For the full online version of our November e-newsletter, please click here.
~ Dr. Sonya Nobbe, ND
90% of deaths caused by influenza occur in people older than 65 years, even though seniors are the most likely group to receive the flu shot. How can this be?
The effectiveness of the vaccine significantly depends on your body’s ability to mount an immune response against the ingredients in the vaccine. People with immune deficiencies are less able to generate the virus-fighting antibodies stimulated by the vaccine, so they acquire less protection against the flu than healthier people. In other words, the most vulnerable population acquires the least protection from the flu vaccine.
Improving your immune system function is beneficial no matter whether you decide to receive the flu vaccine or not. Studies suggest that simply supplementing your daily diet with immune-balancing vitamin D not only improves your response to the flu vaccine, but it might actually be more effective at protecting you from the flu than the flu shot.
How do you know if your immune system is optimal and ready to fight the flu? Review the short questionnaire included in our last e-newsletter for common signs and symptoms of immune deficiency. Click here to view the immune questionnaire again. Autoimmune disease, allergies, and eczema are some symptoms of imbalanced immune function. People with gastrointestinal discomfort, diabetes, or who take acid blocking medications or corticosteroids, are also at increased risk of immune imbalances. Some standard blood testing and a nutritional physical exam by your ND will also give you some clues as to the current health of your immune system.