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.

[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]

124 Ways Sugar Ruins Your Health

Print this list and tape it to your refrigerator or sugar bowl. (See below for clinical documentation of each statement.)

1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.

2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.

3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.

5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).

6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function; the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you lose.

7. Sugar reduces high-density lipoproteins.

8. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.

9. Sugar leads to cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, and rectum.

10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.

11. Sugar causes copper deficiency.

12. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

13. Sugar can weaken eyesight.

14. Sugar raises the level of neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

15. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.

16. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.

17. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.

18. Sugar malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.

19. Sugar can cause premature aging.

20. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.

21. Sugar can cause tooth decay.

22. Sugar contributes to obesity.

23. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

24. Sugar can cause changes frequently found in persons with gastric or duodenal ulcers.

25. Sugar can cause arthritis.

26. Sugar can cause asthma.

27. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).

28. Sugar can cause gallstones.

29. Sugar can cause heart disease.

30. Sugar can cause appendicitis.

31. Sugar can cause multiple sclerosis.

32. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.

33. Sugar can cause varicose veins.

34. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.

35. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.

36. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.

37. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.

38. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.

39. Sugar can lower the amount of vitamin E in the blood.

40. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.

41. Sugar can increase cholesterol.

42. Sugar can increase the systolic blood pressure.

43. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

44. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs). (Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein.)

45. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.

46. Sugar causes food allergies.

47. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.

48. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

49. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.

50. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.

51. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA.

52. Sugar can change the structure of protein.

53. Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.

54. Sugar can cause cataracts.

55. Sugar can cause emphysema.

56. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.

57. Sugar can promote an elevation of low density lipoproteins (LDL).

58. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.

59. Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.

60. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.

61. Sugar can cause a permanent altering of the way the proteins act in the body.

62. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.

63. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.

64. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.

65. Sugar can damage the pancreas.

66. Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.

67. Sugar is enemy number 1 of the bowel movement.

68. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).

69. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.

70. Sugar can make the tendons more brittle.

71. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.

72. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.

73. Sugar can adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders.

74. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves.

75. Sugar can cause depression.

76. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.

77. Sugar can cause dyspepsia (indigestion).

78. Sugar can increase your risk of getting gout.

79. Sugar can increase the levels of glucose-tolerance test over the ingestion of complex carbohydrates.

80. Sugar can increase the insulin responses in humans consuming high sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.

81. A highly refined sugar diet reduces learning capacity.

82. Sugar can cause less effective functioning of two blood proteins, albumin and lipoproteins, which may reduce the body’s ability to handle fat and cholesterol.

83. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

84. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness.

85. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become underactive and others become overactive.

86. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

87. Sugar can lead to the hypothalamus becoming highly sensitive to a large variety of stimuli.

88. Sugar can lead to dizziness.

89. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.

90. High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.

91. High sugar diets can lead to biliary tract cancer.

92. Sugar feeds cancer.

93. High sugar consumption in pregnant adolescents is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.

94. High sugar consumption can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration among pregnant adolescents.

95. Sugar slows food’s travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.

96. Sugar increases the concentration of bile acids in stools and bacterial enzymes in the colon. This can modify bile to produce cancer-causing compounds and colon cancer.

97. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.

98. Sugar combines and destroys phosphatase, an enzyme that makes the process of digestion [less] difficult.

99. Sugar can be a risk factor of gallbladder cancer.

100. Sugar is an addictive substance.

101. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.

102. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.

103. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.

104. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.

105. The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.

106. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.

107. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

108. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.

109. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.

110. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.

111. IVs (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to the brain.

112. High sucrose intake could be an important risk factor in lung cancer.

113. Sugar increases the risk of polio.

114. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.

115. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.

116. In intensive care units, limiting sugar saves lives.

117. Sugar may induce cell death.

118. Sugar may impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in living organisms.

119. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.

120. Sugar can cause gastric cancer.

121. Sugar dehydrates newborns.

122. Sugar can cause gum disease.

123. Sugar increases the estradiol in young men.

124. Sugar can cause low birth-weight babies.

By Nancy Appleton, PhD. Nancyappleton.com, 2004. 

Sources

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2. Couzy, F., et al. “Nutritional Implications of the Interaction Minerals.” Progressive Food and Nutrition Science, 17:65–87, 1933.
3. Goldman, J., et al. “Behavioral Effects of Sucrose on Preschool Children.” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 14(4):565–577, 1986.
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15. Dufty, William. Sugar Blues. Warner Books, New York, 1975.
16. Ibid.
17. Jones, T.W., et al. “Enhanced Adrenomedullary Response and Increased Susceptibility to Neuroglycopenia: Mechanisms Underlying the Adverse Effect of Sugar Ingestion in Children.” Journal of Pediatrics, 126:171–177, February 1995.
18. Ibid.
19. Lee, A.T., and Cerami, A. “The Role of Glycation in Aging.” Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 663:63–70, 1992.
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34. Behall, K. “Influence of Estrogen Content of Oral Contraceptives and Consumption of Sucrose on Blood Parameters.” Disease Abstracts International, 431–437, 1982.
35. Glinsmann, W., Irausquin, H., and Youngmee, K. “Evaluation of Health Aspects of Sugar Contained in Carbohydrate Sweeteners.” FDA Report of Sugars Task Force, 39:36–38, 1986.
36. Tjaderhane, L., and Larmas, M. “A High Sucrose Diet Decreases the Mechanical Strength of Bones in Growing Rats.” Journal of Nutrition, 128:1807–1810, 1998.
37. Appleton, N. Healthy Bones. Avery Penguin Putnam, New York, 1989.
38. Beck-Nielsen, H., Pedersen O., and Schwartz, S. “Effects of Diet on the Cellular Insulin Binding and the Insulin Sensitivity in Young Healthy Subjects.” Diabetes, 15:289–296, 1978.
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40. Gardner, L., and Reiser, S. “Effects of Dietary Carbohydrates on Fasting Levels of Human Growth Hormone and Cortisol.” Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 169:36–40, 1982.
41. Reiser, S. “Effects of Dietary Sugars on Metabolic Risk Factors Associated with Heart Disease.” Nutritional Health, 203–216, 1985.
42. Hodges, R., and Rebello, T. “Carbohydrates and Blood Pressure.” Annals of Internal Medicine, 98:838–841, 1983.
43. Behar, D., et al. “Sugar Challenge Testing with Children Considered Behaviorally Sugar Reactive.” Nutritional Behavior, 1:277–288, 1984.
44 Furth, A., and Harding, J. “Why Sugar Is Bad For You.” New Scientist, 44, September 23, 1989.
45. Simmons, J. “Is the Sand of Time Sugar?” Longevity, 49–53, June 1990.
46. Randolph, T.G., et al. “Allergic Reactions Following Intravenous Injection of Corn Sugar (Dextrose).” Archives of Surgery, 64:554–564, 1950.
47. “Sucrose Induces Diabetes in Cat.” Federal Protocol, 6(97), 1974.
48. Cleave, T. The Saccharine Disease, p. 131. Keats Publishing, New Canaan, 1974.
49. Ibid. 132.
50. Vaccaro O., Ruth, K.J., and Stamler, J. “Relationship of Postload Plasma Glucose to Mortality with 19-year Follow-Up.” Diabetes Care, 10:328–334, October 15, 1992; Tominaga, M., et al. “Impaired Glucose Tolerance Is a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease, Not Fasting Glucose.” Diabetes Care, 2(6):920–924, 1999.
51. Lee, A.T., and Cerami, A. “Modifications of Proteins and Nucleic Acids by Reducing Sugars: Possible Role in Aging.” Handbook of the Biology of Aging, Academic Press, New York, 1990.
52. Monnier, V.M. “Nonenzymatic Glycosylation, the Maillard Reaction and the Aging Process.” Journal of Gerontology, 45(4):105–110, 1990.
53. Dyer, D.G., et al. “Accumulation of Maillard Reaction Products in Skin Collagen in Diabetes and Aging.” Journal of Clinical Investigation, 93(6):421–422, 1993.
54. Veromann, S., et al. “Dietary Sugar and Salt Represent Real Risk Factors for Cataract Development.” Ophthalmologica, 217(4):302–307, July-August 2003.
55. Monnier, V.M. “Nonenzymatic Glycosylation, the Maillard Reaction and the Aging Process.” Journal of Gerontology, 45(4):105–110, 1990.
56. Pamplona, R., et al. “Mechanisms of Glycation in Atherogenesis.” Medical Hypotheses, 40:174–181, 1990.
57. Lewis, G.F., and Steiner, G. “Acute Effects of Insulin in the Control of VLDL Production in Humans. Implications for the Insulin-Resistant State.” Diabetes Care, 19(4):390–393, April 1996; Pamplona, R., et al. “Mechanisms of Glycation in Atherogenesis.” Medical Hypotheses, 40:174–181, 1990.
