Sugar is a food that all of us love and crave. We love it so much that just about every food we eat and every beverage we drink, contains sugar. Many studies have shown that consistently consuming this food can lead to obesity — which leads to diabetes, kidney malfunction. heart disease and hypertension.
In fact, Western diets contain huge amounts of salt, oil, and sugar. Now a recent study by researchers at the NIH (National Institutes of health), show that excessive sugar can increase your risk for autoimmune disease, as well.
Sugar: It’s Role In Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases happens when your immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissues in the body. This response causes inflammation and gradual destruction of tissues. For example, in Crohn’s disease, immune cells target the intestine. In multiple sclerosis, the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves.
Scientists believe that your diet can trigger an autoimmune response. For example, studies show that high-salt intake promotes inflammation and worsens disease in animal models of multiple sclerosis.
In a study reported this week, NIH scientists studied mice suffering from Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
The researchers gave some of the mice regular water, while others received sugar-sweetened water at a dose similar to sugary drinks consumed by humans. Compared to regular water, drinking sugary water worsened disease in both mouse models.
Moreover, this high sugar intake led to increased levels of inflammation around the colons of mice with Crohn’s disease — and in the spinal cords and brains of mice with multiple sclerosis. The specific cells affected were Th17 cells. These are the same cells that increase inflammation — leading to multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease in humans.
Modify Your Diet
The results of this study suggest that a low-sugar diet can help reduce the risk for developing autoimmune diseases. Protect yourself against Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis by switching to a low-sugar diet. Make the change now.