Is There A Sugar Connection To COVID-19?

There IS a sugar connection to coronavirus deaths that could explain why those who are obese or diabetic are much more likely to die from it.

A Visual Guide to the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus
A Visual Guide to the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus
What scientists know about the inner workings of the pathogen that has infected the world
By Mark Fischetti, Veronica Falconieri Hays, Britt Glaunsinger, Jen Christiansen, July 1, 2020

The July, 2020 issue of Scientific American has a beautifully illustrated article about how COVID-19 invades our lung cells. You can read the entire article and see an animated depiction of how the virus escapes detection by the immune system here:…

July, 2020 issue of Scientific American

The first of the three panels in illustration 6, above, shows one of several tactics the virus uses to hide from the antibodies that are dispatched to destroy it. It says,

“The virus spike may camouflage itself with sugar molecules. They flex and sway, potentially blocking the antibodies from attaching to the virus, neutralizing it.”

July, 2020 issue of Scientific American

There you have it, folks. There IS a sugar connection to coronavirus deaths that could explain why those who are obese or diabetic are much more likely to die from it.

Diabetes Care Presents the Glucose Hypothesis, for COVID-19

The Oct. 1, 2020 issue of Diabetes Care, a publication of the American Diabetes Association (a group notorious for promoting carbohydrate consumption to diabetics), features an article about the Glucose Hypothesis, stating that poor glucose control is a modifiable risk factor for COVID-19.

“Most known risk factors for progression—male sex, older age, obesity, and disorders of the heart, kidney, or lung—are not modifiable at the time of diagnosis. When these factors are included in multivariable models along with diabetes, the excess risk associated with a prior diagnosis of diabetes is attenuated or in some cases no longer present. But what about the role of hyperglycemia or, more generally, poor metabolic control associated with relative insulin deficiency? Importantly, this is a modifiable risk factor.” (Hyperglycemia is high blood sugar.) From Diabetes Care, a publication of the American Diabetes Association, October 01 2020; volume 43 issue 10: (underlining is mine. JBB)

To say that high sugar is a “modifiable risk factor,” is a bit of an understatement. You can lower your blood glucose level dramatically and quickly simply by eliminating the dietary carbohydrates that raise it. There will always be some glucose in your blood because the liver makes a small amount, but having a lot less would surely help the immune system target the invaders before they attach to the lung cells, and it is certainly the easiest of all the possible solutions under consideration for controlling the pandemic.

It would be helpful if the CDC would revise their list of preventive measures for COVID-19 that currently include social distancing, hand washing, and wearing face coverings, to include eliminating dietary sugar and carbohydrates that quickly turn into sugar once ingested.

All viruses need glucose

Other research has suggested that lowering glucose reduces infections from all kinds of flu, not just COVID-19. As we enter the autumn flu season, the same advice becomes doubly important.

“… the new approach targets one metabolic requirement of all influenza viruses: glucose…Reducing viruses’ glucose supply weakens the microbes’ ability to infect host cells…”

Science Daily

From The American Society for Cell Biology:

“Reducing glucose metabolism dials down influenza viral infection in laboratory cell cultures, providing an entirely new approach for combating seasonal flu, according to research presented on Dec. 15, at the American Society for Cell Biology in New Orleans….In lab cultures of mammalian cells, researchers showed that influenza A infection could be controlled by targeting viruses’ dependence on cellular glucose. Boosting glucose concentrations concomitantly increased influenza infection rate, and treating viral cells with glucose metabolism inhibitor significantly decreased viral replication….” Glucose: Potential new target for combating annual seasonal flu, December 15, 2013, American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) annual meeting in New Orleans.

Illustrations from Scientific American, July, 2020, and Diabetes Care, Oct. 2020.

© 2020, Judy Barnes Baker

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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