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Study Ties High Blood Sugar To Dementia

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the news-for-nerds-with-brains dept.

Medicine 157

A study published last week in the New England Journal suggests that blood sugar levels may be a more important indicator than previously realized for non-diabetics: high blood sugar levels were linked by the study's authors with increased risk of dementia (summary free; full article paywalled). The study followed more than 2,000 elderly participants, and found a positive correlation between blood glucose levels and development of dementia, both for patients with and without diabetes.

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157 comments

diabetes is no joke! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535575)

I'm glad more breakthroughs in understanding how glucose levels affect/effect peoples healths. My mom is a type 2 using insulin. I even show signs of pre-onset with some high sugar levels. It runs in the family. Suffice it say better diet really makes a postive impact as well as activity. It's complicated though. Heredity and external factors play a big part. I look forward to win a gene therapy shot can fix it. To the future!

Re: diabetes is no joke! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535693)

Low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia) is linked with brain damage too.

Re:diabetes is no joke! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535993)

I was experiencing type II diabetic symptoms with increasing frequency. It was messing up my life.

Solution?

Low carb diet. Meats and saturated fats. I cut out breads entirely. If you keep your sugar intakes to about 70 grams per day or less, you're doing well. This meant cutting out most fruit. Even a potato converts into a lot of sugar.

After a few weeks, all symptoms went away and I feel great today. Been at it for a couple of years now. I used to get super cold fingers in the cold seasons, and I had to cuddle around heaters to stay warm. Not anymore. Also my by body fat has balanced out nicely. I look better than I have in years.

Turns out, cholesterol and saturated fats are GOOD for you. We've been lied to, yet again, in this particular case, by agribusiness and big pharma.

Read, "Life Without Bread" for the basics. It could save your life and reverse your mom's condition. $10 for a book or years of misery? Not a hard choice.

Re: diabetes is no joke! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536145)

So what exactly are you eating now after you cut-off even potatoes?

Re: diabetes is no joke! (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#44536555)

Quinoa
Millet
Brown rice
Wild rice

Lots of low glycemic grains out there

Re: diabetes is no joke! (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 8 months ago | (#44537167)

Probably an Atkins like diet. About 15 years ago, I did it when people thought it was a fad and got fantastic results. Back then, everyone including my nutrition-major friends dismissed it as a kookie conspiracy theory (the processed sugars, corn syrup, etc.). Now, it's widely accepted.

Re: diabetes is no joke! (2)

swalve (1980968) | about 8 months ago | (#44537273)

Except by the FDA and nutritionists. Their advice is still low fat, lots of grains.

Re: diabetes is no joke! (4, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44537347)

Except by the FDA and nutritionists. Their advice is still low fat, lots of grains.

That is because the FDA food pyramid is based on the old USDA food pyramid which has since been found out that it's main purpose was to get people to consume specific agricultural products, not for their health benefit but to bolster a sagging farm economy. Even the new FDA myplate program is not about what is the best nutrion, but is designed to combat obesity. The two are not necessarily the same.

If you want medically based nutrion information, then you should use medical sources. Mayo Clinic, Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Medical and others all have nutrion recommendations, some even with pyramids, that are vastly lower in grains and carbohydrates than what the government food pyramids show. They might not be as extreme as Atkins or the Paleo diets, but they are definitely lower carb than most Americans would be used to (lower red meat, too).

So, if your nutrionist is still pushing out of date nutrion falsehoods, maybe it's time to find a different nutrionist or at least ask the question why their recommendations seem to differ from what the medical community recommends?

Re: diabetes is no joke! (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 8 months ago | (#44538627)

I live on eggs, heavy cream, fatty meat and chocolate(90+%). That's how I keep my weight down, control my blood sugar, keep healthy blood lipids and get a proper supply of fat soluble vitamins. You need zero dietary carbs to live.

Re:diabetes is no joke! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536587)

You should read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. It makes you want to smack all the researchers that got things wrong.

Re:diabetes is no joke! (1)

mpe (36238) | about 8 months ago | (#44537537)

I was experiencing type II diabetic symptoms with increasing frequency. It was messing up my life.
Solution?
Low carb diet. Meats and saturated fats. I cut out breads entirely. If you keep your sugar intakes to about 70 grams per day or less, you're doing well. This meant cutting out most fruit. Even a potato converts into a lot of sugar.


The amount of dietary glucose T2 diabetics are able to handle varies greatly. For some 70g/day would be far too much. The only sure method is that of "eat to your meter".

Turns out, cholesterol and saturated fats are GOOD for you. We've been lied to, yet again, in this particular case, by agribusiness and big pharma.

Where things get really interesting is that hypocholesterolemia cause similar symptoms to diabetes. Most notably neuopathy.

Read, "Life Without Bread" for the basics. It could save your life and reverse your mom's condition. $10 for a book or years of misery? Not a hard choice.

If someone is taking insulin they need to both adjust their dosage and monitor their blood sugar levels when changing their diet in such a way. Probably even more so if they are T2 since a change of diet could affect insulin resistance making "carb counting" ineffective at working out the correct dosage. After a few weeks, all symptoms went away and I feel great today. Been at it for a couple of years now. I used to get super cold fingers in the cold seasons, and I had to cuddle around heaters to stay warm. Not anymore. Also my by body fat has balanced out nicely. I look better than I have in years.

