>Home >Resources >Health Devotional

Health Devotional


Sweet and Weak

Friday, May 14, 2021
⇦ Previous

It is not good to eat too much honey. Prov. 25:27, NIV.

A few years ago a nutrition student, Judy Reeser, conducted a study in the laboratory of Dr. Benjamin Lau at Loma Linda University looking into the effect of sugars on the ability of neutrophils (a type of white blood cells) to engulf bacteria. Her subjects ate different kinds of refined sugars, one at a time, on different days. She had blood samples taken to determine neutrophil activity. Her research found that 10 teaspoons of white sugar, equivalent to that in one can of soft drink, decreased neutrophil activity by 50 percent, and it persisted for five hours. After 30 teaspoons of white sugar the neutrophils completely lost their ability to engulf bacteria. On the other hand, starch (a complex carbohydrate) had no effect on neutrophil activity.

We now know that sweets of any kind lower our resistance and make us vulnerable to all types of common infections. Children often catch colds after eating rich desserts or candy. When we eliminate sugar from their diet, youngsters no longer suffer frequent colds. Many mothers have learned that the best treatment and prevention for colds is a good diet with no junk food and sweets.

The Loma Linda researchers also studied the effect of fasting on neutrophil activity. They found that fasting (subjects ingested only water but no food) enhances neutrophil activity at least up to 60 hours. Furthermore, the research discovered that fasting with fresh fruit or vegetable juice enhances the activity of both neutrophils and natural killer cells for several days. Ellen White wrote in 1905: "In many cases of sickness, the very best remedy is for the patient to fast for a meal or two, that the overworked organs of digestion may have an opportunity to rest. A fruit diet for a few days has often brought great relief to brain workers" (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 189).

The bottom line message is this: When you don't feel good, don't force yourself to eat. A juice fast may well be just what your body needs.
What could you do to increase your neutrophil activity? Is it time to consider reducing the amount of sweets you eat?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

⇦ Previous