Wherever you turn this October, candy beckons. Whether at work, school or at home American’s will spend an estimated 2.5 billion on candy alone! The average Jack-O-Lantern bucket carries about 250 pieces of candy amounting to about 9,000 calories and about 3 lbs of sugar. October is about the cruelest month. Why would I say that? Because most parents will deal with an aftermath of allowing their children to partake in the intake of excessive sugar that more than likely, will affect many aspects of their child’s health.
"EATING ANY KIND OF SUGAR HAS THE POTENTIAL TO REDUCE YOUR BODY'S DEFENSES BY 75% OR MORE FOR AT LEAST 5 HOURS. " (1)
This is not new data. In the 1970's Dr. Linus Pauling (one of the greatest researchers in the field of microbiology) discovered that vitamin C helps the body to combat the common cold. As part of the same research, Dr. Pauling found that sugar severely slows down this same process.
This is very important to know, as using this information can help you better handle the aftermath of candy season and help to prevent illness and dramatically assist in the strengthening of your child’s immune system. Because the idea that sugar is "bad" for you is so controversial, I am going to give you a quick, simplified tour through your own immune system so you can see for yourself the effects of candy on your child’s immune system.
1. How Your Body Disposes Of Invaders
Bacteria, viruses, etc. are literally "swallowed" by a special type of cell called a "phagocyte." This is a cell, such as a white blood cell, that engulfs and absorbs waste material, harmful microorganisms, or other foreign bodies in the bloodstream and tissues.
2. Vitamin C
Dr. Pauling discovered that vitamin C is needed by white blood cells to engulf and absorb viruses and bacteria. In fact, a white blood cell has to contain 50 times the concentration of vitamin C as would normally be found in the blood around it. That's how Dr. Pauling came up with the "take vitamin C for a cold" theory. In order to continue to destroy bacteria and viruses, the white blood cells have to accumulate vitamin C all the time to keep up the 50-times concentration. So, vitamin C is being moved through the cell membranes into the white blood cells all over your body, all the time. That's why it's important to have plenty of vitamin C available to your body.
Glucose (sugar in its simplest form, as found in the blood stream) and vitamin C have a similar chemical structure. So similar, in fact, that when a white blood cell tries to pull in more vitamin C from the blood around it, glucose can get substituted by mistake. If the concentration of glucose in the blood goes beyond a certain concentration, the white blood cell's 50-times vitamin C concentration can start to drop because of the large amount of glucose it's pulling in as a substitute for vitamin C.
In fact, at a blood sugar level of 120, the white blood cell's ability to absorb and destroy viruses and bacteria is reduced by 75%. This blood sugar level would be easily obtained by any normal person eating some sugar (cake, cookies, candy, soda or even drinking fruit juice). Further, it can take four to six hours for the vitamin C concentration in the white blood cells to reach that optimum 50-times concentration again.
DEALING WITH THE AFTERMATH
Processed foods and excess sugar can affect many aspects of your child’s health. Following Halloween, you may see troubles with sleep, concentration, hyperactive behavior, digestion and elimination (especially constipation or diarrhea), skin (eczema), and headaches. The immune system often becomes compromised and children are more likely to catch a cold or flu.
To counteract these negative effects, keep in mind the preparation tips and also think about these strategies:
As you can see, it's not a great idea to eat any kind of sugar. Including the most popular or recommended remedy, orange juice (which may contain vitamin C, but this won't help if the white blood cells can't get past the sugar to use it!).
There are many great remedies and supplements that can prevent and fight off a cold or flu. Schedule an appointment with us to see what is the best options.