Monday, July 11, 2011


I recently read this astonishing - and tragic - fact:  Due to complications of obesity, the generation now being born will be the first generation that won't outlive its parents.

I am thus moved to repeat the publication of a video I blogged about once before by one Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco.

The first time I ran across it, I wondered if I had the stamina to sit through an hour-plus lecture.  However, as the lecture progressed, all other thoughts flew as Dr. Lustig brought the complex science of nutrition into sharp focus, pointing out the exact mechanisms in the body by which the processed American diet is killing us. 

In particular, Dr. Lustig points an accusatory finger at fructose, and explains its domino effect on our health in simple, understandable, but undeniably frightening terms.  Fructose is a particular type of sugar, derived generally from fruit.  Our bodies deal with fructose differently - and in a way that creates more harm - than glucose, another common sugar.  Unfortunately, because fructose is "from fruit," people tend to assume it's healthy and "natural."   Not so.

I found the following brief summary by Dr. Mercola of part of Dr. Lustig's lecture, on the impact of fructose just on weight gain: 

"Fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn free fatty acids (FFAs) into triglycerides that get stored as fat. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this. When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose, however, results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat

The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.

Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain's communication with leptin, resulting in overeating."  (summary by Dr. Mercola, here.)

The first time I watched the video, I passed it along to my friend Ray Jagoda, and urged him to put in the time in front of the tube.  I heard back within a few days.  Ray said he and his au pair spent an hour going through all the foods in their fridge and cupboards, and were astonished at how many of these contained fructose.

All I can say is, give up an hour and a few minutes to watch Dr. Lustig's lecture.  This may be the lecture that prolongs your life. 

No comments:

Post a Comment