I want to tell you about something pretty amazing.
It is a YouTube video of a lecture, by the endocrinologist Robert H. Lustig, M.D., who is a professor at the University of San Francisco.
In the video, he explains how sugar, and fructose in particular, may be to blame for a large part of the health problems that western populations face today.
These include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, obesity, dyslipidemia, pretty much all of the things we recognize as the metabolic syndrome.
I’ve been doing some research on the claims he makes in the lecture, and they all seem to be true.
When carefully examining the metabolism of fructose, it turns out that it:
- Increases uric acid levels, leading to hypertension (high blood pressure) and gout.
- Makes your liver synthesize fats, which are sent to the bloodstream as VLDL particles, leading to dyslipidemia (cholesterol, triglycerides) and heart disease.
- Causes insulin resistance in the body’s tissues, which leads to hyperinsulinemia.
- Increases fat deposition in the liver.
- How fructose doesn’t reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin, and how it doesn’t affect the hormones insulin and leptin, which are one of the body’s signals to tell the brain to stop eating.
The video is one and a half hours, but Robert H. Lustig honestly is one of the best lecturers I’ve seen and this video is about as entertaining as a movie in my opinion. I’ve watched it three times.
If you are interested in educating yourself on health and nutrition, then I highly recommend you check out the video.
I’d like to point out that fruits do contain fructose, but the amount is very tiny compared to what you get if you eat a lot of sugar.
The implications of this is to avoid added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juices and dried fruit. Eating a few pieces of fresh fruit per day is fine, as the carb and fructose content in them is small.