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Originally published February 23 2009

Universal Vaccine for the Flu? Look No Further Than Vitamin C and Zinc

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) The mainstream media is ablaze today with talk of an important new discovery that could lead to a "universal vaccine" that ends all colds for a lifetime. This universal vaccine, researchers say, would target a common configuration of proteins that occurs in virtually all cases of influenza, including H5N1 (bird flu), the Spanish flu strain and even the common cold.

It all sounds promising until you realize the reality of the situation. First, this "universal vaccine" concept is remarkably naive in ignoring the astounding ability of viruses to generate immunity to vaccines due to clever mutations. In fact, the action of influenza in the wild right now demonstrates this quite well: Each year's flu shot vaccine is essentially useless against the current influenza strains actually circulating among the population. They only protect people against last year's flu. And that's not very useful.

Why do you think we have MRSA and other superbugs running rampant in our hospitals these days? Because viruses and bacteria have a remarkably ability to rapidly develop immunity to vaccines. Even the targeting of a common protein receptor site is not beyond the reach of mutating viruses, and for scientists to think these viruses cannot mutate their way around a chemical vaccination is remarkably arrogant.

Second, the drug companies will never replace their annual flu shots with a one-time universal vaccine that you only need once in your lifetime. Why? Because the annual flu shot ritual is a great way to pocket some pharmaceutical profits while training the population to follow orders. The fear-mongering of flu infections and the herding of the population to flu shot injection centers is an important ritual in expanding the power of the Cult of Pharmacology. That's not something the drug companies will easily let go of.

(By the way, according to the scientific literature, flu shots are only effective in about 1% of the population. The other 99% are wasting their time and money.)

By thirdly -- and perhaps most importantly -- we already have far better universal solutions that halt flu infections. They're called vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D.

The real cause of the flu: Nutritional deficiency

In fact, it is nutritional deficiency that causes susceptibility to the common cold, not vaccine deficiency. Ask anybody who lives a natural health lifestyle and takes their nutrition seriously, and you'll find that they might only catch one cold every five or ten years. I haven't had a cold for probably eight years or so (can't remember exactly, because it's been so long), and of course I would never even think of getting a flu shot.

Flu shots are only for ignorant people who live on junk food diets and don't know anything about health. Flu shot clinics are like the McDonald's of modern medicine: It's where the uneducated, immune-suppressed people go because they don't know any better. And the flu shot industry (Big Pharma, clinics, etc.) preys upon these people in much the same way McDonald's preys upon low-income consumers who have no idea they're eating their way to lifelong nutritional imbalance.

Flu shots are for people who microwave their food and buy instant macaroni and cheese. They're for people who have been cajoled into avoiding vitamins (they're dangerous, didn't you know?) and who live on pharmaceuticals and junk food.

Flu shots are the mythology of modern medicine, much like the superstitions of commercial fishermen who run their boats in circles after leaving port in order to eliminate any "bad juju" that might ruin their catch.

Want new technology for defending against the flu? Your immune system is the best technology on the planet for accomplishing that. You just have to give it the proper fuel: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, trace minerals, superfoods and healthy nutrition!

Authors' Quotes on the Common Cold and Vitamin C and Zinc

Below, you'll find selected quotes from noted authors on the subject of the Common Cold and Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc. Feel free to quote these in your own work provided you give proper credit to both the original author quoted here and this NaturalNews page.

Similar outcomes were noted in a 2004 review on the medicinal value of zinc for the treatment of the common cold. That review found that zinc effectively reduced the duration and severity of common cold when administered within 24 hours following onset of symptoms (Husliz 2004). A prospective phase IV study examined the prophylactic and therapeutic effects of a specific brand of zinc lozenges (Cold-Eeze®) on common cold in 134 children aged 12 to 18 years. Therapeutic use (4 lozenges per day) resulted in a significant reduction in average cold duration vs placebo (mean, 6.9 days vs 9).
- PDR for Herbal Medicines, Fourth Edition by Thomson Healthcare, Inc.
- Available on

Although this is still not accepted by the mainstream medical profession, vitamin c really does help prevent and decrease the duration of the common cold, as concluded by a researcher who reviewed all the published studies on the clinical use of vitamin c for the common cold. It is well-known that blood levels of both white cells and vitamin c drop significantly during the common cold. It is also interesting to note that toxins released by bacteria during infection instantly inhibit white cell uptake of vitamin c, making the white cells more easily damaged during infection.
- PDR for Herbal Medicines, Fourth Edition by Thomson Healthcare, Inc.
- Available on

