Paracelsus, one of the first modern medical professors, said: “The dose makes the poison.” This also applies to sugar. At its most basic, your body breaks down the food you eat into glucose (also known as blood sugar) and other simple sugars. The body then uses these for energy.
Of course, that’s not to say that all types of sugar benefit the body. For one, having excess amounts of sugar in your body is harmful and is often a precursor to chronic diseases. Fructose, in particular, is a type of sugar that’s often misunderstood – since it’s found in fruit and is often seen on ingredient labels as an added sugar.
Indeed, fruit does contain fructose, but it also contains vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that provide nutrition. Most fruits are also loaded with fiber and water, which help with portion control.
However, when fructose is found in added sugars like high fructose corn syrup, it’s a different story. For one, it stands out from other sugars since the body cannot utilize it directly. The liver converts fructose to glucose first, so it can be used by the body as a source of energy. When the body gets too much of it and too quickly – like in the case of sweet juices and soda – the liver gets overloaded and instead converts fructose to fat, causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
This has led to some diet purists claiming that fruit, by virtue of its fructose content, is harmful as well. This claim is inaccurate, however, as it’s not the sugar itself that’s bad, but the amount. Adding sweeteners to your diet, however, can lead to excessive fructose consumption, which can lead to the following effects.
Aside from fructose, most fruits are also loaded with important nutrients which can help the body feel fuller for longer and prevent cell damage.
Many fruits possess a lot of vitamins and minerals that you may otherwise overlook in your diet, and it’s easy to get these nutrients from fruit because “nature’s fast food” can be eaten as snacks or while you’re on the go. Most fruit, especially those eaten with the skin, are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which help prevent premature cell aging and damage. Fruit is also a great source of vitamin A, which helps protect your eyesight from age-related decline. You can also find electrolytes like potassium and magnesium — minerals that facilitate the functions of the nervous system — in most fruit. Folate, also called vitamin B9, is also present in citrus fruits. A large orange, for example, contains up to 55 micrograms or 14 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Most fruit is packed with fiber and water, so you take time to eat and digest it. As a consequence, foods rich in fiber make you feel fuller for longer. By contrast, processed foods and sweets contain similar or higher amounts of fructose but have less nutritional value and satiety. Moreover, insoluble fiber maintains regular bowel movement, while soluble fiber plays a role in weight management, cholesterol regulation, and blood sugar stability. (Related: Learn which carbs are actually good for you in moderate amounts.)
Adding a variety of fruit to your diet is always a great idea. While many may contain sugar, the benefits far outweigh whatever negatives the fructose content brings.
Published here on Aug 11, 2019
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most feared illnesses afflicting older adults. Just ask anyone over the age of 55 who has misplaced car keys whether they didn’t have a momentary fear it could be a first sign of the crippling slow decline associated with this disease.
Most of what Doctors diagnose as “dementia” is Alzheimer’s disease (about 70% of dementia cases). With our rapidly aging populations, Alzheimer’s has become the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S. As a result, many of us have witnessed the heartbreak and despair of watching a loved one’s progressive memory loss and brain function resulting in the eventual but often slow death of the person they once knew. We watch our family members disintegrate in slow motion before our eyes and pray that we never meet the same fate.
Throughout the years, a lot of Alzheimer’s research focused on how the characteristic amyloid deposits on the brain are formed and exploring the role of inflammation in the disease progression. These amyloid proteins form large sticky plaques on the brain and are a hallmark of the disease and an early indicator of Alzheimer’s.
But finally, after decades of scientific failure and billions of dollars spent in looking for a cure along with a 99% failure rate in drug treatment research, there is a bright ray of hope that may lead to a long-sought-after treatment.
But, this periodontal disease connection intrigued an international team of scientists and they decided to take a more in-depth look at the role of gum disease in Alzheimer’s. And they have published some truly intriguing results.
