One of the things I enjoy about Blog postings is they provide an excellent opportunity to acquire new information in a quick and easy manner, provided the source of that information is reliable.
A posting that I have been following quite a while now is written by a doctor called Gabe Mirkin. I like his postings because they are always relevant and very informative.
One of his more recent postings looked at Why sugar can shorten and lengthen your life.
Basically when large amounts of sugar are consumed, Glucose (sugar) is converted to Fructose and this is then broken down into sugar alcohol (Sorbitol), which basically destroys cells of all types, and ultimately causes Diabetes with its wide range of side affects:
- Heart attacks
- Kidney damage
Don't get me wrong, sugar plays an essential part in our daily functioning, and without it our brains would not be able to function. In fact 98% of the brains energy requirement is met by Glucose.
Without sufficient sugar circulating in the blood, the liver releases sugar that it has stored to meet the requirements of the brain. Insufficient stores of glucose will result in the body converting protein to glucose - not an ideal scenario.
Muscles are run on Glucose energy, and with assistance from Insulin, Glucose is drawn from the blood into the muscle.
It is interesting to note that during physical activity, muscles do not require Insulin to draw glucose from the blood. Active muscles are also extremely sensitive to Insulin, which means far less total Insulin is required to provide energy to the working muscle compared to the inactive muscle.
The benefits of this are at their greatest up to about an hour after exercise (also known as the Glycogen window). This elevated sensitivity lasts up to 17 hours post exercise.
Generally, when sugar is consumed during times of inactivity, the body shuttles it to the liver where it is stored as Glycogen (the storage form of Glucose). No problem.
There is a problem, however, when large quantities of sugar are consumed because large amounts of Insulin are required to deal with the elevated concentrations of blood sugar.
Sugar is then converted into triglycerides (fat) and one of the side affects is increased abdominal fat storage. This leads to a blocking of Insulin receptors, which in turn males blood sugar and Insulin levels rise even higher.
A vicious cycle.
With Diabetes, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases making health headlines on a daily basis, it is clear to see that a major culprit is sugar.
By monitoring and controlling our intake of sugars, we will be able to reduce the risk of falling prey to the numerous life threatening diseases that plague our society today.