Flu ALERT: Excess sugar depresses immunity and fuels viral replication

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sugar(NaturalHealth365) Did you know that eating certain kinds of sugar can raise your risk of catching the influenza virus? Chances are, you’ll never hear this information from a conventionally-trained physician. (But, it’s true)

Most people are aware of the health risks of sugar and simple carbohydrates. The rise in glucose levels can lead to diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, and a range of other health problems related to inflammation – including a higher risk of cancer.

High glucose levels also cause an increase in LDL cholesterol, while decreasing your levels of HDL cholesterol.  However, excess sugar has another harmful effect that isn’t as widely known: it suppresses immunity. (keep reading to find out how)

Yikes! Sugar found to damage the healthy behavior of white blood cells

Research dating as far back as the 1970s has confirmed this. A study from Loma Linda University from 1973 looked at the effects of sugar on white blood cells – the powerhouses of the immune system. After fasting overnight, subjects received 100 grams of either fructose, glucose, sucrose, orange juice or honey. Blood was drawn before and after ingestion of the different forms of sugar and then exposed to the staphylococcus bacteria strain.

The presence of any of these types of sugar in the bloodstream reduced the immune response significantly. In all cases, there was about a 50 percent drop in the white blood cells’ ability to surround and fight off the bacteria.

Immunity suppressing effects of sugar can last up to 5 hours

Research has found that viral replication in bugs like the influenza virus are dependent upon the amount of glucose available in the bloodstream. In short, sugar is food for bacteria and viruses.  The more sugar that’s present in the bloodstream, the better the chances of survival for these invaders.

Consuming the amount of sugar found in two cans of soda has an almost immediate negative impact on immunity. These effects against the immune system begin 30 minutes or less after ingestion and can continue suppressing immunity for five hours or more.

Other factors may exacerbate the negative effects of elevated glucose in the body on the immune system, such as current health status, stress levels and the amount of sleep an individual has been getting.

Cancer cells also use sugar as food

In addition to all of the other reasons to maintain a healthy blood glucose level, supporting a healthy, effective immune system is high on the list. Coming down with the influenza virus and other illnesses is only exacerbated by blood glucose levels that are higher than normal.

High blood glucose raises cancer risk for similar reasons. Cancer cells use glucose as food, and the increased inflammation triggered by a high intake of ‘sweet’ foods and elevated blood glucose levels creates an environment that’s more conducive to cancerous tumor growth.

So, while you might think drinking that sugary drink is giving you a boost when you’re feeling under the weather, you could actually be supporting the bug or condition that’s dragging you down.

Sources for this article include:


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  • Nora Jonas

    Sugar changes hormone balance. Women who consume the most sugar have higher levels of testosterone and develop facial hair among other problems. There are a whole range of problems from a toxic amount of sugar that haven’t been publicized.

    • Rita

      You are right sugar is toxic and may be even in smaller amounts. Hooked on sugar thanks to to food industry is what signs should say.

  • Emily Anderson

    I don’t know anyone who isn’t eating way more sugar then they should. It is in everything and everywhere. It is in products that can’t even be considered food. I am not sure how the younger generation will ever be healthy by consuming the amount they do. From a breakfast of sugary cereal and cola to start the day what can we expect.

  • Ty Shlackman

    Not all sugar is harmful. Only processed, refined sugars and carbohydrates are harmful. The natural sugars in fruits and vegetables and raw honey are beneficial and strengthen the immune system because they are bound to antioxidants and phytochemicals that strengthen the immune system and kill pathogens. This was obviously a manipulated study designed to demonize all sources of sugar. This study obviously wasn’t using raw honey. Raw honey kills pathogens. Pasteurized honey on the other hand is worthless. The natural sugars in orange juice don’t weaken the immune system. This study must have used tainted orange juice that either had refined sugar added to it or that had chemical additives such as artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or artificial preservatives or hidden MSG from so called “natural flavors” which are added to tons of packaged foods. Also if someone is eating a high fat diet or combining bad fats with bad sugars it will cause insulin resistance which is the real reason people have high blood sugar. Too much fat blocks the absorption of sugar which prevents the glucose from being absorbed into your cells. When blood sugar is high it means the sugar is building up in the bloodstream because its not being properly absorbed due to your cells becoming resistant to insulin or in the case of Type 1 diabetics the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin.

  • Ty Shlackman

    Raw honey actually helps fight cancer. Cancer only feeds on bad sugars not good sugars from fruit, starchy vegetables, and raw honey. Cancer also loves to feed on fats and proteins especially from animal sources and from certain grains such as wheat, gluten, corn, and soy and from processed oils such as canola oil. Cancer also feeds on hormones.