Proves Bloomberg correct. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535609)

More ammo in the Bloomberg ammo depot to outlaw enormous sugary drinks and help lower the nation's health care costs by cutting down on seriously obese people. Seriously, nobody needs to drink a quart of highly sweetened liquid (unless you're a 50 pound hummingbird).

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535633)

No one likes a fatty.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535691)

No one likes a fascist either.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535725)

No one likes their parents too.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535849)

Fascism consists in valuing the group more than its constituents, by definition.
Nothing to do with fascism, here: no one likes fatties because they are disgusting individuals, not even able to respect themselves (let alone anything), plain and simply.
Now, fatties buggering the group, directly (wanting to be treated just like anyone else, eg paying only one plane seat while they take two, or even three) or indirectly (having laws enforced on everyone, just because these lardasses have chosen to refuse vouching for themselves), that, for one, is fascism, you worthless disgusting hambeast.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536021)

No, you actually just made his point for him.

The people telling fatties what they must do are caring about the group, at the expense of the wishes of the individual. They are the fascists.

The fatties are effectively capitalists in this situation. Making sure they can get everything they can without a care for the group, in the hope that game theory will just work out and the group will be fine.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535905)

Hi, this is Godwin. I hope the folks at Dice are keeping track of the royalties they owe me for use of my law.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (3, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 8 months ago | (#44535703)

I don't know about that. People stupid enough to drink a 52 oz, 1000+ calorie drink packed with sugar might not have the best brain to begin with and probably have all around terrible health practices as well.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (2, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | about 8 months ago | (#44535895)

I don't know about that. People stupid enough to drink a 52 oz, 1000+ calorie drink packed with sugar might not have the best brain to begin with and probably have all around terrible health practices as well.

The study was about Glucose; the predominant sugar in soda drinks is Fructose, at least in the U.S., and because it lends itself to plumbing-based manufacturing of junk food rather than requiring auger gears to move powdered sweetener around, it's gaining ground in other countries junk food as well.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536127)

1) High Fructose Corn Syrup, the thing used in just about everything is a mixture of about 55/42% fructose and glucose respectively.

2) Fructose is almost immediately metabolized by the liver into glucose, once it leaves the small intestine.

So, it's basically the same damn thing to the body anyway.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (4, Informative)

smaddox (928261) | about 8 months ago | (#44536275)

Fructose (which is one half of sucrose - basically the same as high fructose corn syrup) is actually much worse than glucose precisely because it is metabolized by the liver. The metabolic process is very similar to that of ethanol, and the chronic effects are also almost identical. Here's a great presentation by Prof. Robert H. Lustig, MD about the link between sugar consumption and obesity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM [youtube.com]

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536791)

Fructose (which is one half of sucrose - basically the same as high fructose corn syrup) is actually much worse than glucose precisely because it is metabolized by the liver. The metabolic process is very similar to that of ethanol, and the chronic effects are also almost identical. Here's a great presentation by Prof. Robert H. Lustig, MD about the link between sugar consumption and obesity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM [youtube.com]

You are making stuff up. Just look at the wikipedia page for Fructose:

Fructose In Food [wikipedia.org]

Just because everyone "hates on" the high fructose corn syrup, doesn't mean fructose is bad for you. Just about all the fruit/veg you eat is going to have fructose. Are you trying to say eating apples (high in fructose) are harmful?

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537425)

obviously you did not watched the video: fruits have fructose and FIBER, and it is the big difference.

How many apples are in a glass of juice? (2)

Guppy (12314) | about 8 months ago | (#44538611)

Just about all the fruit/veg you eat is going to have fructose. Are you trying to say eating apples (high in fructose) are harmful?

Well, if you were to chug them down as a supersized glass of apple juice, probably yes. The composition of that juice isn't too much different from a glass of fructose-sweetened soda. A small 8 oz glass of apple juice takes about 3-4 apples or so to make. If you were to eat those three or four apples whole, you'd feel a bit full; probably take you a while to finish them, too. With the bulk and fiber of the apple removed, the equivalent amount in juice can be consumed in minutes -- without satiating your hunger.

When you suck down a super-sized soda, you are consuming the fructose equivalent of bucketfuls of apples (and possibly doing so within the space of a few minutes). It would take an eating-contest champion to physically match that performance using whole fruit.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44537365)

Plus it isn't just in soft drinks. It's in just about every processed food out there. Why? It's dirt cheap compared to real sugar. So, if you eat peanut butter, you are eating HFCS. If you eat a hamburger at a fast food chain, you are eating HFCS if you think you will go the healthy route and have a salad, you better just have oil and vinegar for the dressing or once again you will have HFCS added to your diet. A little HFCS isn't bad for you, but like MSG, it is so prevalent in all of the foods we eat that it's hard to only get just a little bit.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 8 months ago | (#44538679)

The only reason HCFS is so cheap is because of corn subsidies. Get rid of those and it's half the battle.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

mpe (36238) | about 8 months ago | (#44537063)

The study was about Glucose; the predominant sugar in soda drinks is Fructose, at least in the U.S., and because it lends itself to plumbing-based manufacturing of junk food rather than requiring auger gears to move powdered sweetener around, it's gaining ground in other countries junk food as well.

