In episode 76 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:
Natural medicine followers are not a big fan of sugar. Sugar is found in low quantities when you eat foods that are natural. And, when found in nature, sugar is not a problem. But, when you overdo eating sugar, it can increase your risk for chronic disease and illness. Fructose is different than glucose.
An excessive amount of fructose can cause problems in the body. Since it can only be metabolized in the liver, if there is an excessive amount, the liver gets all bogged down because it can’t metabolize it. DR. CHAD LARSON
Glucose is naturally produced in the body when we eat carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are things like fruits and vegetables, and they are both essential and found in our diet. Glucose is only a problem when it is consumed excessively.
Glucose is highly usable. Every cell has insulin receptions that allow the body to use glucose. Fructose is different. It is metabolized differently in the body. No insulin response is necessary to metabolize fructose, but there are no other cells in the body that can use it but the liver. So, the liver is solely responsible for metabolizing and using fructose.
Fructose comes naturally from fruits and vegetables. Our livers are adapted for small amounts of it. The level of fructose that is found in the fruits and vegetables is about 2-5%, with fruits typically having a higher level than plants. When eating foods that naturally contain fructose, it is hard to overdo it or to eat it excessively. It is only when humans begin to process and synthesize it, that it becomes a problem.
When humans consume too much fructose, things go awry. High fructose corn syrup is in abundance in the food supply and can be found on most labels. It is not a healthy thing, and we would all be better off if it were eliminated altogether. Another name for high fructose corn syrup is glucose-fructose
An excessive amount of fructose can cause problems in the body. Since it can only be metabolized in the liver, if there is an excessive amount, the liver gets all bogged down because it can’t metabolize it. If the liver has an excessive amount, it can contribute to your triglyceride levels going up. Too much fructose can spill over and cause the body to convert it to triglycerides, which have to be absorbed in fat cells.
That can lead to obesity, which leads to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Excessive consumption of high fructose can also lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease due to the overproduction of triglycerides. People who have diagnosed with NAFLD can be helped by eliminating high fructose from their diets.
Excessive consumption of fructose can also lead to an increase in LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, which is not helpful like LDL. And it is associated with heart disease. Therefore, too much fructose can disrupt your liver profile and put you at risk for a plethora of chronic diseases and conditions.
Leptin is a hormone in the body that sends a message to the brain to tell it when you are full and to stop eating. When you consume excessive quantities of fructose, you can develop leptin resistance. It is common for people with leptin resistance to overeat, because the brain doesn’t send a signal that the person is full. That can lead to an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes
Another thing to be conscious of is sucrose, which is 50% glucose and 50% glucose. Found in many sugary drinks, it can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and other chronic illness, if you consume too much.
The body only requires about a teaspoon or two of sugar a day. Just one 20 ounce soda contains 15 teaspoons in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Whatever can’t be metabolized in the liver, will spill over for the rest of the body to deal with, and increase your risk of disease.
The best way to monitor your diet, including the consumption of fructose, is to check how what you eat compares to how foods are found in nature. If foods are natural, it is doubtful that you are going to consume too much or overdo it. It is only when it is tampered with or synthesized that you have to be careful. Fructose is not the problem, the synthesized versions of fructose, like high fructose corn syrup, are.