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The Effects of Fructose on us

Categories: General | Author: David O'Leary | Posted: 8/6/2010 | Views: 7227
My brother Matt wrote the following and I think it is an important thing to pass on:

Anyone who cares about their health should watch the following video, made by a scientist at the University of California, San Francisco:

What you will learn includes:

What is fructose? Fructose is a sugar that comprises about 50% of table sugar (sucrose) and about 50% of high fructose corn syrup; it naturally occurs in cane sugar and in fruits; the fructose in high fructose corn syrup results from an enzymatic (chemical) conversion of glucose into fructose.

How about glucose? The other sugar in these sweeteners is glucose; glucose, which is available in many carbohydrates not containing fructose, is the energy of life – our bodies need it to live; glucose is readily used by just about any cell in our bodies and brains to create energy; in fact, our brains can only generate energy with glucose (as opposed to fat that other cells can use)

A calorie is not a calorie: Fructose is not metabolized like glucose – it is not the energy of life:
  • If you eat 100 grams of glucose (i.e. pasta), 80 grams are metabolized by the cells of our bodies (i.e. muscle and immune system cells) which are fed from the blood stream; only 20 grams reach the liver, and 90+% of that is converted to the storage form of glucose and is stored in the liver for later use; the remainder of these 100 grams reach the mitochondria of the liver cells where a portion of those a burned for energy and a portion converted into fat (de novo lipogenesis), less than 1% of the original 100 grams.
  • If you eat 100 grams of sucrose (table sugar), the 50 grams of glucose are metabolized as described above; however, fructose is different – none of the 50 grams of fructose are metabolized by the cells of our bodies; 50 grams reach the liver for processing; none of these grams are converted into a storage form of the sugar; instead, all of these grams are left to wreak havoc inside our liver cells in ways described in the video; they ultimately reach the mitochondria of the liver cells, where some grams are burned for energy but 30% of the sucrose is converted into fat – versus less than 1% of the glucose.
  • The ‘low-fat’ diet advocated since the early 1980’s by the health authorities, theoretically to reduce cardiovascular disease, resulted in food manufacturers removing fat from their processed foods, which required they add lots of sugar / high fructose corn sugar to these products which would otherwise taste like cardboard; this dramatically increased our fructose consumption, which ironically resulted in many of us getting fat (think about the timing of the obesity epidemic), since 30% of fructose grams are converted to fat, and suffering from increased cardiovascular disease risk, as described in the video.

Fructose and metabolic syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a term for the tendency for the following conditions to co-occur: obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and lipid dysfunction; fructose consumption, through mechanisms in the liver described in the video, leads directly to all aspects of metabolic syndrome.

Fructose is metabolized like ethanol (except in the brain): Fructose, with one major exception (ethanol crosses the blood / brain barrier and causes the well known acute effects of alcohol), is metabolized in almost an identical fashion to ethanol (alcohol) –over 80% of the alcohol consumed is metabolized in the liver, none is stored, the rest is left to wreak havoc inside the cell and ultimately be burned or converted to fat;  alcohol is regulated because of its acute toxicity, not because of the chronic toxicity it shares with fructose;

Fructose is a poison, when consumed naked of the antidote: What do you call a substance that when ingested provides no benefits to our bodies, is metabolized entirely by our livers (our detoxifying organ), and results in systemic dysfunction that kills millions of us? Poison. Fructose is a poison, when processed. When fructose is present in nature, the antidote is present – the fiber in the fruit greatly outweighs the fructose and buffers its effects. When fructose is processed into sodas, sports drinks, fruit juices, cookies, breads etc… and stripped of the fiber of the fruit, then the poison becomes effective because the antidote has been removed.

What should you do about fructose? The most important part of any poison is the dosage; our bodies (primarily our livers) can handle poisons if the dosages are low enough; a 64 ounce Big Gulp provides a very  large dosage when consumed every day; focus on reducing the dosage of this poison that permeates our world; drink 8 ounce servings of soda when you do, or stop drinking them; eat whole foods instead of processed foods, particularly the ones marketed as ‘low-fat’, that almost all contain added sugar or high fructose corn syrup; exercise regularly – among other benefits, it makes our body burn more fructose in the mitochondria instead of converting it to fat; you know what you need to do, and take the time to watch the video which will help you remember what you need to do.

Matt O’Leary
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