Alive Blog

The impact of sugar

How excessive consumption prolongs sickness and illness

Sugar and sickness: how are they related? What happens when you consume sugar while you have a cold, or a respirstory infection?
Sugar is a pervasive ingredient in our modern diets, found in various forms in a wide range of food and beverages. It is basically EVERYWHERE.

While it can provide a temporary burst of energy and pleasurable taste, excessive consumption of sugar has been linked to numerous health issues. In this post, I will analyse the established connection between sugar intake and the prolonged duration of sickness and illness, exploring the mechanisms through which sugar affects our immune system, inflammation levels, gut health, and blood sugar regulation.

Immune system

First, I would like to address  why sugar can impair our immune system function.
The immune system plays a vital role in protecting our bodies against infections and illnesses. However, high sugar consumption can have a negative impact on immune system function. Research suggests that excessive sugar intake can reduce the effectiveness of white blood cells, which are responsible for identifying and destroying invading pathogens. The impaired functioning of these crucial immune cells can leave the body more susceptible to infections, resulting in prolonged sickness and delayed recovery.

Inflammation is a natural response that helps the body fight off infections and repair damaged tissues. However, chronic inflammation can have detrimental effects on our health. Consuming excessive amounts of sugar, particularly in the form of added sugars and sugary beverages, has been associated with increased levels of chronic low-grade inflammation. Prolonged inflammation can contribute to the development of various diseases and impair the body’s ability to heal and recover from sickness. If there is an underlying condition, for example a type of arthritis, keeping the body in a state of inflammation won’t help. 

Gut health

Sugar also disrupteds our gut health. The health of our gut microbiome has a profound impact on our overall well-being, including immune function. Excessive sugar consumption can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to a condition known as dysbiosis. Dysbiosis refers to an imbalance in the gut microbiota, with an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a reduction in beneficial ones. This disruption can weaken the immune system and impair the body’s ability to effectively fight off infections, ultimately prolonging the duration of illnesses.

Also there is the most obvious consequence to consider: blood sugar dysregulation. When we consume sugary foods or beverages, our blood sugar levels can rise rapidly, triggering the release of insulin to bring them back down. However, frequent and excessive sugar consumption can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, straining the body’s insulin response over time. This can eventually result in insulin resistance, a condition where the body becomes less responsive to the effects of insulin. Elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance can weaken the immune system and contribute to the persistence of illness.

Sugar cubes

Reducing sugar intake is crucial for maintaining overall health and supporting a robust immune system. Excessive sugar consumption can impair immune function, promote chronic inflammation, disrupt gut health, and lead to blood sugar dysregulation—factors that collectively contribute to the prolonged duration of sickness and illness. Keep in mind that if the body is constantly “busy” trying to get rid of the excessive sugar you are consuming, it will not have the chance to initiate the healing process elsewhere. By adopting a balanced and mindful approach to sugar consumption, focusing on whole, unprocessed foods, and minimizing added sugars, individuals can support their immune systems and potentially shorten the duration of illnesses.

It’s important to note that every individual’s health and dietary needs may vary. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can provide personalized advice and guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice

Dr. Edoardo Elisei DC

Alive Chiropractic LTD
1C Crown Gate Square


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