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One study performed in 1973 showed that white blood cells from individuals who had consumed 100 grams of sugar (about 20 teaspoons) were less active. This study has been cited for many years as evidence that sugar suppresses the immune system, by no less than the famous pediatrician Dr. Sears.

However, no studies have since proven that individuals who consume more sugar actually get more colds or flu. The way the body fights disease is extremely complex and the effects of sugar consumption on the immune system have not been definitively identified. The scientific consensus seems to be that eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining normal weight is the best way to sustain overall well-being, including reducing susceptibility to illness. There is little to no evidence that eating a candy bar or drinking a Coke will cause you to be acutely susceptible to disease.

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13y ago
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14y ago

Sugar affects the immune system in a variety of ways, and none of them are good. Sugar has been proven to destroy the germ-killing ability of white blood cells for up to five hours after ingestion, as well as reducing the production of antibodies that inactivate foreign invaders in the body. It also interferes with the transport of vitamin C, one of the most important nutrients for all facets of immune function.

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Q: Does sugar shut down your immune system?
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