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A flu epidemic and how balanced cytokines aid prevention

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by Jack Menear, Chief Scientist and Patent Strategist

The sheer number of flu cases in the press today has many people concerned. Since the CDC reported that this season’s flu vaccine was only 36% effective, many are looking more closely at alternatives to rote reliance on flu vaccines in order to combat potential exposure.  

Many vaccines rely on antibodies to provide resistance to a particular pathogen. Since a flu virus is always mutating, and antibodies are highly specific, they can often lose effectiveness by the time they are needed. The challenge exists when vaccines rely on specific antibodies to fight a particular pathogen that may have mutated beyond the bounds of that particular antibodies efficacy. 

Immune response solutions offer an alternate approach to minimize the effects of exposure to pathogens like flu viruses. There is strong science that indicates that cytokine balance is an effective way to promote immune health.  

To understand how this works, let's start by looking at the two general responses the immune system can take to combat pathogens:  fast and slow.  

A fast response occurs when the body immediately recognizes the invader and already has the tools to deal with it. A slow response occurs when the body must learn to recognize an invader and then develop antibodies for it. 

For a flu, the fast response is particularly beneficial. The reason is simple. By neutralizing the flu invader early, the flu virus doesn’t have time to spread, duplicate and overwhelm the body. The body’s defenses remain stronger than the invader’s attack. Immune cells out-number the viruses. 

It’s best to fight early while the invading army is small. When fought early, an exposed person might report the flu coming on, but doesn’t get it. Alternately, he/she might report having the flu, but it’s a mild case. 

Cytokines are drivers of the fast response. They are small proteins (roughly 44 amino acids long) that are the workhorses of the immune system. They communicate among immune cells to orchestrate the body’s overall immune response. A balanced cytokine mixture is advantageous because all pathways to wellness are open. 

There’s a second fast mechanism. Segments of a cytokine can approximate an antibody’s active surface, chemically tie up a flu virus, and remove that virus from the battlefield. 

In contrast, the slow antibody response arrives too late. The body is already weakened and sick.  

Furthermore, flu viruses penetrate the cell walls, and antibodies don’t. The cell wall acts as a barrier. Viruses and antibodies are separated. Once fully developed, a flu can last a very long time. Cytokines are not as chemically specific as antibodies. Instead, cytokines are useful over a range of invaders. For this reason, a reliable regimen of specialty supplements that contain balanced cytokines can be an important cornerstone to maintaining optimal immune system health.  

Learn more about immuno enhancement here.

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Dr. Menear is Chief Scientist and Patent Strategist for CortControl. Dr. Menear is an analytical scientist with a Ph.D. in Physical/Analytical Chemistry and extensive skills and experience that extend into marketing and sales and patent law.