- “In May 2009, endocrinologist Robert Lustig delivered a speech entitled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” Later that year his speech hit YouTube, went viral and caused a stir in the nutritional and health world concerning sugar, especially fructose. In his speech, Dr. Lustig associated fructose intake with weight gain, non-alcohol fatty liver disease (NAFLD), increased appetite, and insulin resistance. From his speech millions of people became convinced that the fruit sugar fructose was a “poison” and that it was just as damaging to the body and liver as alcohol.
The truth is normal fructose consumption (10 percent of calories) in humans has very little to do with weight gain, fatty liver disease, increased appetite, and insulin resistance. For fructose to be attributed to weight gain, it would have to be converted to fat via de novo lipogenesis (DNL) at a high level. DNL is the process by which the liver converts carbohydrates to fat. DNL is very low in humans. In fact, some research studies say the DNL of fructose in humans is only 2 percent.
In addition, Dr. Lustig conducts research on mice, not humans. Mice convert sugar to fat (DNL) quite easily: About 50 percent is converted—far more than the 2 percent in humans. Furthermore, the mice in studies were ingesting diets with upward of 60 percent of their total calories coming from fructose. You and I would need to ingest 5 liters of soda to get the same effect—not very realistic.
Research on fructose actually shows it is far more thermogenic (heat producing) than glucose. Therefore, if people on a high-fructose diet are gaining weight, it may be due to the increase in overall calories and not the ingestion of fructose itself.
Additional research studies on fructose have also shown:
• Fructose helps detox the liver from alcohol 80% faster.
• Fructose increases CO2 and energy production.
• Fructose has little effect on increasing blood sugar and
insulin levels. Increased insulin is needed for increased fat storage. Thus, ingestion of fructose has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
• Fructose can enter the cell without the assistance of insulin and can be used as energy. This makes fructose an ideal food for diabetics.
• Fructose can improve the retention of magnesium and other vital nutrients.
As you can see fructose, is not the “poison” Dr. Lustig has made it out to be. Dr. Lustig’s research only proves high consumption of fructose in mice can have negative health effects, which is really not applicable to you and me. For humans, a diet containing fructose has shown to improve metabolic rate, help detox the liver, increase insulin sensitivity, and improve retention of vital nutrients. From this we can conclude fructose is vital to a healthy diet, not toxic.” Kate Deering
- “When we talk about increasing the metabolic rate, and the benefits it produces, we are comparing the rate of metabolism in the presence of thyroid, sugar, salt, and adequate protein to the “normal” diet, containing smaller amounts of those “stimulating” substances. It would be more accurate if we would speak of the suppressive nature of the habitual diet, in relation to the more optimal diet, which provides more energy for work and adaptation, while minimizing the toxic effects of free radicals.
Feeding animals a normal diet with the addition of Coca-Cola, or with a similar amount of sucrose, has been found to let them increase their calorie intake by 50% without increasing their weight gain (Bukowiecki, et al., 1983). Although plain sucrose can alleviate the metabolic suppression of an average diet, the effect of sugars in the diet is much more likely to be healthful in the long run when they are associated with an abundance of minerals, as in milk and fruit, which provide potassium and calcium and other protective nutrients.” Raymond Peat, PhD, Glucose and sucrose for diabetes Glucose and sucrose for diabetes