It was a complex series of studies worked on by several groups of scientists. So I’m going to try and break it down for you: First, they analyzed cerebrospinal fluid (considered a “window” into brain infection) from 10 living patients diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease. Then they isolated DNA from Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), the primary pathogen found in chronic periodontitis, matching it with the Pg that the researchers found in the patients’ saliva samples.2
Next, the researchers looked at the toxic enzymes produced by Pg called “gingipains,” and analyzed brain-bank samples from deceased people. One team found that there were greater gingipain loads in the brains of people who died from Alzheimer’s disease than in the brains of people who had no diagnosis of dementia.3
This new information quickly led them to the conclusion that Pg “is not a result of poor dental care following the onset of dementia or a consequence of late-stage disease, but is an early event that can explain the pathology found in middle-aged individuals before cognitive decline.”2
Now for the fascinating part of the study. The team tested a molecular therapy already undergoing clinical trials on Alzheimer’s patients to see if the compound, called COR388, could inhibit the toxic action of gingipains in the brains of mice that had been orally infected with gingipains. They found that not only was there reduced bacterial load of Pg brain infection, COR388 also blocked amyloid beta production, and reduced neuroinflammation.
Overall this added up to more protection of neurons in the hippocampus—the part of the brain that controls memory and is damaged early in the development of Alzheimer’s.4
What Does This Mean For Everyday People?
Dr. Jan Potempa, an investigator based at the University of Louisville’s Department of Oral Immunology and Infections Disease who was part of the international team said, “We now have strong evidence connecting P. gingivalis and Alzheimer’s pathogenesis (the chain of events leading to the disease)…”
An even more critical aspect of this study is that there might be enormous potential for therapies that could change the course of the disease or even stop the progression of a disease that now seems to be strongly connected with this particular dental disease and bacteria.4 Researchers are now focusing on developing a compound like COR388 that can effectively block the debilitating effects of Pg in the brain.
Also, consider this, there is a link between gum disease and other conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The research here is also not conclusive, but there is some evidence that suggests that there is a connection and more research is underway.
According to The Mayo Clinic5 :
“Gum disease (periodontitis) is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease.”
“Poor dental health increases the risk of a bacterial infection in the bloodstream, which can affect the heart valves. Oral health may be particularly important if you have artificial heart valves.”
“Tooth loss patterns are connected to coronary artery disease.
“There is a strong connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease and evidence that people with diabetes benefit from periodontal treatment.”
Bottom line: Though this line of investigation is still young and COR388 may not prove to be a magic bullet (or the only magic bullet) against Alzheimer’s disease, this research is very encouraging, and we will continue to update this article with any new studies. Until then, it certainly makes sense to maintain good oral hygiene practices (regular brushing and flossing) and visit a dentist regularly to catch gum disease as early as possible!
1Kamer AR et al. Periodontal disease associates with higher brain amyloid load in normal elderly. Neurobiology of Aging. 2014;36(2):627-33. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4399973/
2Dominy SS et al. Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors. Science Advances. 2019. http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/1/eaau3333
3Yager J. Are Brains with Alzheimer Disease All Gummed Up? 8 February 2019. NEJM Journal Watch. https://www.jwatch.org/na48441/2019/02/08/are-brains-with-alzheimer-disease-all-gummed
4 The University of Louisville. School of Dentistry. New science details discovery of bacterial pathogen in brains of Alzheimer’s patients. January 2019. https://louisville.edu/dentistry/news/new-science-details-discovery-of-bacterial-pathogen-in-brains-of-alzheimer2019s-patients-and-possible-evidence-of-disease-causation
5 Heart disease prevention: Does oral health matter? – Mayo Clinic Online. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/heart-disease-prevention/faq-20057986
Photo credit: Alzheimer’s disease has destroyed neurons in the right-hand brain above. Jessica Wilson/Science Photo Library
In fact, the Obesity Health Alliance is calling for all ads for foods high in sugar, fat and salt to be banned before 9:00 pm. This U.K. coalition is made up of more than 40 organizations that are trying to tackle weight problems. They’d like to see the ads restricted not only on live TV but also TV on demand, online, in social media, apps and games, at the movies, on billboards and on the radio.
