124 Ways Sugar Ruins Your Health

By Nancy Appleton, PhD

Summary: You’ve heard that sugar can suppress the body’s immune system, but did you know it interferes with the absorption of calcium? How about that it can cause food allergies, depression, and cancer of the breast, ovaries, and prostate? Or that sugar can reduce the good cholesterol in your blood and increase the triglycerides, two of the strongest indicators we have of heart disease risk? Despite the massive commercial campaign to paint refined sugar as harmless—or at worst merely “empty calories”—hoards of scientific evidence indicate that it is far worse than that. In this startling list, Dr. Nancy Appleton documents 124 ways in which sugar has been scientifically implicated as a poison to human health, complete with 124 reputable references to back up her claims. From nancyappleton.com, 2004.

Killer Sugar! Suicide with a Spoon

By Bill Misner, PhD

Summary: A short and not so sweet synopsis of the dangers of sugar. Misner points out a fact that most health “experts” fail to appreciate: most of the sugar a person eats is converted to fat in the body. And once it’s converted and stored, it stays there as fat as long as the person continues to eat large amounts of additional sugar. Misner also discusses the origin and manufacture of the famous “tol” sweeteners—xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol—as well as the malt syrups, two classes of sweeteners that generally get overlooked. While some of Misner’s conclusions are questionable, this is an excellent adjunct to any study of the negative effects of overconsuming simple saccharides (i.e, sugar). Dr. Joseph Mercola Publications, 2000.

Dr. Wiley’s Question Box: Starches and Sugar Are the Principal Sources of Body Fat

By Harvey W. Wiley, MD

Summary: In 1912 Dr. Harvey Wiley left his post as head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Chemistry (the forerunner of the federal Food and Drug Administration) because of the collusion he witnessed between food manufacturers and agents within the federal government. Unable to effectively enforce the country’s first food purity law (passed in 1906), he left the government and joined the private Good Housekeeping Institute in Washington, D.C. There Dr. Wiley helped develop the famous Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval while also writing for the institute’s magazine. In “Dr. Wiley’s Question Box,” he would answer specific questions from readers about food safety and nutrition. In the excerpt here, Dr. Wiley explains a fact that metabologists have known for nearly a century but which conventional nutritionists and doctors have failed to comprehend from then until now: the principal source of fat stored in the body is not dietary fat but sugars and starches (i.e., carbohydrates). While nutrition schools today continue to teach the erroneous notion that glucose from carbohydrates is “the preferred fuel of the body,” Dr. Wiley points out what people who study metabolism for a living all know: up to 80 percent of the carbohydrates a person eats are converted to fat by the liver and stored in the body’s fat tissue. Fat tissue, in turn, releases fatty acids, which form the majority of fuel calories used by the body’s cells. Dr. Wiley also addresses other queries from readers, including the age-old question of whether overeating “acid-producing” foods is harmful and whether eating sand is good for the digestive system. From Good Housekeeping, 1926.

Diet Frights—Sign of the Times

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: “How long will it be before we realize the simple truth that the health of every individual depends upon his nutritional status?” So writes Dr. Royal Lee in making the obvious—yet still criminally ignored—correlation between the emergence of heart disease, cancer, and other “modern” diseases and the introduction of industrial food processing and refining, which turned white sugar, white flour, and hydrogenated fats into the foundation of our food supply. “Is any satellite, atomic bomb or guided missile so likely to jeopardize our health as the certainty that insidious food tampering assuredly sucks away, like greedy quicksand, at the very foundation of our health?” Dr. Lee asks ominously. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.

Carbohydrate Not Essential

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: “What is refined sugar?” Dr. Royal Lee asks in this provocative excerpt and then answers, “It is pure carbohydrate. [And] is carbohydrate an essential food, a food component without which we could not live? It certainly is not.” Today people are picking up on the fact that while there are essential fats and there are essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. The content here is excerpted from the 1952 article “This Molasses War—Who Is Prevaricating,” in which Dr. Lee expounds on the critical difference between whole-food sweeteners and refined ones. From Let’s Live magazine, 1952. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.

Case of Dental Caries vs. the Sugar Interests

By Allison G. James, DDS

Summary: The overwhelming case that consumption of refined carbohydrates is the cause of tooth decay is presented by dentist and author Allison James. Even back in 1949, as this article from Journal of the Southern California State Dental Association illustrates, this theory was opposed institutionally by both commercial sugar interests and the profession of dentistry at large. Instead, conventional dentistry continued—and continues today—to blindly follow its eternal mantra: Drill ’em and fill ’em. Never mind why the caries are there in the first place! From Journal of the Southern California State Dental Association, 1949. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 42.

