The bitter truth about fructose alarmism.

2010 January 29
by Alan Aragon

 

Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco, is the star of the video above. While he presents some material that’s scientifically sound, he also makes enough errors to warrant a healthy dose of criticism. There’s a ton of material he goes over, so instead of writing a multi-chapter opus, I’ll discuss the aspects that I feel are the most relevant and interesting.

Bravo, Doc

Lustig’s delivery is clear, confident, charismatic, and engaging overall. I’m sure many would think that his style is annoyingly smug and preachy, but I find it entertaining. This is a good thing, since the video is about 90 minutes long. Amidst the  folly that prompted this post, he offers a few good observations.

First off, he makes a valid point that the public health movement against dietary fat that started in the early 1980’s was a grandiose failure. The climb in obesity to epidemic proportions over the last 30 years is plenty of evidence for this. It was also accurate of him to cite the significant increase in overall caloric consumption over this same time period. Furthermore, he shows an interesting progression of Coca-Cola’s 6.5 oz bottle in 1915 to the  20 oz bottle of the modern day.

Lustig acknowledges the First Law of Thermodynamics as it applies to changes in bodyweight. He attacks the vague expression that “a calorie is a calorie” by pointing out that different nutrients impart different physiological effects and have different roles within the body. His concluding recommendations included kicking out liquid calories except milk, which is generally a good strategy for children. Okay, so far so good. But what does he say that’s so misleading? Let’s take a look.

Boooo, Doc

While Lustig correctly points out that the nation’s overall caloric consumption has increased, he proceeds to blame carbohydrates as being the primary constituent. The thing is, he uses data spanning from 1989-1995 on children aged 2-17. Survey data is far from the gold standard of evidence, but if you’re gonna cite it, you might as well go with something more recent that includes adults.

Here’s the latest from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), which tracked the percent of total daily calories of the range of food groups from 1970-2007. The actual spreadsheet of the following figures can be downloaded here, click on the “Percents” tab at the bottom (note that these figures are updated regularly by the ERS, so the version you download may be different from what’s reported here) [1]:

  • Meats, eggs, and nut kcals decreased 4%.
  • Dairy kcals decreased 3%.
  • Percentage of fruit kcals stayed the same.
  • Percentage of vegetable kcals stayed the same.
  • Flour and cereal product kcals increased 3%.
  • Added fat kcals are up 7%,
  • Added sugars kcals decreased 1%
  • Total energy intake in 1970 averaged 2172 kcal. By 2007 this hiked up to 2775 kcal, a 603 kcal increase.

Taking a hard look at the data above, it appears that the rise in obesity is due in large part to an increase in caloric intake in general, rather than an increase in added sugars in particular.

Lustig insufficiently addresses the ‘energy out’ side of the equation. According to the research, it’s possible that over the last couple of decades, we’ve become more sedentary. King and colleagues recently compared the physical activity data in the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1988-1994 with the NHANES data from 2001-2006, and found a 10% decrease [2]. From a personal observation standpoint, that figure seems conservative (internet surfing for hours after your desk job shift, anyone?). It’s safe to say that all 603 extra daily calories have been landing in the nation’s collective adipose depot.

It’s also safe to say that all this finger-pointing at carbohydrate is just as silly as the finger-pointing toward fat in the ’80’s. Lustig takes the scapegoating of carbohydrate up a notch by singling out fructose. Perhaps the most passionate point he makes throughout the lecture is that fructose is a poison. Well, that’s just what we need in this day and age – obsessive alarmism over a single macronutrient subtype rather than an aerial view of the bigger picture.

Fructose is evil, context be damned

So, is fructose really the poison it’s painted to be? The answer is not an absolute yes or no; the evilness of fructose depends completely on dosage and context. A recurrent error in Lustig’s lecture is his omission of specifying the dosage and context of his claims. A point he hammers throughout his talk is that unlike glucose, fructose does not elicit an insulin (& leptin) response, and thus does not blunt appetite. This is why fructose supposedly leads to overeating and obesity.

Hold on a second…Lustig is forgetting that most fructose in both the commercial and natural domain has an equal amount of glucose attached to it. You’d have to go out of your way to obtain fructose without the accompanying glucose. Sucrose is half fructose and half glucose. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is nearly identical to sucrose in structure and function. Here’s the point I’m getting at: contrary to Lustig’s contentions, both of these compounds have substantial research showing not just their ability to elicit an insulin response, but also their suppressive effect on appetite [3-6].

But wait, there’s more. In studies directly comparing the effect of fructose and glucose preloads on subsequent food intake, one showed no difference [7], while the majority have shown the fructose preload resulting in lesser food intake than the glucose preload [8-10]. A recent review of the literature on fructose’s effect on satiety found no compelling case for the idea that fructose is less satiating than glucose, or that HFCS is less satiating than sucrose [11]. So much for Lustig’s repeated assertion that fructose and fructose-containing sugars increase subsequent food intake. I suppose it’s easier to sensationalize claims based on rodent data.

In the single human study I’m aware of that linked fructose to a greater next-day appetite in a subset of the subjects, 30% of total daily energy intake was in the form of free fructose [12]. This amounts to 135 grams, which is the equivalent of 6-7 nondiet soft drinks. Is it really that groundbreaking to think that polishing off a half-dozen soft drinks per day is not a good idea? Demonizing fructose without mentioning the dose-dependent nature of its effects is intellectually dishonest. Like anything else, fructose consumed in gross chronic excess can lead to problems, while moderate amounts are neutral, and in some cases beneficial [13-15].

I’m obviously not in favor of replacing anyone’s daily fluid intake with soft drinks, but I can already see a number of straw man arguments headed my way. This is because people have a tendency to think in either-or terms that strictly involve extremes. I’ll quote an elegant review by independent researcher John White that echoes my thoughts [16]:

Although examples of pure fructose causing metabolicupset at high concentrations abound, especially when fed asthe sole carbohydrate source, there is no evidence that thecommon fructose-glucose sweeteners do the same. Thus, studies using extreme carbohydrate diets may be useful for probing biochemical pathways, but they have no relevance to the human diet or to current consumption.

Atkins, Japan, & alcohol – oh my!

One of Lustig’s opening assertions is that The Atkins diet and the Japanese diet share one thing in common: the absence of fructose. This is flat-out false because it implies that the Japanese don’t eat fruit. On the contrary, bananas, grapefruits, Mandarin oranges, apples, grapes, watermelons, pears, persimmons, peaches, and strawberries are significant staples of the Japanese diet [17]. Lustig’s claim also implies that the Japanese do not consume desserts or sauces that contain added sucrose. This is false as well.

Another oversimplification Lustig makes is that fructose is “ethanol without the buzz,” and that fructose is toxic to the liver. This once again helps me illustrate my point that even in the case of alcoholic beverages, their risk or benefit to health is dose-dependent. Just like his extremist  treatment of fructose, Lustig bases his case on the effect of chronic isolated ethanol consumption in large doses. It’s easy to examine ethanol out of its normal context within beverages such as wine, because then you can conveniently ignore the evidence indicating its potential health benefits when consumed in moderation [18].

Partial redemption

Towards the end of Lustig’s lecture, he mentions that fructose within fruit is okay because its effect is neutralized by the fiber content. To a degree, this is a valid claim. However, in building this stance, he uses sugarcane to illustrate just how fiber-dominant natural sources of fructose are, and this is the exception rather than the rule. He claimed that, “Wherever there’s fructose in nature, there’s way more fiber.” That statement is far from universally true. Drawing a few common examples from the major fruits consumed in Japan, a midsize banana contains roughly 27 total grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of fructose and 3 grams of fiber. A midsize apple contains 25 total grams of carbohydrate, 12 grams of fructose and 4 grams of fiber. Two cups of strawberries contains 24 total grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of fructose, and 6 grams of fiber.

I would add that fiber is only one of the numerous phytochemicals in fruit that impart health benefits. Thus, it’s not quite as simple as saying that fructose is evil, but once you take it with fiber, you’ve conquered the Dark Side.

Summing up

I have a great deal of respect for Lustig’s professional accomplishments, and I share his concern for the nation’s penchant for sitting around and overconsuming food and beverages of all sorts. However, I disagree (as does the bulk of the research) with his myopic, militant focus on fructose avoidance. He’s missing the forest while barking up a single tree.

So, what’s the upper safe limit of fructose per day (all sources considered)? Again, this depends on a number of variables, not the least of which are an individual’s physical activity level and lean body mass. Currently in the literature is a liberal camp reporting that fructose intakes up to 90 grams per day have a beneficial effect on HbA(1c), and  no significant effects are seen for fasting triacylglycerol or body weight with intakes up to 100 grams per day in adults [15]. The conservative camp suggests that the safe range is much less than this; roughly 25-40 grams per day [19].  Figuring that both sides are biased, the middle figure between the two camps is roughly 50 grams for adults (I’m talking about the general population, athletes with high energy demands can safely consume more).

Although the tendency is to get hung up on the trivial minutia of an exact gram amount, it’s not possible to issue a universal number because individual circumstances vary widely (this is a concept that baffles anti-fructose absolutists). The big picture solution is in managing total caloric balance with a predominance of minimally refined foods and sufficient physical activity. Pointing the finger at fructose while dismissing dosage and context is like saying that exercise should be avoided because it makes you fat and injured by spiking your appetite and hurting your joints.

.

Note: for those with little tolerance for reading through over 400 comments, there’s a summary of the discussion here .

 

 

 

 

 

References

  1. Economic Research Service, USDA. Loss-Adjusted Food Availability Data. Updated Feb 27, 2009. [ERS/USDA]
  2. King DE, et al. Adherence to healthy lifestyle habits in US adults, 1988-2006. Am J Med. 2009 Ju; 122(6):528-34. [Medline]
  3. Melanson KJ, et al. High-fructose corn syrup, energy intake, and appetite regulation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Dec;88(6):1738S-1744S. [Medline]
  4. Soenen S, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. No differences in satiety or energy intake after high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, or milk preloads. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;86(6):1586-94. [Medline]
  5. Monsivais P, Perrigue MM, Drewnowski A. Sugars and satiety: does the type of sweetener make a difference? Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jul;86(1):116-23. [Medline]
  6. Akhavan T, Anderson GH. Effects of glucose-to-fructose ratios in solutions on subjective satiety, food intake, and satiety hormones in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Nov;86(5):1354-63. [Medline]
  7. Spitzer L, Rodin J. Effects of fructose and glucose preloads on subsequent food intake. Appetite. 1987 Apr;8(2):135-45. [Medline]
  8. Rodin J, Reed D, Jamner L. Metabolic effects of fructose and glucose: implications for food intake. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Apr;47(4):683–9.
  9. Rodin J. Comparative effects of fructose, aspartame, glucose and water preloads on calorie and macronutrient intake. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:428–35. [Medline]
  10. Rodin J. Effects of pure sugar versus mixed starch fructose loads on food intake. Appetite 1991;17:213–9.[Medline]
  11. Moran TH. Fructose and satiety. J Nutr. 2009 Jun;139(6):1253S-1256S. Epub 2009 Apr 29. [Medline]
  12. Teff KL, et al. Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jun;89(6):2963-72. [Medline]
  13. Livesy G. Fructose ingestion: dose-dependent responses in health research. J Nutr. 2009 Jun;139(6):1246S-1252S. Epub 2009 Apr 22. [Medline]
  14. Dolan LC, et al. Evidence-based review on the effect of normal dietary consumption of fructose on development of hyperlipidemia and obesity in healthy, normal weight individuals. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Jan;50(1):53-84. [Medline]
  15. Livesey G, Taylor R. Fructose consumption and consequences for glycation, plasma triacylglycerol, and body weight: meta-analyses and meta-regression models of intervention studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Nov;88(5):1419-37. [Medline]
  16. White JS. Straight Talk About High-Fructose Corn Syrup: What it is and What it Ain’t. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Dec;88(6):1716S-1721S. [Medline]
  17. Dyck JH, Ito K. Japan’s fruit and vegetable market. Global Trade Patterns in Fruits and Vegetables. [ERS/USDA]
  18. Saremi A, Arora R. The cardiovascular implications of alcohol and red wine. Am J Ther. 2008 May-Jun;15(3):265-77. [Medline]
  19. Sánchez-Lozada LG, et al. How safe is fructose for persons with or without diabetes? Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Nov;88(5):1189-90. [Medline]

Microsoft Word - AARR wide banner 1.doc

[GO  HERE  TO  COMMENT]

793 Responses leave one →
  1. Barry permalink
    January 29, 2010

    Alan you make it hard to take you too seriously when on Monkey Island you displayed such poor critical thinking skills in your recent post about atheism.

    Have you read Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason?

  2. Fred Dibiase permalink
    January 29, 2010

    Excellent stuff, as usual, Alan.

    I do have a quick question with relation to high fructose corn syrup, and perhaps you could share your quick thoughts(admittedly I don’t have a massive knowledge in this area, so the question stems strictly from a claim I often hear bandied about, which may or may not be true….or perhaps somewhere in between).

    A common indictment of HFCS is that it is derived from GMO corn. While there’s absolutely no debate in terms of sucrose versus HFCS given their ratios of fructose and glucose, is there any merit at all (based upon what is currently known) about whether or not this is a problem to one degree or another? Based upon the types of folks who tend to make that claim, it is tempting to say it is more alarmism, but I figured it would be best to just ask someone knowledgeable like you than simply accepting what those folks are saying.

  3. January 29, 2010

    Barry – How does finding some video funny constitute “poor critical thinking skills”? I think you’re the one who needs to work on that. I couldn’t give less of a crap about discussing theology. Please stay on topic, thanks.

    Fred – Glad you liked the article. I’m not aware of any toxicological data that would indict HFCS as hazardous due to GMO origin. If you run into any, feel free to air it out.

  4. BMJ permalink
    January 29, 2010

    I just want to say thanks Alan.

  5. JLB permalink
    January 30, 2010

    Alan,

    I’m sure the guy means well, but some of his claims seem to be on the sensationalist side. I would have taken his words on faith had I not been reading your research reviews. I’m glad my suspicions are confirmed.

    As always Alan, I appreciate how objective you are in your critiques.

  6. Peter Sturm Konstantinov permalink
    January 30, 2010

    Hi, Alan, here is SturmBG from Lyle’s forum (the falesly accused paleotard).
    When I was watching the video (some time ago) I was thinking about pretty much the same points you did.
    But there is something else – this guy is obviously trying to sound cogently and he is doing it good while actually advocating some correct points. How about the possibility that he knows that he is exxagerating for the sake of being more interesting?
    If I had to speak in front of an audience that is not exceptionaly knowledgeble about the topic, I would speak something like him.
    What do you think about that?

  7. January 30, 2010

    Good post Alan, and, personally, I’m a little tired of all the alarmist talk when it comes to carbs/sugar. We are a nation of gluttons, who, as you pointed out, have increased our caloric intakes and moved much less over the past 25 years. And most dietary tribes (low-fat, low-carb, vegetarianism, etc.) will focus so much on one macronutrient that they miss the overall pictures that calories are king!

    I guess I’m just trying to figure out how much of all this is simply for profit or are many of these researchers that myopic?

  8. Lyle McDonald permalink
    January 30, 2010

    Fine, Sturm, you’re not a paleotard. You’re justa fucking retard apologist for groups like the paleo fucks and Lustwig. How about the possibility that he’s just an alarmist dipshit who should be ignored completely because he can’t even get basic concepts right?

    Or do you have to constantly make excuses for EVERYONE making bullshit claims like him, the paleo cult fucks, Dean Peat, etc. Because that’s what you seem to constantly do. “Oh, they make some good points.”

    Yeah, a broken clock is right twice a day too. Because someone makes one good point doesn’t change the fact that EVERYTHING ELSE THEY ARE SAYING IS COMPLETELY FUCKING RETARDEDLY WRONG.

    Lyle

  9. January 30, 2010

    Lustig goes on and on about it being a “quantity issue.” I don’t know what more he could have said to mention the fact that the dangers of frucotse are dose-dependent, right in line with what Yudkin proposed.

    Besides, if we are eating too many calories as you allude to, why are we doing that? And perhaps the appetite perversion of fructose is not experienced meal to meal, but creates a steadily upward-creeping disparity between metabolism and appetite. Plus, gaining 40 pounds of fat in 40 years is only 1/20th of a serving of peanut butter per day. We’re talking about something very subtle. A tiny disparity for the vast majority of people.

  10. January 30, 2010

    Do you think that consuming a lot of modern fruits e.g. Pink Lady, Braeburn & Fuji apples (which have been selectively bred to have a very high sugar content) could be a problem? Pardon the Daily Mail link. The British Dental Association claims that the Pink Lady, Braeburn and Fuji contain so much sugar that they cause tooth decay.

  11. January 30, 2010

    Does this mean it’s okay to have Twinkies every day? What about ho-hos or ding-dongs?

  12. Sam permalink
    January 30, 2010

    Hey Alan, great stuff. From your post on the mean forum I thought you migth do something like this.

    grammar suggestion for you:

    “he also errors enough to warrant significant”

    I don’t know if it IS wrong, but it doesn’t sound right to me – either of these

    “he makes enough errors to …”
    “he errs enough to …”

  13. Sam permalink
    January 30, 2010

    funny about the paleo stance:

    there are SPECIFIC CHEMICAL SYSTEMS that handle fructose AND NOTHING ELSE (they don’t double as glucose processors) for digestion and other processing, but humans “have not adapted to fructose”

  14. RayCinLA permalink
    January 30, 2010

    @ Matt Stone:

    Um yeah, I’m sure we are all eating more calories all because of fructose in our foods.

    ~shakes head~

    Did you even bother to read through Alan’s article, or do you just hear the things that sound good to you and block out the rest?

    Sometimes I wonder how Alan has the patience for you types.

  15. Cat Bent permalink
    January 30, 2010

    Marriage of Figaro was composed by Mozart, not Rossini.

  16. Cynthia1770 permalink
    January 30, 2010

    Hi,
    I preach the treachery of HFCS so my mission/bias is clear. “HFCS is nearly identical to sucrose in structure and function.” In my humble opinion it is the “nearly identical” that is killing us. Have you
    considered the ratios of fructose:glucose in sucrose and HFCS?
    HFCS is 55%fructose:45%glucose. This appears to be close to the 50:50 ratio found in sucrose, until you do the math. 55%:45% = 55/45 =1.22.
    This means that in every can of Coke (bottled in the USA) there is,
    compared to glucose, 22% extra fructose. In everyday terms this means
    that drinking 5 HFCS-55 sweetened beverages is equivalent to drinking
    4 1/4 cans of sucrose sweetened be beverage plus 3/4 can of pure fructose sweetened beverage. Considering that the average teen chugs one of two cans a day, that’s a lot of extra fructose. I’ve always wondered why the CRA, Corn Refiners Assoc., chose that ratio. Were they just trying to find a ratio that simulated sucrose-like sweetness, or were they looking for something extremely sweet so end manufacturers could use less, or perhaps they wanted something a little more addictive? At any rate, they chose the ratio, not mother nature.
    Back to the facts:
    Sucrose is a disaccharide.The fructose and glucose are chemically linked. Our gut has the enzyme sucrase. It’s responsibility is to cleave the disaccharide so the simple sugars, fructose and glucose, can enter the bloodstream. Enzymes function as biological catalysts and also serve as gatekeepers; they regulate entry of sugars into the bloodstream.
    In contrast, HFCS is only a gemisch, a mixture of fructose and glucose, not requiring sucrase control. The fructose is shunted directly to the liver for metabolism. When you drink something with
    HFCS-55 you might as well have an I.V. to your portal vein.
    btw: Food manufacturers are always trying to stay one step ahead of
    the consumer. I was reading the ingredients on a bottle of low cal
    fruit water. No HFCS, good; no fructose, good; but wait there’s
    levulose…levulose is fructose.

    You’ve made some good points, but you’re skirting the issue as
    to the basic reasons of our obesity, type II diabetes crisis. Two thirds of our intake of HFCS comes through sweetened beverages. It
    is estimated that per capita intake of HFCS is about 70 lbs per year. That’s a lot of extra fructose assaulting our livers. If you look at
    CDC’s obesity vs. HFCS and sucrose chart, you will notice that obesity
    really started to climb in 1984-1985. That was the year that
    the big boys, Coke and Pepsi, switched to HFCS-55.

    Ditch HFCS, especially HFCS-55. To your health

  17. Pikku permalink
    January 30, 2010

    Cynth, “You’ve made some good points, but you’re skirting the issue as
    to the basic reasons of our obesity, type II diabetes crisis. Two thirds of our intake of HFCS comes through sweetened beverages.”

    Step back for two seconds, and think logically.. what’s to blame, HFCS or people overconsuming food and drink? Would they be taking in that much fructose if they even just had 1 can of sweetened drink per day? How about no cans, and only fruit?.. Still a problem? I think not.

    It’s tough I know. It’s easy to blame one thing for all of the problems but seriously it comes down to something so simple as people over consuming and being lazy.

  18. January 31, 2010

    Pikku, people get a “sweet tooth” from a very young age due to being fed sweet foods & drinks (rusks, baby formula, fruit juice etc) as babies and they can acquire a dependence. See Psychotherapist Jonathan Christie’s findings.

    If sweet foods & drinks aren’t alluring, how come Americans are spending over $70,000,000,000 per annum on sweet drinks and over $20,000,000,000 per annum on sweet foods (1999 figure, probably higher now)?

  19. Manveet permalink
    January 31, 2010

    Solid article.

  20. Pikku permalink
    January 31, 2010

    @Nigel, of course theyre alluring.. so are many food items. That doesnt change the problem though. People witha ‘sweet tooth’ still have a choice as to what goes in their mouth and how much. It’s too easy to blame a food/drink, rather than blaming yourself for getting fat. (note: not saying taste/craving doesnt contribute, but its stupid to put the cause of overweight/obesity down to one ingredient)

  21. Mike L. permalink
    January 31, 2010

    Alan –

    Feel free to delete this if you feel it’s irrelevant or redundant. Just something I came across several years ago that I thought was interesting:

    “Some facts about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS):

    • HFCS contains approximately equal ratios of fructose and glucose, similar
    to sugar (sucrose, cane sugar), honey, or invert sugar.

    • Many parts of the world, including Australia, Mexico and Europe, have
    rising rates of obesity and diabetes despite having little or no HFCS in
    their foods and beverages.

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that per capita consumption of
    HFCS has been declining in recent years, yet the incidence of obesity and
    diabetes in the United States remains on the rise.

    • HFCS has not increased the amount of fructose in the U.S. diet since being
    introduced. While HFCS use has increased, the use of sucrose has
    significantly decreased. Since HFCS and sucrose share basically the same
    composition, the amount of fructose in use has remained nearly the same for
    the last 30 years.”

    Unfortunately, the author of this article provided no sources. Can you confirm any of this information?

    Best,
    Mike

  22. February 1, 2010

    Sam — I fixed that, thanks.

    Peter — I’ve done many lectures for layfolks, & can’t recall a single one where I exaggerated the data to make the lecture more interesting. That’s called BS-ing. However, I once told an audience member that I wanted to feed her some cheesecake.

    Matt — Blaming the nation’s increased caloric intake now versus 1970 on fructose’s purported appetite-stimulatory effect is a leap of speculation. But the kicker is, your speculations are contrary to ample controlled evidence which is NOT speculative. Also, in reviewing the vid, you’re in complete denial if you’re saying that he does not paint a very black/white picture of the evils of frutose, rather than a dose-dependent one.

    Cynthia — you’re talking about a difference of about 4g less fructose per can if sucrose was used instead of HFCS-55. Percentages are one thing, but the actual amount is another. I still think you’re going ape-shit over rabbit pellets. Also, there’s no evidence that a mix of free fructose & glucose causes any different metabolic effects than sucrose. This is an idea you’ve fabricated without proof. As for blaming the mid-80’s marked obesity hike to soda companies’ switch to HFCS-55, let me remind you that correlation =/= causation. I could easily do the same thing and blame the widespread use of the internet that started in the mid 80’s.

    Nigel — let me quote that link you posted, and you’ll see why I’m gonna call BS: “After a week or so, all my hypoglycemic patients had to be steered away from some explosively glycemic food such as Grape Nuts, rice cakes, café latte, rolled oats or soy milk which they mistakenly perceived as wholesome. It helps to think “carbohydrate addiction” because this process is akin to counseling substance abusers.”

    All — Thanks for the feedback.

  23. February 1, 2010

    Another great post, Alan. The “Fructose-is-Satan” crowd never seems to consider that all the studies on fructose use extreme doses that are not relevant to typical human consumption.

  24. Robert Lustig, M.D. permalink
    February 1, 2010

    Mr. Aragon, I suggest it is you who should take a better look at the data.

    1. Despite documented increases in daily caloric intake in the last 30 years, total dietary fat intake has remained relatively stable (5.3 gm decrease in men, 5 gm increase in women), while the percentage of calories from saturated fat has decreased. Although high-fat feeding can induce overnutrition and metabolic syndrome in experimental animal and human models, it does so only in the presence of concomitant carbohydrate . However, carbohydrate intake has skyrocketed during this same period.
    Centers for Disease Control. Trends in intake of energy and macronutrients–United States, 1971-2000. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 53, 80-82 (2004).
    Chanmugam, P. et al. Did fat intake in the United States really decline between 1989-1991 and 1994-1996? J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 103, 867-872 (2003).

    2. The Japanese diet does have fructose; but it is only in fruit. There are no added sugars in their diet. That is what we are talking about here; added dietary sugars; not endogenous ones. Indeed, I am not alone; the American Heart Association has revised their recommended consumption of added sugars down from 22 tsp/day to 6 or 9 tsp/day.
    Johnson, R.K. et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 120, 1011-1020 (2009).

    3. It is about dose, and it is about context. I say so in the video, please do not misquote me. Hard spirits do not cause metabolic syndrome, but beer and shochu do; because the ethanol is delivered along with glucose. Same with fructose in soda or juice; as the only way to get fructose is with glucose combined (HFCS or sucrose); so they are congruent. Fructose always comes with glucose; and the two together overwhelm the liver’s capacity to process either one, generating metabolic syndrome through the pathways described in the video.
    Athyros VG, Liberopoulos EN, Mikhailidis DP, Papageorgiou AA, Ganotakis ES, Tziomalos K, Kakafika AI, Karagiannis A, Lambropoulos S, Elisaf M. Association of drinking pattern and alcohol beverage type with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease in a Mediterranean cohort. Angiology. 2007;58(6):689-697.

    After viewing your critique, I will maintain my position, and I suggest you rethink yours.

    Sincerely,
    Robert Lustig, M.D.

  25. Peter Sturm Konstantinov permalink
    February 1, 2010

    That’s a fair point, Alan, but still in most cases people need to see something exxagarated to actually find it interesting.
    Robert Lustig, you obviously agree with Alan about 2 and 3 which means that I don’t see a reason to write it here ;)

  26. February 1, 2010

    @Pikku: Most of the studies showing that sweet food/drink is more desirable than cocaine have been done on rats. See Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward. “Discussion

    First, our findings seem to run counter to seminal research in monkeys showing that the large majority of individuals prefer high doses of intravenous cocaine over dry food, regardless of the amount of food available and even despite severe weight loss. However, in most previous studies, except one, the food option contained no or only modest concentrations of sweet tastants, which probably explains why it was neglected in favor of high doses of cocaine. In addition, in those studies that employed lightly sweetened food pellets, the amount of effort required to obtain the food option was ten times higher than to obtain cocaine, thereby favoring drug choices. However, in one choice study, all monkeys clearly preferred, ceteris paribus, the highest dose of cocaine over a 1-g sucrose pellet. The discrepancy between this latter study and the present study may suggest either that sweetened beverages are more rewarding than sweetened dryfoods (which may induce thirst in addition to reward) and/or that one 1-g sucrose pellet is not enough to surmount the rewarding effects of the highest doses of cocaine*. Finally, one cannot rule out the possibility that this discrepancy could also reflect an interspecific gap between rodents and primates, the latter being hypothetically more susceptible to cocaine reward than the former. Future research is needed to tease apart these different hypotheses.”

    *1g of sucrose doesn’t do much for me. 1g of coke, on the other hand… ;-D

    @Alan: What about my comment about certain varieties of apple having a very high sugar content?

  27. David Miklas permalink
    February 1, 2010

    Now Alan’s blog has finally begun to roll. This one managed to address a hot topic and even appears to have lured Dr. Lustig out.

    Alan, I found the following quote particularly relevant, and I would encourage Dr. Lustig to keep an open mind about it:

    “… all this finger-pointing at carbohydrate is just as silly as the finger-pointing toward fat in the ’80’s.”

  28. Chris permalink
    February 1, 2010

    Where does Lustig state or imply that the negative effects of fructose are not dose-dependent?

    Obviously people don’t keel over after a can of Tab, nor do they doom themselves to diabetes or obesity.

  29. February 2, 2010

    Plenty of eyes are on this. Just wanna let y’all know that I got bamboozled with work today & will be able to answer Q’s tomorrow.

  30. RayCinLA permalink
    February 2, 2010

    @ Dr Lustig:

    I think the point is that the most memorable message you sent through your speech as that fructose matters more than calories. Alan can correct me if I’m wrong on this, but if you think that you communicated that dosage and context were important in those 90 minutes, you’re wrong. You DID NOT COME ACROSS WITH THAT MESSAGE.

  31. JLB permalink
    February 2, 2010

    I think that I can see the divergence in views here. Alan is speaking more to the rational adult, and Dr. Lustig is speaking more to the irrational child. It’s a simple solution to label things as good or bad, but there’s also a compromise there somewhere along the way. It’s a shame that with all of Lustig’s training and teaching skills, he really did fail to give the audience the big picture. Instead, all that most people will leave with is, “Fructose is the Devil”

  32. Nicholas permalink
    February 2, 2010

    I watched the video once (but very carefully and with some rewind), and I thought Dr. Lustig communicated dose and context of fructose adequately during the 90 minutes. It was not headlined for you, but it was covered. You should also be able to draw the same conclusions from his other topics. I suspect the issue is the sheer amount of info in 90 minutes and short attention spans of some of these posters.

  33. JLB permalink
    February 2, 2010

    Nicholas,

    Show me where in th video Dr. Lustig specifies a safe amount of fructose. I could have missed that. Alan made it pretty clear in his article (with some qualification).

  34. Nicholas permalink
    February 2, 2010

    I don’t have an exact moment for you. Probably late in the video. I also don’t see why you are hung up on dosage, as the biochemistry speaks for itself. Fructose would not be the first chemical that humans can tolerate in low amounts but is damaging in high doses. Florine in water? Mercury? Omega-6 fats?

    Dr. Lustig did not enumerate a specific amount, and rightly so, as it is specific to individuals, as Alan pointed out. Along with his discussion of fiber, he generalized that fructose occurring in nature come in safe amounts with benefits that override the fructose dangers.

  35. JLB permalink
    February 2, 2010

    Nicholas,

    This is where you’re copping out. you’re implying that Dr. Lustig was clear about context and dosage, yet, you dance around the fact that he did not specify any threshold below which adverse effects are not seen to any degree of concrete significance. The message to most who view this video is clear, and it is alarmist against fructose. Deny all you want, but at least support your argument with more than a mess of excuses.

  36. Chris permalink
    February 2, 2010

    Considering that just about everything is dose-dependent in the world of nutrition/pharmacology/toxicology, unless he explicitly says fructose isn’t, why jump to that conclusion?

    If fructose is indeed “poison”, as he claims, it clearly can only be so in the chronic, dose-dependent sense, or else we would all be quite sick or even dead already.

    This is really a mountain being made out of a molehill. Scrutinize his actual publications if you really think you have a legitimate gripe against Lustig’s theses.

  37. February 2, 2010

    You’ve missed a critical part of the picture Alan.

    In 1999, the USDA asked more firms (food companies) that weren’t being taken into account prior to this point to report their total sales of vegetable oil. They then threw the numbers into the mix in 2000 and did not adjust for years prior. This makes it appear like a huge increase in added fats when in fact this is not the case. This also makes it look like total fat intake or calories is the cause of obesity epidemic but not so. But you’re in good company – Michael Pollan gets this wrong too.

    From the USDA information I have, the only macronutrient that significantly increased was carbohydrate between 1982 and 2000. Grain and flour consumption went way up. Fruit consumption went up. Added sugars went way up as did vegetable consumption. Total fat isn’t really changing because meat consumption goes down from 2002 to 2007.

    So in fact, it is certainly not added fats that have caused an obesity epidemic as is touted in the industry. Indeed if anything it is the total carbohydrate that has caused the obesity epidemic and not total calories. But this is always the key issue. Yes, total calories went up, but the calories were sugar. So, which is responsible for people getting fatter? Well, we don’t know. That’s why you have to do randomized controlled trials and they have to be designed in such away that they test this question in particular.

    This is why we need to convince someone in a position of authority to do metabolic ward studies and feed half a dozen men 3500 calories of a balanced diet and feed another half a dozen 3500 calories of a ketogenic diet. If the former stay fat and the latter lose weight, then it’s not the calories they consumed that made the difference, but the difference in the type of calories.

    Biochemistry suggests that this may very well be true. From my experience with clients I know this to be true.

  38. February 2, 2010

    Nicholas said:

    “I don’t have an exact moment for you. Probably late in the video.”

    … or earlier, or maybe it was somewhere in the middle… on second thought – maybe he didn’t say it at all.

    Nicholas:

    “I also don’t see why you are hung up on dosage, as the biochemistry speaks for itself.”

    Because the dose makes the poison, Nicholas – the very point Alan hammered home and the very point that you insist Dr. Lustig agreed with.

    Nicholas:

    “Fructose would not be the first chemical that humans can tolerate in low amounts but is damaging in high doses. Florine in water? Mercury? Omega-6 fats?”

    A fanciful red herring. ANYTHING in a high enough dose can be deleterious to health – even foods that are considered healthy and nutrient dense. If we are going to make comparison’s can we at least make them somewhat relevant?

    If Dr. Lustig were being honest, he would state that fructose consumption within the context of an otherwise healthy and hypocaloric diet would not likely do jack squat to anyone’s health. If he feels otherwise, he ought to show evidence of this.

  39. February 2, 2010

    Hello again Fred!

    It is refreshing to hear you say “we don’t know if it’s calories or carbs/sugar”. The thing is, though that metabolic ward studies HAVE been done and the majority show that it IS in fact calories that make the biggest difference in weight. Which leaves your only supportive evidence as “I know it’s the carbs because I’ve seen it”.

    I agree that it would be ideal to have more RTC’s including metabolic ward studies, but let’s seek some middle ground here for a minute. Nobody is suggesting you just eat x number of calories – without any regard for macro composition. But when protein is matched and adequate, the fat and carb chips can fall where they may and people will lose weight – provided they are in a deficit.

  40. February 2, 2010

    “It is refreshing to hear you say “we don’t know if it’s calories or carbs/sugar”. The thing is, though that metabolic ward studies HAVE been done and the majority show that it IS in fact calories that make the biggest difference in weight. Which leaves your only supportive evidence as “I know it’s the carbs because I’ve seen it”.

    ****That’s not exactly what I am saying Mike. And would you be so kind as to list the references for these studies you say have been done? As far as I am aware they have not. The only ward studies I know of were not ketogenic vs standard USDA fare and not maintenance level calorically. And I gave several references as to other studies that do show a metabolic advantage to truly low carb diets on that godforsaken message board.

    When you see a 7 foot tall 13 year old at a table eating a huge portion of food do you think even for a second that his height is caused by his eating enormous amounts of calories? No. Of course not. You know the child has a hormonal abnormality. Why then if you see a fat person eating an enormous amount of food do you blame his obesity on his caloric consumption?

    Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation. Let that sink in deep.

