Medical Is sugar a dangerous drug? This guy thinks so.

  1. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    Sugar, the most dangerous drug of this time

    Some analysis/commentary

    Original statement (Dutch, might need to translate)
  2. jcsd
  3. D H

    Staff: Mentor

    He's not alone. Dr. Richard Cohen is of the strong opinion that sugar is addictive and harmful.
    Why did 153 million people have diabetes in 1980, and now we’re up to 347 million? Why are more and more Americans obese? Sugar, we believe, is one of the culprits, if not the major culprit.​
    1 person likes this.
  4. Ygggdrasil

    Ygggdrasil 1,748
    Science Advisor

    Last year, Dr. Robert Lustig and colleagues from UCSF published an essay in Nature arguing that sugar should be regulated like ethanol:
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ah, NUTS! Now you're telling me that my addiction to Classic Coke is not only going to rot my teeth, it's going to mess with my liver? I don't want to know this :smile:
  6. SteamKing

    SteamKing 10,367
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Eating more and doing less physical activity wouldn't have any bearing would it?

    People used to do a lot of stuff outdoors. You cruise thru many neighborhoods on absolutely gorgeous days and find not a soul in sight. Everyone is inside, talking on their phones (you don't have to physically go next door, or even to the next room, to talk to someone), playing a game on the computer (same comment as about the phone), watching tube, crashed, whatever. Work, except for manual labor, is the same. You don't need to leave your office or cubicle even to deliver a memo. You can email it to the next cubicle as easy as sending it around the world.

    Honestly, with all these scientist types, you think on the first day of PhD. school they have all of their common sense removed.
  7. lisab

    Staff: Mentor

    Well now wait a minute. How are they defining the term "drug"?
  8. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,472
    Gold Member

    Whatever you do, do not get sugar in your DNA.
  9. In my case, I think it's probably too late. I've been guzzling Classic Coke for 50+ years and I'm pretty well saturated with caffeine and sugar. :smile:
  10. Bit of hyperbole, don't you think. People have been eating sugar from ages. The fructose and sucrose added to processed food is a recent invention(50 or 100 yrs). Why even alcohol is distilled from sugars.
  11. jim mcnamara

    jim mcnamara 1,523
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    ribose is a sugar - it was a joke. I liked it anyway....
  12. SteamKing

    SteamKing 10,367
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I think the researchers are trying to control for one variable, namely sugar intake, when the mechanism for adult onset diabetes is not too clear. Is it just the frequency and amount of sugar intake? Is it the type of sugar intake? Is it a combination of the intake of different types of sugars?

    The diet of the average person now is much more complex, if not more varied, than it was a century ago. There are more additives, preservatives, taste, texture, and color enhancers used in the food supply now. What sorts of interactions do these materials have with themselves, let alone body chemistry? Who knows?
  13. DrClaude

    DrClaude 2,403
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

  14. Excessive sugar intake is bad especially when the insulin-magnesium metabolism team is dysfunctional. Not bad if that doctor interferes with survival of the fittest or natural selection to spare fellow humans.

    For that matter, I would appreciate if they will convert sugar into ethanol via fermentation before they give it to me :D
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  15. This is a really good paper on metabolic flux and cell growth:

    Wouldn't doubt it at all that 50 years from now we will have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that sugar intake is in fact more harmful to your health than fat.

    The hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP) behaves as a sort of biosensor that responds to intracellular metabolite concentrations. When flux starts going out of whack you get problems:

    (in case you didn't know, 2-5% of glycolysis is diverted down the HBP).
  16. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah, it's actually a bit shameful, isn't it? Anything to sell a book, eh?
  17. D H

    Staff: Mentor

    How are they defining the term "drug"? It's not to sell a book.

    Drugs cause observable changes in behaviors such as bingeing and craving. sensitization. They induce physiological changes such as withdrawal and sensitization. Finally, they cause changes in brain chemistry, particularly increased opioid and dopamine levels.

    Sugar hits each and every one of these characteristics.

    Here's the first of the 46,800 hits on "sugar addiction" at

    Nicole M. Avena, Pedro Rada, and Bartley G. Hoebel, Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake, Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008; 32(1): 20–39.

    For the remaining 46,799, go to Granted, not all of them are valid journal references, but a good chunk are.
  18. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

  19. Well isn't life about dying in the end, or you prefer to live forever doing the same thing over and over and over... again.

    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.
  20. D H

    Staff: Mentor

    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?

    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.
  21. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    He has a video too. :redface: No of course not, I was referring to Ygggdrasil

    And DrClaude's posts

    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).

    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.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
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