How Fructose is Being Sold to You! The Unsuspecting

May 09, 2011

How Fructose is Being Sold to You!  Hot off the Presses! 

 Competency:  Fructose and Sugar Metabolism Reference:  New York Times, May 4th, Advisory Board May 6th, Med Sci Sport Med.  

 “Sugar is getting a bad rap” reads the first line in the New York Times.  Oh dear.  How terrible!  Sugar’s reputation is being “dissed”.  So here is the study that has been widely spread around in the media for you to ponder.  And then buy sugar. 

 Premium athletes, in this case 10 cyclists, in a double-blinded triple cross-over study were given various sports drinks containing glucose or fructose to see which rebuilt the volume of their livers back faster.  With premium exercise, you do exhaust the stores of energy in your liver of glycogen which is glucose all lined up ready to be used.  That makes your liver smaller.  You can store some 400 calories of freely available sugars in the form of glycogen in your liver.  Glucose is not an efficient way to store calories so the human body only saves 400-1500 calories of space for glucose storage. 

The rest goes to fat which is much more efficient.  Premium athletes will burn up that much energy quickly and have a shrunken liver to show for it.  Hence, something to measure to see how fast it comes back.  You can be very precise in your measurements with MRI scanning with isotopes to trace exactly the end result of your intervention.  

What this study showed was that fructose rebuilds the volume of your liver faster than glucose.  The fructose drinkers regained 9% of liver volume, the glucose drinkers only 2%, with an overall difference of half. Ok.  That makes it look like we ought to drink fructose-containing drinks if we are premium exercisers.  Doesn’t it?  And who do you think might have a vested interest in your believing that?  And why would the New York Times have suddenly made available an extremely attractive looking female athlete drinking some solution on their lead article, to be associated with your brain benefiting by your drinking fructose?   I smell a rat. 

 Fructose overwhelms your liver, no matter how you drink it.  And it doesn’t get changed into glycogen as much as it is changed into fat.  I would have some questions for the study here that I couldn’t find the answer to.  We know for cold hard facts that fructose results in fatty liver.  Can the MRI tell the difference at the molecular level that it’s fat the liver has made instead of glycogen?    I believe the volume of the liver was fat, not glycogen, with the fructose drinks and that in the long term, that would be damaging to the liver and to all the arteries in the body as the consequent inflammation caused by fats in your blood gets distributed. I wouldn’t be so suspicious if the article hadn’t shown up in every venue you can think of.  

Even the prestigious, staid Advisory Board put it out on their website.  This speaks to me of a PR department for the sugar industry busily out there making a copy for harried editors to put in their column that catches your eye and surprises you.  Don’t get taken!  I remain skeptical.  If you would like to see the real physiology of fructose, I forward you to the Youtube lecture by Dr. Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco. 

 WWW. What will work for me?  Stay away from fructose.  It’s one of our great poisons.  Period.  Any way you can, find a way to cut down your sugar consumption. Even if you think you are a premium athlete, go for other foods.  And only after watching Dr. Lustig can you start drinking the drinks brought to you by the sugar advisory board and widely distributed to every newspaper, magazine, and website in America.   Nice try, guys.  And this is from a guy who loves sugar and secretly sneaks a candy bar whenever there are no witnesses!  I’ll try to think fondly of my tender liver sucking that fructose up.    

 Written by John Whitcomb MD at Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI.