I am going to post a LINK to his website and particularly to the article on the effects of different sugars:
Glucose and fructose are both simple sugars, but scientists have long suspected there are differences in the way your body processes them.
In a new study, researchers scanned the brains of nine subjects after they got an infusion of equal volumes of glucose, fructose or saline. The brain scans were looking at activity in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain which plays a key role in setting appetite levels and controlling production of metabolic hormones.
According to the Chicago Tribune:
“The researchers ... found that ‘cortical control areas’ -- broad swaths of gray matter that surrounded the hypothalamus -- responded quite differently to the infusion of fructose than they did to glucose. Across the limited regions of the brain they scanned ... glucose significantly raised the level of neural activity for about 20 minutes following the infusion. Fructose had the opposite effect, causing activity in the same areas to drop and stay low for 20 minutes after the infusion.”
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
People everywhere are finally waking up to the indisputable fact that all simple sugars are not the same when it comes to the physical end results they create. The latest Public Service Announcement warning New Yorkers about the dangers of excessive soda consumption is a powerful illustration of this increasing level of awareness.
When these differences are understood, it's easy to see how and why fructose—mainly in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—is in large part responsible for the meteoric rise of obesity and its related health problems.
It's a staple ingredient in a vast majority of sweetened beverages and processed foods of all kinds, from pre-packaged meals to baked goods and condiments. And the number one source of calories in America is soda, in the form of HFCS!
Your Brain Reacts to Fructose and Glucose in Very Different Ways
This latest study is intriguing, as it shows that the difference between fructose and glucose is not just limited to how they're metabolized in your body; your brain also reacts to these two sugars in entirely different ways.
Nine healthy, normal-weight subjects received either glucose, fructose, or saline (as the control). Their brains were then scanned to evaluate activity around the hypothalamus, which is a key player in appetite control and production of metabolic hormones.
Interestingly, the researchers discovered that the "cortical control areas" surrounding the hypothalamus responded very differently to each substance:
So, what does this mean?
- Glucose significantly raised the level of neural activity for about 20 minutes
- Fructose reduced neural activity in the area for about the same amount of time
- Saline had no effect on neural activity
At this point, the implications of these differences are unclear. The Chicago Tribune reported that:
"At this point, said [lead researcher] Purnell in a phone interview, it means nothing more than that the two substances did prompt different responses in the brain--that the brain did not respond to them identically.So, time will tell what these latest findings really mean, but we already know that fructose has a detrimental impact on two hormones involved with satiety and hunger, namely leptin and ghrelin, and that this influence sets in motion a vicious cycle of hunger, increased food intake, and increased fat storage.
Within some of the "cortical control areas" where differences were seen, lie some important neural real estate, including regions where notions of reward and addiction are processed.
As scientists have a closer look in future studies, they should be able to zero in on which specific areas are affected differently by the two forms of sugar."
Fructose Packs on the Pounds Faster than Any Other Nutrient
Part of what makes HFCS so unhealthy is that it is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar. The entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on your liver, and it promotes a particularly dangerous kind of body fat, namely adipose fat. This is the fat type of fat that collects in your abdominal region and is associated with a greater risk of heart disease.
Additionally, because most fructose is consumed in liquid form (i.e. soda and sweetened beverages of all kinds), its negative metabolic effects are magnified. Because while HFCS has about the same amount of fructose as cane sugar, the fructose in HFCS is in its "free" form and not attached to any other carbs.
The fructose in fruits and in cane sugar is bonded to other sugars which results in a decrease in its metabolic toxicity.
Consuming foods that contain high amounts of fructose—even if it's a natural product—is, to put it bluntly, the fastest way to trash your health. Among the health problems you invite with a high-fructose diet are:
Adding insult to injury, HFCS is most often made from genetically modified (GM) corn, which is fraught with its own well documented side effects and health concerns, from an increased risk of developing food allergies to the risk of increased infertility in future generations.
- Obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
- Elevated triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
- Elevated blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Depletion of vitamins and minerals—Unbound fructose, found in large quantities in HFCS, can interfere with your heart's use of minerals such as magnesium, copper and chromium.
- Cardiovascular disease, arthritis, gout, and cancer