We’ve known for decades that consumption of sugar proves disastrous for our immune responses – eating sugar leads to periods of low blood sugar (more explanation later). A clinical example that best demonstrates sugar’s obvious influence on immune defenses was experimented over 50 years ago with rabbits. Researchers repeatedly tried to infect rabbits with polio but were unsuccessful until they lowered the rabbits’ blood sugar levels with insulin injections – which likely crippled the rabbits’ immune systems and allowed them to contract polio.
Similar responses to sugar were noted in the U.S. in the pre-polio vaccine era when certain communities realized that the polio incidence increased in summer months when a large amount of sugar, especially from ice cream, was consumed. The community convinced its population to reduce sugar consumption and the results were dramatic reduction in the incidence of polio in their local community.
Individuals with healthy metabolically-balanced immune systems rarely crave sugar unlike people without them. That’s not to say we shouldn’t indulge once in awhile, merely that everything in life must be in balance – sugar consumption is no exception.
→ The average American consumes an astounding 2-3 pounds of sugar weekly; (highly refined sugars in the forms of sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup) – mostly in the form of baked goods, soft drinks, bread spreads, alcohol, beer, catsup, salad dressings and sweeteners. According to nutritionist L. Vanderhaeghe, “Sugar is at the root of so many problems it should be sold with a warning that says: Sugar can increase your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, varicose veins, kidney disorders, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, migraine headaches, and high blood pressure, to name a few.” To her list, I add the heightened susceptibility of contracting viruses, which includes those newly emerging ones like H1N1.
→ Since 1990, Americans increased sugar consumption from 26 lbs. to 135 lbs. per person, per year! At the turn of the century (1887-1890), the average consumption was only 5 lbs. per person per year. It is also true that cardiovascular disease, cancer, and viral infections were virtually unknown in the early 1900s.
→ The major health-depleting effect of sugar is that it raises blood insulin levels – inhibiting the release of growth hormones, which in turn depresses immune responses. It is believed that many of the invisible illnesses of today, and the high risk of contracting newly emerging viruses, is linked to high sugar consumption.
→ Because refined dietary sugars lack minerals and vitamins, they must draw upon the body’s micro-nutrient reserves in order to be metabolized into the system. As these reserves are depleted, metabolization of cholesterol and fatty acid is impeded – contributing to higher blood serum triglycerides and cholesterol – promoting obesity due to higher fatty acid storage around organs and in sub-cutaneous tissues. The American Dietetic Association and American Diabetic Association agree that sugar consumption in America is one of the three major causes of degenerative and autoimmune diseases.
→ Studies reconfirm sugar depresses immunity. They show that consuming 75 to 100 grams of sugar (about 20 teaspoons, the amount contained in two average 12-ounce soft drinks), suppresses the body’s immune responses immediately after consumption for up to eight hours.
→ Research also confirmed that simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey caused a 50% drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf health-depleting bacteria – eating complex carbohydrates (healthy starches) did not lower the same ability.
→ Consuming 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the same as 2 ½ 12-ounce cans of a soft drink, reduces the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by up to 42%. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar begins less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last up to eight hours.
Lessons for Other Viral Infections
At the height of the polio epidemic in the 1950’s, Dr. Benjamin Sandler wrote a book titled Diet Prevents Polio. In it, he detailed research findings of patients who had symptoms brought on by low blood sugar levels. The following is a partial list of symptoms reported by individuals in the study:
- Overall weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Heart palpitations
- Frequent sweats/fever
- Occasional fainting spells
Patients in the study were deficient of protein in their diets which consisted largely of cheaper starchy foods. Sandler notes that these same patients had poor resistance to infections such as colds, sore throat, grippe, influenza, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Simply by increasing protein in their diets and reducing sugar and starch content (that converts to sugar), they improved considerably. They became stronger, more vigorous, and had fewer infections. All of these patients had polio in childhood. Long term observations led to suspicion their susceptibility to infection was due to poor diet with high sugar and starch content.
Their increased resistance to infection after consuming a healthier diet confirmed Sandler’s suspicion, leading him to the conclusion that susceptibility was greatly heightened to contracting polio brought on by low blood sugar and consumption of sugar and starch. As his research continued, he discovered that the polio virus is able to cross tissue barriers, reach the brain and spinal cord, invade nerve cells, damage or destroy them and ultimately cause paralysis. He also discovered that if the blood sugar never fell below 80 mg, polio didn’t result. He further hypothesized that during a polio epidemic, only children and adults who experienced periods of low blood sugar would contract the disease. Those individuals who were in actual contact with the virus but maintained normal blood sugar levels would NOT contract the dreaded virus.
According to Sandler’s research findings, “The prevention of low blood sugar (never below 80 mg) would thus mean the prevention of polio.” His specific conclusions, without reserve include:
→ Low blood sugar is a factor of susceptibility to polio
→ Low blood sugar occurs frequently in children and adults and is caused chiefly by a dietary error, namely, the consumption of sugar and starch
→ Correction of this dietary error will prevent low blood sugar, thus prevent polio
The details of Sandler’s experiments were published in the American Journal of Pathology, January 1941.
Sandler’s corroborating experiments, too numerous to cite in this context, indicate that low blood sugar may be the underlying cause of susceptibility. Polio, and other viral infections including H1N1, tend to only cause complications when your immune system is weakened, which can easily happen because of poor nutrition (diet high in sugar and simple carbs), excessive stress, and lack of restorative sleep.
It was found by other investigators that a meal consisting of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, but with NO sugar or starch, NEVER caused low blood sugar – the addition of sugar and starch to such a meal is what readily produces low blood sugar.
According to Joseph Mercola, M.D., “…limiting your sugar intake is one of the most potent actions you can take to drastically improve your overall health, as opposed to loading up on vaccines.” This is concern that vaccines carry their own set of risks.
Polio Virus Scientifically Linked to Sugar Consumption
There are volumes of research showing that consumption of refined sugar increases your risk of contracting viruses, including polio. Even when poliovirus is present in a population, you are NOT likely to contract it unless you consume large quantities of refined sugar. With that said, doesn’t it make sense that if we are to protect ourselves the best we can against any viruses, that elimination of sugar is essential?
Polio at one time shifted from a sporadic disease to an epidemic one. According to the research, sugar consumption can explain both anomalies. People who are well nourished are more likely to eat sugar-rich diets, and the shift from a sporadic to an epidemic disease corresponds to the global increase in the consumption of refined sugar.
A Virus… is a Virus… is a Virus
Thankfully, polio is not being contracted in large numbers in the U.S. However, there have been several reported cases in children who are not vaccinated. What we must not lose sight of is that polio has re-emerged in developing countries and, therefore, poses a new threat to the global community, including the U.S. – especially if the virus presents itself in even a slightly mutated form to which we may not have immunity, even if vaccinated.
A virus is a virus is a virus. The threat of newly emerging viruses is one we must take seriously, especially since some are becoming drug-resistant. It’s up to each of us to change our diets by eliminating as much sugar as possible and finding safe alternatives so that we are facilitating maximum defenses within our body to protect us, naturally.
Since eating sugar and starch during a meal may cause low blood sugar after one to three hours, and since elimination of sugar and starch prevents low blood sugar, the invasion of the body by a virus will be prevented or significantly reduced by a diet containing no sugar and no starch. Protection against viruses would begin on the very day such a diet was started, and protection would last just as long as such a diet was adhered to.
→ A surprising paradox: the more sugar (and starch) you eat, the more likely you will develop low blood sugar – making you susceptible to viruses.
→ By cutting back (hopefully eliminating) the breads, pastas, sweets and sugars in this new year, we WILL absolutely and unequivocally reduce our risk of coming down with the old winter influenzas, coughs, and colds.
There is also additional research that shows cancer cells thrive on sugar – in fact a newer test uses a sugar solution before testing for cancer because that ends up highlighting malignant areas of cell growth.
→ The Eskimos thrive well on meat and fish which yield only protein and fat – polio and widespread viruses are unheard of among their indigenous people.
Will eliminating sugars and carbs provide absolute protection against viruses? Certainly not. Other factors, such as sleep, stress, exposure to airborne and ingested toxins, immune system support from natural and herbal nutraceuticals, and exercise also play a role. But for the most part, you will significantly reduce your risk of getting sick by eliminating sugars and refined carbs – allowing only the occasional splurge, Naturally.
Why would you continue to use sugar in your diet when we KNOW that it’s health-depleting in so many ways? Years ago, healthy natural sugar alternatives were not available, now they are. There are two that I specifically use and recommend. For general sweetening like for teas and non-baked goods, SweetLife® is a great natural sweetener; I carry it with me where ever I travel – it’s available in a box of individual serving packets or in bulk in a shaker. Stevia is also a great alternative, however, I don’t personally care for the slight bitter after-taste, even though it is a healthy alternative to sugar.
Neither of the above mentioned natural sweeteners contain any calories, glycemic-index, fats, or carbohydrates, therefore, can be safely used by diabetes and those concerned about staying healthy, naturally.
Your Health Detective:
Uncovering Clues to Add LIFE to Your Years…NOT Merely Years to Your Life, Naturally
Dr. Gloria Gilbère (aka Dr. G), N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D.,
EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist
Creator of certificated courses to become a Wholistic Rejuvenist™ (CWR) and for post-graduate education for health and spa professionals. Go to www.gloriagilbere.com and click on Wholistic Skin & Body Rejuvenation (WSBR™) for course outline. Available on-site at worldwide locations, and via distance-learning at your convenience globally.
Dr. Gilbère is renowned worldwide for her work in identifying and finding natural solutions to chemically-induced and inflammatory disorders, multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Gulf War Syndrome, and digestive disorders that defy conventional diagnosis and treatment. She consults worldwide via telephone and at her Institute in north Idaho. Visit her website at www.gloriagilbere.com for details about consulting with her.
Published by Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – ©2009/2010 Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, all rights reserved.
Information in this newsletter is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by medical professionals, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease or disorder. The FDA has not reviewed or endorsed the contents of this educational publication.
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