Processed sugar and the immune system

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    Feb 13, 2010 8:17 AM GMT
    Is there any truth to what I've read, that processed sugar weakens and lowers the body's immune system?

    I read that the body systems compete to process the sugar and the uptake and use of vitamin C to support the immune system.....although processing of unrefined sugars in the from dairy or fruit and grains, etc , is not a problem, because it is not in competition for the same organs and digestive enzymes at the same time as refined sugars...
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    Feb 13, 2010 11:58 AM GMT
    Simple sugars (like table sugar or sucrose) can adversely affect the immune system; complex sugars ( starches found in grains, vegetables and fruit) do not..

    Refining (processing) a simple sugar makes additional problems....
    Refined sugar is basically the sugar that has been filtered for any unwanted materials such as stalk, fibers, soil, insect parts, molds, bacteria and waxes. The refining process removes vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber. The refined sugar ends up having no nutritional value (empty calories). A similar issue occurs when wheat flour is refined

    Brown sugar is not unrefined sugar. Brown sugar is basically refined white table sugar (sucrose) which has molasses added

    The following information about sugar and the immune system was taken from a medically legitimate web site ..AskDrSears.Com.

    The complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, grains, and fruits are good for you; the simple sugars found in sodas, candies, icings, and packaged treats can do harm, at least when eaten in excess. It's as simple as that. Here's why:

    Excess sugar depresses immunity. Studies have shown that downing 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about 20 teaspoons of sugar, or the amount that is contained in two average 12-ounce sodas) can suppress the body's immune responses. Simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey caused a fifty- percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. In contrast, ingesting a complex carbohydrate solution (starch) did not lower the ability of these white blood cells to engulf bacteria. The immune suppression was most noticeable two hours post-ingestion, but the effect was still evident five hours after ingestion. This research has practical implications, especially for teens and college students who tend to overdose on sodas containing caffeine and sugar while studying for exams or during periods of stress. Stress also suppresses immunity, so these sugar-users are setting themselves up to get sick at a time when they need to be well.

    An overdose of sugar. Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of two- and-a-half 12-ounce cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system.

    The article also mentions that sugar may also adversely effect mentation
    Sugar sours behavior, attention, and learning. Studies of the effects of sugar on children's behavior are as wildly contradictory as a sugar-crazed four-year-old after a birthday party, but the general consensus is that some children and adults are sugar-sensitive, meaning their behavior, attention span, and learning ability deteriorate in proportion to the amount of junk sugar they consume.
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    Feb 13, 2010 2:57 PM GMT
    Thanks for the info.....and confirmation.....icon_cool.gif