The company I work for, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, takes employee health seriously. We also take personal liberties very seriously and have never required employees to get flu shots. I was asked to review the pros and cons of flu shots and present this information to the ABC Family.
The two big questions I’ve been getting about the flu this year are, Should I get the H1N1 vaccine? and Is the H1N1 flu as scary as people seem to be saying?
Let’s start with the second question first.
Is the N1H1 flu especially dangerous?
The N1H1 swine flu virus is, like any other flu virus, potentially deadly — particularly to very young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic diseases, like diabetes. But this particular flu has the potential to pack a little more punch than other flu viruses because, to put it simply, our immune systems haven’t seen anything like it in a while and will therefore be caught a little off guard.
This article is continued below...(scroll down)
This has been life changing
"Let me tell you this has been life-changing. I have all of her books, in audible and ebooks! I have gotten rid of all the hateful 8 oils. I have trained my body to eat its own previously toxic body fat. Download that pod it's a game changer!"
Broadcaster / The Megyn Kelly Show
Deep Nutrition changed my life.
Fox News Primetime host
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine. Prior to reading the book, it was almost impossible for me to lose weight as a diabetic.
I feel free
For the last month, I have really been reading all labels on everything. I have completely remove those 8 oils you talk about. I must tell you, I feel great! I have more energy and I am now 197 lbs (have always been around 205 to 210lbs). I eat potatoes with real butter, grass fed steak, pasta with the right toppings. I eat everything! I seem to crave less sugar. I love it!
I feel so much better
I had terrible aches and pains everywhere in my body, my hands, shoulders and knees. I feel so much better and the way I feel is motivating me every day! Thank you
Mike Deb Wootan Burcin
Better than ever
I am an anesthesiologist in Orlando and a huge fan of both of your books! I have been incorporating your principles for the last 10 months and feel that my health is better than ever.
Marnie Robinson, MD
My allergies disappeared
The biggest difference for me (and a surprising one) is that my allergies have almost completely disappeared! This is a big deal for me, because I’ve had allergies most of my life and they have often affected what I do which is a teaching music in [a public school district]. In general, I feel much better and have more consistent energy throughout the day.
Heart Palpitations have Stopped
I’ve lost 20+ pounds (also fasting 16-24 hours daily) and haven’t had palpitations except for one occasion — I had a mini bag of Fritos for the first time in July. And, I feel better now on a daily basis than I ever did all through college.
Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix reader
I’ve lost over 50 pounds
I’ve lost over 50 pounds. I’m 56 years old. Cutting processed food and unhealthy fats from my diet was one of the first things I did on my health recovery journey...I went cold turkey off the bad oils. Emptied my pantry into the trash and just started eating real food
Mitzi Wilkinson Champion
Knowledge I didn’t know I needed
Your Fatburn Fix book is amazing, my friend. Thank you! I’m an Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and I know my stuff. This is the extra layer of knowledge I didn’t know I needed. Well done!
Fatburn Fix reader
Lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork is great
I have lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork (after 3 months of eating your way) was even better! I was metabolically healthy (per your book) before I read your book, but barely. Lowering my weight, sealed the deal! I have been talking about you and your book to anyone who will listen...Thank you for all you’ve done and what you continue to do! You are changing lives for the better!
FatBurn Fix reader
Lost 20 lbs I could never shed
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn. I work out in the am and believe I am burning fat for energy not from food!
I feel great
My waist is four inches smaller. I feel great and many of the minor aches and pains that I had (knees and lower back) are gone. Also, my muscle tone is amazing, even though I have not increased my workout routine.
Completed Dr Cate's online course
The go-to for strength and conditioning coaches
Whenever I advise my clients about eating to perform I go straight to what I have learned from Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition has become the go-to for strength and conditioning coaches across the country.
Major League Baseball Agent with WME Sports
Dismantles the lie
Dr. Cate dismantles the lie that seed oils are healthy, which may the biggest lie about nutrition and health because it’s so insidious.
Ken D Berry, MD
Author of Lies My Doctor Told Me
She knows the chemistry
Dr. Cate alerts us to the harms of seed oils and she’s convincing because she knows the chemistry better than anyone.
Dr. Drew Pinskey, MD
Globally recognized internal medicine and addiction medicine specialist, media personality, LoveLine Host, and New York Times bestselling author
No one is better at communicating nutritional truth
Dr. Cate has had the single greatest impact on how we talk to people about fueling for both performance or durability. While we all are a little unique, the foundational principles of human nutrition are immutable. If you are looking to create a more durable, resilient body, no one is better at communicating nutritional truth than Dr. Cate.
Dr. Kelly Starrett
Physiotherapist coach and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Highly recommend The Fatburn Fix
Dr. Shanahan has had a significant impact on my practice of medicine. I am known as a Low Carb Doctor, but I never really appreciated the negative effects of processed seed oils on the health of my patients. I highly recommend The Fatburn Fix to my patients and have a loaner copy in my waiting room. It is amazing how quickly blood sugars and overall health improves with cutting seed oils. It is not just about the carbs!
Dr. Brian Lenkzes, MD
CEO of LowCarbMD San Diego, co-host of Low Carb MD Podcast and host of Life's Best Medicine Podcast
Respected in the sports world
Dr. Cate reordered my diet when I was with the L.A. Lakers, and the benefits, for me personally, were felt immediately and have served me to this day. I’ve come to take real food so seriously I started a small family farm. I know of no M.D./nutritionist more respected in the sports world than Dr. Cate Shanahan.
Brought seed oil issue front and center
Cate brought the seed oil issue front and center. Healthy fats matter. So much so that I created an entire product line to swap out bad fats with good.
Founding Father of the Primal/Paleo Movement
Optimal health starts with food
If you want to understand how optimal health starts with food, start with Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition leaves you with an appreciation of the profound relationship between our genes and the planet, inspiring us to be good shepherds of both.
Attribution author of The Whole 30
Helped me with endurance
Deep Nutrition really helped me with endurance. I started to feel better as a player. I was able to run more, I was able to be more active …and I just decided to keep going with it to this day.
Silver bullet for me
Dr Cate’s teachings helped me lose 60 pounds like it was nothing. It was like a silver bullet for me.
Paul Grewal, MD
Dr Grewal Internal Medicine, MD, author of Genius Foods
Radically improve your health…
Dr. Shanahan has provided a solid reference that deserves a place in the library of anyone who is seriously interested in nutrition. Her perspective on the vital role that healthy fat has in our diet is novel and, if implemented, can radically improve your health.
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Author of Fat for Fuel and Founder of Mercola.com
Pull up a chair…
I have based my work on the idea that getting the right kinds of healthy fats into your body and avoiding the worst fats is essential to optimal health. I've interviewed dozens of the world's top experts about this, and I know of no one who speaks more eloquently on this topic than Dr Cate. If she’s talking fats, pull up a chair. Take notes.
Author of the Bulletproof Diet
The key to unlocking my fatburn
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn.
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine.
> Tears of joy
I'm crying tears of joy and appreciation for all you've done for me and my health! Without Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix, I would literally still be in the vicious cycle I'd been fighting all my life! In a nutshell - I am no longer a compulsive overeating addict suffering under the crushing 'thumb' of all food and alcohol.
The last time anything like this swine flu circulated was in the 1970s. In the 1950s, there was a virus even more like this year’s H1N1 swine flu. In fact, this 1950s-era flu was so similar that epidemiologists believe having been born before 1950 might offer some limited protection from this year’s H1N1 flu pandemic.
I use the word pandemic in the same way the CDC uses it: Pandemic means only that the flu is occurring out of season, having started in May rather than the usual October or November.
Of course, many of us don’t want to depend solely on our immune systems to defend against the flu. That’s why we have vaccines. Let’s take a moment to understand how the vaccine production process works.
Every flu virus particle is covered with tiny little proteins. These proteins determine how the virus will behave in your body and how your immune system will react to it. Researchers use these proteins to identify and classify viruses into various families. Using combinations of letters and numbers — usually H and a number followed by N and a number — vaccine manufacturers can create a recipe for the coming year’s vaccine that will include the right mix of proteins from the families of viruses we are most likely to encounter.
Notice I said “most likely.” It’s kind of a guessing game. Any given year, the “seasonal” flu shot might contain, say, H2 or 3 and N3 or 5 based on epidemiologic predictions, which are, like the weatherman’s predictions, not 100 percent guaranteed. Most years, however, they get it pretty close.
(I’ve oversimplified this a little. There are actually several families of flu viruses, including swine flu, avian flu, and influenza B. A vaccine against H1N1 swine flu wouldn’t protect you from H1N1 avian flu. But the techniques of making the vaccine and their potential side effects are essentially the same.)
Once vaccinated, when your body sees those viral proteins again (if someone with the flu sneezes on you), your white blood cells can destroy them so fast you may never even feel sick.
The only thing different this year is that the CDC didn’t know H1N1 swine flu was on its way and therefore didn’t tell the vaccine manufacturers to include it in their recipe.
And that’s why, this year, there’s a second shot — to complete the recipe.
Which brings us to the first question: Should I get the vaccine?
For those of you who get the flu vaccine every year as a matter of course, go ahead and get the seasonal vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine. You can think of the two separate inoculations as the typical, yearly flu vaccine delivered in two parts. In fact, had the CDC predicted the appearance of H1N1 swine flu virus, they would have simply added it to the ingredients in the flu vaccine in the first place.
For those of you who don’t typically get a shot but work with the public (teachers, healthcare workers, airline attendants, cashiers), you might consider getting the H1N1 flu inoculation this year. Because of the potential danger of serious illness from this relatively unfamiliar virus, in my practice I have especially recommended the vaccine to children, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic conditions — especially asthma and diabetes.
Are there any possible side effects of getting vaccinated?
Flu vaccines no longer contain any living viral particles (as they did back in the 1970s), so you can’t get the flu from the vaccine.
The flu shot still does have the potential, in extremely rare cases, to cause Guillain Barre syndrome, a potentially devastating neurologic disorder involving damage to the spinal cord that can lead to temporary or permanent weakness and paralysis. But so does the flu itself. If you feel like your risk of contracting the flu is really low, and you’re healthy enough to deal with getting sick for at least a week, then there’s relatively little benefit to you from getting the shot.
Keep in mind, if you have an immune system that is bombarded by pro-inflammatory sugar and vegetable oils, you are probably going to run a higher risk of both serious flu AND Guillan Barre than someone who takes more care with what they eat.
Nobody really knows how the vaccine or flu can lead to Guillain Barre. My personal opinion is that it has to do with the fact that one of the enzymes made by the flu virus, Neuraminidase (what the N in N1 stands for), acts upon fatty acids that make up the myelin sheath lining the cells of the nervous system.
I appreciate that many people are terrified of shots or are reluctant to get the vaccine for other reasons. Whether you get the shot is of course ultimately up to you. But I will say this: I saw a patient in June who ended up having the swine flu. Then I got sick for a week — and it sucked.