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Is Sugar a Poison?

Published on June 10, 2024

Did you ever read he or she died of sugar?
Or died from magnesium deficiency?

Many foods contain added or natural sugars, sometimes a little bit, other times more than our bodies were designed to handle. While added and natural sugars break down into glucose during digestion, we digest them differently, primarily because of their nutrient composition.

“Natural sugars are found naturally in food, such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy, and typically are bound in a matrix of beneficial nutrients including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Because of this, these sugars are generally digested more slowly and have less impact on blood sugar levels,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, a New Jersey-based dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet.

A 2022 study confirmed that the active compounds in fruits, like antioxidants, provide powerful anti-inflammatory effects and should be included in one’s diet. “Added sugars are sugars added to food during processing or preparation,” adds Palinski-Wade. They don’t provide an additional nutritional value and are digested quicker than their natural counterparts, causing a more significant impact on blood sugar levels.

Dr. Mark Hyman says, “The current media debate about the benefits (or lack of harm) of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in our diet misses the obvious. The average American increased their consumption of HFCS (mostly from sugar-sweetened drinks and processed foods) from zero to over 60 pounds per person per year. During that period, obesity rates have more than tripled, and diabetes incidence has increased more than seven-fold. Not perhaps the only cause, but a fact that cannot be ignored.”

Dr. Hyman tells us that sugar in any form causes obesity and disease when consumed in too high doses. HFCS and cane sugar are NOT biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body. HFCS contains mercury contaminants that the FDA does not regulate or measure. Independent medical and nutrition experts DO NOT support the use of HFCS in our diet, despite the assertions of the corn industry. HFCS is almost always a marker of poor-quality, nutrient-poor disease-creating industrial food products or food-like substances.”

Hyman states, “We are all programmed to like sugar. New research shows some are genetically much more prone to sugar and food addiction than others. I have observed this in my patients, but now it is becoming clear why some have more trouble kicking the sugar habit than others. The science demonstrating that people can be biologically addicted to sugar in the same way we can be addicted to heroin, cocaine, or nicotine is clear. Binging and addictive behaviors are eerily similar in alcoholics and sugar addicts. Most recovering alcoholics often switch to another easily available drug: sugar.”

The time has probably arrived when pathologists should insist that the professional gaze shall no longer be directed to pathogenic bacteria as the sole agent in the production of inflammation. Dr. Nancy Appleton wrote, “One of the biggest offenders of inflammation is ingesting sugar. By sugar, I mean table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, honey (even raw), maple sugar, corn sweetener, dextrose, glucose, fructose, and any other word that ends in an “ose,” barley malt, rice syrup, liquid cane sugar, concentrated fruit juice, and others. Don’t be fooled by the name organic when it applies to sugar. Sugar is sugar, organic or not, and the following will explain exactly what can happen in the body when you eat as little as two teaspoons.”

“Every time a person eats as little as two teaspoons [of sugar], we can upset our body chemistry and disrupt homeostasis, the wonderful balance in the body needed for maintenance, repair, and life itself. One of the many changes this upset body chemistry causes is for our minerals to change their relationship with each other. Sugar in the amount we eat today (over 150 lbs, or over 1/2 cup a day) continually upsets our body chemistry, causes the inflammatory process, and leads to disease. The less sugar you eat, the less inflammation, and the stronger the immune system to defend us against infectious and degenerative diseases,” Appleton concludes.

According to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, sugar poses a health risk—contributing to around 35 million deaths globally each year. So high is its toxicity that it should now be considered a potentially toxic substance like alcohol and tobacco. Its link with the onset of diabetes is such that punitive regulations, such as a tax on all foods and drinks that contain “added” sugar, are now warranted, the researchers concluded. They also recommend banning sales in or near schools and placing age limits on selling such products.

Dr. Robert Lustig, a leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, makes a hard case for defining sugar as a toxin or a poison. Dr. Lustig is not only talking about the white granulated stuff that we put in coffee and sprinkle on cereal—technically known as sucrose—but also high-fructose corn syrup, which has already become what he calls “the most demonized additive known to man.”

Dr. Lustig thinks America needs to go to rehab for sugar addiction. According to brain scans, sugar is as addictive as cocaine, the California-based endocrinologist told CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” It causes a euphoric effect that triggers dopamine, the chemical that controls pleasure in the brain. The average American eats a third of a pound of sugar every day—130 pounds a year. Lustig says his research proves that the sweet stuff causes heart disease and cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Dr. Luc Tappy says, “The equivalent of the fructose in 8-10 cans of Coke or Pepsi a day—is a pretty high dose, leaving people to become insulin-resistant, and triglyceride increases in just a few days.”[ii]

In 2005, a report by the Institute of Medicine acknowledged that plenty of evidence suggested that sugar could increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes—even raising LDL cholesterol, known as the “bad cholesterol.” Dr. Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologist at the University of California-Davis, believes that a calorie isn’t just a calorie and that overconsumption of high-fructose corn syrup increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to her research, when a person consumes too much sugary food and drink, the liver converts some of that fructose into fat. This fat can lead to an increase in dangerous LDL cholesterol, forming plaque in the arteries. Too much sugar is also linked to many kinds of cancers, including breast and colon cancer.

High amounts of xylitol, a popular sugar substitute, can increase
the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular
diseases
, according to a new study by the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Robert Lustig, a leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, one of the best medical schools in the country, makes a hard case for defining sugar as a toxin or a poison. Dr. Lustig is not only talking about the white granulated stuff that we put in coffee and sprinkle on cereal—technically known as sucrose—but also high-fructose corn syrup, which has already become what he calls “the most demonized additive known to man.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B56Gpf1f5_A

Sugar Moderation

You don’t have to avoid every bit of sugar in your diet. Nor should you avoid all carbohydrates. The best healthy, complex carbohydrate sources, such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes (beans), are excellent foods.

Artificial sweeteners also give you that sweet taste your body is wired
to crave. The issue is that artificial sweeteners can be up to 700 times
sweeter than sugar
. The result is that they completely bombard
your nervous system with that dopamine-releasing sweetness.

Sugar causes the most havoc when consumed all by itself, i.e., without (or with very little) protein, fat, or fiber. Eating sugar with some protein, fat, or fiber helps your body process sugar more slowly so your body does not overproduce insulin.

Not all sugars are harmful, but too much sugar without enough protein, fat, and fiber to balance it out causes our body to make too much insulin, thus storing the sugar as fat. Bottom line: Limit the simple sugars in your diet, the ones that, from an evolutionary standpoint, were not meant to be part of the human diet in the first place.

Personal Note: I can remember being five years old, drinking Coffee Time Syrup with all my milk, big bowls of ice cream, and Devil Dogs without limit. It was not till I was 61 that I started paying attention, and believe me, I have paid a high price these past 12 years as I approach 72 years of age. Sometime soon, I will share my whole story.


[1] Is there a role for carbohydrate restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer?; Klement RJ1, Kämmerer U.; Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Oct 26;8:75. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-75; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22029671?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn

[2] Is Sugar the Sweet Suicide? – Nancy Appleton http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XsvkjJjz48

[3] Q&A: “Toxic” effects of sugar: should we be afraid of fructose? Luc Tappy; BMC Biology 2012, 10:42 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/10/42

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Professor of Natural Oncology, Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Founder of Natural Allopathic Medicine

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