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Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by Notmyrealname, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    A lot of discussion recently on the Forum about obesity and its link with sugar consumption, so I thought I would 'crawl out from under my rock again' ( :smile: ) and write something about the very wide range of effects that sugar has on the body.

    We are all aware of much of what I write below, but in such postings we cannot leave out what we think is obvious on the assumption it is obvious to everyone (also because someone will immediately respond with "Eh mate, call yourself a biologist? What about tooth decay? Missed that didn't ya! Bl**dy know-all scientists!" or maybe not :smile: )

    If one person finds even one fact they did not know before or the posting causes one thought about sugar intake for that person and his family (the damage starts YOUNG) then it is worth the time writing such postings - after all, what else do I have to do???

    A major point about sugar (the body's energy source) is that its presence is often disguised in foods by using a variety of names - so we can easily consume more than we think.

    Sugar.PNG

    (from https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/how-sugar-affects-your-body).

    Another issue is that, as with the unlikelihood of getting the balance in intake/output exactly right at any moment in time, the body has to convert unused glucose (a simple sugar consumed as glucose or produced from other more-complex sugars by metabolism) into glycogen (a complex sugar) and store it, usually in muscle tissue (of the skeletal system) and the liver. BUT, there is limited storage capacity for glycogen and so excess glycogen is then converted to FAT (which is a more compact form of storage). Glycogen is the easiest storage form to convert back to glucose for use in the body and stored fat converts back only when the glycogen is depleted (glucose < > glycogen < > fat). Thus, when we build up fat (adipose tissue) we find it difficult to get rid of when we continue to consume more sugar than the body requires.

    So, exercise uses glucose converted from stored glycogen and then from stored fat - if we consume only the amount of sugar the body needs then there is no excess to store and if we consume excess sugar there is no way to prevent fat accumulation other than using it up by sufficient activity (exercise). This is the simple story of 'diet and exercise' and the link to obesity. This is the point @Rye83 makes: that if (in energy terms) input exceeds output then you get fat/obese. In simple terms: You cannot do work/exercise (use energy) unless you input energy BUT also you cannot remove excess energy (stored as fat) unless you do work/exercise (i.e. use up energy).

    However, there is much more to sugar than a bulging waist:

    As a general issue: Too much sugar causes the release of insulin and stress hormones, which raises the level of inflammation within the body. This can have very damaging effects all over the body, as seen below.

    Heart and circulatory disease can be linked to excess inflammation and the accumulation of fats, both caused by excess sugar intake. This can leads to heart attacks and strokes.

    When the liver stores too much fat, it causes liver cells to become fat cells and results in 'non-alcoholic fatty liver disease' - this can progress to liver failure in the same way excessive alcohol consumption can. This may require a liver transplant.

    The pancreas helps control blood sugar levels by producing the hormone insulin but this mechanism can fail if it is 'overworked' by consuming too much sugar - it starts to produce too much insulin and this may result in Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

    An effect of diabetes is to cause kidney damage. The kidneys filter impurities from the blood so any decrease in function can be very serious.

    Excess inflammation can be responsible for joint damage and pain. (Decreasing sugar intake might be a better first approach to joint pain than reaching for medications).

    Another side effect of inflammation is in causing damage to the skin fibres (collagen and elastin) that keep the skin firm, so making your skin age faster (wrinkly and sagging!).

    Bacteria in the mouth cause tooth decay as they feed on sugar and convert it to lactic acid. The acid is strong enough to erode the outer-covering of teeth (the enamel) and get to the softer inside (dentine) and destroy it rapidly.

    Finally, and maybe most importantly (not): Sugar may have an impact on achieving an erection because of the effect on the blood circulatory system. So cut out that late night/early morning/midday/early evening/whenever coke(s)!
     
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  2. danbandanna

    danbandanna DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Veteran Marines

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    Buzzkill :smile:
     
  3. OP
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    Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    But true :smile:
     
  4. cabb

    cabb DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster ✤Forum Sponsor✤

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    While you out in the open. How a little on what inflammation is and what causes insulin resistance?
     
  5. OP
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    Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    In simple terms, inflammation is the body's immune system response to damage - it is the process of cleaning up and repairing. When we see it, it is usually red and that is because of increased blood supply in the affected area to enable the body to move materials to that site (as in building new roads to a major construction site). It can be acute or chronic and it can be in response to an external issue or the body treating itself as 'a danger' (in auto-immune diseases). This is a case of where not everything the body does to itself is beneficial. It can be widespread within the body and affect many body organs and tissues, as detailed in my OP on this thread.

    I suggest you read
    https://www.healthline.com/health/inflammation for a very much more detailed view of the subject.

    Insulin resistance is where the body does not efficiently respond to insulin and so the pancreas starts to over-produce it (in the beautifully named 'Islets of Langerhans'). As a link to above, inflammation can be a cause of insulin resistance.

    Read
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_resistance

    As in everything, there are thousands of sites on the internet covering these subjects - most of which are accurate but some are not. I just picked two which are detailed and accurate. With your own search you can learn a lot more.

    One point worth mentioning is the obvious one that human evolution has taken place over billions of years (I start from the earliest life forms, as we evolved from them, and not from the time that the first truly humanoid species was recognised) but our diets and activity levels are recent. Add to that the problems caused by exposure to relatively recently man-made chemicals and an increasing life-span and we can see why the body sometimes cannot cope. We cannot evolve quickly enough to take account of recent changes - and perhaps we should not.
     
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  6. Philpots

    Philpots DI Senior Member Restricted Account

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    I think your last paragraph has a good point to it and perhaps explains our vunerability to other infections as well.
     
  7. eskirvin

    eskirvin DI Forum Adept Blood Donor Veteran Navy

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    I hope you didn't see your shadow.
     
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  8. OP
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    Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    I did not. And, oddly, I never see my reflection in a mirror. :unsure:
     
  9. Jack Peterson

    Jack Peterson DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Air Force

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    Oh A VAMPIRE then! :bucktooth:
     
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  10. OP
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    Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    And evolution of things outside the body, perhaps at a pace society cannot adapt to fast enough, will cause further problems in mankind's future.
     
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