Seasonal sickness, it is due to a weakening of the immune system due to excessive sugar intake. The immune weakness leads to susceptibility to sinus and other upper respiratory infections.
Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of one 12-ounce can of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. Excessive sugar consumption is one cause of immune system weakening habits and there are 3 other common ones (I’ll get to those).
Most children’s goal for the annual “trick or treating” event is all about “the haul”. In other words how much candy, and other treats, can be obtained and brought home. I’ve read that “the fun-sized candy bars often handed out to eager trick-or-treaters contain obscene amounts of sugar: an average fun-sized Snickers has 7.4 grams sugar, a shocking 49 percent of the average person’s recommended daily sugar intake. A holy grail among kids, the king-sized Snickers holds a whopping 55.7 grams of sugar.” Imagine how much sugar is in the bag full that they bring home!
Halloween is the beginning of “holiday” time which goes from now until Valentine’s day. A cornucopia of crappy food, less sunlight, and alcohol.
Excessive alcohol intake can harm the body’s immune system in two ways. First, it produces an overall nutritional deficiency, depriving the body of valuable immune- boosting nutrients. Second, alcohol, like sugar, consumed in excess can reduce the ability of white cells to kill germs. High doses of alcohol suppress the ability of the white blood cells to multiply, inhibit the action of killer white cells on cancer cells, and lessen the ability of macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factors. Damage to the immune system increases in proportion to the quantity of alcohol consumed. Amounts of alcohol that are enough to cause intoxication are also enough to suppress immunity.
We also need sunlight and this time of the year marks a reduction in sunlight culminating with daylight savings which robs us of health on a number of levels. Humans have a lot in common with plants in this regard…we both need direct sun exposure in order to optimally thrive. Vitamin D influences T regulatory cells, critical for immune modulation. Consistent with inflammatory models of mental illness, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with major psychiatric diagnoses. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a very long and growing list of problems. Immune system degeneration, neurological system disorders, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, obesity, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and even reproductive system disorders, the list goes on and on.
People also tend to drink less water in the colder months. Drinking a lot of water is good for your body, and it’s also good for your immune system. Staying adequately hydrated can help your body eliminate toxins and waste materials, making your immune system able to better fight infection.
Today is the beginning of the perfect storm. Less sunlight, the very unhealthy time change (turning the clocks back), alcohol, Halloween candy and flu shot season. Stay ahead of the game. Reject the poisons and make your health a top focus this time of year.