Plant-based foods may prevent flu by preserving lung health - 2 Nov 2009  
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Although many cases of swine flu have been relatively mild, for some people, the disease is severe and deadly. Researchers have found that those losing their lives to the flu typically have faced respiratory complications and difficulty absorbing oxygen. According to scientists in Alabama, USA, flu viruses damage the lungs through a component of their M2 protein that prevents fluid from being removed from the lungs, thus creating conditions for pneumonia.

However, when the researchers injected the M2 protein into human lung cells along with a substance known to remove oxidants, the M2 protein no longer damaged the lungs. Study co-author Sadis Matalon stated, “The recent outbreak of H1N1 influenza and the rapid spread of this strain across the world highlights the need to better understand how this virus damages the lungs and to find new treatments.

Additionally, our research shows that antioxidants may prove beneficial in the treatment of flu.” Antioxidants are found in plant foods and are known to help fight disease. Researchers at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA stated that red beans, pinto beans and black beans are some of the most antioxidant-rich foods, followed by many vegetables such as artichoke hearts, sweet potatoes, spinach and eggplant.
These new findings may offer hope for US citizens amidst a shortage of vaccines in the country.

In additional findings, US researchers discovered the first cases of a Tamiflu-resistant version of swine flu jumping person-to-person, which could make the anti-viral medication less useful, while another study found that some children continue to spread the virus a full two weeks after the first appearance of symptoms.

Swine flu deaths continue to grow around the globe, as the confirmed global death toll has risen to over 6,051. The countries with the highest number of reported fatalities areBrazil at 1,368 deaths, followed by the United States with 1,004 and Argentina at 585 lives lost to swine flu. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that since the pandemic began, 114 children have perished with 19 of these deaths occurring in the past week alone.

From China to France, swine flu vaccination programs have begun in countries worldwide, but infections are still far more widespread than can be officially counted. We sorrow for growing number of families and nations in grief and fear of this tragic pandemic. We appreciate the researchers for their findings on the potential protection from antioxidants and pray that people turn more and more to the wholesome plant-based diet for protection, along with the elimination of virus-breeding facilities, namely the animal farms.