In his groundbreaking article, “Is Sugar Toxic?”, Gary Taub cites Robert Lustig’s incredibly popular YouTube lecture (1,000,000 views and counting) “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” in first debunking the myth that high fructose corn syrup is a healthy alternative to processed sugar (the two are identical) and going all the way to say that sugar in whatever form is in fact toxic. It’s well known that sugar can lead to diabetes, heart disease and obesity — and has been shown to actually accelerate cancers. But the question of why this happens is at the heart of the debate. Recent research points to something called “metabolic syndrome” which leads to “insulin-resistance”. Consumption of sugar can make your body resistant and even immune to insulin, which itself is a hormone the body uses to regulate blood sugar levels. Besides the laboratory research evidence, Taub and Lustig look to anecdotal evidence through comparing western cultures to eastern cultures. Even though eastern cultures take in a lot of carbohydrates, their incidence of diabetes is much lower. The difference is that eastern cultures eat less sugar. A lot less. So it is the fructose inherent to sugar-only and not present in carbohydrates that is the culprit.
The bottom line? Sugar doesn’t just make you gain weight. It might also kill you. Much more research is underway all over the world. In the meantime we all have to be vigilant about our sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) consumption.
Here is a link to Gary Taub’s article.