Carb Counters - Taubes NY Times Article "Is Sugar Toxic?"

04-18-2011, 10:23 PM
Is Sugar Toxic? (

Peter Havel is the author of the Hyperlid blog I previous referenced and one of the researchers in the paper. A nice followup to psotings on Lustig's Sugar video.

Arkansas Kel
04-20-2011, 01:13 AM
Very interesting. I agree, it's toxic. I don't fear a tsp of sugar, but that wheelbarrow picture is pretty shocking. Gonna make me think when I eat from now on....

04-20-2011, 02:17 AM
This is a fairly well done piece by Taubes, albeit quite long winded. I'm not really a fan of Taubes and his work but this was pretty good.

If you don't feel like reading the whole article you can read the first page and I've summerized via copy/paste the rest below as to what I feel the key points are.

"It is that sugar has unique characteristics, specifically in the way the human body metabolizes the fructose in it, that may make it singularly harmful, at least if consumed in sufficient quantities.

If what happens in laboratory rodents also happens in humans, and if we are eating enough sugar to make it happen, then we are in trouble.

When Tappy fed his human subjects the equivalent of the fructose in 8 to 10 cans of Coke or Pepsi a day — a “pretty high dose,” he says —– their livers would start to become insulin-resistant, and their triglycerides would go up in just a few days. With lower doses, Tappy says, just as in the animal research, the same effects would appear, but it would take longer, a month or more.

The studies in rodents aren’t necessarily applicable to humans. And the kinds of studies that Tappy, Havel and Stanhope did — having real people drink beverages sweetened with fructose and comparing the effect with what happens when the same people or others drink beverages sweetened with glucose — aren’t applicable to real human experience, because we never naturally consume pure fructose. We always take it with glucose, in the nearly 50-50 combinations of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. And then the amount of fructose or sucrose being fed in these studies, to the rodents or the human subjects, has typically been enormous.

In simpler language, how much of this stuff do we have to eat or drink, and for how long, before it does to us what it does to laboratory rats? And is that amount more than we’re already consuming?"