HFCS is typically 55% fructose and 45% glucose. (Outside of the US it would probably be made from wheat or potatoes rather than maize.) HFCS wouldn't exist without the maize subsidies and sugar tariffs in the US.
By comparison sucrose is 53% fructose and 53% glucose. The extra 6% coming from the water used in the hydrolysis reaction to split sucrose into fructose and glucose.
The most important difference is that HFCS has a higher Glycemic Index (GI) than sucrose. Because it can be adsorbed without any digestion being needed.
Even though it contains less glucose more may end up in the general bloodstream since the liver preferentially converts fructose (and galactose) into fats. (Also liver cells need insulin to take up glucose. Which is not the case for either fructose or galactose.)

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536287)

From all the people I have know and worked with (and met, really) during my 49 yrs on this planet, the people with the best health practices and physique has been the dumbest. They have the time for it since when they don't work their brain goes into idle, smart people have a hard time remembering to eat at all as their brains are busy doing other stuff. I have a tested IQ of 141 (US test but I am from Sweden) and I would have to have a keeper to be able to be able to eat well. I can however design some mean software (and hardware too when the need arises).

Coke and Snickers FTW!

(BTW. 52 oz would be about 600 kcal and that is if you have no ice in it.... but thats about 1,6 l! To drink that you have to be VERY thirsty, not stupid.)

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 8 months ago | (#44535727)

I've seen people that drink soda during meals.
The problem is social.

Re: Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535855)

I've seen people actually eat something called "dessert". And large meals. Definitely social.

no it doesn't? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535741)

if they did a scientific study of banning "large sugar drinks" and noticed that somehow the cost and expense to society and freedom of having taxpayer funded policing of drink sizes somehow was worth it, then maybe i would agree. but thats not what they studied.

they studied the effect of blood glucose on dementia.

sugar might be a poison, but so are a lot of other things. regulating it might be fine, but stupid regulations like "drink size" are not necessarily going to accomplish anything other than wasting taxpayers money. a much more effective regulation would be requiring a warning label on all products containing refined sugar, so then everything from crackers to soup to spaghetti sauce would have it listed on the label.

Re:no it doesn't? (1)

mpe (36238) | about 8 months ago | (#44537283)

if they did a scientific study of banning "large sugar drinks" and noticed that somehow the cost and expense to society and freedom of having taxpayer funded policing of drink sizes somehow was worth it, then maybe i would agree. but thats not what they studied.

The size of the cup/glass is also utterly meaningless if you can have as many "refills" as you like (especially if that is via a dispenser in the customer area.)

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 8 months ago | (#44535799)

They should outlaw cans.

Bottles can be resealed and replaced in the fridge, you only need to drink what you want at the time.
This applies to 1.5 and 2 liter bottles as well as 500 ml

Are 2l bottle really illegal in NYC or did some higher court strike that law down?

2L botles is the cheapest way to buy soda/pop

Actually I drink 50% pop (SunDrop, MT Dew or mello yello) and the other 50% is Lemon-lime Gatorade)

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 8 months ago | (#44535889)

I drink about a can of soda a week. Usually Stevia sweetened cola or root beer. Why would I want a 2L bottle? It would either encourage me to drink more soda (before it goes flat) or go to waste.

A better solution would just be a sugary drink tax and that tax could go directly towards subsidizing fruits and vegetables :)

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#44536253)

And they'll use that tax money for the next war instead. Don't be stupid. The last thing we need is more taxes. Our government uses the money we give it to do horrible things. It's like donating to an evil charity, don't do it.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44537443)

I drink about a can of soda a week. Usually Stevia sweetened cola or root beer. Why would I want a 2L bottle? It would either encourage me to drink more soda (before it goes flat) or go to waste.

A better solution would just be a sugary drink tax and that tax could go directly towards subsidizing fruits and vegetables :)

Because if you have kids, buying soday by the can is pretty darn expensive. The best solution is to first find out if there is a direct and strong correlation between surary drinks and obesity. Then, decide what to do about it. Chances are, a viable solution would not require a tax or a subsidy for fruits and vegetables, which are pretty high in sugar, too.

If the culprit really is the sugary drinks, then all one would need to do is look at other western societies where kids drink sugary drinks (Japan is one) and see if obesity is increasing there, too. It's not and the japanese consume even more HFCS than the US does. So, it is something else in the US diet along with the HFCS that is the problem. Most likely, it is plan and simple portion size. In the 1960s, what is a regular hamburger at McDonalds was (and still is) the normal serving. However, today, the menu is full of 1/4 lb and 1/3 lb burgers. The regular fries and drinks are double a normal serving.

