Protecting Yourself Against Swine Flu

by BS Artist on July 25, 2009

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I’ve just come across a very interesting product called Flu Defence. Here is a bit of spiel from their web page.

Flu defence is the first 100% natural general-purpose flu remedy that attacks the virus and boosts the immune system, with no known side effects. Now you can easily Prevent flu and support your bodies natural defences during acute symptoms. The fine of herbal extracts in Flu Defence, will not only boost your immune system, but will also neutralize various viruses. Studies show the ingredients in Flu Defense act a powerful immune booster, that exhibits strong antiviral action against influenza A & B, birdflu, herpes, swine flu and even HIV.

What I found extremely interesting is their claim that it “exhibits strong antiviral action against influenza A 7 B, swine flu and even HIV”. Note, it doesn’t say it will cure HIV as it will help as a defense against the virus.
I like the fact that it is a herbal product containing  well known ingredients such as Elderberry extract, Echinacea extract, Vitamin C and Zinc Oxide, and I have heard of many stories where herbal medicine has been able to cure or aid in the relief of many ailments that normal drugs could not. I’m pretty sure I’ve even heard of of pharmaceutical companies using herbal extracts in their medication.

The Internet being what it is I would really like to know from anybody who has used this product as to whether it had a beneficial effect, because if it did I would love to have it as part of my arsenal against the fight against colds and flu.

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1 Mitch July 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm

First, I’m stunned that this same story on Wassup Blog is at #11 on Google. lol

Second, sounds like a bunch of hooie to me. If you go to their site, this is what’s at the bottom in small print, almost hidden:

“These statements have not been evaluated by any medical authority, and are for educational purposes only. If you are on medication or suffer any major health concerns, review the product with your doctor first. This product is not a medicine, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

Let’s see,… it’s not intended to prevent any disease. Isn’t that exactly what you wrote them as saying that’s exactly what it’s for? Fail!
.-= Mitch´s last blog ..Do You Still Have The Thrill To Blog? =-.

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BS Artist reply on July 27th, 2009:

Actually it’s moved up to number 3!!!

I think their main problem is in their marketing as they’ve relied too much on hype. It would have been a lot better if they kept it more low key and believable.

The facts are that there actually is some evidence that some of the ingredients may be beneficial in preventing and helping in overcoming flu symptoms. I did a quick search on Elderberry extract and apparently there is evidence that that it does fight flu symptoms. Here is just one article on the effectiveness of Elderberry on flu symptoms.

There is also this article from Choice about the effectiveness of Echinacea, while not conclusive makes for interesting reading.

There is probably just as much evidence to the contrary but then that’s true for almost everything. I find it interesting that they actually give a 60 day money back guarantee! I wonder if anyone made use of the offer?

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2 peter petterson July 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Sorry I dont believe these claims. Vaccine against swine flu is being prepared now and should be available later in the year. Seasonal flu shots are available but are based on last year’s particular strain. There is no cure for HIV but I guess building up the body’s immunity is a good start. because that is what HIV is , a breakdown of the body’s immune system.

If it happens, Huttriver will be one of the first to know and will tell you all around the blogesphere.
.-= peter petterson´s last blog ..Stem cell treatment – snake oil – stem cell scam… =-.

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BS Artist reply on July 27th, 2009:

Well, I think as far as HIV is concerned the product is a defense against it rather than a cure. I’ve seen many products in the Health Food stores stating they can increase the immune symptoms to prevent colds and flu and even some saying they can help in overcoming the same symptoms. Perhaps it does work for some people otherwise you wouldn’t see these products on the shelf?

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3 app103 August 4, 2009 at 8:28 am

I don’t know anything about elderberry, but echinacea can relieve some cold symptoms if they are not too severe, high doses of vitamin C can have an antihistimine affect, and zinc oxide can dry you up (at least that is true when applied externally, like if you have a rash).

So my conclusion is that it won’t do a damn thing to prevent anything, not colds, flu, or HIV, but if you catch a mild to moderate cold it might help, if what it contains is in high enough concentrations.

Unless you can read the bottle and it tells you how much of everything is in it, you’ll never know. If they don’t list the amounts on the bottle, it is likely it doesn’t contain very much and they are trying to hide that fact.