58. Ceriello, A. “Oxidative Stress and Glycemic Regulation.” Metabolism, 49(2 Suppl. 1):27–29, February 2000.
59. Appleton, N. Lick the Sugar Habit. Avery Penguin Putnam, New York, 1988.
60. Hellenbrand, W. “Diet and Parkinson’s Disease. A Possible Role for the Past Intake of Specific Nutrients: Results from a Self-Administered Food-Frequency Questionnaire in a Case-control Study.” Neurology, 47(3):644–650, September 1996.
61. Cerami, A., Vlassara, H., and Brownlee, M. “Glucose and Aging.” Scientific American, 90, May 1987.
62. Goulart, F.S. “Are You Sugar Smart?” American Fitness, 34–38, March 1991.
63. Ibid.
64. Yudkin, J., Kang, S., and Bruckdorfer, K. “Effects of High Dietary Sugar.” British Journal of Medicine, 1396, November 22, 1980.
65. Goulart, F.S. “Are You Sugar Smart?” American Fitness, 34–38, March-April 1991.
66. Ibid. fluid retention.
67. Ibid. bowel movement.
68. Ibid. nearsightedness.
69. Ibid. compromise the lining of the capillaries.
70. Nash, J. “Health Contenders.” Essence, 23:79–81, January 1992.
71. Grand, E. “Food Allergies and Migraine.” Lancet, 1:955–959, 1979.
72. Michaud, D. “Dietary Sugar, Glycemic Load, and Pancreatic Cancer Risk in a Prospective Study.” Journ. Natl Cancer Inst., 94(17):1293–1300, September 4, 2002.
73. Schauss, A. Diet, Crime and Delinquency. Parker House, Berkeley, 1981.
74. Christensen, L. “The Role of Caffeine and Sugar in Depression.” Nutrition Report, 9(3):17–24, March 1991.
75. Ibid.
76. Cornee, J., et al. “Case-Control Study of Gastric Cancer and Nutritional Factors in Marseille, France.” European Journal of Epidemiology, 11:55–65, 1995.
77. Yudkin, J. Sweet and Dangerous, p. 29. Bantam Books, New York, 1974.
78. Ibid., 44.
79. Reiser, S., et al. “Effects of Sugars on Indices of Glucose Tolerance in Humans.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 43:151–159, 1986.
80. Reiser, S., et al. “Effects of Sugars on Indices of Glucose Tolerance in Humans.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 43:151–159, 1986.
81. Molteni, R., et al. “A High-Fat, Refined Sugar Diet Reduces Hippocampal Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Neuronal Plasticity, and Learning.” Neuroscience, 112(4):803–814, 2002.
82. Monnier, V. “Nonenzymatic Glycosylation, the Maillard Reaction and the Aging Process.” Journal of Gerontology, 45:105–111, 1990.
83. Frey, J. “Is There Sugar in the Alzheimer’s Disease?” Annales De Biologie Clinique, 59(3):253–257, 2001.
84. Yudkin, J. “Metabolic Changes Induced by Sugar in Relation to Coronary Heart Disease and Diabetes.” Nutrition and Health, 5(1–2):5–8, 1987.
85. Ibid.
86. Blacklock, N.J. “Sucrose and Idiopathic Renal Stone.” Nutrition and Health, 5(1–2):9–12, 1987;
Curhan, G., et al. “Beverage Use and Risk for Kidney Stones in Women.” Annals of Internal Medicine, 28:534–540, 1998.
87. Journal of Advanced Medicine, 7(1):51–58, 1994.
88. Ibid.
89. Ceriello, A. “Oxidative Stress and Glycemic Regulation.” Metabolism, 49(2 Suppl 1):27–29, February 2000.
90. Postgraduate Medicine, 45:602–607, September 1969.
91. Moerman, C.J., et al. “Dietary Sugar Intake in the Etiology of Biliary Tract Cancer.” International Journal of Epidemiology, 2(2):207–214, April 1993.
92. Quillin, P. “Cancer’s Sweet Tooth.” Nutrition Science News, April 2000;
Rothkopf, M. Nutrition, 6(4), July-August 1990.
93. Lenders, C.M. “Gestational Age and Infant Size at Birth Are Associated with Dietary Intake among Pregnant Adolescents.” Journal of Nutrition, 1113–1117, June 1997.
94. Ibid.
95. Bostick, R.M., et al. “Sugar, Meat and Fat Intake and Non-Dietary Risk Factors for Colon Cancer Incidence in Iowa Women.” Cancer Causes and Control, 5:38–53, 1994.
96. Ibid.; Kruis, W., et al. “Effects of Diets Low and High in Refined Sugars on Gut Transit, Bile Acid Metabolism and Bacterial Fermentation.” Gut, 32:367–370, 1991; Ludwig, D.S., et al. “High Glycemic Index Foods, Overeating, and Obesity.” Pediatrics, 103(3):26–32, March 1999.
97. Yudkin, J., and Eisa, O. “Dietary Sucrose and Oestradiol Concentration in Young Men.” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 32(2):53–55, 1988.
98. Lee, A.T., and Cerami A. “The Role of Glycation in Aging.” Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 663:63–70, 1992.
99. Moerman, C., et al. “Dietary Sugar Intake in the Etiology of Biliary Tract Cancer.” International Journal of Epidemiology, 22(2):207–214, April 1993.
100. “Sugar, White Flour Withdrawal Produces Chemical Response.” The Addiction Letter, 4, July 1992;
Colantuoni, C., et al. “Evidence That Intermittent, Excessive Sugar Intake Causes Endogenous Opioid Dependence.” Obes. Res., 10(6):478–488,June 2002;
Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Society. Toronto, June 17, 2001.
101. Ibid.
102. The Edell Health Letter, 7:1, September 1991.
103. Sunehag, A.L., et al. “Gluconeogenesis in Very Low Birth Weight Infants Receiving Total Parenteral Nutrition.” Diabetes,  48:791–800, 1999.
104. Christensen L., et al. “Impact of a Dietary Change on Emotional Distress.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94(4):565–579, 1985.
105. “Changes Sugar into Fat Faster than Fat.” Nutrition Health Review. Fall 1985.
106. Ludwig, D.S., et al. “High Glycemic Index Foods, Overeating and Obesity.” Pediatrics, 103(3):26–32, March 1999.
107. Pediatrics Research, 38(4): 539–542, 1995;
Berdonces, J.L. “Attention Deficit and Infantile Hyperactivity.” Rev Enferm., 24(1):11–14, January 2001.
108. Blacklock, N.J. “Sucrose and Idiopathic Renal Stone.” Nutritional Health, 5(1 and 2):9–17, 1987.
109. Lechin, F., et al. “Effects of an Oral Glucose Load on Plasma Neurotransmitters in Humans.” Neurophychobiology, 26(1 and 2):4–11, 1992.
110. Fields, M. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 17(4):317–321, August 1998.
111. Arieff, A.I. “IVs of Sugar Water Can Cut Off Oxygen to the Brain.” Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Francisco. San Jose Mercury, June 12, 1986.
112. De Stefani, E. “Dietary Sugar and Lung Cancer: A Case-Control Study in Uruguay.” Nutrition and Cancer, 31(2):132–137, 1998.
113. Sandler, Benjamin P. Diet Prevents Polio. The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, Milwaukee, WI, 1951.
114. Murphy, P. “The Role of Sugar in Epileptic Seizures.” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, May 2001. (Murphy is editor of Epilepsy Wellness Newsletter.)
115. “Pathogenesis of Hypertension in Diabetes Mellitus.” Diabetes Mellitus, a Fundamental and Clinical Test, 2nd Edition, p. 943–957, edited by Stern, N., and Tuck, M. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, 2000.
116. Christansen, D. “Critical Care: Sugar Limit Saves Lives.” Science News, 159:404, June 30, 2001.
117. Donnini, D., et al. “Glucose May Induce Cell Death Through a Free Radical-Mediated Mechanism.” Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 219(2):412–417, February 15, 1996.
118. Ceriello, A. “Oxidative Stress and Glycemic Regulation.Metabolism, 49(Suppl I):27–29, February 2000.
119. Schoenthaler, S. “The Los Angeles Probation Department Diet-Behavior Program: An Empirical Analysis of Six Institutional Settings.” International Journal Biosocial Research, 5(2):88–89.
120. Cornee, J., et al. “A Case-Control Study of Gastric Cancer and Nutritional Factors in Marseille, France.” European Journal of Epidemiology, 11:55–65, 1995.
121. “Gluconeogenesis in Very Low Birth Weight Infants Receiving Total Parenteral Nutrition.” Diabetes, 48(4):791–800, April 1999.
122. Glinsmann, W., et al. “Evaluation of Health Aspects of Sugar Contained in Carbohydrate Sweeteners.” FDA Report of Sugars Task Force, 39, 1986.
123. Yudkin, J., and Eisa, O. “Dietary Sucrose and Oestradiol Concentration in Young Men.” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 32(2):53–55, 1988.
124. Lenders, C.M. “Gestational Age and Infant Size at Birth Are Associated with Dietary Intake Among Pregnant Adolescents.” Journal of Nutrition, 128:1807–1810, 1998.

 

Patrick Earvolino, CN

Patrick Earvolino is a Certified Nutritionist and Special Projects Editor for Selene River Press, Inc.

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