Posted in: Health

Is Sugar Toxic? Dr. Robert Lustig Thinks So


We’ve all heard time and time again that high levels of sugar in your diet is harmful to your health–with many studies suggesting a link to diabetes–but is sugar toxic to your body? According to research led by Robert Lustig of the University of California, sugar is toxic.

A handful of scientists have recently been suggesting that sugar is actually the worst thing in the American diet, on some levels even more unhealthy than trans fats. According to Lustig and his team of researchers, sugar can be blamed for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even some form of cancers.

According to the research, the average American person consumes roughly 130 pounds of added sugars–which includes sugar and high fructose corn syrup–every year. And while high fructose corn syrup is often vilified more often than sugar, Lustig says that, metabolically, there is no difference.

Taking the idea of the toxicity of sugar even further, Lustig, in an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CBS’ 60 Minutes, goes as far as to say that sugar should be treated no differently than alcohol or tobacco.

“Ultimately, this is a public health crisis…you have to do big things and you have to do them across the board,” Lustig told Gupta. “Tobacco and alcohol are perfect examples. I think sugar belongs in this exact same wastebasket.”

It sounds a bit extreme, and in my opinion it is, but Lustig’s idea that sugar is toxic isn’t new–as the New York Times reported last year, Lustig started his anti-sugar campaign, and the labeling of sugar as a toxin, in 2009 with a lecture titled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. The lecture was posted in video form on YouTube, and has received over 2.1 million views to date.

If you’re interested in hearing more about Lustig’s suggestion that sugar may be toxic, you can catch Gupta’s interview with the researcher on 60 Minutes tonight, April 1, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. You can also check out Lustig’s hour-and-a-half-long lecture on sugar as a toxin below.

Do you think that sugar is toxic, and that it should be treated the same as alcohol and tobacco?

via CBS News

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14 Responses to “Is Sugar Toxic? Dr. Robert Lustig Thinks So”

  1. William Cooper

    ah keep your health kick to yourself moronic doctor… I decide what goes in my body and I know what my body can handle. Stop trying to put bans and controls on what everyone eats. At the rate this is going we won't be allowed to eat anything because everything is hazardous for our health in one form or another.

  2. David Bogert

    Excess sugar in the blood stream cause something called glycation, which is basically poisoning and rendering proteins useless. Since proteins are the basis of all the bodies functions EXCESS sugar will hurt anyone. I.e. Sugar BINGES will hurt the body. Moderate amounts of sugar spread out over time are not a problem (unless your a diabetic and that's a whole nuther story).

  3. Albert Bowden

    Being a type11 diabetic, I know the harm in sugar. I chose to control my condition with an approach to taking sugar out of my diet. It has now been twenty years since the original diagnosis and at 85,
    I am in good health with a body weight of 150 lbs. The 40 lbs I lost on my diet has been maintained over this period.Luckily, there are now many sugar free produces on the grocery shelf to satisfy the occasional sweet tooth.

  4. Tom Kelleher

    Lol, so essentially everyone should have their food intake monitored by the govt so we don't ever do anything that isn't good for us. Just had a delicious Coke…someone call 911.

  5. Nanette Knight

    Everyone, just eat what you want. However, I choose to be informed. I don't give a damn what anyone else eats, and I am learning that sugar is poison. So for me and mine, it's very little sugar.

  6. Chris Sgouros

    This is such a blanket statement. If you eat little enough calories to produce a 100-200 calorie deficit you will lose 10-20 pounds in a year. You can do this with any macronutrient and the result will be the same.

  7. Dave Phipps

    This presentation cuts through all the BS and tells it like it is. Listen up, this info could save your life!

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  10. Tim Burbeck

    Interestingly enough "lustig" is German for "funny," and ironically he'd be pretty fucking funny if you don't consider that he's actually dead serious in his argumentation.

  11. Anria Minnaar

    If you watch the video though you will see that he explains that a calorie isnt always a calorie. If you eat 100 cal calories of glucose eg 2 slices of bread, rice and other high fibre food, the majority of those calories will get digested in the stomach with only a small percentage getting stored by the liver. If you consume 100 cal of fructose or sucrose eg fruit juice, cola, cake etc the majority of those calories does not get digested in the stomach but gets sent to the liver and is far more likely to be stored as fat cells. He clearly states that we have based the last 30 years of dietry advice on a system that wasnt well enough researched, and now that more research has come out to prove that it is more complicated than that we balk at it. Doctors also use to prescribe opium and herion in cough suryp for children and now a century down the line medical science and research has shown how bad that is, yet at one stage it was considered harmless.

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