In 1971, Linus Pauling carried out a meta-analysis of four placebo-controlled trials, concluding that it was highly unlikely that the decrease of common cold symptoms in vitamin c groups was caused by chance alone. Studies carried out since then have found that high doses of vitamin c alleviate common cold symptoms, indicating that the vitamin does indeed have physiologic effects on colds (Hemila 1997a,b)
- Disease Prevention and Treatment by The Life Extension Editorial Staff
- Available on

The argument in the medical literature that vitamin c has no effect on the common cold seems to be based in large part on a faulty review written two decades ago. One of the most popular natural approaches to the common cold is the use of zinc lozenges. There is good scientific data to support this practice, as several studies have now shown that zinc lozenges provide relief of a sore throat due to the common cold. Zinc is a critical nutrient for optimum immune system function and, like vitamin c, zinc also possesses direct antiviral activity.
- Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition by Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D.
- Available on

This article reviewed data from 10 studies on the use of zinc in treating the common cold. Results showed consistent beneficial effects when zinc was administered in the form of zinc gluconate lozenges. -- J.C. Godfrey, et al., "Zinc for Treating the Common Cold: Review of all Clinical Trials Since 1984," Altern Ther Health Med, 2(6), November 1996, p. 63-72.
Results of this double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that that zinc gluconate taken in the form of a lozenge every two hours containing 13.3 mg significantly reduced the duration of symptoms of the common cold.
- The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Healing by Gary Null, Ph.D.
- Available on

Pauling was the first to sing the praises o vitamin c as a treatment for the common cold and, indeed, decade later, he has been proven right. In twenty-one separate studies, vitamin C reduced the length and severity of symptoms of the common cold an average of 23 percent. Vitamin C's benefit in fighting the common cold may be due to its antioxidant properties. When an infection strikes, special cells in the immune sys tern release large amounts of oxidizing materials that can be toxic to othe cells.
- Earl Mindell's Secret Remedies by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D.
- Available on

Common Cold: zinc lozenges are used to ward off the common cold and may be quite effective. Dr J.C. Godfrey and Dr B. Conant Sloane at Dartmouth College Health Service compared placebo against a zinc gluconate-glycine preparation for treating the common cold in a double-blind study using 23.7 mg of zinc. All symptoms disappeared in 4.9 days against the placebo 6.1 days. If treatment started after one day of the onset, the difference was greater, 4.3 days for the zinc group and 9.2 for the placebo control.
- Naturopathic Nutrition: A Guide to Nutrient-rich Food & Nutritional Supplements for Optimum Health by Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD, FRCP(C) and Dr. Jonathan Prousjy, DPHE, DSC, ND, FRSH
- Available on

There have been several studies of the effect of zinc lozenges on treating the common cold. Some studies have shown benefit while other have not. The authors of a review of the trials, published in 1998 in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy concluded that treatment of the common cold with zinc gluconate lozenges, using adequate doses of elemental zinc, is likely to be effective in reducing duration and severity of cold symptoms. Most benefit is seen if the lozenges are started immediately after the onset of symptoms.
- The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs by Nicola Reavley
- Available on

Zinc also inhibits the growth of several viruses, including common cold viruses and herpes simplex virus. Throat lozenges containing zinc have become popular in the treatment of the common cold for good reason: they work (see common cold in Part HI). Adequate zinc levels are particularly important in the elderly, and zinc supplementation in elderly subjects results in increased numbers of T cells and enhanced cell-mediated immune responses.
- Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition by Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D.
- Available on

Drinking plenty of liquids will also improve the function of white blood cells
• The argument in the medical literature that vitamin c has no effect on the common cold seems to be based in large part on a faulty review written two decades ago.
• If they are properly prepared, zinc lozenges can be effective in reducing the duration of symptoms.
• In 1994, German physicians and pharmacists prescribed echinacea for the common cold more than 2.5 million times.
- Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition by Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D.
- Available on

Sources for this story:

ABC News: Scientists May Have New Way to Fight the Flu
- ABC News

Flu Spreads Across Guilford County

A magic bullet for pandemic flu? | Booster Shots | Los Angeles Times
- LA Times

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