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Swine Flu Preparation/prevention

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Better safe than sorry as the saying goes.

I'm currently looking at vitamins/foods that could help to prevent/fight this flu.

The government has been warned that "Vital sections of society could be paralysed if swine flu reaches epidemic proportions as expected"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/1...aralyse-country

Should we prepare individually for this possibility?

Post ideas here.

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I'm currently looking at vitamins/foods that could help to prevent/fight this flu.

The government has been warned that "Vital sections of society could be paralysed if swine flu reaches epidemic proportions as expected"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/1...aralyse-country

Should we prepare individually for this possibility?

Post ideas here.

No-one knows.

Overstimulate the immune system, die from the immune response.

Understimulate it, die from post-viral infection.

On the plus side for the moment statistically your chances are good unless you're an obese asthmatic pregnant woman..... (I think).

The resident HPC doctors are being fairly reticent on the issue of pigflu, I guess it's tricky for them from a professional point of view to say too much.

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Guest Skinty

Continue doing your weekly shop, but buy more than you need. It's not just about storing the obvious, but also the stuff that you might otherwise forget, such as toiletries, condiments etc.

Start figuring out recipes that can be made from food that can be stored for a long time.

Remember to buy lots of stuff that you would buy if you already had the flu (pain killers, tissues, throat lozenges etc).

I was wondering about getting an air filter that kills virii suspended in the air but they cost a lot of money.

Oh and if you can afford it, go to the dentist for a check-up in case you end up needing it later on.

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No-one knows.

Overstimulate the immune system, die from the immune response.

Understimulate it, die from post-viral infection.

Good point. I found this though:

Swine Flu and Avoiding the Cytokine Storm: What to Eat and What Not to Eat?

The scary connection between the 1918 flu pandemic (Spanish flu), the avian influenza (bird flu) and the swine influenza (pig flu) is that they all strike hardest those with healthy immune systems.

Usually, when people die of influenza, it's because they're old or their immune systems are compromised in other ways. Not so with the swine flu. As with the other two pandemics, death rates from swine flu have been highest among the 15-40 age group. Healthy young people seem to be in an especially big danger of dying from the influenza.

Swine flu, inflammation and the cytokine storm

The reason behind the deaths seems to be an exaggerated immune response, known as a cytokine storm. Since the body doesn't know what to do with the virus, it triggers an all-out release of inflammatory mediators. The reaction then becomes out of control, and the feedback loop ends up killing the patient (link).

The cytokine storm is the reason why the usual recipe for good health doesn't apply in the case of swine flu. Both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines have their uses in fighting off infection, and inhibiting inflammation is considered a good way to promote health in general. However, increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines during a cytokine storm is a bad idea.

So how do we shield ourselves from a cytokine storm? No one is really sure at this point. In a cytokine storm from avian influenza, the main cytokines responsible are TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IFN-gamma (link, link), with IP-10 and IFN-beta also being expressed more than usual (link). Reducing the levels of these and other cytokines could, at least in theory, be helpful. There is also some evidence that angiontensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors might help in mediating cytokine storms, though we don't know for certain.

While taking cytokine and ACE inhibitors for swine influenza is currently only a theory, I nevertheless find it an interesting one. Specifically, I think a look into how "health foods" affect cytokines is useful, since conventional wisdom may not apply here due to reasons mentioned earlier. Below, we'll take a look at some natural cytokine and ACE inhibitors and also discuss which health foods may actually be harmful.

ACE inhibitors from natural sources

Procyanidins and flavanols have an inhibitory effect on angiotensin converting enzyme (link). They are found in many plants, such as apples, cocoa, cinnamon, berries and tea. Chokeberries have the highest concentration of procyanidins.

In one study, procyanidins and epigallocatechin were effective while catechin, epicatechin, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, kaempferol and resveratrol at similar concentrations were ineffective (link). Accordingly, wine, chocolate and tea were all found to inhibit ACE activity, with red wine being more effective than white wine, green tea being more effective than black tea.

A word of caution: cocoa, while inhibiting ACE activity, may increase the secretion of TNF-alpha (link) and IL-1 and IL-4 expression (link), which could be bad news in the case of a cytokine storm. Chocolate may therefore not be a good idea if trying to reduce cytokines.

Quercetin, while ineffective in the study mentioned above, has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on the angiotensin converting enzyme, similarly to captopril (link), while also reducing blood pressure (link) and the angiotensin-induced production of IL-6 (link).