    “I agree that it would be ideal to have more RTC’s including metabolic ward studies, but let’s seek some middle ground here for a minute. Nobody is suggesting you just eat x number of calories – without any regard for macro composition. But when protein is matched and adequate, the fat and carb chips can fall where they may and people will lose weight – provided they are in a deficit.”

    ****Provided they are in a deficit. And when they are in a deficit, they are always eating less carbohydrate usually significantly less on their new found diets. The conventional wisdom is to say “See it’s the calories.” But all lower calories diets decrease total carbohydrate intake.

    And no one can keep up eating a low calorie diet for long. We’re talking ad libitum diet composition. If you were to match protein intake and assuring adequate protein intake for both groups, do you really think that if the subjects were fed maintenance level calories (if there is such a thing) one group getting pure fat and the other pure sugar there would be no difference in body composition after say a 6 month period? Not I.

  41. weelittleme permalink
    February 2, 2010

    “2. The Japanese diet does have fructose; but it is only in fruit. There are no added sugars in their diet. That is what we are talking about here; added dietary sugars;”

    Um, wrong. This is not correct. This isn’t even a little bit correct. There is a major problem with the credibility of anything else that gets said after something this blatantly inaccurate.

  42. February 2, 2010

    Fred you stated –

    “When you see a 7 foot tall 13 year old at a table eating a huge portion of food do you think even for a second that his height is caused by his eating enormous amounts of calories? No. Of course not. You know the child has a hormonal abnormality. Why then if you see a fat person eating an enormous amount of food do you blame his obesity on his caloric consumption?”

    This is a constant argument point you use. In fact, I have seen you use this stance at least 3 times. It seems you and guys like Taubes have a common theme. Your theme is to pull out circus sideshow cases and make them relevant for the general population.

    It couldn’t possibly be the average client I track and monitor is usually 25% under what their recommend caloric intake due to their lifestyle and work habits. It couldn’t possibly be the 2000 calorie meals, of both fat and carbohydrates, people are eating in one sitting.

    Yes, there is room for discussion on why people overeat and how to better optimize diets. The majority of us fall in a close line to what a proper macro distribution should be. No one ever says to mainline fructose. What we do say, or I should say for myself, is there is a fundamental base of energy distribution and it is king. It is possible and frequent due to genetics and lifestyle habits, that energy and apdatation has a large margin to move around in, but energy demand is the base to build everything on.

    Your 7ft 13 year old boy isn’t the middle line, he is the top of the scale. The rest of the people fall closer to the middle of that line. While he may not be normal, he isn’t void of following those same principles. His body functions on energy demand the exact same way mine does, it is just at a higher level of energy demand.

    You are adjusting the wrong line. Instead of placing the movement into freak hormonal response you need to place it in energy needs and demands. Then and only then will you start to make a genuine change in client response because you base is starting off with common sense and something measurable.

  43. Nicholas permalink
    February 2, 2010

    Mike: the lecture clearly stated that fructose is a chronic use, non-acute poison, as opposed to alcohol. In any case, keep in mind this is a lecture, not a dissertation nor academic paper. It may be forgiven for missing or not clarifying some points. I think overall the message is correct. Mountains over molehills.

    weelittleme: have you been to Japan? Their Coke tastes like club soda. There is more fresh food with little corn syrup (ie real food). There may not be absolute zero fructose, but you are being nit picky. Bottom line is that Japanese eat less sugar.

  44. February 2, 2010

    Mike — I’ll interject my feedback to your quotes:

    • HFCS contains approximately equal ratios of fructose and glucose, similar
    to sugar (sucrose, cane sugar), honey, or invert sugar.
    ^^^Yes, this is true for the most common types of HFCS on the market.

    • Many parts of the world, including Australia, Mexico and Europe, have
    rising rates of obesity and diabetes despite having little or no HFCS in
    their foods and beverages.
    ^^^It’s true that HFCS is not used extensively outside of the US, and yet obesity has been on the rise worldwide.

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that per capita consumption of
    HFCS has been declining in recent years, yet the incidence of obesity and
    diabetes in the United States remains on the rise.
    ^^^This is not true. While added sugars as a whole are decreased as a percentage of total calories, HFCS consumption has increased significantly.

    • HFCS has not increased the amount of fructose in the U.S. diet since being
    introduced. While HFCS use has increased, the use of sucrose has
    significantly decreased. Since HFCS and sucrose share basically the same
    composition, the amount of fructose in use has remained nearly the same for
    the last 30 years.”
    ^^^This doesn’t sound too far off, according to the latest ERS/USDA data.

  45. February 2, 2010

    Chris — You said: “This is really a mountain being made out of a molehill.” Funny enough, this is exactly my point about Lustig’s spotlighting of fructose while downplaying other important factors, not to mention its dose-dependent effect.

    Nicholas — In your fervor to defend Lustig, you’re misrepresenting his statement, which was explicitly that, “The Japanese diet does have fructose; but it is only in fruit. There are no added sugars in their diet.” << This is false. And, it's also false for you to turn the statement into something distinctly different. No fructose other than fruit & no added sugars is a different statement than what you interpreted merely as that the Japanese eat less sugar. Selectively read much, bro? Also, pay attention to Mike Howard’s & JLB's responses to you, he took the words right out of my mouth.

    Nigel — I'm seeing that lay article report 10-15% more sugar in certain types of modern apples than back-in-da-day apples. 1st off, I don't put much credence in news stories. Their purpose is to entertain, not necessarily to educate. If you can get me a more solid scientific link like Pubmed, then my ears perk up a little more. But even in the case of a 10-15% increase in sugar content of any fruit, that's a small amount (2-3 grams), and perhaps more importantly there's no solid research evidence indicting modern-day fruits as obesity agents.

    Fred — If you can present a more recent update than the USDA data that I linked, you'll be in a better position to argue. I've laid out data that has been updated as recently as Feb 2009. If there are discrepancies between that & what you have, then that's not surprising, since self-reported surveys are generally problematic (subject to recall bias & inconsistent interview methods) in the first place. I agree with you that well-controlled prolonged hypercaloric comparisons of varying macronutrient intakes are lacking.

  46. Peter Sturm Konstantinov permalink
    February 3, 2010

    About the modern day fruit debate – I don’t think that we need research to know that apples are sweeter than before. It is quite obvious that all sorts popular today are selected with the sweetness as a first priority.
    But it probably has little to do with the obesity.

  47. Peter Sturm Konstantinov permalink
    February 3, 2010

    Oh and I forgot to say something about the HFCS vs. sugar debate.
    Here in Bulgaria we don’t use almost any HFCS at all. We didn’t have a problem going obese.

    And when somebody sais “HFCS (or sugar) is to be blamed for obesity” may be they have to take a look at the pacific countries (in some countries obesity is 90%+) and ask themselfs if it isn’t more of a cultural than diet reason.

    My point is that people are obese because they want to do what makes them obese (consume calories).

  48. February 3, 2010

    I’m dog tired so this will be a short post.

    I’m glad Dr. Lustig has made it clear here that there is context and dose-response but he continues to obfuscate – not commenting on the context of calories or dose ranges. If you watch the video, the message seems pretty clear – fructose is TOXIC. Context is an afterthought. This is what is disingenuous and perhaps what Alan (and others) are objecting to. To quote Lustig himself in this video;

    (At about the 20:15 mark) “Sugar and HFCS are both the same – they are both equally bad. They’re both dangerous… they’re both poison… I said it – poison. My charge before the end of tonight is to convince you that fructose is poison”.

    Hmmm… sounds like his thesis may have something to do with… oh, I don’t know… convincing us that fructose is poison?

    In terms of caloric context, Lustig proclaims (at about the 21 min. mark) “It has nothing to do with calories, it’s poison by itself”.

    These are caustic statements – statements that demand immediate qualification. By not contextualizing these bold proclamations it makes Lustig sound agenda-driven. This is contrary to scientific thought and in my mind, reduces his message to some good points mixed in with a lot of noise.

    That’s all for tonight folks.

  49. February 3, 2010

    Dr. Lustig — Please see my interjections to your numbered quotes below.
    ____________________________________________________________

    1. Despite documented increases in daily caloric intake in the last 30 years, total dietary fat intake has remained relatively stable (5.3 gm decrease in men, 5 gm increase in women), while the percentage of calories from saturated fat has decreased. Although high-fat feeding can induce overnutrition and metabolic syndrome in experimental animal and human models, it does so only in the presence of concomitant carbohydrate . However, carbohydrate intake has skyrocketed during this same period.
    Centers for Disease Control. Trends in intake of energy and macronutrients–United States, 1971-2000. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 53, 80-82 (2004).
    Chanmugam, P. et al. Did fat intake in the United States really decline between 1989-1991 and 1994-1996? J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 103, 867-872 (2003).
    ____________________________________________________________

    ^^^As I mentioned to Fred, I’ve laid out data that has been updated as recently as Feb 2009. If there are discrepancies between that & what you have, then that’s not surprising, since self-reported surveys are generally problematic (subject to recall bias & inconsistent interview methods) in the first place. But let’s assume for a second that the USDA/ERS data showing a decrease in percent of added sugars is incorrect. It doesn’t change the fact that singling out fructose, HFCS, or sugar consumption as THE most culpable agent of the rise in obesity is merely speculative, and insufficiently supported by the bulk of the controlled data. I’ll quote a rather exhaustive review by Forshee et al [Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2007;47(6):561-82.]:

    “The evidence that HFCS consumption uniquely increases the risk of weight gain is very weak. Few studies directly explore the relationship between HFCS, body weight, and BMI. The only evidence directly linking HFCS consumption and weight gain is ecological data. Ecological data are widely recognized as insufficient for establishing cause-effect relationships. HFCS consumption and weight gain have major gaps. The hypothesis that the increasing levels of HFCS in the food supply has increased the F:G ratio is not supported by the USDA ERS food availability data.

    The impact of HFCS consumption on BMI must be put in context with other broad economic and societal changes during the past several decades. Many other plausible explanations for rising overweight and obesity rates exist, including a decrease in smoking; an increase in sedentary occupations; an increase in two-income households and single-parent households; transportation and infrastructure changes that discourage physical activity; a decrease in PE classes and extracurricular sports programs in schools; an increase in sedentary forms of entertainment (i.e. TV/movie viewing, video games, etc.); demographic changes (i.e. aging population, immigration, etc.); a decrease in food costs with increase in food availability and changes in food consumption patterns.

    The expert panel concluded that the currently available evidence is insufficient to implicate HFCS per se as a causal factor in the overweight and obesity problem in the United States.”

    ____________________________________________________________

    2. The Japanese diet does have fructose; but it is only in fruit. There are no added sugars in their diet. That is what we are talking about here; added dietary sugars; not endogenous ones. Indeed, I am not alone; the American Heart Association has revised their recommended consumption of added sugars down from 22 tsp/day to 6 or 9 tsp/day.
    Johnson, R.K. et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 120, 1011-1020 (2009).
    ____________________________________________________________

    ^^^We’re not in total disagreement here since we’ve both mentioned that the Japanese DO indeed eat fruit as a regular part of their diet. However, you’re still skirting the fact that you mentioned explictly in the beginning of your video that the Japanese diet “eliminates fructose”. Furthermore, aside from it being a contradictory claim, you said explicitly that the only source of fructose in the Japanese diet is “only in fruit. There are no added sugars in their diet.” This is simply false. Sushi rice is made with about 1 tbsp sucrose per cup of uncooked rice. There are numerous Japanese desserts & sweets that all have added sugar as an ingredient. Even some non-dessert items have added sugar within dips and sauces such as teriyaki.
    ____________________________________________________________

    3. It is about dose, and it is about context. I say so in the video, please do not misquote me. Hard spirits do not cause metabolic syndrome, but beer and shochu do; because the ethanol is delivered along with glucose. Same with fructose in soda or juice; as the only way to get fructose is with glucose combined (HFCS or sucrose); so they are congruent. Fructose always comes with glucose; and the two together overwhelm the liver’s capacity to process either one, generating metabolic syndrome through the pathways described in the video.
    Athyros VG, Liberopoulos EN, Mikhailidis DP, Papageorgiou AA, Ganotakis ES, Tziomalos K, Kakafika AI, Karagiannis A, Lambropoulos S, Elisaf M. Association of drinking pattern and alcohol beverage type with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease in a Mediterranean cohort. Angiology. 2007;58(6):689-697.
    ____________________________________________________________

    ^^^If it’s really your position that it’s about dosage and context, then we are not in fundamental disagreement. However, based on my observations of the reactions of those on fitness message boards, that certainly has not been the predominant take-home message absorbed by the viewers. If indeed you were delivering an objective message about dosage & context, it was lost amongst the alarmist claims. The majority are unversed and unfamiliar with the research, and come away with the sentiments that JLB & RayC mentioned – fructose is the devil, and overall calories pale in comparison. I’ll also add that many people have gotten the incorrect impression that HFCS & sucrose have an appetite-stimulatory effect due to the fructose content. That’s false according to the available research. Let me also add the fact that unless I missed it, you neglected to provide anything concrete in terms of a safe fructose dosage range, nor any contextual guidelines in which to frame such a range.

    After viewing your response, I will maintain my position, and I suggest you rethink the content and delivery of your next lecture. Let me suggest that you place a little more emphasis on dose-dependence rather than painting a black-white picture of fructose that crucially downplays the importance of context. I also suggest that you re-check your claims concerning the Japanese diet if you’re going to use it as a salient introductory point of the lecture.

    Thanks for engaging in discussion, I’ll await your response.

  50. February 3, 2010

    “Um, wrong. This is not correct. This isn’t even a little bit correct. There is a major problem with the credibility of anything else that gets said after something this blatantly inaccurate.”

    Give is the accurate information then.

  51. February 3, 2010

    “This is a constant argument point you use. In fact, I have seen you use this stance at least 3 times. It seems you and guys like Taubes have a common theme. Your theme is to pull out circus sideshow cases and make them relevant for the general population.”

    Circus sideshow cases? Obese people were used as circus sideshow cases years ago when obesity was very rare. You couldn’t put a fat lady in a circus act today as she’d look normal.

    The point is excessive height as well as excessive fat accumulation is a hormonal disorder. It is a disorder of excess fat accumulation. Obese people eat more (some don’t eat that much) because much of what they eat gets stored as fat rather than being made available for energy. When this happens, they remain hungry since too many of the caories went to storage rather than to building/maintaining.

    The rest of your post reflects the common thinking on the matter and if you try to keep people lean by feeding them less total calories you’ll find very poor long term results.

    And every single time a fitness professional decreases someones calories they also decrease their total carb intake and alter the type of carbs from highly refined to fibrous. You will never get an obese person lean by lowering their calories and yet keeping the refined sugars high.

  52. February 3, 2010

    Another little bit that makes me question Lustig’s nutritional knowledge… he claims that the sodium content of coke – at 55mg is like “drinking a pizza” and claims it makes us more thirsty. Hmmmm…. last I checked, single slices of pizza were in th neighborhood of 500-1000mg of sodium. If you’re getting thirsty by ingesting 55mg of sodium (about 2-3% of the daily recommended limit), you’ve got bigger problems than fructose.

  53. February 3, 2010

    “Fred — If you can present a more recent update than the USDA data that I linked, you’ll be in a better position to argue. I’ve laid out data that has been updated as recently as Feb 2009. If there are discrepancies between that & what you have, then that’s not surprising, since self-reported surveys are generally problematic (subject to recall bias & inconsistent interview methods) in the first place. I agree with you that well-controlled prolonged hypercaloric comparisons of varying macronutrient intakes are lacking.”

    I don’t understand. My point was that in 2000 the RDA asked many more companies to report on vegetable oil. The spike from 1999 to 2000 was due to previous underreporting. They did not however go BACK and adjust. Therefore the percentage of nutrients are all askew. My USDA table is from 2006.

    Carbohydrate is still far and away the greatest macronutrient increase.

  54. February 3, 2010

    “In studies directly comparing the effect of fructose and glucose preloads on subsequent food intake, one showed no difference [7], while another showed it was actually the fructose preload that resulted in lesser food intake than the glucose preload [8]. A recent review of the literature on fructose’s effect on satiety found no compelling case for the idea that fructose is less satiating than glucose, or that HFCS is less satiating than sucrose [9]. So much for Lustig’s repeated assertion that fructose and fructose-containing sugars increase subsequent food intake. I suppose it’s easier to sensationalize claims based on rodent data.” Alan, you smashed that claim. In addition, other factors influence hunger, appetite, and subsequent food intake; these factors include neurochemical factors (e.g. serotonin, endorphins, dopamine etc.), gastric signals (e.g. peptides, stomach distention), hedonistic qualities of food (e.g. taste, texture, smell), genetic, environmental (e.g. food availability, cost, etc.), and emotional factors (stress, depression, etc.) (Freedman et al., 2001). When considering food consumption in everyday life it is important to consider the above-mentioned factors. It is impractical to consider one nutrient’s impact, while ignoring other factors that influence satiety.

    “Demonizing fructose without mentioning the dose-dependent nature of its effects is intellectually dishonest.” Agreed. When discussing the benefits or dangers of a substance it’s important to consider dosage. “A chemical can’t simply be classified as “dangerous” or “safe”: it always depends on the amount, or dose, received. The effects of a chemical will change with different amounts, so that below a certain dose it may be harmless or beneficial and at a higher dose it may be toxic. We all know that a little aspirin is good for us, whereas 50 tablets could cause acute renal failure, coma, and heart failure from salicylate poisoning” (Sense About Science, Making Sense of Chemical Stories).

    “One of Lustig’s opening assertions is that The Atkins diet and the Japanese diet share one thing in common: the absence of fructose.” Really? I wonder why he would make a claim that is so easily refuted? Who knows? On another note, let’s say this assertion (fantasy) was correct. So what? Does he assume the absence of fructose in a hypercaloric diet results in weight loss? Does he assume fructose consumption in a hypocaloric diet results in weight gain? Does he assume that everyone following the Atkins and Japanese Diet are lean? Does he understand correlation doesn’t mean causation? Keith Stanovich, cognitive scientist, says “There is no excuse for making causal inferences on the basis of correlational evidence when it is possible to manipulate variables in a way that would legitimately justify a causal inference.” There are two major classes of ambiguity present in a simple correlation between two variables (Stanovich, 2007): the directionality problem, and the third-variable problem. Directionality problem: before deciding that a correlation between A and variable B is due to changes in A causing changes in B, we must consider the direction of causation may be the opposite, from B to A. Third- variable problem: the two variables may not indicate a causal path in either direction, but occurs because both variables are related to a third variable.

    “However, I disagree (as does the bulk of the research) with his myopic, militant focus on fructose avoidance.” So do basic logic and a plethora of scientific evidence.

    “Pointing the finger at fructose while dismissing dosage and context” is utter nonsense.

    Cynthia- Please re-read my comments on correlation and causation. Please refer to any basic manual on logic. Other good references include Stanovich- How to Think Straight About Psychology, Patten- Understanding Research Methods, Aragon- Girth Control. There is an ample amount of data explaining the difference between correlation and causation.

    Mr. Lusting- “The Japanese diet does have fructose; but it is only in fruit. There are no added sugars in their diet. That is what we are talking about here; added dietary sugars; not endogenous ones.” Apparently, you are under the assumption that natural sugars are always safer than laboratory made sugars (never mind their molecular structures are identical, cannot be distinguished). This false assumption is generally derived from the idea that processes performed by living things are fundamentally different than ones created through chemical laboratory processes. Ok, never mind that every living process is fundamentally a chemical process. Would you be surprised if I told you some of the world’s most dangerous toxins are all natural? They include ricin, abrin, botulinum, and strychnine—highly evolved chemical weapons used by organisms for self-defense and territorial expansion. Indeed, every plant and microbe carries a variety of mostly uncharacterized, more or less toxic attack chemicals, and synthetic chemicals are no more likely to be toxic than natural ones (Silver, 2006). Other examples of dangerous natural substance include water hemlock, arsenic and mercury.

    The chemical reality- whether a substance is manufactured by people, copied from nature or extracted directly from nature, tells us little at all about its properties. To reiterate, in terms of chemical safety, “industrial”, “synthetic”, “artificial” and “man-made” are not necessarily more damaging and “natural” does not necessarily mean better.

    Lee Silver, Professor of Biology at Princeton Univ & Author of Challenging Nature, discussing natural food myths- http://bigthink.com/ideas/16346

    Peter- “but still in most cases people need to see something exxagarated to actually find it interesting.” So, that makes it all right to perpetuate fallacious information? Where do we draw the line and how can we ever expect to gain any real knowledge if interesting info takes precedence over evidence-based claims?

    Nicholas- You said “I watched the video once (but very carefully and with some rewind), and I thought Dr. Lustig communicated dose and context of fructose adequately during the 90 minutes. It was not headlined for you, but it was covered.” When asked to specify where it occurred you said “I don’t have an exact moment for you. Probably late in the video. I also don’t see why you are hung up on dosage, as the biochemistry speaks for itself.” How about you watch the video again and locate the moment Lustig communicated dose. Your comment is like saying a study says xx but I can’t tell you exactly where or when I saw it, it was in Obesity Research or the Journal of Nutrition or one of those things. Not sure, but I know I saw it. Why get hung up on dosage? Once again, “[a] chemical can’t simply be classified as “dangerous” or “safe”: it always depends on the amount, or dose, received. The effects of a chemical will change with different amounts, so that below a certain dose it may be harmless or beneficial and at a higher dose it may be toxic. We all know that a little aspirin is good for us, whereas 50 tablets could cause acute renal failure, coma, and heart failure from salicylate poisoning” (Sense About Science, Making Sense of Chemical Stories).

    JLB- “This is where you’re copping out. you’re implying that Dr. Lustig was clear about context and dosage, yet, you dance around the fact that he did not specify any threshold below which adverse effects are not seen to any degree of concrete significance. The message to most who view this video is clear, and it is alarmist against fructose. Deny all you want, but at least support your argument with more than a mess of excuses.” I agree. Nicholas puts forth a pitiful argument.

    Nicholas again- “There may not be absolute zero fructose, but you are being nit picky. Bottom line is that Japanese eat less sugar.” Why not just say they eat less sugar? Is that nit picky? Saying the Japanese diet is absent- not present, not existing- of fructose means no fructose. Actually, this lack of nit pickiness is one of the most common problems with communication. Japanese eat less sugar, so what? Please refer to the info I posted above discussing correlation and causation.

    Mike Howard- “Sugar and HFCS are both the same – they are both equally bad. They’re both dangerous… they’re both poison… I said it – poison. My charge before the end of tonight is to convince you that fructose is poison”. Thanks Mike for pointing that out. Seems like when he comments on the blog he is trying to wiggle his way out of some of the assertions made on the video. I would recommend he look at the scientific data- maybe all of the available data, distinguish the strengths of different types of evidence, invest some time into studying logic (science of reason), admit he is fallible, pay credit where credit is due- to Alan Aragon, and if he has a team of research data associates get rid of them and get some new ones.

    Alan- “After viewing your response, I will maintain my position, and I suggest you rethink the content and delivery of your next lecture. Let me suggest that you place a little more emphasis on dose-dependence rather than painting a black-white picture of fructose that crucially downplays the importance of context. I also suggest that you re-check your claims concerning the Japanese diet if you’re going to use them as a salient introductory point of the lecture.” As I said previously, I would recommend he look at the scientific data- maybe all of the available data, distinguish the strengths of different types of evidence, invest some time into studying logic (science of reason), admit he is fallible, pay credit where credit is due- to Alan Aragon, and if he has a team of research data associates get rid of them and get some new ones.

    Mike Howard again- “Another little bit that makes me question Lustig’s nutritional knowledge… he claims that the sodium content of coke – at 55mg is like “drinking a pizza” and claims it makes us more thirsty.” It sounds like this guy definitely needs to spend some time researching nutrition.

    Final comments:

    Numerous studies have shown that sugar-containing liquids, when consumed in place of usual meals, may lead to significant and sustained weight loss (Drewnowski, A & Bellisle, F 2007)

    “The hypothesis that fructose, HFCS, and caloric beverages play a unique role in obesity and type 2 diabetes beyond their inherent energy contributions has generated tremendous attention from scientists and the media, but no credible scientific support” says John S. White, Ph.D. and President of White Technical Research (White, 2008)

    “The American Medical Association helped put to rest a common misunderstanding about high fructose corn syrup and obesity, stating that ‘high fructose syrup does not appear to contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners.’ Even former critics of high fructose corn syrup dispelled myths and distanced themselves from earlier speculation about the sweetener’s link to obesity in a comprehensive scientific review published in the December 2008 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” (Science Blog, 2009).

    The addition of HFCS to a negative energy diet does not cause weight gain. You don’t have to get rid of all the sodas in your pantry just make sure to drink in moderation.

  55. February 3, 2010

    Fred you stated –

    “Circus sideshow cases? Obese people were used as circus sideshow cases years ago when obesity was very rare. You couldn’t put a fat lady in a circus act today as she’d look normal.”

    Fred, the circus ladies back in the day at their lowest weight were in the 500lb range and sometimes very short in height. If you look at the tale of one lady, Baby Ruth, she was 300 pounds by the age of ten. You consider that normal?

    http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/images/circus/ruth/

    You should also check out how easy it was for her to lose weight and the effort they had to go through to get her to gain more weight for what she was doing.

    In United States it is estimated less than 0.20 of the entire population are above 500 pounds. While this number has increased and while we become desensitized with programs on television and outliers of extreme morbid obsesity, it isn’t normal. The average person see the effects of their body increase overtime due to a lack of movement in correlation with a increase in calorie consumption.

    This study shows that the average fitness level of the morbidly obese (body mass indexes between 40.0 and 49.9) walked an average of 2,500 steps a day. This leaves the burning very close to a BMR level of expenditure.

    1. Thomas E. Vanhecke, Barry A. Franklin, Wendy M. Miller, Adam T. deJong, Catherine J. Coleman, Peter A. McCullough. Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Sedentary Lifestyle in the Morbidly Obese. Clinical Cardiology, 2009; 32 (3): 121 DOI: 10.1002/clc.20458

    Fat, carbs or protein, it is highly easy to out eat that type of activity especially when there is such a disruption in the endocrine system. Its funny how you seem to think we miss those disruptions, we don’t but it doesn’t toss aside energy balance.

    Fred you stated –

    “The point is excessive height as well as excessive fat accumulation is a hormonal disorder.”

    Fred, you got get over the height thing. Not to mention you are comparing apples and oranges. Excessive growth hormone is the likely factor of excessive height. Growth hormone is usually blunted in those with obesity. This comparison doesn’t make sense at all.

    In terms you might understand, it is much like relating your stance to the event that took place when the Ninja Turtles walked in the green goo. That was one hell of a endocrine disruption but you don’t see me using that as a go between for the morbidly obese do you?

    Fred you stated –

    “It is a disorder of excess fat accumulation. Obese people eat more (some don’t eat that much) because much of what they eat gets stored as fat rather than being made available for energy. When this happens, they remain hungry since too many of the caories went to storage rather than to building/maintaining.”

    This statement doesn’t even make sense.

    Fred you stated –

    “The rest of your post reflects the common thinking on the matter and if you try to keep people lean by feeding them less total calories you’ll find very poor long term results.”

    Trying to “keep people lean” is not what I am suggesting. In the process of achieving a leaner state, people need to consume less calories. Once they have achieved a leaner state, calorie consumption can be whatever the hell you want it to be depending on your movement and training lifestyle.

    Fred you stated –

    “And every single time a fitness professional decreases someones calories they also decrease their total carb intake and alter the type of carbs from highly refined to fibrous. You will never get an obese person lean by lowering their calories and yet keeping the refined sugars high.”

    Actually you can Fred but this is a flawed argument stance. You also are assuming more metabolic advantage towards decreased carbohydrates which isn’t always the case either. Some people crash on low carb and decrease their daily activity (as well as see severe depletion in mental function). This leads to faster stalls or binge incidences on the rebound. For others it is smooth sailing, it just depends.

    You will only find a success with a small population of people who fit into a certain criteria but hey, that is fine. I have no problem using critical thought and assessment of situation to aid different people and pick up your slack.

    See, that is the ironic part of your argument Fred. You claim hormonal abnormalities bridge a large scale and are responsible for differences. I agree; we are all different. Isn’t it funny how you are the one who wants to solve that by “one size fits all.”

  56. February 3, 2010

    Leigh – I don’t want to hijack Alan’s blog with our discussion any further but I’d be happy to continue the debate on my forum http://seriousstrength.yuku.com/

    You’ll have to explain why some people who eat more calories then maintenance do not gain fat and why some do.

    Hormones regulate fat storage. No insulin, no fat storage regardless of the calories ingested.

    Your thinking on the matter is 2 dimensional. We can discuss this at length on my site if you wish.

    And there is no slack for you to pick up. ALL my clients who follow my recommended low carb ad libitum plan lose fat quite well.

    Have you ever tried it? I doubt it.

  57. February 3, 2010

    Here’s a comment from a friends blog:

    “Don’t believe me? Listen to my story. At one point I was consuming around 1000 calories a day, 80% of those being carbohydrates. I was around 145 pounds. I learned about carbohydrate restriction and went on an Atkins style diet. My caloric intake quadrupled. Did I gain or lose? I lost 6 pant sizes in 3 months. Yeah, screw caloric restriction.”

    Don’t tell me it was the protein. It was a hormonal shift.

  58. Mike L. permalink
    February 3, 2010

    Fred H. –

    Continually citing anecdotal reports does not help further your cause. There may be limited research, but a recent study suggests that the ketogenic diet does not offer a metabolic advantage over a standard, reduced-calorie diet (see: “Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets.”). Regardless of your personal experience, the results of controlled scientific studies seem to indicate that specific macronutrient composition is largely irrelevant when comparing calorie- *and* protein-matched diets.

    -Mike L.

  59. JLB permalink
    February 3, 2010

    Fred,

    There’s no way you can present someone’s testimonial and imply that it’s conclusive evidence of the superiority of low carb, high fat. You can grab the same type of testimonials claiming the same results from the promoters of low fat diets like the Pritikin diet, Body for Life, or any diet for that matter. Whatever it takes to get the person to stick with a calorie deficit is the right diet for that person. Also, testimonials should be taken with a grain of salt because there’s plenty of uncontrolled variables. I agree with Leigh Peele that you have a one-size-fits-all approach that ignores individual differences. Here’s a quote from Alan about low-carb zealots on Jamie Hale’s site that reminded me of you:

    “A key point that must be made is that the research is not sufficient grounds to be dogmatic about low-carbing in the first place. On the whole, studies do not match protein intakes between diets. Adequate protein intakes have multiple advantages (ie, LBM support, satiety, thermic effect), and they simply end up being compared to inadequate protein intakes. Thus, it’s not lower carb intake per se that imparts any advantage, it’s the higher protein intake. Once you match protein intake between diets, the one with more carbs is actually the one with the potential for a slight metabolic advantage.

    Furthermore, the majority of the research compares dietary extremes (high-carb/low-fat/low-protein versus low-carb/high-fat/moderate protein). The funny part is, the majority of long-term trials (12 months or more) STILL fail to show a significant weight loss difference. Note that these trials use the sedentary obese, so in the fit population, any weight loss differences would be even more miniscule. Once again, keep in mind that the lack of significant difference in weight loss is seen despite unequal protein intakes between treatments.

    There’s a large middle ground here that tends to get ignored by the ‘metabolic advantage’ folks, who are incorrect to begin with. It’s always either-or for them, when in fact, individual carbohydrate demands vary widely. For some folks, low-carb is warranted. For others, it isn’t. It always amazes me how hard that concept is to grasp for low-carb absolutists.

    What I find to be a common thread among people who deny that individual carbohydrate requirements vary widely is a lack of client experience, particularly with different types of athletes. The minute someone says that EVERYONE should severely restrict carbohydrate, it’s obvious that you’re dealing with a cherry-picking low-carb zealot who is unfamiliar with the totality of research evidence, and has limited field experience.”

    http://maxcondition.com/page.php?152

  60. Josh R. permalink
    February 3, 2010

    Nice blog post. From my plebeian point of view, Alan seems to have the most thought out stance on the subject that looks at the big picture. Lustig appears to be overly alarmist on the relationship between increasing fructose consumption and obesity while Fred Hahn is a terrible arguer any day (this isn’t a personal attack. Just an attack on the quality of your evidence and arguments). Always nice to see a debate going on.

  61. February 3, 2010

    I’m just getting caught up on this discussion but wanted to make a comment on the Japanese diet, which seems to have been misrepresented and is in need of desperate clarification.

    I am a specialist in East Asian international affairs and have spent a great deal of time in Japan for research purposes. Anyone who claims that the Japanese don’t consume added sugars is operating from a position of pure ignorance. As someone with first-hand experience of Japan’s dietary culture, I would argue the Japanese are even more fond of desserts and sugary snacks than Americans.

    Bakeries serving all variety of desserts both Western and Asian are ubiquitous, easily as ubiquitous as Starbucks is here in Seattle. I would argue that fructose consumption through HFCS-loaded sweetened drinks and dessert products is even more common than it is in America.

    There’s an entire konbini (short for convenience store) culture (コンビニ) alive and thriving in the land of the rising sun, unparalleled by anything we know here in the States. Japan is the home of what’s known as tabehoudai (食べ放題), which translates to “all-you-possibly-can eat,” and differs from a buffet in that the entire purpose of said endeavor is to consume as much food as possible in a given time limit (typically 60 – 120 minutes). Customers pay a nominal fee (equivalent to about $10-20 American) and are allowed to eat as much as they can within that time frame. This tends to become quite the competitive endeavor amongst inebriated company men. Speaking of which…

    There’s also the ever-popular drinking variant, nomihoudai (飲み放題) where one’s goal is to drink as much as possible for a given time period, and operates in the same manner of tabehoudai, opening up the bar for 60 – 120 minutes. Many restaurants encourage you to purchase both for a discount so you can drink and eat yourself sick at the same time.

    And let’s not forget the popular kuiadore (食いあどれ), where in similarity to the American pub crawl, the Japanese head out to literally “eat til they drop” or “eat til they’re dead,” the literal translation of the phrase. Workers in Osaka will typically get off work and begin their binge at 5:00pm, not stopping until midnight, when the last train home departs the station.

    The major difference between Japan and America? The Japanese walk, and walk, and walk, and walk, and walk, and walk some more and can manage the calories in versus calories out issue far better than we Americans. Anyone who believes that the Japanese, in daily practice, eat more healthfully than the average American needs to go abroad.

    As a parting thought, anyone familiar with Japanese cooking knows that nearly every single sauce used has a foundation consisting of soy sauce and sugar (as syrup, honey, or straight-up cane sugar).

  62. February 3, 2010

    Excellent information Ryan. Hopefully this will educate the people who are ignoring the realities of the Japanese diet in regards to sugar consumption.

  63. JLB permalink
    February 3, 2010

    I hope that Dr. Lustig does the responsible thing and comments further, perhaps with a modified stance based on the evidence discussed here. I have a bad feeling that he may have taken his ball and ran home. I hope not, though.

    This type of discussion just goes to show that anyone can have holes in his case, be it a doctor, professor, or both. What we don’t see enough of is people of high academic credentials admitting any degree of wrong.

    Thanks to everyone contributing, this really has been an enlightening read.

  64. Frank permalink
    February 3, 2010

    @Fred Hahn

    Drop Good Calorie Bad Calorie, and start reading biochemistry/endocrinology books and peer-reviewed studies.

    You’ll probably have much more clever thing to say. I doubt you understand how complexe metabolism regulation is. If it was just as simple as excess insulin, obesity would not be hard to treat.

  65. February 3, 2010

    Good points, very possibly we may have just become more sedentary

  66. February 3, 2010

    Well hot damn, this is good stuff. Thanks for the contributions, everyone. One thing that needs to be emphasized is that hashing these matters out facilitates learning for everyone involved. Including me.

