severely ill. So it’s important for all of us to take extra care of our immune systems, especially during the high seasons of cold and flu viruses.
Have you ever wondered why viruses make us feel sick, and how they differ from bacterial infections? It all comes down to their unique mechanisms. For example, certain pathogens cause specific symptoms of illness that alert our bodies when something foreign is present. By understanding these different types of invaders, we can use supplements tailored to help ward off infection and speed up the healing process!
The Difference between a Bacteria and a Virus
While viruses can be invisible to the naked eye, bacteria are large enough that they can be seen through a light microscope. In addition to having the ability of self-replication independent from any host organism, many bacteria produce sickness-causing endotoxins which find their way into our bloodstream and cause a variety of symptoms and conditions ranging from feverishness to severe bloating to loose bowels as well as intestinal irritation. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is one such hazardous agent. H Pylori, E Coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa have been found in patients upon testing – with each bringing its own set of dire consequences if left unchecked!
Compared to bacteria, viruses are virtually invisible! These microscopic organisms can only be seen using an electron microscope because they’re 1000x smaller. The ability of viruses to replicate is entirely dependent on a host cell (unlike bacteria which do not need a host cell to replicate) – as soon as it attaches itself onto the cell, its DNA has free reign. As if that weren’t enough, in some cases this process leads cells down the path of abnormal reproduction – such as malignant or cancerous cells. Even more impressive? Each virus specializes in attacking specific types of hosts, so you’ll see different results from each one depending on their function within our bodies. Fascinating stuff indeed!
The best ways to combat Viral exposure
To combat viral infections we want to first try to prevent them, and we have listed measures to take below. Some prevention methods include hygiene measures you can implement and others include immune essentials that are known to prevent viral replication.
In the case that you do end up sick with a virus-based cold or flu, certain supplements can prevent its replication in your cells, leading to less severe symptoms and a shorter duration of illness. Finally, there are certain lifestyle modifications and supplements you can add to your arsenal to help boost your immune function so that your body can do its job fighting the illness.
There are supplements that have been scientifically shown to kill viruses or prevent their replication. We recommend a supply of the following supplements to have on hand that you can take as a preventative to boost your immune system, and you can use them in higher doses if you find that you are getting sick. All doses are ADULT doses and should be reduced according to weight and age if giving it to a child.
Preventive dose for adults: 3,000 mg (or more) daily – divided into doses for best utilization and absorption for the body. As a general rule, you can increase your dose until you start having watery stools (to bowel tolerance) and then reduce the dose to stop the loose stools – that is the dose your body can handle. Some foods that are rich in vitamin C can be found in this article.
Case HS (2018) Vitamin C questions answered. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v14n12.shtml
Gonzalez MJ, Berdiel MJ, Duconge J (2018) High dose vitamin C and influenza: A case report. J Orthomol Med. June 2018, 33(3). https://isom.ca/article/high-dose-vitamin-c-influenza-case-report/
Gorton HC, Jarvis K (1999) The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manip Physiol Ther, 22:8, 530-533. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10543583
Hemilä H (2017) Vitamin C and infections. Nutrients. 9(4). pii:E339. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28353648
MNS (2009) Vitamin C as an antiviral http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v05n09.shtml
Taylor T (2017) Vitamin C material: where to start, what to watch. OMNS, http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v13n20.shtml
Yejin Kim, Hyemin Kim, Seyeon Bae et al. (2013) Vitamin C is an essential factor on the antiviral immune responses through the production of interferon-α/β at the initial stage of influenza A virus (H3N2) infection. Immune Netw. 13:70-74. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23700397
Vitamin D is an important immune regulator and is known to shorten the course of respiratory tract infections and even help in the prevention of the flu. Because many people have the VDRtaq gene mutation, they are not able to synthesize their own vitamin D. To cover bases, we recommend a combination Vitamin D3/K2 supplement to ensure the body is able to get the benefits and optimally utilize the vitamin D. Vitamin D is a well known immune booster, and alarmingly, most people are severely deficient in Vitamin D, especially in the winter months.
You can read more about the importance of Vitamin D and how much I personally take on a daily basis in my article. Many recommendations on vitamin D doses range from 2,000 IU per day up to 10,000 IU per day and when sick, up to 50,000 IU per day for 3-4 days, then reducing the dose back to 2,000-10,000 IU daily.
Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC et al. (2006) Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 134:1129-1140. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16959053
Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF et al. (2008) On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 5:29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16959053
Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA Jr. (2009) Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and upper respiratory tract infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 169:384-390. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19237723
Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL et al. (2017) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ. 356:i6583. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28202713
Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M et al. (2010) Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 91:1255-60. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219962
von Essen MR, Kongsbak M, Schjerling P et al. (2010) Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nat Immunol. 11:344-349. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20208539
Vitamin A, much like vitamin D, has amazing immune-boosting properties, and it also has antiviral properties as well. Vitamin A protects the mucus membranes and lining in your upper respiratory system. Beef liver supplements contain the best source of vitamin A, and you can safely take up to 25,000 IU daily.
