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When I was growing up, my two brothers and I rarely got sick with the flu.  Sure, we had the occasional nasty cold and strep throat but we never battled much with the flu that tended to wipe out large swaths of our classmates once the winter months set in.  My mom would always credit the strong family immune system so it was with great surprise that I started receiving phone calls from her over the last couple of winters reporting that she’d was sidelined with flu symptoms.  My mom, it should be said, works as an administrator in an all-boys’ high school in Manhattan and among kids, germs fly around like swarms of invisible clouds of disease just waiting to infect unsuspecting, weakened immune systems.

This year, I am determined to help Mom head off the bi-monthly battle she wages with the average set of flu complaints: headache, aches, chills, fever, runny nose, cough, and deep fatigue—all of which come on quite quickly.  Even though my mom is something of the family doctor and inspired me to start thinking along the lines of preventive medicine, she’s not a great one for taking pills.  But when I mentioned that one of the products is a delicious berry syrup that literally magically bolsters the immune system and pounces on the flu, she acquiesced.  I bundled up a care package of the three things—all proven D’Adamo products—she should take and shuttled over to her house to outline her regimen.

My mom is a non-stop individual.  She looks after the lives of a couple hundred teenage boys and maintains the most active social life of anyone I know, so while no one likes being sick, my mom—and her social life—can’t really afford to be sidelined.  This is Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s time-tested approach and I strongly (and as lovingly as a daughter can) urged my mom to follow suit and start the extra work of building her immune system for the winter slog. The following is what I told her, and I recommend it as the best preventive protocol to be taken during flu season; this same course can also help you fight an active flu virus.

First, I have Mom taking two teaspoons a day of Proberry 3 Liquid. This is the miraculous elixir I mentioned earlier, which contains the juice concentrates of elderberry, blueberry, cherry and raspberry, as well as pear.  I told her to mix it in with her tea in the evening or just take a spoonful of it in the morning with yogurt or on its own.  The key ingredient is elderberry, which, studies have shown, actually inhibits replication of the flu virus in the human body.  Research has shown that in people taking elderberry, their immune systems actually recognized flu strains earlier and were able to perform more quickly and effectively to rid their systems of the virus.  In fact, the recently released drug Zanamivir, which cost millions of dollars to develop, acts in much the same way as elderberry to disable the flu virus, but without the natural immune-enhancing effects.  See Proberry’s full specs at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/41484521/ProberryLiquid-SpecSheet.

The strength of the immune system largely depends on the health of the gut.  Why is this?  The lining of the intestines is called the gut mucosa.  It is constantly doing battle with pathogens that enter our system through the food we eat, as well as the billions of normal flora present in our gut at any given time.  Because the gut has to constantly respond to this microbial onslaught, two-thirds of the immune system is found there.So if we suffer from any weakness in the lining of the gut—due to malabsorption, improper balance of flora, or chronic gastrointestinal issues—we have subsequently weakened immune systems.  That’s why it is so important, particularly in flu season, to keep the gut strengthened and healthy.  ARA 6 is an interesting product, comprised of larch arabinogalactan and quercetin.  Larch is important for immune health due to several of its properties.  First, it is a prime source fiber and of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s), which are integral to gut health; actually, SCFA’s have been found to improve colon cells’ resistance to disease.  Also, larch is an excellent probiotic, meaning that it serves as good food for the healthy bacteria in the gut, allowing them to proliferate.  Good bacteria, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacter are essential for gut and immune health.  Larch has also been found in studies to bolster the activity of some of the main components of the immune system: macrophages and natural killer cells.  Quercetin is included here for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral qualities.  As a prophylactic, ARA 6 is an excellent adjunct to Proberry 3.  For more information go to http://www.scribd.com/doc/41484109.

The last in the series of three products I have Mom taking through flu season is Genoma Security, which is a combination of five of the best immune-supporting botanicals.  First, Andrographis paniculata is an Ayurvedic herb that has a number of functions.  Here, it is included for its profound immunostimulating qualities; in a recent study it was found to be so immune-stimulating, it retards the progression of HIV.  It also has antibiotic properties and protects the liver, among other things.Schisandra chinensis is an herb used in Chinese medicine and belongs to the adaptogenic family of herbs, which means that it helps the body respond to stress.  In this case, the stress is on a body fighting off illness.It works at the level of the liver and adrenals to bolster the body’s fight against invading pathogens.   Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae is another herb used in Chinese medicine to tonify the stomach and spleen qi, which means it increases the body’s use of nutrition and increases energy.  It also helps with digestion and supports the liver.

Scuttelaria baicalensis—from the mint family—is often used to help digestion but it also shrinks the body’s inflammatory response, particularly that of the mast cells, which are the immune system’s havoc-wreaking components.  Scutellaria also help the body expel cells that are no longer useful to the body or have become dysfunctional.Lastly, eleutherococcus senticosus, or Siberian ginseng, is another adaptogenic herb that has immune-stimulating effects, as well as helps the body to respond to physical stress.For more complete details on Security, check out:http://www.scribd.com/doc/41484524/Genoma-Security-SpecSheet

That’s it for supplements.  As mentioned earlier, because immunity begins in the gut, I advised my mom, who has Type O blood, to increase her beneficial foods and remove her avoids as much as possible, particularly anything with refined sugar.  We also added Polyflora O, just to be safe.  Because stress also lowers immunity, I pleaded with my mom (who is known to go out every night of the week), to spend a night at home every now and then and allow her body to chill out.  Mom is an avid city walker, so I encouraged her to keep up her daily jaunts, as exercise is essential for helping the body fend off sickness.  Will my sweet mother win the battle with this year’s fearsome flu virus?  Check back  to find out.

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