Help Your Body Eradicate Mutating Bacteria and Viruses
Over the years, we have done an amazing job of combating infection in developed countries through sanitization, hygiene, vaccinations, and antibiotics. The problem is that the bacteria and viruses keep popping back up stronger and more resistant to our growing arsenal of vaccines and pharmaceutical medications.
Antibacterial and antiviral agents have numerous limitations, including the following:
- Bacteria and viruses (especially) mutate rather quickly, which can often make them resistant to the medications used to combat them.
- Antibiotics often kill beneficial bacteria as well as harmful bacteria, which can cause long-term health issues and impair the immune system. Likewise, antiviral medications can harm the cells of the body that antiviral medications are designed to protect.
- Viruses often lie dormant in the body waiting until the body’s immune system is compromised only to resurface again, often in a more virulent form. For example, people who have had chicken pox as babies can develop shingles decades later when the virus emerges from its dormant state.
- Many antiviral vaccines are effective at preventing infection from only a select few strains of the virus. For example, if you get a flu shot, it protects you against infection from only three or four strains of flu virus that medical research predicts will be the most common in a particular season.
- Vaccines may contain substances that can be toxic to the body, further impairing the body’s natural ability to maintain health and recover from illness.
It seems as though the Friedrich Nietzsche quote “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” is true for infectious agents. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics has made harmful bacteria more virulent and resilient. At the same time, due to numerous factors, including poor diet, a more sedentary lifestyle, and increasing levels of environmental toxins, our bodies’ ability to fight infection has been compromised. As a result, we are starting to lose ground in the war against infectious agents.
Many of our most potent antibiotics are ineffective in treating the most serious bacterial infections. Many doctors fear a post-antibiotic era in which antibiotics no longer work. Doctors are also concerned that any viruses that survive certain treatments will emerge more virulent. Many patients infected with certain microbes are already experiencing the horrors of this era. Conventional medicine practitioners, having nothing left to try in their medical bags, are beginning to feel powerless to help their patients.
Enlisting Our Bodies in the Battle: A More Effective and Enduring Approach
As practitioners of functional medicine, we at Restoration Healthcare, know a better way to combat bacterial and viral infections — through the restoration of optimal health.
Your body is the best doctor you’ll ever have. As soon as it detects an infectious agent, it revs up its immune system to eradicate it, and you don’t even need to call this doctor and wait for an appointment. If the microbe mutates, your body has the capability to quickly respond with changes of its own to identify, kill, and remove that specific microbe from your body. And, when it is functioning properly, the body is capable of doing its job without the potentially dangerous side effects inherent in some vaccines and medications.
The body becomes more vulnerable to infection when health becomes compromised — typically from a deficiency of nutrients, activity, or rest. Various stressors, physical, emotional, or environmental (such as toxins) can deplete the body of what it needs to function optimally. A weakened body becomes vulnerable to illness. The logical and effective solution is to restore healthy function, which is what we do at Restoration Healthcare.
To be clear, we are not anti-medication and anti-vaccine. These tools are valuable in treating illness, and we have no reservations about using them when they are needed. However, our goal extends beyond curing illness to restoring health.
Giving the Body (More of) What It Needs
When your body is exposed to harmful bacteria and viruses, it often requires more of what it normally needs to function. You know that, because you often need much more rest when you have an infection. Your body diverts more of its energy and resources to fighting that infection, and some of the resources it diverts are nutrients macronutrients and micronutrients:
- Macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) provide energy and enable the body to grow and repair itself.
- Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and trace elements) provide essential support for the bodily functions and essential chemical processes.
To prevent and fight infection, you need to replenish these nutrients. In addition, higher levels of certain nutrients boost your body’s ability to contain or eradicate the infectious agent. For example, we recently read a study published in the Medical Science Monitor entitled “Effect of high dose vitamin C on Epstein-Barr viral infection” (note: read any of the dozen or so articles that cite this study here). Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a herpes virus that targets lymphocytes and epithelial cells. It can trigger mononucleosis (often referred to as the kissing disease), impair the immune system, and lead to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Currently, conventional medicine offers no cure for EBV.
Interestingly, people with viral infections (any viral infection, not only EBV) exhibit vitamin C deficiency. The authors of this study — including Dr. Ron Hunninghake, Chief Medical Officer at the Riordan Clinic — conducted research to determine if increasing the levels of vitamin C through the use of intravenous Vitamin C (IVC) therapy in patients with EBV would improve their conditions. The 218 patients they studied had elevated levels of antibodies to EBV — 178 had elevated levels of EBV EA IgG, and 40 had elevated levels of EBV VCA IgM. Most had a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), while the rest had been diagnosed as having mononucleosis, fatigue, or EBV infection. Patients received intravenous Vitamin C therapy (7.5 to 50 gram infusions), and analysis of post-treatment results suggested the following:
- High dose intravenous vitamin C therapy has a positive effect on disease duration and reduction of viral antibody levels.
- Patients with high levels of vitamin C tended to have lower levels of antigens in the acute state of disease. (An antigen is a toxin released by the virus that induces the production of antibodies to combat that virus.)
- The reduction in EBV EA IgG and EBV VCA IgM antibody levels over time during intravenous Vitamin C therapy is consistent with observations from the literature that millimolar levels of ascorbate (a form of vitamin C) hinder viral infection and replication in vitro (in lab tests instead of in humans).
While this is only one example of how intravenous supplementation of one micronutrient has proven effective in treating one type of viral infection, many more examples are available in medical literature. For example, a 1999 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapies entitled “The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections” concluded “Overall, reported flu and cold symptoms in the test group decreased 85% compared with the control group after the administration of megadose vitamin C.”
The test group received hourly doses of 1000 mg of Vitamin C for the first six hours and then three times daily thereafter. The control group was treated with pain relievers and decongestants.
Appreciating the Importance of Intravenous Nutrient Delivery
To be effective, nutrient therapy must often raise the levels of one or more nutrients in the body far higher than baseline levels, which is often possible only by delivering the nutrients intravenously. For example, your body closely controls the level of vitamin C in your system. Taking a double dose orally doesn’t necessarily double the level of vitamin C in your system. In fact, taking too much vitamin C orally can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and even kidney stones.
Intravenous vitamin C is delivered directly into your system, bypassing your stomach, so you experience none of those nasty symptoms. Perhaps more importantly, intravenous vitamin C bypasses the body’s mechanism for regulating the level of vitamin C. Receiving vitamin C intravenously raises the level of vitamin C in your system 25 times than taking the same dose orally.
At Restoration Healthcare, we offer a wide range of medically supervised IV nutrient infusion therapies. To find out more about them, read our previous post, “Understanding the Benefits of IV Nutrient Infusion Therapy.”