    Dr. Lustig, please do me a favor and address some of the contentions leveled at you. Thanks in advance.

  67. Roy Baty permalink
    February 4, 2010

    Man, we get an MD that can’t read research or pass first-year physics (hint: thermodynamics doesn’t vanish because “lol fructose”) AND Fred “I lift slow to stay weak” Hahn.

    What a party!

  68. Some Guy permalink
    February 4, 2010

    Interesting comments. Mr Aragon thanks for writing this article. Especially enjoyed the points you raised on context-dropping.

    Jamie Hale wrote the following:

    “…The chemical reality- whether a substance is manufactured by people, copied from nature or extracted directly from nature, tells us little at all about its properties. To reiterate, in terms of chemical safety, “industrial”, “synthetic”, “artificial” and “man-made” are not necessarily more damaging and “natural” does not necessarily mean better.”

    This is a very important point and what she is referring to is intrinsicism. This occurs when people treat value (or non-value) as a non-relational property of an object. In this case, the good is not determined objectively by the metaphysical (in this case biological) *relationship* between the food and the person eating it with their life being the standard. Instead the value is seen as contained somewhere (where?) in non man-made substances and to the extent to which man applies his mind to modify these substances or create new ones, he destroys this “good”.

    http://importanceofphilosophy.com/Evil_Intrinsicism.html

  69. February 4, 2010

    Ryan. Nice post. You took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve been living in Japan for 6 years. I spent 3 years in Hokkaido in the north and I’ve now completed 3 in Tokyo. I took Japanese cooking lessons once a week for about four months when I lived in Hokkaido and I was astounded by the amount of “traditional” dishes are prepared with sucrose. In addition to the forms you mentioned as being staple ingredients in traditional Japanese dishes, sucrose is also paired with sake (rice wine) in a liquid called mirin. Another staple ingredient is called ryori-shu or cooking alcohol. Together with soy sauce, and in differing proportions, these three ingredients constitute the “typical” Japanese taste of traditional foods.

    Just to give an example, a typical homestyle meal called “teishoku” may consist of the following:

    1. A piece of fish. Seasoning may be salt or teriyaki sauce (combo soy sauce, sugar, mirin,
    and ryori-shu)
    or
    A breaded and deep-fried paddy of ground meat or potato. Seasoning is a sweet, brown
    sauce similar to BBQ sauce.

    2. A vegetable dish: Usually a seaweed like “hijiki”. Seasoning (combo of soy sauce, sugar,
    mirin, and ryori-shu)
    or
    Shredded cabbage that is companion to the breaded and deep-fried paddy. Seasoning is
    mayonaise, and it’s not sugar-free, or low-fat.

    3. A pickle dish: pickled vegetable in small quantity but more often than not it has been
    sweetened with sugar.

    4. Rolled egg dish: Called “tamago-yaki”. Eggs beaten with sugar, soy sauce and soup stock
    and then fried and rolled into a cube shape.

    5. Miso soup or “O-suimono”. The latter, is a soup made of a combo of soy sauce, sugar,
    mirin, and ryori-shu.

    Just on a separate note, nothing in Japan besides milk and yogurt is produced “low-fat” or “fat-free” and nothing else is offered as “low carb” or “sugar-free”. The more fat on a cut of meat, the more expensive it is. I live near a restaurant that sells a steak dinner for 80-120 USD of which the steak is more white than red.

    NB. When I say “astounded” I don’t mean to imply I think it’s terrible and should be eliminated. I simply didn’t expect it. I certainly wouldn’t avoid any particular “traditional” or home-cooked meal based on the sucrose content.

  70. ATZ permalink
    February 4, 2010

    @ Fred Hahn,

    I think you’re doing a great job in showing everybody here you have not a clue (other than what you read in GCBC) on the subject. Your inane ramblings, strawmen and anecdotal counter arguments do more to discredit yourself than anyone here could.

    Carry on. It’s hilarious.

  71. Andreas Zourdos permalink
    February 4, 2010

    Dr. Lustig is missing the forest and demonizing the tree . As you and Jamie Hale have pointed out , there’s more to it than fructose consumption.Thank you to both for sharing your thoughts.

  72. DSD permalink
    February 4, 2010

    RG and Ryan,

    Good posts, but far too measured. I tuned out from this thread long ago when posters who clearly have never been to Japan started discussing the merits of the “Japanese diet.”

    Sorry folks, the days of a conservative bowl of rice, raw fish, and a bowl of miso are long gone.

    Pastries, Starbucks, every fast food imaginable, and a insane amount of “snacks” purchased from vending machines designed for the starship Enterprise are the norm for the 21st century.

    Let’s not forget the alcohol. It is EVERYWHERE, even on the train platforms- and no, not just a conservative shot of sake. Best of luck finding a train at 9pm that didn’t have a couple of hopelessly inebriated salary men passed out in the corner or butchering “Sweet Caroline.”

    Is my rambling a sweeping generalization? Absolutely. But so are the inferences that every one of Japan’s 175 million residents follows a Spartan, zero-sugar, non-processed diet.

    Please don’t make the egregious error of justifying or advocating a particular dietary protocol based on what is ostensibly a cultural stereotype.

  73. gmo23 permalink
    February 4, 2010

    I really have literally zero credibility and expert knowledge on nutrition or human body but to hear someone who supposedly has that kind of knowledge say “why then do some people gain fat when eating above maintenance and some don’t” is just plain sad.

    It’s obviously that if someone isn’t gaining weight when supposedly eating above maintenance that he/she ISN’T eating above maintenance. Either the amount of ingested calories isn’t above maintenance or the maintenance level has increased due to fidgeting and other non-voluntary movements or thermic effect of ingested food (“fast” metabolism, as a lay-man would put it).

    Unless someone has a kind of metabolic dysfunction, how can anyone GAIN fat/weight while not eating ABOVE maintenance and some one NOT GAIN fat/weight while eating above maintenance. It seems that at any given time there’s one particular macro-nutrient (dietary fat, sugar, starch) that somehow magically poses the power to give out more energy than it actually holds. And that’s against some quite fundamental physical laws, isn’t it?

    “You’ll have to explain why some people who eat more calories then maintenance do not gain fat and why some do. ”

    ^^ Please Fred Hahn, can you explain why you think that? It’s not possible to gain weight when your body is using more energy than you give to it.

  74. February 4, 2010

    Blimey! This thread’s grown like Topsy….it must be the HFCS ;-p
    I think that slim/active/healthy people can eat what they damn well like whereas fat/inactive/metabolically-impaired people can’t. Anyway, back to apples…

    “The fruit’s sugar content has risen by up to 50 per cent over the last decade” (from ~10% to ~15%). You asked for some decent evidence. Here’s all I could find on PubMed under Apple “Sugar Content”:- Sugar-, acid- and phenol contents in apple cultivars from organic and integrated fruit cultivation.
    “RESULTS: The total sugar content of most cultivars from integrated cultivation ranged between 115 and 160 g/kg.”

  75. February 4, 2010

    Nigel — That study doesn’t tell us anything about an increase in sugar content of the apples. It merely tells us that they contain a range of 12-16 grams of carbohydrate per 100g serving. A midsize apple has a total mass of appx 182g, so according to that study, it will contain 12-16% carbs, which equals 21.8-29.1g. This is an average of ~25g, which is exactly as it’s been for ages. Quoting my article above: “A midsize apple contains 25 total grams of carbohydrate, 12 grams of fructose and 4 grams of fiber.”

  76. February 4, 2010

    Here is what has changed and continues to change since Crisco was introduced in 1913 – the consumption of processed foods. Fructose is part of that over-all picture that began 100 years ago.
    We eat more, we move less. But I believe if we were eating food that way we did in just the 1950’s on our farm, we would have less of a problem. I look through my HS yearbook and can only find 2-3 pictures of teenage men or women over weight, none obese. It was rare for parents to be more than a few pounds overweight until they were over 60.
    Here is a study that suggests many of those extra calories are in beverages. Though fructose is not an evil food, consuming it in large quantities easily while watching TV or playing video games contributes to the problem but the obestiy problem though not caused by fructose alone, is certainly aided by economic and social policy just as tobacco use was years ago. The decline in cancer rates is attributed to falls in the number of tobacco users. If we want to do something meaningful to prevent a generation of youth growing up with NAFLD, then we need to do something about our policy regarding fructose production. It isn’t fructose, but the societalpolicy of profit before people that creates these problems.
    http://www.cpc.unc.edu/projects/nutrans/publications/Beverage%20trends-BP-Samara%202004.pdf

  77. February 4, 2010

    Alan, ya got me. I can’t find any studies showing the increase in the sugar content of apples. I did find The effect of a high consumption of apples or grapes on dental caries and periodontal disease in humans.

    That still leaves the problem of the metabolically-impaired. If a baby is chronically over-fed and becomes a fat kid/teen/adult with Metabolic Syndrome/Syndrome-X, that person is at a high risk of having NAFLD, high TGs, sdLDL-C etc.

    Metabolically-impaired people who eat lots of fruit can deteriorate into full-blown diabetics. Case Study from Dr William Davis’ Blog. From Use of New Imaging Techniques to Screen for Coronary Artery Disease, an Agatston score of 1157 puts this person at a 20% risk of MI/death within the next 12 months.

  78. John Blackthorne permalink
    February 4, 2010

    @Bruce:

    1. Nothing that you said above in any way changes the truth of anything that Alan wrote in his blog post. In fact, you are supporting the main point–that the modern obesity “epidemic” has been caused by an increase in total calories consumed without a corresponding increase in activity.

    Also, you’re a menopause mentor? Seriously? Hahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa….

  79. BMJ permalink
    February 4, 2010

    The other part of the picture that people are missing is that Americans have become MUCH lazier and rely much more heavily on a sedentary lifestyle. Furthermore, as stated above, Japanese foods and the trend of liking desserts is just as high there as in the USA. However, among many favoring factors, they do walk more day-to-day compared to those living in the USA…most notably either in a car, behind a desk, in front of a TV or Playstation, in bed, no more Physical Education in schools, etc.

    I think it is clear that nobody is promoting suagry liquid consumption (either from socrose or HFCS) on any party in this debate, and it is definitely part of the puzzle to obesity. However, this is mainly because of the overconsumption from all foods as stated by Alan. Furthermore, Jamie pointed out that there is a HUGE difference when it is consumed on a hypocaloric diet than compared to a hypercaloric diet. Factor in physical activity, and it makes even more of a difference.

  80. February 4, 2010

    Nigel — I’ll quote that blog post you linked:

    “However, Mitch somehow failed to follow our restriction on fruit, which we limit to no more than two 4 oz servings per day, preferably berries. He thought we said “Eat all the fruit you want.” And so he did.

    Mitch had a banana, orange, and blueberries for breakfast. For lunch, along with some tuna or soup, he’d typically have half a melon, a pear, and red grapes. For snacks, he’d have an apple or nectarine. After dinner, it wasn’t unusual for Mitch to have another piece of fruit for dessert.”

    ^^^Based on the above, it appears the subject in this case study not only has a metabolic impairment, but also a mental one. For him to turn a recommendation of 2 servings of fruit a day into 20 servings, who knows what else he did to screw up dietary compliance. Again, anything in chronic excess = not a good idea.

  81. Nicholas permalink
    February 5, 2010

    If you all agree that fructose at a certain level is damaging, then I challenge you to come up with a number. Try it, and you might see why Dr. Lustig does not, because it would be highly specific to the individual.

    Some of you focus on calories, when the issue with fructose is really metabolic disorder which would cause you to regulate your body weight poorly. If your hormonal signals of insulin, leptin, etc. worked properly, then you will tend to stay the same weight. Yes, exercise and other can help you maintain this balance, which allows you to consume more fructose (mentioned in the lecture during the biochemistry). In addition, some populations (including Japanese) handle carbs better. Come up with a one-size-fits-all number for fructose now when you have to deal with diet, genetics, exercise, etc.? That’d be like using the ridiculous RDA allowances.

    As for Japan, it should not be denied that less sugar is consumed overall, despite the existence of dessert shops and drinking houses. Some of the population obviously will go for that. Japan does have over a 100 million people after all. “No” sugar obviously was not to be taken literally. Given that Dr. Lustig is not a lawyer, I can forgive him for that.

  82. Roy Baty permalink
    February 5, 2010

    I see Nicholas is of the “because I say so” school of thought.

    Who needs evidence? Losers, that’s who.

  83. JC Carter permalink
    February 5, 2010

    If people are consuming enough fructose to cause metabolic disorders, they have more problems than just the soda..

  84. February 5, 2010

    “Drop Good Calorie Bad Calorie, and start reading biochemistry/endocrinology books and peer-reviewed studies. You’ll probably have much more clever thing to say. I doubt you understand how complexe metabolism regulation is. If it was just as simple as excess insulin, obesity would not be hard to treat.”

    Excess circulating insulin/insulin insensitivity is the major aspect of fat storage. And when you read the text books that fact slaps you in the face.

    JLB – You speak as if you have great client experience using different diets. Do you? I do.

    ATZ you said:

    “I think you’re doing a great job in showing everybody here you have not a clue (other than what you read in GCBC) on the subject. Your inane ramblings, strawmen and anecdotal counter arguments do more to discredit yourself than anyone here could.”

    Yes ATZ you’re right – GCBC is the only book I’ve ever read on the subject. I know nothing more than that. I was asked last year by Dr. Mary Vernon of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians to speak at an upcoming conference. I’ve written 2 book on the subject and have over 70 hours of continuing ed on the subject. I run a gym that for the past 12 years has shed hundreds of pounds off of people and been on the T0day show twice, and oh I forget 2 dozen other major TV and radio shows including Oprah and friends with Dr. Mehemt Oz.

    But yes your’re right, I’ve no clue. I should just shut up.

    Carry on – you’re giving me a good laugh too.

  85. February 5, 2010

    Alan, Lyle, Jamie and Leppo-Hill: You effin rock.

  86. JLB permalink
    February 5, 2010

    Fred,

    I’m not going to pretend that I’m a guru or some sort of authority on fitness. I’m just a student taking notes. However, I’m keen enough to know who’s who in the fitness industry. I’m educated enough to know who respects the real science, and who puts out the pseudoscience.

    It’s obvious that you have a ways to go before you get to the level of Alan or Lyle. And that’s not a personal dig at you, it’s just that very few people in the entire industry, in my opinion, are at their level. Can’t even fit them on one hand.

    I can see that you work hard to whet your craft, so let me suggest that you pay more attention and learn from the real gurus, not the ones who are so attached to their dogma that their quality of info has stopped improving 15 years ago.

  87. Frank permalink
    February 5, 2010

    @Fred Hahn

    You stated

    “Hormones regulate fat storage. No insulin, no fat storage regardless of the calories ingested. ”

    So, you really believe that no insulin = no fat storage? If so, yes, start reading something else than GCBC… such Alan’s research review, as a starter.

    BTW, it is impossible to have no insulin around. Why is still possible to lose weight then?

    Also, why is it that in studies where they used drugs to inhibit insulin secretion they showed no difference in weight loss?

    If you could drop off weight from some ppl at your gym, it’s simply because somehow you affected the energy equation by having them eat less and move more. Why is it so hard to accept as true?

    Sorry but going on Oprah is not giving you any good credit.

    This subject has been beaten to death by Lyle McDonald, Alan Aragon and Anthony Colpo. All that you are doing is wishful thinking and showing once again how people are stubborn when it comes to changing their mind.

    You’re doing a diservice to your client by ignoring this. Anyway, the low-carb infatuation is fadding now, so you better take the train while you can. I know it ain’t easy after telling so many ppl that low-carb is magic but hey… they will trust you much more if they see that you can change your mind when the evidences tell you to do so!

  88. February 5, 2010

    “This subject has been beaten to death by Lyle McDonald, Alan Aragon and Anthony Colpo.”

    All of whom don’t get it – not fully at least. But there in good company.

    “Also, why is it that in studies where they used drugs to inhibit insulin secretion they showed no difference in weight loss?”

    I’d need to read the studies to see if they are in fact done well. There are many reasons why this could be. Like the Barry Sears study that was mentioned here on this thread. Quite flawed and biased.

    “You’re doing a diservice to your client by ignoring this. ”

    I don’t think my clients who are losing body fat extremely effortlessly and improving their internal health markers dramatically are feeling ‘disserviced.’

    “Anyway, the low-carb infatuation is fadding now, so you better take the train while you can. I know it ain’t easy after telling so many ppl that low-carb is magic but hey… they will trust you much more if they see that you can change your mind when the evidences tell you to do so!”

    I never said LC was ‘magic.’ Quite the contrary. I’ve said what the physiology textbooks say – that the hormone insulin regulates body fat storage and keeping insulin under control is key to getting leaner an staying lean and certainly key for not becoming obese.

    And if you think the low carb issue is fading you have not a clue of what is going on in the world of bariatric medicine. You are as wrong as wrong can be. Watch the show Face OFF this coming Feb. 22 at 11:35 PM.

    Excess carbohydrate intake is the primary source for adipose tissue stores. Try to get fat on an all fat-meat diet. You’ll fail. Do the experiment. I dare any of you to try this. Eat 3500 calories of pure fatty meat/fish and eggs for one month. I guarantee you will will get leaner of you are somewhat over fat and more muscular if already lean and training. I bet you NONE of you will try.

    “It’s not possible to gain weight when your body is using more energy than you give to it.”

    Assuming it is using it rather than storing it. Hormones regulate fat storage. When hormones are screwed with you can indeed store more fat than ‘usual.’ And they are screwed with when you eat too much sugar.

    Why most of you can’t understand this is truly mind boggling. Why so many of you want to hold onto the age old calorie nonsense is frightening. What do you say to your clients – eat enough protein and the rest is up to you so long as you eat less calories than you are now? Eat two chicken large breasts a day and the rest in bagels, poptarts and cookies?

    Listen, no hard feelings. We all choose to help our clients as best as we can. I have yet to fail a client by a combo of strength training and low sugar/don’t count caloire dieting.

  89. February 5, 2010

    “Eat 3500 calories of pure fatty meat/fish and eggs for one month.”

    I doubt if most people could keep that up. My guess is that most people would eventually lower their calorie intake as they get tired of eating just meat and eggs. Although I admit that that would probably lead to weight loss! :-)

    But the problem isn’t really weight loss, it’s weight maintenance. Most people who lose weight gain the weight back. I did. I lost 65 pounds, plateaued, and then gained most of it back. This was on a diet where my main carb source was fruit and whipped cream… too much fructose, I guess! We need sustainable diets that people can adhere to. An all meat diet is not sustainable for most people, so I don’t think it’s relevant to real people living in the real world.

  90. February 5, 2010

    “Excess carbohydrate intake is the primary source for adipose tissue stores. Try to get fat on an all fat-meat diet. You’ll fail. Do the experiment. I dare any of you to try this. Eat 3500 calories of pure fatty meat/fish and eggs for one month. I guarantee you will will get leaner of you are somewhat over fat and more muscular if already lean and training. I bet you NONE of you will try.”

    Do you have any studies to support this? This is quite an outrageous claim to make without having any form of evidence to back it up. This type of extreme diet would work for people that are in excess of 500 lbs, but that’s about it…plus there is no balance to this ridiculous all fatty meat diet, so it is not a realistic option for anybody. I’m more interested about the effects of an all fatty meat diet with zero fiber…doesn’t seem like it would be too pleasant. ;)

  91. Frank permalink
    February 5, 2010

    What is your academic background Fred? I looked on your website but could not find anything.

    In this world of pseudo-science, someone should at least have some academic credibility if he wants to talk about science and research.

    I don’t see how someone without at least an MSc can understand biostatistics and research enough to be able to critically analyse a research paper. Do you have this? Not an ad hominem here, just being realistic. Without basic science background, it’s not quite easy to understand biochemistry and endocrinology.

    So, what credibility do you have regarding this? You say you read textbook, but do you have the academic background to understand what’s written in there?

    If you really believe that’s it’s impossible to gain weight as long as you eat only fat and protein, we’ve hit an impass and there is nothing more I can say. You’re a wishful thinker, and really, the only thing I can do is to never read anything from you and make sure that anyone I know will not refer to your stuff.

    BTW, I know people who bulked (more muscle AND more body fat) on a keto diet, so, if anecdote worth anything, and you seem to consider so, you are wrong ;)

  92. February 5, 2010

    Wow….nearing 100 comments on this blog post!

    Carry on

  93. Roy Baty permalink
    February 5, 2010

    I like how Fred Hahn says other people don’t “get it” when he can’t understand the basics of physiology in the first place.

    That’s a howler, almost as funny as Fred considering himself a role model for SuperSlow when he’s weaker than most beginner women.

    Fred’s not big on paying attention or telling the truth, you see.

  94. February 5, 2010

    I’ve left comments on blogs belonging to Metabolic Advantage believers (Michael Eades, Kurt Harris & James Carlson) pointing out that Taubes has got his biochemistry wrong re Glycerol-3-phosphate. See I have a theory, Enzymes and Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Nobody has shot my theory down in flames yet.

  95. Jon Fernandes permalink
    February 5, 2010

    Original comment by Fred Hahn:

    “Excess carbohydrate intake is the primary source for adipose tissue stores. Try to get fat on an all fat-meat diet. You’ll fail. Do the experiment. I dare any of you to try this. Eat 3500 calories of pure fatty meat/fish and eggs for one month. I guarantee you will will get leaner of you are somewhat over fat and more muscular if already lean and training. I bet you NONE of you will try.”

    Uh yeah, a keto-bulk? tried it and the only weight i GAINED was FAT. NO LBM.

    explain that?

  96. February 5, 2010

    @ Fred – I find it ultimately ironic that you accuse others of “not getting it” or being narrow-minded when it would appear that it is you who has the absolutist views on nutrition and strength training. So far all you’ve delivered is conjecture, anectdote and horn-tooting about your radio and TV appearances. Jim Karras, David Kirsh, Jorge Cruize, Tony Little – heck even Richard Simmons have all been on those shows too. That doesn’t make them authorities on matters of nutrition or fitness. This speaks to your business acumen – not your knowledge.

    There is absolutely NO WAY that someone with such a hard-lined stances on nutrition could be looking at the scientific data objectively.

  97. February 5, 2010

    @ Nicholas,

    I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll just say that there is obviously some affiliation/infatuation with Dr. Lustig on your part. I’m sorry, but he does not get a get-out-of-bullsh*tting-free card because a)he isn’t a lawyer b) is speaking to lay people or c) made some good points. Lustig even confirmed what he meant on this thread and he still got called out for his BS. It’s not up to us to speculate what he may have meant by what he said. If he feels strongly, he’ll come back and defend his position.

  98. BMJ permalink
    February 5, 2010

    FRED,

    Please define “excess carbohydrate intake”? And, at what point does this occur?

    Also, please show research showing the following in a hypocaloric state causes fat gain:

    You stated:
    “Assuming it is using it rather than storing it. Hormones regulate fat storage. When hormones are screwed with you can indeed store more fat than ‘usual.’ And they are screwed with when you eat too much sugar.”

    Even diabetics who are Insulin-Dependant lose weight when calories are below maintenance.

  99. February 5, 2010

    “I like how Fred Hahn says other people don’t “get it” when he can’t understand the basics of physiology in the first place. That’s a howler, almost as funny as Fred considering himself a role model for SuperSlow when he’s weaker than most beginner women. Fred’s not big on paying attention or telling the truth, you see.”

    And who are you? Post a pic on my website big shot. I’m sure you won’t. Full of BS are you? Wait – I’m starting to sound like Lyle. OMG.

  100. Roy Baty permalink
    February 5, 2010

    Fred Hahn knows that a classic Bro-down is how you win an argument

    He damn sure doesn’t use evidence or basic reasoning abilities, lol

  101. JC Carter permalink
    February 5, 2010

    Why dont you post that lovely dip video back on youtube

    you know the one where you are lifting girl weights and woofing like a dog

  102. February 5, 2010

    Where Fred Hahn goes…entertainment follows :)

    Thanks Fred!

  103. RayCinLA permalink
    February 6, 2010

    @ Nicholas:

    You might even be denser than Fred. Do you realize that you’re trying to twist Lustig’s words to make them defendable, and you’re failing at it? Stop it already! You’re an embarrassment to the alarmist-denialist clan.

    @ Fred:

    As a wiseman once said, “Quit while you’re behind, bro”

  104. February 6, 2010

    ******************
    that the hormone insulin regulates body fat storage and keeping insulin under control is key to getting leaner an staying lean and certainly key for not becoming obese.
    **********************

    Fred, this is a key statement that you continue to make, but it’s a statement that is overly simplistic and ignores the highly complicated realm of adipose tissue regulation.

    I’ve pointed this out to you before, but you always ignore it because it doesn’t conveniently fit with the Taubes hypothesis. There are numerous hormones that are involved in the regulation of fat metabolism…..catecholamines, IL-6, growth hormone, leptin, etc. You also seem very stuck on hormones, but you ignore the fact that there are many non-hormonal factors that are involved in the regulation of adipose tissue stores. There are also extremely complicated interactions between all of these factors, which ultimately lead to the regulation of body fat stores.

    The fact is, fat cells can and do take up glucose and fatty acids in the complete absence of insulin. Fat cells can and do create triglycerides in the complete absence of insulin. The body is full of redundant biochemical pathways which are involved in the increase of adipose tissue stores.

    **************
    Try to get fat on an all fat-meat diet.
    **************

    And there are people here who posted that they have. I know you’re a fan of anecdotes. Do their anecdotes not count?

    ***************
    You’ll fail.
    ******************

    Yeah, they’ll fail because they’ll get sick of eating meat & eggs all the time and they won’t be able to eat enough in the first place. I remember trying Di Pasquale’s “Anabolic Diet” years ago, which involved 5 days of ketogenic eating and a 2-day weekend carb load. I could barely get in 2000 – 2500 calories per day during the ketogenic cycle, partly because I didn’t have the appetite and partly because I got mentally sick of constantly eating meat.

    ************
    Why most of you can’t understand this is truly mind boggling
    *************

    No, what is mind-boggling is how you continue to adhere to a simplistic, grade-school level of understanding of adipose tissue regulation.

  105. RayCinLA permalink
    February 6, 2010

    @ James:

    I don’t know what qualifies you to dispute Fred. After all, the guy has been on the Today Show twice.

  106. Robert Lustig, M.D. permalink
    February 6, 2010

    In reference to a direct comparison of fructose consumption by the Japanese in Japan vs. Japanese in Hawaii:

    Diabetes Care. 1979 Mar-Apr;2(2):161-70.
    Diabetes mellitus and its vascular complications in Japanese migrants on the Island of Hawaii.

    Kawate R, Yamakido M, Nishimoto Y, Bennett PH, Hamman RF, Knowler WC.

    Japanese migrants and their offspring on the island of Hawaii and Japanese living in Hiroshima were examined for diabetes mellitus and its vascular complications. the same methods and investigators were used in both locations. Death certificates of Japanese and Caucasians dying on the island during the past 26 yr were analyzed. Diabetes, defined as a venous serum glucose concentration of at least 200 mg/dl 2 h after a 50-g oral glucose load, was significantly more common in the Hawaiian Japanese than in the Hiroshima Japanese subjects. This suggests that diabetes is more prevalent in Japanese in Hawaii than in Japan, although lack of knowledge about the total population of Japanese migrants in Hawaii makes this generalization uncertain. The proportion of deaths attributed to diabetes was much higher in Japanese migrants and their offspring in Hawaii than in Japan. During the 1950s, the proportional death rate from diabetes was about half as large in Japanese Hawaiians as in Caucasian Hawaiians, but it increased to become 1.6 times the Caucasian rate during the 1970s. A nutritional study revealed that the total caloric intake was similar in Japanese in Hawaii and Hiroshima, although the estimated level of physical activity was less in the Hawaiian subjects. Consumption of animal fat and simple carbohydrates (sucrose and fructose) were at least twice as high in Hawaiian as in Hiroshima Japanese. Conversely, Hiroshima Japanese consumed about twice the amount of complex carbohydrate as the Hawaiian Japanese. These observations support the hypothesis that a high fat, high simple carbohydrate, low complex carbohydrate diet and/or reduced levels of physical activity increase risk of diabetes. The proportion of deaths attributed to ischemic heart disease was higher in both diabetic and nondiabetic Japanese Hawaiians than in diabetic subjects in Japan. The rates were similar for Japanese and Caucasians in Hawaii. There was no evidence of an environmental influence on the development of microangiopathy (retinopathy) in diabetes, as the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (stratified for diabetes duration) was similar in Japanese subjects in Hawaii and in Japan, and it was similar to previous reports from England. On the other hand, diabetes alone did not appear to account for the greater prevalence of macroangiopathy in Hawaiian Japanese than in Hiroshima. Thus environmental factors, possibly including diet, appear to be involved in the development of macrovascular complications of diabetes.

  107. Roy Baty permalink
    February 6, 2010

    Surely a study done in 1979 discounts the anecdotes of people that were there from the late 90s to the present day.

    Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

    Is being honest really so hard? I thought you had to pass ethics to be approved by the medical board.

  108. tom landry permalink
    February 6, 2010

    “Thus environmental factors, possibly including diet, appear to be involved in the development of macrovascular complications of diabetes.”

    Well that confirms it doesn’t it! It must be diet!

  109. Jon Fernandes permalink
    February 6, 2010

    @RayCinLA

    WTF does Fred being on TV have to do with legitimate facts?

    who cares if he has been on TV, doesn’t make him 100% right.

  110. February 6, 2010

    Dr. Lustig,

    You gotta love the soup of confounding variables that limits epidemiological research. I don’t need to tell you that correlational research is useful for generating hypotheses, but not cause-and-effect relationships (a task achievable only through randomized controlled trials). This is a point I already made in my previous post, which I’ll re-quote since it didn’t sink in the first time [Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2007;47(6):561-82]:

    “The evidence that HFCS consumption uniquely increases the risk of weight gain is very weak. Few studies directly explore the relationship between HFCS, body weight, and BMI. The only evidence directly linking HFCS consumption and weight gain is ecological data. Ecological data are widely recognized as insufficient for establishing cause-effect relationships. HFCS consumption and weight gain have major gaps. The hypothesis that the increasing levels of HFCS in the food supply has increased the F:G ratio is not supported by the USDA ERS food availability data.

    The impact of HFCS consumption on BMI must be put in context with other broad economic and societal changes during the past several decades. Many other plausible explanations for rising overweight and obesity rates exist, including a decrease in smoking; an increase in sedentary occupations; an increase in two-income households and single-parent households; transportation and infrastructure changes that discourage physical activity; a decrease in PE classes and extracurricular sports programs in schools; an increase in sedentary forms of entertainment (i.e. TV/movie viewing, video games, etc.); demographic changes (i.e. aging population, immigration, etc.); a decrease in food costs with increase in food availability and changes in food consumption patterns.”

    ^^^In light of the above, I’ll quote the study you posted to illustrate my point [Diabetes Care. 1979 Mar-Apr;2(2):161-70]: “These observations support the hypothesis that a high fat, high simple carbohydrate, low complex carbohydrate diet and/or reduced levels of physical activity increase risk of diabetes.” << Notice how the energy in & energy out side of the equation aren't separated. You can't cite a purported increase in fructose while at the same time omitting a decrease in physical activity. Furthermore, correlational research simply cannot establish causal relationships in the first place, so good luck with resting your stance on it. Stick with me here, I'll cite more epidemiology to further illustrate my point.

    Here's a quote from a similar, but more recent correlational study [Diabet Med. 1996 Sep;13(9 Suppl 6):S133-42]: "A high incidence of NIDDM is clearly observed in the population of Japanese-Americans, who are genetically indistinguishable from native Japanese; causes of this increase, from the survey results, are suspected to include westernization of lifestyle, particularly the reduction in the level of physical activity, conversion to a diet containing markedly more animal fat, simple carbohydrates, and less complex carbohydrates.”

    Here’s an even more recent correlational study in this same vein [Biomed Pharmacother. 2004 Dec;58(10):571-7]: “Japanese-Americans were highly exposed to a westernized lifestyle ; in other words, a relatively high fat and simple carbohydrate diet with low physical activity as compared to native Japanese.”

    ^^^Okay, now take a look at a common thread among those epidemiological studies (see the bold): a reduction in physical activity is never separate from the other variables. If you’re going to use epidemiology to point the finger at sugar, you need to be consistent and point the finger at increased dietary fat and decreased physical activity as well, but you don’t. Instead, you lasered in on sugar while dismissing the other factors. All this, while relying on correlational research. C’mon, Doc. That’s being selective about the findings in order to support the alarmist stance about fructose.

    Here’s the other point I want to make about the study you cited, and the available epidemiological data on Japanese dietary intake in general: it does not specify safe dosage thresholds for fructose and/or sugar intake. Similarly, neither did you during your lecture.

    My final point is that you have neglected to address the error of stating that the Japanese diet is fructose-free aside from fruit, and that it has no added sugars. This is clearly an untenable claim, and it was the first, and one of the most memorable claims in your lecture.

  111. February 6, 2010

    Jon — if you read Ray’s other posts, he’s being facetious that making an appearance on a TV show constitutes credibility.

  112. Jon Fernandes permalink
    February 6, 2010

    Ah, okay Alan. Sorry about that. i’m going through all the comments now. =]

  113. February 6, 2010

    It’s all good, homeskillet :)

  114. Robert Lustig, M.D. permalink
    February 6, 2010

    Mr. Aragon, since you seem to be unswayed by anything but randomized controlled trials in humans, and only those at fructose doses that are reasonable, and since you seem to like to journal quote, then here is just a sampling that demonstrates that fructose, and not just extra calories, is behind dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, visceral adiposity, and hepatic steatosis.

    J Clin Invest. 2009 May;119(5):1322-34.
    Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans.

    Stanhope KL, Schwarz JM, Keim NL, Griffen SC, Bremer AA, Graham JL, Hatcher B, Cox CL, Dyachenko A, Zhang W, McGahan JP, Seibert A, Krauss RM, Chiu S, Schaefer EJ, Ai M, Otokozawa S, Nakajima K, Nakano T, Beysen C, Hellerstein MK, Berglund L, Havel PJ.
    Department of Molecular Biosciences, UCD, Davis, California 95616, USA.

    Studies in animals have documented that, compared with glucose, dietary fructose induces dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. To assess the relative effects of these dietary sugars during sustained consumption in humans, overweight and obese subjects consumed glucose- or fructose-sweetened beverages providing 25% of energy requirements for 10 weeks. Although both groups exhibited similar weight gain during the intervention, visceral adipose volume was significantly increased only in subjects consuming fructose. Fasting plasma triglyceride concentrations increased by approximately 10% during 10 weeks of glucose consumption but not after fructose consumption. In contrast, hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL) and the 23-hour postprandial triglyceride AUC were increased specifically during fructose consumption. Similarly, markers of altered lipid metabolism and lipoprotein remodeling, including fasting apoB, LDL, small dense LDL, oxidized LDL, and postprandial concentrations of remnant-like particle-triglyceride and -cholesterol significantly increased during fructose but not glucose consumption. In addition, fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels increased and insulin sensitivity decreased in subjects consuming fructose but not in those consuming glucose. These data demonstrate that dietary fructose specifically increases DNL, promotes dyslipidemia, decreases insulin sensitivity, and increases visceral adiposity in overweight/obese adults.

