Although COVID-19 has now become an endemic and is less severe, flu and COVID-19 remain a concern due to the continuous mutations of these viruses. Vaccinations have only limited efficacy against the most recent variants. Hospitals have brought back the mask requirements due to an increase in the infection rates and the health officials expect a significant rise in respiratory illnesses and admissions during the winter months. The latest variants of SARS-CoV-2 (JN.1) caused almost half of the COVID-19 cases around the holidays. In the past couple of years, it has also been observed that COVID-19 is not only a cause of temporary respiratory illness, but it triggers a new and chronic illness. The so called “long Covid” could be more debilitating for previously healthy people. It can last for weeks even years after the infection and it can be manifested as cardiovascular problems, cognitive impairment, brain fog, concentration and memory issues, nerve pains, and others.
Marine plants, either marine algae or seaweeds, were part of the daily diet of our ancestors and have been consumed in different parts of Asia for centuries. Although plants like kelp, nori, dulce, and spirulina are more commonly used in sushi, Asian soups, snacks, or seasonings, there are many other varieties of sea plants packed with important nutrients. These sea vegetables absorb beneficial nutrients from the ocean and are very good sources of protein, fiber, healthy polyunsaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. For example, after iodized salt they are the second richest source of iodine, and it is well known that iodine is critical for a healthy thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones - thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3) - play a vital role in growth and development of the body and in regulating various metabolic processes, including basic metabolic rate, healthy functioning of the brain, heart, immune and digestive systems, and building strong muscles and bones. Two sea plants which contain critical nutrients for overall health are Irish moss and bladderwrack.
In addition to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the omicron wave, the flu season is also upon us. As we have already learned, the RNA/DNA vaccines have severe limitations in preventing coronavirus infections, emerging viral mutants and their spread, and seasonal anti-flu vaccines cannot keep up with the viral mutations. It is difficult to protect ourselves from every single infectious agent unless our own immunity is strong. Most of the antivirals weaken the immune system and cause other side effects. It is critical to address the fundamental mechanisms of infection and increase the immunity of the human population.
Influenza (flu) is a common viral disease affecting up to 20% of the world’s population. In most cases, the flu is benign, but it can also have serious consequences especially in people with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and children. It is estimated to cause 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide each year1.
We are exposed to a variety of infectious agents in the environment such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. One of the recently published studies indicates that viruses can spread from one person to another through very fine air particles exchanged just by breathing.1 The tiny particles stay suspended in the air for a long time, even when the person may not be symptomatically ill. That means a sick person does not need to be coughing or sneezing to spread the virus. Any seasonal change challenges our immune system with new pathogens; therefore, our immune system needs to be functioning at its optimum to fight infectious agents.
Influenza (flu) season in the northern hemisphere starts in late fall and peaks in winter. Flu is a common viral disease and affects up to 20% of the world’s population every year. This year the flu season has become more severe and serious. In most cases the flu is benign but it can also have serious consequences, especially in people with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and children. Worldwide, the flu is estimated to cause 250,000 to 500,000 deaths each year.