In this post I attempt to summarize some key points from a talk (starting at 40:37) by Robert H. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at University of California San Francisco titled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. I also add some extra points or links. You can watch the one hour and thirty minutes talk at the end of this post.
At 13:50 the professor explains to the audience that coke [and pepsi] contains salt, a lot of it but you cannot taste it because the sweet taste of sugar is hiding it. Why salt? It makes you thirsty! And this makes you “consume” more.
At 40:37 he says that fructose was added for
- palatability (of low-fat processed food)
- as a browning agent
Fructose was added because when food was fat reduced, it tasted like cardboard (carbohydrates!).
it works on your stake on your grill it works in your arteries the same way
Fructose is not glucose
- Fructose is 7 times more likely than glucose to [do that browning reaction (see quote above]
Fructose does not suppress “ghrelin”, the hunger hormone
- Acute fructose does not stimulate insulin (and hence “leptin”) hence your brain doesn’t see that you ate something hence you eat more
- Chronic fructose expose promotes the Metabolic syndrome
What is the metabolic syndrome you say?
Metabolic syndrome (WebMD, Wikipedia), also known as metabolic syndrome X is a collection of diseases and symptoms. It consists of the combination of obsesity (particularly central obsesity, that is abdominal fat), diabetes, lipid problems, hypertension, cardiovascular disease.
In other words
Moreover, at at 1:05:02 he says:
a sugar diet is a high fat diet
fructose -> lipid droplet of nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis -> higher insulin
Add to this
JNK1 -> pSer-IRS-1 (which is inactive) -> liver insulin resistance -> pancreas generates more insulin -> higher bp -> more fat making -> more energy goes to fat cell (obesity) -> less well brain can see leptin -> more consumption
and the cycle continues.
Chronic fructose exposure shares 8 symptoms with chronic ethanol (ie; alcohol) exposure (because sugar & ethanol are the same)! (1:09:14)
Why is exercise good?
- it improves skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity
- it reduces stress, and resultant cortisol release
- it makes the TCA cycle run faster, and detoxifies fructose, improving hepatic insulin sensitivity (ie; higher metabolism)
At 1:15:22 he mentions the paleolithic diet and says that it cures diabetes II (in 1 week) because they’re getting 300-500g of fiber from raw food.
Even baby food contains a high percent of sugar and corn syrup! (1:19:27)
Fructose is a chronic hepatotoxin (it’s “alcohol without the buzz”)
The full talk by Robert H. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at University of California San Francisco followed by the slides:
I book referenced by Professor Robert and that I highly recommend is Pure, White and Deadly by John Yudkin. Hopefully, I will write a post on the book in the future.
SweetSurprise.com -The Facts about High Fructose Corn Syrup
Toward a Unifying Hypothesis of Metabolic Syndrome, PEDIATRICS Vol. 129 No. 3 March 1, 2012, pp. 557 -570, doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2912