By now most of you have already heard about the study published in JAMA that reveals an unsavory historical scenario wherein the sugar industry funded an academic review paper that diverted the medical community’s attention from sugar as a vector for disease and erroneously placed it on saturated fat and cholesterol consumption. You can read about it by clicking on the following link.
Here is a quote from the above cited article in the NY times:
The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.
Here is the abstract of the article published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).
Early warning signals of the coronary heart disease (CHD) risk of sugar (sucrose) emerged in the 1950s. We examined Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) internal documents, historical reports, and statements relevant to early debates about the dietary causes of CHD and assembled findings chronologically into a narrative case study. The SRF sponsored its first CHD research project in 1965, a literature review published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which singled out fat and cholesterol as the dietary causes of CHD and downplayed evidence that sucrose consumption was also a risk factor. The SRF set the review’s objective, contributed articles for inclusion, and received drafts. The SRF’s funding and role was not disclosed. Together with other recent analyses of sugar industry documents, our findings suggest the industry sponsored a research program in the 1960s and 1970s that successfully cast doubt about the hazards of sucrose while promoting fat as the dietary culprit in CHD. Policymaking committees should consider giving less weight to food industry–funded studies and include mechanistic and animal studies as well as studies appraising the effect of added sugars on multiple CHD biomarkers and disease development.
This disturbing conspiracy reveals yet another industry sponsored distortion of science which had great impact on the health of our nation. The impact is accelerating today as the epidemics of obesity and diabetes rage out of control. But sugar consumption has not just been tied to obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. Sugar added foods and beverages have likely contributed to dementia, many forms of cancer and other chronic debilitating diseases. Sugar and refined carbohydrates mediate these effects by increasing systemic inflammation and contributing to insulin resistance. Inflammation and insulin resistance are pathways to many disease processes. Metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) is the hallmark combination of multiple abnormalities with insulin resistance as the underlying root cause. Prolonged insulin resistance leads to type 2 diabetes and contributes to heart attacks, strokes, cancer and dementia. In fact dementia is often referred to as type 3 diabetes, mediated in large part by insulin resistance in the brain.
Here are links to discussions and videos relevant to these topics.
I have previously provided links to the YouTube lectures given by the brilliant Dr. Jason Fung, These are worth mentioning again.
Nina Teicholz is also worth a watch.
And here is an important talk about sugar, refined carbohydrates and cancer.
Plenty to chew on.
We did not evolve to eat lots of sugar! It is dangerous stuff.
Bob Hansen MD