By: Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.
Nancy Appleton Ph.D. started writing and lecturing about health in the late 1970s as a reaction to her own poor health. Her discoveries about sugar and other common diet mistakes led to her first book Lick the Sugar Habit, a bestseller, with six more books to follow. Her findings on sugar still hold true today, if not even more so.
(Reprinted by permission from the author)
Hammer Nutrition's prefatory comments: We are grateful to Dr. Appleton for granting us permission to reprint this most recent version of her eye-opening article. For as long as we have been in business, we at Hammer Nutrition have unwaveringly and zealously advocated minimizing-to-eliminating sugar consumption, both in the diet and during exercise. When you read the following list of science-referenced, health-compromising consequences that are associated with sugar consumption, we are hopeful that it will have a profound impact on you. Remember, what you put in your body determines what you get out of it performance-wise. That's true not only when you're training and racing, but more importantly for everyday living.
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 ovaries.
10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
11. Sugar causes copper deficiency.
12. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
13. Sugar may make eyes more vulnerable to age-related macular degeneration.
14. Sugar raises the level of a 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 person 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 hemorrhoids.
32. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
33. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
34. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
35. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
36. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
37. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
38. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol) in the blood.
39. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
40. Sugar can increase cholesterol.
41. Sugar can increase the systolic blood pressure.
42. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein)
43. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.
44. Sugar causes food allergies.
45. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
46. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
47. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
48. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
49. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA
50. Sugar can change the structure of protein.
51. Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
52. Sugar can cause cataracts.
53. Sugar can cause emphysema.
54. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
55. Sugar can promote an elevation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
56. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.
57. Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.
58. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson's disease.
59. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.
60. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.
61. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
62. Sugar can damage the pancreas.
63. Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.
64. Sugar is enemy #1 of the bowel movement.
65. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
66. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
67. Sugar can make the tendons more brittle.
68. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.
69. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.
70. Sugar can adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders.
71. Sugar can cause depression.
72. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.
73. Sugar and cause dyspepsia (indigestion).
74. Sugar can increase your risk of getting gout.
75. Sugar can increase the levels of glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test over the ingestion of complex carbohydrates.
76. Sugar can increase the insulin responses in humans consuming high-sugar diets compared to low-sugar diets.
77. A diet high in refined sugar reduces learning capacity.
78. 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.
79. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer's disease.
80. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness.
81. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become under active and others become overactive.
82. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
83. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.
84. High sugar diet can lead to biliary tract cancer.
85. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents is associated with a twofold-increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.
86. High sugar consumption can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration among adolescents.
87. Sugar slows food's travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.
88. 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.
89. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.
90. Sugar combines with and destroys phosphatase, an enzyme, which makes the process of digestion more difficult.
91. Sugar can be a risk factor of gallbladder cancer.
92. Sugar is an addictive substance.
93. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.
94. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.
95. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.
96. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.
97. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
98. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
99. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.
100. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.
101. I.Vs (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to the brain.
102. High sucrose intake could be an important risk factor in lung cancer.
103. Sugar increases the risk of polio.
104. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.
105. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.
106. In Intensive Care Units, limiting sugar saves lives.
107. Sugar may induce cell death.
108. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat.
109. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44% drop in antisocial behavior.
110. Sugar can lead to prostrate cancer.
111. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
112. Sugar can cause low birth weight babies.
113. Greater consumption of refined sugar is associated with a worse outcome of schizophrenia
114. Sugar can raise homocysteine levels in the blood stream.
115. Sweet food items increase the risk of breast cancer.
116. Sugar is a risk factor in cancer of the small intestine.
117. Sugar may cause laryngeal cancer.
118. Sugar induces salt and water retention.
119. Sugar may contribute to mild memory loss.
120. The more sodas a 10 year old child consumes, the less milk.
121. Sugar can increase the total amount of food consumed.
122. Exposing a newborn to sugar results in a heightened preference for sucrose relative to water at 6 months and 2 years of age.
123. Sugar causes constipation.
124. Sugar causes varicose veins.
125. Sugar can cause brain decay in prediabetic and diabetic women.
126. Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
127. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.
