How Can I Minimize Side Effects From the Flu Shot?

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: Colds and Flu, Immune Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

I've made it a point to get flu shots each year, and I'm convinced they are helpful. I haven't gotten the flu since I've been getting them. Do you have any recommendations to help minimize the side effects of flu shots?

 

Generally speaking, I don't recommend flu shots and prefer other more natural ways to boost your immune system and prevent the flu. But if you are going to get a flu shot, I would suggest increasing certain supplements prior to receiving the injection.

Higher tissue levels of vitamins—including B12, A and C—have been shown to increase antibody production by the immune system following flu shots.

Italian researchers reported that when a standardized ginseng product was taken four weeks before a flu shot and eight weeks following a flu shot, natural killer cell activity was twice that of people who didn’t take the ginseng before getting a flu shot. What’s more, over 60 percent more antibodies were formed in the ginseng group.

For best results, start taking ginseng extract (100 mg), vitamin B12 (1,200 mcg), and vitamin A (25,000 IU) every day, at least one month before getting the flu shot. Also, beginning a week before the shot, take 2,000–4,000 mg of vitamin C daily.

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