We hear a great deal about low carb, no-carb diets, but are all carbohydrates the main culprit in many of our metabolic and civilizational woes? From skyrocketing obesity, Type II diabetes, even in small children, fatty liver, kidney diseases, even cancer are more and more prevalent, with the incidence growing. According to a few medical researchers, whose research results and suppositions have become viral, blame the ever growing consumption of high fructose corn syrop. Granted, the research is a little dated but still presentable and very viable.
The Bitter Truth
Dr. Robert Lustig, for example, a pediatric endocrinologist from USCF, made a widely circulated video entitled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” He went on to explain how high fructose corn syrop, and sugar as well, since it is about 50% refined fructose, and its consumption grow, along with our waistlines, our metabolic imbalances, hypertension and even gout by raising uric acid levels.
Here’s a synopsis of all that was in the video, in case you who don’t feel like watching.
Yes, Dr. Lustig is very passionate about the subject. He makes many observational points, substatiated by research. More importantly, observation of everyday life, our foods’ ingredients lists, and overall health correlate pretty well with what he presents.
Fructose, heart and kidney disease
Dr. Richard Johnson, M.D. and Dr.. Takahiko Nakagawa MD, two nephrologists from the University of Colorado studied fructose’s association with cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes and obesity. Fructose occurs naturally in fruits, honey, in various sugars, and from the 1970s is synthetically produced as high fructose corn syrup in the amounts of 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
These researchers say that from the years obesity has increased dramatically throughout the world due to this additive in food.
According to Dr. Johnson and Dr. Nakagawa, there is a big connection between sugar, fructose and metabolic syndrome, and now they examined the link between cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes and a large amount of fructose in the diet.
They advised a low-fructose diet for people with these conditions.
Fructose and pancreatic cancer cells
“The bottom line is the modern diet contains a lot of refined sugar including fructose and it’s a hidden danger implicated in a lot of modern diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and fatty liver,” said Dr. Anthony Heaney, an associate professor of medicine and neurosurgery, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and senior author of the study, director of the Pituitary Tumor and Neuroendocrine Program at UCLA.
The article notes that from 1970 to 1990 the consumption of fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup increased over 1,000% in the United States.
In this study Dr. Heaney and his team noticed the different mechanism of action of fructose on pancreatic cancer cells. Although glucose was also active in cancer cells, its activity is related to the metabolism of cancer cells. The cells rapidly and effectively used the fructose to reproduce. The researchers even observed that the cancer cells prefer fructose charge to create nuclear acids, essential particles metabolism. Altered metabolism of the environment of the cells, more damage by oxidation, the pro-oncogenic process, DNA damage and inflammation contributes to the growth of cancer cells. Dr.. Heaney said that this process not be isolated to pancreatic cancer cells, but to cells in other tumors.
The situation in Poland
In Poland, sugar was produced for centuries from sugar beet – from 1993-2005, the cultivation of sugar decreased from 400,000 ha. to 270,000 ha, from 300,000 to 72,000 plantations- it is expected that this number is dropping still. Prior to entering the European Union, the Polish government announced to the court for the fact that Poland was limit production of “iso-glucose” (as high fructose corn syrop is called in Europe) [produced by a monopolistic company in Poland], to protect Polish sugar producers, maintaining higher production quotas upon entering the European Union. Unfortunately, Poland had to pay compensation to the company which sued Poland for restricting their quotas. In the end taxpayers had to pay that corporation many millions of dollars (about 20 million) after 4 years after the entry process to the European Union. So much for EU benefits. What’s much worse is that more and more iso-glucose” is being put in Polish food, and the effects of every-day you can see – more and more people, and obese children, an increase in Type II diabetes, even in children, often fatty liver, and other growing cancers in even the youngest, which were very rare a few decades ago.
What to do with all this information?
If at least part of these findings are true, it would be best to limit the amounts of high fructose corn syrop, or iso-glucose, in our diet. The best way to avoid it is to avoid processed foods as much as possible – especially sweetened drinks, fast food – the frukose is that there is even some ordinary breads and even health food.” Most forms of fructose is found in liquid form – sift drinks, sodas, not 100% juices and syrups, as well as many sweet foods, such as canned fruit, mass-produced cakes, sweets, also condiments such as ketchup and sauces. Search the ingredients labels for fructose or fructose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, iso-glucose or something similar. If you have any of the conditions or risks for the conditions mentioned in the research, it would be best to carefully approach the consumption of honey and sweet fruits such as grapes, bananas and dried fruit.
It’s acceptable to use isolated glucose, or dextrose, to sweeten food since its risks are not like that of fructose. Glucose is metabolized differently from fructose – fructose doesn’t cause insulin response, decreases insulin sensitivity (insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes and metabolic syndrome) and raises triglycerides more. Glucose is responsible for satiety brain signals, while fructose is shown to cause no such changes, making it more than likely that fructose is linked to overeating. Also its best to avoid agave nectar, which also has a high fructose content, and is even used to produce fructose. You can also buy unrefined sugars that have a much smaller negative effects than refined white sugar – unrefined sugars with higher mineral content, such as Muscovado, Turbinado, Sucanat, coconut or palm sugar. Real honey is also a great sweetner, best if from your local apiaries. Remember to always use these sweetners in small quantities.