Is Sugar a Food or a Poison
It is a known fact that plain water can keep you alive for quite some time. Sugar and water can kill you. “Human subjects were unable to subsist on a diet of sugar.”
This incident occurred when a vessel carrying a cargo of sugar was shipwrecked in 1793. The five surviving sailors were finally rescued after being marooned for nine days. They were in a wasted condition due to starvation, having consumed nothing but sugar and rum.
The eminent French physiologist F. Magendie was inspired by that incident to conduct a series of experiments with animals, the results of which he published in 1816. In the experiments, he fed dogs a diet of sugar or olive oil and water. All the dogs wasted and died.1
The shipwrecked sailors and the French physiologist’s experimental dogs proved the same point. As a steady diet, sugar is worse than nothing. Plain water can keep you alive for quite some time. Sugar and water can kill you. Humans [and animals] are “unable to subsist on a diet of sugar”.2
Scientific evidence in many medical journals shows that sugar can ruin your health. Do you have any of the following symptoms? Do you fall asleep after meals; have allergies, gas, and bloating, extended stomach after meals, joint pains, headaches, chronic fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, over weight, skin problems, high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, hypoglycaemia, osteoporosis, gallstones, kidney stones, headaches, yeast infections, and cataracts or other symptoms? These all can be signs of a sugar problem.
It has been proven scientifically that:
• sugar is a major factor in dental decay
• sugar in a person’s diet does cause overweight
• removal of sugar from diets has cured symptoms of crippling, worldwide diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart illnesses.
Historical Research Proves Sugars’ Harmful Effects
Sir Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin, noticed in 1929 in Panama that, among sugar plantation owners who ate large amounts of their refined stuff, diabetes was common. Among native cane-cutters, who only got to chew the raw cane, he saw no diabetes.
In the 1930s, a research dentist from Cleveland, Ohio, Dr Weston A. Price travelled all over the world-from the lands of the Eskimos to the South Sea Islands, from Africa to New Zealand. His Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects,3 which is illustrated with hundreds of photographs, was first published in 1939.
Dr Price took the whole world as his laboratory. His devastating conclusion, recorded in horrifying detail in area after area, was simple. People who live under so-called backward primitive conditions had excellent teeth and wonderful general health. They ate natural, unrefined food from their own locale. As soon as refined, sugared foods were imported as a result of contact with “civilisation”, physical degeneration began in a way that was definitely observable within a single generation.
Refined Sugar is Damaging to the Body!
Refined sugar is lethal when ingested by humans because it provides empty calories. In addition, sugar is worse than nothing because it drains and leeches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand it makes on one’s entire system to digest, detoxify and eliminate from the body.
One of sugar’s major drawbacks is that it raises the insulin level, which inhibits the release of growth hormones, which in turn depresses the immune system. This is not something you want to take place if you want to avoid disease.
An influx of sugar into the bloodstream upsets the body’s blood-sugar balance, triggering the release of insulin, which the body uses to keep blood-sugar at a constant and safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat, so that when you eat sweets high in sugar, you’re making way for rapid weight gain and elevated triglyceride levels, both of which have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Complex carbohydrates tend to be absorbed more slowly, lessening the impact on blood-sugar levels.
Sugar taken every day produces a continuously over-acid condition and more and more minerals are required from deep in the body in the attempt to bring the pH of the body back in balance. As a last resort, in order to protect the blood, so much calcium is taken from the bones and teeth leading to osteoporosis.
Excess sugar affects every organ in the body. Initially, it is stored in the liver in the form of glucose (glycogen). Since the liver’s capacity is limited, a daily intake of refined sugar (above the required amount of natural sugar) soon makes the liver expand like a balloon. When the liver is filled to its maximum capacity, the excess glycogen is returned to the blood in the form of fatty acids. These are taken to every part of the body and stored in the most inactive areas: the belly, the buttocks, the breasts and the thighs.
When these comparatively harmless places are completely filled, fatty acids are then taken distributed among active organs, such as the heart and kidneys. These organs start to slow down, and their tissues degenerate and turn to fat. Due to the reduced ability of these organs, an abnormal blood pressure is created.
