Home > Inflammation, Liver > Metabolic Dysfunction..Why Sugar is Bad

Metabolic Dysfunction..Why Sugar is Bad

Don’t want to watch 1.5 hours of video?  Let me summarize why Dr. Lustig  a pediatric endocrinologist thinks  sugar is bad. The obese are not perpetrators they are victims of their biochemistry and fructose.  There are fat genes, but that is not what is being covered today..

Debunking 30 years of Nutrition in America

Atkins Diet: All Fat no Carb,  Japanese: All Carbs No Fat.  Both succeed, why?  They both  eliminate Fructose

We all weigh 25lbs more today than 25 years ago.  Genes are the same, but environment has changed.  1st Law of Thermodynamics (calories in/calories out):  WRONG. 

If something lowers your energy expenditure (Hypothyroidsm, starvation) you feel like crap, if it raises it (coffee), you feel good.  Kids do not choose to be obese.  There is an epidemic of obese 6 month olds, so how do you blame intentions of a 6 month old.  This is happening worldwide.

We are eating more, but why?  Leptin is supposed to slow down the appetite, but it isn’t working.  It’s a negative feedback loop that’s not working.  The greater calories are coming from carbs.  In order to reduce fat, we started to eat carbs.  Lowered fats correlates with greater obesity.  It’s the carbs, not fat.

Carbs are coming from soft drinks and fruit drinks in children.  1915 first bottle had 6.5 oz of coke in a bottle, now we have big gulps for ONE person  44oz.  Sugar is cheap now.  Coke has a diuretic, and caffeine, both make you thirsty.  Salt also makes your thirsty. Coke has enough salt as a pizza.  The sugar covers all this up so you don’t know you are getting dehydrated.

When soda machines were removed from high schools, levels obesity leveled out, those with soda machines continued to rise. Another study shows that soft drinks correlated with Type 2 diabetes, but not orange and grapefruit juice. Soft drinks contain….

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Why does HFCS even exist?  because it’s even cheaper than sugar. 63lbs per person/year.  If you give table sugar an index of 100, HFCS has n index of 173 for sweetness. (Glucose is 74)  You would think you can take less of it, instead in processed food,  there is a lot of it.

Sucrose (table sugar) has  Glucose and Fructose in a 1:1 ratio.   HFCS and Sucrose are both equally bad. Sucrose is bad because it contains Fructose.  Fructose  is a poison, It’s not about the calories:  Since WWII we are not just eating more, we are eating more sugar. It is now 15% of calories from fructose.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) also has problems but they were not delved into.

Perfect Storm

  1. Nixon in 1972 told USDA Secretary to make food a non issue ,because there was too much fluctation in food prices.  Therefore USDA began to try to make food cheap
  2. HFCS made by Japanese scientist in 1966 and introduced to US in 1975 became a cheap way to do this.  Now HFCS is in almost every processed food. Juice also causes Type 2 Diabetes.  Juice comes from food stamps in the poor.
  3. 1982 USDA, AMA told us to reduce our consumption of fat to stop heart disease.  We did and now we have more heart disease.  One study led us to this conclusion and it was based on the following stepwise logic: 
    1. Dietary Fat raises LDL
    2. LDL correlates with cardiovascular
    3. Therefore cut out dietary fat


But correlation is not causation.


Joh Yedkin wrote this book in 1972 by endocrinologist.

John Yedkin, an endocrinologist wrote this book in 1972, claiming tha sugar is poisonous.

Another guy Ancel Keys found there was a correlation of CHD with saturated fats…but foods with fats also had sugar along with them.  So is it fat or sugar?  When Keys did his multivariate linear analysis, he found a correlation in one direction: high fat is associated with heart disease, but not the other: heart disease is associated with high fat.  So the conclusion of avoiding saturated fats is actually not supportable.

Also there are two kinds of LDL, so which kind of LDL cause damage?  Pattern A or Pattern B?   Pattern A is when the LDL moleculres are so bouyant they can’t cause plaque in arteries.  Pattern B are the ones that begin to create plaque. The way to distinguish is through the use of triglyceries and HDL.

If low Triglycerides, and high HDL -> good (Pattern A)

High Triglycerides, low HDL->  bad (Pattern B)

Dietary fat raises HDL (good), sugar raises LDL(bad).  Now the low fat craze has resulted in more sugar, and more transfats.


  • Fructose 7 times more likely to have the browing reaction (AGE)
  • Fructose does not satiate hunger by suppressing ghrelin
  • Does not stimulate insulin or leptin
  • Hepatic processing is completely different
    • causes metabolic syndrome


  • When eating 2 slices of white bread:80% of that is glucose, which we are designed to eat. Glucagon and Epinephrine convert it to glycogen, which is a nontoxic storage form.  Some of it becomes pyruvate  for mitochondria to make ATP. Some of it could become citrate and goes to 3 enzymes  that turn sugar into fat: Denovo Lipogenesis, which creates VLDL (Bad [heart disease and obesity]). 24 calories can participate in the lipogenesis.
  •  Ethanol(alchohol) is a toxin Alcohol causes acute problems in brain, but frucose does not cause acute problems. 120 calories of ethanol, 24 calories are used up  right away.  96 calories hit liver unlike the 24  in sugar.  Alcohol is converted into aldehydes, and damages protein in liver, but will generate energy.  More Citrate available because more calories in general, so more VLDL.  Liver will try to get rid of it, sometimes in the form of free fatty acids resulting in muscle insulin resistance and diabetes.  Then it generates JUNK1 which creates inflammation.
  • 120 calories of sucrose (orange juice): 20/80 split for glucose, but all fructose molecules will go to liver.  No insulin is made,  We now have 72 calories that must be phosphorylated (so phosphorous is lost), and creates uric acid (gout, and hypertension).  Uric Acid blocks enzyme endothelial NO Synthase, blocking NO.   NO keeps your blood pressure low.   Alpurinol treats gout by treating uric acid and blood pressure went down.

Fructose also repletes glycogen faster than sugar….but this is for elite athletes, not kids.  Original gatorade was terrible, so they added HFCS.  Now we have another path that also makes citrate and therefore VLDL.

Fructose makes fat, Glucose does not.

Fructose makes fat, Glucose does not.

Sugar makes fat, so high sugar diet is a functionally a high fat diet.  ALT is an enzyme that tells you if you have a fatty liver.  The more sugar the more ALT.  JUNK1 inactivates the ability to use the sugar in liver, and makes energy goes into fat cell; increases insulin.  All this causes 8/12 sympoms of chronic ethanol exposure. Biochemically sugar and alcohol are functionally the same


  • No juice/sugar beverages
  • Eat Carb with Fiber
  • Wait 20 mintes for before getting another portion
  • Buy screen time 1:1 with physical activity

It works!


Is important because it improves insulin sensitivity. reduces stress, make the deNovo lipogenesis ( by increasing the TCA cycle)


Antidote to sugar. Fruit is ok because of  fiber and micro nutrients.

  • Reduces carbohydrate absorption:farts
  • Increase rate of transit to illium
  • Short Chain Fatty Acids suppress insulin


cures diabetes because of fiber, not because of the meat but because of the fiber in the vegetables.  But if you’d like to cut down on the suga:  FrenchFries, Hash Browns, Chicken McNuggets, Diet Coke, Coffee,Sausage. have no sugar @ McDonalds.

Coke, Beer have same effect on liver

Coke, Beer have same effect on liver.

Soda Belly == Beer Belly

Fructose is a carbohydate, but metabolized as a fat, thus a low fat diet is not a low fat diet.  Should not be GRAS, no studies show that it is safe.  FDA only regulates acute toxins, not chronic toxins.



  • GTT: Insulin Hyper secretion
  • ALT:  amt of liver fat
  • Uric Acid: proxy for sugar consumption
  • Fat makes you fat, but sugar pushes you metabolic syndrome
  • Glucose is good sugar but not that sweet
  • Fructose ontains keto groups that create browining reaction.  Protein get less flexible
  • Fruit is better than juice.  Because fruit has fiber, and slows down sugar absorption
  • Eating less will not work if there is leptin resistance.  Insulin causes this leptin resistance.
    • Eat less sugar/fructose
    • if Hypersecretion fewer carbs
    • exercise creates mitochondria to burn fat
  • Antipsychotic drugs and obesity, T2D
    • Mood Stabilizers causes liver insulin resistance
    • and weight gain
  • We eat too much sugar (toxid doses)
    • comes hidden in processed foods
    • and soft drinks
    • Sugar doesn’t cause obesity, it causes metabolic syndrome
  • Nothing sweet is poisonous…so it is safe
  • Fructose and Glucose together causes more fat than just fructose
    • Fructose goes down lipid pathway
    • Glucose Glycolitic pathway
  • artificial sugar increases weight?
    • no data (stevia)
    • Sugar bolus is coming, buth then insulin doesn’t come out and you end up overeating
  • Every diet regresses to the mean in 2 months.
  • Low Sugar and High fat
  • Yogurt (processed)  is not a health food
  • Liposuction does not remove visceral fat
  • Tumors respond/grow because of insulin
  • Not
    • total number of calories
    • fiber is pushes calories down alimentary canal so not absorbed
    • fats are good for you, while transfat are bad
    • Proteins…you expend more energy breaking down proteins than sugars (lower “net carbs”)
    • two kinds of meat..marbling IS insulin resistance in our food


Categories: Inflammation, Liver
  1. December 29, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Another great Lustig lecture

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