The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Thursday, 17 February 2011

High carb foods lower the immune system

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 26, 1180-1184,

Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis
Albert Sanchez 1, J. L. Reeser 1, H. S. Lau 1, P. Y. Yahiku 1, R. E. Willard 1, P. J. McMillan 1, S. Y. Cho 1, A. R. Magie 1, and U. D. Register 1
1 From the Departments of Nutrition, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health in the School of Health, and the Department of Microbiology, Pathology, and Anatomy in the School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California 92354

This study can be accessed at:

A major part of our immunity relies on cells called neutrophils, a type of leukocyte or white blood cell, which circulate in our blood streams and mop up any bacteria, viruses or other foreign bodies they come across. This process is called phagocytosis. The measure of how many organisms one leukocyte can eat in an hour is called the 'leukocytic index' (LI). It is a simple measure: if a leukocyte eats 10 organisms in an hour, its leukocytic index is 10.

The study investigated the effect that various sugars had on reducing the leukocytes ability to ingest and kill off invading bacteria. It revealed that:
(a) glucose reduced the leukocytic index from 16.2 to 9.6 - a drop of  40.5%
(b) fructose reduced the leukocytic index from 15.5 to 8.5 - a drop of 45.1%
(c) sucrose reduced the leukocytic index from 15.2 to 8.6 - a drop of 44%
(d) honey reduced the leukocytic index from 15.9 to 9.7 - a drop of 39%
(e) orange juice reduced the leukocytic index from 16.6 to 9.6 - a drop of 42.1%
(f) starch reduced the leukocytic index from 15.7 to 13.6 - a drop of 13.4%

The greatest effects occur between 1 and 2 hr after a meal, but the effects were still significant 5 hr after feeding.

Any person who eats largely carbohydrate-based meals, particularly those containing sugars, and snacks with carbohydrate-based meals spread throughout the day, could lose up to half their immunity to disease for much of the waking day.

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