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Hidden Dangers of Sugar


Most of us were taught from an early age that eating too many sweets or candy would rot our teeth, increase our risk of getting diabetes, and cause us to gain weight. The problem is that although we were told this, we were continually being fed and introduced to foods packed with sugar. I can’t blame my parents or my culture for this, because for the most part, I grew up in a place where we were ignorant of the harmful effects of sugar.

It is easy to become confused by the various sugars and sweeteners so the first point that I want to establish is that not all sugars are the same. Dextrose, fructose and glucose are all simple sugars. The primary difference between them is how your body metabolizes them. These simple sugars can combine to form more complex sugars, like sucrose (table sugar), which is half glucose and half fructose. High fructose corn syrup is 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose. Sucrose when taken into the body, is broken down to half fructose and half glucose. At this point that it is essentially identical to high fructose corn syrup.

Glucose is the form of energy or sugar our bodies were designed to run on and every cell in our bodies uses it for energy. Glucose is a simple sugar that your body likes. Most of the carbohydrates we eat are made up of chains of glucose. When we consume glucose, it is actually helpful. When transported, into the body, it stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. The brain notices this increase, understands that your body is busy metabolizing what you just ate, and tells you that you’re less hungry. The important thing to note here is that when you consume glucose, your brain knows to tell you to stop eating when you’ve had enough.

There are many processes involved when you consume glucose, but one that occurs in your liver produces something called very low density lipoprotein (or VLDL). VLDL is linked to problems like cardiovascular disease and this seems to be a bad thing, but actually, only about 1 out of 24 calories from glucose that are processed by the liver turn into VLDL (the bad cholesterol). If glucose were the only thing you ate that produced VLDL, there would be no need for any serious concern.

The problem that we have now is that sucrose is no longer the sugar of choice. It is now fructose . Fructose is a natural sugar the body uses for energy which is found primarily in fruits, vegetables and raw honey. A small amount of fructose, such as the amount found in most vegetables and fruits, is not a bad thing. However, consuming too much fructose at once seems to overwhelm the body’s capacity to process it.

The body needs glucose in order to process fructose. When glucose enters the bloodstream, the body releases insulin to help regulate it. Fructose, on the other hand, is processed in the liver. When too much fructose enters the liver, the liver can’t process it all fast enough for the body to use as sugar. Instead, it starts making fats from the fructose, sending them off into the bloodstream as triglycerides. Triglycerides are the form in which most fat is stored in the body. Body fat is almost entirely made up of triglycerides, and fats are mostly transported in the blood in this form as well. Too many triglycerides in the blood are a risk factor for heart disease.

Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver which means that a greater number of calories, about three times more than glucose, are going through liver processes and the result is a much higher production of VLDL and fat. It also results in a higher production of uric acid and results in things like hypertension and high blood pressure. High blood concentrations of uric acid can also lead to a type of arthritis known as gout. It also is associated with other medical conditions like kidney stones.

The problem is that there is too much fructose in our diet due to the high usage of high fructose corn syrup which is added into almost all processed foods. As a result our bodies have to try to deal with excess sugar that it does not need. Fructose doesn’t provide an alert so your brain knows to tell you to stop eating, but fiber does this to a high degree. This is why you can eat fruit (despite the fructose content) without experiencing the same problems as drinking a sugary soda.

People are consuming fructose in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much more profound. To make matters worse the very products most people rely on to lose weight (the low-fat diet foods) are often the ones highest in fructose.

Ellen White many years ago warned of the dangers of eating too much sugar:

Sugar is not good for the stomach. It causes fermentation and this clouds the brain and brings peevishness into the disposition. {CD 327}

Sugar clogs the system. It hinders the working of the living machine. {CD 327}

…. from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat. {CD 328}

From these statements and others we can clearly see that she discouraged the heavy use of sugar.

In the field of science and medicine they are others who have done extensive research and studies on this subject. The findings from these studies, strongly supports the argument against the heavy use of sugar.


In 1976 a study was published in the journal, Dental Survey . In this study, J.R. Ringsdorf found that drinking 24 ounces of cola depressed the activity of a kind of white blood cell called a neutrophil which eats bacteria. He found that this reduction in activity lasted for at least five hours. This was supported by another good study done in 1977 by J. Bernstein et al. called Depression of lymphocyte transformation following oral glucose ingestion , (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 30, page 613).

