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Holiday Treats: Control Sugar Intake

Friday, December 22, 2017


Since it's a long holiday weekend, indulge if you must, but for the sake of your eye, brain and body health, please try to avoid excessive sugar.

One of my favorite English journals called the New Scientist included a blockbuster story a couple of years ago that teased out the connection between increased Alzheimer’s risk and excessive sugar intake. This suggests that making a lifestyle choice to reduce sugar intake may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's.
 
For those of you who might not know, almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's disease are women. Could our gender-obsessive love of all things chocolate be a factor?

Unfortunately, too many Americans, including all those who refuse to touch any meat, continue to consume way too much sugar in their daily diet, even though published degenerative disease science linked to excessive sugar intake far outweighs the science linking meat intake to degenerative disease.  Undisputable science now proves that excessive sugar intake is linked to high rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes, both common in Alzheimer's and AMD patients, as well as other diseases that contribute to the enormous cost of healthcare in our country. 
 
Sugar intake is strongly linked to angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels) and the growth and spread of cancers. Angiogenesis is the underlying disorder in neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration.
 
Type 2 diabetes is the chronic condition of excess blood glucose with symptoms including frequent bladder, kidney and skin infections, fatigue, excess hunger and thirst, erectile dysfunction, vision loss and impaired cognition, as well as an entire host of horrific disease outcomes, including diabetic neuropathy, which can lead to toe, foot and sometimes leg amputation.
 
The New Scientist article reminded us that insulin’s job is to regulate blood sugar by sending the cue for muscles, liver and fat cells to extract sugar from the blood and either use it for energy or store it as fat. Sadly, when the body experiences constant sugar overload, a condition called insulin resistance, or prediabetes, causes the pancreas to produce too much insulin at the same time excess glucose is building up in the blood. The excess insulin is not taken into our cells once our overworked insulin receptor sites become too fatigued to do their job.

When we develop insulin resistance, insulin spikes overwhelm the brain and bad things happen. The brain’s overused insulin receptors also stop working, impairing our ability to think and form memories long before leading to permanent neural damage and eventually Alzheimer’s, particularly in those genetically at risk for the disease.

Researchers at both Brown University and UCLA have created insulin resistance, impaired brain function and Alzheimer’s within six weeks in both mice and rats by feeding them excessive portions of sugar.

The New Scientist reported that type 2 diabetes rates have more than tripled in the US since 1980. The connection to Alzheimer’s is that insulin also regulates neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine crucial for memory and learning as well as the appropriate function and growth of blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen and glucose.

We sincerely wish our Friday Pearl readers a lovely holiday season and a Merry Christmas this weekend.


Ellen Troyer, with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff




PEARL

Our holiday take-home message—enjoy, but cut sugar intake way back. And by all means, become an informed consumer. Pay attention to lifestyle choices including exercise, nutrient intake, and the quality of the supplements you choose to take. Demand to know exactly what you are putting into your and your family's bodies and why you are putting it there. This means full disclosure labels on all foods and supplements and industry access to science-based information that explains why specific nutritional ingredients are included in dietary supplements. Government control of scientific information supported by peer-reviewed published data found in the National Library of Medicine is a travesty.