Our medical systems only measure illness. In the hierarchy of health, from nutrition to immune system to community health, we measure illness, not health.
If we could measure immune system health, we would have a powerful tool to measure the need for, and the effectiveness of flu vaccines.
When you take a flu vaccines you are basically a guinea pig, a medical test subject - because flu vaccines are continually re-designed as flu virus evolves. Unfortunately - the statistics of your reactions to the vaccine, and statistics of your preventative experience, are very poorly tracked - if they are tracked at all.
In Dr Mercola's latest post, he suggests that improving the health of your immune system is more appropriate than taking the flu vaccine.
If someone's immune system health is high - there might be no need for a flu vaccine, not matter how old they are. And, if someone with a strong immune system is given a flu vaccine - their statistical result should be separated from those who have weak immune systems.
We might learn answers to some interesting questions.
1. Do flu vaccines protect people with weak immune systems? In theory - they might not, because the weak immune system might respond poorly to a vaccine.
2. Do flu vaccines protect people with strong immune systems? We can hypothesize that they might not give any additional protection - because the strong immune system is already a strong flu protection. Or it might give protection, because the immune system learns from the vaccine. In this case we should compare the side effects of the vaccine to the 'extra benefit' to see if the vaccine is worthwhile.
3. Do flu vaccines protect people with healthy, but not strong immune systems? We don't know - and if we continue with the medical paradigm we will never know. We need a health paradigm, not a medical paradigm.
4. Many illnesses have a primary cause. What is the primary cause of flu in most people? Is the primary cause of the flu - the flu virus? Or is a weak immune system the primary cause? If we could measure the health of our immune systems - and track that against the flu - we might answer this question. And we would know which technique - flu virus or immune system improvement - is the most appropriate.
If we could measure the health of someone's immune system, we could also study and answer questions about actions that strengthen or weaken the immune system. We might better understand why zinc lessens the length of common cold symptoms. Does zinc improve the health of the immune system?
We can also learn to distinguish between the effects of 'stimulant foods' on the immune system - which boost activity and healthy foods - which boost the actual health of the system. Then we could separate techniques to improve our health from techniques we might use to treat a cold or flu. Does propolis improve the health of the immune system - or just the activity level?
We can also learn more about the effects of specific toxins on our immune system. This could lead to some very interesting results. We might, for example, learn that the flu vaccine components boost flu protection, but the toxins in the vaccine hurt the immune system - resulting in zero net gain.
Is it better to improve our immune systems - or to take a vaccine? We should first learn to measure our immune systems - and then we can answer these complex questions. Taking a 'newly formulated' flu vaccine is a huge risk, with a very weak scientific foundation.
Yours in health,
Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: