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Sugar vs immune system? What do?

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  • Sugar vs immune system? What do?

    Does sugar really surpass your immune system?

    I have been hearing this seemingly growing statement lately but all the articles I have read seem to make mostly unsubstantiated claims. When reading through the ole webs I just see stuff like this: "Studies have shown spikes in sugar intake suppress your immune system. When your immune system is compromised, you are more likely to get sick."

    The only link I found that seemed to be back by a research project by a Professor of immunobiology at Yale, Ruslan Medzhitov. He was testing mice and I dont know how much weight to put in the study but on the site it said "The team at Yale concluded that glucose is required for survival in viral inflammation, however, it is lethal when treating bacterial inflammation. Sugar in all its forms impacts the immune system, especially when consumed in high doses. It’s not accurate to assume that sugar is bad for the immune system in all cases, as Yale professor Medzhitov established. When it comes to viruses, glucose was beneficial. On the flip side, a bacterial infection requires a fast, or abstinence from sugar."

    What are your thoughts on how sugar affects our immune system? If glucose is beneficial to us when fighting a virus, could the quarentine snacking & baking that sent us 5-10lbs heavier actually have been the true cause of slowing the spread? (j/k incase that came across too serious)

  • #2
    Sugar, like anything else that enters into your body, is not shielded from immune surveillance. glucose is used for a variety of different processes in the body, but consuming "more" of it does not reduce symptom duration or severity.

    Sugar consumption can be part of a health-promoting diet and in that context, it doesn't increase risk of infection, symptom duration of an infection, etc. Weight gain's influence on infection outcome depends on context. When weight gain increases an individual's body fat level higher than is healthy, their risk of disease, infection, and bad outcome from either of these things goes up. When weight gain occurs in those who are malnourished or similar, it reduces the risk of bad outcomes from disease. Given the prevalence of obesity, it is unlikely that weight gain secondary to quarantine had a net positive effect.
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