Killing Us Sweetly! Part Five, The Shocking "Truth" About Sugar

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Killing Us Sweetly! Part Five, The Shocking "Truth" About Sugar

23rd Jan 2014

What Potentially Happens When I Eat Sugar

After the dispatches program this week on Channel 4, there seems to be a big uproar about the food industry and what they put in our food. For some of us, this isn’t much of a revelation. I have written about this at great length including a little bit of science about sugar addiction. Have a read here

In the final couple of articles on sugar, I want to talk about the possible impact of sugar on the human body. I will talk in this article about the short term effect first.

The Sugar Rush

The classic line we tend to hear is that “I need a sugar” rush. So what actually is a “sugar rush” The first point to consider is digestion. Simple sugars get digested very quickly and the sugar is quickly broken down into glucose in the blood. What then happens is the pancreas produces insulin which then acts like a “key” which helps the glucose get into the cells, muscles, liver and fat tissue (more on insulin in the next article) What happens after this fast rise in blood glucose is the crash that follows. This crash activates stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. The problem is that we can’t cope with the stress because we have nothing to be stressed about (i.e. we aren’t in danger) This can cause us to be shaky and irritated. We get the quick high from the glucose then we quickly crash back to Earth!

Lower Immunity

Eating or specifically drinking sugar may curb the immune system by reducing your white blood count. There have been studies that show a, increase in susceptibility to disease within hours of drinking a sugary drink. This was tracked by a marked reduction is white blood cells for up to five hours after eating one hundred grams of sugar.

Sugar and memory loss

There have been connections made between dementia and high blood glucose levels. If you seem to get “brain fog” after a sugary meal, this is could be a mild form of memory loss. Diabetes is considered a risk to mental health as it damages blood vessels in the brain. This is why some people call Alzheimer's disease type 3 diabetes. There was a study done in Germany where people with higher blood sugar levels scored lower than a memory test than test subjects with lower blood glucose levels.

Money talks and sugar walks

I have discussed some of the additional side effects of sugar consumption in this piece, however there also another point to be considered here. In the Dispatches program about sugar, there were revelations about researchers getting funding from the food industry. Here is the problem you have, if you are trying to work and someone offers money to carry on, it would take a lot to turn it down. These people are only human after all. When people oppose the views on sugar, it is normally because they have a vested interest in doing so. If these are medical professionals and scientists, then they will sometimes go with the favoured option chosen by the people that are funding them. If I paid you to “find something” that answered your question, I bet you would look very hard indeed. The same goes for research into the safety of sugar and sweeteners.

Conclusion

I don’t expect people to believe what I write, however I do recommend that people see how they feel. If you get a reaction when you eat sugar, should you consider this or should you just go the Doctors and try and medicate your way out of it? If you are concerned about your health or the health of your family, I would highly recommend getting all the facts. If you rely on food industry backed research or just the authorities, then you may be getting biased advice.

References

High Blood Sugar Levels and Dementia Risk

High blood sugar levels linked to memory loss