It’s in your Halloween trick or treat bag – Sugar!
Sugar doesn’t just give you cavities or make you gain weight. It’s bad for you because it causes inflammation.
Inflammation means tissue damage, pain and fatigue. Here’s how:
After sugar is consumed, digested and absorbed, it is dissolved in our blood and is carried throughout the body where it is taken up by cells. The more sugar that is available, the more that is taken up. The cell transforms the sugar into cellular energy and in the process it creates what are called free radicals. Examples are super oxide and peroxynitrite. These free radicals actually damage the cell if they are too numerous and overwhelm the cell’s ability to neutralize them. This is what happens when there is more sugar than necessary in the blood stream.
Cells that are damaged by their own free radicals do not function as well as they should. They may even leak some of their contents into the surrounding tissue. Cellular contents are a signal for neighboring immune cells to clean up the area. During this repair process, the immune cells secrete more inflammatory molecules (called cytokines) which circulate throughout the blood system to attract more immune cells to the area. This alerts the entire body to the inflammatory process which may increase your sensitivity to pain in local and distant areas and may affect your energy levels as your brain registers the need to change behavior to help the healing process.
One of the tissue types that is hardest hit by this process is the lining of the blood vessels and so this is the initiating process for atherosclerosis which is the leading cause of heart disease (the number one killer in the western world).
Also, too much refined sugar really throws off your gut microbiome (your gut bugs). Not only can that cause uncomfortable gas and bloating, the metabolites released by these bugs can also stir up your immune system in undesirable ways.
Avoiding sugar is one significant way you can improve your overall health.
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