Problems Associated With Sugar Intake
Refined sugar can invade the lymphatic and circulatory systems, changing the quality of the red blood cells. The immune system is affected, as the body becomes limited, so we cannot respond optimally to attacks whether it is mosquitoes or microbes. Other health problems that can be caused by sugar include:
• Sugar can suppress the immune system
• Sugar can upset the body’s mineral balance
• Hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children
• Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides
• Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children
• Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs)
• Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs)
• Sugar can cause hypoglycemia
• Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection
• Sugar can cause kidney damage
• Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease
• Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency
• Sugar can cause copper deficiency
• Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium
• Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose
• Sugar can promote tooth decay
• Sugar can produce an acidic stomach
• Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children
• Sugar can lead to periodontal disease
• Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair
• Sugar can increase total cholesterol
• Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity
• High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
• Sugar can contribute to diabetes
• Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis
• Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity
• Sugar leads to decreased glucose tolerance
• Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease
• Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure
• Sugar causes food allergies
• Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
• Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy
• Sugar can contribute to eczema in children
• Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage
• Sugar can cause atherosclerosis
• Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries
• Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver
• Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver
• Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney
• Sugar can cause depression
• Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention
• Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance
• Sugar can cause hypertension
• Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines
• Increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can deter clear thinking
• Increase blood platelet adhesiveness which increases risk of blood clots and strokes
• Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets
• Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon
Sugar and Its Effects on Children
Lifetime dietary habits are formed in infancy, so limiting the intake of sweets is of major importance. Blood sugar during infancy is less stable than later in childhood; thus babies are more susceptible to foods that rapidly raise and lower blood sugar. Infant failure-to-thrive syndrome has been correlated with impaired carbohydrate metabolism, and specifically sucrose malabsorption. Some babies and young children develop chronic colic, cramping and diarrhea from eating sugar. This has been reported in medical literature for more than twenty years.
Learning problems, exaggerated hyperactivity, and moodiness in children have all been linked to a high-sugar diet. Psychologists have observed decreased performance and increased inappropriate behaviour following sugar intake. For certain children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), these effects can be more extreme. Researchers have also found that decreasing sugar decreased socially inappropriate behaviour.
The long-term effects of a sweet diet may actually be more severe than the immediate concerns. The habits we establish when we are young set the stage for lifetime patterns. A diet of empty calories may be a factor in frequent infections and failure to thrive. Extensive childhood dental cavities may result in teeth damaged beyond repair as an adult.
Hypoglycemia in youth may result in recurring depression or alcoholism later in life. Chronic candida (yeast) infections, resulting from the frequent intake of sweets and the use of antibiotics, may set the stage for a lifetime of digestive and energy problems. Overweight children may become overweight adults, with the attendant increased risks for diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Decreasing Sugar in Our Diet
Reducing sweeteners in our diet is a positive step that each one of us can take. It requires an effort, but reducing our dietary load of sugar and sweeteners is of key importance for our health and our children’s health.
Sugar is added to different foods under many different names, as shown below:
Sugar Substances Added To Foods
High-fructose corn syrup
Avoid Sugar Foods and Snacks
Jams & jellies
Avoid Hidden Sugar in Foods
Although sugar addiction is common, sugar withdrawal is usually physically mild, with periodic strong cravings. Emotional attachments and withdrawals may be more pronounced. For those who are sensitive to refined sugar or sweeteners, or who consume them in large amounts various symptoms of abuse and withdrawal may occur. Some of these symptoms include fatigue, anxiety and irritability, depression and detachment, rapid heart rate and palpitations, and poor sleep. Most symptoms if they do occur, last only a few days.
Most people who have kicked the sugar habit find that they no longer tolerate sugar very well.
A diet that is rich in whole grains and other complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and protein foods can also help stabilize blood sugar and minimize the desire for sugar. There are many people who are protein-deficient that seem to crave sugars and carbohydrate foods.
Conversely, eating a diet that focuses on protein and vegetables is a good way to minimize sugar cravings. If you do not tolerate sugars and sweet foods well, then few fruits should be eaten and fruit juice avoided.
Habits can be changed. We can change what we eat, how we eat, and when we eat. We can shed addictions to sugar or other specific foods. We can gain new attractions to more wholesome foods, and lose weight, allowing our body to find its more optimal shape and metabolism. Any change, however, does require motivation and time to allow for physiological readjustment and even withdrawal to take place, this usually takes at least a few weeks.
If you are concerned about whether you are diabetic or not, there is a simple self-test kit that you can use as an initial screening test while waiting to see your health practitioner for further testing and advice. This home health test is to detect the presence of glucose (sugar) in the urine – at an early stage before symptoms develop.