Proc Nutr Soc. 1999 Aug;58(3):719-27. Vitamin A and immunity to viral, bacterial and protozoan infections. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10604208
Zinc is known for its ability to prevent the replication of viruses. It can shorten the course of a viral infection and also help in preventing the virus from hijacking the cell in the first place if taken prophylactically. We recommend 20-50mg per day.
Fraker PJ, King LE, Laakko T, Vollmer TL. (2000) The dynamic link between the integrity of the immune system and zinc status. J Nutr. 130:1399S-406S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10801951
Liu MJ, Bao S, Gálvez-Peralta M, et al. (2013) ZIP8 regulates host defense through zinc-mediated inhibition of NF-кB. Cell Rep. 3:386-400. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23403290
Mocchegiani E, Muzzioli M. (2000) Therapeutic application of zinc in human immunodeficiency virus against opportunistic infections. J Nutr. 130:1424S-1431S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10801955
Shankar AH, Prasad AS. (1998) Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection. Am J Clin Nutr. 68:447S-463S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9701160
Substantial research has been conducted that shows that individuals with selenium deficiencies suffer far more serious viral infections than those that have adequate levels of selenium in their bodies. Viruses can mutate much faster in selenium-deficient people, leading to longer lasting and more severe infections. Some studies have also shown that selenium prevents viruses from mutating into highly virulent (destructive) forms that lead to chronic disease states. Take 200mcg per day
Not only does selenium help prevent severe viral infections, but it is also needed for approximately 79 different chemical reactions in the body including, thyroid hormone production (specifically the T3 thyroid hormone) and even brain chemistry production. Most people are deficient in selenium so adding this important mineral to your daily routine can help you in more ways than one. Remember that municipal water systems that fortify their water with fluoride can cause a deficiency in selenium by blocking the cellular receptor sites where selenium needs to enter the cell, so consider using a non-fluoride toothpaste and using a water purification system in your home like the AquaTru countertop RO system.
Beck MA, Levander OA, Handy J. (2003) Selenium deficiency and viral infection. J Nutr. 133:1463S-1467S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12730444
Hoffmann PR, Berry MJ. (2008) The influence of selenium on immune responses. Mol Nutr Food Res. 52:1273-1280. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18384097
Steinbrenner H, Al-Quraishy S, Dkhil MA et al. (2015) Dietary selenium in adjuvant therapy of viral and bacterial infections. Adv Nutr. 6:73-82. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25593145
Iodine is necessary for several functions in the body including thyroid function and immune function, yet many people are deficient in iodine. Iodine comes from food sources but can also be taken in supplement form at a dose of 25 mcg per day. If you have signs of illness/infection you can increase your dose up to 50-75 mcg per day. This is not recommended for those with thyroid autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s disease without first consulting with your health coach or practitioner.
Colloidal Silver has many uses when it comes to various infections and is also effective against viruses. Silver has been shown to destroy the SARS coronavirus and MRSA when taken internally and nebulized. I HIGHLY recommend nebulizing one teaspoon of silver daily in distilled water. Nebulizing is simply taking distilled water and adding products to it (like silver) and then breathing the cold steam produced by the nebulizer into your lungs and sinuses. It not only enters the lungs but is an effective way to get the benefits of the silver systemically.
You can nebulize as a preventative and also if you realize you have been exposed and are feeling ill. We recommend and personally use the Wave Medical compact nebulizer from Amazon that includes both a children’s and adult’s face mask. You can order additional tubing and masks for other family members in the household (don’t share your tubing and masks). Some states require a prescription to buy a nebulizer. Our recommended Colloidal silver is listed below for you to easily order from our Full Script online pharmacy.
J Nanobiotechnology. 2010; 8: 1. Published online 2010 Jan 20. doi: 10.1186/1477-3155-8-1 Mode of antiviral action of silver nanoparticles against HIV-1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2818642/
10 Uses of Colloidal Silver https://www.huffpost.com/entry/9-silver-benefits-and-uses-backed-by-science_b_5797d100e4b0b3e2427d2c65
(For established clients)
Not sure WHO to book with? No Problem! Here at MHH we have an AMAZING team of coaches and EVERY ONE OF OUR COACHES can help you with ANY of your conditions, so just pick the one that has availability on the day and time that works best for you.
Not feeling well and looking for help with your condition, diagnosis, or symptoms that won’t go away no matter what you have tried? Our holistic biological health coaches can help you! Our coaches teach you how your body works, what the underlying cause of your condition or symptoms are, and how to fix and address them using long-term solutions that are data-driven and that work!
Our holistic biological health coaches have a deep understanding of advanced functional testing and genetics testing, along with much experience in complex cases.
Our biological coaching team works with you to empower and teach you how to understand and interpret your lab results, what your results mean, how they are connected to your health conditions or symptoms, and most importantly, what to do with the information, how to put protocols together based on your lab results, and when to reorder your various labs to track progress.
