AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

S U G A R !

Mmm, sugar, so yummy…

Dr. David Katz, the director at the Yale Prevention Research Center writes of the negative effects of sugar in our lives in his article “Medicine, Museums, and Spoons Full of Sugar.” It’s a fact: kids and adults are eating way too much sugar, and this excess is known to contribute to the obesity epidemic.  Obesity itself causes other complications like diabetes and other diseases.

We’ve always known that having too much sugar is a bad thing, but how does it all add up? Soda like Coke, Sprite and Fanta are regarded by some public health experts as “liquid candy.”  Soda adds tons of calories and sugar to a typical diet.  So there you have it: soda is one of the many guilty culprits in the add up of sugar.

Taken by Yasmin Kibria

That’s only part of the problem–most of the excess sugar actually comes from foods.  “A how much is too much? According to Dr. Andrew Weil, everyone has a different response to sugar.  For some it triggers modd swings, brings on a sugar rush followed by a crash, and for some, there are no noticeable effects.  Sugar tends to drive obesity, high blood pressure, and Type II diabetes in people who are genetically programmed to develop insulin resistance.

How does too much sugar lead to obesity? According to Dr. Robert Lustig, sugar causes more insulin resistance in the liver than does other foods.  The pancreas then has to release more insulin to satisfy the liver’s needs.  High insulin levels obstruct the brain from receiving signals form leptin, a hormone secreted by fat cells.

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  1. carlybio12

    Eating too much sugar can also harm the balance of estrogen and testosterone in the body. The journal of clinical investigation published a study in mice and human cell cultures that demonstrated this. This article also adds that “North Americans consume 33 kg of refined sugar and an additional 20 kg of high fructose corn syrup per person per year!” Check it out at:

  2. biologiamaster

    Any post relating to nutrition is generally interesting to me. It seems like most people assume reports like this refer only to table sugar and soda, which clearly seem to cause health problems, but don’t take note of a particular monosaccharide; Fructose. A study in 2005 implicated not only High fructose corn syrup but fructose found naturally mainly in fruits in an array of health issues. Here is a quote from the study on pubmed.

    “excessive fructose consumption may be responsible in part for the increasing prevalence of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Although the long-term effects of fructose consumption have not been adequately studied in humans, the available evidence suggests it may be more harmful than is generally recognized.”

    Reference –

  3. gababoutbio

    While white sugar can lead to such bad things, raw sugar cane is a different case though. Raw sugar cane “helps with digestion and words as a mild laxative.” It is also rich in “Magnesium, Calcium and Riboflavin.” There are other health benefits as well..

    To read more:

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