Refined Sugar and Its Effects on Mortality, the Brain, Cancer, Hormones, & More

Posted on March 18th 2017 (about 2 years)

The dual nature of sugar

Sugars are natural components of our diets. Found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, the body converts sugars into glucose and uses them for energy. In moderation, they provide essential calories.

Refined sugar, however, is a highly processed product derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. Typically found as sucrose – the combination of glucose and fructose – the body metabolizes refined sugar rapidly, causing insulin and blood sugar levels to skyrocket.

Nearly 75 percent of adults in the US get approximately one-tenth of their daily calories from added, refined sugar. An amazing 10 percent of adults get nearly one-fourth of their calories from refined sugar!

Refined sugar affects many of the body’s organs and systems

Refined sugar has far-reaching effects of many of the body’s organs and systems. Whereas its link to diabetes is well known, what is likely underappreciated is that refined sugar may be linked to as many as 200,000 deaths worldwide each year from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer combined.

Refined sugar also affects the brain. It impairs the brain’s ability to heal after trauma, inhibits memory formation and retention, and induces structural changes in the brain similar to those caused by amphetamine, cocaine, and nicotine – powerful stimulant drugs.

Perhaps one of the most disturbing – and long-term – effects of refined sugar on the body is observed at the DNA level. Sugar causes the shortening of the telomeres, accelerating the aging process.

Reducing sugar intake can have profound, immediate effects

Studies in which refined sugar is removed from the diet have demonstrated the remarkable resiliency of the human body. Within days of eliminating refined sugar, biomarkers of inflammation decrease markedly, and blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels improve. Risk of type 2 diabetes drops by nearly 25 percent.

Clearly, refined sugar consumption is a public health problem with global, lasting effects. In this episode, Rhonda presents the realities of what the science says surrounding the consumption of refined sugar.

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