The relationship between sugar consumption and it's ultimate effect on metabolism and human function, if understood completely, might alter the way our society nourishes itself.
Since primitive man ate between 1 and 5 pounds of sugar per year, and we now consume over 170-220 pounds per year, this fact alone should be a light bulb moment.
It has only been in the past 100 years or so on the planet that we have had to witness widespread chronic degenerative diseases, the same time period where food processing and high carbohydrate diets has become the norm. What we eat today has changed more in the past 50 years than we humans have changed in the last 10,000 years!
It is a biochemical fact that since we have mitochondria, we need to eat fat. We were not physiologically designed to run very long on carbs and sugar. We are designed to burn fat for energy, and use protein to make glucose as needed short term. We can only store a small amount of carbs in our liver and muscles as glycogen. All the glycogen stored in your liver and muscle will not last you through one active day. Once you fill up your glycogen stores, carbohydrates are stored as saturated fat. We produce 18 times the amount of energy from fat as we do from sugar!
Carbohydrates -can be burned or stored as fat. There are no essential carbohydrates.
Protein- provides amino acids (some of them essential-meaning we cannot make them), that we need to make enzymes, muscles, nerves, fingernails, skin, neurotransmitters in our brain, organs, bones a healthy immune system, and much more!
Fats -(some of them essential-meaning we cannot make them) are needed for the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body. They are also used for energy, hormones, and to make the membrane around every cell in our body. Our brain composition is over 80% fat. If you eat a low fat diet you will be low in fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. These vitamins are important for immune, skin, bones, and heart health and much more!
We are overburdening and destroying our pancreas as well as our adrenal glands (metabolic syndrome and Type II diabetes) with overconsumption of sugar, refined foods and carbohydrates.
We are also paving the way to all chronic degenerative diseases.
It takes quite a while to do this- but here is some of what is happening on the cellular level along the way.
Dr. Melvin Page, a biochemist and nutritional pioneer back in the 1930's discovered and measured this with the patients in his clinic, that eating even a teaspoon of sugar causes an immediate rise in blood calcium, followed by a decrease in blood calcium to levels lower than normal. This upsets the normal ratio of calcium to phosphorus which should be 2.5:1. A chronic low blood calcium leads to low tissue calcium and to conditions such as tooth and bone erosion=tooth decay and osteoporosis, and can eventually lead to cancer.
Sufficient tissue calcium is also needed to make the cell membranes in our bodies have 'tight junctions' or in other words enough integrity so that they hold their structure. Herpes, hemorrhoids, bleeding gums, and infections can be due to low tissue calcium.
Tissue calcium is also needed in the activation of the white blood cells needed to fight infection. This is how we are susceptible to colds and flu if we eat sugar.
Calcium absorption is a really a game of co-factors as well as source.
Here are some of those factors that affect calcium absorption and that have an impact on tissue calcium:
Gastric pH- dependent on HCl, which decreases as we age to 50% or less by the time we are 50 years of age and is needed to be able to break down and absorb all minerals including calcium
Vitamin D levels- Adequate levels are necessary to transport calcium from the gut to the blood. It also affects immune, bone, brain and cardiovascular health and prevents cancer and inflammatory processes in the body. Vitamin D can reduce cancer rates by 50%, reduce heart attacks by 2/3. 75% of Americans do not get enough of this important hormone like vitamin.
Low vitamin D is associated with several autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, Sjogren's Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis and Crohn's disease. See-
Essential fatty acids- everyone is deficient in these or at least out of balance. They also play important roles in kidney and heart function, brain development, and controlling inflammation as well as transporting minerals including calcium to tissues. Osteoporosis can be prevented by optimizing intake of essential fats.
Fat digestion-is dependent on healthy liver and gall bladder function-these days with all the toxins in our world everyone is at risk
Endocrine function- Thyroid and Parathyroid glands are critical in maintaining the balance of calcium in the body
Eating sugar can disrupt so many systems and functions of the body via just calcium pathways-it makes sense that the first intervention in any acute or chronic condition should be the elimination of sugar and refined foods from the diet.