    Schwarz JM, Noworolski SM, Lee GA, Wen M, Dyachenko A, Prior J, Weinberg M, Herraiz L, Rao M, Mulligan K. Effects of short-term feeding with high- vs low- fructose isoenergetic diets on hepatic de novo lipogenesis, liver fat content and glucose regulation. Diabetes 1476P (2009).
    We studied the effects of fructose on intrahepatic lipid accumulation. Seven subjects were scanned at baseline and after each of two successive 7-day isocaloric diets, one high in fructose, one high in complex carbohydrates in a randomized crossover fashion. All subjects had higher intrahepatic lipid after the high fructose diet versus the complex carbohydrate diet, regardless of diet order (median increase = 133%, median lipids/water = 0.021 vs. 0.018, respectively; p=0.031). Visceral and subcutaneous fat were measured in 5 of these subjects, resulting in an average VAT/SAT ratio of 114% ± 16% for the high fructose diet versus the complex carbohydrate diet. These results suggest that fructose is unique in increasing intrahepatic lipid accumulation.

    In addition, you have completely ignored the thread that by inducing insulin and leptin resistance, fructose increased and persistent food intake both at the hypothalamic and the nucleus accumbens level. So while controlled and pair-feeding fructose consumption does not result in increased total aggregate weight gain vs. glucose (as shown in the Stanhope article), the signals of starvation and reward cause individuals to overeat, generating obesity in free-range situations. There are also new studies demonstrating changes in the nucleus accumbens by PET scan, which equate fructose with other substances of abuse.
    Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008;32:20-39.

    I could go on, but our manuscript in Nature Reviews, entitled “The role of fructose in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome” will speak for itself in due course.

    The defense rests. I shall not respond any further, as I have satisfied your criteria for objectivity and experimental and mechanistic rigor, and I have better things to do than engage in this continued puerile one-upsmanship. I’ll let the public decide who they wish to believe. And thus far, based on the 230,000 YouTube hits and numerous blogs extolling this line of reasoning, I’ll take my chances.

    Sincerely (for the final time),

    Robert Lustig, M.D.

  115. Roy permalink
    February 7, 2010

    Dr Lustig:

    Did you even look at the methodology of the paper you cited?

    “The amount of sugar consumed by the subjects in this study, 25% of energy requirements, is considerably higher than 15.8%, the current estimate for the mean intake of added sugars by Americans (58). However, recent reports (59–63) suggest that the sugar intake from beverages alone approaches or exceeds 15% of energy in adolescents and adults up to 40 years of age. The large SDs in several of these reports suggest that at least 16% of the studied populations was consuming over 25% of daily energy requirements from sugar-sweetened beverages (59, 62, 63). ”

    Or did you just fail to read Alan’s article?

    “In the single human study I’m aware of that linked fructose to a greater next-day appetite in a subset of the subjects, 30% of total daily energy intake was in the form of free fructose [10]. This amounts to 135 grams, which is the equivalent of 6-7 nondiet soft drinks. Is it really that groundbreaking to think that polishing off a half-dozen soft drinks per day is not a good idea? Demonizing fructose without mentioning the dose-dependent nature of its effects is intellectually dishonest. Like anything else, fructose consumed in gross chronic excess can lead to problems, while moderate amounts are neutral, and in some cases beneficial [11-13].”

    Context, Herr Doctor,
    Context.

    And this:

    “And thus far, based on the 230,000 YouTube hits and numerous blogs extolling this line of reasoning, I’ll take my chances.”

    is just as laughable as Fred using his Oprah appearances to back up his position.

    Science is not decided in the court of public opinion.

  116. Roy Baty permalink
    February 7, 2010

    “The defense rests. I shall not respond any further, as I have satisfied your criteria for objectivity and experimental and mechanistic rigor, and I have better things to do than engage in this continued puerile one-upsmanship.”

    Translation: I can’t really say much more but “if you overeat on fructose you’re marginally worse off than overeating on anything else”, so I’ll take my ball and go home.

    “I’ll let the public decide who they wish to believe. And thus far, based on the 230,000 YouTube hits and numerous blogs extolling this line of reasoning, I’ll take my chances.”

    lmao. That’s how science works, right? Pick a conclusion, cherry-pick til it looks right, and sell it to people without the scientific background to evaluate your claims.

    Oh and push that “MD” title, too. When you don’t have a leg to stand on, appeal to authority.

    It’d be unbelievable if I weren’t seeing it with my own eyes.

  117. February 7, 2010

    Dr. Lustig — This is not one-upmanship, it’s called you being on the hot seat for dishing out misleading information. You have deftly evaded the acknowledgement of errors you made regarding the Japanese diet and the effect of fructose-containing sugars on satiety. Last but not least, you continually evade the acknowledgement of the importance of dosage & context, as evidenced by your latest post, which I’ll review. Please see my comments after your sections:
    ____________________________________________________________

    J Clin Invest. 2009 May;119(5):1322-34.
    Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans.
    ____________________________________________________________

    ^^^The most significant design limitation was the far-fetched dosing of fructose and glucose, and the use of specially designed beverages that scarcely exist among major commercial brands. Specifically, soft drinks are rarely sweetened exclusively with fructose, and rarely is there an all-glucose soft drink available through major commercial pipelines. Most nondiet soft drinks are sweetened with sucrose or similar (ie, HFCS), which is roughly an even split of glucose and fructose.

    To illustrate the questionability of the dose, 25% of total daily calories coming from these drinks would be roughly 600 calories, which equates to 150 grams of either fructose or glucose. Achieving that total would require a daily intake of 7 cans of nondiet soda. You mean to tell me that drinking 7 cans of nondiet softdrinks per day is a bad idea? Wow, thanks for the enlightenment.

    According to the text, the average intake of added sugars among Americans is 15.8%. This means that fructose intake is half of that, at 7.9% – about 3 times less than the 25% imposed in this study. Dosage & context, remember?
    ____________________________________________________________

    Schwarz JM, Noworolski SM, Lee GA, Wen M, Dyachenko A, Prior J, Weinberg M, Herraiz L, Rao M, Mulligan K. Effects of short-term feeding with high- vs low- fructose isoenergetic diets on hepatic de novo lipogenesis, liver fat content and glucose regulation. Diabetes 1476P (2009).
    ____________________________________________________________

    ^^^I can’t find this study. If anyone reading this even finds the abstract, please link me. Can you tell me what fructose dose was used here? I’m going to guess it’s an artificially high amount that only serves to create a strawman argument on your part. Again, the same principles of my argument would apply in this case.
    ____________________________________________________________

    In addition, you have completely ignored the thread that by inducing insulin and leptin resistance, fructose increased and persistent food intake both at the hypothalamic and the nucleus accumbens level. So while controlled and pair-feeding fructose consumption does not result in increased total aggregate weight gain vs. glucose (as shown in the Stanhope article), the signals of starvation and reward cause individuals to overeat, generating obesity in free-range situations. There are also new studies demonstrating changes in the nucleus accumbens by PET scan, which equate fructose with other substances of abuse.
    Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008;32:20-39.
    ____________________________________________________________

    ^^^You already acknowledged that I “seem to be unswayed by anything but randomized controlled trials in humans, and only those at fructose doses that are reasonable”, so why even present this research on intermittently fed rats? Scroll up to my article and you’ll see linked references for RCTs that compared the satiating effects of various sugars on humans.
    ____________________________________________________________

    I could go on, but our manuscript in Nature Reviews, entitled “The role of fructose in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome” will speak for itself in due course.
    ____________________________________________________________

    ^^^I’m sure that this is a wonderful paper, as long as it takes dosage & context into account when drawing its conclusions. Based on everything you’ve presented thus far, I’m not gonna hold my breath.
    ____________________________________________________________

    The defense rests. I shall not respond any further, as I have satisfied your criteria for objectivity and experimental and mechanistic rigor, and I have better things to do than engage in this continued puerile one-upsmanship. I’ll let the public decide who they wish to believe. And thus far, based on the 230,000 YouTube hits and numerous blogs extolling this line of reasoning, I’ll take my chances.
    ____________________________________________________________

    ^^^I’m sure that the majority of the public who has seen your lecture, but not this blog’s discussion, is impressed and beguiled with your delivery. However, if you were to put your objective lenses on and take a close look at what transpired here, you DECISIVELY failed to capture the belief of most people reading this.

    PS – Thanks for participating in the discussion, even if your last post was your white flag. It’s been fun, and I can guarantee that you learned something, whether you’re ready to come to terms with it or not.

  118. February 7, 2010

    This thread has become a vindication for those of us who carry the good fight against the predatory media alarmism made ubiquitous by the egos who fail to temper their practice with ethics.

    I’m elated at seeing how some very conscientious, well-read, and wickedly intelligent fitness nerds can take to task marketing mavens, fitness gurus, and yes, even M.D.’s who base their careers on murky hypotheticals.

    For me, this thread has become a glowing illustration of positive community. It makes me smile knowing that a groundswell of critical thought is emerging against the dominant pseudo-scientific mainstream.

    In Dr. Lustig’s case, it’s easy to see how readily politicized researchers become when their baby, the research or theory that serves as the bedrock of their career, doesn’t hold water in the real-world.

    It suddenly isn’t about the science anymore, is it?

    It’s about the YouTube video hits.

    A doctor. A man who has committed his life to solving the ailments of our civilization has cited his number of YouTube hits in response to a direct, contextual criticism of his work.

    This saddens me, but gives me hope knowing that people like Alan, and Jamie, and Leigh, and Lyle, and Mike, and James, and Roger, and JC, and everyone else who has built this rebellion are slowly making a name, making a dent into the rampant B.S. that cripples so many well-meaning folk who just want to get in shape.

    Whether you’re sitting on the side of the lay-public like Hahn, or occupying a seat in the ivory tower like Dr. Lustig, when you play with theoretical fire you’re bound to get empirically burned.

    Bravo, Alan, bravo.

  119. February 7, 2010

    “I’ll let the public decide who they wish to believe. And thus far, based on the 230,000 YouTube hits and numerous blogs extolling this line of reasoning, I’ll take my chances.”

    So I guess because you have so many YouTube hits, everything in your video must be true…LOL
    If YouTube hits are so important, the “Chocolate Rain” guy must be a genius…he has 47 million plus hits, and he’s not even an MD.

    And by the way, I’m guessing that the majority of those 230,000 hits were people that didn’t even watch the whole video…they clicked on the link thinking the topic was intriguing, then realized that it was 1 hour and 29 minutes long…that was when they figured out that watching the entire video would be a waste of time, so instead, they all went out and exercised, so then they could eat their fructose with no fear.

    Good work Alan. Although his ignorance still shines bright, hopefully he will remember the day when Alan Aragon laid the smack down on his high fructose candy ass. :)

  120. February 7, 2010

    Lustig means “funny” in Swedish. Youtube hits to determine credibility? Hilarious. Most of his responses in this thread would be pretty fucking funny if you don’t consider that he’s dead serious in his argumentation.

  121. Jon Fernandes permalink
    February 7, 2010

    FRED HAHN:

    Explain WHY when I performed a Keto-Bulk (AKA High Calorie/High Protein/High Fat DIET) that i gained nothing but BODYFAT.

    You seem to have ignored my question.

  122. Jon Fernandes permalink
    February 7, 2010

    @ Martin’s comment

    LMFAO

  123. Jon Fernandes permalink
    February 7, 2010

    @ Ryan Zielonka

    awesome statement man! You pretty much said it all.

  124. Michael K. permalink
    February 7, 2010

    It is 2010, a man walked on the Moon, a remote controlled car is cruising around on Mars, yet some people STILL believe the Earth is flat, some people still vigorously claim evolution isn’t happening.

    Only a few people on this board are experts regarding food, I suppose mr. Aragon is one of them, having watched the video of dr. Lustig’s lecture and having read mr. Aragon’s critique here, I fail to understand why there is such an interesting note of negativity from some posters toward dr. Lustig. Because, as they say he speaks more on the sensationalist side? Some professors tend to lecture this way and it’s a good thing, because there will be very little sleepers in the classroom. Being passionate about a truthiness does not make him wrong.

    Has dr. Lustig proven the theory about fructose, so that all doubt is removed? Well apparently not. So, I’m not sure what the majority opinion here is, that fructose is neutral, or that it is good? Are there any arguments to consume more fructose? To go, as Alan put it, out of your way to get pure fructose and use it generously on everything you eat, and why not? Maybe you, who doubt dr. Lustig should do that, I’ll see to it that you get your Darwin award in a few years.

    Seriously, what our good doctor proposes is NOT unhealthy, it seems so even to a non professional nutritionist such as myself. Furthermore, doesn’t it make perfect sense to eliminate simple sugars from your diet? Drink plain water, don’t sweeten your anything and also, lower saturated fats as much as you can, increase non-saturated fats intake, increase fiber intake. In my gym, evey guy I talked to knows that.

  125. February 7, 2010

    @Fred Hahn:

    “The point is excessive height as well as excessive fat accumulation is a hormonal disorder. ”

    Except that fat accumulation is in the individuals control based on calorie consumption and activity levels. I’ve never heard of a diet and exercise routine that can make you taller or shorter. One of the above situations is almost completely out of the control of the individual, and aside from malnutrition affecting final genetic potential, there is not much one can do to infuence and manipulate height. That is completely the opposite of what is true for fat accumulation. Stop giving people excuses and acting like obesity is more of a disease than an eating disorder.

  126. Frank permalink
    February 7, 2010

    @Michael K

    Why would someone need to reduce saturated fat as much as possible? You clearly have missed the latest systematic reviews on the subject and the latest meta-analysis on the prospective studies regarding this issue.

    It still seems like replacing SFAs with PUFAs decrease the risk, but SFAs per se are NOT increasing the risk . Please say things as they are.

  127. Mike L. permalink
    February 7, 2010

    Michael K.,

    “So, I’m not sure what the majority opinion here is, that fructose is neutral, or that it is good? Are there any arguments to consume more fructose?”

    The majority opinion is that fructose is not “poison” and that dosage needs to be taken into consideration before demonizing a simple monosaccharide. Dr. Lustig failed to provide any studies suggesting that moderate fructose consumption is hazardous to your health.

    “Seriously, what our good doctor proposes is NOT unhealthy, it seems so even to a non professional nutritionist such as myself. Furthermore, doesn’t it make perfect sense to eliminate simple sugars from your diet? Drink plain water, don’t sweeten your anything and also, lower saturated fats as much as you can, increase non-saturated fats intake, increase fiber intake. In my gym, evey guy I talked to knows that.”

    I’m not a “professional nutritionist” either, but I can tell you…

    – Artificial sweeteners are generally considered to be safe and can help promote hydration.
    – There is no reason to “lower saturated fats as much as you can.”
    – Increasing non-saturated fat and fiber intake can lead to problems as well (increased caloric intake and/or immunosuppressant effects and hormonal issues, respectively).

    Hope that helps clear things up.

    -Mike L.

  128. BMJ permalink
    February 7, 2010

    I really expected Lustig to come up with at least more than he has….this is a massacre. LOL @ the youtube hits, like everybody who watched it agreed with it. What a cop-out.

    BMJ

  129. RayCinLA permalink
    February 7, 2010

    @ Dr.Lustig:

    I can see how you would want to leave the debate. Who would want to stick around when they have little to nothing supporting their arguments? You got your head handed to you. Repeatedly. By folks with less advanced degrees than you.

    To say I’m disappinted with Dr. Lustig’s performance is an understatement. He’s a uni professor and an MD for crying out loud. That’s a LOT of education. Where along the way does objective thought just disappear?

  130. JLB permalink
    February 7, 2010

    Dr. Lustig,

    That was a very weak display of ‘scientific’ debating. In fact, it was a nearly perfect display of poor reasoning skills and denial of the research evidence. Alan was clear, logical, and evidence-based. You appeared confused, frustrated, and quite ignorant.

    I have to echo others’ thoughts about using Youtube as a base of support for your credibility. At least you got me to chuckle. Apparently, you’re no better than Fred Hahn when it comes to forming strong logical arguments.

    I would suggest that you have your esteemed colleagues have a look at this discussion. Perhaps they can come across to you about how you fell short, as well as how you might improve your mindset and practice as a scientist and teacher.

  131. Roy Baty permalink
    February 7, 2010

    @Michael K

    If I tell you not to jump off a 100-story building because it will piss off Zeus and he’ll fling you down into Hades, that’s still good advice that will keep you alive.

    That doesn’t excuse me from making a completely fucking retarded argument against walking off a 100-story building.

    What I’m proposing is NOT unhealthy, so fuck you for telling me I’m wrong. Prove that Zeus won’t throw you down into Hades, instead of gravity doing it. I dare you.

  132. February 7, 2010

    On a whim, I emailed Dr. Lustig thanking him for contributing, and I even praised him for his tenacity despite our disagreement. His initial response was cordial, but contentious. The last thing I want to do is spend my time in a private email debate with him. I let him know that the point of our discussion in the first place is to educate the public, so I invited him to re-engage with me over here, for the learning benefit of the readers. He refused. His second response was less cordial, more contentious, and more bristling toward the idea of coming back here. He even had some choice descriptors of the contributors to this discussion, which I’m sure is why he disallowed me to post our email exchange publicly.

    Here’s the key point I want to level at Dr. Lustig, who I asked to respond again, but probably will not: If you are such an illustrious academician and scientist compared to the “naysayers” of this discussion who are merely “pseudo-scientists”, then your arguments should have stood strongly on the merit of their scientific defensibility. But, they were EASILY crumbled. Furthermore, valid arguments against your claims were repeatedly ignored. The large gaps in the accuracy of your material were also repeatedly ignored.

    You made an extremely weak showing here, and trust me that plenty of, as you say, “real scientists” had their eyes on this discussion, watching in disappointment as your case floundered and essentially got crushed.

    With all that said, you’re welcome to come back and attempt to rectify your failure to communicate relevant facts.

  133. Roy Baty permalink
    February 7, 2010

    He won’t do that. He’s an MD, so that excludes him from having to make well-reasoned arguments. Or from having to actually evaluate and analyze research, as opposed to being an abstract-warrior that cherry-picks the data that supports his case, to the exclusion of the bigger picture.

    It’s easier to sit back and throw a tantrum while bragging about how his YouTube views are a substitute for real evidence or a comprehensive case.

    Must be nice.

  134. Jason Steele permalink
    February 7, 2010

    Well, if there’s one thing I learned from this discussion, it’s that you can’t rely on the letters after your name to win a scientific debate. Dr. Lustig is smart enough to know that he lost this one pretty badly. His quick exit from the premises was probably the wisest option.

  135. Ganine permalink
    February 8, 2010

    I watched the entire 1.5 hour video and I definitely came away with the message that the ill effects of HFCS is dose dependant. I checked my hamburger buns and several other products in my kitchen and most contained HFCS (it was often in the first five ingredients listed). Other than those buns and a few other products (I use sparingly) I don’t drink soda, juice, or eat a lot of sweet and/or processed foods, but I am still apparently exposed to a fair amount of HFCS. I can easily envision how many other American’s who eat much more processed food, soda, and juice products than I are ingesting a great deal more daily. So it would seem to me the dose comes in the form of the cumulative exposure we, by virtue of HFCS being added to a great many products, consume on a regular basis.

    So I did not come away from watching the video with a fear of HFCS consumed in moderation, however, I did come away with a good appreciation for how difficult it is for the typical American to do so given how ubiquitous it is in food products.

    From what I understood of the biochemistry involved (and forgive me if I misspeak, I am a layperson trying to grasp this), sugar (sucrose) is not as harmful by far as HFCS due to the difference in the way it is metabolized in the liver. Therefore, that Japanese consume a lot of sweet products does not necessarily do away with the underlying argument made in the video if these products are sweetened with sugar and not HFCS (as is the case in a great many products in the US). Ryan, can you speak to the the type of sweetener most commonly used in Japan? Anyone, was Dr. Lustig’s explanation of how HFCS is metabolized in the liver as opposed to sucrose incorrect? Are they not metabolized differently?

    Finally, I am disappointed with the responses from Dr. Lustig and didn’t find them compelling. Although I don’t necessarily find the arguments against his theory compelling either (although generally better presented) as many have put too much emphasis on Dr. Lustig’s lack of stressing dose dependence which I personally did feel he conveyed in the video.

  136. Sam permalink
    February 8, 2010

    I would have liked to have seen more discussion of, and links to reliable information on the pediatric obesity epidemic.

    Dr. Lustig’s talk was the first I had heard of this alleged phenomenon.

  137. Michael K. permalink
    February 8, 2010

    @Frank: I suppose I expressed myself unclearly the first time, I’ll say things as they are: replacing SFAs with PUFAs is healthier than not doing it. This is consistent with what I believe.

    @Mike L: it seems to me Lustig defined fructose as poison because it has the traits of the poison, it can only be broken down in the liver, and will under certain conditions (not coming in naturally balanced – with fibers) lead to chronic disease. I understand exactly why you guys have a problem with this sensationalistic definition, and I do give you that it does go over the edge, but he’s still right. This poison won’t kill you, but alcohol won’t kill you either if you consume it in moderate amounts.

    Why would you need artificial sweeteners? I never had a sweet tooth for anything sweet, and time I put sugar in my coffee, tea, or anything else is long gone. Please provide a reference to “- Increasing non-saturated fat and fiber intake can lead to problems as well (increased caloric intake and/or immunosuppressant effects and hormonal issues, respectively).”.

    @Roy Baty: if you tell me Zeus will drag me to Hades with an acceleration of 9.8 meters per second per second, I’ll tell you your reasoning is false, but I’ll admit the numbers are still correct. The proving and disproving part – get serious, we all know how this one goes.

    Also, I would like to see more discussion with dr.Lustig, I hope he will come back regardless of what he said in his last post and e-mail. Scientifically, any theory should and must go through a process of evaluation, it must stand to be criticised, looked at and debated from any imaginable angle NO MATTER how obviously correct it seems to the scientist behind it.

  138. Frank permalink
    February 8, 2010

    @ Michael K

    No problem. I know this is only semantic, but people are so afraid of saturated fat when in fact, they are not deleterious to health – by themselves, but can be *relatively* to other kind of fat. I know in the end the thing to do is the same, but the message isn’t.

  139. February 8, 2010

    Absolutely great article and not to mention thread discussion. THANKS!

  140. Amy Southwick permalink
    February 8, 2010

    I have a few isssues with your comments. first, your studies, who is financing them? it has been my experience that the studies that say fructose and high fructose corn syrup are “ok in moderation” are funded by someone with something to gain. Also so it is not fair to compare the fructose in a starwberry or any other natural food that God created to the fructose in a fruit snack, juice, or any otehr food tha man creates!! And how do you define ‘moderation’ when most of the products that are on our shelves contain HFCS, its in ketchup, in juices, in cereal, in granola bars, it is in too many foods that Americans consume! if you want to look at some good unbiased nutrition facts, look up Dr. James Chestnut, but please don’t help people buy into the lie about our processed foods. Our country has an obesity problem because the additives in our foods are killing our metabolisms. Oh and one last thing, don’t go to a diet pop to avoid the sugar and HFCS, you get aspertame, and that is a poison, it was approved with the knowldge it caused cancer!

  141. David Miklas permalink
    February 8, 2010

    I am going to make a prediction. There will be signature lines wherein Dr. Lustig is either quoted or at least referenced by his comment about youtube video hits. This discussion will follow him for years.

  142. Frank permalink
    February 8, 2010

    @Amy Southwick

    Aspartame is perfectly safe, at least in the dosage we are getting.

    Aspartame: a safety evaluation based on current use levels, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies. PMID: 17828671

    “The studies provide no evidence to support an association between aspartame and cancer in any tissue. The weight of existing evidence is that aspartame is safe at current levels of consumption as a nonnutritive sweetener.”

    There was no conflict of interest reported in this review.

    The problem might more lie in the fact that product containing aspartame are highly processed.

  143. February 8, 2010

    Ganine,

    There is little difference in the metabolism of HFCS versus sucrose. Sucrose and HFCS are nearly identical in their composition, and the digestive/metabolic pathways through which they pass are identical as well.

    Anyone who tries to tell you any differently is not basing their claims off of science, and instead are engaging in “fructose alarmism” as Alan has so eloquently titled this blog post.

  144. February 8, 2010

    Frank,

    Good post on aspartame. The whole “Aspartame is poison” thing is ridiculous….I will probably make a blog post about this in the future.

  145. Michael K. permalink
    February 8, 2010

    James, which HFCS formulation are you comparing sucrose to? :)

    Also, I think one of the major points here is that we have so much more weight problems and accompanying diseases not because HFCS, but because sucrose or HFCS are ADDED to damn near everything that is processed, especially in America – this has got to be partly responsible for weight gains. Sauces have grown immensely popular and all of them contain sugar, some to an almost obscene amount. Fact is, people love sugar and food industry loves to make money, connect the two and you get sugar everywhere. Again, why does everything you put in your mouth have to be sweet? Are you kicking the ‘fructose alarmism’ horse because you’re basically okay with consuming ~100 pounds of sugar annually?

    The truth is probably (as I can, with my modest knowledge, only sense it) that there is not just one factor to be blamed for worldwide weight gains, there must be several. Sugar is only one of them, (over)processed foods may be another, perhaps denaturalization of foods (pesticides, growth hormones in animals etc.) we grow are yet another. So maybe noone here is completely right, and noone is really wrong…

  146. February 8, 2010

    **********
    Are you kicking the ‘fructose alarmism’ horse because you’re basically okay with consuming ~100 pounds of sugar annually?
    ***********

    No. I’m kicking the horse because it’s false information. I believe information should be 100% truthful based on the available evidence.

    You are correct that the obesity epidemic is multifactorial, which is why it is erroneous for anyone to blame one factor for obesity.

  147. February 8, 2010

    Ganine — You mention that you “did not come away from watching the video with a fear of HFCS consumed in moderation,” except the rest of your comment shows otherwise. Notice how you implied a significant difference in sugar-sweetened foods versus HFCS-sweetened foods. That’s incorrect. Chronic overconsumption of either one is a bad idea. As for HFCS in various refined products, the amount will vary considerably. Those buns you’re scared of likely do not have much more than about 1 gram of HFCS per slice. How many buns will you be munching on today? You’re better off keeping an eye on total carbs for the day while predominating your diet with minimally refined foods rather than fretting over every gram of HFCS in the minor amount of refined foods you eat.

    Michael K — Your extremist stance on dietary intake is unproven and unproductive. It might even be detrimental. This is where experience comes in, and I can tell you that most people eventually react rebelliously to orders of strict food avoidance. Eliminate SFA. No sugar allowed. All bullshit. Even the Okinawans have added sugar in their diets. Moderation is a good thing when it comes to dietary habits. Rigid food avoidance, false designation of food taboos, and a dichotomous all-or-nothing approach has a stronger association with adverse outcomes than a more flexible approach. By the way, this is not just my field observation, it’s in the literature as well (yes, this is correlational research, but it’s better than a baseless defense of food avoidance practices):

    Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11883916

    Flexible vs. Rigid dieting strategies: relationship with adverse behavioral outcomes.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10336790

    Amy — It looks like you’ve been drinking the alarmist coolaid quite a bit, immersing yourself in scare-mongering. Please refer to James & Frank’s responses to you. As for research funding source, it should be factored into perspective, but not viewed as a reason to dismiss research completely. Would it make sense to dismiss the large body of low-carb research funded by the beef industry? All the egg research funded by the egg industry? The creatine & beta-alanine research funded by EAS? The fish oil research funded by the fishing industry? All pharmaceutical research that’s industry-sponsored? Of course not. Take funding source into consideration, sure. But don’t dismiss data completely based on funding source. If you read my article carefully, I shoot right in the middle of the liberal & the conservative recommendations in the literature because both sides are biased.

  148. February 8, 2010

    You are correct that the obesity epidemic is multifactorial, which is why it is erroneous for anyone to blame one factor for obesity.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    James, I can’t agree with you enough. The more we debate the minutiae, the farther we stray from solving the obesity problem in America.

  149. February 8, 2010

    All — Couple things. It’s clear that Dr. Lustig prematurely evacuated, but I don’t think he’ll come back. I certainly hope he does, though. Also, I’ll be absent for the next couple days catching up with work. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Even the alarmists – feel free to congregate here. This is a safe, caring place, free of psychological toxins :)

  150. February 8, 2010

    ********
    psychological toxins
    *********

    Oh, no, Alan…you said the bad pseudoscientific word….”toxin”…you need your mouth washed out with soap…..we don’t need scientific pottymouths here

  151. February 8, 2010

    Come to Asia and witness for yourself,
    Farmers who toil the land with little automation are hardly obese yet they have extremely high carb intake.

    If carbs are so evil, why aren’t the farmers fat because almost 80% of their diet is based upon carbs in Asia – noodles, rice sweet pastry, buns etc.

    And if you go into more developed country within Asia where more paper pushers are, the obesity level rises yet the diet is about the same.

  152. Ganine permalink
    February 8, 2010

    Alan:

    Thank you for the reply.

    “You mention that you ‘did not come away from watching the video with a fear of HFCS consumed in moderation,’ except the rest of your comment shows otherwise. Notice how you implied a significant difference in sugar-sweetened foods versus HFCS-sweetened foods. That’s incorrect.”

    In reference to your above comment, I didn’t imply anything. I asked a straight forward question…are they, or are they not, metabolized differently? I admitted I didn’t know much about the subject and was simply seeking clarification on this point. If they are metabolized differently, that would “seem” to be potentially significant. Again, I don’t know much about biochemistry, but the very little I do know is that a very small change in chemical composition can radically alter a substance and hence the bodies reaction to that substance.

    The answer I got from James (thank you, James), lead me to believe they are metabolized differently since he said there is a “little” difference in how they are metabolized; he did not say there is “no” difference. If there is any difference, no matter how slight, then the implication is they “may” not be metabolized the same. Whether that little bit of difference leads to the problems being hypothesized by Dr. Lustig or not is a completely different matter. Again, I was only trying get some clarity re: if they are metabolized differently or not.

    “Chronic overconsumption of either one is a bad idea.”

    Agreed. But the question would seem to be does one have more of a detrimental hit than the other. And if so, than that detrimental effect combined with cumulative exposure (obtained by virtue of it’s ubiquity) extrapolated out over several years “might” be a problem. Not saying it is or isn’t, but I’m keeping an open mind to the issue . Once more, I was just trying to get a handle on if there is ANY difference, and what that difference is, re: metabolism.

    ” As for HFCS in various refined products, the amount will vary considerably.”

    I’d imagine that is true, but HFCS would seem to be in quite a lot of products.

    “Those buns you’re scared of likely do not have much more than about 1 gram of HFCS per slice. How many buns will you be munching on today? You’re better off keeping an eye on total carbs for the day while predominating your diet with minimally refined foods rather than fretting over every gram of HFCS in the minor amount of refined foods you eat.”

    You are completely mischaracterizing my statement. I am not “scared” of the buns at all LOL. I actually ate 2 right after I wrote my post. I eat a small amount of carbs during the day and I usually eat the majority of my carbs post workout ( I had just deadlifted before having my burgers). I do keep an eye on total carbs for the day, and other than my buns, tend to not eat processed foods. I am not “fretting” in the least over my buns (well, not the ones I eat anyway). I understand your blog post is on “alarmism,” but please don’t automatically assume your posters to be alarmist, lest you be an alarmist alarmist.

  153. Mike L. permalink
    February 8, 2010

    Michael K. –

    You certainly don’t “need” artificial sweeteners. However, some people enjoy them more than unflavored water and they have not been shown to cause any harm. In fact, artificial sweeteners are arguably beneficial in that they may encourage proper hydration.

    Per your request, here are two references pertaining to my previous statements:

    Thies F, et al. Dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid, but not with other longchain n-3 or n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, decreases natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects aged >55 y. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Mar;73(3):539-48.

    Hämäläinen EK, Adlercreutz H, Puska P, Pietinen P. Decrease of serum total and free testosterone during a low-fat high-fibre diet. J Steroid Biochem. 1983 Mar;18(3):369-70.

    Note that I am not suggesting that fish oil or fiber are harmful. On the contrary, both provide myriad health benefits. My point is that context and dosage should always be taken into account when considering any food, even if it traditionally falls under the “healthy” umbrella.

    -Mike L.

  154. February 8, 2010

    Ganine,

    The only practical difference between sucrose and HFCS is in the bonding. The glucose & fructose in HFCS is mainly free and unbonded, while it is bonded in sucrose.

    However, this makes no *meaningful* difference in regards to metabolism in the body. The bonds in sucrose are quickly broken when sucrose hits the acid environment of the stomach. This means that once sucrose hits the stomach, it’s no different from HFCS.

    Once you get to the small intestine, metabolism is *exactly* the same.

    This *little bit of difference* does not lead to the problems Dr. Lustig talks about. The fact is, HFCS and sucrose are identical as far as your body is concerned. The difference in bonding wouldn’t make a shred of difference in regards to your health.

  155. Roy Baty permalink
    February 8, 2010

    The funniest thing about this whole notion is that it leads to the idea that fruits are bad for you. When the fuck did fruits become a bad thing to have in your diet? All because guys like Lustig and other alarmist idiots can’t understand simple dose-response relationships.

    And yes, it is alarmism. People are so scared of everything now. Just eat. Shut up and eat.

    Despite what God-girl said about Jesus making more pure fructose or whatever her superstitious ramblings were saying, there’s just nothing to support the idea that moderate amounts of fructose are harmful. Why this is challenged with the “SO YOU SUPPORT EATING 10,000 POUNDS OF SUGAR!!!!” strawman is beyond me.

    If you over-eat anything, you get fat. Shocking. Now we just need Fred Hahn to come back and say you can’t put on fat by over-eating steak and eggs.

    Fuck. Is the education system really this broken? Fructose doesn’t get a pass to violate first principles of thermodynamics. Neither does insulin. If you people are postulating magic, you better damn well have research showing the magic wand.

  156. Michael K. permalink
    February 8, 2010

    Alan, calling my stance extreme is a bit unfounded. Beseides, I fail to see how my statements brought up the rigid vs flexible dieting, unless you would call “no drugs, tobacco and alcohol” rigid dieting too. Perhaps I lacked precision in my posts – of course I never proposed we replace ALL SFAs with PUFAs, since that would be impossible – just avoid SFAs, which is mainly animal fat. I do propose the elimination of all centrifugal sugars (that does not include foods that naturally contain sugars, even honey) but of course it’s not really necessary to eliminate them in absolute terms, just don’t add sugar – you’ll get it in anyway somehow. However much fibers you eat, it’s probably not enough, so I propose you eat some more. Add olive oil and fish oil to your diet. That’s it. Do you really think that’s extreme or are you just trying to bully me?

  157. Ganine permalink
    February 8, 2010

    James,

    Thank you for the additional clarification.

  158. dano permalink
    February 8, 2010

    holy fuck.

    Ryan Zielonka
    February 8, 2010
    “You are correct that the obesity epidemic is multifactorial, which is why it is erroneous for anyone to blame one factor for obesity.”

    bullshit … i can easily blame all the time spent reading this god damned comment thread while munching on deep-fried HFCS (stroopwafels, mmmm) rather than training or doing something otherwise useful.

    my simple translation of reality is that the psychological effects of teh sugars, while independent of and thus not changing the phsyiological, can dominate. thus, the result is (get this) people fucking eat more.

  159. Frank permalink
    February 8, 2010

    @ Michael

    I don’t want to be picky, but here, to quote you, you said, a few post ago :

    “lower saturated fats as much as you can”

    is somewhat in the idea of “…of course I never proposed we replace ALL SFAs with PUFAs”

    Of course it’s not possible, but your first sentence implies that if this could be done, you would recommend it, when this is clearly not a necessity.

    Quoting you again:

    “just avoid SFAs”

    Why would someone need to do this? Althought the epidemiology is quite clear that PUFA are beneficial when they replace SFAs (but adding more SFAs to one’s diet is not deleterious to health – a very important distinction), i’m still convince there are important confounding factors since many mechanistic studies found that n-6 promote inflammation & oxidation after a certain threshold. Again, dosage is important here (as always). But by telling people to avoid SFA you, first, pertain a myth that must die now, and second, perpetuate extremist behavior of food avoidance, as Allan pointed out.