If your goal is to combat obseity, the first place to start would be to have restaurants list not just calories but how many servings you are actually receiving. The reason a Big Mac is 700 calories is because it is actually two servings. It's not enough to say a single serving of Big Mac is 700 calories. It needs to say a Big Mac is two servings at 350 calories each for a total of 700 calories. For the record, I am not picking on McDonalds nor do I actually know the calorie or nutritional content of a Big Mac, I just use it for illustrative purposes.

  Maybe when people find out that they are eating the equivalent of six or seven meals a day, their habits will change. But we will never know if restaraunts are required to report how many servings they are actually serving you.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

Darby (84953) | about 8 months ago | (#44538451)

Because if you have kids, buying soday by the can is pretty darn expensive.

If you have kids you should never be giving them soda under any circumstances.

That's fucking child abuse.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44538525)

Because if you have kids, buying soday by the can is pretty darn expensive.

If you have kids you should never be giving them soda under any circumstances.

That's fucking child abuse.

There are other beverages besides soda that have a high sugar content like apple juice, orange juice and grape juice. Soda isn't the only sugary drink that kids drink. Besides, at what age would you allow soda, not until they are 21? Kids run the gamut from birth until at least 18.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536611)

At least cans are smaller.

Re: Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535839)

It proves Bloomberg is a jerk. Rich people can buy 20 small size drinks with their creme brule. Poor people can't afford that. It's just oppressing people not like him, and the only effect is making the poor even more poor. Hurrah liberalism!

Some people buy a big coffee and sip it through the afternoon at work.

Re: Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536501)

"But don't the poor people understand that we're looking out for their best interests? I have to do a lot of polo, golf, and wind surfing to burn off the calories from a Coca Cola and a rack of ribs. Since they just sit at home waiting for the next opportunity to vote me into office so I can get them more food stamps, they should be happy with tap water and government cheese or else they'll get fat. Then no one will want to make diapered tax deductions with them." -Every politician in the racist Democratic Party.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#44536233)

The "nations" healthcare costs are none of Bloombergs fucking business. I don't need him babysitting me. Soft-drink companies are losing more and more money every quarter due to people making informed decisions about their diet. We do not need the government deciding for us. We're perfectly capable of doing it on our own. Where we need the government is to enforce transparency so capitalism can do the work for us. Clear, standardized nutrition labels is what the government should be focused on. Once we have clear info not hyped by advertising reps (see "0% Cholesterol!" or "All Natural") then we can make our own informed decisions about our lives.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 8 months ago | (#44536773)

What is the use of labels if you cannot read?

I mean labels are good and there is a good reason food industry does not like them. IT does not solve the problem tho, at least not all too big part of it. People need to be educated in that, have ability to update their knowledge and ability to use it which requires a bit of brain and a bit of money too.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (0)

XcepticZP (1331217) | about 8 months ago | (#44537587)

It's hard to read the nutrition labels if you're too busy looking at the price tag.

But I do agree with you. Our schools need a whole lot of reform. Simple things such as nutrition and basic health should be taught in the schools instead of useless subjects with no real application to 90%+ of the population. Instead, we watch them rot the children's brains with useless geography, history, chemistry, high-level math. Those subjects may be interesting and good for someone interested in advancing their education, but for the rest of them it's a bore and chore. If you have to force something down your child's brain, make sure it's useful. And explain to them why it's useful.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

mpe (36238) | about 8 months ago | (#44536985)

More ammo in the Bloomberg ammo depot to outlaw enormous sugary drinks and help lower the nation's health care costs by cutting down on seriously obese people.

The majority of most people's dietary glucose isn't from "sugar" however. This typically comes from plant amylopectin (followed by amylose).
Thus it would actually make more sense to outlaw bread, pasta, potatoes, breakfast cereal, etc. before even considering anything which contains glucose, maltose, sucrose or lactose.

Re:Proves Bloomberg correct. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44537453)

More ammo in the Bloomberg ammo depot to outlaw enormous sugary drinks and help lower the nation's health care costs by cutting down on seriously obese people.

The majority of most people's dietary glucose isn't from "sugar" however. This typically comes from plant amylopectin (followed by amylose).
Thus it would actually make more sense to outlaw bread, pasta, potatoes, breakfast cereal, etc. before even considering anything which contains glucose, maltose, sucrose or lactose.

Shhhhh! Don't cloud the argument with facts.

Coranation does not imply causeway (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535611)

No way Jose! Stoopid believe print.

Yes, but the next question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535695)

What is the relationship between sugar in the diet and blood sugar levels?

I've at least glanced at a lot of Web articles about most/least healthy foods. Pretty much every food has been attacked by one nutritionist or another, but one group that seems to be universally approved are berries. We're all supposed to eat our berries. Well, guess what. Berries have lots of sucrose.

Re:Yes, but the next question is (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 8 months ago | (#44536413)

Berries have a little bit of sucrose. But I've not seen any real evidence that they are good for you.
Nutritionists like them because they can't fault them. They don't have many calories, they have 'antioxidants' and they don't have much fructose.