Another study found that both green tea and black tea inhibited ACE activity dose-dependently (link). In addition, all four catechins tested (including epicatechin) were effective. Rooibos tea, however, had no effect.

Pomegranate juice seems to be very effective in inhibiting ACE activity in vitro and in vivo (link). Hypertensive patients given 50 ml of pomegranate juice for two weeks had a 36% decrease in ACE activity and a 5% reduction in systolic blood pressure.

Cytokine inhibitors from natural sources

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) inhibits the production of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-8 (link). The best source of EGCG is green tea. Black tea is not without its merits either, though, as the theaflavins in black tea appear to reduce levels of IL-1 and IL-6 (link).

Several compounds in garlic appear to inhibit cytokines. Ajoene partially inhibits the production of TNF-alpha (link). Allicin inhibits IL-1, IL-8 and IP-10 (link), while alliin increases IL-1 and TNF-alpha (link). Crushing or chopping garlic causes alliin to be converted into allicin, while cooking garlic decreases allicin (link). Therefore, for the purposes of reducing cytokines, it's better to crush garlic and eat it raw.

Chronic garlic administration decreases myocardial TNF-alpha expression in rats (link). One study showed that garlic may increase IL-10 (link), and another one showed it increased IL-4 while reducing IFN-gamma (link). However, in humans, garlic powder extract has been shown to reduce IL-1 and TNF-alpha with no effect on IL-10 (link). The ratio of alliin and allicin may be important here as well.

When mice infected with influenza were fed vitamin E, they had significantly lower levels of IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNF-alpha (link, link). A relatively good natural source of vitamin E is red palm oil, which has been shown to reduce TNF in humans (link).

Fats, depending on their omega-3/omega-6 ratio and whether they're saturated or unsaturated, may play an important part in cytokine production. In rats, fish oil (which is high in omega-3) was shown to reduce levels of IL-1 and IL-6 (link). In humans, 4 weeks administration of flaxseed oil followed by 4 weeks of fish oil was shown to inhibit TNF-alpha and IL-1 in healthy humans, with fish oil being more effective (link).

Not all the data is positive, unfortunately. A long-term study comparing various doses of fish oil in humans concluded that supplementation for 1 year did not affect cytokine production (link). In another study, olive oil, coconut oil and fish oil all reduced IL-1 production in rats during the first 4 weeks of administration (link). However, after 4 weeks, olive oil and fish oil increased IL-6 production, and after 8 weeks, olive oil began to increase IL-1 production as well.

While resveratrol was found in the previously mentioned study to be ineffective for inhibiting ACE activity, it appears to suppress the expression of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-8 (link, link). Resveratrol is found in red wine, red grapes and peanuts. Red wine has been shown to reduce levels of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-8 in diabetics (link), although one study found no effect on cytokines from red wine (link) and another one found an increase in IL-6 (link). While those with peanut allergy should obviously avoid peanuts, it is unclear how peanuts affect cytokine levels in non-allergic people.

Quercetin decreases the expression of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-8 (link, link). Food sources of quercetin include green tea, capers, fennel, onions, cocoa, kale and apples with skins (link, link). Compared to supplements, the quercetin content of foods is quite low, however.

Curcumin appears to reduce levels of TNF-alpha along with IL-6 and IL-8 (link, link, link). The main food source of curcumin is the spice turmeric. While the bioavailability of curcumin is very low, heating (link) and the addition of piperine greatly enhances its absorption (link). Piperine, which is found in black peppers, also inhibits inhibits IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha (link).

One study showed that 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 given for nine months resulted in lower TNF-alpha and higher IL-10 levels than the control group (link). Vitamin D3 seems to increase IL-4 but decrease TNF-alpha, INF-gamma and IL-6 (link, link). On the other hand, a vitamin D deficiency reduced IL-1 levels, halved TNF levels and reduced IL-6 levels five-to-tenfold in mice (link). The Vitamin D Council newsletter covers this topic extensively (link); in short, they seem to advocate either not taking any vitamin D3 or taking at least 5,000 IU. Anything in between is potentially harmful for cytokine storms.