You will become your own healing master learning how to navigate the healing process, how to modify your protocols, when and how to detoxify your organs and cells from the toxins discovered on your lab results. You will learn the importance of tracking your assessment forms and symptom sheets and how to troubleshoot your healing process.
In addition, you have the opportunity to learn how to understand YOUR genetic blueprint – Our coaches are trained in the field of epigenetics and understand implicitly that YOU are in control of your own gene expression and how your genes either work for or against you. If you choose to add genetic testing into your program, your genetic blueprint information can be used not only to help drive your plan of action for healing, but also it can be used to understand your body’s unique nutrition, lifestyle, sleeping, eating, and physical activity needs are so that you can optimize once you are healed.
Get help from our functional nutrition coaches who understand that there is no ONE diet that is right for everyone. Our nutrition coaches work hand in hand with our biological coaches so if you need any lab work done or specific protocols that would require supplement protocols, you have a team working on your behalf and your nutrition coach would make recommendations for which other team coaches would be able to help you.
Your coaches will teach and empower you to learn how to determine and navigate your diet modifications which are decided based on your extensive intake forms, history, and your lab data that your coaches may want to order for you. Based on all of this information, they will teach you what foods to eat and not eat according to various conditions and why.
Your functional nutrition coach will help you learn what substitutes you can use when there are certain foods you may need to stop eating for a period of time, how to put your meals together based on your dietary needs per your lab data, how and when to incorporate gut repair protocols, and what lifestyle modifications you want to address based on your labs and your health conditions.
Nutritional coaching can be a great tool by itself or combined with coaching from our biological coaches. You can schedule with either our biological or nutrition coaches and they can help you get started and make recommendations as needed.
Many people who have successfully mentored with our nutrition coaches have had past issues such as:
Mindset, past and present traumas, and limiting belief systems are some of the biggest barriers to healing, so much in fact that gene expression and biological ‘engines’ of the human body can change for the worse because of it.
In the many years, we have been working in the field of holistic medicine, helping people who have tried everything else with no success or little success, we have discovered how great of an impact our thoughts, beliefs, and past and present trauma, and chronic stress can be to the human body, mind, and spirit.
The rate of recovery and healing for those who place emphasis on creating new neurological pathways to imprint new and healthy mindsets and belief systems in how they perceive themselves and the world around them is greatly improved when the psychological aspect of mindset and integration of mind, body, the spirit is addressed through repatterning of the mind and body neurology.
By removing barriers discovered from traumas, mindset, and conscious/unconscious patterns that are not congruent for healing, health, and vitality, you set yourself up for the best outcomes in your healing journey. Healing only occurs when the physical, emotional, and mental barriers to healing are removed.
Therefore we incorporate mind, body, spirit integration work into our programs and in doing so, we see exponential increases in positive outcomes with our clients. We have put together the most comprehensive ‘whole person’ approach in the world, and this is why our results are so successful.
Our Emotional Processing, Stress Release, & Neurological Repatterning coaches work with you to create new neurological connections, anchor new neurology, and habits, and show you how to become aware of any conscious or unconscious belief systems that may be holding you back from healing and total health.
You are welcome to try one or two appointments to see what you think. We typically recommend a minimum of 6 sessions to make an accurate assessment of how this type of modality is working for you.
Here are some of the modalities our Emotional Processing, Stress Release, & Neurological Repatterning coaches use for brain and body repatterning:
Breathwork is more than just a simple exercise of intentional breathing. Specialized breathwork techniques are used to facilitate major transformation and healing by encompassing a wide range of therapeutic practices that are extremely powerful in providing immediate relief for pulling people out of fight or flight (the amygdala hijack we teach about in Part 2 of our Mastering Trauma Masterclass).
This vagus nerve activation through breath work activates the rest/digest (parasympathetic nervous system), stimulates healing, reduces blood pressure, reduces the cortisol stress response, regulates hormone and blood glucose activity, and heart rate variability (the biological stress response). It rewires the body for self-regulation of the nervous system in a manner that optimizes the body and creates resilience in times of stress.
Yoga breath therapy allows you to disconnect from the mind chatter, mind racing, and negative self-talk and reconnect with your body your energy. From this elevated state of awareness, you are able to facilitate healing, growth, and expansion. And if you are looking for some expansion of your body/mind/spirit awareness, then this type of breathwork can be nourishing and can facilitate the next layer of peace, love, gratitude, connection, clarity, and insights.
In the many years, we have been working in the field of holistic medicine, helping people who have tried everything else with no success or little success, we have discovered how great of a damaging impact our thoughts, beliefs, and past and present trauma, and chronic stress (the fight or flight response) can be to the human body, mind, and spirit.
By becoming aware of how to regulate our own nervous system, and resolve traumas, mindset, and conscious/unconscious patterns that are not congruent for healing, health, and vitality, you set yourself up for the best outcomes in your healing journey. Healing only occurs when the physical, emotional, and mental barriers to healing are removed.
The rate of recovery and healing for those who place emphasis on:
….. Find much success and amplification in their healing journey.
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