There are also a number of nutritional supplements and herbs that can be used to help with sugar addictions such as:
• Chromium is good to take because it enhances the action of insulin.
• B-Complex vitamin supplement. With extra B1, B3, B5, B6, B12 and pantothenic acid. Has a stabilizing effect on the nerves and blood sugar.
• Vitamin C for stress, either taken as a powder, or as tablets.
• Multi-minerals containing calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, iodine, chromium and zinc.
• Vanadyl sulfate, a trace element that mimics insulin, has been found to restore elevated blood glucose to normal in diabetic animals. In chemically induced Type II diabetes in rats, vanadyl sulfate lowered the insulin requirement by up to 75%.
Vanadyl sulfate can reverse diabetes in rats for up to 20 weeks after supplementation ceases. Short-term treatment with vanadium, prior to and for a two-week period following the induction of diabetes, eliminated hyperglycemia in rats, even after withdrawal from treatment. The researchers stated, ‘This property of vanadium would appear to be useful in the treatment of prediabetic and newly diagnosed patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In humans with Type II diabetes, low doses of vanadyl sulfate increased insulin-mediated glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis, and suppressed endogenous glucose production. This resulted in decreased lipid oxidation rates and reduced plasma free fatty acid concentrations.
• Essential fatty acids Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s.
• Chlorella is the world’s richest natural source of Chlorophyll.
• GluControl™ is a clinically formulated blend of nutrients designed to be used along with a balanced diet to support healthy blood sugar levels. Both the combination and form of nutrients make GluControl uniquely better. Vitamin C (fat and water soluble forms); natural vitamin E (both d-alpha and mixed tocopherol); N-acetyl-cysteine, the ‘ready-to-work’ form of the amino acid cysteine and the proven plant favorite, quercetin, provide widespread cellular protection. These antioxidant nutrients protect healthy blood vessels and promote circulation and capillary integrity. The standardized herbal extracts of cinnamon (Cinnulin PF®), bitter melon and goats rue, help improve and stabilize metabolic balance. These herbs have been used for centuries and, more recently, boast positive results in clinical research trials. And vanadium, from vanadyl sulfate, continues to be investigated for its metabolic role as a trace mineral.
• Optimum D provides antioxidant protection, circulatory support and healthy cellular integrity and cellular function, which are all necessary to promote and maintain optimal health in people who manage ongoing blood sugar concerns. This multinutrient formula is specially formulated to provide good nutritional support along with a healthy diet. The basic nutrition is here including hearty amounts of vitamins C, D and E the beneficial non-flushing form of niacin, lipoic acid and two researched forms of chromium. But that’s not all. What makes Optimum D even more unique is the inclusion of three standardized herbs – bitter melon cinnamon root (cassia) and gymnema sylvestra – each identified in the scientific literature for their effectiveness
• The spice cinnamon improves blood glucose and reduces triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL, the bad cholesterol, in patients with type 2 diabetes according to a recent study in Diabetes Care.
• Gymnema sylvestre, known as the “sugar destroyer”, is showing up in more and more over the counter weight loss products and blood sugar balancing formulas. The main focus of gymnema research is blood sugar regulation and glucose metabolism. It has been used in India for treatment of diabetes for about 2000 years. Today in India it is being used to treat primarily type II diabetes and type I as well. The herb has shown to reduce blood sugar, glycosylated haemoglobin and glycosylated plasma proteins when used for 18-20 months. The effect is gradual rather than immediate with conventional drugs. The active components responsible for lowering glucose are the gymnemic acids. It is also said that the herb reduces cravings for sugars. Some believe that the sugar taste blocking feature has a factor in not only the reduction in cravings, but the hypoglycemic reactions as well.
The good news is that more and more people are choosing natural foods and losing their tastes for unnatural, oversweetened, salty, greasy, meaty foods. Preparing simpler meals with simpler foods in modest quantities spread out through the day is a healthful way of eating that has come back into vogue.
STEVIA is a good, healthy sweetener that is an alternative to sugar.
References and Bibliography
1. McCollum, Elmer Verner, A History of Nutrition: The Sequence of Ideas in Nutritional Investigation, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1957, p. 88.
2. Op. cit., p. 87.
3. Price, Weston A., Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects, The American Academy of Applied Nutrition, California, 1939, 1948.
Dr. George J Georgiou, Ph.D.,DSc (AM).,N.D.,MSc,BSc
Holistic Medicine Practitioner