128. Sugar ingestion by pregnant women increases neural tube defects in embryos.
129. Sugar can be a factor in asthma.
130. The higher the sugar consumption the more chances of getting irritable bowel syndrome.
131. Sugar can affect the brain's ability to deal with rewards and consequences.
132. Sugar can cause cancer of the rectum.
133. Sugar can cause endometrial cancer.
134. Sugar can cause renal (kidney) cell carcinoma.
135. Sugar can cause liver tumors.
136. Sugar can increase inflammatory markers in the blood stream of overweight people.
137. Sugar can lower Vitamin E levels in the blood stream.
138. Sugar can increase your appetite for all food.
139. Sugar plays a role in the etiology and the continuation of acne.
140. Too much sugar can kill your sex life.
141. Sugar saps school performance in children.
142. Sugar can cause fatigue, moodiness, nervousness and depression.
143. Sugar is common choice of obese individuals.
144. A linear decrease in the intake of many essential nutrients is associated with increasing total sugar intake.
145. High fructose consumption has been linked to liver disease.
146. Sugar adds to the risk of bladder cancer.
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About the author (courtesy of www.nancyappleton.com)
Dr. Nancy Appleton has told this story many times, but she is a sugarholic. Years of sneaking sugary snacks only to work it off on the tennis courts led to sickness and allergy as her constant companions. Despite everything the doctors tried she didn't get better, until...
...she asked the question, "What am I doing to make myself sick?"
Thus began an odyssey of research, lecturing and writing in an attempt to bring her discoveries of homeostasis and mineral relationships based on the works of Walter B. Cannon, MD and Melvin Page, DDS to everyone who is sick and needs help. Naturally, this meant that her BS in Health and Nutrition from UCLA wasn't enough of a degree to be believed. This led to a PhD in Health Services from Walden University.
Dr. Appleton has written 5 books: Lick the Sugar Habit, The Curse of Louis Pasteur, Healthy Bones, Lick the Sugar Habit Sugar Counter and Stopping Inflammation. She is also the creator of the Body Monitor Test Kit, an easy at-home tool for testing for homeostasis.
While I applaud the efforts to minimize the amount of sugar that humans consume, this is exactly the type of shock article that frightens people and leads them to overthinking every bite of food that they put into their mouths. The anxiety caused by disordered eating multiplies the effects of every single one of these health conditions. Sugar by itself does not cause cancer. Please, Hammer, do better.
Hammer Nutrition replied:
Hello Beth, I’m very sorry, but I cannot agree at all with your comments. Safe levels of intake of this toxic substance is 1-2 ounces per day. The Standard American Diet registers about 6-8 ounces per day, or over 150 pounds per year. This is the elephant in the room whenever diet is discussed. High sugar diets are the leading factor in all of the ailments we see today and I completely reject your notion that limiting ones sugar intake causes anxiety and eating disorders. This is completely untrue. In fact, sugar, artificial sweeteners and highly processed “junk” food is actually the cause these problems. Sugar is physically addictive and is one of the biggest industries in the world and that is fiercely protected. I have been railing against this toxic substance for over 30 years and have no plans to stop. I dare anyone who thinks this is hype to do The Whole 30, or any other diet that excludes sugar for 30 days and tell me if it is not a transformative, life changing experience. BDF
“Sugar” can be broadly used – what types of sugars are the bad ones, and which are the good ones (specifically for endurance athletes)? For instance, refined sugar – bad. Off the top of my head right now, I’m not sure which “-ose” makes up the sugar found in most kitchens or in most sweet foods. Any “good” sweeteners, or more importantly, good sources of carbs?
Hammer Nutrition replied:
Hello Michael, Thank you for your comments. I would suggest that all refined sugars, which do end in “ose”, are bad and to be avoided when possible. When we choose to engage in endurance sports, sugar and salt to not transform and become some great thing. This is why our product are made with complex carbohydrates derived from corn and now cassava. For me, moderation is much more preferable to substitutes. Raw, unwashed cane juice powder (Sucanat is a brand I use) is what I put in my coffee in the morning and is my 1 ounce of voluntary added sugar for the day. Decent natural alternative sweeteners are Stevia and Monk Fruit, but they do have bit of a taste to them and other than in some of our products, I don’t use them. My favorite sources of carbs are leafy green and cruciferous vegetables (think zucchini and broccoli instead of carrots and potatoes). We’ll be back in upcoming sends with a list of “good carbs”. A salad with avocado and chicken is a way better post workout recovery choice compared to a bowl of pasta or chocolate milk! BDF