Sugar Isn't Just Bad, It's Poison

March 05, 2013

Sugar Isn’t Just Bad, It’s Poison 

 Reference:  PLOS On Line, Feb 27th, 2013 Basu, Yoff, Hills and Lustig. 

 Of course, of course.  Avoid sugar.  It’s not good for you.  Grandma knew that.  You know it.  But we say it with a slight wistfulness because we love the taste.  And we hope it’s not true.   Worse.  It’s not only true, it’s worse than true.   This paper says it’s poison.  Taking it causes a severe and dangerous illness.  That’s a poison. Robert Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco.   He has long been anxious about sugar and its dangerous side effects.  If you would like a scholarly, medical school lecture on the dangers of sugar, listen to his You Tube talk on the topic called The Bitter Truth.   

 That talk has gone viral and been downloaded over 3 million times.   In that talk he details exactly how fructose is as dangerous for you as alcohol in terms of damaging your body through bad fats. With that talk, he has gained international repute and credibility. Now, he has gone a step further.  

This is a very significant study.  Looking at food intake for 175 nations, and measuring their consumption of sugar, he and his team were able to demonstrate that for every 150 calories of sugar extra per day that a population consumes, the diabetes rate rises at 1.1%.   (Statistical significance of < 0.001)  They controlled for age, socioeconomic status, weight, income, urbanization.  No other food showed the same effect. 

 This is an unbelievably important paper.  We are proving that sugar is not only bad, but dangerous.  Diabetes is the disease of our day.  It is the precursor for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke and probably plays a part in osteoporosis and just about every other degenerative illness we suffer from.  Sugar is front and center.  Our taste buds tell us to eat it when we find it, because once upon a time the flavor sweet meant valuable, rare nutrition in the form of fruit that came along with lots of fiber and plenty of other minerals and nutrients.   

Now, sugar comes in a hollow shell.  Instead of the 6% of fructose in an apple or a pear, we get 50% fructose in table sugar and 55% in high fructose corn syrup. This same sort of data is the cascade that started our fear about smoking.  It took us 20 years to find the intentional efforts of the tobacco industry to promote their addictive product to children.   Now, the food industry promotes this addictive product to children, and to us all over. The question is what to do!   The first step of change is knowledge based on good facts and good research.  This is good research.  Read the paper for yourself.  Listen to his lecture.  Your life will be changed.   

There is enough of a libertarian streak in our society that imposing barriers never goes over easy when talking about regulations and laws.  But when it comes to you…you can make your own choice. 

 WWW. What will work for me?  My first step was to stop drinking any sugared sodas.  Then I let go of orange juice and apple juice.   But I would grieve deeply if I had to stop chocolate French silk pie.  I’m obviously not as pure as science says I should be.  With my tendency to being diabetic, I’m going to have to let this soak in a bit.  It’s bitter truth.

The Column was written by Dr John Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI