The Link Between High Sugar Intake and Diabetes is Strong
- The link between sugar and diabetes is strong.
- A diet high in sugar can also damage the brain.
The Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 90,000 women for 8 years, found that those who drank at least 1 sugar-sweetened drink each day were almost 2X as likely to have developed Type 2 diabetes as those who rarely drank or did not drink sugar sweetened beverages.
A diet high in sugar can also damage the brain.
Researchers at the University of California found that after 6 weeks, rats that were given water spiked with fructose took 2X as long to escape from a maze as rats given only pure water.
European researchers recently discovered that people with a variation of the gene FGF21, a variation that causes them to crave sweets, have a predisposition to less body fat, not more.
The findings are a surprise, since people with this particular gene deviation eat more sugar than others.
“It sort of contradicts common intuition,” said researcher Niels Grarup, associate professor from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research.
“But it is important to remember that we are only studying this specific genetic variation and trying to find connections to the rest of the body.
“This is just a small piece of the puzzle describing the connection between diet and sugar intake and the risk of obesity and diabetes,” he continued.
Unfortunately, the effects associated with the FGF21 genetic variation are not all positive. The variation is also linked to a slight increase in blood pressure as well as to fat centered more around the belly than the hips, leading to a more apple-shaped body.
The study was based on health information from more than 450,000 individuals who allowed their data to be recorded in the UK Biobank.
Information includes blood samples, questionnaires on diet and genetic data.
The importance of the new finding about people with a “genetic sweet tooth” mainly applies to research and the creation of drugs to treat obesity and diabetes, according to Professor Grarup, who says that about 20% of Europeans have this specific genetic variation.
The study was published in the scientific journal Cell Reports.
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