But nutritionists aren't the ones who paid attention in science class. There is no evidence that antioxidants do anything to help you. There is strong evidence that the opposite is true. That didn't get a mention in the press until Watson (of DNA fame) said it, but it was already common currency amongst the scientists.
http://io9.com/5975002/james-watson-says-antioxidants-may-actually-be-causing-cancer [io9.com]

The antioxidants in plants are there to help the plant protect itself against the poisons it evolved to stop you eating it. Humans and other animals have adpated in kind and can tolerate them to some extent.

We don't know berries are good for you. We have reason to believe they are bad for you, but they're small so you don't get a lot.

Re:Yes, but the next question is (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 8 months ago | (#44536415)

>Berries have a little bit of sucrose.
Argh. I meant fuctose.
There's no significant sucrose in berries.

Re:Yes, but the next question is (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44537459)

>Berries have a little bit of sucrose.
Argh. I meant fuctose.
There's no significant sucrose in berries.

Unless they are chocolate covered or powdered.

Re:Yes, but the next question is (1)

mpe (36238) | about 8 months ago | (#44537557)

I've at least glanced at a lot of Web articles about most/least healthy foods. Pretty much every food has been attacked by one nutritionist or another, but one group that seems to be universally approved are berries. We're all supposed to eat our berries. Well, guess what. Berries have lots of sucrose.

Berries tend to be small fruits, with the exception of some tomatoes, so fairly easy to eat a small portion.

evils of sugar (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 8 months ago | (#44535709)

Sugar gets more evil every day. I've heard that sugar causes or is linked to:

  • tooth decay
  • weight problems
  • diabetes
  • acne
  • dementia

And, I've heard that sugar is acidic, but how and what that means other than that it's somehow bad I don't know. Acidic foods cause faster aging, maybe? Wish I'd known about the link to acne back in high school.

Re:evils of sugar (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 8 months ago | (#44535809)

Yeah, I hear DNA is acidic too. And viruses have DNA. And many diseases are caused by DNA. Whatever you do, don't eat that stuff!

Re:evils of sugar (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 8 months ago | (#44535865)

You may have heard that, but sugar isn't acidic. Measure the pH of water before and after adding sugar to see.

Re:evils of sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536623)

I'm assuming you realize there's no sucrase in the water to break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose. That's as dumb as saying saturated fat will be solid inside your body.

Re:evils of sugar (3, Interesting)

tie_guy_matt (176397) | about 8 months ago | (#44535869)

Otto Heinrich Warburg won a nobel prize in the 30's for proving that cancer cells only eat sugar. So you might want to add that to your list as well.

Re:evils of sugar (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 8 months ago | (#44536879)

of course, most the cells in the body run on sugar. try depriving your brain of sugar for a minute and see what happens. call the morgue first and reserve a slab

Re:evils of sugar (1)

tie_guy_matt (176397) | about 8 months ago | (#44536983)

I wouldn't say most of the cells in your body depend on sugar, but some need it. However we do not need to have blood sugar levels as high as most of the pre-diabetic people running around living off of the high sugar typical western diet. And in fact ketogenic diets (diets low in sugar and carbohydrates) do show promise in protecting against some forms of cancer.

Re: evils of sugar (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 8 months ago | (#44538615)

Some need glucose. Principally a small subset in the brain.
All others can get by on glucose or ketones (I.e. fat metabolism). If you are in ketosis, the liver is synthesizing glucose to the level needed by the brain while other tissues go into physiological insulin resistance to preserve the glucose for the brain. This is a good thing. You would be dead otherwise.

Re: evils of sugar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535875)

It's weird evolution would make something so poisonous and common in nature taste so good.

Perhaps we've misunderstood it somehow somewhere.

Re: evils of sugar (1)

tie_guy_matt (176397) | about 8 months ago | (#44537295)

There is some sugar in fruits. So there was likely a time when having seasonal fruit taste good was a good thing. However having tons of cheap refined white sugar around all year round is relatively new. Most antique sugar cabinets have locks on them. That is because sugar was rather expensive and the head of the house would only break it out for holidays and such. Of course now we get most of our sugar from high fructose corn syrup which wasn't even food before the 1970's.

Re: evils of sugar (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 8 months ago | (#44538727)

The theory I've heard is that it was eating fruit a ready way for our primitive ancestors to get certain nutrients, like vitamin C which can't be synthesized by humans and is not available in meat.
In fact, we need VitC to absorb iron.

So it tastes good because it was good for us.

Re:evils of sugar (2)

slew (2918) | about 8 months ago | (#44535877)

I've heard that sugar is acidic.

FWIW, pure sugar is not technically acidic (meaning it has no ionizable excess of H+ in solution). However, the way we metabolize sugar (citric acid cycle, fatty acid storage) creates acids in our bodies. The alkaline diet fad [wikipedia.org] that has been making the rounds has somehow created this misleading impression about sugar.

Re:evils of sugar (4, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 8 months ago | (#44536059)

Sugar is the most basic kind of energy source. It's extremely important to your body, but as with everything, there are limits on what intake is healthy. (As Stephen Fry once said [abitoffryandlaurie.co.uk], 'Well of course too much is bad for you, that's what "too much" means you blithering twat. If you had too much water it would be bad for you, wouldn't it?')