  160. Michael K. permalink
    February 9, 2010

    Really Frank? Since my opinion on SFAs is in accord with most of what google finds when looking for saturated fats I must conclude what I think is not extreme, but mainstream (unless you call mainstream opinion extreme-?) – that doesn’t in any way mean it is correct, but I would very much like you to prove your point by providing a few credible links/studies. I found this one ( http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/06/06/saturated-fat/ )claiming that we should increase SFA intake, sadly, it cites no sources, here’s an article at the Harvard’s page in my favor: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending my camp to death, I’m merely looking for the truth. :)

  161. Roy Baty permalink
    February 9, 2010

    why not try

    http://www.pubmed.gov

    Or is real science too much to ask?

  162. Michael K. permalink
    February 9, 2010

    Excellent resource, thanx for that. On the same note, I briefly looked around and found a paper titled “Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease” found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20089734?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=3
    which concludes that, “…dietary efforts to improve the increasing burden of CVD risk associated with atherogenic dyslipidemia should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intakes and a reduction in excess adiposity.”

    There is another paper titled “Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes: Epidemiologic evidence.” found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20138901?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1
    which concludes that “…Consumption of SSBs should therefore be replaced by healthy alternatives such as water, to reduce risk of obesity and chronic diseases.”

    I suggest you read the entire abstract and if possible, the paper itself. I’m currently thinking about purchasing membership there. Both studies appear to be in accord with Lustig, rather than Aragon.

  163. Frank permalink
    February 9, 2010

    @ Michael

    Read these, Michael.

    Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. PMID: 20071648

    A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease. PMID: 19364995

    Dietary Fat and Coronary Heart Disease: Summary of Evidence from Prospective Cohort and Randomised Controlled Trials. PMID: 19752542

    The last one can be downloaded for free.

    These are all systematic review of the literature, which are consider very high quality evidence, done by independant researchers.

    I don’t wait for the mainstream to change it’s view to go with what the science say :)

    If you look for the truth, then the truth is that SFAs are not related to CHD, but by replacing them with PUFAs you can further decrease your risk.

    These papers are all very clear.

    There’s also 3 others review out there published in the last two years, but it’s no as high quality evidence, so these 3 should make it.

  164. Bill permalink
    February 9, 2010

    One of the least convincing arguments from the above is that HFCS is the same as table sugar. Yes. I understand this — but the argument does not stop there. These assertions come loaded with the implication that table sugar is safe over the long term in the ever-increasing dosage which human beings are consuming. If the metabolic pathways for fructose lead to a higher amount of undesirable end-products within the human body then it is irrelevant as to whether its source is HFCS or by pouring refined, white sugar down your gob.

    So what of it? Is table sugar a long term health risk? Should we be consuming more, or less? What is the ideal daily dosage? How can we relate this to the rise of HFCS as an additive in almost all processed foods?

  165. February 9, 2010

    ***********
    One of the least convincing arguments from the above is that HFCS is the same as table sugar. Yes. I understand this — but the argument does not stop there. These assertions come loaded with the implication that table sugar is safe over the long term in the ever-increasing dosage which human beings are consuming.
    *************

    This is a non-sequitur. “HFCS=table sugar” does not imply that table sugar is safe in ever-increasing dosages.

  166. JLB permalink
    February 9, 2010

    Mike K,

    It looks to me like instead of trying to find the truth, you’re groping for evidence that fits your beliefs, and ignoring the rest. Refer to Frank’s response for the big picture about saturated fat. Also, that other study you cited is correlational. Not that this means it’s useless, but it can’t show cause-and-effect, and it can’t necesarily distinguish the role of decreasing activity levels and a lot of other variables from soft drink intake. Also, I think you’re misrepresenting Alan’s stance. He advocates “a predominance of minimally processed foods” in the diet. That study you linked suggests the dangers of excess soft drink consumption combined with other typically bad lifestyle habits of the population at large. Are you even reading Alan’s responses? You are in fact proving yourself to be an extremist by missing the point continually.

  167. Bill permalink
    February 9, 2010

    James Kreiger:

    ********

    This is a non-sequitur. “HFCS=table sugar” does not imply that table sugar is safe in ever-increasing dosages.

    ********

    That is exactly what I said. Can you address the questions I listed in my second paragraph?

  168. Sam permalink
    February 9, 2010

    I’ll take a stab at this

    >> Is table sugar a long term health risk?
    depends on context and dose

    >> Should we be consuming more, or less?
    who is “we”?
    if “we” is already obese people consuming excess calories and if “we” want to gain more weight, yes you “should”, but why concentrate on sugar? In this case fat (butter, lard, cream) would be a better, more concentrated way to get more calories.

    if “we” is anorexic women about to die, IMHO hell yes you “should” (although you might disagree)

    if “we” is everybody in the US – the answer is “depends”. My answer is “I don’t know”

    if “we” is people with insulin resistance who’ve carefully experimented on their own diets and found they do well on high fat diets and badly on high carbohydrate, probably you shouldn’t.

    >> What is the ideal daily dosage?
    you have been reading along in the last 150 or so posts, right?

    >> How can we relate this to the rise of HFCS as an additive in almost all processed foods?
    what do you mean by “this” in “relate this” – the preceding 4 questions, the stuff in the 1st paragraph?

  169. February 9, 2010

    Bill,

    You had stated the following:

    “These assertions come loaded with the implication that table sugar is safe over the long term in the ever-increasing dosage which human beings are consuming.”

    My point was that these assertions do not come loaded with such an implication.

    In regards to your other questions, Sam actually addressed them quite well. There are no straightforward answers because they completely depend upon the context, which is something Alan has been pointing out both in his blog post and in the comments. For example, too much sugar for a sedentary person is completely different from too much sugar for a marathon runner.

    People always want nice, simple answers to their dietary questions, but when it comes to the complexity of the human body, nice simple answers rarely exist.

    Do I feel that the U.S. population consumes too much sugar on average? Yes. But do I know what the “optimal” level might be? No, because that is a question related to individual needs, which, again, require context.

    *************
    If the metabolic pathways for fructose lead to a higher amount of undesirable end-products within the human body then it is irrelevant as to whether its source is HFCS or by pouring refined, white sugar down your gob.
    *************

    I’m going to use your above statement as an example. The metabolic pathways for fructose only lead to higher amounts of “undesirable end-products” under certain conditions. Under other conditions, fructose is harmless and can even be beneficial. This is why context needs to be taken into consideration.

  170. Bill permalink
    February 9, 2010

    James Kreiger:

    ********

    I’m going to use your above statement as an example. The metabolic pathways for fructose only lead to higher amounts of “undesirable end-products” under certain conditions. Under other conditions, fructose is harmless and can even be beneficial.

    ********

    Can you elaborate on this more? What are these conditions?

  171. February 9, 2010

    Basically, the energy status of the body. This can be partly reflected by liver glycogen content.

    I won’t go into the detailed biochemistry, but fructose will take different metabolic pathways in the liver depending upon liver glycogen status. In fact, liver glycogen status is a powerful mediator of fructose metabolism in that it regulates the enzymes which are involved in fructose metabolism.

    If you are in an energy deficit, liver glycogen is not full. In this case, fructose is directed towards gluconeogenesis (production of new glucose to be released into the blood) and replenishment of liver glycogen.

    If you are in an energy surplus, liver glycogen is full. In that case, fructose is directed towards triglyceride and VLDL formation (the “undesirable end products” you refer to).

    If you are in energy balance, there will be a balance between triglyceride formation from fructose, and triglyceride and fructose oxidation, and there won’t be any accumulation of visceral fat.

    Thus, fructose will only exert harmful effects if you’re overeating in the first place.

  172. February 9, 2010

    Sugar makes me a friendly, happy person to be around. Thanks sucrose!

  173. random guy permalink
    February 9, 2010

    What is Alan’s take on saturated fat? I am curious on this one.

  174. ATZ permalink
    February 10, 2010

    Random guy:

    *****

    What is Alan’s take on saturated fat? I am curious on this one

    *****

    I suspect it has something to do with dose and context…

  175. David Miklas - snorkelman permalink
    February 10, 2010

    LOL – of course it has to do with dose and context, or else he’d be a paleo-bro

  176. Lynanne permalink
    February 10, 2010

    Roy said: “Surely a study done in 1979 discounts the anecdotes of people that were there from the late 90s to the present day.

    Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

    Is being honest really so hard? I thought you had to pass ethics to be approved by the medical board.”

    You made me laugh with this. Heck, at least it’s more current than Taubes’ mid-60’s references in GCBC. Lustig is almost into the 80’s!

  177. February 10, 2010

    Alan,

    Under the heading “Boooo, Doc” you say:
    “… he proceeds to blame carbohydrates as being the primary constituent [for increases in caloric consumption]”

    You then go on to cite USDA figures in an unusual way (by simply subtracting the 2007 percentage of total diet from the 1970 percentage). For example, Meat etc was 17 percent of the US diet in 2007 and 21 percent in 1970, so you say meat consumption ‘decreased by 4%’. However the underlying reality is that between 1970 and 2007 US Meat, eggs and nuts consumption increased by 10% (see the Meat tab in the link you provide).

    Using the same method, fructose consumption (see sugars tab and adjust for percentage fructose) increased by 20.6% in the same period or by 43.8% (if you use trough [1975] to peak [1999]).

    You then draw the conclusion “it appears that the rise in obesity is due in large part to an increase in caloric intake across the board, rather than an increase in carbohydrate in particular.” And whilst it is undoubtedly true that you won’t get fat without increasing the number of calories you consume, your statement says nothing about the underlying cause of the increase in consumption.

    It seems to me that what Lustig is actually saying is that fructose exerts a metabolic effect which results in the up-regulating of our appetite control system.

    If that is correct then the result of that up-regulation would be a gradual increase in the amount of (all) food that we eat.

    The USDA data is not probative of anything other than caloric increase, but it behaves as Lustig’s hypothesis would predict. The expected outcome would be a sustained increase in total caloric consumption and the USDA data bears that out, doesn’t it?

    Cheers
    David.

  178. February 10, 2010

    Alan,
    Under the heading “Fructose is evil, context be damned” you say:

    “[Lustig says] that unlike glucose, fructose does not elicit an insulin (& leptin) response, and thus does not blunt appetite … Lustig is forgetting that most fructose … has an equal amount of glucose attached to it … Here’s the point I’m getting at: contrary to Lustig’s contentions, both of these compounds have substantial research showing not just their ability to elicit an insulin response, but also their suppressive effect on appetite.”

    You cite four studies as authority for that statement. Each of those studies comes to an identical conclusion: HFCS (55% fructose) is not materially worse for you than sucrose (50% fructose) (or vice versa).

    The studies were funded by [3] PepsiCo North America, [4] Suikerstichting Nederland [Dutch Sugar Industry], [5] the American Beverage Association and the Corn Refiners Association and [6] International Life Sciences Institute North America – ILSI has significant links to producers and purveyors of sugar and HFCS products. And while I doubt funding source changed what was an entirely predictable outcome, I think it would have been good to mention it when citing the articles.

    What I don’t understand is how citing four studies which say that sugar and HFCS have identical effects (including on [next meal] satiety) addresses the point Lustig makes about fructose versus glucose and long term appetite control.

    And I certainly don’t understand how you get from there to the conclusion that because fructose (on its own) is not a normal part of our diet, we don’t have to worry about substances that include it (such as HFCS and Sugar).

    Cheers
    David.

  179. Sam permalink
    February 10, 2010

    >> What I don’t understand is how citing
    >> four studies which say that sugar and
    >> HFCS have identical effects
    >> (including on [next meal] satiety)
    >> addresses the point Lustig makes
    >> about fructose versus glucose and
    >> long term appetite control.

    My understanding of Alan’s stance: using biochemistry, to single out
    one single mechanism of satiety has not panned out when tested in the
    real world, where there are other biochemical pathways involved.

    If fructose’s satiating effect is negative, why does it not make you
    much hungrier than glucose in the preload studies?

    And if the biochemistry has not given you the result you
    predicted in the short term, why will it give you the result
    you predict in the long term?

    And besides, the biochemistry goes both ways –

    fructose preferentially refills liver glycogen, an important
    contributor to satiety (an alternative path to leptin).

    Glucose refills liver glycogen less effectively than fructose.

    why concentrate on one of fructose’s effects and ignore one
    that rebuts the argument?

  180. Sam permalink
    February 10, 2010

    >> because fructose (on its own) is not
    >> a normal part of our diet, we don’t
    >> have to worry about substances that
    >> include it (such as HFCS and Sugar)

    Where did you see that?

    I see stuff like

    AA:

    >> Is it really that groundbreaking to
    >> think that polishing off a half-dozen
    >> soft drinks per day is not a good
    >> idea?

    and this:

    AA:
    >> I’m obviously not in favor of
    >> replacing anyone’s daily fluid
    >> intake with soft drinks, but I can
    >> already see a number of straw man
    >> arguments headed my way.

  181. Melody Rae Murphy permalink
    February 10, 2010

    Alan, you did an amazing job of explaining the facts and showing the SCIENTIFIC research!!!

  182. Cooper permalink
    February 10, 2010

    Great one Alan. I just got through reading all the comments. I have only two points to make.

    1. I’m urging everyone with websites to post only the debate between Alan and Lustig. I doubt many people will read through all these comments and the world deserves to see the misinformation that Lustig is spreading and how he ran away from a logical argument after being defeated.

    2. I feel sorry for Fred Hahn’s clients. I’ve never heard such poorly made arguments and an utter refusal to listen to reason.

  183. February 10, 2010

    Alan,

    You go on (under the same heading) to cite two studies by Rodin as authority for the proposition that Lustig’s “assertion that fructose and fructose-containing sugars increase subsequent food intake” is wrong.

    Rodin’s studies were designed to determine the effect of a fructose or glucose solution on the amount of food consumed at a subsequent meal. To make the solutions taste the same (fructose is much sweeter than glucose), Rodin’s team added aspartame to the glucose solution.

    What she found was that subjects who drank the fructose solution ate less at a subsequent meal. Whether that was because fructose is satiating or because aspartame or glucose (or both) are not could not be determined from the studies. She also noted that elapsed time between the load and the meal affected the outcome.

    Studies on the appetite stimulating effects of aspartame are all over the shop, but a recent meta review and longitudinal study came down on the side that it could be. (see: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/4/688.full )

    Interesting though this undoubtedly is, I can’t see how it relates to Lustig’s hypothesis which I understand to be that fructose produces long term hormonal disruption by creating insulin (and leptin) resistance. Under that hypothesis surely any effect observable after one meal would be meaninglessly small (and surely undetectable) amongst the tidal shifts of insulin (and glucagon) occurring after ingestion of any food (not just fructose, glucose and aspartame)?

    You round out this section of your article by quoting White who you say is ‘an independent researcher’. Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that White works closely with the Corn Refiners Association and ILSI. Let’s also try to ignore the fact that the paper from which you quote was supported by the American Society for Nutrition (whose membership list is a roll call of the processed food industry) and focus on what he says.

    After admitting that studies which feed human subjects pure fructose will produce ‘metabolic anomalies’, he reverts to the argument that since HFCS is only 55% fructose those studies don’t count (when considering HFCS). He then spends the remainder of the scientific part of the paper comparing HFCS to sugar and concluding that they are (surprisingly) pretty much the same.

    He then compares HFCS consumption to worldwide obesity rates and concludes there is no association. That shouldn’t come as too much of a shock since the US is the primary consumer of HFCS (pretty much everywhere else dominantly uses sugar). But by then it seems that White has forgotten his earlier point that HFCS and sugar are metabolically identical and so doesn’t include sugar consumption in his analysis.

    In the passage you quote approvingly (from the abstract), White refers to ‘studies using extreme carbohydrate diets’, but the only two human studies he references on this point (in the paper) tested subjects at 0%, 7.5% and 15% exposure and found metabolic problems at all levels (except 0%). Does that sound like an extreme diet to you?

    Cheers
    David.

  184. Nicholas permalink
    February 11, 2010

    Louis: You are right that people in Asia exercise more and stay thin despite a high carb intake. Dr. Lustig did not miss this point in the lecture – he stated that exercise increased the rate of, I believe, the citric acid cycle which keeps the liver from converting the glucose into fat and distributing it into the bloodstream. In addition, only 20% of glucose is subject to this process, while ALL of fructose is. So there is in fact a huge difference between an active Asian eating rice versus a sedentary American consuming fructose.

    Ganine: The lecture never said HFCS is bad, sucrose is okay. In fact, it stated that the two are almost equivalent.

    These are just two examples of the lecture being interpreted unfairly or erroneously.

    I have no affiliation with Dr. Lustig whatsoever. I merely agree with his findings as most convincing, and most conforming to my own observations. In addition the research he cites and arguments he delivers seem to be in line with the latest science.

    In the end, the alarmism of fructose really is about the disruption of hormone regulation. If you believe it fructose is fine, I’d like to hear alternative theories on why Americans have such high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other degenerative diseases. Some biochemistry will be convincing.

  185. RayCinLA permalink
    February 11, 2010

    @ David Gillespie:

    Could you possibly be selling a book you wrote about how to be an alarmist sugarphobe? I don’t know why but I have a strong hunch that you do:

    http://www.sweetpoison.com.au/

    How can you go bashing the AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR NUTRITION from a position of… an IT guy who lost a bunch of weight and is now blaming teh sugars for getting you fat? Do you even realize you are EXACTLY the type of guy Alan is trying to prevent the cloning of, due to lectures by Robert “I’m credible because of Youtube hits” Lustig?

  186. RayCinLA permalink
    February 11, 2010

    @ Nicholas:

    “I have no affiliation with Dr. Lustig whatsoever. I merely agree with his findings as most convincing, and most conforming to my own observations.”

    Translation: I hear what I want to hear, as long as it fits my personal beliefs about nutrition. This fits perfectly with what I want to hear, so I’ll believe it.

  187. Michael K. permalink
    February 11, 2010

    Scientist’s rule #7: if you, in an open debate, mention the popularity of your work on the internet as a reference to it being true, you lose all credibility, your points become invalid, your work is annihilated and your ph.d. revoked, you become an Ogre and are thereafter forever banished from the land you live in. -??????

    I find it interesting how David Gillespie’s major points (and entire posts actually) are widely ignored and nobody seems to realize there just MIGHT be a conflict of interest here, and we are not talking about a few dollars more or less, we’re talking about profits of a industry so huge, from which only Coca Cola spends more than 2.5 billion US on advertising alone. Don’t you think they would maybe spill a few bucks of that money into funding a study or two that says their product is perfectly okay?????????????????? If I were the board of directors, anyone who didn’t agree with that would get fired. Out of a cannon. Tobacco industry had to back down, because the arguments against tobacco were just way too overwhelming and the correlation too undoubtful, but they still fought decades, regardless – and here there is an industry that feeds us what tastes great on our tongues… Something that takes years of careful observation has never been easy to prove, and even so, it can easily be ‘disproved’ by another ‘study’ and people are relieved, because they like it the way it is.

    I have reached a conclusion, and I will stick with it, unless someone comes up with a persuasive argument, backed up by clean, independent studies.

  188. RayCinLA permalink
    February 11, 2010

    @ Mike K:

    Roy Baty just helped you discover Pubmed within the last 2 days. What makes you think you can make heads or tails of scientific studies?

    Un—believable.

  189. Ganine permalink
    February 11, 2010

    Nicholas:

    Do me a favor, go back and reread what I wrote, and then show me where I stated Dr. Lustig “said HFCS is bad, sucrose is okay.” Then we can talk about misinterpretation.

  190. Ian Scott permalink
    February 11, 2010

    Alan,

    Thank you so much for choosing to discuss this video.

  191. February 11, 2010

    James Krieger said:

    “No, what is mind-boggling is how you continue to adhere to a simplistic, grade-school level of understanding of adipose tissue regulation.”

    Thank you James. Your double MS degree has served your manners well.

  192. Sam permalink
    February 11, 2010

    >> In the end, the alarmism of fructose really is about the disruption
    >> of hormone regulation. If you believe it fructose is fine, I’d like
    >> to hear alternative theories on why Americans have such high rates
    >> of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other degenerative
    >> diseases. Some biochemistry will be convincing.

    Could simply be aging. Older people weigh more, get more diabetes &
    cancer & heart disease, and the average age in the US is rising.

    Sandy Schwarc has a lot of pieces on the “Obesity Epidemic”

    http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/

  193. Cooper permalink
    February 11, 2010

    Nicolas said:

    “In the end, the alarmism of fructose really is about the disruption of hormone regulation. If you believe it fructose is fine, I’d like to hear alternative theories on why Americans have such high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other degenerative diseases. Some biochemistry will be convincing.”

    Sorry, this is not how science works. We could generate hundreds or possibly even thousands of hypotheses as to why this is the case. It is doubtful that any one variable is responsible. The fructose alarmists are the ones making a specific claim. The onus of proof is on them and they’ve done a piss poor job at it so far!

  194. Sam permalink
    February 11, 2010

    >> Coca Cola spends more than 2.5 billion US on advertising
    >> alone. Don’t you think they would maybe spill a few bucks of that
    >> money into funding a study or two that says their product is
    >> perfectly okay?????????????????? If I were the board of directors,
    >> anyone who didn’t agree with that would get fired. Out of a

    IMHO you put the emphasis on the wrong side of the issue. the bigger
    risk is from researchers and the researcher/politico with an ax to grind, who
    makes results conform to his own prejudgments. Saturated fat phobia being
    a case in point.

    For corporations the risk from a backlash to this kind of activity is huge.
    The only safe way to proceed is to commission the study and if the findings
    are not to your liking, don’t allow publication.

    You couldn’t realistically commission a study with that objective. At
    the very least, you don’t put anything like that, or that could be
    interpreted that way on paper or in an email.

    My understanding of current US “justice system” is that if you’re sued
    and the plaintiff asks for documents, you have to turn them over. And if
    a jury gets wind that your company likes to pay for “appropriate science”
    the result will be disastrous for the company.

    Put yourself in the position of an executive about to order a study and
    specify the results you want to see. How are you going to communicate
    that? Email? Phone call? meeting? How sure are you that no one you meet
    with is recording? Sure you have no disgruntled employees?

    Any place like Coke or Pepsi, with lawyers up the wazoo, will not
    ignore a judge’s discovery order. The lawyers have too much to lose. the
    companies do to, although they may not realize it.

    emails, meeting minutes, voice mails, notes regarding phone calls.
    It’s all discoverable.

    If there were orders or threats to find a specific result these orders
    would be found, by, among others, CSPI.

    This obviously does not preclude wink and smirk activity, but threats,
    and even hints, of firing are out.

    Returning to that question: you’re that executive – want to risk your
    $300,000 per year job just to get a wee little article published?

  195. Sam permalink
    February 11, 2010

    Fred Hahn, have you not come across Lex Rooker and other bloggers who
    are doing very carefully controlled self experiments, who gained
    weight on zero carb?

    Dr. Eades says:

    >> The metabolic advantage brought about by low-carb dieting is
    >> probably somewhere in the neighborhood of a 100-300 calories, which
    >> isn’t all that much.

    This isn’t very far from what Lyle says, is it? (minus the cussing : )

    doesn’t QUITE sound like “you can eat a plate of pork chops piled to
    the ceiling and not get fat”

    And yes, I could eat a plate of pork thops, piled to the ceiling, plus
    some bacon and eggs, plus some duck pate (love that stuff) no juice,
    no bread, no cereal (no carbs) every day.

    I can overeat meat like anybody’s business. I used to have 32 ounces
    of steak and a small salad for dinner all the time).

    5,000 calories a day of steak, no carbs??( BRING IT ON.

  196. Sam permalink
    February 11, 2010

    >> I find it interesting how David Gillespie’s major points (and
    >> entire posts actually) are widely ignored and nobody seems to
    >> realize there just MIGHT be a conflict of interest here

    I responded to several of his points & he ignored me.

    I also note he’s reading into Alan’s writings things that I cannot find in there. My reading comprehension may not be as good as DG’s though.

  197. February 11, 2010

    David,

    Since you agree that sucrose or HFCS has appetite-suppressive effects in the short-term, I find it amusing that you’re quick to assume this would automatically flip-flop the opposite way in the long term, particularly within the context that their consumption isn’t artificially high as in studies commonly used for scaremongering purposes.

    As for your critique of John White’s article, you point out that 2 of the studies cited therein indicate the metabolic risks of a moderate amount of fructose despite White’s mentioning of an extreme amount of fructose being the problem. Okay, that’s fine. However, this doesn’t make his statement false, as I’ve shown in my rebuttal to Lustig’s final post. Also, you have to look at the totality of the evidence. Have a look at the following review, which objectively examines the gamut of research and shows that your alarmist stance on fructose is unfounded:

    Evidence-based review on the effect of normal dietary consumption of fructose on development of hyperlipidemia and obesity in healthy, normal weight individuals.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047139

    In agreement with RayC, your dismissal of the American Society for Nutrition’s credibility on the basis of their membership is ludicrous. The ASN publishes some of the highest quality nutrition-related research, in terms of both the investigators and the content. They hold high standards of rigor in the conflict-of-interest department, requiring transparency from all involved. In sum, the ASN is one of the most well-respected scientific information resources – for deserved reason.

    The study I cited above is published by the CRC press, which publishes a range of scientific material, including engineering, physics, and medicine. All nonfictional material. If we were to apply your logic behind the dismissal of the ASN, we could just as easily dismiss the credibility of your book “Sweet Poison: Why Sugar Makes Us Fat”, since its publisher (Penguin Books Australia) has a bestseller list predominated by FICTION:

    http://www.penguin.com.au/new/bestsell_contents.cfm

    But would that be a fair or logical dismissal? Not on those grounds. A better basis for skepticism towards your stance would be the fact that you fit the one-sided alarmist archetype to a stunning degree. The message behind your agenda is oversimplified, and in denial of the importance of dosage & context. Did you skip over the research I linked regarding the association between rigid dieting and adverse behavioral outcomes? Here, I’ll link it again:

    Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11883916

    Flexible vs. Rigid dieting strategies: relationship with adverse behavioral outcomes.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10336790

    The black & white, good/bad picture you paint is not only incorrect, but it’s counterproductive to properly educating the public. You are very quick to discredit scientists and scientific organizations that don’t fit your pre-existent beliefs, but what makes you more credible? I’m very satisfied with my track record with freeing people from various irrational food phobias. You on the other hand, are en route to doing just the opposite. To illustrate, I’ve captured the main point driven home at the end of each one of your videos:

    another alarmist chant

  198. Jason Steele permalink
    February 11, 2010

    Hey David, do you really think your crusade against every granule of sugar will get you closer to the right hand of God? I say that facetiously, but seriously, we are all adults here. Extremists like yourself, with no sense of moderation or self-control, don’t have much business insulting the intelligence of rational people. Those with a childish grasp of how they *think* the body works are surely reveling in your “Sugar Makes You Fat” book.

  199. Jason Steele permalink
    February 11, 2010

    David, I also want to add that in your promotional campaign, you use your own testimony as the major selling point for your book. You let yourself get 88 lbs overweight. And sugar was to blame for this? Well, that sounds like a good enough reason to write a book. Get really fat, adopt a quasi-religious faith about the good and evil of various foods, then write a book about it. You should have stuck to being a corporate lawyer, because this new gig of yours as the Superhero Against Sugar is a joke. Alan put forth a noble message against extremism, alarmism, and the labeling of foods as good or evil. Frankly, I’m enjoying watching him own the hell out of you and your ilk.

  200. Lisa permalink
    February 11, 2010

    David:

    Could it be that your job right now as a software guy is biasing your views? All the software guys I know drink lots of soft drinks, both diet and non. But they also eat a lot of whatever gets in front of their faces.

    Alan has plenty of experience with clients who used to have a crazy good-bad perspective of food. I would even say that I had a mortal fear of some foods.

    Why was I so neurotic about food? Mainly because of books like yours, that give too much false power to a food, and take all the power away from the dieter.

    I’ve been much better off ever since I accepted that as long as the majority of what I eat is healthy, the minority of what I eat can be whatever I want. Even sugary stuff.

    If I were you, I would think twice about pushing your own personal neurosis and limited personal experience onto everyone.

    Thanks Alan for the great service you provide,

    Lisa

  201. darkseeker permalink
    February 11, 2010

    “David Gillespie is a recovering corporate lawyer, co-founder of a successful software company and consultant to the IT industry. He is also the father of six young children (including one set of twins). With such a lot of extra time on his hands, and 40 extra kilos on his waistline, he set out to investigate why he, like so many in his generation, was fat. He deciphered the latest medical findings on diet and weight gain and what he found was chilling. Being fat was the least of his problems. He needed to stop poisoning himself. Web site: http://www.sweetpoison.com.au

    Hey David I got fat from eating too much fried chicken, pizza, steak, and fries. I never go for the sugar, and I have no sweet tooth to speak of. Am I not poisoning myself because I avoid sugar? Please do tell.

  202. Michael Miller permalink
    February 11, 2010

    Here’s a very recent review for ya’ll to chew on.

    Metabolic effects of fructose and the worldwide increase in obesity.

    http://physrev.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/90/1/23

    Abstract:

    Physiol Rev. 2010 Jan;90(1):23-46.

    Tappy L, Lê KA.

    Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, CH-1005 Lausanne, Switzerland. luc.tappy@unil.ch

    While virtually absent in our diet a few hundred years ago, fructose has now become a major constituent of our modern diet. Our main sources of fructose are sucrose from beet or cane, high fructose corn syrup, fruits, and honey. Fructose has the same chemical formula as glucose (C(6)H(12)O(6)), but its metabolism differs markedly from that of glucose due to its almost complete hepatic extraction and rapid hepatic conversion into glucose, glycogen, lactate, and fat. Fructose was initially thought to be advisable for patients with diabetes due to its low glycemic index. However, chronically high consumption of fructose in rodents leads to hepatic and extrahepatic insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure. The evidence is less compelling in humans, but high fructose intake has indeed been shown to cause dyslipidemia and to impair hepatic insulin sensitivity. Hepatic de novo lipogenesis and lipotoxicity, oxidative stress, and hyperuricemia have all been proposed as mechanisms responsible for these adverse metabolic effects of fructose. Although there is compelling evidence that very high fructose intake can have deleterious metabolic effects in humans as in rodents, the role of fructose in the development of the current epidemic of metabolic disorders remains controversial. Epidemiological studies show growing evidence that consumption of sweetened beverages (containing either sucrose or a mixture of glucose and fructose) is associated with a high energy intake, increased body weight, and the occurrence of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders. There is, however, no unequivocal evidence that fructose intake at moderate doses is directly related with adverse metabolic effects. There has also been much concern that consumption of free fructose, as provided in high fructose corn syrup, may cause more adverse effects than consumption of fructose consumed with sucrose. There is, however, no direct evidence for more serious metabolic consequences of high fructose corn syrup versus sucrose consumption.

    PMID: 20086073

  203. darkseeker permalink
    February 11, 2010

    Mike,

    Unless you pulled that info from some former fat guy’s sugar is evil handbook, I ain’t buying it.

  204. February 11, 2010

    You know, I get a kick out of knowing I can maintain sub-10% bodyfat (despite being a former fat boy with shitty genetics and thyroid issues) on frozen pizza, Starbucks’ mochas, cookies, rice, Gatorade, and Chinese buffets only by obeying the laws of thermodynamics.

    I was actually FATTER when I did the Paleo-tard/low-carb thing, which I followed strictly for close to two years. I avoided HFCS like the plague and used practically zero condiments.

    Why was I fatter? Because inevitably I’d blow my diet when I wanted some starch or was put into a situation where I had no other option. And instead of a sane serving I’d demolish boxes of cereal and anything resembling sugar because 97% of the time I deprived myself of it.

    I feel bad for you Paleo/low-carb folks. Really, I do. It’s a whole lot of pain and suffering you endure for no good reason. Moreover, I feel terrible for your children, especially if you impose your diet zealotry upon them.

    I’ll take my moderated starch, sugar, and HFCS intake with a side of abs any day over the stress associated with any asinine mainstream eating guidelines.

  205. February 11, 2010

    One last caveat. I work with a highly respected physician in Seattle who does sports performance work for elite athletes. She specializes in treating legitimate over-training, also known in the medical community as general adaptation disorder. 99% of the people who believe they’re over-trained have only over-reached. I was diagnosed with over-training disorder in April 2008 and am still recovering from it.

    Guess what the number one common denominator is amongst athletes, recreational or professional, who are diagnosed with over-training?

    Chronically insufficient carbohydrate intake.

    There’s a dark side to this zealotry that never gets discussed on boards because these folks get sick. Really sick from the kind of deprivation advocated by these fad diets. And they never come back because they’re getting medical treatment for borderline, sub-clinical or full-blown eating disorders fueled by this stuff.

  206. Sam permalink
    February 11, 2010

    > I feel bad for you Paleo/low-carb folks. Really, I do. It’s a whole
    > lot of pain and suffering you endure for no good reason. Moreover, I
    > feel terrible for your children, especially if you impose your diet
    > zealotry upon them.

    for ALL of them?

    Even the ones that genuinely (with no self delusion & lying) do better
    on that type of diet?

  207. Sam permalink
    February 11, 2010

    I posted:

    ##Dr. Eades says:
    ##
    ##>> The metabolic advantage brought about by low-carb dieting is
    ##>> probably somewhere in the neighborhood of a 100-300 calories, which
    ##>> isn’t all that much.
    ##
    ##This isn’t very far from what Lyle says, is it? (minus the cussing : )

    to clarify: I think Lyle’s stance is that it’s like 20 calories of ketones lost per day in urine.

    So Lyle is far, but not very far, from Eades.

  208. February 11, 2010

    Alan,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond.

    You are clearly missing my point, so I’ll be more explicit. The papers you cite in favour of your argument are funded by people who stand to benefit from sugar, HFCS or fructose being painted in a positive (or at least not detrimental) light.

    You do yourself (and your arguments) no favours by linking again (as your response) to a paper ([12] in your original list) paid for by Tate & Lyle (the world’s largest sugar producer) which you describe as objective. That piece regurgitates the work of Livesey ([13] in your list) which was in turn paid for by Danisco (the world’s largest fructose producer).

    Even putting that aside, when we look closely at the papers you cite, the analysis (such as there is) is suspect. I’ve given examples above and you even concede that is the case with White.

    The science (not paid for by sugar producers – over 3,000 at last count) says fructose is dangerous because it has metabolic effects to which we are not adapted (and no other foodstuff seems to fall into that category).

    The obvious question then (given your ‘track record’) is:

    Why have you not cited any of the recent human studies which contradict the view perpetuated by the sugar producers (aside from Teff which you dismiss on the grounds of quantity)?

    Cheers
    David.

  209. JLB permalink
    February 11, 2010

    David,

    What good is it for Alan to respond to you if you ignore the research review he just linked refuting your “Fructose = BAD” stance? And he’s the one supposedly remiss here? And I suppose it’s convenient to ignore the research review Michael Miller posted too. Why don’t you post the research you have refuting Alan’s position instead of crowing on and on about funding source. I’m sure that we all would be happy to see the evidence you can present to support your stance. We’re all here to learn, no sense in witholding your secrets.

  210. Sam permalink
    February 12, 2010

    >>> The obvious question then (given your ‘track record’) is:

    No, the obvious question here is why you take the satiation studies that directly disprove your point and either

    1 REFUSE TO answer them

    2 try (in vain) to shift the goalposts to the distant future

    Your theory made a prediction
    The prediction’s been falsified

  211. February 12, 2010

    Sam,

    There’s a definite lag time with the Paleo thing. “Better” is relative. I’ve seen too many folks dig themselves into a spiraling black hole with low-carb/paleo dieting. If you go back three plus years ago, you can find me fingers in ears proselytizing party-line low-carb zealotry on fitness websites. It may take years (it did for me), but there will be an inevitable physiological or psychological backlash. It’s human nature -we crave what we can’t have.

