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Sugar and the Immune System

About 200 years ago it was common to ingest about 8 grams of fructose (sugars coming from fruit or honey). As sucrose or table sugar became more readily available, the intake rose to about 75 grams per day. The typical intake of sugar today is 150 pounds per person per year.

The white sugar available to consumers at grocery stores has been processed from the natural cane juice rich in nutrients to a sugar devoid of nutrients and rich in chemical residues. Excess sugar intake causes the blood to become more acidic, deplete the B vitamins and minerals and interfere with calcium metabolism.

The chemical structure of white sugar and the contaminants from its refining process is highly toxic to the immune system. Within thirty minutes of ingesting a sugary product there is more than a 50 % drop in the neutrophil activity. Neutrophils comprise 60-70% of the total circulating immune cells that attack infected tissue and engulf microorganisms and other foreign material. This diminished neutrophil activity lasts for more than five hours after every exposure to a sugary product.

The intake of sugar also reduces the activity of the lymphocytes. There are two main types of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes that pass through the thymus gland to mature are called T-cells. These T-cells attack cancer cells, bacteria, fungi or substances that are introduced into the body from other organisms.

They not only release cell-killing chemical substances, but also recruit other immune white cells to engulf the foreign material. Depressed T-cell function is found in most degenerative disease such as cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

Lymphocytes that do not develop through the thymus gland circulate through the lymphatic and circulatory system. They produce antibodies that render foreign substances harmless and are called B-cells. Sugar interferes with the immune system yet another way. Sugar and vitamin C compete for the same transportation system in the body. Consequently, sugar interferes with all functions of vitamin C.

Vitamin C not only speeds up the motility of the white blood cell to the site of infection, it enables the white blood cell to surround and destroy microorganisms and cancer cells. The daily intake of one gram of vitamin C is required to maintain this level of function. Vitamin C is also required to maintain the function of T-cells. Any depletion of vitamin C will cause depressed T-cell function.

The American Heart Association is recommending lowering the intake of sugar to 6-9 teaspoons per day. A can of soda contains 12 teaspoons of sugar. Switching to diet sodas will cause even more damage to the body including the pancreas and brain.

To learn more about cancer, artificial sweeteners or the immune system follow the link http://www.kathrynpicoulin.com.

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