Scary Sugar Stories

It looks like Dr. Robert Lustig is finally getting his views heard. I first learned of his work last April in the NYT Magazine article Is Sugar Toxic? by Gary Taubes. When I read this a lightbulb went off and I began realizing my new work.

On Feb. 6, 2012, Max Pemberton reported in The Telegraph, that sadly, sugar is toxic, writing “What makes this added sugar so dangerous, argue the researchers, is that fructose from refined sugar is primarily broken down in the liver (unlike glucose which is slowly released from complex carbohydrates during digestion). The strain that this refined sugar puts on the liver starts a process that can lead to fatty liver disease and liver failure. But most importantly, its presence can trigger the development of type 2 diabetes. This is because high levels of sugar in the blood mean the pancreas has to produce large amounts of insulin – a hormone that helps control, and keep stable, blood sugar (glucose) levels by promoting its uptake by cells which need it for energy. Over time, the pancreas becomes fatigued and starts to fail. At the same time, cells in the body become increasingly resistant to the effects of insulin, and so blood sugar levels remain high, with damaging consequences.”

On Feb. 9th, Philly.com posted “You wouldn’t hand your 7-year-old a cigarette and a beer, but University of California researchers say the overload of sugar in the diets of kids—and adults—is just as bad for health. Their new report, published earlier this month in the journal Nature, contends that sugar contributes to heart disease, diabetes and cancer that kill 35 million people around the world each year.”

The Philly.com piece includes links to several good studies.

NPR is all over the topic. On Feb. 17th Ira Flatow talked with Dr. Robert Lustig about the dangers of sugar, its misconceptions and business politics.

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