I’m Healthy, So Sugar Won’t Hurt Me, Right?

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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sugar health risks

While everyone has been taught that fat is bad, this was wrong. Turns out that the fat causes heart disease thing was a myth. The real public enemy has always been sugar. Now a new study shows just how damaging sugar can be.

Why Sugar Is Our Dietary Enemy

Besides the obvious, which is the inability to properly control weight, in recent years, sugar has been revealed to be quite harmful. It’s been linked to everything from cancer to heart disease to arthritis to unhealthy bacteria in the gut and much more.

Cancer cells, for example, thrive on sugar, and when there is an abundance of sugar, cancer cells can become too powerful for the immune system to destroy. Cancer cells occur in the body every single day, and our immune system does a great job at killing these cells before they turn into full-blown cancer.

Excessive sugar consumption can also change the environment in our gut, for the worse. It does this by throwing off the balance of good and bad gut bacteria (dysbiosis). Our bad gut bacteria also thrives on sugar and other junk foods, and when this happens the bad bacteria becomes the dominating force in the gut, leading to a whole host of problems, such as leaky gut, obesity, and more. Even Parkinson’s disease has been linked to the condition of our gut. Artificial sweeteners fare no better here, as these react like sugar and also damage the gut.

Cutting sugar has also been shown to benefit our stem cells. In fact, if you are considering a stem cell therapy using your own stem cells, ideally, your A1C should be at 5.1 or below, and a strict low-sugar, low-carb diet will help you get there. Additionally, sugar is a driving force behind metabolic syndrome common in middle age, which includes obesity, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and more, and knee arthritis appears to be linked to metabolic syndrome and blood-sugar control.

Sugar Health Risks: Can Healthy People Handle More Sugar?

The new study compared the impact of sugar consumption on heart health in healthy and unhealthy men. The subjects in the study were separated into two groups: men with high levels of liver fat (with a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) and men with low levels of liver fat (the healthy subjects). The men in both groups were put on either a low-sugar (140 calories from sugar) or high-sugar (650 calories from sugar) diet.

After 12 weeks, the unhealthy men on the high-sugar diet experienced changes in fat metabolism that lead to heart disease, which would be expected. The more interesting finding, however was that the healthy men on the high-sugar diet had an increase in liver fat and also experienced these same changes in fat metabolism, thereby increasing their risk of heart disease as well. Another interesting finding was that men in both groups on the high-sugar diet gained weight, while men in both groups on the low-sugar diet lost weight.

The upshot? Sugar is awful. This holiday season you will be surrounded by the stuff. Don’t do it! Have a cookie or two or a glass of eggnog, but don’t let the sugar Santa get you!

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6 thoughts on “I’m Healthy, So Sugar Won’t Hurt Me, Right?

  1. Gary Kraber

    Thank you so much for your variety of healthful information and advice .You show a concern for a wide spectrum of health issues that are critical to our well being . I’ve been studying the damage sugar does to our entire body and have friends who fasted off of sugar for a short while with great results including weight loss and more energy.So I have greatly reduced my consumption of sugar.Also I’m 71 and and am researching the best procedure for my hip condition ..osteoarthritis and sever shrinkage of cartilage…diagnosed in 2013.The Regenerative Medicine is the most sensible to me because it use our bodies to heal itself as it was created to do .Staying active has improved this condition but I still have some limited mobility and pain.Proper nutrition has surely been a factor here .I’ve viewed most of your very informative videos and listened to other other doctors who support this procedure.

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Gary,
      Keeping active and keeping sugar to a minimum are important and looks like you’re doing a great job at both. The one concern with Hip arthritis is that it escalates much more quickly than other joints, and often involves more bone issues than other joints, so not putting off treatment too long is important. Please see: https://regenexx.com/blog/new-research-knee-and-hip-oa-are-different/ and https://regenexx.com/the-regenexx-procedures/hip-surgery/

  2. Chad Freeman

    -110 lbs (in 1 year) today cutting sugar, salt, consistently walking

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Chad,
      REALLY Impressive! Congrats!

  3. Kimberly Evert

    My current A1C is 6.8 and I am currently suffering from knee pain. I read that all I can do now is continue to lower A1C and get it down, along with my weight before tackling my knee problem. I am moving my knee, working through the pain. Is there anything else I can do to feel better now?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Kimberly,
      Diabetes and knee pain are unfortunately a very common combination for several different reasons, one of which is medication. Please see: https://regenexx.com/blog/diabetes-drugs-cause-severe-joint-pain/ and https://regenexx.com/blog/more-research-confirms-statin-drugs-cause-diabetes/ But also both metabolic syndrome and high blood sugar negatively affect the chemical environment within the knee. https://regenexx.com/blog/overweight-with-knee-pain/ While working to get your A1C down, there are supplements that many people have found help. Please see: https://regenexx.com/blog/tumeric-curcumin-arthritis-regenexx-supplement-smell-like-indian-restaurant/ and https://regenexx.com/regenexx-advanced-stem-cell-support-formula/

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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