A recent review (Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, et al. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;7:CD001269.) found that healthy adults don’t really benefit from the annual influenza vaccine. The study reviewed 50 studies, encompassing more than 34000 participants and found that healthy adults had few, if any benefit from receiving a flu shot. While receiving the vaccine did reduce the chance of getting sick, receiving the shot didn’t prevent serious complications of the flu, and only reduced sick days by 0.13 days.
So, if you’re a healthy adult – try these techniques for staying well this cold and flu season:
1. Take Vitamin D – at least 1000 IU. Check with your ND for optimal dosage ranges
2. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep, at least 8 hours.
3. Practice the usual handwashing and hygiene precautions, keeping in mind that soaps labelled ‘anti-bacterial’ aren’t necessary, and may contribute to anti-biotic resistance.
4. Limit your sugar intake, and up your intake of green leafy vegetables.
5. Take probiotics. A large portion of our immune system is located in our gut, so we need to keep it happy too.
Here’s to a healthy winter!