Don't worry about the dementia thing too much. While it's a very strong correlation, it only increases the risk of developing dementia to 120% of normal for nondiabetics and 140% of normal for diabetics, which is still only about 1-2% of the people in their study.

As for the other consequences, it may help to understand them a bit better:

Tooth decay is caused by sugar left on your teeth. You can consume a ton of sugar and never have any tooth issues if you brush aggressively. Cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth breaking down food left on your teeth, which causes them to release acidic byproducts. Starches like potatoes, corn, and bread are actually much more of a problem, however, and are the primary cause of cavities.

Gaining weight happens because the human body isn't prepared, evolutionarily, to regulate its own food intake very well. We have a high inclination toward absorbing and storing extra energy because that gives us the best chance of surviving a famine. Because sugar is the most basic kind of food, the body uses it as a clue to say "it's time to absorb nutrients!", hence sugary foods make you gain weight even faster. This is part of the normal purpose of the hormone insulin.

Diabetes isn't only caused by high sugar intake; it can be inherited too. Technically it's an inability to recognize sugar and absorb it, which (amongst other things) causes gradual starvation if not managed properly. Sugar causes it only if you consume a great deal for a long period of time, which makes your body start to ignore insulin. Diabetes can also be caused by pancreatic damage (type 1) or temporarily by pregnancy.

Acne is a weird issue; it's also caused by bacteria, in this case sitting on the skin. The immediate cause is a spike in testosterone, which can be induced by a number of sources, because it roughens up the surface of the skin. Sugar is one of those sources, but simply having overactive hormones as a teenager is probably a more dominant issue.

And as Slew said, sugar isn't acidic, it's just the breakdown of it that gets to be that way. This doesn't really have much of an effect on your body unless you're already suffering from acidosis (acidic blood), and you'd die very quickly if it stopped entirely, so don't worry about it.

Re:evils of sugar (2)

Popocatepetl (267000) | about 8 months ago | (#44536457)

Don't worry about the dementia thing too much. While it's a very strong correlation, it only increases the risk of developing dementia to 120% of normal for nondiabetics and 140% of normal for diabetics, which is still only about 1-2% of the people in their study.

About a quarter of the participants (524 of 2067) developed dementia over the course of the study. I'm not sure where you got the 1-2% figure. Perhaps you are referring to the p-values, but p indicates how likely it would be to observe the data if the null hypothesis were true.

Re:evils of sugar (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 8 months ago | (#44536663)

Ah, snap. Sorry. I was using the number of measurements. (I promise I know my basic stats, even if not how to read. It's my day job.)

Re:evils of sugar (2)

tie_guy_matt (176397) | about 8 months ago | (#44536897)

I don't agree. Sugary, at least dietary sugar, isn't needed by your body at all. Your body can convert fat to ketones which most cells can use instead of sugar. Your brain and other organs might need some sugar but your body can convert protien into sugar if it really needs to. So in conclusion:

If you do not eat any protien, you die.
If you don't eat any fat then you don't get any fat soluble vitamns or essential omega 3 fatty acids, and you die (its called rabbit starvation.)
If you don't eat any sugar (and restrict carbohydrates because your body will always convert carbs to sugars) then lets see. Um well your breath might smell of ketones. Umm well you might have trouble going to the bathroom since fiber is technically a carbohydrate (might want to still eat high fiber low carb veggies to prevernt that.) Other than that honestly most people just loose weight, lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, and generally feel better. Personally I lost ~50 lbs. Just saying.

Re:evils of sugar (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 8 months ago | (#44537139)

Admittedly that may not have been clear in my post. My point was that you shouldn't fear the molecule, that's all. You'll always be deriving energy from glycolysis, and it'll always be a more efficient energy source.

Re:evils of sugar (1)

mpe (36238) | about 8 months ago | (#44537369)

Sugar is the most basic kind of energy source. It's extremely important to your body, but as with everything, there are limits on what intake is healthy.

On the other hand the human body has a quite limited ability to store glucose and no ability to store fructose or galactose. With none of these being "essential nutrients" either.

Re:evils of sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536227)

Acidic foods cause faster aging, maybe?

Such as the amino-acids found in protein? Or Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), an essential anti-oxydant?

I think we can safely call hogwash on that one.

Re:evils of sugar (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44537469)

Sugar gets more evil every day. I've heard that sugar causes or is linked to:

  • tooth decay
  • weight problems
  • diabetes
  • acne
  • dementia

And, I've heard that sugar is acidic, but how and what that means other than that it's somehow bad I don't know. Acidic foods cause faster aging, maybe? Wish I'd known about the link to acne back in high school.

Sugar causes none of those things. The consumption of sugar, however, may be a different story. As for high school acne, sex hormones are the most likely cause of that, particularly for males.

Where have I heard this before? (5, Informative)

pellik (193063) | about 8 months ago | (#44535719)

Re:Where have I heard this before? (2)

toomanyairmiles (838715) | about 8 months ago | (#44536175)

There are already five forms of diabetes. Type 1 (early onset, no pancreatic function, incurable); Type 1.5 (Late onset, no pancreatic function, incurable); Pre Type 2 Diabetes (insulin resistance building, possibly curable); Type 2 (late onset, insulin resistance, some pancreatic function, incurable); and Gestational Diabetes (hormonal imbalance create insulin resistance, temporary). So this might be a sixth.

