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Spring Bright

artist/writer, springbright.org

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Does blood sugar increase as an immune response to viruses, bacteria, toxins and or parasites, helping us fight them off?

Why do people and animals become insulin resistant or overeat to the point where obesity occurs?
Could it be that high blood sugar is an immune response to something in our environment?
Many illnesses are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites and poisons. We know that sugar is a natural preservative that stops the growth of bacteria in foods, which is why when we add sugar to fruits we call the resulting jam a "preserve".
Have we overlooked a major immune system, increased blood sugar, because of our prejudices against the resulting obesity that insulin resistance and the craving for sugar and starch, (both of which increase blood sugar levels) cause in fighting off diseases?
We know that many things cause obesity. (Sleeplessness, many types of medications, lack of exercise, etc.)
Is there an important positive effect from high blood sugar that has been entirely overlooked thus far?
How would you structure scientific studies to prove or disprove this new scientific theory of mine?

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  • Jul 22 2013: Hi!

    I have worked with bacteria and viruses before. I work on allergy and inflammation now. I can tell you this- when a cell is infected, the infectious agent interferes with its normal status in a few hundred ways, all of which are not known. One of the major effects of an infection is on cellular metabolism. Glucose is a critical molecule for the same. When we refer to cellular metabolism, we usually mean the biochemical conversion of glucose into ATP for energy. This metabolic pathway exists in EVERY cell type, regardless of it's function. So YES, when a cell of the immune system interacts with a pathogen, it's metabolism is affected, and it interferes with normal glucose uptake. It could potentially interfere with insulin too. But some infections drive the cell to essentially burn glucose faster, and some to shut down metabolism. Also, some viral infections affect gene regulation and could potentially influence insulin production in the human body. Several research groups around the world are studying if and how infections influence metabolism; some focusing exclusively on insulin and diabetes.

    That being said, jams and preserves have a high sugar content. But it's not the sugar that kills bacteria or fungi. It's the relative gradient against water. We create what is called an osmolarity gradient. Think about what happens when you put raisins in water. They absorb water and swell up. What happens in foods with high sugar or salt concentrations is the exact opposite of that. If you leave jam open to the air, the top surface absorbs moisture from air, and makes it easier for bacteria/fungi to grow on them. This is for certain: if you overload your bloodstream with sugar, bacteria would NOT be killed. They would be getting AIR + OVERLOAD OF NUTRIENTS. It would make it harder for your immune system to kill them.

    P.S. Viruses are an entirely different case, that would take a few thousand pages to explain. :)

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