flu

Can probiotics replace the flu shot?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by: Len Saputo
Tags: probiotics, flu shot, health news

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(NaturalNews) We now know the real reason why children hospitalized with swine flu have been at risk for dying. It is not because of the swine flu virus itself! Most of them contracted methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections that they passively harbored in their nasal passages before contracting the swine flu. While swine flu itself can cause death, it is far less common than when MRSA is present; about eight times less common! Most children with MRSA pneumonias have been carriers of MRSA; their MRSA pneumonias are not hospital acquired infections most of the time.

What would happen if these swine flu infected children were no longer carriers of MRSA? Would they be at a far lower risk of developing MRSA pneumonias and of dying from them? You bet! Is there a way to get rid of the MRSA that so often colonize the nasal passages? Yes, indeed! Would it work as well as the swine flu vaccine? Quite possibly!

Because of the overuse of antibiotics we're seeing the rise of microbes such as MRSA and C. difficile in the "normal" flora of healthy people. These microbes, although potentially lethal, do not make sufficient quantities of toxins to make us sick unless they overgrow and are present in sufficient volume. However, when we become ill and our resistance is low, these microbes then begin to overgrow, produce large amounts of endotoxin, and create the disastrous consequences we hear about.

Wouldn't it be interesting if we could markedly reduce the numbers of these microbes when people are healthy? Probiotics are now being used in mainstream medicine to control the microflora of both the gut and the vagina. Why couldn't we use probiotics in a nasal spray to displace MRSA and C. difficile? This would be a novel way to crowd out these potentially dangerous microbes. We could lower the risk of death from MRSA in children with swine flu who are in the ICU by 800% by chasing out MRSA and C.difficile from the nasopharynx by using probiotics.

We still do not have convincing data showing that the flu vaccine saves lives. Nor do we have data showing that the vaccine is safe! We have nothing to lose by adding a nasal probiotic during the flu season. It may offer better protection than the flu vaccine, and we know it is safe!


About the author:
Len Saputo, MD is board certified in internal medicine and is in private practice focused on integrative, holistic, person-centered care at the Health Medicine Center (http://www.doctorsaputo.com/a/health-medicin...) in Walnut Creek, CA. Dr. Saputo is the founder of the Health Medicine Forum (http://www.doctorsaputo.com/a/health-medicin...) and the author, with Byron Belitsos, of the Nautilus Gold Award winning book, "A Return to Healing: Radical Health Care Reform and the Future of Medicine" (http://doctorsaputo.com/a/a-return-to-healin...). He and his wife, Vicki, have hosted KEST radio's "Prescriptions for Health" show that airs daily for more than a decade.

Dr. Saputo's highly interactive health and wellness website www.DoctorSaputo.com has more than 1500 audio and video media files that are organized and targeted to address your specific and unique health issues. Take the free Health and Wellness Assessment Survey on the home page and experience how his surveys on a wide range of health care conditions provide immediate personalized integrative suggestions for your health challenges!

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