Oct 04 2020

Sugar…the sweet killer

Published by at 1:03 pm under Sugar

Sugar…the sweet killer.
It tastes so good so why is sugar so bad for our microbiome and our health?

In our last blog, we talked about how added sugars can be found in so many foods in the grocery store. In fact, it had become such an issue that the FDA required food manufacturers to differentiate between sugars found naturally in a product and those sugars that are added to the product to enhance flavor. 1*

“…In the US, added sugars account for up to 17% of the total calorie intake of adults and up to 14% for children…” yet dietary guidelines say that we should limit the calories we consume from added sugars to less than 10% each day. To put it in perspective, “…Just one 16-ounce (473-ml) can of soda contains 52 grams of sugar, which equates to more than 10% of your daily calorie consumption, based on a 2,000-calorie diet…” (2,3)*

There are important reasons to not eat too much sugar and it goes well beyond weight gain. It is a major disruptor of the microbiome and the cause behind chronic diseases and many health issues. Let’s explore why we should limit sugar in our diets.

It messes with the microbiome

At the core of our health is the gut, and as we know, sugar is really the enemy. It is food for the unwanted bacteria and when we eat too much sugar, the unfriendlies populate like crazy. And the more they populate, the more we crave sugar to feed them. Candida Albicans overgrowth is very tough to get rid of and to do so requires stringent diet changes and a therapeutic dose of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ over a course of months. The result of this overgrowth is feelings of great fatigue, foggy head, depression, canker sores, crankiness, and more. And, if left unchecked, it can result in many other issues as described below.

 It puts us at greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes

There is a clear link between too much sugar and the risk of diabetes. Obesity, often caused by eating too much sugar and processed foods is considered to be the main reason. Diabetes rates have doubled worldwide over the last 30 years, and it coincides with an increase in the development of high sugar and processed foods. Prolonged, high sugar intake leads to a risk of developing a resistance to insulin, the hormone produced by the pancreas which is where blood sugar is regulated. According to a study of over 175 countries, for every 150 calories of sugar consumed daily, diabetes grew by 1.1%.(2,3)*

 It’s a leading factor in weight gain and belly fat.

Too much fructose consumption may cause resistance to leptin which is an important hormone that regulates hunger. Consuming too much sugar is also linked to an increased amount of visceral fat, a deep belly fat, that is associated with conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. When our guts are healthy, it is amazing to see how this belly fat goes away.2*

It is not good for the heart

The number one cause of death worldwide is heart disease and there is a direct correlation to high sugar diets. Studies show that diets high in sugar lead to inflammation, higher triglycerides, increased blood sugar, and blood pressure levels which are all risk factors in heart disease. Too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks has been linked to atherosclerosis which is a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits. While for years we were led to believe these deposits were the result of too much fat in the diet, we have since learned that sugar is the culprit. 2*

“…A study in over 30,000 people found that those who consumed 17–21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar…”4*

 It causes acne

Sugary foods with a high glycemic index raise blood sugar more rapidly than foods with a lower glycemic index. Quick spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels can cause increased androgen secretion and oil production as well as inflammation…all of which play a part in acne development. In a study of 2300 teens, those who frequently consumed added sugar showed a 30% higher risk of having acne, and in another study teens from rural communities who ate a more home-cooked diet as opposed to their peers in urban areas who ate more fast and packaged foods, had no acne compared to their urban living peers. 5* 

It may set you up for Cancer

The connection between consuming too much sugar and cancer is a complex one. But diets high in sugary foods and beverages can cause obesity, increase inflammation, and can cause insulin resistance, all of which raise your risk of developing cancer.(2,3)*

“…A study in over 430,000 people found that added sugar consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer and cancer of the small intestine…”6*

It’s an underlying cause of depression

“…Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysregulation, and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s detrimental impact on mental health…” When we eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and good protein, it fees our good bacteria which benefits serotonin production and therefore helps improve our mood. Diets high in sugar and processed foods feed the bad bacteria, interfering with serotonin production resulting in an increased chance of developing depression. 2*

“…A study following 8,000 people for 22 years showed that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day. Another study of over…”69,000 women demonstrated that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a significantly greater risk of depression, compared to those with the lowest intakes..” (7,8)*

It speeds up skin aging

Consuming a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates leads to the production of AGEs or Advanced Glycation End products. These compounds are a reaction between sugars and proteins coming together in the body and are believed to play a role in skin aging. These compounds damage elastin and collagen…the proteins which help our skin stretch and keep it looking youthful. 2*

It accelerates cellular aging

Along the same line of skin, aging is cellular aging. Consuming too much sugar has shown to accelerate telomere shortening which increases cellular aging. “…Telomeres are structures found at the end of chromosomes, which are molecules that hold part or all of your genetic information…” They act as protective caps so that chromosomes don’t deteriorate or fuse together. As we age, telomeres shorten causing cells to age and even malfunction. Unhealthy lifestyle choices speed up this process. 2*

It zaps your energy

When we eat food high in added sugar but deficient in fiber, fat, or protein, we experience quick spikes in our blood sugar and insulin levels, followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar. When we have constant blood sugar swings, it can be energy draining. Instead, choose carbs that are low in added sugar but rich in fiber. Apples, nuts, fruits, vegetables, yogurts, and nut butter are great sources for providing a prolonged, consistent energy level. 2*

It can lead to fatty liver

A high intake of fructose has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver. Glucose and other types of sugar are taken up by various cells throughout the body, while fructose is almost exclusively broken down by the liver. This has been linked to an increased risk of fatty liver. Too much fructose overloads your liver and leads to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition caused by excessive fat build up in the liver. (2,3)*

It can cause cognitive decline

High-sugar diets can lead to impaired memory and have been linked to an increased risk of dementia. When we have Candida overgrowth, it causes fogginess and fatigue. 2*

 It can increase your risk of kidney disease

Having consistently high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the delicate blood vessels in your kidneys. This can lead to an increased risk of kidney disease. (2,3)*

 It can cause cavities and other dental issues

Eating too much sugar can cause cavities. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and release acid byproducts, which cause tooth demineralization. 2*

 It increases your risk of gout:

Gout, an inflammatory condition characterized by pain in the joints, can be exacerbated by eating too much-added sugars that raise uric acid levels in the blood. 2*

When you put your mind to it you can find lots of ways to limit the amount of sugar in your diet. It requires reading labels, paying attention, and a little commitment. Once you get used to leaving it out, you’ll crave it less. Check food labels to see which foods have the line item “Added Sugars” and avoid these foods when possible. Cooking at home and eating whole foods is a great way to avoid added sugar because you know what you are putting into your food. And fight the bad bacteria that feed off of sugar by supplementing your microbiome with the good bacteria found in Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™. 2*

Next time we will look at ideas, tips, and tricks for avoiding and limiting sugar in your diet.

Until then, healthiest wishes!





  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/upshot/it-isnt-easy-to-figure-out-which-foods-contain-sugar.html
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/too-much-sugar#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7
  3. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/how-sugar-affects-your-body
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24493081/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22070422/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3494407/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28751637/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26109579/

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