Immune System – Lesson #2
Cold & Flu Season or SUGAR Season
With the start of Halloween – through the Christmas season…we are surrounded by SUGAR and tend to over indulge. The over consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates is detrimental to immune health…How come?
Sugar depletes the body’s reserves of ionized calcium. Which is our protector against viruses.
A common response I get when it comes to calcium is “I get plenty of calcium I drink a lot of milk.” Well, the only kind of calcium you can ionize in your blood stream is calcium bicarbonate. This is the kind of calcium you find in spring water and in whole food supplements.
Let’s take a step back for a moment and find out how the human body protects itself from foreign invaders.
There are cells in the body called Phagocytes that protect the body by ingesting harmful bacteria and dead or dying cells. These phagocytes are essential for fighting infection and for subsequent immunity. So, it only makes sense that when we are sick and our immunity is compromised we want our phagocytes front and center protecting us against sickness and disease. And this is why ionized calcium is so important. The ability of phagocytes to carry out their function is dependent on the available calcium in the these cells. Without proper calcium in our cells we will increase our chances of getting sick.
So, are you starting to see how our over consuming sugar will deplete our calcium reserves there-by suppressing our phagocyte function and the ability of the body to protect itself. So, just by decreasing your sugar intake you can see how that would be the first step in protecting your body against sickness.
Studies have shown that downing 75-100 grams of sugar solution (about 20 tsp of sugar or the amount that is contained in 2 average 12 oz sodas) can suppress the body’s immune response. Simple sugars such as glucose, table sugar and fructose caused a 50% drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. WOW!! The immune suppression was not notable 2 hours post ingestion but the effect was still evident 5 hours after ingestion. How many of us can easily drink 2 sodas or eat sweets especially during the holidays. Well, when you do, your immune system will drop by 50%…
That’s it for this week, next week we’ll talk about Fever and why Fever has it’s benefits!