We’ve always been told by our parents not to eat anything sugary when we’re sick, but we’re rarely ever told why (which explains why half of us don’t follow these instructions), so here’s an explanation.
Refined sugar raises the insulin level, which inhibits the release of growth hormones and depresses the immune system.
Vitamin C is needed by white blood cells so that they can phagocytize (devour) viruses and bacteria. Because glucose and vitamin C have similar chemical structures, when sugar levels go up, they compete against each other to enter cells– if there is more glucose, then less vitamin C will be allowed into the cell. When this happens, it contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
A blood sugar value of 120 reduces the phagocytix index (which tells you how rapidly a macrophage/lymphocyte can devour virus or bacteria) by 75%– so when you eat sugar, think of your immune system slowing down to a crawl.
In short, avoid sugar when you’re sick because it slows down your recovery.
Oh boy. I guess I shouldn’t have eaten that pack of Oreos yesterday…
Check out HealDaily for more disturbing facts about sugar.
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