General Health: Sugar's Hold on
Allergic reactions to sugar
One of the most frustrating things for parents is trying to feed
their children right. The problem is made worse when our
children have allergic reactions and we don't know what to do.
Let's address this step by step with a few questions:
Has your child already had an allergic reaction to sugar,
nuts, wheat, corn or rice?
These are the most common food allergies. With the acception of
the nuts allergic reactions seem to stem from issues with carbohydrates;
sometimes the allergic reaction is to protein. Allergic reactions
to protein tend to happen earlier in childhood.
Has your child had an allergic reaction which resulted in a
skin rash or hives?
Did you child have a reaction to sugar or to too much sugar?
This will make a difference as to whether it is sugar causes the
reaction or even too much salt, protein or carbohydrates, or if it is
how much was consumed. The difference affects which organs are
affected; the pancreas, the liver, the gallbladder or intestines if
there is a gluten sensitivity.
We will address these one by one.
Problems with sugar:
All forms of simple sugars can create problems.
These include sucrose (all types of sugar; brown, etc.), glucose,
fructose, honey, maple sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, dextrin, rice syrup,
barley malt, and fruit juice concentrates.
Don't keep sugar-laden foods at home
- Snack on health food
- Always read labels for sugar and chemical
- Eat protein in small portions
- Get support from friends to stay away from sugar
- Avoid artificial sweeteners
- Avoid soft drinks
HOLDING HEALTH HOSTAGE!
When I was a child, a bakery truck used to come
regularly to our house. If my mother was not around, I could buy anything I
wanted and charge it. I would buy six donuts, four nut bars, coffee cakes, and
hide them from my family and eat them in private.
Although I did not realize it, I was a sugarholic and
chocoholic. I craved sweets. In childhood, I was plagued by allergies-signs of
unbalanced body chemistry. As a teenager, and through my college years, I
continued to crave sweets.
As an adult, I had reoccurring symptoms of boils, canker
sores, varicose veins, headaches, constipation, fatigue, colds, flus, and
pneumonia. Each time I contracted pneumonia, my recovery took longer. My immune
system was being weakened by dietary habits and lifestyle.
It took me until I was 40 years old to understand that I
could help myself and did not have to suffer. What I have learned since then
points to sugar as my downfall. Sugar destroys the immune system through
promoting phagocytic suppression, mineral imbalance, and allergic reaction.
Phagocytes are white blood cells that eat up foreign
invaders and debris; they are the Pac-men of the body. The more bacteria eaten
by each phagocyte, the stronger the immune system becomes. The phagocytic index
indicates the average number of invaders engulfed by a phagocyte.
A 1973 study at Loma Linda University examined the
effects of sugar (sucrose), glucose, fructose, honey, orange juice, and starch
on the phagocytic index. The starch caused a rise in the phagocytic index-the
phagocytes actually ate up more bacteria after starch was ingested. The index
was highest about 30 minutes after starch was ingested. The other materials-all
sugars-caused the phagocytic index to decrease greatly. The index was lowest two
hours after digesting the sugar.
Researchers have also studied the actions of individual
phagocytes under a microscope to observe the specific changes that occurred in
the presence of sugar. Where the glucose level was normal, the phagocytic cells
were very active. Pseudopods (little arms that reach out from the cell) extended
in all directions in search of foreign objects. The higher the amount of sugar
in the blood, however, the less active the cells became.
Minerals are essential to many bodily
functions-different minerals can give rigidity to bones and teeth, perform
specific functions in the transmission of the nerve impulses throughout the
body, and contribute in the process of digestion. Two very important minerals
are calcium and phosphorous. These are necessary for building strong bones and
activating enzymes needed for important body functions.
