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how to optimize flu shots: rapamycin, fasting, CR, AHCC, ?

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On 10/16/2018 at 9:54 PM, TomBAvoider said:

My attitude to taking the flu shot might change if I can be convinced that even if it is worthless or of limited utility to me personally it might protect the herd - but I'm not completely convinced of that either, so why should I take that sacrifice for no discernable benefit to anyone? Sorry, but unless the effectiveness of the flu shot improves dramatically - dramatically - I am not inclined at the present moment to get one. I might change my mind in the future, especially if a better vaccine comes along.

You're being unreasonable here in all kinds of ways, including notably foregoing a well-established benefit for a purely hypothetical risk (which is like a caricature of the precautionary principle, which is to be cautious in the face of preliminary evidence of risk). But as regards the above: again, in a typical year the vaccine is roughly 59% effective. How "dramatically" could it improve?

I suspect that Karl has already dug much of this up, but on the subject of vaccine effectiveness:


We studied] Two groups of healthy young men (23 ± 1 years) ... [with normal sleep times;] None of the subjects had been immunized against influenza during the preceding 3 years. A group of eleven subjects had their bedtime restricted to 4 hours (01:00-05:00) for 6 nights and then extended to 12 hours per night for 7 nights to recover from sleep loss. On the morning following the 4rth short night, they were immunized against influenza ... A second group of 14 subjects served as controls and maintained their usual bedtimes … Ten days after vaccination, mean (SD) antibody titers in subjects who were immunized in a state of sleep debt were less than half those measured in the subjects with normal sleep times (0.50x106 [0.46±106] vs 1.15x106 [1.00±106], respectively; P=.03 … At 3 to 4 weeks after vaccination, antibody titers were no longer significantly different ...

PMID 12243633



Twenty-seven healthy men were vaccinated against hepatitis A three times, at weeks 0, 8, and 16 with conditions of sleep versus wakefulness in the following night. Sleep was recorded polysomnographically, and hormone levels were assessed throughout the night. Vaccination-induced Th cell and Ab responses were repeatedly monitored for 1 y. Compared with the wake condition, sleep after vaccination doubled the frequency of Ag-specific Th cells and increased the fraction of Th1 cytokine-producing cells in this population. Moreover, sleep markedly increased Ag-specific IgG1. The effects were followed up for 1 y and were associated with high sleep slow-wave activity during the postvaccination night as well as with accompanying levels of immunoregulatory hormones (i.e., increased growth hormone and prolactin but decreased cortisol release).

PubMed 21632713



Healthy midlife adults (n = 125; 70 female; age 40-60 yr) received the standard 3-dose hepatitis B vaccination series. ... 6 mo after the final immunization[,] Regression analyses revealed that shorter actigraphy-based sleep duration was associated with a lower secondary antibody response independent of age, sex, body mass index, and response to the initial immunization. Shorter sleep duration, measured by actigraphy and sleep diary, also predicted a decreased likelihood of being clinically protected from hepatitis B at the conclusion of the vaccination series. Neither sleep efficiency nor subjective sleep quality were significant predictors of antibody response.

PMID 22851802



Two groups of healthy humans (N = 19) not previously infected with hepatitis A virus (HAV) were studied. On the night after primary vaccination with inactivated HAV, which took place at 0900 hours, one group had regular sleep. The other group stayed awake, and did not sleep before 2100 hours the following day. ...

Subjects who had regular sleep after vaccination, displayed a nearly two-fold higher HAV antibody titer after 4 weeks than subjects staying awake on this night (p=.018). Compared with wakefulness, sleep after vaccination distinctly increased release of several immune-stimulating hormones including growth hormone, prolactin, and dopamine (p <.01). Concentrations of thyrotropin, norepinephrine, and epinephrine were lowered by sleep (p <.02), whereas sleep only marginally influenced WBC subset counts.

PMID 14508028

I've posted separately about the Dreem headband, an auditory closed-loop system for enhancing slow-wave sleep (SWS):



SWS is associated with a unique endocrine milieu comprising minimum cortisol and high aldosterone, growth hormone (GH), and prolactin levels, thereby presumably fostering efficient adaptive immune responses. Yet, whether SWS causes these changes is unclear. Here we enhance SOs [slow-wave oscillations] in men by auditory closed-loop stimulation, i.e., by delivering tones in synchrony with endogenous SOs. Stimulation intensifies the hormonal milieu characterizing SWS (mainly by further reducing cortisol and increasing aldosterone levels) and reduces T and B cell counts, likely reflecting a redistribution of these cells to lymphoid tissues ... [which] is thought to be a central mechanism underlying the immune-enhancing effect of sleep3,14. ...

The decrease is in line with findings of a general acute reduction in lymphocyte numbers during sleep when compared to nocturnal wakefulness30,31. The effect of SO stimulation emerging with some delay, indeed, mimics the rather slow temporal dynamics of the influences of sleep on numbers of circulating lymphocytes. These effects are most likely originating from hormonal changes, rather than reflecting peripheral nervous system regulation, which is much faster acting (in the minute range). In fact, stimulation-induced increases in aldosterone and prolactin levels could have contributed to the delayed changes in lymphocyte counts, as both hormones exert specific influences on lymphocyte migration32,33,34,35,36, although other hormones not measured here may as well be involved. We have previously shown that the aldosterone receptor regulates the expression of CD62L and CCR736, which ... are essential for the subsequent migration of the cells to lymph nodes37,38. Moreover, animal studies suggest that, during sleep, lymphocytes accumulate in lymph nodes39,40. Thus, the SO stimulation-induced decrease in circulating lymphocytes likely reflects a hormonally mediated redistribution of the cells to lymphoid tissues, where they can evolve their cell-specific immunological functions, eventually mediating the boosting effect of sleep on adaptive immune functions3,14,36.

PMID: 29215045


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  • 2 months later...

The flu shot and the Tdap both knock me on my butt for 24 hours.  I sleep most of the day and I run a fever. You know how babies sleep all day and get feverish after a vaccination?  That’s me. Out cold.  How do you even stay awake after?

I wouldn’t want a stronger immune response!  I’d be absolutely miserable.


Edited by Genny
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I didn't get the flu, but ironically I did get Norovirus (which was mentioned by Saul in this thread - WHERE is THAT vaccine??)  It was brutal, at least its mostly gone after 24 hours but man does that one crush your soul like no other virus.  In between bouts of seemingly all fluids leaping out of my body from both ends at once, I actually passed out, woke up some unknown amount of time later on the bathroom floor feeling like my teeth had been kicked in (this is the first time that I've seriously considered my blood pressure might be too low).  Anyway, the ordeal made me think of this thread ;). 

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You should give Allicin Max (or allimax) a try when you feel you're getting a stomach bug. I don't remember exactly when I last got sick with a stomach bug, I think it was around 2009-2010. I have felt them coming on after family coming down with it, but as soon as I feel it, I would just take about 10 garlic capsules 2-3 times a day for a couple of days. Even within a few hours after taking it, I would be fine. It's never failed to help.

It's been about 27 months since I've been sick with flu or a cold... the longest I've gone in many years. As I said before, I really think taking zinc picolinate has made a massive difference to my immune system. 

Edited by Matt
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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 years later...

New preprint meta-analysis on topic for this thread shows (in mice) that rapamycin improves survival of an infection but DR worsens survival. This Reddit thread has both the link to the preprint and several comments including by me: 

The main point is that the protocols especially of the DR studies does not seem to match the protocol suggested in the first post of this thread (corresponding to the resTORbio trial protocol IIRC), though they aren't well described in the review itself and I didn't go dig up each underlying study to get the details.


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