    Moreover, many paleo folks go from pure dietary hedonism to strict asceticism, never experiencing a middle ground. Because the diet “worked” doesn’t mean that it’s the only, let alone ideal path to progress.

  212. Sam permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Oh, please do email Dr. Lustig and ask him to join this debate.

    Do you want to know what side he would come down on?

    hint: In his video he admits that some people can eat sugar all day long and suffer no ill effects.
    hint: when he posted here he specifically said he also considers dose and context of the greatest importance

    hint: he wouldn’t take any side that says “the only safe amount is zero”

    I’m assuming you can take a hint. Might be a very bad assumption, from what I’ve been reading.

  213. JLB permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Is it just me or has David blatantly ignored the evidence everyone has presented to him? I know it’s late, I could just be imagining things.

  214. Sam permalink
    February 12, 2010

    >> blatantly ignored the evidence everyone has presented to him

    Yes, it’s just you. Take your meds. ; )

    hahahahahha ….

    “blatantly ignored” looks correct for his written responses
    & he only responds to Alan
    & seems to have one stock answer

    Ryan: One thing I find VERY interesting is that a vocal fraction of the current paleo crowd was militantly vegan a decade ago.

  215. JLB permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Sam,

    Okay I feel a lot better, meds down the hatch. By the way, that’s funny about the Paleo crowd jumping from one rule-ridden doctrine to the next.

    David,

    How about you cough up this research that refutes Alan’s stance on fructose consumption?

  216. Roy Baty permalink
    February 12, 2010

    David,

    You’re claiming bias due to conflict of interest?

    Where, pray tell, is that bias in the research methods, statistical analysis, or the conclusions of the papers in question?

    Be specific, as most of us here can read and critically analyze research.

    I’d note that while conflicts of interest can and do exist, simply pointing and shrieking “BIAS!” is a load of bullshit otherwise known as a red herring. Demonstrate this bias or stop screaming about it.

  217. February 12, 2010

    Alan, you’re definitely in the same class as Anthony Colpo. Collect x number of scientific studies and you can support any positon. Same goes for any other person. What most people fail to realize is the complex nature of metabolism and that anyone that claims to have “the answer” is arrogant and unteachable. There is always the urge to develop a unified theory of any area when that goal is only possible by ignoring facts that interfere with that theory. Like Einstein once said, “everything should be made as simple as possible…but not simpler.”

  218. Alex permalink
    February 12, 2010

    >> There’s a definite lag time with the Paleo thing.

    Doesn’t seem to have kicked in for me. I went mostly paleo in Sept 2003, went from 190# to 160# in 5 months (at 6’1″, that was pretty skinny) , started going to the gym, and muscled up to 180. A few years into that transformation, I cut out the last little bit of grain and most of the dairy. I find it completely effortless to eat this way. Starchy foods make me sleepy and lethargic, which prompts me to binge on sweets to get my blood sugar back up; it’s why I got fat on a predominantly vegetarian diet that was largely based on whole grains and beans. I now get the carbs I need from vegetables and fruit. My blood sugar stays nice and even, I have energy, I sleep well. It’s ludicrous to suggest that I’m somehow destined to crash and burn because I no longer eat foods that wreak havoc on my endocrine system.

  219. Teddy permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Like any of this even matters. Clearly there are much better foods in our world than HFCS or table sugar. Replacing unnatural sugars with natural foods is of course going to be better.

  220. February 12, 2010

    David Gillespie,

    It is nothing more than intellectual laziness to discount a paper or papers based on funding source alone.

    What people need to understand about study funding is that just because a company funds a study, it does not mean the company had any hands in the actual research or outcomes of the paper.

    I published a study on glutamine supplementtion which was funded by EAS, which sells glutamine as a supplement. However, EAS had absolutely no say on the methodology of the study, the outcomes, or whether or not we published the results. We did publish the results, which were a mix of positive and negative results.

    Should funding source be cause for increased skepticism? Certainly. But it is not a valid reason to dismiss a paper. If a paper is to be dismissed, it should be dismissed on the grounds of its methodology.

    You have a vested financial interest in espousing low-carbohydrate diets given that you sell a book related to this. Does this mean that we should automatically dismiss anything you say based on this reason alone?

    *************
    The science (not paid for by sugar producers – over 3,000 at last count) says fructose is dangerous because it has metabolic effects to which we are not adapted (and no other foodstuff seems to fall into that category).
    **************

    Apparently you have not been reading what Alan has been writing, which is that the dose and context needs to be taken into consideration when discussing fructose.

    Methanol (wood alcohol) is toxic to the human body. However, it is present in all the fruits we eat. Does this mean we should stop eating fruit? Of course not, because the amount of methanol is not high enough to have harmful effects. It’s all about dose and context.

  221. Michael Miller permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Dear Ed,

    You said:

    “Alan, you’re definitely in the same class as Anthony Colpo. Collect x number of scientific studies and you can support any positon. Same goes for any other person. What most people fail to realize is the complex nature of metabolism and that anyone that claims to have “the answer” is arrogant and unteachable. There is always the urge to develop a unified theory of any area when that goal is only possible by ignoring facts that interfere with that theory. Like Einstein once said, ‘everything should be made as simple as possible…but not simpler.'”

    Anthony Colpo really has nothing to do with this, but nice ad hominem. Anyways, you’re correct that its possible to cherry-pick the literature to support your position, and people do it all the time. If you take a look at Alan’s reference list, he included a few reviews and meta-analyses of the literature. You understand what they are, right? And why I would bring them up, right? I also included one a few posts above this one in this comments section. You should read the reviews. The one I posted is the most recent. It is very illuminating.

    While some people enjoy calling him “Alan Arogant [sic]” and others “don’t like the cut of his jib,” everybody knows that he, and James Krieger, realize “the complex nature of metabolism.” Because they understand “the complex nature of metabolism” they don’t claim to “have ‘the answer’.” Instead, like any intellectually honest and open-minded person would do, they look to the body of evidence for “the answer.” They examine the evidence and see in which direction its pointing. They aren’t afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Intellectually honest and intelligent people know that the most credible evidence is contained in the scientific literature (RCTs, reviews, and meta-analyses), more specifically in peer-reviewed journal articles.

    Intellectually dishonest people, however, begin their mission with a conclusion in hand, and then proceed to engage in rationalization, omission, and verbal gymnastics in an attempt to force reality to fit their conclusion.

    Those whom you claim to be “arrogant and unteachable” used to believe all kinds of nonsense. One day they learned how to analyze the literature, examine how one study fits into the bigger picture, and generally think for themselves.

    Once again Ed, I invite you to read the reviews and meta-analyses.

    Cheers,

    Michael Miller

  222. February 12, 2010

    Ted — like, totally, bro.

    Ed — If you actually read the material more carefully, you’ll see that you & I are in agreement on the complexity of the matter, and that oversimplistic black/white statements can’t be made.

    JLB — Yes, David is blatantly ignoring the evidence.

    David — Review James’ response to you regarding funding. Also, you keep mentioning the multitude of non-vested studies refuting my position that the harm of fructose is context & dose-dependent, yet you’ve posted none of it. Mike Miller posted a review in agreement with my position, I’ll re-link it for you to potentially ignore again, but you can’t dismiss it on the basis of sponsorship: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20086073

    I’ll also re-link another lit review that supports my stance, you can ignore this too if you want: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047139

    Sam — I’m a paleovegan warrior.

    All — Thanks for the feedback.

  223. February 12, 2010

    Alan,

    Thank you once again for the reply.

    The American Heart Association released a scientific statement on dietary sugars and their relationship to cardiovascular health in August 2009. You can read it here: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192627

    Of particular note is their final recommendation that an adult male should consume no more than 144 calories (38 g) per day in added sugars (which would be 19g of fructose). They also observed that any alcohol (or discretionary fat) should be deducted from that total (which means drinking one can of full strength [5%] beer would mean you couldn’t eat anything containing sugar that day except fruit – no breakfast cereal, no soft drink, no ketchup and certainly no confectionary).

    They based their recommendation on a multitude of studies but some of the more pertinent ones are listed below.

    Why is it that neither the AHA analysis, nor any of these studies made the cut when you were performing your objective review of the evidence on fructose ‘alarmism’, but almost every review ever performed on behalf of the sugar industry made the list?

    Cheers
    David.

    Bray GA, Nielsen SJ, Popkin BM. Consumption of high-fructose corn
    syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity [published
    correction appears in Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80:1090]. Am J Clin Nutr.
    2004;79:537–543.

    Johnson RJ, Segal MS, Sautin Y, Nakagawa T, Feig DI, Kang DH,
    Gersch MS, Benner S, Sánchez-Lozada LG. Potential role of sugar
    (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic
    syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.
    Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86:899 –906.

    Lê KA, Tappy L. Metabolic effects of fructose. Curr Opin Clin Nutr
    Metab Care. 2006;9:469–475.
    Havel PJ. Dietary fructose: implications for dysregulation of energy
    homeostasis and lipid/carbohydrate metabolism. Nutr Rev. 2005;63:
    133–157.

    Gross LS, Li S, Ford ES, Liu S. Increased consumption of refined
    carbohydrates and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States:
    an ecologic assessment. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;79:774 –779.

    Elliott SS, Keim NL, Stern JS, Teff K, Havel PJ. Fructose, weight gain,
    and the insulin resistance syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;76:911–922.

    Dhingra R, Sullivan L, Jacques PF, Wang TJ, Fox CS, Meigs JB,
    D’Agostino RB, Gaziano JM, Vasan RS. Soft drink consumption and
    risk of developing cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic
    syndrome in middle-aged adults in the community [published correction
    appears in Circulation. 2007;116:e557]. Circulation. 2007;116:
    480–488.

    Stanhope KL, Schwarz JM, Keim NL, Griffen SC, Bremer AA, Graham
    JL, Hatcher B, Cox CL, Dyachenko A, Zhang W, McGahan JP, Seibert
    A, Krauss RM, Chiu S, Schaefer EJ, Ai M, Otokozawa S, Nakajima K,
    Nakano T, Beysen C, Hellerstein MK, Berglund L, Havel PJ. Consuming
    fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases
    visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/
    obese humans. J Clin Invest. 2009;119:1322–1334.

    James J, Thomas P, Cavan D, Kerr D. Preventing childhood obesity by
    reducing consumption of carbonated drinks: cluster randomised controlled
    trial [published correction appears in BMJ. 2004;328:1236].
    BMJ. 2004;328:1237.

    Ebbeling CB, Feldman HA, Osganian SK, Chomitz VR, Ellenbogen SJ,
    Ludwig DS. Effects of decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption
    on body weight in adolescents: a randomized, controlled pilot
    study. Pediatrics. 2006;117:673– 680.
    Hallfrisch J, Reiser S, Prather ES. Blood lipid distribution of hyperinsulinemic
    men consuming three levels of fructose. Am J Clin Nutr.
    1983;37:740 –748.

  224. February 12, 2010

    Hey Alan, it looks like one of your crew is having a hard time sticking to their gunz on the subject. How can you explain recommendations like this with your stance?

  225. February 12, 2010

    Link for post above: http://www.leighpeele.com/carbohydrate-intake-recommendations-for-sensitivity

    Hey Alan, it looks like one of your crew is having a hard time sticking to their gunz on the subject. How can you explain recommendations like this with your stance?

  226. Terry permalink
    February 12, 2010

    As someone who has struggled with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, obesity, hypertension, fatty liver disease…there is no doubt in my mind that I was exposed to harmful levels of refined sugars and carbs, and that my tolerance for those substances is now extremely low.

    All of the above conditions are being successfully treated by low carb dieting: specifically removing sucrose, HFCS, honey, molasses, maple syrup, crystallized fructose, agave nectar, evaporated cane juice or any other refined sweetener from my diet.

    Some of you anti-alarmists in this thread would just label my problems as being a slothful glutton…the typical fat, lazy American. And you’d be wrong.

    A person who works with athletes and fitness freaks may not be alarmed by the effects of refined sugars. But a person who has actually suffered from those effects and who has lost family members to diabetes-related causes…might be considerably more alarmed. Likewise, a doctor/researcher who works with obese toddlers may also be quite alarmed.

    There’s your context.

    Fructose is becoming even more prevalent as “healthy” sweetener with products like Vitaminwater being sweetened by crystalline fructose and organic processed foods being sweetened by agave nectar (which can be much higher in %fructose than sucrose or HFCS). I find that VERY alarming, and I’m thankful that Dr. Lustig is speaking out.

  227. Sam permalink
    February 12, 2010

    DAVID GILLESPIE: I pointed out before you are setting up a straw may by claiming Alan says “eat unlimited sugar”. He wrote no such thing but you continue spouting this nonsense.

    Alan: Watch your calories, watch your sugars, don’t eat too much of either, just be moderate, don’t be hysterical in eating or in avoidance.

    David : “AHA says dont drink 4 cans of pop a day (regardless if you ‘re a young athlete or an old bed-ridden man), Alan doesn’t give a hard and fast number, so Alan is a sugar industry sponsored satan/sugar worshipper”

    HEY DAVID – would it be possible for you to stick your fingers in your ears any harder than they are, or shout llalalalallalalallalal IM NOT LISTENING l;lalalallalallala

    would that be possible?

  228. February 12, 2010

    ************
    Some of you anti-alarmists in this thread would just label my problems as being a slothful glutton…the typical fat, lazy American. And you’d be wrong.
    ***************

    Terry, you are constructing a strawman.

    No one here would label your problems as from being a slothful glutton. No one.

    The only point being made here is that, if someone is going to claim that fructose is extremely harmful, they need to consider the dose and the context. That’s it.

    There’s nothing wrong with reducing sugars in your diet. No one here is saying you shouldn’t do that. But that doesn’t mean that people should be going around claiming that sugar is going to kill you and that it’s extremely harmful. Again it’s about dosage and context.

    **************
    A person who works with athletes and fitness freaks may not be alarmed by the effects of refined sugars. But a person who has actually suffered from those effects and who has lost family members to diabetes-related causes…might be considerably more alarmed. Likewise, a doctor/researcher who works with obese toddlers may also be quite alarmed.

    There’s your context.
    ******************

    And your “context” has been taken out of context and is built around your strawman.

    You talk as if the effects of refined sugars are the same, regardless of the dose. That’s exactly what Alan here is refuting.

    And is there individual variation in people’s response to sugars? Of course. But that doesn’t mean that sugar is this evil thing that should be avoided at all times.

  229. Sam permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Terry:
    I agree with you. I bet a lot of us here do. From one of my posts, re: should you eat more sugar

    >> if “we” is people with insulin resistance who’ve carefully experimented
    >> on their own diets and found they do well on high fat diets and badly
    >> on high carbohydrate, probably you shouldn’t.

    Everyone should be afraid OF THE THINGS THAT PERTAIN TO THEM.

    Scattershot hysteria or mass fear can mis-direct and waste badly needed resources.

    I wondered above about Dr. Lustig’s contention about a pediatric obesity epidemic.

    I don’t believe it because of similar stuff that happened in the past. Example:
    http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2008/09/phantom-epidemic-of-child-diabetes.html

  230. Terry permalink
    February 12, 2010

    @James Krieger – Strawman? Let’s look at the one you just built. You are incorrectly stating that my (and Dr. Lustig’s) position is “sugar is an evil thing that must be avoided at all times.”

    My argmuent is that obesity and diabetes is running rampant, and for the 10’s of millions of Americans who are suffering from impaired glucose metabolism…sugar (and more specifically, fructose) is actually dangerous and should be heavily restricted in their diet.

    Just because fructose is safe for most people at low doses, doesn’t mean that it is safe for all people at the doses that many Americans are consuming it.

  231. February 12, 2010

    Terry, remember, this was your original comment, which is the strawman I was referring to:

    “Some of you anti-alarmists in this thread would just label my problems as being a slothful glutton…the typical fat, lazy American. And you’d be wrong.”

    That’s a strawman. No one here is labeling your problems as that of a slothful glutton.

  232. February 12, 2010

    To add to this discussion, here is a meta-analysis on the effects of dietary fructose on triglycerides in diabetics. The threshold for a triglyceride-raising effect was ~60 grams per day.

    http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/10/1930.long

    This means, even in diabetics, a moderate intake of fructose of less than 60 grams per day is perfectly fine, at least as far as triglycerides are concerned.

  233. Terry permalink
    February 12, 2010

    James, remember, this was your response, which is the strawman I was referring to:

    “And is there individual variation in people’s response to sugars? Of course. But that doesn’t mean that sugar is this evil thing that should be avoided at all times.”

    That’s a strawman. No one is saying that fructose/sugar is this evil thing that should be avoided at all times.

  234. Matt permalink
    February 12, 2010

    “Just because fructose is safe for most people at low doses, doesn’t mean that it is safe for all people at the doses that many Americans are consuming it.”

    This is EXACTLY what Alan and the group is talking about. Dosing. Context. While it may not be fine for a certain group at a certain dose, it’s perfectly fine for another group at that same dose. CONTEXT. CONTEXT. FUCKING CONTEXT.

  235. J.C. CSCS permalink
    February 12, 2010

    @Erik – You are a moron. Leigh’s article is the best I have yet to see on grading your insulin sensitivity and giving a starting point. There is a clear stance on the being against the Taubes and Eades alarmism. You are grasping at straws.

    @Terry – James specifically said dosing matters I don’t know how many times. Stop while you are behind.

  236. February 12, 2010

    David,

    Thanks for your reply :)

    Below is a chart from the AHA paper you linked to. Perhaps you needed to look a little closer at the recommendations and at least report them in their entirety – without omitting context. Notice how the added sugar allowance for active males is 18 tsp. At 4g per tsp, that’s 72 grams. Since sugar is half fructose, this amounts to 36 grams of fructose. Add a couple of fruit servings to this, and you end up with 50 grams, which is exactly what I listed in my article as an approximate upper safe limit for active adults. Let me be clear that I was referring to total dietary fructose per day, not just fructose from added sugar.

    oooooh, sugah!

    And like I said in the article, the applicability of this limit is going to vary according to the individual. But if we were to pick a generalized upper safe limit of daily fructose intake based on the research evidence as a whole, it lands right around the neighborhood of 50 grams. I also qualified this claim by stating that it’s not productive to get hung up on a particular number, because individual requirements vary. With that said, the 50g figure is well within the 50-100g limit listed in this meta-analysis: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18996880, and also well within the 60g limit listed in this other meta-analysis James linked: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19592634

  237. Sam permalink
    February 12, 2010

    >> Perhaps you needed to look a little closer at the recommendations.

    WOW I had actually assumed he reported it correctly, (and even with his mis-reporting he was still off …)

    My bad …

  238. RayCinLA permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Wow… David, is the reporting in your book as inaccurate as it is in your blog posts?

  239. February 12, 2010

    Ray — I wouldn’t call David’s post inaccurate. I’d call it incomplete, since it disregards the range of individual requirements listed in the AHA paper. This purposeful omission of context is done in order to paint a black & white picture. This illustrates the main point of my article. Good job, Dave man.

  240. Roy Baty permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Terry needs to shut the fuck up until he knows what a strawman is.

  241. Terry permalink
    February 12, 2010

    @Matt and @J.C.

    James was trying to fight my strawman with a strawman of his own. Sorry, if I didn’t point that out clearly enough.

    Yes, I think we can all agree that dosing and context is important. In fact, that’s the whole point. The doses of fructose in the American diet have gotten very high, and many people can’t handle it.

    I’m alarmed… so I guess I’m an alarmist. I get alarmed when I see obese teenagers drinking sugary beverages. I get alarmed when I hear diabetic co-workers say they are using agave nectar, because it has a low glycemic index. I get alarmed when my friend is drinking Vitaminwater, because he thinks it’s healthy due to containing natural “fruit sugar” instead of table sugar.

    I guess I just can’t understand why more people aren’t alarmed…

    Oh well, I should know better than to argue nutrition with people…it’s almost as pointless as arguing politics and religion.

  242. Terry permalink
    February 12, 2010

    @Roy Baty – Thanks, I guess I’ll keep talking. I know exactly what a strawman is. A strawman is misrepresenting someone’s argument to make it easier to dismiss. For instance, when James tried to make my argument into “sugar is an evil thing and should be avoided at all times.” That is not my argument, nor is it Dr. Lustig’s. It’s a strawman misrepresentation that is easily knocked down because it is ludicrous.

  243. RayCinLA permalink
    February 12, 2010

    @ Alan:

    “Good job, Dave man” = lmfao, priceless.

    @ Terry:

    What you’re doing is having a hissie fit over the type of sugars people are taking in. Guess what, if they had a goddamn clue about the big picture, they’d be just fine. Once people figure out that TOTAL CARBS matter most, the rest falls into place from there. And yes, I was formerly obese, but not anymore. What happened is I got educated, and I learned that reaching your goals in the long term has nothing to do with “this food = good, that food = bad”. I know this stuff is difficult to grasp, but take your time, the lights will flip on eventually.

  244. February 12, 2010

    Alan,

    You really do indulge me with your time and attention. I appreciate it.

    The AHA make it abundantly clear in the conclusion that they recommend a maximum of 144 calories of added sugar for men and 80 calories for women. Of course there are exceptions for individuals with particularly high calorie burns, but they say their recommendations are for “most American men [and women].”

    If by ‘context’ you mean your article is intended only to apply to individuals consuming 3,000 calories per day (and living an ‘active’ lifestyle as defined by the AHA [walking more than 3 miles per day on top of independent living]) then perhaps you should have said that.

    If that was indeed your intention, then I sincerely apologise for interfering.

    That aside, would you mind answering the question I posed at the end of my last comment:

    “Why is it that neither the AHA analysis, nor any of these studies made the cut when you were performing your objective review of the evidence on fructose ‘alarmism’, but almost every review ever performed on behalf of the sugar industry made the list?”

    Cheers
    David.

    PS The article which James linked to (and you endorsed) was funded by the Coca-Cola Company (among others) and only serves to illustrate my point.

  245. Terry permalink
    February 12, 2010

    @RayCinLA – “I know this stuff is difficult to grasp, but take your time, the lights will flip on eventually.”

    Wow, really Ray? Condescending much? I’m glad you have everything figured out! Heck, if everyone were as smart as you… there wouldn’t be a problem with obesity in America.

    Unfortunately, just last year I had my primary care physician and the nutritionist he sent me to both telling me to go on a low fat/high carb diet to control my cholesterol and triglycerides. Both of them knowing full well that my fasting blood glucose was high.

    There are so many people in the medical/diet/nutrition field that have NOT figured it out. Maybe you could go flip their lights on for them?

  246. February 12, 2010

    David,

    You need to read closer. That study was NOT funded by the Coca-Cola company. The research was supported by a scholarship, two fellowships, and a grant from the Canadian government.

    A TRAVEL grant was funded by the Coca-Cola company, which had nothing to do with the funding of the study itself. This travel funding was provided after the study had already been completed.

    It is repeatedly evident from your posts here that you do not thoroughly investigate things.

    You also ignored my post about study funding, and how it’s not an adequate reason for dismissing a study.

    On top of that, if a potential financial conflict of interest is such a problem for you, then that would mean that everything you say is meaningless as you have a vested financial interest in low-carb diets since you sell a book on them.

  247. Sam permalink
    February 12, 2010

    hey David Gillespie: THANK YOU SO MUCH

    for not answering many of the questions directed at you
    – shows a lot about you

    You again pretend that Alan recommends everyone consume a
    lot of fructose, as if the numbers for active people are
    be applied to everybody.

    This has been your pattern from the start – right after
    your first post I asked

    DG: because fructose (on its own) is not a normal part of our diet, we
    DG: don’t have to worry about substances that include it (such as
    DG: HFCS and Sugar)

    Where did you see that?

    I see stuff like

    AA:

    >> Is it really that groundbreaking to
    >> think that polishing off a half-dozen
    >> soft drinks per day is not a good
    >> idea?

    You continue the pattern throughout, up to and including this last post,

    DG: If by ‘context’ you mean your article is intended only to apply
    DG: to individuals consuming 3,000 calories per day (and living an
    DG: ‘active’ lifestyle

    your reading comprehension leaves much to be desired

    A small sedentary female’s context differs from an active young large male.

    Do you know the meaning of the word context? If you do then apparently you forget what it means when it comes time to type

    On to the AHA paper:

    What’s your point? If anyone had written above

    “small sedentary women can eat a ton of fructose”

    then that paper might have some relevance

    but no one wrote that. Everyone wrote different people should consume different amounts

    I don’t know who you think you’re convincing, but anyone who can read can check up on your distortions all the way through

    Here’s my guess as to your next post:

    “you are an agent of the sugar industry. I bet you’re funded by
    Coca Cola. You say we should all eat 600 grams of fructose per day

  248. JLB permalink
    February 13, 2010

    Oh, how the ignorant have fallen. It’s great to see rationalism deliver the killing blows. Nice work, Alan and colleagues.

  249. Some Guy permalink
    February 13, 2010

    ” Oh, how the ignorant have fallen. It’s great to see rationalism deliver the killing blows. Nice work, Alan and colleagues.”

    You mean reason?

  250. February 13, 2010

    David,

    Please re-read James’ response to you. Not only are you incorrect about the study’s funding source, but your hasty dismissal based on funding source is negligent in the first place. You are working backwards. Instead of investigating the evidence and then drawing conclusions, you’re set on your beliefs, and are on a mission to select evidence that you think supports your personal dogma.

    Regarding the set of papers you cited, I’ll address the RCTs. But before I even go there, do you realize that about half of the studies you cited are published by the ASN, which you discredited for having vested financial interests? Good grief, Dave.

    On with the RCTs.

    — Stanhope, et al: I’ll just re-quote my response to Lustig, “To illustrate the questionability of the dose, 25% of total daily calories coming from these drinks would be roughly 600 calories, which equates to 150 grams of either fructose or glucose. Achieving that total would require a daily intake of 7 cans of nondiet soda. You mean to tell me that drinking 7 cans of nondiet softdrinks per day is a bad idea? Wow, thanks for the enlightenment. According to the text, the average intake of added sugars among Americans is 15.8%. This means that fructose intake is half of that, at 7.9% – about 3 times less than the 25% imposed in this study. Dosage & context, remember?”

    — James, et al: You mean to tell me that when children cut back their caloric intake (in this case from soft drinks), they lose weight? Fascinating.

    — Ebbeling, et al: See my comment above.

    — Hallfrisch, et al. Let’s look at the design of this trial. Would you really put sedentary hyperinsulinemic subjects on a diet consisting of 15% protein, 43% carb, and 42% fat (60% of which was saturated FA), and 5 grams of fiber? I hope you’re beginning to see the lack of relevance here. Also, this study is 27 years old, so I find it funny that you’re having me look at it while you chose to ignore the recent systematic reviews & meta-analyses of RCTs presented in our discussion.

    For the 3rd time, this data has to first be put into context, and then factored into the entire body of evidence, which indeed has been wrung out in the following recent metas & reviews, which all happen to support my stance:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18996880
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19592634
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047139

    I’ll leave you with a quote from the following recent review originally linked by Michael Miller:

    “There is at present not the single hint that HFCS may have more deleterious effect on body weight than other sources of sugar. Regarding the relationship between fructose or sucrose intake and cardiovascular risk factors or type 2 diabetes, the evidence is even sparser. Given the number of confounding variables, there is clearly a need for intervention studies in which the fructose intake of high fructose consumers is reduced to better delineate the possible pathogenic role of fructose. At present, short-term intervention studies however suggest that a high-fructose intake consisting of soft drinks, sweetened juices, or bakery products can increase the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. There is, however, no objective ground to support that moderate intake of fructose, or of fructose consumed with fruits or honey, is unsafe.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20086073

  251. February 13, 2010

    I just made a post expanding upon what’s been said here. Specifically, I address the “fructose makes you fat” concept.

    http://www.thebsdetective.com/2010/02/partial-bullsht-of-day-fructose-makes.html

  252. JLB permalink
    February 13, 2010

    Some Guy,

    I tend to interchange reason and rationality, but I suppose that’s incorrect since rationality doesn’t necessarily require concrete evidence. Is that right? Go ahead and explain the difference, I’m all ears.

    David,

    So far you’ve ignored evidence, omitted evidence, wrote off high-quality research based on funding source, and then falsely assumed funding source. Whatever it takes to stick to your beliefs, I guess. Who needs evidence when you can just *believe*.

  253. Sam permalink
    February 13, 2010

    >> Who needs evidence when you can just *believe*

    How better to maintain a belief (and cowed believers) than to invent vast conspiracies intent on poisoning you and keeping you and your followers in the dark?

  254. Sam permalink
    February 13, 2010

    Thanks to James and Alan for continually pointing out you can’t put your faith in one study.

    As someone who’s done the whole “evil food” thing from Pritikin and Lappé (“diet for a small planet”) on down for 20 years It’s greatly appreciated.

    I’m reading Stanovich at the moment [*] on Mr. Hale’s recommendation.

    Erik:
    >> Hey Alan, it looks like one of your crew is having a hard time
    >> sticking to their gunz on the subject. How can you explain
    >> recommendations like this with your stance?

    Hey Erik – I’m one of your crew (self appointed) and I disagree with you.

    How can you explain my recommendations with your stance?

    Please read my mind and explain (and clearly mark out where you read my mind and where you make things up out of whole cloth – prefix fiction sections with “DG: ” – see some of my above posts to see what I mean)

    And there’s somebody else that disagrees with you too about to post something somewhere to some blog or USENET group or email discussion board or vbulletin forum

    How can you explain their recommendations with your stance?

    [*] I think he teaches a couple of blocks from where I live at U of T – if there’s a course that uses that text I’ll have to take that course some time

  255. February 13, 2010

    So, I had decided that I wasn’t going to post another comment because everything that needed to be said was said already. But then, this completely amazing post showed up on bb.com and I had to show everyone here.

    REMOVE FRUCTOSE entirely from your diet, it is a sort of poison on terms of irritating the endocrine system.
    It triggers fat storage hormone ESTROGEN.
    Detoxifying from fructose is compulsory for normal health.
    This means STRICTLY removing soft drinks HFCS (fructose) laced, STRICTLY all fruits, STRICTLY fruit juices and alcohol (fructose) from diet.
    The very usual reaction to removing fructose from the body is to lose several kg (15kg?) of weight without exercise. Your food cravings will vanish entirely too.

    Try also to remove milk products from your diet (casein triggers estrogen).
    Remove gluten (it triggers estrogen).
    Omega 6 fats can cause allergic reaction (triggering estrogen) – can offset it with omega 3 intake.
    Some veggies have chemicals sprayed on them during growing.
    Washing them is not enough to avoid allergic reaction. Try to cook it instead of eating raw.
    The out of normal reactions are usually caused by allergens in food.
    And many health problems including obesity, stubborn fat, depression are fully traced to Estrogen elevated presence in the body.
    Passion flower, chamomile, damiana, garlic can lower estrogen.
    Drink lots of water, soda water is OK it doesn?t cause allergy.
    Drink green tea for it burns calories and can help you lose weight.
    Green tea will work for you very well after estrogen is vastly lowered.
    After removing products irritating hormonal system there will be a much fewer products to chose from as the food to eat.
    Try to see it positive – this was price to pay for getting healed.
    There is nothing bad in following some narrow path if that is the only way of staying healthy.

  256. Roy Baty permalink
    February 13, 2010

    I’m glad Dr. Lustig and Fred Hahn are here to save us from these horrible fresh fruits that have made us all fat.

  257. February 14, 2010

    Mike M — This is exactly the kind of lunacy that spreads like cancer, thanks to people who write books or give lectures about the evils of [insert your favorite scapegoat food or nutrient].

    Sam — I think Erik’s IQ would break into the double digits if he studied & learned the definition of the straw man fallacy.

    All — Thanks once again for the feedback.

  258. February 14, 2010

    Alan,

    I see that you have grasped my point. Just like Lustig, the AHA has indeed reviewed all the evidence (not just the evidence paid for by the sugar industry).

    The conclusion they reached was also similar to that reached by Lustig: fructose is dangerous and Americans need to drastically reduce their intake. The conclusion is not alarmist. It is prudent.

    You on the other hand appear to have reviewed only the evidence produced by the sugar industry. In that ‘context’ you have arrived at a recommendation which is approximately three times higher than the AHA recommendation for most American men and five times higher than for women.

    I see little point discussing the matter further, so this will be my last comment on this thread. I do however wish to extend my sincere thanks for the courtesy you have shown in constantly responding to my comments. It was very much appreciated.

    Cheers
    David.

  259. Some Guy permalink
    February 14, 2010

    JLB, you got it. Rationalists don’t start w/ concrete evidence, but take some ideas as “given” and just run from there.

    Anyway, this article has been very informative.

  260. February 14, 2010

    Tried to embed a good video clip, but it didn’t work. Here we go again.

    Just in case, here is the URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3zbm-Hcwl4

    Notice all of the negative comments…fructose alarmism at its best ;)

  261. February 14, 2010

    DB — Frickin’ hilarious. Illustrates the point perfectly.

    Some Guy — Glad you liked the material. I’m gonna guess that you’re a professor or researcher by trade. Am I right? I’m just curious, thanks.

  262. February 14, 2010

    I’m not sure which AHA paper David Gillespie is referring to, but it’s certainly not the one by the American Heart Association.

    Must be the one by the Association of HFCS Alarmists

  263. February 14, 2010

    ^^^LMFAO!!!^^^

  264. February 14, 2010

    I guess this is mostly in response to Ryan Zielonka – but also anyone else re: the Japanese Diet…

    Living in Japan 7 years out of the last 10 – in Kyushu/Fukuoka – I’m going to have to disagree a bit with some earlier assertions. While yes, I do agree it’s incorrect to state that the Japanese diet has no added fructose – that’s clearly incorrect – it seems to me, and lots of folks I’ve lived with and around – that the Japanese diet consumes far less processed carbs and sugar than the Western diet.

    Shoot, one of the first things I, my wife and others things often commented when we first got here with the ubiquitous pastry shops is how much lighter and less sweet their wares are compared to the west. Folks I’ve shared “American” chocolate with, for example, often complain to me that it is too sweet for the “Japanese” taste.

    The staples of the Japanese diet are still , in my experiences, seafood, miso, sea vegetables, fermented vegetables and massive, massive amounts of rice. But they do eat fruit. Man, when it’s mikan season, it seems like that’s all they eat. [I kid.] But they tend to eat seasonally. Not constantly.

    People are far less likely to spend the day sucking down HFCS colas – in fact the first few times I popped open soda cans at my desk people thought I’d brought beer to work, so uncommon is the regular drinking of cokes and whatnot… but they do drink down bottle after bottle and thermos after thermos of green tea [and cup after cup of black coffee.] By that alone, I can’t see how there’s any way Japan consumes more HFCS [percentage wise] than the US, giving the sheer amount of liquid sugar via soda the US puts away.

    Tabehodai’s and nomihodai’s are, for most folks, not regular affairs. As opposed to the weekly or bi-weekly Golden Corral all-you-can-eat [plus all the sweet tea you can drink] buffets of my American youth.

    In Japan where the husband only works and the single income family is still the norm – and even where the Mrs works, she’s still expected to have meals on the table like a good little “homemaker” – nutritious, whole foods are provided to at least the wives and children constantly – overwhelmingly, amongst the students I teach and my co-workers, breakfast everyday remains “rice and miso soup.” I would argue that most Japanese, in daily practice, DO in fact eat far healthier than the “average American.”