Re:Where have I heard this before? (3, Informative)

mpe (36238) | about 8 months ago | (#44536925)

There are already five forms of diabetes. Type 1 (early onset, no pancreatic function, incurable); Type 1.5 (Late onset, no pancreatic function, incurable); Pre Type 2 Diabetes (insulin resistance building, possibly curable); Type 2 (late onset, insulin resistance, some pancreatic function, incurable); and Gestational Diabetes (hormonal imbalance create insulin resistance, temporary).

Actually you have three groups.
Auto-immune: T1 and T1.5 (LADA).
Insulin resistant: Pre-Diabetes, T2 and Gestational Diabetes.
Mitochondial malfunction: Very misleadingly called Mature Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY). N.B. it is possible for young people, especially women with PCOS, to have insulin resistance diabetes.

Only insulin resistant diabetes can be reversed (cured). Only in some cases, the degree & length of time of the insulin resistance along with injury to beta cells and liver due to glucotoxicity being possible factors here.

Re:Where have I heard this before? (1)

toomanyairmiles (838715) | about 8 months ago | (#44537123)

I went for 'forms' rather than 'groups' because I thought it easier to understand and the distinction seems increasingly important to researchers, pharmacists, and patients. I'd classified MODY as Type 2, although looking back I probably shouldn't have. I'd probably also take back the use of 'cured', as the patients would have a normal range A1c but would still be considered diabetic by most Endocrinologists.

Re:Where have I heard this before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538235)

The earlier poster left out traumatic diabetes (associated with the surgical removal of the pancreas, such as pancreatic cancer patients), cystic fibrosis triggered Type 1 (because cystic fibrosis messes with *everything*), genetic abnormalities (such as excess X crhromosomes associated with klinefelder's syndrome, which can cause some very odd Type 1), and all the other potential causes. This is why the ADA gave up years ago and labeled them as "Type 1" for insulin dependent, and "Type 2" for non-insulin dependent.

And for curing Type 1, do take a look at Dr. Faustman's auto-immune work over at Mass. General Hospital, using the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis to trigger auto-immune changes that have been shown to *cure* Type 1 diabetes in lab animals.

Is this due to increased Vascular Dementia? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535729)

Vascular dementia is caused by the breakdown and rupture of small blood vessels in the brain.

High levels of serum glucose lead to high levels of damage in small blood vessels and the desctuction of 'Highly Vascularized Tissue'.

Chronic kidney disease is a typical outcome of high serum glucose.

Seems like there's a pattern here.

Re:Is this due to increased Vascular Dementia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537297)

I'm a 45 year type 1 diabetic. My mental alertness is *profoundly* affected by my glucose control, not merely hypoglycemia, but extended hyperglycemia affecting my focal length, my electrolytes due to excessive urination, my muscular endurance, and a dozen other minor factors all adding up to a noticeable deficit of mental capacity. I can certainly understand lower levels of hyperglycemia having mild, cumulative affects.

Re:Is this due to increased Vascular Dementia? (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 8 months ago | (#44537439)

Seems to make sense. I haven't known too many old people, but the ones who got dementia as they aged were also the ones with diabetes and kidney problems. There could also be a direct blood sugar to brain cell connection. Perhaps higher blood sugar makes the brain form connections differently, or somehow contributes to the plaque formations that sometimes come with dementia.

Brain diabetes (5, Informative)

DeathGrippe (2906227) | about 8 months ago | (#44535731)

This is particularly interesting because alzheimer's is now thought, by many researchers, to be a form of "brain diabetes."

There are clinical data which demonstrate that alzheimer's can be reversed to some extent with medium chain triglycerides, which are absorbed by cells directly and provide energy which isn't dependent on glucose uptake.

See: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/alzheimers-diabetes-brain [doctoroz.com] and http://w.numedica.net/literature/Reger%202004.pdf [numedica.net] for more info.

Re:Brain diabetes (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 8 months ago | (#44536359)

The MCTs are inherently ketogenic. The gut and liver separate them out from other fats and metabolize them right away, yielding ketones.

Given the ketogenic diets not using MCTs are effective in protecting against or reversing the effects of various brain disorders (epilepsy, Alzheimer's, parkinsons etc.) and given that we know some of the mechanisms through which ketones are neuroprotective, it's reasonable to presume it isn't the MCTs directly which help, it's the keytones that they promote.

If the above is true, then while MCTs may be fine, a proper ketogenic diet would be better, since it improves blood sugar control.

So quit eating vegetables and start eating lots of saturated fats, eggs and fatty meat if you don't want to go doolally in your old age.

Re:Brain diabetes (2, Funny)

pellik (193063) | about 8 months ago | (#44537701)

The MCTs are inherently ketogenic. The gut and liver separate them out from other fats and metabolize them right away, yielding ketones.