For calcium and phosphorus to work efficiently, they
must be in the proper ratio: ten parts of calcium to four parts of phosphorus. A
dentist, Dr. Melvin Page, discovered that when patients had this ratio, the
symptoms that led to tooth decay and gum loss, as well as many other negative
symptoms, disappeared. He also discovered that sugar caused the phosphorus and
calcium levels to either increase or decrease. When the calcium level decreased,
the phosphorus increased, and when the calcium decreased, the phosphorus
increased. Excess calcium and phosphorus were unable to be used optimally
because they were not in correct balance. When Dr. Page took his patients off
sugar and put them on a diet of whole foods, their dental problems began to
Researchers have also discovered that sugar increases
the rate that we excrete calcium. If, when we eat sugar our blood calcium
increases and we also excrete it, we must be pulling the calcium from our bone
and tissue. Calcium depletion of the bones makes them fragile and leads to
A proper mineral balance is also necessary for enzymes
to function efficiently, and if sugar disrupts this balance, enzyme functions
also suffer. As we will see in the next section, this disruption of enzymes is
particularly important in regard to the enzymes that break down foods.
Research shows that many allergies are caused by foods
that are not properly digested. Undigested food is often due to unbalanced
mineral relationships, which prevent digestive enzymes from functioning
properly. Nutrients in partially digested or undigested food cannot be made
available to the body, and this lack of nutrients compromises the body?s ability
to function optimally.
When these undigested food microparticles enter the
bloodstream, they can travel to different parts of the body and create havoc. If
the particles go to the head, the result can be a headache, fatigue, or
dizziness; in other parts of the body, the microparticles can cause joint pain
or swelling, often in the ankles, legs, or hands. We recognize these symptoms as
food sensitivities or food allergies.
How does the mineral-enzyme-allergy connection work?
When protein is properly digested, it is first broken down into polypeptides and
then into amino acids, which are absorbed in the bloodstream. When protein does
not break down completely-when the enzymes charged with the job are incapable of
performing properly due to a mineral deficiency-protein can be absorbed through
the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream, reaching tissue in partially
digested form. The body?s immune system correctly interprets this undigested or
?putrefied? protein as foreign matter and goes on the attack, causing an
When the immune system becomes exhausted through
overuse, the symptoms of allergic reactions appear. At this point, there can be
an acute reaction, such as hay fever, joint pain, or fatigue. If the body
continues to be exposed, it proceeds through the other states of the
degenerative disease process, and symptoms become disease.
An acute reaction is sudden and obvious. You know
something is wrong. This could be sneezing, drowsiness, or an immediate swelling
or breaking out. It is the body?s way of saying, ?Stop, this is not good for
As the body adapts to the foreign substance, the immune
system continues to defend the body from undigested protein just as it would
from bacteria or viruses. This eventually leads to a weakening of the immune
With the weakened immune system, the body?s initial
reaction to certain foods changes to a chronic one. Chronic signifies slow
progress that continues for a long time. During a chronic reaction, it takes
longer for the body to return to homeostasis (equilibrium).
If you continue to eat a food that results in allergies,
the more the body is forced to adapt. This leads to an exhaustion of the enzymes
necessary for proper digestion, and of the immune system, causing the body to
move from a chronic reaction and adaptation to degenerative reaction and a
Degenerative disease indicates a worsening of physical
or mental qualities. In the case of such degenerative diseases as cancer,
arthritis, and heart disease, the cells and tissues change. The functions of
some cells and tissues may be stopped altogether, and the body has a hard time
returning to and maintaining homeostasis. Eventually the entire biochemical
balance needed for health is destroyed, and the continued imbalance is the cause
We have now seen how sugar goes about unbalancing the
body?s mineral relationships and weakening the immune system. The damage from
sugar manifests itself in many degenerative diseases and harmful conditions.
These include hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia (diabetes), constipation, intestinal
gas, asthma, headaches, psoriasis, cancer, arthritis, premenstrual syndrome,
candidiasis, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, tooth decay, multiple
sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, canker sores, gallstones, kidney stones,
and cystic fibrosis.
We will all have cravings and addictions. However,
ultimately, you are the one who is responsible for what goes into (and what does
not go into) your mouth.
You are also responsible for what comes out of your
mouth, as well as what you think and how you feel. These responses can balance
or upset your body chemistry.
Health or disease. The choice is yours.
Nancy Appleton has a bachelor of science degree in
clinical nutrition and a doctorate in health services. She researches, practices
privately in Los Angeles, CA, and lectures extensively throughout the world. She
is the author of Lick the Sugar Habit (from which this was adapted), Healthy
Bones, and Secrets of Natural Healing with Food.
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