Summary

For the purposes of inhibiting ACE and reducing cytokines, the following foods and compounds seem to be the best choices:

•Green tea (ACE inhibitor, reduces cytokines)

•Black tea (ACE inhibitor, reduces cytokines)

•Quercetin (possible ACE inhibitor, reduces cytokines)

•Pomegranate juice (ACE inhibitor)

•Red wine (ACE inhibitor)

•Turmeric (reduces cytokines)

•Black pepper (reduces cytokines)

•Raw crushed garlic (reduces cytokines)

•Red palm oil (reduces cytokines)

•Vitamin E (reduces cytokines)

•Coconut oil (reduces cytokines)

The following foods, while beneficial in many other ways, may not be a good idea in terms of reducing cytokine levels:

•Olive oil (may increase cytokines)

•Fish oil (may increase cytokines)

•Chocolate (ACE inhibitor, increases cytokines)

In addition, it seems that vitamin D3 could be on either list, depending on the dosage. Average blood levels of vitamin D may be worse than very low or high levels.

http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/2009...kine-storm.html

Plenty to chew over. ;)

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Continue doing your weekly shop, but buy more than you need. It's not just about storing the obvious, but also the stuff that you might otherwise forget, such as toiletries, condiments etc.

Start figuring out recipes that can be made from food that can be stored for a long time.

Remember to buy lots of stuff that you would buy if you already had the flu (pain killers, tissues, throat lozenges etc).

I was wondering about getting an air filter that kills virii suspended in the air but they cost a lot of money.

Oh and if you can afford it, go to the dentist for a check-up in case you end up needing it later on.

Tea Tree and Lavender essentials oils reputedly have anti-viral properties (the NHS is trialling their anti-bacterial properties in the infection control fight).

I reckon it's worth having a bottle of each in the house.

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The resident HPC doctors are being fairly reticent on the issue of pigflu, I guess it's tricky for them from a professional point of view to say too much.

Some of us realise that this is very real & there's considerable debate - the medical bulletin boards are certainly very concerned about it. And it looks like it's now taken on of our own, as you can read here.

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Some of us realise that this is very real & there's considerable debate - the medical bulletin boards are certainly very concerned about it. And it looks like it's now taken on of our own, as you can read here.

Sorry to take it off topic, but

Earlier today, it was disclosed that the swine flu virus sweeping the country had reached Downing Street.

It is understood that Gordon Brown’s adviser on climate change, Michael Jacobs, has been infected.

:D

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Got my 32p box of Tesco's Ibuprofen. (shelves were a bit thin).

Reckon I'm as prepared as anybody now. (Usual food, water, toiletry stocks).

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Guest Skinty
Walk to some high ground, face into wind, and piss.

Ah now that's out of the box thinking! Urine is virtually sterile and it will wash off any droplets containing the flu virus. The wind will help evenly distribute the urine and carry it safely away from yourself.

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"First Defence" is pretty good for warding off colds and 'flu, works like snuff in causing a massive over-production of snot and flushing out virus particles before they can breed. I also have a salt pipe for asthma and bronchitis, about £10 from any beardie-weirdie health outlet, helps bring up the gunk.

Enjoy your tea guys!

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Walk to some high ground, face into wind, and piss.

Qaulity. If nature wants you it will get you. No point worrying about it.

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Guest Skinty
What about electrity, gas, and water. Would you expect these to carry on working if the sh*t really hits the fan?

For water, we can personally walk down to the river and pick up loads of it freshly dropped on the nearby mountains that we can see from our back window. We keep forgetting to buy a water container unfortunately, not that it really matters too much as we have a couple of 3 litre platypus's and a sigg bottle. We also have a water filter and water purifying tablets anyway because we use them for wild camping. If you want to buy something really big for storing water we found these online but we don't personally have room for them

http://www.keyonline.co.uk/tight-head-drum...2010264057.html

We also have loads of candles but cooking has been a concern. We have some gas stoves, again because we camp quite a bit, but nothing yet to help us survive a few months. But you can buy large gas cannisters for use in motor homes or caravans. Or if you live in a rural area you can go out and pick up bits of wood lying around.

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Many people seem to be confused that the only choices are a rock and a hard place. i.e. strong immune system good generally but bad for a cytokine storm.

I've done some research on this. What you want is:

- strong immune system (to avoid getting the flu)

- take immunomodulators which will temper the immune system in the event of a cytokine storm

- natural anti-virals

A good forum/site on all things natural is http://www.curezone.com

There is some talk of colloidal silver being very good:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1450768#i

Apparently it is being sprayed on the tube (MTR) in Hong Kong.

And an excellent link in that particular article for all round strategy is:

http://www.tbyil.com/Flu.htm

Now I can't get a hold of colloidal silver where I am but I have gotten a hold of some supplements I know are good for both swine flu and generally good for your health (even if you ignore all the bizarre ones, the controversial ones and the homeopathic ones as I don't believe in homeopathy).

