Life Extension founder William Faloon has written a detailed 12 page article on what to do if you get a respiratory illness such as a cold or flu. The article, What To Do If You Contract Influenza — Including H1N1 (Swine) Flu or the Common Cold  is to appear in the upcoming January 2010 edition of Life Extension Magazine .
Given the flu season is here, Life Extension recently notified its members about the article via email in advance of the magazine publication.
With daily news reports warning of a Swine Flu pandemic, people are more concerned than ever about how to protect themselves and their families.
Here are just a few helpful hints on how to combat H1N1 Swine Flu:
- Many nutrients and drugs can help prevent viral infections and hasten their resolution when they do occur.
- Nutraceuticals that may protect against flu include vitamin D, garlic (both aged and non-aged forms), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), lactoferrin, zinc lozenges, and melatonin.
- Pharmaceuticals that can help combat flu include cimetidine, Tamiflu®, Relenza®, ribavirin, and amantadine.
- Individuals who suspect they may have the flu should take action as soon as possible to fight the viral infection. Antiviral medications are typically only effective if initiated within the first 24-48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
For more information on what to do if you contract influenza click below.
Faloon’s “Nuclear Bomb” Approach to Colds and Flus
William Faloon claims to not have had more than a day of serious cold/flu sickness at a time in about 27 years. He credits the avoidance of severe respiratory viral illnesses both to his supplement regimen and to immediately initiating a “nuclear bomb” retaliatory reaction to the start of a cold or flu.
People often wait until they are very sick before seeking influenza treatment. This delay can preclude rapid eradication of the infectious agent. In some cases, treatment delay can be lethal. I have found enormous personal benefit by taking aggressive actions upon the onset of the very first cold-flu symptom. I respond to a mild symptom the way some people do after they have suffered days of agonizing flu virus miseries. My strategy is to not let the virus gain a foothold in my cells. Up until now, my approach has apparently succeeded inasmuch as I have not suffered more than a day of significant cold/flu illness since January 1983.
I am going to reveal my personal program in the following paragraphs, but the key point I want to emphasize is to immediately address the very first symptom of a cold-flu viral infection like it is the most lethal agent you have ever encountered. I analogize this approach to dropping a nuclear bomb when conventional weapons might be adequate. While some people wait until full-blown viral symptoms manifest, I don’t have a choice. Life Extension® is a 24-hour/day operation with no room for down time. I don’t have the luxury of calling in sick just because a virus has invaded my body.
If you were to contract swine flu (H1N1) or other influenza types, it is especially critical that you immediately initiate the antiviral drug therapies I will discuss later in this letter. Antiviral drugs can be effective, but only when they are initiated within 24-48 hours of the manifestation of symptoms.
Antiviral Drugs – Usage and Tradeoffs
The article also discusses the benefits and tradeoffs of several antiviral drugs including Tamiflu (oseltamivir), Relenza (zanamivir), ribavirin, and amantadine. One major limitation of these drugs is that antiviral medications are typically only helpful if started within 24 to 48 hours of infection. There are some troublesome side effects, too. One of the problems is an induced anemia reaction caused by ribavirin that is believed to be more common in people with insufficient antioxidant levels.
A concern with using ribavirin is that it has been shown to cause anemia in some people.65 This always puzzled us at Life Extension®, since we were not hearing of our members encountering an anemia problem in response to ribavirin. A recent study may have solved the mystery as to why our members did not suffer ribavirin-induced anemia. It turns out that ribavirin induces anemia at least partially by causing excess free radical damage to red blood cells.66 Since Life Extension® members typically take loads of antioxidants, they were unwittingly protecting themselves against ribavirin/free radical-induced anemia.
The article also mentions concerns about birth defects caused by the use of ribavirin and how it can build up in the red blood cells where it stays in the body for about 6 months, until the cells are all replaced.
Preventing Extreme Inflammatory Reactions
Faloon also writes about how to keep your body’s reaction to the flu from making you far more sick, even killing you. Often the virus itself is not the cause of death. Rather, it is the extreme inflammatory reaction that some people have to the infection. The body literally can destroy itself. Faloon mentions a variety of nutrients that can help prevent these kind of extreme inflammatory reactions including:
- Vitamin D
- Fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acids)
- Borage Oil (GLA or Gamma Linoleic Acid)
- Green tea extract (particularly EGCG)
- Curcumin (from the spice tumeric)
Read Before You Get the Cold/Flu
Several of the supplements and drugs that Faloon mentions only work if you start taking them immediately when you suspect you are coming down with a cold or flu. For instance, zinc can bind to receptor sites in nasal and throat tissue to block the rhinovirus responsible for the common cold. But if you wait until after 48 hours after infection to start taking it, it probably won’t help.
So to be prepared for the cold/flu season, read this article and make a list of the measures you’d like to try so you can buy the supplements and drugs before you get sick. This way, you’ll have them on hand as soon as symptoms start.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned in this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.