How Sugar Disables Your Immune System

How Sugar Disables Your Immune System

One of the easiest strategies to preserve immune function is to avoid refined sugar. Sugar has a significant disabling effect on our immune system which means, if you’re consuming it, you are more at risk of picking up what’s going around – and less able to fight something off should you catch it. In a nutshell, sugar has a negative impact on our immunity due to it’s similarity in structure to vitamin C which – when taken up instead of vitamin C – renders white blood cells (WBCs) vulnerable. Let me explain that in a bit more detail. Sugar Blocks Vitamin C In order to get why this is such a big deal it is important to understand the role of Vitamin C in healthy immune function and the way our body uses it, and therefore how detrimental it is when sugar affects this. Firstly, WBCs (especially phagocytes and t-cells) accumulate 50-80 times more Vitamin C than the blood they’re carried in – and for very good reason. In order to destroy germs, our WBCs produce highly toxic free radicals with which to destroy these bugs. To be more specific – in response to invading microorganisms (i.e. bacteria or viruses), phagocytic* WBCs actually release non-specific toxins, such as superoxide radicals, hypochlorous acid (‘bleach’), and peroxynitrite; these reactive oxygen species kill microorganisms but, in the process, can damage the WBCs themselves[1]. The accumulation of vitamin C to extremely high concentrations  is in order to protect themselves from the oxidative damage these toxins can do[2,3,4]  – and Vitamin C, through its antioxidant functions, has been shown to protect WBCs from this self-inflicted oxidative damage[5].  Vitamin C levels...
Vitamin C Flush

Vitamin C Flush

Why Do We Need Vitamin C? Vitamin C has many important roles in the body, including supporting the production of collagen within the tissues. Many of us are not eating enough Vitamin C-rich foods and sadly, our food supply contains less and less Vitamin C because of premature food harvesting, artificial ripening, and food processing. Nobel Laureate Dr. Linus Pauling was perhaps the best known advocate of the benefits of Vitamin C. According to Pauling, Vitamin C can help fight the effects of ageing, fight cancer and provide support for healing of all the body’s cells. It may also be able to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites within the body when present in sufficient concentrations. Finally, it helps fight the effects of flu, allergies and chemical exposure. When damage occurs to the body, Vitamin C helps rebuild the tissue and minimise scarring associated with the injury It is involved in the biosynthesis of hormones It also maintains the integrity of connective tissue – cartilage, capillaries, bones and teeth Vitamin C also supports the immune system – it helps your body fight infections and reduces the effects of environmental pollutants An extremely powerful antioxidant in itself, Vitamin C also helps regenerate other antioxidants like glutathione and vitamin E It also helps your body deal with stress Fun Facts Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins your body requires and the only way to get Vitamin C is through diet. Almost all animals and plants synthesise their own Vitamin C but there are a few animals that cannot make their own vitamin C – including guinea pigs, some monkeys, a species of bat...
Vitamin C – RDA increase proposed

Vitamin C – RDA increase proposed

Researchers Recommend Increase in Vitamin C Dietary Allowance Scientists at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute are proposing an increase in the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C from the current level of 90 milligrams per day for men and 75 milligrams for women, to a modest intake of 200 milligrams. Writing in a recent issue of Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Professor Balz Frei and colleagues observe that the current RDA is based on the amount necessary to prevent scurvy and that present methods of evaluating nutrients such as vitamin C have often failed to find further disease-preventive benefits due to faulty methodology. “Phase III randomised controlled trials—designed principally to test the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs—are ill suited to assess the health benefits of essential nutrients; and the currently available scientific evidence is sufficient to determine the optimum intake of vitamin C in humans,” they write. “It’s time to bring some common sense to this issue, look at the totality of the scientific evidence, and go beyond some clinical trials that are inherently flawed,” commented Dr Frei, who is the director of the Linus Pauling Institute. “Significant numbers of people in the U.S. and around the world are deficient in vitamin C, and there’s growing evidence that more of this vitamin could help prevent chronic disease. The way clinical researchers study micronutrients right now, with the same type of so-called ‘phase three randomised placebo-controlled trials’ used to test pharmaceutical drugs, almost ensures they will find no beneficial effect. We need to get past that.” Dr Frei and his coauthors argue that these trials...