So I will be taking daily:

- some rays of sunshine to boost vitamin D (immune system)

- garlic tablets - well known anti-viral properties (I'm still on the lookout for garlic powder capsules, which is the best form to take)

- big dosing of vitamin C (immune system)

- magnesium (immune system modulator)

I understand that the garlic and vitamin C are advisable both before and during infection. I am guessing that there is only limited or no use in suddenly binging on sunshine and magnesium if you are infected.

I welcome some other suggestions and serious discussion.

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Many people seem to be confused that the only choices are a rock and a hard place. i.e. strong immune system good generally but bad for a cytokine storm.

I welcome some other suggestions and serious discussion.

See post #4

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- big dosing of vitamin C (immune system)

- magnesium (immune system modulator)

I understand that the garlic and vitamin C are advisable both before and during infection. I am guessing that there is only limited or no use in suddenly binging on sunshine and magnesium if you are infected.

Vitamin C is a good one, but its very water soluble (in other words you wee it out very quickly!!) So I have always gone for a time release version, holland and barrett do one.

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/pro...ail.asp?pid=838

Ive also got a large stock of Amoxycillin which wasnt bought for this, but I understand its a good treatment of pneumonia. I reckon people wont die of flu as such, but will die of secondary infections.

We also have loads of candles but cooking has been a concern. We have some gas stoves, again because we camp quite a bit, but nothing yet to help us survive a few months. But you can buy large gas cannisters for use in motor homes or caravans. Or if you live in a rural area you can go out and pick up bits of wood lying around.

Im taking it these campingaz things I see everywhere are ok to use indoors?

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Vitamin C is a good one, but its very water soluble (in other words you wee it out very quickly!!) So I have always gone for a time release version, holland and barrett do one.

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/pro...ail.asp?pid=838

Ive also got a large stock of Amoxycillin which wasnt bought for this, but I understand its a good treatment of pneumonia. I reckon people wont die of flu as such, but will die of secondary infections.

Im taking it these campingaz things I see everywhere are ok to use indoors?

You must be following me. I have just bought some time release vitamin C myself from Holland & Barrett, or funnily enough as it is known here in The Netherlands, "De Tuinen"! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland_&_Barrett

I too have some amoxycillin from my dentist.

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I'm not convinced about the vitamin C yet.

Titre du document / Document title

Effects of vitamin C on intracytoplasmic cytokine production in human whole blood monocytes and lymphocytesAuteur(s) / Author(s)

HÄRTEL Christoph ; STRUNK Tobias ; BUCSKY Peter ; SCHULTZ Christian ;

Résumé / Abstract

Background: Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential water-soluble nutrient which primarily exerts its effect on immune homeostasis as physiological antioxidant. However, conflicting data exist regarding the effect of vitamin C on the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Methods: It was the aim of this study to investigate the impact of vitamin C on intracytoplasmic production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in monocytes and lymphocytes by flow cytometry after human whole blood assay. Results: Vitamin C dose dependently inhibited the LPS-induced number of monocytes producing IL-6 (e.g., 41.0% reduction, p < 0.001, 20 mM vitamin C) and TNF-a (e.g., 26.0% reduction, p < 0.005, 20 mM vitamin C). Simultaneously, the number of lymphocytes producing IL-2 after PMA/ionomycin stimulation was dose dependently reduced (e.g., 24.2% inhibition, p < 0.005, 20 mM vitamin C). Notably, the number of IL-I and IL-8 producing monocytes as well as TNF-α and IFN-y producing lymphocytes were not significantly affected by 20 mM vitamin C. Conclusions: These data suggest that vitamin C selectively influences intracytoplasmic cytokine production and therefore, further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of immunomodulation, i.e. regulation of NFKB activation which is mandatory for the induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=16011594

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All I can say is that it makes it less likely to get a cold and if you do get one it is gone much much quicker.

Yes, but this is not seasonal cold/flu. Normal colds/flus do not tend to induce dangerous levels of cytokines.

See post #4

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Guest Skinty
Im taking it these campingaz things I see everywhere are ok to use indoors?

Presumably. After all, motorhomes have their own gas cannisters inside. I wouldn't personally enjoy sleeping with one permanently stored in the house though. Although if you are going to use a small camping gas stove then you have problems with stability. A motorhome has a hob built into a work surface.

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