WHAT IS A VIRUS and HOW DOES IT WORK?
With all the continued hype about the swine flu, we are receiving daily questions about it. So, here is more information about viruses (like the flu) and how to protect yourself.
Viruses have been with us since the dawn of recorded history. Archaeological artifacts dating back thousands of years suggest that viruses were no strangers to the ancient world. Smallpox, influenza, measles, mumps, herpes viruses (from the common cold to rabies) have all been a cause of human misery and death throughout history. In 1939, using an early type of electron microscope, researchers were able to "see" a virus for the first time. Like other microorganisms, viruses typically gain entry to the body through surfaces; usually the skin, mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, digestive tract, the genital tract, or the eyes. If a virus manages to make it through these physical barriers, it encounters a second line of defenses.
second line defenders are the white blood cells, which engage anything the body
recognizes as foreign. Their job is to engulf, ingest and eliminate foreign
particles, bacteria, fungi, and viruses before they can infect any of the body's
cells. Nearly a billion strong, they constantly patrol the body in the blood and
material of all living cells is contained within chemical structures known as
nucleic acids. In human cells, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is used to store
genetic information. DNA is organized into segments called genes, each of which
contains "instructions" for manufacturing a particular protein, which
in turn helps determine cell structure and function. DNA is like an “Assembly
Guide” for building a machine. Human cells also contain another nucleic acid,
ribonucleic acid (RNA), which helps carry out the instructions encoded in the
DNA. So, RNA is like the Owner’s Manual of how to run the machine, once
you’ve put it together.
contrast to human cells, the viral genome can be written in either RNA or DNA,
so it has complete information in one place. A virus can have either RNA or DNA,
but never both. This nucleic acid of a virus can be single or double-stranded.
Scientists classify viruses according to the type of nucleic acid and the number
of strands in a virus’s RNA or DNA. A virus’s nucleic acids are recognized
by the body’s mechanisms that are involved in RNA and DNA functions. Thus, the
viral genome is able to "hi-jack" the host cell's replication process.
This is the very heart of how a virus infects its hosts. It sneaks right in
using RNA or DNA as a really good “fake id”.
food sources of proteases are pineapple, papaya, apples, sprouted seeds (like
sprouted quinoa, sunflower seeds, etc), and apple cider vinegar with the mother.
The cultures in yogurt also help to produce enzymes needed for a healthy
immune system. When the need
arises, we also can use oral enzymes (like CDX and PRX), to help a body fight a
Heating and processing foods kills the enzymes (and much of the vital nutrients, like Vitamin C), placing high demands on the body's emergency resources. Processed foods like meats, flours, breads, pasta, etc. do not have enzymes and deplete the body’s enzyme resources. MANY studies over the last 40 years have shown that a high processed food diet leads to a weak immune system and a host of problems like allergies, arthritis and cancer. So, eat raw or VERY lightly steamed fruits, seeds, sprouts and vegetables whenever possible to keep your immune system strong.
easiest way to make sure you are getting enough raw foods?
Break your plate into four equal parts. 2 parts should be raw foods
(veggies, salad, etc). 1 part can be steamed foods (or you can choose to do 3
parts raw) and the last part can be cooked food.. meat, rice, pasta, lentils,
Our pets are also susceptible to ills that come with a diet high in processed foods, especially allergies and parasites.
Sleep! Make sure you get adequate rest. A tired body is prone to reducing production of the immune cells that help us fight off illness. For most people, this is a minimum of 6 to 8 hours. others may need as much as 10 to 12 hours a day, especially children.
Many of our traditional cooking herbs are antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic. At the top of the list are Thyme, Oregeno, Garlic, Sage, and Cloves. Dr; Lister, widely considered the father of hygeine used Thyme and derivatives like Thymol to sterilize and clean. Listerine (R), the old smelly brownish colored stuff, is still a great and affordable disinfectant.
A,C, E, Zinc and Selenium - known as the "ACES". Vitamin A was the first vitamin to be discovered and plays a vital roll in health, especially of the skin, one of our front line defense systems. Dr. Linus Pauling spent most of his life just studing the marvelous effects of vitamin C. While helpful, there is such a thing as too much vitamin C, which results in loose stools/diarrhea and with longer term high doses, a decrease in production of our infection fighting lymphocytes. (Like most things in life, it's all about balance!) Vit E is known as the 'lighting rod' of the cell. It is a vital component to cell membranes and their ability to repell foriegn invaders. Zinc and Selenium are trace minerals that also play a vital role in our immunity, and just like Vitamin C, too much is detrimental. If you suck on a zinc lozenge and get a slight metalic taste in your mouth or a wierd after flavor, chances are, you are getting too much zinc. Of course, we prefer food approaches to taking a bunch of supplements. Many of the above foods and herbs are great sources of the the "ACES".
What about wearing a mask? As stated above, viruses are some of the smallest infective agents currently known to man. Wearing a mask to prevent a virus is like wearing a chain link fence to keep mosquitos out. There have been numerous studies that show that wearing a mask may help someone who is already sick with a virus from coughing and/or sneezing it as far out into their surrounding environment, but it doesn't prevent catching a virus. So, if you choose to wear a mask, that's just fine. But don't fall into the trap of thinking it is ultimate in protection. Make sure to wash your hands often and avoid touching your face, as well as keeping your immune system healthy.
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