Skip to main content

More disturbing research on sugar

Published October 26. 2013 09:00AM

I don't know what percentage of Carbon County has tasted caviar, but I do know why the figure is low maybe five, no more than 10 percent.

The expense.

Eraluga, the most expensive type, costs $150 per ounce. Even American Hackleback, the least expensive, costs on the average $20 per ounce. That's still $320 per pound, and a great reason not to provide even the cheap stuff as part of your tailgating spread.

But what if caviar's cost dropped to no more than that of low-grade lunch meat? Wouldn't you try it?

And assuming you liked it, wouldn't you continue to buy it especially since the food was once only an option for the ultra-rich?

While this hypothetical doesn't quite create an airtight analogy, about 500 years ago only European nobility could afford sugar. They enjoyed the taste so much, however, that they used the newly discovered lands of what's now considered Central America to cultivate sugar cane.

Even if it meant conquering other cultures and subjecting them to slavery to do so.

Today, anyone can afford sugar. Today, sugar "slaves" don't produce the food but consume it.

While just about everyone knows that sugar use especially high-fructose corn syrup has been tied to the increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes, few people realize the other deleterious effects sugar consumption has on your general health.

For instance, a study jointly performed at the Emory University School of Medicine and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found a correlation to the amount of added sugars people consume in beverages and food and heart disease risk factors, leading the researchers to declare that the increase in sugar consumption in the last decade has led to more heart disease.

Furthermore, researchers backed up this assertion by testing tissue taken from the heart muscles of human patients needing surgery for failing left-heart ventricles. When still-functioning tissue was exposed to a type of glucose your body creates from dietary sugars, damage to the tissue occurred.

University of Wake Forest research found that fructose the type of sugar found in fruits and fruit juices and also added to certain foods, including energy bars and drinks created liver damage in monkeys eating a diet designed to prevent weight gain yet high in fructose.

The researchers used 10 normal-weight monkeys who had never consumed fructose. After weighing and measuring them, half began a six-week diet consisting of 24 percent fructose by calories. The other half received no more than half a percent of fructose by calories.

The percentages of fat, protein, and carbohydrates all the monkeys consumed was the same, but total calories were adjusted throughout the study to prevent any weight gain. Six weeks later, the fructose group showed the biomarkers of liver damage as determined by blood samples.

The nearly fructose-free group did not.

The results of a two-month survey taken by 3,000 mothers of five-year-olds in 20 U.S. cities and tabulated by researchers at the Universities of Columbia and Vermont and the Harvard School of Public Health linked soft drink consumption to aggressive behavior. Those children who consumed four or more soft drinks per day, for instance, were twice as likely to destroy other people's belongings, physically attack others, and get into fights when compared to those who did not consume soft drinks.

But the consumption did not have to be high to adversely affect behavior. Dr. Shakira Suglia, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia told Medical News Today that the aggressive behavior scores of the children increased somewhat with any increase in soft drink consumption.

University of Washington research published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the old as well as the young are negatively affected by sugar, this time determined by a high blood sugar level, which generally results from eating and drinking too many simple carbs.

More than 2,000 subjects over 65 years of age and free of any form of dementia had their blood glucose levels monitored for nearly seven years. When the researchers eliminated all other potential reasons such as level of exercise, cigarette smoking, and heart condition they found that those with a high blood sugar level, even those who never developed type 2 diabetes, still had an 18 percent higher risk of dementia than those recording normal blood sugar levels.

Those who did develop type 2 diabetes increased their rate to 40 percent.

A University of Utah study gave one group of 156 mice the human equivalent of "safe" amounts of sugar, 25 percent of total calories, the standing recommendation of the National Research Council.

All received what was considered a nutritious mix of wheat, soy, and corn to eat, with the control group receiving corn starch instead of sugar.

After 32 weeks of the diet, 17 percent of the female mice on the corn-starch-instead-of-sugar diet had died. The death rate of the group consuming sugar at a percentage deemed safe by the NRC for humans, however, was 35 percent, more than double.

The male mice were affected another way. Those consuming sugar produced 25 percent fewer offspring.

Classified Ads

Event Calendar


November 2017


Twitter Feed

Reader Photo Galleries