Search the mainstream medical journals, even search the Internet, and you won’t find this cheap, safe, and effective answer. Action Alert!
Half of teens and adults under the age of 50 are infected with the oral herpes virus, and one in eight has genital herpes. Despite the prevalence of herpes, public health authorities ignore a cheap, safe, and effective treatment for this common infection, and instead rely on expensive medicines that do not treat the underlying problem. This, unfortunately, is par for the course in our crony health system.
Everywhere you look, conventional medicine is singing the same tune: the Mayo Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health all say that even though there is no cure for herpes, the best way to prevent or treat the symptoms is with antiviral medications like acyclovir (sold under the trade name Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir), or valacyclovir (Valtrex). There is even a herpes vaccine in development—although the FDA has launched a criminal investigation into the (now deceased) lead researcher, who allegedly injected his experimental vaccine into human subjects without following safety protocols.
Conventional medicine recommends one of two basic approaches: episodic therapy (that is, taking the medicine whenever you experience an outbreak) or suppressive therapy (taking the medicine daily to minimize the chances of recurrent or future outbreaks). Suppressive therapy for herpes means huge profits for drug companies, particularly since these medicines are expensive—there is no generic version for Acyclovir as yet, and a one-month supply of Valtrex costs around $250. There is also the problem that these drugs tend to lead to drug-resistant superbugs.
But conventional medicine ignores the obvious natural prescription: get a vitamin D test! It is yet another example of a cheap, safe, and effective medicine that is effectively barred in today’s crony medical system. If it can’t make money for drug companies, the crony medical establishment will have nothing to do with it.
Vitamin D is a powerful natural antiviral, which is why we bang the drum about vitamin D therapy for colds and especially flu every chance we get. One study found that dialysis patients who receive vitamin D and iron were less likely to develop shingles, which is part of the herpes family of viruses; higher vitamin D levels corresponded with more antibodies to the herpes-simplex-2 virus.
Additionally, research from the University of Copenhagen shows that vitamin D activates the immune system by arming T-cells to fight off infections. Without vitamin D, the immune system’s T-cells remain dormant, offering little or no protection against invading microorganisms and viruses. But with vitamin D in the bloodstream, T-cells begin seeking out invaders, which are then destroyed and carried out of the body. You may recall the Japanese study we’ve mentioned previously which found that vitamin D was more effective than a vaccine in preventing flu, including pandemic flu. The report, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that school children taking vitamin D were 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A. By contrast, antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) reduced rates of infection by only 8 percent. Even vaccines had success rates significantly lower than the 58 percent achieved by vitamin D.
Our vitamin D–mediated immune response has been with us through more than 60 million years of pre-human and human evolutionary selection, as research from Ohio State demonstrates. Vitamin D is critical to our survival.
The problem is that a whopping 70% of the US population is not getting enough vitamin D, according to the Vitamin D Council.
According to John Cannell, MD, founder of the non-profit Vitamin D Council, “Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least seventeen varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.” All of this is in addition to viral and bacterial infections.
For anyone plagued by herpes, it’s essential that you are getting enough vitamin D. So please get your vitamin D level checked! If it is less than optimal—levels should be between 50–80 ng/ml, year-round—take a vitamin D supplement (be sure it’s D3—cholecalciferol), get your blood retested to verify that you’re taking the proper dosage, and get sufficient exposure to the sun. (Such exposure may not produce vitamin D in the winter, depending on where you live, or if you sunbathe too early or too late in the day.) Vitamin D works best when other cofactors are present, such as magnesium, vitamin K2, zinc, boron, and vitamin A.
Besides vitamin D, there are a number of other natural ways to increase the odds of avoiding herpes outbreaks:
- Eliminate sugar and white flour from your diet. They interfere with your immune system’s ability to fight outbreaks and new infections.
- Identify any food allergies or sensitivities and adopt an allergy-free diet.
- Avoid foods (like cashews) that contain L-arginine, because this amino acid may facilitate outbreaks. (This is too bad, because L-arginine may also increase sexual arousal!)
- Take natural vitamins and minerals: lysine (another amino acid, and a longtime favorite to control herpes), vitamin C, selenium (inhibits the ability of all “herpes-family” viruses to reproduce), lithium (slows down formation of the viral capsid), zinc (boosts the infection-fighting capability of immune system), and vitamin A.
Among natural treatments for active herpes lesions are vitamin C powder and propolis, a natural product found in beehives. The two can be combined. This is somewhat more realistic than the often-mentioned peppermint oil and tea tree oil because their pungent odor announces their presence—not something you want during a herpes eruption. Lemon balm oil also has some research behind it.
Why don’t our health agencies tell the public about vitamin D? It’s cheap—much cheaper than anti-viral drugs—and it works. The problem, as we’ve pointed out, is that vitamin D can’t be brought through the FDA’s expensive drug approval process; since it can’t be patented, it wouldn’t be worth the investment. In our broken system, only FDA-approved drugs can claim to treat or prevent disease. We have a government-created monopoly on disease treatment that blocks the public from learning about the benefits of vitamin D and other natural therapies. Until this changes, the epidemic of chronic disease will only get worse.
Action Alert! Tell the FDA and the CDC to tell the American public about the benefits of vitamin D for herpes, and copy Congress, which oversees these agencies. Please send your message immediately.