This Molasses War—Who Is Prevaricating? / Bone Meal—Nutritional Source of Calcium

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Two articles that appeared in Let’s Live magazine in 1952 and 1953. In “This Molasses War—Who is Prevaricating?,” Dr. Lee compares natural and refined sugars. He posits that carbohydrates are not essential in the human diet and offers proof by way of certain traditional peoples who eat no carbs and yet experience perfect health. He also discusses the virtues of molasses, which is rich in minerals and is protective against tooth decay, whereas white sugar promotes cavities. Lee also describes the famous experiments of Dr. Rosalind Wulzen of Oregon State College that led to the discovery of the “anti-arthritic factor” in molasses and raw cream that was later named after her. In “Bone Meal—Nutritional Source of Calcium,” Dr. Lee describes the virtues of finely powdered bone flour as a source of protein and minerals, particularly calcium. He states that for the teeth, cold-processed bone meal is unexcelled. He also discusses the role of trace minerals also found in bone meal. 1953.

Synthetic Foods and Race Suicide

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: “The civilized fraction of the human race is committing suicide by its acceptance of synthetic food products.” Perhaps no sentence better sums up the work and life of Dr. Royal Lee, who fought tirelessly to alert the American people that processed, imitation foods such as corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, and bleached flour truly were killing them (and still are), in spite of assurances to the contrary by the country’s food manufacturers and their partners in crime, the FDA. A must read for anyone who wants to see where and how our country’s health went off the rails. Original source and publication date unknown.

Refined Sugar: Its Use and Misuse

By Harold Lee Snow, MD

Summary: “Excessive use of of refined sugar in the United States has become a serious nutritional problem.” You might think these words were uttered by some holistic nutritionist of today, but they are actually the first sentence of this remarkable article from 1948 by physician Harold Snow. Backed by 56 peer-reviewed references, Dr. Snow discusses in detail many of the seen and unseen dangers of refined sugar that have been criminally ignored for decades. Rashes, infections and allergies in children; arthritis, neuritis, and rheumatism; digestive dysfunction; hyperinsulinism; acidosis; and acne are just a few of the dangers of sugar identified by science, Snow says. “If one can avoid eating refined sugar,” he concludes, “one can expect more vibrant health, and a longer life with greater freedom from some of the acute and chronic diseases and complaints which many modern doctors are unable to diagnose or to treat successfully.” From The Improvement Era magazine. Reprint 126, 1948.

Nutritional Aspect of Dental Disease

By John H. Gunter, DDS, MD

Summary: In this thought-provoking chapter from 1943’s A Guide to Practical Nutrition, physician and dentist John Gunter connects the dots between malnutrition and tooth decay. “It is generally known that inadequate nutrition predisposes to lowered resistance to bacterial invasion,” he writes, and such invasion includes the attack of oral bacteria on teeth. Indeed, he notes, tooth decay and periodontal disease tend to flourish only in populations subsisting on foods of “deteriorated biological value”—that is, foods deficient in vitamin and mineral complexes—such as white flour, white sugar, and the other industrially manufactured foods of modern civilization. Dr. Gunter proceeds to detail the roles played by various nutrients in preventing not just tooth decay but oral disease in general, a list headlined by the vitamins A, B1, C, and D as well as the minerals calcium and phosphorus. While dentistry today sells tooth decay as a story of defenseless teeth being attacked by sugar-loving bacteria, Dr. Gunter’s article affirms what he and many other nutrition-minded dentists of the early twentieth century knew firsthand: a well fed tooth is well protected. From A Guide to Practical Nutrition, 1943. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 115A.

The Well-Fed Tooth

By Fred Miller, DDS

Summary: “America is a nation of ‘candyholics’ and soft drink addicts, of food adulterators, processors and refiners,” writes Dr. Fred Miller in words that ring as true today as in 1946, when he wrote them. “Having practiced dentistry for more than thirty years I am thoroughly convinced—speaking from the biological point of view, not the moral aspect—that refined white flour and its products—bread, crackers, cookies, pastries —and refined sugar and its products—candies, hard candies and soft drinks—are doing more harm in this country than hard liquor.” A great historical overview of the state of malnutrition in America from a frontline dentist. From The Land magazine. Reprint 49A, 1946.

New Sugar-Making Method Claimed By Milwaukee Dentist

Author unknown

Summary: A grave error of conventional nutrition is the failure to distinguish sources of a nutrient. By this way of thinking, all “sugar” becomes the same thing, whether the term refers to isolated molecules derived from the chemical breakdown of cornstarch or to molecules of the same constitution but surrounded by a group of vitamins and minerals that happen to perfectly assist their metabolism in the body. And so modern nutrition sees no difference between the raw juice of sugarcane and the white purified crystals it becomes after industrial processing. Yet there is a difference, a profound one, as renowned nutritionist and inventor Dr. Royal Lee points out in this 1943 article. Raw sugarcane juice is actually a great source of many vitamins, Dr. Lee explains, and while these micronutrients are lost in the process of refining, the body still needs them to properly metabolize sugar molecules. Thus overconsumption of refined sugar must necessarily dysregulate our metabolism, manifesting as conditions such as diabetes and obesity. In the early 1940s, in an effort to help bring “healthy sugar” to the public, Dr. Lee invented a cold-evaporation technique that retained and preserved all the micronutrients naturally found in sugarcane. That process, described here, might have helped prevent the decay of our national health, had our officials had the sense to realize that not all sources of a nutrient are equal. From the Portsmouth Herald, 1943.

