Sugar Reduces Your Body’s Defense by up to 75%

linus-pauling-public-domainThe research data is not new, and the link between the immune system booster vitamin C is very close, but the negative effects of sugar (glucose) on the immune system seems to be a well kept secret. It was in the 70s when Dr Linus Pauling discovered that vitamin C helps the body combat common colds. This common belief has many of us desperately reaching out for freshly squeezed orange when suffering from a cold. Yet at the same time he discovered that sugar has the opposite effect and severely slows down the same process. But why is this?

Well the white blood cells, responsible for disposing bodily invaders, struggle to distinguish vitamin C from glucose. This is because they have a very similar chemical structure. When blood sugar levels get to high, they affect the white blood cells ability to absorb vitamin C, as glucose becomes part of the ‘indistinguishable’ mix. When there is to much glucose in the body that competes for space in the white blood cells, its 50 time vitamin C concentration may drop to lower levels, affecting its ability to efficiently adsorb those nasty bodily invaders such as bacteria and viruses. When blood suger reaches 120, the white blood cells ability to destroy bacteria and viruses is reduced by 75%! The image below illustrates this effect very neatly.

white-blood-cell-cc

It is not commonly known, but while vitamin C is critical, evidence of its effects on an already developed cold is very little if any, as new research from Mayo Clinic found. So keeping sugar down during these colds may be more important then increasing your vitamin C intake.

So next time you’re suffering from one of those nasty colds make sure you keep away from sugar. Orange juice may not be your best bet after all, as squeezed OJ is said to contain similar levels of sugar to a glass of coke. Maintaining a balanced diet throughout with a sharp eye on sugar intake may be a better idea. When sick eating whole oranges or perhaps sources with higher vitamin C content, such as strawberries, as opposed to juice, may be a better pick to help you recover, as it maintains those essential fibers the body uses when dealing with sugar. Still craving some sweetness while sick? Well you won’t have to lose your sweet-tooth completely as stevia actually lowers blood sugar levels, providing a perfect substitute for your regular table top sugar.



 

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