Friday, February 11, 2011

Fructose and Fetal Harm

Via a comment on Fat Head:

A commenter on Fat Head left a link to this article, from New Zealand that fructose may affect the development of female children. Sucrose (table sugar) is half fructose, and High Fructose Corn Syrup is more than half fructose, depending on the mixture. And I need not point out that HFCS is in just about everything that's manufactured or processed. They slip it into the most innocuous places. Fructose also occurs in fruit, something that a lot of doctors push people, especially diabetics, to eat (detrimentally to their health I might add).

A lot of pregnant women may think that because they're not overweight, or they don't have gestational diabetes, that it's okay if they consume large quantities of sugar or fruit. They often use the fallacy that because we've been consuming sugar for a long time, it's not a problem. The thing is, we've not been consuming sugar or fruit in the quantities we do for very long. Sugar consumption in the past thirty years has skyrocketed to 150+ lbs per person per year in the States, whereas in the 19th century sugar consumption was only in the 15 to 20 lb range per year before 1850. And even just fifty years ago, most people only ate fruit when it was in season, which in most parts of the world is a limited time frame. I'm sure with the powers-that-be and doctors pushing fruit consumption, that it has also risen.

Is fructose safe?
"In the study, where rats were fed diets high in fructose during pregnancy and lactation, the sugar was found to change key metabolic hormone levels in both foetuses and new born offspring...

The fact that we saw no obvious weight gain implies that women may be unaware that their diet could be compromising the development of their fetus."

They don't say what metabolic hormones are affected specifically, but I'm thinking insulin is probably one of them. Now, I also read a study not too long ago that female rat offspring were also affected by maternal dietary salt restriction. Another thing that the doctors push on us, lower your salt intake they say! Salt restriction in the mother made the female offspring insulin resistant with increased adiposity (fat). The male offspring were not so affected. Does this mean that there would be nothing to worry about with males then?

I doubt it seriously. I read that in indigenous populations, such as the Pima, female hormones somehow protect women from getting diabetes, at least for a while. However, they get very obese instead. Eventually they get diabetes, but not before getting fat. It is theorized that the fat protects them from diabetes as long as their bodies can continue to convert excess sugar in the blood to fat and store it. Now, the men don't necessarily get as fat as the women, but they have an increased incidence in developing diabetes.

I'm glad to see that a news organization actually published something that goes against the party line. I guess they don't grow much corn or sugar in New Zealand. I'm waiting for one of the American news organizations to pick this up, but I won't hold my breath. Asphyxiation is no way to die.

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