Is sugar a dangerous drug? This guy thinks so.


by Greg Bernhardt
Tags: dangerous, drug, sugar, thinks
D H
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#19
Oct16-13, 05:46 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Actually Robert Lustig is selling a book about it. http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Chance-Bea.../dp/159463100X
He's far from the one who has done the research into whether sugar has all of the features of a "drug", and he's also far from the only one who has done research into how sugar is metabolized and whether it is harmful. That research has been ongoing for 30 years. Do you really think he orchestrated those decades of research just so he could sell a book?


Quote Quote by MathematicalPhysicist View Post
My simple argument, let people have control over their life, if they want to smoke cannabis then let them, if they want to drink apple cider let them.
Since I've made my position known on the war on drugs (an utter failure whose costs to society vastly outpaces the benefits to society), it would be a bit hypocritical on my part to argue that sugar should be made into a controlled substance. It won't work.

If the research is correct, then perhaps sugar should be treated like alcohol: Something we tolerate because the cure (prohibition) is far worse than the disease, and something we tax because taxation discourages use to some extent and because this would form quite the sizable (albeit regressive) revenue stream.
Evo
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Oct16-13, 11:46 AM
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Quote Quote by D H View Post
He's far from the one who has done the research into whether sugar has all of the features of a "drug", and he's also far from the only one who has done research into how sugar is metabolized and whether it is harmful. That research has been ongoing for 30 years. Do you really think he orchestrated those decades of research just so he could sell a book?
He has a video too. No of course not, I was referring to Ygggdrasil

http://www.physicsforums.com/showpos...52&postcount=3

And DrClaude's posts
http://www.physicsforums.com/showpos...5&postcount=12


If the research is correct, then perhaps sugar should be treated like alcohol: Something we tolerate because the cure (prohibition) is far worse than the disease, and something we tax because taxation discourages use to some extent and because this would form quite the sizable (albeit regressive) revenue stream.
There are reasons to use small amounts of sugar in cooking, for example adding it to yeast when making bread. I personally rarely use any type of sugar, corn syrup, etc... just because I don't care for things that taste sweet. It did not prevent me from developing type 2 diabetes. Turns out it was high ferritin serum levels that caused it. We're expecting that once my iron is under control, I will no longer have diabetes. (my diabetes was only because they lowered the level at which they now consider a person diabetic, before the level was lowered, I was not diabetic).

Causes of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

In prediabetes which can lead to type 2 diabetes and in type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, and your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Instead of moving into your cells where it's needed for energy, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. Exactly why this happens is uncertain, although as in type 1 diabetes, it's believed that genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of type 2. Being overweight is strongly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, but not everyone with type 2 is overweight.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dia...SECTION=causes

I would like to see the addition of sugar to so many processed foods stopped. When fat was lowered in many foods, they increased the sugars.
sus4
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#21
Oct16-13, 09:27 PM
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Quote Quote by MathematicalPhysicist View Post
My simple argument, let people have control over their life, if they want to smoke cannabis then let them, if they want to drink apple cider let them.

Eventually everyone will die someway or another.
True. This is one reason that I don't agree with the complete ban of recreational drugs (I'm including sugar as recreational). I do, however, believe that they should be WELL regulated. While we all die eventually regardless of our choices, our diets and habits can greatly effect the quality of life that one lives.

There is an ethical dilemma with the freedom to decide. Sure, in one way it's wrong to force a diet on someone, but if a certain diet can lead to health complications that require treatment, it's a different story. Add in the fact that a substance like sugar is loaded into products and distributed to the masses, it can lead to some serious problems.

I really wish there were more alternatives for people that didn't want a high sugar diet, or healthier diets in general. I'm not saying that it's unreasonably difficult to eat healthy, because I manage fine, but there is definitely a bigger demand for sugary foods.
Aero51
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Oct17-13, 12:11 PM
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Does this ban on sugars include sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame?
D H
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Oct17-13, 12:46 PM
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No one is proposing a ban on sugar. I doubt such a ban could ever be enacted, and it wouldn't work if such a ban was enacted.

Can sugar be classified as a "drug"? Yes. Look at the research. Is it a "dangerous drug"? That is a very different question. Calling it a "dangerous drug" is hyperbole to me. Prolonged excessive consumption can cause all kinds of health problems, and some people apparently cannot resist the temptation.

Even with that, that does not constitute a "dangerous drug" to me. Perhaps I'll change my mind when I read about people confronting others at gunpoint with the demand "give me some sugar!"
MathematicalPhysicist
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#24
Oct17-13, 02:47 PM
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Quote Quote by sus4 View Post
True. This is one reason that I don't agree with the complete ban of recreational drugs (I'm including sugar as recreational). I do, however, believe that they should be WELL regulated. While we all die eventually regardless of our choices, our diets and habits can greatly effect the quality of life that one lives.

There is an ethical dilemma with the freedom to decide. Sure, in one way it's wrong to force a diet on someone, but if a certain diet can lead to health complications that require treatment, it's a different story. Add in the fact that a substance like sugar is loaded into products and distributed to the masses, it can lead to some serious problems.

I really wish there were more alternatives for people that didn't want a high sugar diet, or healthier diets in general. I'm not saying that it's unreasonably difficult to eat healthy, because I manage fine, but there is definitely a bigger demand for sugary foods.
The reason people need sugar is because they need energy to work, if I didn't need to work I would be fine with just plain water instead of juices which I drink.
Just like there are people that drink five cups of coffee a day (in maths and physics departments it seems to be the norm).
MathematicalPhysicist
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#25
Oct17-13, 02:49 PM
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Quote Quote by D H View Post
No one is proposing a ban on sugar. I doubt such a ban could ever be enacted, and it wouldn't work if such a ban was enacted.