Current restrictions in Britain only apply to programs or sites that are geared toward children, and this means that kids watching shows like game shows and talent competitions with their family are still being exposed to such ads.
A survey carried out by YouGov found that people widely agree with such sentiments. Sixty-nine percent of people believe that junk food marketing plays a role in childhood obesity. When it comes to junk food ad bans until 9p.m., 72 percent of people support one during popular family shows on TV, 70 percent support one online, and 68 percent would like to see one on digital advertising outside of homes, such as digital posters at bus stops or cinemas.
The University of Liverpool’s Dr. Emma Boyland said that research has shown that exposure to junk food advertising has a negative effect on kids’ diets. Making matters worse, overweight kids are more vulnerable to the suggestions of ads, which results in them consuming more calories than kids of a healthy weight when they see these ads for junk food.
A survey of nearly 2,500 children carried out by Cancer Research U.K. found that those who watch TV or use the internet for more than 30 minutes a day have a greater likelihood of asking for, buying, or consuming junk food.
It also revealed that each additional hour a child spends watching commercial TV is linked to a 22 percent greater chance of asking for foods they saw advertised, a 21 percent greater chance of buying food they saw advertised, a 23 percent greater chance of drinking sugary beverages, an 18 percent greater chance of eating pastries, and a 16 percent greater chance of eating chips and sweets. Similar trends were associated with additional time spent online.
Kids might not have the power to buy food themselves, but they do have what ad execs term “pester power” – every parent knows just how relentless kids can be when they want something. The food companies tap into this, and it’s part of the reason childhood obesity is getting out of control.
As long as food companies are allowed to target kids with brightly-colored ads that make eating food that will slowly but surely kill them somehow seem fun and exciting, the childhood obesity epidemic is unlikely to let up any time soon. One in five school-aged kids in the U.S. are already obese, and while many factors can contribute to the problem, we shouldn’t let the pursuit of the almighty dollar be one of them.
Sources for this article include:
Once upon a time, some of the most beautiful cities in the entire world were on the west coast, but now those same cities are degenerating into drug-infested cesspools of filth and garbage right in front of our eyes. San Francisco is known as the epicenter for our tech industry, and Los Angeles produces more entertainment than anyone else in the world, and yet both cities are making headlines all over the world for other reasons these days. Right now, nearly a quarter of the nation’s homeless population lives in the state of California, and more are arriving with each passing day. When you walk the streets of San Francisco or Los Angeles, you can’t help but notice the open air drug markets, the giant mountains of trash, and the discarded needles and piles of human feces that are seemingly everywhere. If this is what things look like when the U.S. economy is still relatively stable, how bad are things going to get when the economy tanks?
When Leilani Farha paid a visit to San Francisco in January, she knew the grim reputation of the city’s homeless encampments. In her four years as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing, Farha has visited the slums of Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City, Jarkarta, and Manila. The crisis in San Francisco, she said, is comparable to these conditions.
I have never been to Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City, Jakarta or Manila, and so I will just have to take her word for what the conditions are like there.
But how can this be happening in one of the wealthiest cities in the entire country?
Sadly, to a large degree San Francisco has done this to itself. Every single day drugs are openly bought and sold at “an outdoor market of sorts” right in the heart of the city, and authorities know exactly where it is happening…
To drill down on the epicenter of the crisis, a recentNew York Times inquiry set out to find the dirtiest block in San Francisco. After asking statisticians to compile a list of streets with the most neighborhood complaints regarding sidewalk cleanliness, the Times landed on a winner: Hyde Street’s 300 block, which received more than 2,200 complaints over the last decade.
