kpfleger Posted October 3, 2018 Report Share Posted October 3, 2018 Tis the season to think about flu shots. What's the optimal practical stuff one can do to optimize effectiveness? A few early studies have shown improved immune response to influenza immunization in humans by taking rapamycin around the time of the vaccination. There has been enough work to think that the effect is real, but not enough for optimal dose, timing, etc. to be confidently worked out, nor enough for this to have translated to standard-of-care in common clinical use yet, especially given rapamycin's other negative side effects. CR and fasting hit many of the same pathways as rapamycin, so it is reasonable to hypothesize that maybe temporarily entering CR or doing some fasting around a flu shot might also help optimize immune response and effectiveness of the shot. I think there has been no direct work testing this yet. Would love to hear people's opinions or any pointers if there has been respectable work on this that I don't know about. Should one fast before and/or after a flu shot, or enter CR / deepen CR around it? There has been science recently on fasting vs. feasting's differential effects on infectious agents depending on whether the infection is viral vs. bacterial, essentially backing up the old saying to "feed a cold, starve a fever", except the general version would be feed a virus, starve a bacterial infection. That doesn't exactly square with fasting or downregulating mTOR for a viral vaccination. The reconciliation seems to be that the eating in the face of an infection didn't affect the immune response itself. The additional glucose allowed cells to fight a viral infection better than without the glucose. Since the flu shot is inactivated, no cells actually get infected so no benefit to more available glucose. This suggests that possibly the best thing to do is fast near the flu shot but eat more if you actually get the flu (regardless of whether you had the shot). Separately from the above, AHCC seems to have some evidence that short-term use around a vaccination improved immune response. Matt covered this in his AHCC post (nice post Matt). But this seems to be based on a single paper published in 2013 and maybe earlier work. I don't see much work since then and clearly the intervening 5 years haven't caused this to be a widespread recommendation. I haven't search Google scholar for more recent papers citing this one to see what recent thoughts are on this study, but that's a next obvious thing to try. Certainly AHCC seems to have some other good work showing that it helps the body during certain kinds of infections, or even treatments like chemo. Michael Rae pointed out to me once that it is commonly used for people with low neutrophil WBC counts (neutropenia), but it did nothing for me personally to increase my WBC when I tried it for 6-9 months. So perhaps it helps taking around the flu shot, and perhaps it would help to take it if one were actually fighting a flu. Anything else? And what do people think of this list so far? Should we fast and take AHCC around the flu shot but then eat a lot and take more AHCC if we nonetheless later get a bad flu? And then stop eating again but take more AHCC if we get a secondary bacterial infection after the flu, such as bronchitis? (But alas, one can get viral or bacterial bronchitis and consumers and individual clinics/doctors don't yet have good tests to distinguish the type of infectious agent I think, though there are people working on this. Fever by itself I think is not a reliable indicator, though maybe it is decent for just a chest infection if the flu has cleared up?) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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