According to a recent one-of-its-kinds study, sugar has been found to be toxic. Dr. Robert Lustig, Department of pediatrics, University of California, US conducted this study and published a paper in which Dr. Lustig and his colleagues claimed to have found definitive evidence to prove that sugar is toxic. Dr. Robert Lustig has previously published a number of books as well as research papers about effects of sugar in human body and with this recent study, published in Obesity journal, he has conclusively stated that sugar is harmful.
Earlier, it was speculated that high consumption of sugar was the reason behind chronic diseases like diabetes, heart related complications and obesity; but there were no proof of this speculation. The studies conducted earlier focused on the immediate effects of sugar consumption either by increasing sugar intake or by dropping it which also means affecting the intake of calories too. This approach made it hard to determine whether the study results were related to sugar or the calories found in sugar.
However, in the latest study by Dr. Lustig, the gradual effect of sugar consumption was studied without affecting the calorie intake. The study was conducted on 43 Hispanic or African-American kids aged between 8 to 18 years. He collected detailed food related questionnaires from each of the participants for determining the average calories consumed per day by them. Next, Dr. Lustig created a special menu for each of the participants for nine-days that kept the calorie amount same but replaced the sugar with starch. The participants were asked to keep a record of their weight daily and in case of weight loose they were asked to eat more of the special menu food to keep their weight the same.
About the study results, Dr. Lustig said, “Everything got better”. From a stage of insulin resistant (in which body’s insulin fails to match up with sugar level supplied by food eaten) to insulin sensitive, there were many positive effects seen by the team.
About the effect of sugar on metabolism, Dr. Lustig stated, “Up until now, there have been a lot of correlation studies linking sugar and metabolic syndrome,” further adding, “This is causation.”
But, many are not convinced with the study and its results. Susan Roberts, professor of Nutrition, USDA Nutrition Center, Tufts University, stated that some of the participants of this study lost weight while following the special diet which might have led to improvement of metabolic measures. And, also kids were asked to keep a tab on their weight and diet which can not be considered as accurate.
Nonetheless, this current study definitely open door for further studies on the negative effects of sugar on human body. Also, Dr. Lustig expects that these latest findings will be considered by US Department of Agriculture while finalizing the Dietary Guideline which is expected to be released by this year end.
Story Inputs: Time