Toxic Sugar and Health

by Steven Carney on August 9, 2012

On August 5, 2012, 60 Minutes aired a powerful report about sugar, originally broadcast last spring. It’s so significant (I placed the original link in the Health News section last spring), I decided to build a post around it!

The report covers important aspects of sugar: it’s toxicity, its effects on weight, health and disease, and its addictive qualities (similar to cocaine). The report busts some important myths!

Initially, they talk to Dr. Lustig, an endocrinologist. He says that 75% of the diseases that kill us are preventable (I’ve often used 70% in my posts and articles so we are close). They discuss our average consumption of 130 pounds (yes pounds) of sugar every year. Other estimates say we eat 150 pounds annually. Either amount is far too high!

In the segment, Dr. Lustig and other researchers mention various health problems and diseases connected to sugar consumption:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High BP/hypertension
  • Heart Disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cancers
  • Addiction

A researcher in the segment agrees with things I’ve said for a long time, that not all calories are equal. Dr. Stanhope is running a study on sugar and the results already indicate that calories from sugar and sweeteners are not the same as other calories. Her study shows that HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) causes blood glucose and small, dense LDL cholesterol particles to rise significantly. Those LDL particles are more prone to cause inflammation, atherosclerosis and heart attacks.

Dr. Lustig points out that most doctors don’t know that sugar increases small, dense LDL and heart disease, something I’ve encountered personally. (I’ve raised the issue of sugar and refined carbs, and their significant contribution to high triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and heart disease with multiple doctors and researchers for years. Most talked down to me, even mocked me, saying it wasn’t proven. They ignore common sense and reason to defend out-of-date beliefs!)

Then, a Lewis Cantley mentions how many cancers, including breast and colon cancer, spread because of higher sugar and insulin levels, something else I’ve said before.

Then, Eric Stice, a neuroscientist discusses aspects of addiction and the release of dopamine (a feel good neurotransmitter) after eating sugar. He uses MRI scans to document how the brain responds to sugar. Dr. Gupta volunteers to be a test subject. Quickly, as Dr. Gupta sips a small amount of soda, his brain lights up. Dopamine is being released, creating feel-good sensations in the brain, similar to drugs or alcohol. It’s very fast, almost instantaneous!

They also discuss how consuming sugar over time can build up a tolerance, like other drugs, meaning you feel the effects less and crave more sugar to get your! Daily sugar intake can change your brain in bad ways, and it can turn you into an addict, something more health experts are now saying!

Dr. Lustig finally says we need to limit sugar consumption to a single soda’s worth (or 150 calories) per day (I think it needs to be lower still)! He also thinks we need to limit/regulate sugar like we do alcohol or tobacco. I think if people become more educated, they will make better choices and move away from sugar and feel better in a few days.

As a health coach, I can help you make improvements in your nutrition and activity, something that is not easy to do on your own. I can help you become more healthy and avoid the kinds of problems that sugar and other unhealthy foods cause, including many chronic health problems. I will also help you cut cravings for those foods, meaning you will not be held hostage to bad habits after a week or two! I can help you live a longer, healthier life!

Questions or comments? Drop me a line or comment below post.

Helpful links:

Segment video (sorry for the ads!):;storyMediaBox

Written summary of segment if you prefer text:;cbsCarousel

I found this study on 1/2/13 and decided to add it:

This link is to part 1 of a video series by Dr. Lustig about obesity and sugar (added 1/10/13):

I found this study on 5/15/13 showing that soda and sugary beverages increase the risk for kidney stones:

A great video showing how carbs and glucose are the main food for cancer growth survival:

This new research from June, 2013 supports the toxic, even deadly nature of sugar on the heart:

A great reminder about John Yudkin and his predictions that sugar was a cause of major disease in the 1970s:

New info about blood sugar and brain size from Dr. Perlmutter:

© 2012 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now


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Steven Carney May 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Thanks for your thoughts! I’m working on a post for next week!

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