Today’s excerpt begins with this: “When one of pediatrician Jim Sears’ kids asks for a soda or other sweet treat, he sometimes asks them a question: “Is this a good time to be suppressing your immune system?” Continue reading this compelling article below.

Denver nutrition therapist Kate Pfeiffer has no doubt. “Limiting sugar should be the first line of defense against infectious disease,” she says. She wrote a column for titled: “Worried about the Swine Flu? Avoid Sugar!” In it she cites a 1973 study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The same study is cited at and on many alternative-medicine sites.

In the study, researchers at Loma Linda University gave volunteers 100 grams of sugar (20 teaspoons, roughly the amount in a liter of soda). The researchers then drew blood from the volunteers and mixed in some bacteria. They found that infection-fighting white blood cells from people who had just gorged on sugar gobbled up many fewer bacteria than those who had just fasted or eaten an unsweetened starch.

But that’s not evidence that would convince most doctors, says Aaron Glatt, an infectious-disease specialist who is president and chief executive officer of New Island Hospital in Bethpage, N.Y. Glatt says he has heard of the sugar theory, but as far as he knows, there are no studies showing people who eat a lot of sugar actually get more cases of colds and flu.

He says: “There are numerous other reasons people should be concerned about sugar intake,” including the prevention and control of obesity and diabetes. But, he says, “there’s no reason not to drink a glass of soda just because someone next to you is sniffling.”

Source: “Does a spoonful of sugar help the flu take hold?” By Kim Painter.