In 1991, T.W. Jones et al. published an article called Independent effects of youth and poor diabetes control on responses to hypoglycemia in children. It was published in Diabetes , Volume 40, pages 358-63. These researchers found that sugar increases adrenalin, a stimulating hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. It was also found that this adrenalin increase was far more pronounced in children than in adults, which might account for why children often have hyperactivity problems when their diet contains refined sugars.

When sugar is constantly in the diet, the pancreas must constantly produce insulin. When sugar is continually overused, the pancreas eventually wears out and is no longer able to clear sugar from the blood, and diabetes is often the result. This tendency toward diabetes rises severely after menopause. Some people may have enough insulin but the cells have become insulin-resistant, so they do not absorb the insulin to facilitate absorption of glucose.

Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, notes that studies have shown that long-term consumption of sugared drinks can double the risk of diabetes, with half of that risk due to the excess weight brought on by the calories, and the other half due to the beverage’s high sugar content, which is mostly fructose.

Dr Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism, states that sugar is a poison by itself. I would encourage everyone to watch his presentation on You Tube entitled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” , you will be amazed. He makes the point that High-fructose corn syrup or table sugar is equally bad and equally poisonous.

Dr Nancy Appleton, author of the book Lick the Sugar Habit, produced an extensive list of the many ways sugar can ruin one’s health, compiled from a vast number of medical journals and other scientific publications. These sources are listed at the website , in the article titled the “76 Dangers of Sugar to Your Health”. Here are some of her findings:

• Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.

• Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

• Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

• Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.

• Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function. Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.

• Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.

• Sugar can weaken eyesight.

• Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

• Sugar can cause premature aging. In fact, the single most important factor that accelerates aging is insulin, which is triggered by sugar.

• Sugar can lead to alcoholism.

• Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, causing tooth decay, and periodontal disease.

• Sugar contributes to obesity.

• Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.

• Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)

• Sugar can cause gallstones.

• Sugar can cause appendicitis.

• Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.

• Sugar can cause varicose veins.

• Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.

• Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.

• Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.

• Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.

• Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure.

• Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

• High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are sugar molecules that attach to and damage proteins in your body. AGEs speed up the aging of cells, which may contribute to a variety of chronic and fatal diseases.

• Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.

• Sugar causes food allergies.

• Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

• Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.

• Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

• Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.

• Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.

• Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.

• Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.

• Sugar can cause emphysema.

• High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body.

• Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.

• Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.

• Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide, and it can increase the amount of fat in your liver, leading to fatty liver disease.

• Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones.

• Sugar can damage your pancreas.

• Sugar can increase your body’s fluid retention.

• Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.

• Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries. Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.

• Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.

• Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect your children’s grades and cause learning disorders.

• Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves, which can alter your ability to think clearly.

• Sugar can cause depression.

• Sugar can increase your risk of gout.

• Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. MRI studies show that adults 60 and older who have high uric acid are four to five times more likely to have vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s.

• Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone.

• Sugar can lead to dizziness.

• Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.

• A high sucrose diet in subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.

• High sugar consumption by pregnant adolescents can lead to a substantial decrease in gestation duration and is associated with a twofold-increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.

• Sugar is an addictive substance.

• Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.

• Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.

• Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.

• Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.

• The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.

• Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

• Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.

• Sugar can impair the function of your adrenal glands.

• Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in normal, healthy individuals, thereby promoting chronic degenerative diseases.

• Intravenous feedings (IVs) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to your brain.

• Sugar increases your risk of polio.

• High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.

• Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.

• In intensive care units, limiting sugar saves lives.

• Sugar may induce cell death.

• In juvenile rehabilitation centers, when children were put on low sugar diets, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.

• Sugar dehydrates newborns.

• Sugar can cause gum disease.

We simply cannot achieve our highest degree of health and vitality if we are consuming significant amounts of sugar. As healthy as raw honey is, the Bible tells us in the book of Proverbs to be moderate when using honey.

It is not good to eat much honey…. Proverbs 25:27.

For years many of us, due to an unsanctified diet, developed unhealthy eating habits that caused or created health problems. Some were ignorant while others were addicts due to lack of discipline. We can’t undo the past but we can decide today that by the grace of God we will make the necessary changes to reduce or eliminate sugar, especially fructose, from our foods. The damage might have been done but fortunately, your body has an amazing ability to heal itself when given the basic nutrition it needs. Our liver has an incredible ability to regenerate. We are “ fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works;” If you start making changes today, your health will begin to improve, returning you to the state of vitality that nature intended.

(Source: Restoration Ministry)

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