So sugar isn’t known for it’s health promoting properties, this is widely accepted around the world, and is pretty much common knowledge right? Sugar, or simple sugars are an integral nutritional component of the human body, but it’s important to differentiate between the natural sugars you get through fruit and veg (intrinsic sugars), and the refined sugars found in sweets, processed foods and table sugar (non-milk extrinsic sugars). The key here is balance… and it’s always been this way. The diet should have a staple of 5 portions of fruit and veg per day, this is because the sugar in the fruit is released more slowly in part because of the fluid and fibre it comes with, but also because of the pectin in fruit. Conversely, humans should consume minimal amounts of processed sugar because of the rapid response it has on blood sugar levels.
Sugar and your sex life
A new study performed at the University of Utah looked at the effects sugar had on mice. They found that the mouse equivalent of 3 sugary drinks a day (some members of the public easily consume this) had scientifically significant negative effects on life span and mating success. The researchers state that this is 2 sugary drinks even when the rest of the diet is clean, so imagine what this is like in an average UK diet that easily includes a sweet treat over the day too!
Increase death rates
As morbid as it sounds, sugar fed females died twice as quickly as mice that were not fed sugar, whilst still being fed the same amount of calories. However, the death rates in male mice was not the same as the females hinting at gender differences here, however the males were less efficient at mating, and less likely to hold territory and reproduce.
The mice on sugary diets were fed a 25% sugar diet, similar to the diets of many UK and US citizens! Previous studies looking into the effects of high sugar diets used very high doses of sugar which lacked transferability to the human population. This recent study by Potts et al. (2014) kept the sugar doses set at realistic levels, and the results were equally as concerning. The researchers assert that the new findings raise a new standard for caution in current sugar recommendations, advice we as the general public would be wise to heed.
But this study is only in mice!
Valid point, but consider this…about 80% of substances that are toxic to mice are toxic in humans too, so it’s highly probable that the effects sugar has on mice is transferrable to humans too.
Health & Science, (2014). Study: Sugar even at moderate levels toxic to mice health, reproduction. Retrieved 14th February, 2014, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/study-sugar-even-at-moderate-levels-toxic-to-mice-health-reproduction/2013/08/13/95887bee-0443-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html