Interesting to see the mainstream press slowly cottoning on to the fact that fructose is a bad sugar in the same way as trans-fats and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol are bad fats.
From my own research into sucrose and the deleterious effects of the fructose within it, I believe that we have not gone anywhere near enough in vilifying cane sugar.
Australians are consuming an average of 4.6kg of sugar a month which means that one plant extract (sucrose from sugarcane) now supplies us with most of our calories yet without any beneficial essential micro-nutrients. We also get physiologically addicted to the sweetness as sugars and particularly fructose stimulate a region in our brain called the nucleus acumbens. This is the same addictive centre that responds to illicit drugs, gambling, alcohol and sexual enjoyment.
Referring to the above diagram of a liver cell (which is where fructose is mainly metabolized):
Fructose assimilation consumes energy (cellular ATP) and a high intake of this bad sugar can lead to the reduction in the number of mitochondria which are the powerhouses of our cells. This translates to a lack of energy, a feeling for more high energy foods and more over-consumption of empty calories, all of which compound the obesity and lead to further complications and metabolic syndrome.
As this ATP is consumed, it is stripped of its phosphates (forming AMP) and then further changed into uric acid which can lower blood levels of nitric oxide leading to an elevation in blood pressure (hypertension).
Uric acid appears to be the trigger in hibernating animals and insects that switches their metabolism from fat accumulation to fat utilization.
As this ATP is consumed, it is stripped of its phosphates (forming AMP) and then further changed into uric acid which can lower blood levels of nitric oxide leading to an elevation in blood pressure (hypertension). Uric acid appears to be the trigger in hibernating animals and insects that switches their metabolism from fat accumulation to fat utilization. We have this fat switch but because of our copious food supply and one which is energy rich, we stay in the fat accumulation phase and never actually begin to hibernate or enter the fat use phase. See more on this in the video below.
The fructose which is converted into fructose-1-phosphate (F1P) might move through to biochemical pathways that are involved in inflammatory processes which lead to liver insulin resistance and on-going, intra-cellular high sugar levels. This amplifies the effects from bad sugar over time.
Alternatively, some F1P might be metabolized further and get involved in the Krebbs or fatty acid cycle. This can also lead to inflammatory responses or more directly lead to increased fat stores in the liver, higher fat levels (triglycerides) in the blood and insulin resistance in our muscles. This means higher blood insulin levels which induces leptin resistance in the brain. Leptin is a hormone which stimulates us to eat more.
The news is all bad here and the upshot might include the development of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, metaflammation (chronic, low-level, non-microbial inflammation) and a lack of energy all fueled by an addiction for more bad sugar.
To summarize, the fructose in sucrose makes us hungry so we over-eat; it creates fat stores in our liver; increases fat storage around hips and waist and causes cellular insulin resistance and inflammation. Our liver can also convert some fructose to glucose which adds to the glucose from the other half of the sucrose molecule. This raised blood sugar increases insulin production and potentially raises the risk of pancreatic cancer. It certainly increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and specifically, obesity, diabetes and hypertension along with causing or making worse over 145 medical conditions. Here are some of these conditions in a list that I have posted previously.
So dietary advisers in the disease-care industry will recommend that you consume less sugar which is like telling a gambler they should gamble less. Will power is good for a few hours and as they tell you in AA, stay out of bottle shops, bars and pubs. The problem is that once your will power is all used up, the carb cravings will kick back in and the fructose will turn on the fat storage switch preparing you for a hibernation you’ll never have. Obesity is on the rise for just these reasons.
Interesting to here of the disease-care industry’s current solution: Find a drug that stops fructose reacting with an enzyme (fructokinase C) and forming uric acid which subsequently leads to fat storage.
The video below is well worth watching and in case my comment gets deleted from the site, here it is for you to read after you see the good professor present.
I write a lot about fructose and obesity in my new book, Wild Foods but also tackle the solution to metabolic syndrome in an entirely different way. As a physician, Prof Johnson embraces reductionist thinking. He is immersed in the disease-care system and only defines a disease once sufficient symptoms tell him there is a problem. Our nutritional diseases begin at conception with what our mothers ate during pregnancy and before this, our maternal grandmother's diet began our nutrigenomic journey.
Might I suggest a look back 60,000 years for clues to our future survival (to quote the sub-title of my new book)? Wild foods are nutritionally superior to modern ones and provided a protective barrier to most diseases. They are high in a wide range of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, anti-cancer and antiproliferative compounds, anti-allergy effects, enzyme regulators, adaptogens, micro- or smart sugars and more. If we add wild foods back into our diet (wherever we live) then we regain the advantage of foods with which we evolved.
My research and that of my colleagues shows that boosting the antioxidant capacity of our diet counteracts the effects of fructose, reduces the addictive quality of sugar, reduces the effects of uric acid, over-comes leptin and insulin resistance and probably aids in mitochondrial support and repair.
To get up on my soapbox here, I strongly recommend L.I.F.E. (Lyophilized Indigenous Food Essentials)™ as a convenient wild food product (14 wild foods and 13 other superfoods). Unlike those ordinary ‘superfood’ products it does NOT contain added bad sugars or those synthetic chemical preservatives (eg potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate etc). And it is whole food based, not just extracts that often leave actives and support compounds behind during their production. We really do need whole foods for our micro-nutrients and our ideal health and well-being.
LIFE gets raves from users as to the energy it provides; its carbohydrate craving suppression; and the overall well being it imparts: