A powerful few want to say it isn’t so: how can our nation’s throbbing sugar tooth have anything to do with metabolic syndrome?
To deny the undeniable link between sugar and metabolic syndrome is what the sugar lobby gets paid for. Since certain clinical trials have not been conducted showing a direct causation between sugar intake and the causes of metabolic disease, the sugar lobby argues:
In a scathing report about the lack of funding for research to prove that sugar and metabolic syndrome are linked beyond a reasonable doubt, a researcher from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine shows they already are.
In a paper published in the journal Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, scientist Kimber Stanhope shows how previous studies prove men and women who consume excess sugar also consume more energy. Think of any drug where dependence goes up. You just need more and more once you jump aboard the sugar train, and soon you’re obese.
Obesity of course, leads to high blood pressure, which leads to cardiovascular problems and even death. Sugar also leads to heightened inflammation in the body.
Metabolic syndrome means you have at least two of various conditions: High blood pressure, extra-large waistline, diabetes, low HDL or “good” cholesterol, and high triglycerides.
Why Won’t Anyone Fund Trials Proving Sugar Dangers?
Stanhope’s paper, “Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy,” blasts funders of medical research. Stanhope reports that proposals for this science score low on NIH funding assessments.
The other hurdle is funding. Large-scale clinical trials proving sugar consumption and weight gain are positively cause and effect, independent of other health problems a person may have, likely will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“When we have obtained the definitive evidence that shows that sugar at commonly consumed levels is an independent and modifiable risk factors for metabolic disease; when we have the definitive evidence that shows that consumption of sugar promotes weight and body fat gain; possibly concerns about the health of our children and the health care costs burden on society will take precedence.”
Sugar and Metabolic Syndrome: The Undeniable Link Explained
Stanhope makes persuasive arguments that these expensive, large-scale clinical trials are all that’s still needed to show how sugar can be a dangerous public health hazard like tobacco.
“There is evidence to suggest that diets high in added sugar promote the development of metabolic disease both directly and indirectly,” Stanhope writes. “Directly, the fructose component in sugar causes dysregulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Indirectly, sugar promotes positive energy balance, thus body weight and fat gain, which also cause dysregulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.
“Due to the direct and indirect pathway, we have suggested that risk for metabolic disease is exacerbated when added sugar is consumed with diets that allow for body weight and fat gain.”
Americans Not “Ideal” Consumers of Sugar
Americans consume far too much sugar. In doing so, it’s clear we are taking in more calories than we need for burning energy.
Perhaps under ideal circumstances, sugar intake arguably could be deemed safe. The American diet, loaded with carbohydrates, is nowhere close to what’s considered ideal. For 99 cents, you can get carbs and fat loaded into a dense treat at a drive-through. Then you can just eat lunch at your desk.
Bad idea. Eat yogurt topped with brightly colored berries to satisfy your sweet tooth. Go walking during lunch.
If you’re a drinker, quit or cut back. Alcohol is loaded with sugar.
Stay away from sugary drinks. And those sweetened artificially are no better.
Once you begin to eliminate excess sugar from your diet and see the pounds fall off, you’ll notice how much easier life can be.