Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Refined sugar - you don't need it!

Sugar consumption levels may have a ‘direct and independent’ link to the risk of developing diabetes, according to new research.

Well I thought this fact was already a given - seemingly not so in the eyes of the scientists. But I clearly remember reading a recommended text, right back at the beginning of my studies in nutritional and environmental medicine ... and that was 30 years ago. Pure, White and Deadly by John Yudkin was actually published in 1972 but from 1957, Yudkin demonstrated that consumption of sugar and refined sweeteners was linked to the development of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The studies he conducted on sugars indicated that they raised blood triglycerides and insulin levels. 

Through the years, the focus has shifted to obesity and over-consumption of calories from any source as the culprits in the diabetes epidemic. In fact, Professor Sanjay Basu, from Stanford University School of Medicine, who led the research team identifying sugar as an independent risk factor said “it was quite a surprise!”

Yudkin died in 1995, but Wikipedia mentions that in 2013, Yudkin’s arguments and evidence for the dangers of sugars were the focus of several articles in the British Medical Journal. Well I guess if you are prepared to wait long enough, your work will eventually see the light of day and maybe even impact the public consciousness. Pity no-one was listening back in the 1950s - we might have saved a lot of lives and a lot of healthcare dollars! Let’s just hope someone’s paying attention now!

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