Does Sugar Affect the Immune System?

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An excess amount of refined sugar, such as that found in soda, cakes or pastries can have a depressive affect on the immune system. Avoid sugar to keep the body from catching viruses with advice from a registered and licensed dietitian in this free video on nutrition and diets.

Part of the Video Series: Nutrition & Diets
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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with the Austin Regional Clinic and I'm going to talk to you about the question: does sugar affect the immune system? There's been a lot of commentary from various organizations on sugar and its affects on the immune system and even some of the editors at WebMD agree that an excess amount of refined sugar such as sugar found in soda waters, or in cakes or pastries, does have a depressive affect on the immune system, for example, an intake between seventy-five and a hundred grams taken in all at once has been shown to cause a decrease affect of your immune system. So for this reason, you do want to make sure that you avoid an excessive amount of any type of refined sugar. For example, if you were to drink a thirty-two ounce Big Gulp that was a regular soda water, that would be well above that seventy-five gram level of sugar and would put you at risk of catching a cold or some other type of virus if you were around people who were sick. So, sugar actually has been shown to decrease the immune system, again, this is refined sugar. This isn't the sugar that you would find naturally in your fruits or even sugar found in starchy carbohydrates, things like potatoes, or whole grains or breads. It's primarily the refined sugar that you would find in beverages and in pastries.

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