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"How Sugar Destroys Your Heart and Brain"

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"How Sugar Destroys Your Heart and Brain"

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“Sugar can kill you,” is the message told in an article titled, “How Sugar Destroys Your Heart and Brain” by Dr. David Williams. The article was published in Alternatives in August 2014.

The article illustrates the “direct relationship” between refined carbohydrates (not naturally found in fruit) and “the risk of dying from a heart attack.” The article states that Dr. Quanhe Yang with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied added sugar in American’s diets and found that between 2005 and 2010, 71.4 percent of adults consumed “10 percent or more of their calories from sugar, and roughly 10 percent of adults consumed 25 percent of their total calories from sugar.” The article draws a connection between sugar intake and the risk of heart attacks saying, “those who consumed 10-24.9 percent of their daily calories as added sugar had a 30 percent higher chance of death from heart attacks, compared to those who took in less than 10 percent.” Some soft drink manufacturers and the Corn Refiners Association criticized the study.

The article also explains how a person’s body treats sugar. If a person is active and exercises regularly, then the body uses sugar as energy. However, if someone who eats a lot of sugar is more sedentary, then the body stores the sugar as fat, insulin levels raise and the sugar is stored in the liver. Dr. Williams explains how the effects of sugar and inactivity can cause metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Williams also writes that artificial sweeteners “are no better.” He explains that trying to “trick” the human body is not a way around sugar.  Studies show diet soda drinkers suffer similar health risks as those who ingest high levels of sugar.

According to the article, sugar can also be linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s has been studied for years but no cure has been successful. However, the article explains that recent research about the disease suggests it might be a kind of “Type 3 Diabetes.” Those suffering from Alzheimer’s have similar insulin problems as those with Type 2 Diabetes, but it is localized in the brain.

“One of insulin’s jobs in the brain is to initiate the production of acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is involved in learning and memory, and it also stimulates muscle tissue. Deficiencies in acetylcholine are a known marker of Alzheimer’s,” Dr. Williams explains.

But sugar doesn’t have to be a part of people’s diet. Dr. Williams ends the article by suggesting some alternatives to sugar and some helpful tips to avoid sugar.

“And if you don’t have these [health] problems, take whatever steps necessary, starting today, to avoid them. Throw out the sugar and clean up your diet.”

Full article published in "Alternatives" August 2014. Written by Dr. David Williams.