Given the ketogenic diets not using MCTs are effective in protecting against or reversing the effects of various brain disorders (epilepsy, Alzheimer's, parkinsons etc.) and given that we know some of the mechanisms through which ketones are neuroprotective, it's reasonable to presume it isn't the MCTs directly which help, it's the keytones that they promote.

If the above is true, then while MCTs may be fine, a proper ketogenic diet would be better, since it improves blood sugar control.

So quit eating vegetables and start eating lots of saturated fats, eggs and fatty meat if you don't want to go doolally in your old age.

Yes, a diet very high in saturated fats will drastically reduce your chances of experience this or any other disease typically associated with old age.

bugger (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44535785)

Dam looks like im screwed ....anon because i forgot my logon :(

Re:bugger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536909)

Nonsense, just had a candy bar, life is good, forgot what I was going to say, Oh' well, fuck it.

So imbalanced body chemistry leads to problems? (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 8 months ago | (#44536137)

Okay, so perhaps it is over-simplifying the over-all issue and doesn't recognize the increased understanding of what affects what in what ways. It's important, so I'm not going to discount that value.

But the short of it is always this:

1. The body is a chemical machine. It needs good balance. When people screw with it too much beyond its tollerance, it's bad. We know this already. We hear "balanced diet" all the time. Trouble is, "balanced diets" are mostly a lie and because of human diversity, what is balanced for one person isn't balanced for another.
2. People are constantly trying to cut the head off of the body when it comes to illness. If it's "mental illness" they want to blame something mental. If it's something else, they want to blame the body in some way. It's as if this "blood brain barrier" is a thing that people believe contains the soul and spirit of a person. "Magic" right?

It's just not like that. We're all machines through and through. We know chemicals can affect our mood, our judgement, our response time, out ability to think clearly and some would say even enhance our thinking on some ways (I disagree, but okay...) We know we can affect our minds with chemicals and yet we STILL want to believe the mind is separate from the body.

Everyone needs to stop thinking this. Everyone. Laymen, Medical professionals, Police, Justice, Welfare services, Employers and more. Just Everyone.

I see this as completely obvious. Other people still cling to their ideas which are simply and demonstrably wrong.

Re:So imbalanced body chemistry leads to problems? (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 8 months ago | (#44536373)

You are correct. We are a bag of chemical reactions and they all interact. The brain is no exception, particularly when it comes to the metabolism.

Re:So imbalanced body chemistry leads to problems? (1)

mpe (36238) | about 8 months ago | (#44537337)

1. The body is a chemical machine. It needs good balance. When people screw with it too much beyond its tollerance, it's bad. We know this already. We hear "balanced diet" all the time. Trouble is, "balanced diets" are mostly a lie and because of human diversity, what is balanced for one person isn't balanced for another.

There is an older phrase "one man's meat is another man's poison". Often a "one size fits all" approach appears in government sponsored dietary advice. (Even such obvious daftness as telling diabetics to eat huge amounts of glucose.)

Re:So imbalanced body chemistry leads to problems? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537457)

Unfortunately, my chemicals tell me that flying spaghetti monster is real. Not as an imaginary or mythical creature, but an actual floating blog of spaghetti that controls the whole world.

Another illness that comes from unhealthy diet (2)

satuon (1822492) | about 8 months ago | (#44536185)

I wonder how many of the 'stress'-related and weird 'genetic' illnesses just come down to decades of bad diet? I suspect that diet is more important than stress or physical exercise.

Re:Another illness that comes from unhealthy diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536559)

I wonder how many of the 'stress'-related and weird 'genetic' illnesses just come down to decades of bad diet? I suspect that diet is more important than stress or physical exercise.

Yes, not consuming poison on a continual daily basis is more important than exercise.

This wouldn't surprise most diabetics (1)

toomanyairmiles (838715) | about 8 months ago | (#44536225)

I was an undiagnosed Type 2 for a very long time, and since diagnoses it's become clear to me that brain function and mood are very closely tied to my blood sugar levels.

Undiagnosed I would experience bouts of temper or melancholy that came from nowhere in particular, and these have been mostly eliminated since I started to medicate.

When sugars a low it's very hard to think at all, you can't concentrate, and it's hard to coordinate movement. Those that think lows can be cured by simply eating chocolate haven't drunk 10 pints of beer and then tried to find a source of sugar in a three bedroom house!

When sugars are high you can be hyper for a time, before you begin to lose control of your body temperature and the slightest thing can send you into a rage.

Uncontrollable rage is very common indeed in teenage diabetics.

House is on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536411)

That guy knows every ting and I mean every ting. Eddie too.

hello "scientific" minds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44536575)

I highly suggest you all read Gary Taubes' book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and then come to your own conclusions regarding what is thought to be common sense when it comes to nutrition. It might open your eyes in a dramatic fashion, as it did mine.

full article paywalled (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537159)

Stop. Linking. To. Paywalled. Articles. If a site wants to put its content behind a paywall, let it rot there. Link only to openly accessible information.

O/T - this article is another illustration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537411)

of how good it would be to have research results available to the public. I'd really like to read this study, as it could apply to my family. It might help me support different (probably better) medical treatment for two of them, with benefits for all, from individual to societal levels. Instead, paywall.

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