A lot of these herbal preparations sold online, claiming to be able to do all kinds of things, have about the same medicinal value as a tic tac. Even if they contain things that are known to be able to relieve certain symptoms, they usually don’t put enough in it to do that and it’s still equal to a tic tac.

And you can get a package of tic tacs for less than $1.
.-= app103´s last blog ..A brief guide to the Enchanted Island game on Facebook =-.

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4 app103 August 4, 2009 at 9:21 am

Oh, I forgot the part about vitamin C and swine flu.

Pandemic flu, which is what swine flu is, has the potential to kill young healthy people with strong immune systems because it can turn your immune system against yourself in a reaction known as a cytokine storm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytokine_storm

You wake up feeling fine, start experiencing mild symptoms by the end of the day, and by the next morning you are close to death. If you are lucky you can make it to a hospital in time and they can start serious treatment with antiviral drugs and other drugs to stop the cytokine storm.

If you take at least 1000mg of vitamin C per day, split into multiple doses and taken throughout the day, every day, before you get sick, it is quite possible that if you do catch swine flu and have that violent life threatening reaction to it, the vitamin C might just save your life by preventing fatal tissue damage to your lungs. But it has to be taken every day and just how I said, otherwise there won’t be a high enough concentration in your system to be of any help. It’s a water soluble vitamin and if you take it in a single megadose, you’ll just piss most of it away as soon as you next hit the bathroom.

And the reason why it helps in cytokine storm cases is because vitamin C is a free radical scavenger (aka antioxidant)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytokine_storm#Free_radical_scavengers

Taking vitamin E every day can also help, since it’s also a good antioxidant. And since it’s a fat soluble vitamin, you can get away with a single dose a day.

But you don’t need to buy any fancy over-hyped stuff. You just need the basic vitamins that you can get much cheaper at your local drugstore.

And keep in mind that it still won’t prevent you from catching the flu.

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BS Artist reply on August 4th, 2009:

I’m not sure that is entirely true April, at least it in not our experience in Australia. The following link is from a Government website and they reckon that;

“H1N1 Influenza 09 (swine flu) is still considered to be a mild illness in most cases. Most people who become unwell with swine flu recover well without the need for medical treatment.

As with seasonal flu however, for some vulnerable people swine flu can cause severe illness which requires hospitalisation, or even death.”

It then states some stats and what to do to help prevent the onset of the flu.

I’ve emailed the company regarding the strength of the ingredients and I will post the reply if I get one.

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5 BS Artist August 4, 2009 at 9:42 pm

OK, I got a reply only moments ago, these are the relative strengths of the ingredients in Flu Defence.

Elderberry (10:1 extract) 180mg
Echinacea (10:1 extract) 120mg
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) 50mg
Zinc oxide5mg

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6 app103 August 5, 2009 at 3:53 am

50mg of Vitamin C? That is less than what is found in a 6oz glass of orange juice. Not very much at all. It’s actually below the US RDA for the prevention of deficiency related diseases.

Take a trip to your local drug store and read the packages and compare prices. You can probably do much better.

As far as what the government is reporting about the severity of swine flu cases, no matter what their report states with regards to statistics, it doesn’t remove the potential for any individual person to experience a cytokine storm reaction. The potential is still there and very real, and it’s the whole reason why there is a worldwide fuss being made about swine flu in the first place.

Statistically speaking, seasonal flu is usually more severe than what we have seen with this swine flu, but they don’t close down schools when a single student catches seasonal flu. That should tell you all you need to know about the potentially deadly nature of swine flu.

Even if it were 1 in 100,000 people at risk for a severe reaction that could be fatal, would you want to be that 1 person? And what if you are? Do you really want to find out?

Personally, I’d follow the guidelines from the government for prevention and take the vitamin C any way, just in case. It won’t hurt you.

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7 BS Artist August 5, 2009 at 4:05 am

Perhaps, it could also be an overreaction to the media hype. I found this article of cytokine storm interesting. Personally I can’t say one way or another, I can only go by what is reported in the news or Government websites.

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