Can sugar be classified as a "drug"? Yes. Look at the research. Is it a "dangerous drug"? That is a very different question. Calling it a "dangerous drug" is hyperbole to me. Prolonged excessive consumption can cause all kinds of health problems, and some people apparently cannot resist the temptation.

Even with that, that does not constitute a "dangerous drug" to me. Perhaps I'll change my mind when I read about people confronting others at gunpoint with the demand "give me some sugar!"
I am quite sure Homer Simpson did such a thing in of the numerous episodes of the Simpsons.
Mark44
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#26
Oct17-13, 02:58 PM
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I'm reading "The Great Cholesterol Myth" - Jonny Bowden and Steven Sinatra (http://www.amazon.com/Great-Choleste...2038983&sr=1-1). Bowden is a PhD nutritionist and Sinatra is a cardiologist.

The main thrust of the book is that much of what we've heard about cholesterol is not borne out by numerous studies done over the past 40 or more years, and that millions of people have been prescribed statin drugs that do little to reduce the occurrence of heart disease and can have terrible side effects (e.g., memory loss, dementia, muscle soreness).

Bowden and Sinatra make that point that what we should be looking at is not cholesterol per se, but at the amount of sugar we eat, stress in our lives, smoking, and processed carbohydrates. I think there's another item on their list, but I don't have the book at hand right now.

I remember reading back in the 70s that the average American ate around 100 lb. of sugar per year, which works out to about 1/3 lb a day. According to this book, the average is maybe double that now or maybe more (I don't recall the exact figure). Many foods that are described as "heart-healthy" have had their fats reduced, and replaced with more sugar, including the high-fructose type.

I'm about halfway through the book, and pick it up sporadically. When I'm finished reading it, I plan to scan through it again, marking the things that seem most important.
ZapperZ
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#27
Oct18-13, 08:15 AM
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There is a newer video of a seminar given by Lustig at Berkeley lab. He describes why, chemically and biologically, there is no difference between sucrose and fructose, when compared to glucose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXlL7yWtAAg


Considering his reputation and his track record, I find him to be quite a credible source. And certainly, one doesn't get invited to present such a seminar at Berkeley lab if one is a crank.

Zz.
thorium1010
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Oct19-13, 12:12 PM
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So correct me, if i am wrong. It seems , major problem with current diet is with amount of sugar added to food. More important , the type of sugar (bad sugar) which is intentionally added to food i.e. fructose. So the traditional food grains (wheat, rice etc) are better than fructose. .
Ygggdrasil
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Nov2-13, 12:32 PM
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Quote Quote by thorium1010 View Post
So correct me, if i am wrong. It seems , major problem with current diet is with amount of sugar added to food. More important , the type of sugar (bad sugar) which is intentionally added to food i.e. fructose. So the traditional food grains (wheat, rice etc) are better than fructose.
Yes, it appears that fructose is the main culprit behind many of the negative health effects of sugar and other carbohydrates. While "traditional food grains" that contain complex carbohydrates (starch) are better because they do not contain fructose, excess glucose is converted in to fructose in the liver, so glucose-rich foods can also contribute to fructose-mediated toxicity.

Interestingly, two recent papers looked at the role of fructose in metabolic syndrome by creating genetically engineered mice lacking the enzyme ketohexokinase (KHK). These mice are unable to metabolize fructose and as a result, seem more resistant to obesity and the other negative health effects of high sugar and high carbohydrate diets:
"Ishimoto and colleagues set out to directly assess the role of fructose metabolism on features of metabolic syndrome, using mice lacking KHK and, as such, incapable of processing fructose. Their findings are consistent with those of several previous studies: wild-type mice fed a western diet (one that is high in fat and fructose, in which the fructose comes from sucrose) developed severe fatty liver and liver inflammation (disorders collectively known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) along with liver fibrosis. By contrast, KHK-deficient mice fed the same diet were protected from liver inflammation and fibrosis, and developed only mild fatty liver. Because the authors demonstrate that the mutant and wild-type mice had equivalent caloric intake, the protection afforded by the mutant animals' inability to process fructose is direct evidence that this sugar has a role in exacerbating specific features of metabolic syndrome.

Lanaspa et al. take the matter a step further, examining the effect of carbohydrate-rich diets devoid of fructose in KHK-deficient mice. Intriguingly, these animals were also protected from the adverse effects of excess glucose consumption. This makes sense, given that in the liver the polyol pathway converts excess glucose into fructose, which is stored as fat only in the presence of KHK. In fact, the authors validate the dependence of fructose synthesis on this pathway in mice lacking the polyol-pathway enzyme aldose reductase; these animals were also protected from glucose-induced fatty liver."
(http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...l/502181a.html)

Here's the references to the two papers:
Ishimoto, T. et al. 2013. High-fat and high-sucrose (western) diet induces steatohepatitis that is dependent on fructokinase. Hepatology, 58: 1632. doi:10.1002/hep.26594
Lanaspa, M. A. et al. 2013. Endogenous fructose production and metabolism in the liver contributes to the development of metabolic syndrome. Nature Commun. 4: 2434. doi:10.1038/ncomms3434


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