Don’t Get the Flu This Season! : Exclusive Article by J. E. Williams

Friday Apr 6 | BY |
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Why suffer? You can prevent the flu this season.

Up to now it’s been a relatively mild year for seasonal influenza. There were no pandemic threats and, so far, no unusual events. We’re just entering the spring flu season in the northern hemisphere, however, and the fall season for the southern hemisphere.

The U. S. continues to experience low to normal incidence of seasonal flu. Flu activity on the West Coast, especially California, is more widespread than the rest of the country. However, for the rest of the world it’s not so pretty.

Flu Status in Various Countries
In the Caribbean and Central America, it’s tough. Plus, there’s a spillover effect into southern Florida. Activity is high in China, where influenza B viruses have predominated. Activity is increasing in Canada, with influenza B viruses predominating. Europe is getting hit by influenza A (H3N2). In North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean region, activity is decreasing. Mexico has high activity with 2009 H1N1 predominating. But, South America has minimal activity.

There are three main types circulating in the U.S. Antiviral drug resistance is common.

  • Influenza A (2009 H1N1)
  • Influenza A (H3N2)
  • Influenza B (B/Victoria/02/87 and B/Yamagata/16/88 lineages)

In the last few weeks, I’ve seen several cases in my clinic of an aggressive flu or flu-like virus. It comes on fast and takes several weeks to clear up. There is a lot of joint and muscle pain.

Symptoms of the Flu
Symptoms of influenza include:

  • Fever of 100°F (37.8°C) to 104°F (40°C). Fever is usually continuous, but it may come and go.
  • Body aches and muscle pain (often severe), commonly in the back, arms, or legs.
  • Headache. Pain when you move your eyes.
  • Fatigue, malaise, and loss of appetite.
  • Dry cough, runny nose, and sore throat. You may not notice these during the first few days of the illness when other symptoms are more severe. As your fever goes away, these symptoms may become more evident, and can linger for weeks.

April and May can be strong influenza months, so it’s best to be watchful and cautious.

How to Protect Yourself
Lifestyle approaches to enhancing immunity include:

  • Eating 8-10 servings of fresh vegetables and fruit daily.
  • Consuming enough health fats and oils like Omega-3s.
  • Getting enough protein.
  • Drinking 8-10 glasses of pure water daily.
  • Getting in regular exercise.
  • Resting when tired.

The first line of your natural defense should include:

  • 1,500 mg of vitamin C (as buffered ascorbate) three times daily.
  • 30 mg of zinc picolinate twice daily.
  • 500 mg of beta glucan three times daily.
  • 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily.

Taking probiotics can also help prevent flu infection. Echinacea tincture remains the most relied-upon herbal treatment. However, elder flower, boneset, and yarrow are useful. In the clinic, I rely on the traditional Chinese herbal formulas Gan Mao Ling, Yin Qiao San, and Yin Qiao Jie Du Wan.

When treating the flu with natural remedies, the key is to dose frequently. For adults: take herbs every 1-2 hours. For children: reduce adult dosage by quarter or half and take every 2 hours. For homeopathic medicines, take every 30 minutes.

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Picture courtesy Giusi-gurl via

Dr. J. E. Williams


Dr. Williams is a pioneer in integrative and functional medicine, the author of six books, and a practicing clinician with over 100,000 patient visits. His areas of interest include longevity and viral immunity. Formerly from San Diego, he now resides in Sarasota, Florida and practices at the Florida Integrative Medical Center. He teaches at NOVA Southeastern University and Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine.

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  1. Claudia says:

    These are wonderful recommendations! Doc, how much vitamin c, beta glucan, zinc and vitamin D3 do you recommend for children?
    Thanks so much for graciously sharing your knowledge, all this helps immensely.

  2. Deb says:

    Only 1000 IU of vitamin D3 is nowhere near enough for an adult. Taking 5000 IU daily is a good starting point. After 2 months on that dose, get a blood test for 25OH-D3. Then increase the dose enough to get your blood level above 50ng. Don’t believe the reference range on the test result. Labs still use obsolete info, and say that 30 ng is adequate. Wrong. The range should be 50 to 100 ng. Shoot for the middle of the range. Average size adults commonly need 8000 IU. A rule of thumb is that an extra 1000 IU will raise your blood level by about 10 ng. Remember that on a sunny summer day at the beach, healthy skin produces about 20,000 IU of vitamin D (unless UVB-blocking potions are applied).

    When your vitamin D level is inadequate, your T-cells do not properly activate in response to encountering a virus. For further info, see .

  3. Ed says:

    Hi all, love the beta glucan and vit D, over a decade ago oak pollen in Feb and March made me a victim. Then a health radio medical maverick taught listeners what worked,we lost him to a car wreck,but beta glucan still works, Viktoras will understand thank you

  4. Sari Staggs says:

    This is such good information. Thank you. When talking about the dosage, you mention the abbreviation “ng.” I’m familiar with a MILLIGRAM, or”mg.” but what’s an “ng.”?

    And is beta glucan available in regular health food stores?

    Sari Staggs

  5. Josh says:

    What is a good vitamin D3 supplement to buy? There r so many to choose from and Its hard to tell which one to get.

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