Thursday, February 24, 2011

"The Power of Sugar" How it can suppress your immune function by 50%.

Worried about the Flu? Avoid Sugar!
With the  Flu on everyone’s mind this flu season, it is important to step back and look at the big picture. Why do we get sick with infections? 
Sure, there needs to be a pathogen present (such as a virus or bacteria) but being exposed to them is no guarantee we will get sick. 
Ultimately our immune system needs to fail in order to give way to sickness.
There are several pieces of research today which prove that our immune system can fail us following the consumption of high sugar foods. 

Consuming 100 grams of simple sugars (glucose, sucrose or fructose) including honey or orange juice can reduce the ability of your immune system to destroy pathogens. 
The effects start within 30 minutes and last for about 5 hours with roughly a 50% reduction of white blood cell action. Sanchez, Reeser, Lau, & al., 1973). 

Read that again! The effects last for about 5 hours and reduce your white blood cell action in half!

Another study confirms this by looking at what happens to immune defenses after ingesting Coca-Cola (Ringsdorf, Cheraskin, & Ramsay, 1976).
While 100 grams of sugar sounds like a lot, it is important to realize that your average bottle of supposedly healthful Naked Juice contains about 60 grams of sugar (do not forget to look at serving sizes!).
 Grab a scone with that and you are looking at another 24 grams of sugar ( 
Or have a venti Starbucks Tazo green tea Frappuccino without the whipped cream and you are looking at 95 grams of sugar from your drink alone. (Starbucks Coffee Company, 2009)
Although the mechanism is unknown, we can speculate that sugar’s negative effect on the immune system has to do with the fact that Vitamin C appears to compete with glucose in cellular absorption (Mann, 1975). 
In other words, if we can consume foods which will NOT flood the system with glucose, Vitamin C will still be able to get into our cells and do its job. (Murray, 1998) 
These foods include those which do not contain either sugar or refined carbohydrates (which turn into glucose rapidly in the bloodstream). 
Think foods high in protein, fiber, and good fats. 
So instead of having a flavored drink from the local coffee shop with a muffin for breakfast, consider having 2 free range eggs, with a slice of organic whole grain toast and some fresh tomatoes from your garden harvest along with a cup of unsweetened herbal tea.
Consider your 3 year old preschooler having a TreeTop organic apple juice box. 
With 26 grams of sugar, you ought to question what effect that might or might not have on that little body’s resistance to germs. 
Offer some animal crackers or organic fruit leather, and you might be heading for trouble.
 Please remember, that young children seem to most often catch infections in daycare settings and examine the provided meals with this perspective.
While there are a lot of effective strategies that will help boost your immune system, I believe that first and foremost we must ensure that we provide our bodies with nutrition that will help the immune system work as it was intended.
Mann, G. a. (1975). The Membrane Transport of Ascorbic Acid. Ann N Y Acad Sci 258 , 243-51.
Murray, M. N. (1998). Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Page 151. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing. (n.d.). Retrieved 09 14, 2009, from
Ringsdorf, W., Cheraskin, E., & Ramsay, R. (1976). Sucrose, Neutrophil Phagocytosis, and Resistance to Disease. Dent Surv 52 , 46-48.
Sanchez, A., Reeser, J., Lau, H., & al., e. (1973). Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 26 , 1180-4.
Starbucks Coffee Company. (2009). Nutrition by the Cup Brochure. NSP09-06223 SKU11003590 .
Flu season?  Could it have anything to do with it coming at the same time as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day?  How much sugar have you eaten since November?  Bake a bunch of cookies and holiday candy for Christmas?  Dive into your kid's valentine candy every year?  

Hummm......If eating sugar reduces your white blood cell action in half up to 5 hours after eating sugar, let's see: 
Breakfast: OJ, cereal, milk, maybe Starbucks on the way to work= about 100 grams of sugar
Lunch: pizza and soda or fast food meal= about 100grams of sugar
Snack: chips, soda, cookies at work=100 grams of sugar
Supper: meat, starchy veggie,bread, mashed potatoes, a little ice cream for dessert= 100+ grams of sugar
snack: chips, soda, candy from kid's party=100 grams of sugar

So- the total sugar for the day could be as much as 500 grams of sugar.  Now- did you wait 5 hours between eating all that sugar?

Bet not!  

So all day long your body is functioning at 50% of what it should be with regards with regards to your immune function.  

Then it happens.  

Your co-worker sneezes on you.  Your child comes home from school after being with 25 other snot-ridden children all day long, you go to Target and the person who used the cart before you has the flu.     

Get the picture?

Sugar effects the immune system to the point of "allowing" you to get sick.  

A little sugar goes a long way. 

About 4 grams of sugar are in 1 teaspoon.  

1 teaspoon of sugar yields to over 1 million yeast colonies.  


So that 400 grams of sugar you just consumed in a day not only cost you 1/2 of your immune function it also gladly supplied food to produce 125 million yeast colonies who are now having a field day boring holes in your intestines and making their way into your blood stream.  

Just in case you have not read any of this blog, yeast/fungi are the root of almost all chronic illness.


When is the next holiday?

Oh, goody....

Easter candy is just around the corner.

Perhaps those Cadbury eggs don't seem so appealing after all!


Adam said...

Fantastic article! There is a reason that so many people get sick from Nov-Jan. Adding up all the sugar feasts from Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and all the other family gatherings...Follow the sugar trail. It's a little crazy to look at the Standard American Diet(S.A.D.) when you realize people eat like this every day, despite the holidays!

Karen Bundy Barlow said...

I know, Adam! To think everyone is going into these holidays already filled with fungus.....then all that is added??!! No wonder wen are always sick! Since I started the antifungal diet, no one in our family has been to the doctor with sickness since July 2010, I have 3 kids! It's info worth sharing!