A visit to the block yields a harrowing sight of drug addicts and mentally ill residents, many of whom are part of the city’s overwhelmingly large homeless population. During the day, drug users host an outdoor market of sorts, selling heroin, crack cocaine, and amphetamines along the sidewalks.
They could shut down the drug dealing if they really wanted to do so.
And anywhere the illegal drug trade is thriving, you are also going to have a lot of property crime. At this point, no city in America has a higher rate of property crime than San Francisco does…
San Francisco is the nation’s leader in property crime. Burglary, larceny, shoplifting, and vandalism are included under this ugly umbrella. The rate of car break-ins is particularly striking: in 2017 over 30,000 reports were filed, and the current average is 51 per day. Other low-level offenses, including drug dealing, street harassment, encampments, indecent exposure, public intoxication, simple assault, and disorderly conduct are also rampant.
Meanwhile, things are not much better in Los Angeles. In fact, many would argue that L.A. is in even worse condition.
The homeless population in the city has risen 16 percent since last year, and it is taking over neighborhood after neighborhood. Los Angeles was once one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world, but now it is rapidly being transformed into a hellhole…
If someone predicted half a century ago that a Los Angeles police station or indeed L.A. City Hall would be in danger of periodic, flea-borne infectious typhus outbreaks, he would have been considered unhinged. After all, the city that gave us the modern freeway system is not supposed to resemble Justinian’s sixth-century Constantinople. Yet typhus, along with outbreaks of infectious hepatitis A, are in the news on California streets. The sidewalks of the state’s major cities are homes to piles of used needles, feces, and refuse. Hygienists warn that permissive municipal governments are setting the stage — through spiking populations of history’s banes of fleas, lice, and rats — for possible dark-age outbreaks of plague or worse.
Skid Row is the epicenter of the homeless problem in L.A., and I highly recommend that you do not go down there to check it out for yourself.
It is hard to believe that people are actually living this way in America in 2019. This is what one reporter witnessed during his visit to the neighborhood…
If you want to know how bad the homelessness crisis has gotten in California, just turn to 4 squares miles east of Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. The area, known as Skid Row, has long been inhabited by the city’s poorest residents. These days it resembles something akin to a nightmare.
Residents sleep in tents surrounded by discarded needles and feces, their belongings tucked into trash bags and shopping carts. Some shade themselves with tarps or use nearby light poles to connect to power. Others have contracted typhus from rats scurrying across the sidewalk. One resident was evenfound bathing in the water from a broken fire hydrant.
This is where the rest of the country is headed if we are not very careful. Bad policies have bad consequences, and our leaders have been taking us in the wrong direction for a very long time.
And instead of getting to the root of our problems, most of our politicians seem to think that engaging in bizarre social experiments will somehow solve our problems.
For example, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is convinced that we can solve the homeless problem by building tiny housing units in the backyards of private homeowners…
As part of this mission, the city is pursuing a pilot program, made possible by a $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies grant, that would help homeowners install backyard units on their properties. In exchange for a $10,000 to $30,000 stipend, homeowners would be able to charge a small rent to homeless tenants, who would pay their share through vouchers or their own income. The city also plans to institute a matchmaking process that pairs owners and tenants.
“Our homeless crisis demands that we get creative,” the mayor said. If the backyard pilot works, he added, the idea could be adopted anywhere.
So if you live in Los Angeles, soon you will be able to bring the needles and piles of human feces from Skid Row into your own backyard.
Meanwhile, homeless people keep dropping dead night after night in Los Angeles. Just check out these staggering numbers…
A record number of homeless people — 918 last year alone — are dying across Los Angeles County, on bus benches, hillsides, railroad tracks and sidewalks.
Deaths have jumped 76% in the past five years, outpacing the growth of the homeless population, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the coroner’s data.
Year after year, this homelessness crisis is only getting worse.
The fabric of our society is literally coming apart right in front of our eyes, and we can all see what is happening, and yet our leaders seem absolutely powerless to fix it.
If we continue on this trajectory, what is our nation going to look like in a few years?