Insulin and Cancer

By Samuel M. Beale, Jr., MD

Summary: In 1947 the British Associated Press asked pioneering American physician Dr. Samuel Beale Jr. to write a report discussing his “low-dose” insulin therapy for cancer. The result is the following article, published originally in London’s News Review and later reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. In it Dr. Beale details the shockingly quick reversal of cancerous lesions in a number of his patients through the combined application of insulin and a nutrient-dense diet. (As this letter attests, Dr. Beale was one of thousands of physicians who relied on Dr. Royal Lee‘s famous raw food concentrates to insure the nutrition of his patients.) While Dr. Beale concedes he does not know the precise mechanism of insulin’s efficacy, he speculates that it is the  hormone’s ability to balance the body’s entire endocrine system that is the key factor. In addition he names three “indications of cancer susceptibility” that modern medicine would be wise to revisit: 1) poor sugar handling 2) overalkaline blood, and 3) a disturbed calcium-phosphorus balance in the blood. Dr. Beale practiced medicine for over fifty years and used insulin to successfully treat an array of other diseases in addition to cancer. From News Review, 1947. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.

The National Malnutrition

By D.T. Quigley, MD

Summary: Daniel Quigley was a physician at the Nebraska College of Medicine who rose to prominence with the 1929 publication of his book The Conquest of Cancer. Like many doctors of the time, his clinical experience led him to believe that malnutrition—due to the replacement of natural foods with industrial ones—was not only more widespread in America than the medical establishment believed, but that vitamin and mineral deficiencies, more than anything else, were responsible for the exploding rates of degenerative illness throughout the country and world. In 1943, after years of observing the successful application of whole food nutritional therapy in his practice, Dr. Quigley published the following textbook through the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. In it he warns Americans to avoid completely white flour, white sugar, and corn syrup, each of the refined products fostering disease by delivering calories but precious few of the micronutrients needed by the body for proper function and fighting infection. For optimal nutrition Dr. Quigley recommends a diet of raw milk, eggs, whole grains, seafood, organ meats, fresh vegetables, yeast, and butter—a prescription of highly nutrient dense foods that makes just as much sense today as it did then, when these substances were known to nutritionists simply as “the protective foods.” Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1943.

The Menace of Synthetic Foods

“There is only one test for safety and wholesomeness in food,” Dr. Royal Lee proclaims in this succinct overview of his nutritional philosophy. “That is the test of time. The test of a long history of use, over many generations of life.” Dr. Lee expounds on the ill effects of processed foods, which were pushed hastily onto the market by industrial food processors seeking immediate profit. He cites evidence that bleached flour produces headaches, diarrhea and depression; corn syrup causes diabetes; and hydrogenated fats help cause heart disease. Dr. Lee also documents the negative effects of synthetic isolated vitamins, the “jackpot in synthetic foods.” Includes also a report on chicanery regarding food additives at the Food and Drug Administration from one of the most outspoken watchdog publications of its day, Morris Bealle’s American Capsule News. 1957.

Sugar and Sugar Products—Their Use and Abuse

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Dr. Lee lays out the case against sugar in this article from the Journal of the American Academy of Applied Nutrition. In particular, he lambastes corn syrup, or pure glucose chemically derived from cornstarch, for being too quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, thus overstressing the pancreas and wreaking havoc on the body’s insulin-response system. Astute readers will realize Lee is essentially anticipating the creation of the glycemic index, which measures how fast and how hard the carbohydrates we eat hit the bloodstream in the form of blood sugar. “There is a very good reason why starches are better than sugars as energy foods,” he says. “It is because they are assimilated slower than the sugars, and thereby fail to overload our pancreatic function of supplying insulin.” Reprint 30D, 1950.

Sidelights on Glucose

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Before there was high-fructose corn syrup, there was just plain corn syrup—the original synthetic sweetener, created by chemically decomposing cornstarch into glucose molecules. Dr. Harvey Wiley, the first head of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), rightfully claimed that use of the word “corn” in describing this imitation food was fraudulent, since it implies naturalness in what is clearly a product of human engineering. In this 1958 article from Let’s Live magazine, Dr. Royal Lee cites a seminal experiment by Drs. Lukens and Dohan at the University of Pennsylvania in which corn syrup (i.e., glucose) was shown to cause diabetes in test animals, whereas refined cane sugar was not. Dr. Lee adds that animal-feeding studies and clinical trials had shown that corn syrup “contributes to cancer, diabetes, hypertension, lassitude, brain fatigue, overweight, irritability, and mental depression; it impairs the assimilation of calcium; and it destroys vital amino acids if they are cooked in its presence.” Finally, Dr. Lee excoriates the FDA for failing to force manufacturers to distinguish between synthetic corn syrup and natural sweeteners on food labels, a deceit that bespeaks the agency’s transformation from consumer watchdog, under Dr. Wiley’s leadership, to the guardian of food manufacturing interests that it is today. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.