Today, the average person consumes 150 pounds of sugar each year—nearly 20 times the amount consumed by the average person in the 18th century (i). Only about 60% of those calories are metabolized and converted into immediate energy; the remaining 40% are converted into fat molecules, stored, and reserved for energy production later. With this in mind, it is easy to see how sugar consumption is a key contributor to obesity. New research shows that excessive sugar consumption also leads to a number of other life threatening diseases, including type II Diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Miami dentists have begun to spread awareness for this issue, warning patients to be weary of daily sugar intake not only to prevent cavities but to preserve total body health as well.
Sugar Toxicity: Why Is Sugar a Bad Thing?
It is no surprise that dental professionals advise patients against eating too much sugar. Sugar sticks to tooth enamel, and only individuals who tediously brush and floss their teeth at least twice daily can remove it. Even then, small sugar deposits may persist in hard to reach areas between the teeth and near the gum line. Those sugar deposits become a food source for oral bacteria and ultimately fuel their growth. Oral bacteria secrete an acid while feeding on the sugar, the acid slowly eats away at tooth enamel, and eventually a “cavity” is formed. When left untreated, the growth of oral bacteria may spread to the gums where it causes infection and the gum disease gingivitis.
But it does not stop there. Medical professionals from around the world are releasing alarming findings that show sugar is extremely detrimental to overall health. According to recent research, excessive sugar consumption may lead to serious illnesses like type II Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and may even fuel the growth of cancerous tumors.
New Research Shows Sugar May Cause Heart Disease
Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco was among the first to release evidence to support the claim that high fructose corn syrup—a common and readily available form of sugar found in most processed foods and drinks—may cause a range of negative health side effects including rapid weight gain, type II Diabetes, and heart disease (i). Dr. Lustig’s research demonstrates that high fructose corn syrup is absorbed into the bloodstream upon ingestion and rapidly carried to the liver. While passing through the liver, a peculiar thing happens: The production of fatty acids and LDL cholesterol spikes. Over time, the increased production of fatty acids and “bad” LDL cholesterol raises blood pressure and heightens the risk of heart disease by creating blockages in the arteries.
Harvard School of Medicine Shows Sugar May Fuel Cancer Growth
On the East coast, a research team at Harvard Medical School has released even more alarming findings regarding the effect of sugar on the human body. Dr. Lewis Cantley, a Harvard professor of cellular biology, has released evidence documenting that sugar may also trigger growth in cancerous tumors (iii). Dr. Cantley’s findings point to the simple fact that cancerous tumors have glucose receptors, just like ordinary body cells. In normal body cells, glucose receptors are a place for different forms of sugar—like high fructose corn syrup—to bind to the cell and spur healthy growth. Unfortunately, Dr. Cantley’s findings illustrate that the glucose receptors of cancerous cells function in much the same way. Upon digestion and absorption into the blood stream, sugars may bind to the glucose receptors of cancerous tumors and causes them to grow as if they were normal body cells.
In light of these recent studies, health professionals urge Americans to re-evaluate lifestyle choices, like diet, that may have a profound impact on health and overall quality of life. Americans tend to consume processed foods and drinks that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, elevating the risk of developing serious illness and disease. The best way to protect oneself is to commit to a healthier diet that is rich in natural foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and “healthy” unsaturated fats.
Learn More About Sugar Toxicity
To learn more about the impact of sugar on oral health and total body wellness, contact Assure a Smile for a personalized holistic health consultation and comprehensive dental cleaning.
(i) How Much Sugar Does the Average Person Consum Every Year? Dr. Mehmet Oz. http://www.sharecare.com/question/sugar-consume-every-year
(ii) Lustig RH, Schmidt LA, Brindis CD. Public health: The toxic truth about sugar. Nature. 2012 Feb 2; 482(7383):27-9.
(iii) Locasale JW, Cantley LC. Altered metabolism in cancer. BMC Biol. 2010; 8:88.