    Bakeries, Starbucks and the konbini culture do exist, as do ‘drinking till you pass out pub crawls’ – but all mostly service the salaryman culture. Which is one of the reasons in the last 3-4 years there’s been a huge push by the government to reign in what it sees as its “metabo” [metabolic syndrome] epidemic – led by the businessman population. As some Japanese begin to eat more processed, garbage, HFCS infused, artificial foods – the SAD, sadly – they’re beginning to have the same problems as the elsewhere. The more folks move away from the traditional diet to the processed Western junk food diet, the fatter they’re getting.

    I do agree that Japanese culture has much more walking and physical activity than in America though.

  265. February 14, 2010

    David,

    I felt it was important to respond to each of your contentions because you’re exactly the type that can effectively spread misinformation. You’re articulate & well-mannered. However, you’re also unobjective. And that’s the problem.

    For example, you’ve been shown various studies pooling together the body of controlled reasearch and arriving at a safe dose of fructose that’s in line with what I mentioned in my article. In response, you called foul due to funding source. I & others explained the folly of that, and you ignored us. You’re probably still in denial that you’re wrong about the funding source of the study James linked indicating a 60g threshold, and I bet you’re also going to ignore the review posted by Michael Miller, as well as the rest of the evidence.

    Also, you have to realize that the AHA’s paper is just one of several scientific reviews on this topic. Therefore, it in and of itself is not the Gospel. Like any other review, it’s needs to be factored into the body of research as a whole. But even looking at the AHA’s recommendations in isolation, they STILL don’t support your stance. Pay attention and take notes…

    The AHA’s added sugar recommendations are based on the assumption that added sugars will comprise half of your ‘discretionary kcals’, which are miscellaneous, flexible kcals that can technically can come from ANY proportion of added sugar, solid fat, or alcohol [Note: the idea of discretionary kcals boggles the mind of absolutists who have no grasp of dietary flexibility].

    The discretionary allotment for an active male is 512 kcal, and a sedentary one is 290 kcal. The average of this is 401 kcal. Technically, it wouldn’t violate the AHA’s recommendations if someone’s entire discretionary kcals came from sugar, which in the case of 401 kcals is about 100g, which equates to 50g fructose, which brings us right back to the exact number I listed as the upper safe limit in my original article. Here’s the kicker: if we were to look at the entirety of the research, that 50g limit is actually towards the lower end.

    Feel free to re-read the above, as well as everyone’s responses to your comments. Despite your articulate delivery, you have tenaciously ignored the facts.

  266. February 14, 2010

    Rob — Thanks for sharing your experience. Also, thanks for acknowledging the error of the claim that there’s no added sugar in the Japanese diet. That point was asserted very clearly by Lustig, and it’s still incorrect, even when considering the party-holic & non-party-holic sides of the Japanese lifestyle spectrum.

  267. February 14, 2010

    Bearing in mind that Lustig is a paediatrician and he’s probably seen loads of kids that have been fed excess calories for so long that they’re now obese, I can understand why he’s worried about fructose.

    Kids on permanently hypercaloric diets have permanently full livers. As fructose enters liver cells via Glu-T5 transporters which are insulin-independent, the liver is effectively force-fed fructose and has to dispose of the excess by lipogenesis which leads to NAFLD, high TGs etc etc. Paté, anyone?

    As glucose enters liver cells via Glu-T2 transporters which are insulin-dependent, the liver can down-regulate these becoming insulin-resistant thus shutting off the source.

  268. February 14, 2010

    Yeah, in the ‘modern’ Japanese diet there’s certainly a bit of added fructose/sugars/hfcs.

    I think part of the problem is that when people talk about the “Japanese diet” though they’re not really talking about what average salaryman-guy circa 2010 is eating. They’re generally talking about the “traditional” Japanese/Okinawan diet. In that case then there is very little fructose, and outside of fruit, really none at all…

  269. Some Guy permalink
    February 14, 2010

    “Some Guy — Glad you liked the material. I’m gonna guess that you’re a professor or researcher by trade. Am I right? I’m just curious, thanks.”

    Close. Actually I’m an analyst in the energy industry. However, I did bioengineering research in my undergraduate. It’s not much I know, but I do have some understanding of what’s going on here. Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that philosophy is inescapable and how ideas shape our lives. Still learning as always.

    Evading facts and spreading misinformation (as opposed to honest inquiry, were we will make mistakes) is bad enough, but when you have a government that feels it has the right to interfere and regulate what people eat and how they live and so on, it can become that much worse.

    Ironically enough, I recently chatted with another “Rob” who lives in Japan and he too said they don’t eat a whole lot of sugar. *Shrug*

  270. February 14, 2010

    I took issue with Lustig’s very specific claim that there’s no added sugar in the Japanese diet. Like I said, this implies that there’s no semblance of dessert foods or sauces that contain sugar. This is simply not true, even with Okinawans. Obviously, “less than American consumption” doesn’t automatically equate to “none”. The latter assumption leads people to brand foods as good or evil, and then the cascade of unfounded claims follows from there.

  271. February 14, 2010

    Nigel — that’s fine to be worried about kids’ excess consumption of soft drinks and candy. However, there’s a far bigger issue with the nutrient-sparse calorie surplus they provide rather than their fructose content per se. It really boils down to teaching people the big picture while putting fructose into proper context, versus having people zero in on fructose per se and lose sight of the big picture completely.

  272. Saluki permalink
    February 14, 2010

    With all the health statistics as bad as they are, what is wrong with alarmism? I felt that Dr. Lustig’s video was appropriate in every way. It chose a specific topic and presented it in detail. It sounds unreasonable to expect the entire big picture to be painted in one lecture. Professors do not present the whole semester of material on the first day.

    The video did not reference any specific dosage amounts. The moderation argument is like saying please drink a little alcohol but not too much. If you drink too much you might kill someone, but please drink at least some. What is wrong with complete avoidance?

    Dr. Lustig clearly wants people to stop eating fructose. Listening to him, I see his intention as the good health of people. This opposition sees attack against industry, and the negative if people no longer wanted sugar. You detect a threat. The gangrenous foot not wanting to be cut off. Do you want people to continue eating sugar? Looking at all this work, it sounds like yes. Why follow the same authorities that got us here in the first place, the same people that control what goes into the grocery stores, and say things like you eat too much, you move too little. It must be your fault, even though people are in trouble everywhere. Sugar is safe.

  273. Craig permalink
    February 14, 2010

    “You know, I get a kick out of knowing I can maintain sub-10% bodyfat (despite being a former fat boy with shitty genetics and thyroid issues) on frozen pizza, Starbucks’ mochas, cookies, rice, Gatorade, and Chinese buffets only by obeying the laws of thermodynamics.
    I was actually FATTER when I did the Paleo-tard/low-carb thing, which I followed strictly for close to two years. I avoided HFCS like the plague and used practically zero condiments.
    Why was I fatter? Because inevitably I’d blow my diet when I wanted some starch or was put into a situation where I had no other option. And instead of a sane serving I’d demolish boxes of cereal and anything resembling sugar because 97% of the time I deprived myself of it.
    I feel bad for you Paleo/low-carb folks. Really, I do. It’s a whole lot of pain and suffering you endure for no good reason. Moreover, I feel terrible for your children, especially if you impose your diet zealotry upon them.
    I’ll take my moderated starch, sugar, and HFCS intake with a side of abs any day over the stress associated with any asinine mainstream eating guidelines.”

    Ryan thanks for sharing your personal experience. For over 2.5 years Ive been following a low carb diet, excluding as much HFC as possible basically anything remotely unhealthy got the flick. It’s only until I’ve recently read the work of Leigh Peele, Alan Aragon, and Lyle Mcdonald that I’ve decided to change my stance, and for my own sanity, as the way I was eating before made me miserable, but I soldiered on because I thought it was the right and only way to go! I feel I was slowly heading into a downwards spiral leading to an eating disorder. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given myself a free pass to eat like crap, I think its all about moderation at the end of the day. Guys, this thread has been an amazing eye opener, and may we continue to learn.

  274. Roy Baty permalink
    February 15, 2010

    Saluki,

    That’s right. The last thing people need more of these days is fresh fruit.

    Good post, bro.

  275. Sam permalink
    February 15, 2010

    >> what is wrong with alarmism?

    The Ancel Keys mistake , part deux.

    The new blockbuster Coming this summer to a screen near you.

    Starring Charlie Sheen as Ancel Keys, firing a rubber chicken into the heart of, well, heart disease (allegorcally of course)

    Sorry if you don’t get the references.

    Actually, the hysteria would have be Ancel Keys’ second intentional mistake, if you believe some reports that he maliciously manufactured (or picked) his datasets, completely apart from the flawed analysis Lustig talks about.

    And at the local drive in’s second feature, Clint Eastwood in “any which way but liver disease”, co-starring Clyde, the organg-utan used in the fructose experiments.

  276. February 15, 2010

    ************
    With all the health statistics as bad as they are, what is wrong with alarmism?
    ****************

    The same reason that “fat alarmism” was bad in the 1980’s-1990’s …… it lead to irrational fears of fat and extreme diets

  277. Matt permalink
    February 15, 2010

    “With all the health statistics as bad as they are, what is wrong with alarmism?”

    With the crime rate as bad as it is, what’s wrong with firing a gun wildly into a crowd? I’ll probably kill some criminals.

  278. Sam permalink
    February 15, 2010

    >> The same reason that “fat alarmism” was bad in the 1980’s-1990’s ……
    >> it lead to irrational fears of fat and extreme diets

    What may be worse, IMHO is the mistaken belief that the mis-directed resources give the impression that you’re “DOING SOMETHING to FIX THE PROBLEM”

    and 20 years later you’re further behind than when the new-new- EVIL FOODZ were identified.

  279. February 15, 2010

    Hey guys, let’s start the anti-protein movement together. It will give me an excuse to eat more fettuccini Alfredo.

    I’ll begin by harping about protein’s harmful effect on bone. Who wants to cover its harmful effect on the kidneys?

    Protein = bad. Can you dig it?

  280. Sam permalink
    February 15, 2010

    >> Protein = bad. Can you dig it?

    here’s a “scientific” stance:

    If you eat a lot of protein your body CANNOT use all of it

    It destroys the excess dietary protein

    In so doing, your body up-regulates protein destruction enzymes.

    Then if you go one day without protein those enzymes have to do something, so your body consumes or IOW catabolizes a ton of muscle.

  281. Pete Brown permalink
    February 15, 2010

    The part that I can’t stop laughing about (and there is a few good ones on here) is when I look at the April 2009 edition of AARR, there is a review of the very study (Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans.) the good doc uses as his golden pass to being correct.

    This statement is at the end of Alan’s review: “the lay fitness media will inevitably misapply the study conclusions without knowing the irrelevance of the study design.” and goes on to say how unfortunate it is that they will blame a few servings of fruit.

    Alan it’s almost sad, you predicting the future like that, just wouldn’t have thought we would see a Doc be so ignorant.

    Amazing information. Laughed my ass off all while crying a little for the ignorant.

  282. Saluki permalink
    February 16, 2010

    Someone comes forward and says don’t eat this or that and you will avoid most of the diseases of civilization and do pretty well for yourself. But this can’t be right, it’s too simple. Nutrition is so much more complicated today. If you want to get healthy and change your life you have to spend the time to educate yourself with all the science and research or pay someone who has already done it. He knows his stuff. He has your ticket through the pitfalls. The hell with that. The pitfalls and the tour guide are friends. No pitfalls, no tour guide. Eating healthy is no more complicated than it was when people actually were eating healthy. Most of the people who never had to deal with our common diseases didn’t even know what a macronutrient was. Now when someone says I know an easier way through the mountains, just follow the path and you can’t go wrong, no guessing how the competition is going to feel. Survival motivates all. Things may not go so well if someone popularizes a few simple guidelines. People just might actually start to get better, and have no more need for the intricacies of big picture balancing acts. Sure other diets work. Beautiful bodies still die of cancer and heart disease too.

    Lets stop eating protein and die. Lets stop eating fat and die. I didn’t know that fructose was an entire macronutrient and that you could die if you stopped eating it.

    “…what’s wrong with firing a gun wildly into a crowd? I’ll probably kill some criminals.” Sounds like a good idea if you know who the criminals are. But I know, it’s best to learn to live with the criminals, and turn the other cheek.

  283. February 16, 2010

    Saluki — I just put some brown sugar in my coffee. And I bet I’ll outlive you.

  284. InkedUP permalink
    February 16, 2010

    Looks like somebody got Bro-pwned.

  285. February 16, 2010

    I have some additional ideas for Saluki.

    Why go halfassed with your dietary asceticism? Why stop at cutting out sugar? There are other dietary evils, you know. Cholesterol and saturated fat might give you a heart attack, so make sure you cut them out. While you’re at it, avoid salt completely as well. Your circulatory system will rejoice.

    If you can eliminate all of these things, you’ll be much better off than anyone who halfasses their extremism. Because, you know, there’s no such thing as cutting back or moderating intake; you have to cut it out altogether in order to achieve true dietary self-righteousness.

    Also, don’t scroll up and read the research I cited on the adverse potential of inflexible eating practices. You might actually learn something, and education can be a very harmful thing because it actually forces you to use your brain. The horror.

  286. Preston permalink
    February 16, 2010

    I know this a little off the point of Lustig’s whack presentation but I have noticed the whole issue of the paleo camp vs. Aragon/McDonald keeps popping up and I don’t necessarily see a conflict if people aren’t freaks about it.

    I have remained flexible while eating mostly paleo-based and it has worked great. I’m not an ascetic or extremely low-carb. I just emphasize quality animal proteins and fats, eliminate most processed food and frankenoils, rarely eat grains/wheat, and lead a pretty active lifestyle. The result is that I mostly eat nutrient-dense quality foods and have seen drastic improvements in body comp, general health, and mood. People regularly guess my age is 10 years younger than it is. I highly doubt Alan would argue against this approach if it’s working for me- please correct me if I’m wrong Alan.

    I’m not deluded into thinking this will work for everyone and I don’t go around preaching the paleo bible to those who aren’t interested or disagree with the approach- waste of time and energy!

    I think the 80/20 rule is fine, for me it’s probably 90/10 because I just don’t crave stuff anymore and feel great. But regardless, I find no conflict in the way I eat versus the positions of Alan and Lyle. I don’t obsess over minutia nor do I get neurotic about food. It seems what they take issue with are the paleo-cult wackos who swear that everyone on the planet is gluten intolerant, that it is blasphemy to eat a white potato instead of a yam, and that there is no other way to eat if you want to have optimal health. Include in that wacko camp, anyone who claims that fructose is evil, makes outright false statements about it, and then can only appeal to authority via his youtube hit count when challenged on the veracity of his claims :)

    Great post Alan- I am subscribing to your journal and really dig the approach! Keep up the good work.

  287. Jonathan permalink
    February 16, 2010

    Quite an interesting read. I got about half way through the posts and am kind of surprised to see that in all the arguments about sugar (in it’s various forms) and caloric intake correlating to or causing obesity, I didn’t see any comments about the endocrine response to sugars. It would seem to me that this is a vital consideration when discussing carbohydrate intake. It was mentioned (if I recall correctly) that fructose doesn’t elicit an insulin response, and consequently can lead to overeating. From what I understand, when the insulin/glucagon axis is skewed toward chronically high insulin levels the body will store, as opposed to use, bodyfat. Also, eating high-glycemic index carbs causes a insulin spike, which often leads to further ingestion of sugars to counter the following low blood sugar. Surely a low insulin response to a dietary sugar would be favorable to a large spike in terms of how that carbohydrate gets utilized by the body. While calories in vs. out must be a part of the formula changing body composition, it seems to me that it is the hormonal environment (endocrine, paracrine, autocrine) that will largely determine whether fat or muscle is affected by the calorie deficit or surplus. It is in this respect that HFCS-laden products tend to be more of a culprit in obesity than fibre and fructose- containing foods. IE. 50 grams of carbohydrates from soda will have a more detrimental effect on body composition than 50 grams of carbohydrates from an apple.
    What are you thoughts?

  288. Sam permalink
    February 17, 2010

    Alan:
    >> Saluki — I just put some brown sugar in my coffee. And I bet I’ll outlive you.

    I’m glad you found your way through that post.

    I came away with the vague sense of extremism but it was so loaded with backtracking and qualification I couldn’t decide whether he was trying to push zero protein like you suggested, or whether he was doing a parody or some other … something

  289. February 17, 2010

    @ Preston – great post! I think you are a prime example of someone who follows a certain pattern of eating but doesn’t obsess or become mortaly offended when something doesn’t mesh with your nutritional choices. I think it’s important for people to do what works best for them and be able to keep an open mind and continue to let the information permeate as it comes in. I can’t speak for Alan, but I’m pretty sure he’d be on board with your thoughts.

  290. February 19, 2010

    Whassup, y’all. I’ve been up to my ears in alligators, I’ll get to these Q’s at some point today.

  291. February 20, 2010

    Sam — I think Saluki went kaputzky after I challenged him to go full-task with his ideology.

    Jonathan — While the body is influenced by hormonal systems in various ways, the acute & chronic flux of insulin has much less influence on body composition than people assume. Give this a read: http://www.maxcondition.com/page.php?152

    Preston — If you’re subscribed to AARR, check out the December 2009 issue where I take an in-depth look at Paleo dieting. From what I’m gathering about your habits, it’s more just eating sensibly rather than eating speculatively. There comes a point where a looser adaptation of the popular paleo principles becomes, in practice, eating less processed foods. This is something I don’t disagree with.

  292. February 22, 2010

    In all the research that I have done, and it is substantial, Dr. Lustig seems to be the only person that takes that stance on HFCS. While I include his video at my website, I do not espouse his theories.

    As most know, it’s a good idea to consume as little sugar, in any form, as possible. Unfortunately, we seem to be consuming about 170 pounds per person each year.

  293. February 23, 2010

    Here you all go:

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/2/1/5

    “For thousands of years humans consumed fructose amounting to 16–20 grams per day, largely from fresh fruits. Westernization of diets has resulted in significant increases in added fructose, leading to typical daily consumptions amounting to 85–100 grams of fructose per day. The exposure of the liver to such large quantities of fructose leads to rapid stimulation of lipogenesis and TG accumulation, which in turn contributes to reduced insulin sensitivity and hepatic insulin resistance/glucose intolerance. ”

    And they mean eating ad libitum.

    “In conclusion, emerging evidence from recent epidemiological and biochemical studies clearly suggests that the high dietary intake of fructose has rapidly become an important causative factor in the development of the metabolic syndrome. There is an urgent need for increased public awareness of the risks associated with high fructose consumption and greater efforts should be made to curb the supplementation of packaged foods with high fructose additives.”

  294. February 23, 2010

    “Whether you’re sitting on the side of the lay-public like Hahn, or occupying a seat in the ivory tower like Dr. Lustig, when you play with theoretical fire you’re bound to get empirically burned.”

    It is not we who are being burned Ryan. We’re the ones who are out in the trenches helping people become stronger and healthier on a daily basis.

    You’re comments regarding over training fail to consider the typical person whom you don’t appear to understand. Yes – if you endeavor to train everyday you need more carbs than usual since chronic exercise training is not a usual human condition. It’s why field laborers can eat a stack of flapjacks a be no worse for the wear body fat wise.

  295. Sherrie permalink
    February 24, 2010

    I don’t think sugars or fructose are evil and are somewhat needed if active, I personally never found very low carb to be sufficient for weights.

    But I do think there is an issue with fructose but not necessarily for the same reasons and because of this I was a bit surprised when Dr Ludwig suggested that consuming glucose with fructose is worse.
    From my understanding of fructose malabsorption (not fructose intolerance) it is actually the opposite and is important that you consume equal if not higher amounts of glucose to help in the digestion of fructose (and fructans found in wheat and some vegetables) otherwise it is left to bacteria which can cause a whole host of digestive and other symptoms.
    It is suggested that it is quite common particularly amongst Europeans and is very important in the management of IBS but is not well recognised. A lot of people have issues with wheat and blame it on gluten but its possibly often a fructan issue. IBS type symptoms and anxiety (both symptoms of fructose malabsorption) seem common amongst overweight/obese people and perhaps why they often feel better on a low carb diet though can’t always stick to it. Mind you, some fructans are still found in low carb vegetables and they can also be made by bacteria.

    Anyway, obviously not an issue for everyone, just wanted to mention it as I don’t see it mentioned :)

  296. February 24, 2010

    Fred Hahn brought his classic carbophobic flair (here), which was well-rebutted by Mike Howard (here) and Leigh Peele (here).

    Oh please. Jesus H. Alan you are a coward.

  297. Sam permalink
    February 25, 2010

    Fred Hahn – Gary Taubes is not god, Eades is not the Holy Ghost, you are not John the Baptist and Atkins is not Jesus

    GCBC is not the bible.

    please look up “confirmation bias”

    then look up extremism and monomania.

    Good luck and godspeed (although your confirmation bias will likely make that read “garyspeed”)

  298. Sam permalink
    February 25, 2010

    >>> In all the research that I have done, and it is substantial,
    >>> Dr. Lustig seems to be the only person that takes that
    >>> stance on HFCS.

    I’ve been seeing fructose demonization for a while. No links handy,
    but it’s been a recurrent background theme.

  299. February 25, 2010

    Fred — Don’t be hatin’. What’s wrong with having “classic carbophobic flair”? I think it’s entertaining, and even endearing at times.

  300. Peter S. permalink
    February 25, 2010

    I suppose you could say I’m neutral on this. I’ve have for some time lived by the motto that everything depends on context. I find that it holds true in no matter what area of life you look, whether it’s politics or science, context will always determine the outcome. However I don’t feel that Dr. Lustig was that bad of a lecturer, or particularly alarmist. I do see the concern raised when no specific limit on what is or isn’t acceptable consumption is given, but what nobody seems to be denying is that high consumption of fructose is bad for you. Now before I saw his talk, I drank one glass of orange juice (with pulp) a day, and I will continue to do so. I see nothing wrong with that, and there was nothing wrong with our fructose consumption 50 years ago. This is somewhat indirectly stated when he talked about how our sugar consumption really started to skyrocket in the 80’s with the low fat diets, and it’s correlation with obesity. Whether we’re dealing with cause or causation, our sugar intake 50 years ago correlated with acceptable obesity levels.

    But more to the point, while I can see the concern of alarm, I do feel that there was a bit of undue nitpicking. The whole no fructose Japanese diet spiel for example; I feel this was the result of a bit of miss-communication. I for one, thought he was talking about the Japanese diet, diet; not the diet of current day Japanese. After all he was presenting it alongside another diet, the Atken’s diet. Other posters have commented in a quite a bit of detail on the subject already so I don’t think we need to go over it again, but the ancestral Japanese didn’t have sources of refined sugars available to them, and they really weren’t exposed to them until they’re borders were forced open in the 1800’s (which speaking of context is a very interesting case for how industrialization has caused the age of puberty in humans to drop, once industrialization occurred in Japan, the age for puberty dropped from approximately 20 years to 10 years over the course of 5 decades). That’s not to say their diet completely excluded fructose, but I think we can forgive the doctor for a bit of hyperbole.

    I do disagree completely when you say that he did not take glucose into account in his examples. He used three examples, two pieces of white bread, a shot of makers mark, and a glass of orange juice. Now according to him, those are all worth 120 Cal. He runs with the assumption that the bread is 100% glucose (never directly stated as an assumption but I doubt any white bread is 100% glucose) and shows how only about 20% reaches the liver. Most of it goes to glycogen, some of it goes to ATP, and even less of it goes to VLDL. The makers mark is for the most part pure alcohol, so there really is no glucose to speak of there. And for the orange juice, he does talk about how it’s a 50/50 split of glucose and fructose, and how again, about 80% is taken away by the organs and muscles, which leaves 20% of the glucose and 100% of the fructose to the liver. At that point he points out that we’re dealing with almost 3 times as much calories to the liver as with the two slices of bread, which, as he puts it, is the rub; it’s a volume issue, for now (a somewhat ambiguous qualifier that he never explains further).

    I will admit that there is one part of his example that has me thinking. He shows the downgrading of ATP to ADP with both glucose and fructose, and yet only really mentions it with fructose. Perhaps this is because we are, again, dealing with 3 times as much calories reaching the liver, and that the smaller quantity of glucose in his first example might not trigger the phosphate scavenge mechanism that results in uric acid. Somehow I don’t think that’s the case though, but it is hard to fit in everything in only an hour and a half, so I don’t think it’s warrants too much of a concern; but it is a discrepancy I noticed. Although if he had spent a bit less time on his corporate conspiracy and politics bits, maybe he could have embellished on the chemistry a bit more and have put to rest some of your concerns. Not to say all of his talk on the politics was pointless, I felt that how he explained that the FDA and USDA will not touch fructose highlighted the fact that it’s up to the individual to control his own sugar consumption. I would think, though, that a pediatrician would find corporate conspiracy and politics to be shaky ground.

    All in all though, I feel that there is much more in which Alan and Dr. Lustig agree than disagree. Alan’s biggest concern were that the doctor was creating alarm, not the chemistry. Too much sugar is bad for you, and fructose chemistry is different than glucose chemistry, nobody here seems to really be denying this, and really the doctor’s talk was not about the specifics of the Japanese diet or the Atken’s diet, or about the politics that may or may not be the root cause of the obesity epidemic, but about the fact that our sugar consumption has grown to a level where we should be concerned about it’s effects. To the doctor’s credit, before I saw his talk I was completely unaware of the dangers of consuming lots of sugar. I’d always known it was empty calories, but now I know that it can be worse than that. I’m still going to drink my glass of orange juice in the morning, but now I’m going to think more about whether or not I should keep buying that excessively sugary cereal.

    And to David Gillespie, I’m afraid I’m on the side of Alan, most of the posters here, and Dr. Lustig, all of whom agree that there is no significant difference between HFCS and sucrose. You can’t just conclude that there is bad science simply because some of the funding came from suspect sources. Most science wouldn’t occur at all if people who weren’t interested in the subject didn’t fund it. Often, whether or not a venture is made at all depends on the feasibility of the science, so the corporations funding the studies have a vested interest in it being good science, as whether or not they should invest money on it is on the line.

  301. February 26, 2010

    “Fred — Don’t be hatin’. What’s wrong with having “classic carbophobic flair”? I think it’s entertaining, and even endearing at times.”

    Because you choose to misrepresent my position in order to serve yourself and feed you followers – something I would never do to you.

    If anything it is a excess insulin phobia.

    Let me ask you this and i’d like an honest, man-to-man, response. Did you actually read Good Calories Bad Calories cover to cover and if so, do you feel you comprehended all of what Gary was saying? I am on the third read through of it and am STILL learning from it. There are many concepts that shot by me the first read through.

    My feeling is that neither you nor James or even Lyle actually too k the time to read the book in it’s entirely with an open mind.

    And the fact that you call me carbophobic indicates that you have not read either of my books either.

    Sam, you’re a troll. Aren’t you aware of this Alan?

  302. Thad permalink
    February 26, 2010

    The studies you site suggesting fructose doesn’t stimulate appetite are short-term. Lustig explains how chronic consumption increases FFAs and TGs, which blunts the effect of leptin, therefore increasing hunger. He also explain how fructose also triggers insulin resistance and inflammatory response in the liver. Hardly benign.

  303. February 26, 2010

    Peter — Very nice post. I don’t disagree with most of it.

    Sam — lulz. You have a way with words.

    Fred — let me direct you to this post: http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/02/19/a-retrospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/#comment-1438

    Thad — I agree with you that a gross chronic excess of fructose consumption is a bad idea. As is a gross chronic excess consumption of anything else.

  304. Preston permalink
    March 2, 2010

    @Mike Howard: Thanks man- I’ve found that with so much nutritional extremism around, a dose of sanity, moderation, and flexibility is needed!

    @Alan: I did subscribe to the journal and read the 12/09 article and many others- good stuff (had some issues with my paypal account being outdated so i’ll be needing to resubscribe next month). I also have dug into your archives and Lyle’s forum because I have terminal science-geekitis and wanted to get the full version of the argument against ‘paleotards’ :)

    On further reflection, I think it is inaccurate and unnecessary to call the way I eat ‘paleo’ and will just stick to ‘emphasis on whole, minimally processed nutrient-dense foods within my caloric needs and with some flexibility’. It doesn’t have quite as nice of a ring to it but I find myself now completely unassailable by the upholders of science and a level 45 dragonslayer. As a corollary, I would like to publicly state that I have never owned/worn Vibram five fingers. I like to do deadlifts in my paleo Chuck Taylors though. Have an ice day.

  305. March 2, 2010

    Preston — You sound like a good bro. I wouldn’t say you’re a Paleopud either (credit: Mike Miller for the term). Thanks in advance for straightening out your Paypal situation… Have an Ice day :)

  306. Rourke D. permalink
    March 3, 2010

    Without speaking to Dr. Lustig’s claims themselves, I would simply like to counter the strawman I have seen set up repeatedly in this thread.

    Specifically, Dr. Lustig’s statement that the Japanese diet “eliminates fructose” must be taken in the context of his entire lecture. He later clarifies this statement by arguing that the Japanese did not consume exogenous fructose until “we” (Americans) brought it to them after World War II in the form of sucrose. Since then, of course, particularly since the invention of high fructose corn syrup, the Japanese have happily incorporated exogenous sources of fructose into their diets. In other words, Dr. Lustig is saying that the traditional Japanese diet eliminates fructose but that the modern Japanese diet increasingly includes fructose, resulting in a concomitant rise in obesity in that country.

    Those of you who are scoffing that in fact Japanese do consume vast amounts of fructose are not only missing the point, you are essentially arguing his point for him.

    Feel free to attack Dr. Lustig’s premise on scientific grounds, but attacking him with a strawman is intellectually dishonest.

  307. March 4, 2010

    Rourke — You seem to be interested in ignoring the errors Lustig made regarding the facts that 1) the Japanese diet does NOT “eliminate fructose” regardless of historical era, 2) fruits do NOT universally have “way more fiber” than fructose, 3) claiming a causal relationship between fructose intake and the rise in Japanese obesity rates is false because of a multitude of other obesogenic factors that occurred during the same time period, and 4) Lustig likes to pick & choose the data from population studies while ignoring other data (within the same studies) that doesn’t fit his anti-fructose campaign. How intellectually honest are you being by ignoring these errors?

  308. Daniel permalink
    March 4, 2010

    I can’t believe Fred Hahn misses a key point in his argument.
    When flour, sugar and starches consumption increase, fat consumption increase automatically whatever the data says.

    In fact no one eats flour. You had butter, custard and cream and make a cake
    Or you add bolognese, white sauce, mozzarrella and make lasagna.

    No one gulps down a potato on its own. You fry it and make french fries or chips or had butter to mashed potatoes.

    No one eats sugar on its own. With the exception of candies, when a food is sugar rich it is also fat rich. Candy bars, butter cookies, chocolate, desserts, custards…

    Starches and even sugar are bland on their own and you aren’t tempted to eat much of them.
    Fats are bland on their own and even nauseating in big amount, so you’re not tempted to eat lot of them. But it’s starches and fat or sugar and fat together that make food very palatable and easy to gulp down in huge amount.

    That’s why it doesn’t make any sense to determine whether fat intake raised or decrease by analyzing how meat intake changed. Of course meat consumption went down. Delicious and palatable foods that combined starches and fats or sugars together took over. But if the consumption of those products/foods/meals increased then fat and carbs increased exponentially together as they go hand in hand in whatever junk food, traditional food, chef-cuisine food and highly palatable food you can think of.

  309. March 4, 2010

    Daniel — Excellent points made. Thanks for contributing.

  310. tempest permalink
    March 5, 2010

    Uh-huh… sure then.

  311. Tim permalink
    March 8, 2010

    Alan,

    I think you may be drawing the wrong conclusion from two of the studies (sources 3 and 5) you mentioned as showing HFCS and sucrose having appetite-suppressing qualities. My first point of contention is that of funding sources: one sponsored by Pepsi, another by the Corn Refiners Association and the American Beverage Association.

    My second issue is that these studies compare the satiating effects of HFCS and sucrose with diet soda and low fat milk – processed foods – as opposed to a meal of real food. One study found milk to reduce calorie consumption significantly, while the other did not.

    Either way, I do think that these studies overstate the satiating effects of HFCS and sucrose. Just my $.02.

    Besides that, solid post. Thanks for giving people the other side of the argument.

    Tim

  312. March 8, 2010

    Tim,

    First off, funding source & how it should be factored has been discussed here (I know there are a lot of comments to sift through; no real foul on your part):

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-1208

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-1123

    Secondly, I never claimed that HFCS-containing beverages were more satiating than solid food, so that’s a strawman on your part. I was merely countering Lustig’s contention that fructose consumption – particularly in the context of sucrose or HFCS – increased energy intake of the subsequent meal. This claim is unsupportable by research.

  313. alexei permalink
    March 9, 2010

    This is a great find, and many interesting comments. Lecture shows the level of sophistication. Whereas, comments indicate complete lack of understanding of basic principles.

    A long portion of biochemistry presented is correct and makes sense if one spends time on it. It is quite overwhelming portion of Dr Listig’s talk, and can be overlooked as not so important vs his message.

    Dr. Listig is exaggerating his points as he is exposed to effects of American life but also trying to catch people’s attention.

    It is about time somebody raises an issue, which is much bigger than what he states. Even so, he is using powerful imagery to get his point across: the only way to make people listen.

    Fat free diet is a misnomer, since sugars are used to replace the nutrition value. Refreshment drinks are just a tip of an iceberg…..

  314. Scott Jenkins permalink
    March 12, 2010

    I had a friend direct me to this site after sending him the link to the talk. I am just going to address the first post completely and ignore the comments, and move on to the comments later. I want to be thorough.

    1. Carbs aren’t the problem. It’s increased caloric intake.

    I don’t think we can conclude this based on the evidence provided. One, the evidence is an average. Presumably, there are important differences between the morbidly obese and the statistical average. It also ignores certain facts like it is easier to eat 1,000 calories of candy or bread than it is to eat 1,000 calories of broccoli. There also differences in satiety. As an anecdotal example, people say they are hungry after eating Chinese food (based in carbs) but you never hear this after bar-b-que.

    I’ll be charitable and simply leave it as a raised and open question.

    2. Increased calories combined with more sedentary lifestyle choices makes people fat.

    This conveniently forgets one of the central themes of the talk. This does not explain fat babies.

    3. Focus on carbs is just as misguided as focusing on fats.

    I’m inclined to agree. But, this does not address the point he makes about HFCS being added to everything as a way to make inherently bad tasting food more palatable. If we return to the calorie data, we have to ask what Added Sugars means. I think it means added by the eater. This data misses the amount of sugar added into package food, which was another central point to the presentation.

    4. Fructose is not inherently bad; it’s the dosage.

    Again, this is essentially stated in the presentation. Low dosage fructose, he asserts, is converted to bad elements that are harmful but not a big problem. He essentially says that ingesting large amounts of fructose, day after day is the reason why there is an obesity epidemic. He is saying that intake increased because it was packaged right into the food. Care to dispute this fact?

    5. The research says…

    Let’s take one example, “Evidence-based review on the effect of normal dietary consumption of fructose on development of hyperlipidemia and obesity in healthy, normal weight individuals.” The abstract of this paper basically tells us the main point:

    “In recent years, there has been episodic speculation that an increase in consumption of fructose from foods and beverages is an underlying factor responsible for the relatively recent increase in obesity and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes. Reports in support of this hypothesis have been published, showing that concentrations of triglycerides (TG) are higher and concentrations of insulin and hormones associated with satiety are lower in animals following the ingestion of fairly large quantities of fructose, compared to other carbohydrates. However, results from human studies are inconsistent.”

    Then, the Burdock Group, a full service Food Safety and Regulatory Compliance Consulting Firm, tells us the “purpose of [their] review was to critically evaluate the existing database for a causal relationship between the ingestion of fructose in a normal, dietary manner and the development of hyperlipidemia or increased body weight in healthy, normal weight humans, using an evidence-based approach.” I don’t have access to the paper to look closely at their methodology, but I doubt this group is publishing solely in the interest of science.

    And when we get through the meta-analysis, straight talk from White Technical Research, and so forth, I get the distinct feeling that most of this “research”, isn’t. I don’t have the time to debunk each one, but I hope you are catching a flavor for what might be cooked books here, ladies and gents.

    6. “I suppose it’s easier to sensationalize claims based on rodent data.”

    While I shouldn’t need to say it, basing your research on what looks, smells and tastes like astro-turf while making this comment is a little ironic.

    7. “So, what’s the upper safe limit of fructose per day (all sources considered)?”

    I’ll go one better. How about you tell us what the current “dose” is period? How does this vary across different weight levels? We don’t know this, do we? If we did know it, this conversation would be moot – because we would know the answer to whether fructose was a problem be checking for statistical relevance.

    So, in sum, we don’t really know. He has an interesting thesis. His technique works on solving childhood obesity in patients that come to see him, and he asks interesting questions that this critique completely fails to address.

    Would you like to try again?

  315. Sam permalink
    March 13, 2010

    Daniel:
    Starches and even sugar are bland on their own and you aren’t tempted to eat much of them.
    Fats are bland on their own and even nauseating in big amount, so you’re not tempted to eat lot of them. But it’s starches and fat or sugar and fat together that make food very palatable and easy to gulp down in huge amount
    _________________
    My personal experience does not bear this out, from both directions – when I eat mindlessly, not consciously controlling my calories I eat too much, regardless of whether it’s a low fat or low starch/carb diet.

    Growing up I was fed an almost- standard Indian diet – rice, lentils, beans. Low fat (this was non-standard – in India they add a LOT of oil -slathering butter on roti, frying stuff in tons of oil). If we ever had meat it was very lean chicken, boiled, with the oil that floated to the top skimmed off. I ate a lot, got hungry a lot, and got pretty big

    around 1990 I tried Atkins for the first time. I didn’t do Atkins as a “lowered carb” approach with 100g of carbs per day, I did a near-zero carb Atkins. I actually stuck to it for a long time, around 3 years. Lost weight temporarily but it came back. I’m 100% sure I did not let carbs back in the diet. It was all eggs & meat from a butcher (no sugar or bread crumbs could have gotten into that meat). My mistake was to believe the hype – “no carbs, no insulin, no fat. GUARANTEED.”

    It doesn’t take rice or potatoes to make me eat more steak or pork. I can eat fatty, non-starchy foods til the cows come home (and then I’ll eat the cows, if they’re fatty enough)

    dairy whipping cream with zero carbs? I could down a liter for breakfast – it tastes awesome to me.

    fatty steak? no problem. I can eat tons and tons. Tastes great to me.

    But i did never feel hungry on Atkins. If Dr. A. had said to count calories I might have lost & kept that weight off.

    And in fact he did write that you have to count calories – I unfortunately missed those 2 sentences in the 200 pages that told you not to count calories.

    The only way I’ve taken fat off and kept it off (60 pound loss, 2 years now) is to COUNT my calories and self-experiment to find what diet keeps the hunger down.

    A very high protein diet, moderate fat with occasional carbohydrates seems best for me, and something it looks like

    I can maintain indefinitely – the most important thing, IMHO.

    unlike, for example, the all -vegetable diet (no fatty vegetables) with no salad dressings (fatty or sugary) where you can’t eat a lot of calories no matter what you do – I can’t stay on it for long at all

    Whether the reasons I get fat on any diet are chemical or something else (my guess is I just developed a habit as a child to ignore “stop eating” signals & keep going) doesn’t matter. It’s a fact I have to work around.

  316. Sam permalink
    March 13, 2010

    the words and the message can differ.

    >> 4. Fructose is not inherently bad; it’s the dosage.
    >>Again, this is essentially stated in the presentation. Low dosage fructose, he asserts,

    I found Dr. Lustig’s talk the first time from a blog post that said

    “fructose = poison”, here’s the proof

    And I’ve subsequently seen the same many more times. THAT was this article’s point.

  317. RayCinLA permalink
    March 13, 2010

    @ Scott “Smug” Jenkins:

    “I am just going to address the first post completely and ignore the comments, and move on to the comments later. I want to be thorough.”

    For someone who is trying to be thorough, you’d be much better off reading the post, the comments, and the follow-up blog post that address most of your points, as well as your hilarious level of denial.

    Would you like to try again?

    ~shakes head~

  318. Sam permalink
    March 13, 2010

    Fred Hahn:
    >> Sam, you’re a troll. Aren’t you aware of this Alan?

    My diet is actually not far from yours & Eades’ recommendations – high protein, high fat, mostly low carbohydrates. The differences being, I have to count calories and I don’t have to toss my rationality and subscribe to some fantasy about insulin and carbs.

    As I see it, you’re just unrealistic in your propaganda and stubborn refusal to accept facts.

    Yes, FACTS – people CAN and DO get fat on low carb diets.
    Lots of people CAN and HAVE lost weight and kept it off permanently on low fat, high rice, high wheat, high corn (highly insulinogenic) diets.

    There was a lot of badly-reported anti-fat research, but that doesn’t mean no one can get fat on low carb.
    There is an institutional anti-fat bias, but that doesn’t mean no one can get fat on low carb.

    A few do well on low carb but definitely not all. Dr. Gardner’s recent research is a case in point.

    The “metabolic advantage” is at best 10 calories a day. Do your own calculation – ketone concentration from the ketostix, the number of moles of ketones, the volume of urine.

    You lose more ketones in the urine if you’re deep into the purple but almost no one is there for long periods.

    And to get that metabolic advantage, you LOSE THE METABOLIC ADVANTAGE of dietary carbohydrate induced thermogenesis, which IIRC much higher than fat induced thermogenesis.

  319. Scott Jenkins permalink
    March 14, 2010

    And now, moving on to the commentary. I’ll skip over the vacuous name calling, people swinging from Alan’s nuts, ass out conjecture that he might be lying to make his talk interesting, lying to make a “profit” (how he is doing this in his line of work escape me) and so forth and focus on that which appears to have some substance.

    Matt Stone: Raises the interesting question of why has calorie consumption increased? One hypothesis is that it’s the increase of corn sugar in the diet. What other hypotheses are there? Particularly, what explains fat babies?

    Cynthia1770: I don’t pretend to understand the biochemistry, but I do think the main point here is that one possible explanation is the increased intake of HFCS drinks. I think there is an interesting question about whether we would see the same problem if it was all some other form of sugar besides fructose. But, I think this is at the center of the problem and basically makes all the talk about dose moot.

    The question is what is making people fat. The ability to consume massive amounts of empty calories in the beverage we consume sinks the question about dose. There is an open question about whether HFCS and the sale in these drinks works with our biochemistry to make obesity rates increase.

    Pikku: Let’s say a 16 oz. can of Coke is 200 calories. That’s about 2 apples. I know people that can easily drink a two liter (~68 oz.) of Coke in a day. I don’t know any that eat the equivalent of that (8) in apples a day. So, there is a difference in these two based on their energy density, and there may be something else in play too. That is the question, which you are assuming based on faulty logic.

    Mike L.: The data he links to on consumption confirms some of these statements. But, the issue here is that this is a statistical average rather than the consumption of obese people. Perhaps the people eating less HFCS are getting slimmer, bringing down the average, but the obese people are eating a higher proportion.

    Alan Aragon: “Blaming the nation’s increased caloric intake now versus 1970 on fructose’s purported appetite-stimulatory effect is a leap of speculation.”

    This is a legit criticism. However, it is just as legit to use it against your own claims that fructose is not the problem, particularly since a preliminary scan of your “research” was produced by people in the food additive industry, which – at the very least – invites us to question its validity.

    “…let me remind you that correlation =/= causation.”

    As long as you are applying that same standard to the “research” you accept.

    James Krieger: Your comment ignores many of the arguments presented. It ignores the biochemistry argument. It ignores the fact of fat babies. If you have an alternative hypothesis, great. However, your comment basically says that we don’t have the research to know one way or another. The research is flawed. That’s fine. Without facts, people have to go with hypotheses – and “Fructose is Satan” is just as valid as “Fructose is good for you”.

    Just don’t for a fucking second pretend that you are somehow more correct – when your data is just as bad.

    Robert Lustig: I find your defense weak. I understand you are busy (aren’t we all?), but it would be better to get a resident to go a good job or not do it at all, than offer up something half-assed. It just makes you look bad. My advice, save yourself the bother. Most forums like these have useless commentary offered up by people that wouldn’t know critical thinking if it walked up and kicked them in the face.

    Nigel Kinbrum: What about the uncontroversial position that it is easier and more common to consume much more liquid beverages than fruit? I also don’t believe the talk linked to above said it was addictive. It merely said it doesn’t trip off the satiety response.

    RayCinLA: “if you think that you communicated that dosage and context were important in those 90 minutes, you’re wrong.”

    Watch the video again, because he says that the minor damage caused that eventually leaves contributes to factors that kill a 90 year old rice farmer (I think this is how he framed it, going off memory) it’s no big deal. He is talking about the fact that people are regularly eating and drinking enormous quantities of HFCS.

    JLB: Want to claim I am an irrational child? Could it be that the problem is a little bit more complicated than you have grasped? Also, asking for a “safe” dose is pretty irrational in itself. He makes it clear that it is harmful, but not terribly so when eaten in moderation. You come across like a zealot in this exchange.

    Fred Hahn: The most informative post I’ve read thus far.

    Mike Howard: “If Dr. Lustig were being honest, he would state that fructose consumption within the context of an otherwise healthy and hypocaloric diet would not likely do jack squat to anyone’s health.”

    What dosage is a “healthy and hypocaloric diet”? Forget the dose, how many cans of soda can I safely drink in a year?

    You see how that sounds? Next, I’ll make an argument about how chlorine bleach mixed in a safe dose with water is actually good for you – since it kills those nasty bugs.

    The point is that fructose is not being eaten in the context of a “healthy and hypocaloric diet”, so your comment isn’t particularly helpful.

    —-

    Skimming through the rest of the comments. I have to say that a lot of this is just unadulterated bullshit. Much of the conversation revolves around minor points, and I don’t see a single person putting forth an answer to the big question he asked:

    Explain the fat babies.

    You want to quibble about Japanese diets, validity of rat studies (even though they are used as a standard model for pharmaceutical, genetic and other studies), dosage and the like – all of which are more or less besides the point.

    The central point is that you don’t think the case has been made against fructose or HFCS. I could have found that by reading the first paragraph on Wikipedia:

    “Studies by The American Medical Association suggest “it appears unlikely that HFCS contributes more to obesity or other conditions than sucrose” but calls for further independent research on the subject.”

    Notice the independent research? That means the books are cooked and you folks are using that to “prove” your points.

    There are reasons to doubt. It’s not conclusive. Do what you think is right given what you know. The conversation is over.

  320. March 14, 2010

    ********************
    Your comment ignores many of the arguments presented.
    ************************

    How so? Please show us. Back up your shit with evidence….not assertions.

    ************************
    It ignores the biochemistry argument.
    ******************

    How so? Please show us.

    *******************
    However, your comment basically says that we don’t have the research to know one way or another.
    *******************

    What the hell are you talking about? Which comment?

    *************************
    The research is flawed. That’s fine. Without facts, people have to go with hypotheses – and “Fructose is Satan” is just as valid as “Fructose is good for you”.
    **************************

    Nice false dichotomy. Ever think of “Fructose in moderation will not cause any health problems?”

    ***********
    Just don’t for a fucking second pretend that you are somehow more correct – when your data is just as bad.
    **************

    Well, when you just argue through assertions that you don’t back up, don’t for a fucking second pretend that you actually know what you’re talking about

  321. March 14, 2010

    ******************
    Most forums like these have useless commentary offered up by people that wouldn’t know critical thinking if it walked up and kicked them in the face.
    ********************

    Speaking for yourself there, Scott?

  322. Sam permalink
    March 15, 2010

    I stopped reading after the 1st few sentences.

    (from “Fast times at Ridgemount high”: “civility – learn it, know it, live it.”[1] ) I don’t always do that myself, but at least I take a stab at restraint.

    I’ll have to quote from Mr. Krieger’s response – good thing he didn’t reprint the whole thing for me to read.

    Scott :: Just don’t for a fucking second pretend that you are somehow more correct – when your data is just as bad.

    AA’s data could have been 10 times worse – a hundred times worse.

    If his paper-vetting and analysis process is scientific (looks like)
    and his opponents’ is not (seems that way),
    Alan will get better results.

  323. RayCinLA permalink
    March 15, 2010

    @ Scott Jenkins:

    “He is talking about the fact that people are regularly eating and drinking enormous quantities of HFCS.”

    How does the above at all counter any of Alan’s points? Or better yet, how can you write so much, yet say so very little? You have contributed some of the most inane banter here so far. Feel free to continue, though. It’s almost as funny, if not funnier, than Fred Hahn’s posts.

  324. Sam permalink
    March 16, 2010

    Ray:: Scott Jenkins … how can you write so much, yet say so very little

    Same way you get to Carnegie Hall
    practice, practice, practice
    then practice, practice, practice SOME MORE

    Probably had good coaching too … you don’t get that good without a support network.

  325. Blake permalink
    March 18, 2010

    Even ‘science’ is ‘limited’ by only “knowing what it knows WHEN it knows it”…. :-)

    For example,

    The Journal of the American Dietetic Association recently published a report indicating that there is often a statistically significant (18-20%) difference between the calories ‘listed’ VS. the ‘actual’ calories contained in most of today’s processed/packaged/pre-prepared foods… http://www.emaxhealth.com/1506/11/35038/restaurant-packaged-foods-have-more-calories-label.html

    These are the foods where we would primarily find HFCS in our modern American diet. Though I would certainly acknowledge that HFCS doesn’t ‘only’ enter our diet through these foods (in other words, even making ALL of our food ourselves would, likely, yield a certain amount of HFCS if we include certain sauces/condiments/seasonings/sugars), processed/packaged/pre-prepared are certainly where we get the bulk of our HFCS.

    When a scientist/researcher attempts to assemble data for and draw conclusions from, say, a population based study where participants self-report what they eat over a long period of time, wouldn’t this introduce a HUGE variable into that study? If a fundamental assumption of those who feel that fructose/HFCS consumption is chiefly at the root of our country’s weight gain is that NO other factors related to our food consumption have changed in the American diet over the last 30 years (inferring that the ‘variable’ MUST be fructose), they likely weren’t privy to the RECENTLY reported fact that simply eating a diet high in processed foods of ANY kind (which we do more of now than 30 years ago when these foods were somewhat less available) could very well mean we are simply eating up to 20% more than we think we are!!

    If total caloric value of diets high in processed foods (and, thus, HFCS/other refined sugar) is up to 20% higher than previously thought, then calories consumed over the last 20-30 years cannot be considered a ‘non-variable’ in relation to those consumed in, say, the 1970’s (a time when studies indicate we ate LESS processed/packaged/pre-prepared food than we do now). All studies of similar structure done during this time that come to correlative conclusions about HFCS/fructose being the root cause of obesity would have to acknowledge that calories reported by participants include an error margin of up to +20%

    Thus, this study alone would indicate that ALL population based studies that report ‘the only thing we eat more of now than we ever have before is Fructose/HFCS’ are simply untrue… because ANY of us who eat ANY processed foods would simply have to acknowledge that we don’t know exactly how many CALORIES we are eating – and, thus, neither do the researchers who assemble the data for these studies!!!

    I know that those who are hell-bent on convincing us that HFCS is causing all of our problems will point out that HFCS is primarily present in processed/packaged foods and, so, if we eat more of them, then we are eating more HFCS and that is why we are in our current obesity predicament. But the problem is you CANNOT argue that there aren’t other possible variables of equal or greater importance – primarily, how many calories we actually consume today VS. 30 years ago.

    I don’t claim to know for sure that the ‘anti-HFCS’ folks are wrong, I only assert that you CANNOT prove you are right at this time – there just isn’t any science with fructose as the LONE variable between modern and past American diets. We NOW know that estimated calories consumed could be significantly under-reported by those who eat any amount of processed/packaged/pre-prepared foods, and, thus, calories consumed cannot be eliminated as a variable in these studies.

  326. Matt permalink
    March 22, 2010

    “If total caloric value of diets high in processed foods (and, thus, HFCS/other refined sugar) is up to 20% higher than previously thought, then calories consumed over the last 20-30 years cannot be considered a ‘non-variable’ in relation to those consumed in, say, the 1970’s (a time when studies indicate we ate LESS processed/packaged/pre-prepared food than we do now). All studies of similar structure done during this time that come to correlative conclusions about HFCS/fructose being the root cause of obesity would have to acknowledge that calories reported by participants include an error margin of up to +20%”

    Not to mention that self-reported caloric intakes are often off by as much as +50% to begin with, making the foundations of these studies extremely shaky at best.

  327. Scott Jenkins permalink
    March 24, 2010

    Sam: I specifically mentioned the part of the presentation where he talks about the rice farmer who receives such a low “dose” that he lives to 90 years old, which in his view isn’t a problem. Now, watch the video and address that point. Since you like to go on about “dosage”, you should know that even water is a “poison” above a certain “dose”.

    James Krieger: No, it’s mostly commentary like yours, that looks at an argument and decides to offer poor criticism while hiding behind their degrees, pretending desperately that they know something.

    Sam: Data is either good or it isn’t. Offering up astro-turf research while making asshat comments about rat research makes you look like a fool. I’ll take Princeton rat research over the “research” of food additive consultants every day of the week. Perhaps you guys might take a look at the author affiliations of the articles you cite so you won’t look like you have your head in your ass.

    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

    RayCinLA: I suggest a class in basic reading comprehension. This is not something I can offer to you.

  328. March 24, 2010

    ***********
    James Krieger: No, it’s mostly commentary like yours, that looks at an argument and decides to offer poor criticism while hiding behind their degrees,
    *******************

    Once again, you make an assertion that you can’t support. If my criticism is poor, then show WHY it’s poor.

    ***********
    pretending desperately that they know something.
    **************

    The only one pretending here is you, because whenever you are challenged to support your comments, you are unable to do so

    ************
    Data is either good or it isn’t.
    **************

    Here you’ve committed the logical fallacy known as the false dichotomy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

    The quality of data exists on a continuum. It’s not “good” or “bad” as you try to assert.

    *************
    Perhaps you guys might take a look at the author affiliations of the articles you cite so you won’t look like you have your head in your ass.
    *****************

    The affiliation of an author is irrelevant to the quality of the data or the work. People who try to point to author affiliations, without closely examining the data and work itself, are simply being intellectually lazy.

  329. March 24, 2010

    *********
    Perhaps you guys might take a look at the author affiliations of the articles you cite so you won’t look like you have your head in your ass.

    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/
    ***************

    Scott,

    Perhaps you might read the actual journal article you cite so you won’t look like you have your head up your ass.

    There’s a serious problem with the outcomes of this paper. When you look at Table 1, Experiment 1, the rat group that got the HFCS solution for 12 hours gained more weight than the rat group who got the 12-hour sucrose solution. However, the rats that got the 24-hour HFCS solution gained the same amount of weight as the rats who got the 12-hour sucrose solution. Yet, overall HFCS consumption was the same in the 12-hour and 24-hour groups. This is a huge discrepancy in the results.

    There are more discrepancies when you look at Figure 3 from Experiment 2. The group that had 24-hour access to HFCS gained the most weight, but weight gain was identical between the 12-hour HFCS and 12-hour sucrose groups. These results are not consistent with Experiment #1.

    On top of all that, the researchers didn’t report the overall energy intakes of the rats in Experiment #2 (the 7 month feeding trial), despite the fact that they measured it. Why did they not report this data?

    The fact is, the data is not consistent from experiment to experiment, and there is important information that is missing. On top of that, the researchers try to say near the end that there are differences in sucrose versus HFCS, but then fail to explain just how those differences would make a difference metabolically.

    Just so that you don’t find your head in your ass again, next time read the actual journal article rather than citing a news report (news reports are pretty bad for accurately reporting on scientific research).

  330. March 24, 2010

    One other problem with the paper, err, I mean news article, you cite, Scott. The researchers made multiple comparisons without making appropriate adjustments for that fact. In the statistics section of the paper, they say they did “post hoc pair-wise comparisons”, but they didn’t adjust for those multiple pairwise comparisons.

    For example, in Experiment 1, there are 4 different groups. That makes for 6 total comparisons (1 to 2, 1 to 3, 1 to 4, 2 to 3, 2 to 4, 3 to 4). If you rely on the 0.05 level of significance for each comparison, the probability of seeing a false positive increases to nearly 30%. Thus, you have a 30% chance of seeing a false positive in Experiment 1 in this study, or more than 1 out of 4. And what was found in this study? 1 out of the 4 groups was significantly greater than the others.

    You have to control for the family-wise error rate in a study like this. The researchers did not do this, meaning their results are more likely due to chance than a true effect. This would explain the inconsistencies from experiment to experiment.

  331. Scott Jenkins permalink
    March 24, 2010

    James Krieger: It’s poor because there has been nothing substantive to critique, until now. So, at least, you’re upping your game a bit – which is more than can be said of some others here.

    I’m making arguments. The general strategy when debunking an argument is to either show a premise is false or to show that the conclusion does not follow from the premises. I’ve done that with Alan’s arguments primarily by showing that he doesn’t have the data to support his position, there is reason to question the sources of his data, and that he has poorly constructed the arguments he has criticized. These aren’t criticisms that require “data”, beyond pointing out the astro-turf associations, which I did.

    You’ve tried this false dichotomy argument before. It seems to be a favorite. But, it is not a false dichotomy to say something is either true or not. It’s the foundation of rational thought. To assert that quality of data is on a continuum is nonsense. It either supports what you are saying, or it doesn’t. It either reflects reality or it doesn’t.

    If you want to say that this all boils down to probabilities, and data suggest that something is either more or less probable. Ok. There’s something to that, but for the kind of argument you are making, you need some kind of conclusive truth. You don’t have it. No one does.

    I think I can say for certain it that Astro-turf science doesn’t lead to the truth, and some food additives consultant doing a bullshit meta-analysis to confirm the truth of their bread and butter doesn’t really lend itself to any kind of vigorous debunking. It practically debunks itself – just by using the word meta-analysis in this context. Q.E.D.

    “The affiliation of an author is irrelevant to the quality of the data or the work.”

    Tobacco scientists in the 1950s would have loved you.

    “The fact is, the data is not consistent from experiment to experiment, and there is important information that is missing.”

    Let’s see. You come up with some pretty esoteric technical complaints about a paper and somehow this redeems citing astro-turf meta-analysis that anyone that knows anything about statistics would immediately laugh at…not quite the same level of having one’s head in one’s ass.

    I’m not in a position to explain why these details aren’t in the paper. Perhaps there was a word limit? Perhaps there is some other good reason besides they’re trying to bamboozle you? I have no idea. But, I do know that the data continuum that we do have from sources that aren’t industry mouth pieces point in a direction you don’t like. And you might be right, I don’t know. But, the only alarmism I’m seeing is the knee-jerk trying to claim someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes that passes as discussion here.

    I don’t see you subjecting Alan to any vigorous critique about his off hand dismissal of rat models. I didn’t see you asking the same kind of esoteric question regarding his sources, particularly meta-analysis “research” that frequently goes wrong in scientific peer-reviewed journals as often as that same information is mis-reported in the media.

    Oh, and by the way, not everyone has access to Elsevier journals, and I’m sure the vast majority of people here do not. So, it’s not quite appropriate, in this forum, to get into details on a paper people can’t look at for themselves, don’t cha think?

  332. Sami permalink
    March 25, 2010

    Posted by Scott Jenkins:
    “Oh, and by the way, not everyone has access to Elsevier journals, and I’m sure the vast majority of people here do not. So, it’s not quite appropriate, in this forum, to get into details on a paper people can’t look at for themselves, don’t cha think?”

    Actually Scott, the fact that he has access to the paper makes it VERY appropriate to go into the details, especially for those of you that don’t have access.

    Don’t you think?

  333. March 25, 2010

    alan could you take a look at this and explain why even in this limited sample this could happen
    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

  334. Scott Jenkins permalink
    March 25, 2010

    Sami: Of course.

    However, he doesn’t get to take cheap shots about my referring to a news article because I am aware of the restrictions on the access to the original paper.

    Nor does that entitle him to make cheap shots because I didn’t anticipate his esoteric arguments.

    Further, his criticisms aren’t something I’m in a position to address.

    It’s fine to look at this with a critical eye. It just seems, based on the discussion here, that the criticism only goes one direction and most of the criticism commits many of the same mistakes it is criticizing.

    Why didn’t James Krieger, M.S. no B.S. offer us a criticism on Alan’s sources? Why didn’t anyone else point out that there was a problem with astro-turf science, until I came along?

    Perhaps that’s something to reflect upon – about the need for a little even-handedness and asking questions, like, “Can someone explain what exactly is wrong with a rat model in respect to HFCS?”

    It’s easy to criticize. It’s a lot harder to come up with a plausible, testable hypotheses and do the work. Dr. Lustig has gone a long way to presenting a plausible thesis, and whether he’s right or not, whether his thesis is well formulated or not, he’s contributing in a way that nitpickers with an agenda aren’t.

  335. March 25, 2010

    AzureSky — see this post: http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-2960 and add to this the fact that although humans and rats have physiological similarities, they also have crucial physiological differences – particularly in regards to hepatic response to stimuli.

    Scott — I think you should be asking James more questions in the spirit of learning rather than preaching to him what you think you know (or don’t). I concur with others that thus far you haven’t brought much to this discussion beyond baseless assertions, and frankly, a lot of hot air.

  336. Ned Almasader permalink
    March 25, 2010

    James – Is Lustig’s liver metabolism explanation correct?

    Earlier I think you said that glucose and fructose were nearly identical.

    It just feels like in some corporate boardroom decades ago, HFCS was developed as a designer drug to make you crave it more. But, it’s also over-the-top to called fructose a poison. Please explain the insulin/leptin/grehlin/appetite ideas (or if you have already, then some links).

    Alan – I appreciate the forum. Very nice. If there was some way to take everyone’s ego out of their comments, this could be more helpful. It would be nice to get Lustig to comment again. Although alarmist for sure, he’s not off the mark to make some distinctions: good fat vs bad fat, good carb vs bad carb, good sugar vs bad sugar…and why they’re bad and what are their limits?

  337. Robin permalink
    March 26, 2010

    Amazing – this is the first time I see the Americans actually use the proper KILOCALORIE (kcal) unit, instead of just calling them “calories” and being happy and content with being 1000 times off in accuracy.

    Good article apart from that.

  338. Doug permalink
    March 26, 2010

    Alan, you will make a lot of money as a nutritionist who encourages people to eat junk food.

    You seem to have missed the results of the recent Princeton study. I noticed above that you dismiss research done on rats. How’s that working out for you?

    You are a charlatan and I hope nobody listens to your advice.

  339. March 26, 2010

    According to what I’ve read, HFCS-55 is 55% Fructose + 45% Sucrose. Sucrose breaks down into 50% Fructose and 50% Glucose. Therefore, HFCS-55 is approximately 80% Fructose and 20% Glucose.

    This may be the reason why HFCS-55 is considered a poison in this context.

  340. Blake permalink
    March 26, 2010

    Doug –

    I’m not sure how you are reading Alan’s advice as ‘encouraging’ people to eat junk food. He simply stated that, scientifically, it is impossible to pin an entire nation’s medical woes on one item/additive. Further, he stated that, in moderation, HFCS hasn’t been shown to do any material damage… the studies that produce such ‘results’ involve massive dosing and tell us, likely, what we already know: overdosing on fructose or sugar of any kind can potentially lead to health problems. News flash: the same can be said of aspirin, fish, water, folic acid, and a bevy of other everyday items that, in many situations, prove useful or, even essential.

    Common sense tells us to use/enjoy these items when appropriate, in the appropriate amounts. For those who cannot moderate, ‘caveat emptor’… because proposing a ban on HFCS is tantamount to banning Tylenol because it can be harmful in excessive doses, or banning alcohol because some choose to drink themselves to death. In a free society, the government is charged to regulate that which is overtly harmful, but gives us the maxim to exercise personal responsibility with many items that are available to consumers. Until HFCS proves toxic in moderate doses (and maybe it will, but it simply has NOT yet), they have put the responsibility on us to use it appropriately.

    If you choose to completely avoid anything with HFCS in it, then I say, good for you. If this choice has made you the picture of health and vitality, then wonderful. But others obtain all of the same health and vitality that you’ve obtained and manage to enjoy a piece of birthday cake or a Twinkie occasionally. If you want to eat an apple at your nephew’s birthday party while everyone else enjoys cake, then fine. If you want to enjoy whole grains or a carrot at Christmas, while others sip HFCS sweetened egg nog, that’s your choice. Alan’s point is that, for those of us who do occasionally want to enjoy those ‘junk food’ items and can moderate our intake, there isn’t any ‘science’ yet that tells us such occasional indulgences will lead to our early demise. I have yet to read the suggestion from him that specifically tells us to include these things as ‘staples’ of our diet.

    A ‘charlatan’ is tantamount to a ‘swindler’ or someone who practices ‘quackery’ to gain fame, fortune, et al. Alan’s advice of moderation, common sense, and critically examining the structure and ‘results’ of scientific studies is far from ‘charlatan-ism’… actually, it is quite consistent with ‘reason’.

  341. March 26, 2010

    Alan,

    For me the issue is not about obesity or HFCS vs. Sugar and calories. What I found interesting in Dr. Lustig’s presentation was the metabolism of fructose by the liver and the by-products ( Triglycerides and vLDL ). As an adult onset type II diabetic, when my ability to control blood sugar was impared ( through lack of diet and exercise) my triglycerides and LDL numbers were high. Having gotten my A1C number down to about 5.1 my triglyceride and LDL numbers came into line ( dramatically so).

    Any thoughts on this portion of Dr. Lustig’s presentation?

    Thanks,

    Alex

  342. March 26, 2010

    Samuel — That’s incorrect. Here’s a quote + a source for you: Composition: Confusion about the composition of HFCS abounds in the literature. The carbohydrate compositions of the most common nutritive sweeteners are listed in Table 1. The 2 most important HFCS products of commerce contain 42% fructose (HFCS-42) and 55% fructose (HFCS-55). The remaining carbohydrates in HFCS are free glucose and minor amounts of bound glucose, predominantly maltose (di-glucose) and maltotriose (tri-glucose). Mention of HFCS with higher fructose content (ie, HFCS-80 or HFCS-90) is occasionally seen in the literature, but these products are highly specialized and are manufactured infrequently and in insignificant amounts. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19064536

    Doug — Were you eating a cheeseburger, fries, & a shake while you typed that?

    Robin — You’re right, I interchanged both terms in the article. I realize that we Americans are pretty loose about the colloquial use of the term. Even in the peer-reviewed literature, this detail is frequently ignored.

    Ned — Glad you like this forum. Getting the egos completely out of the posts wouldn’t make it quite as entertaining, but I can see your point.

    Alex — This is yet another fairly grey area that seems to be solved by simple moderation. I’ll quote the section of a paper that touches upon this: Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) rises as a result of nonenzymatic modification of hemoglobin by glucose and is a strong risk factor for diabetic complications (especially retinopathy, peripheral vascular disease, and death) (20) and for CHD in nondiabetics (21). Several intervention studies in diabetics and nondiabetics show fructose to markedly lower HbA1c (22–27). Metaregression analysis confirms this as a fructose dose-dependent effect (10) (Fig. 1 A). Neither energy nor macronutrient intakes were confounding factors, but there is still need for studies on the progression of disease over very long durations. A fall in HbA1c caused by moderate to high fructose intake is not entirely expected. A rise in HbA1c would occur should insulin sensitivity be impaired. On the other hand, glycemic control more reflects a relative impairment of pancreatic function; meanwhile, fructose, which is low glycemic, makes little demand on the pancreas.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19386821

  343. Doug permalink
    March 26, 2010

    Alan: I wasn’t. I just get upset about all the inaccurate nutritional advice going around. The other day I saw a journalistic account of a study that left out “refined” in refined carbs, leading the reader to think all carbs are bad.

    This is part of the good fats myth, which is not making people healthier.

    Alan, before you rip on Lustig, consider that he’s describing the way the body metabolizes hfcs. Obviously a healthy person can have a bit of hfcs and not suffer negative consequences.

    As he explains, the metabolism has to do with the fiber, which is why eating an orange is fine while drinking a glass of OJ is bad.

    To anyone reading this and wondering what is true, go to the grocery store and watch people as they check out. The people who buy lots of processed food are the fat ones, and the people who buy mostly whole fruits and veggies are the healthy looking ones.

  344. Doug permalink
    March 26, 2010

    Alex, that’s the scientific part, the part which Alan ignored.

  345. March 26, 2010

    Doug — I just edited in my answer to Alex (I took some time to dig up the full text after answering the other posts including your useless one), so feel free to eat your cheeseburger & your words too. Another thing, I’ll quote the conclusion of my article above, which you either missed or are choosing to ignore: “The big picture solution is in managing total caloric balance with a predominance of minimally refined foods and sufficient physical activity.”

  346. Devon permalink
    March 26, 2010

    I think you’ve misrepresented his presentation. Even if you haven’t, it’s a single 90 minute presentation – simplification and omission are requisite. My complaint with the presentation is that Lustig buries the lede, to an extent. By burying the lede, so many people – like you – miss it and focus on the fructose parts.

    Maybe fructose is a chronic toxin, but I don’t have the education to evaluate that claim. But he does say that HFCS and sucrose are equally bad/good for you. Those points are secondary to the much bigger point – the price of HFCS compared to sucrose promotes its use and overconsumption. And it’s cheap because of political circumstances which can be changed.

  347. March 26, 2010

    Devon — It’s clear that Lustig’s intent was to send the public indiscriminately up in arms against a single macronutrient subtype. With most lay viewers, he has succeeded.

  348. Devon permalink
    March 26, 2010

    Alan – I think it’s clear that Lustig’s intent was to inform, and yes, to send the public “up in arms against a single macronutrient subtype.” However, to characterize it as “indiscriminate” is an error. It is, rather, very discriminating. He argues, in detail, that fructose is a chronic toxin. (I am the lay person to which you refer and I can’t really judge that claim, though I find it at the very least plausible.) He shows that we are consuming significantly more fructose – not because HFCS is “high fructose”, but because of how cheap HFCS is. He argues that those two points are major factors in our current obesity problems. I would say that it appears we’ve been using HFCS indiscriminately for 30ish years, and more discrimination is what Lustig is advocating.

  349. March 26, 2010

    Devon — Here’s a snippet from the follow-up blog post I made, explaining how Lustig clouds the big picture by falsely placing the focus on a single factor:

    “In my rebuttal to Lustig’s initial comment, I first point out the limitations of epidemiological data, as well as Lustig’s neglect of the numerous factors that have contributed to a reduction in energy expenditure, such as, “an increase in sedentary occupations; an increase in two-income households and single-parent households; transportation and infrastructure changes that discourage physical activity; a decrease in PE classes and extracurricular sports programs in schools; an increase in sedentary forms of entertainment (i.e. TV/movie viewing, video games, internet, etc.); demographic changes (i.e. aging population, immigration, etc.); a decrease in food costs with increase in food availability and changes in food consumption patterns” (study here). I finish off by pointing out the error of the claim regarding the Japanese diet, and mention Lustig’s omission of giving concrete numbers in his lecture regarding the dose-dependent safety of fructose in the diet.”
    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/02/19/a-retrospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/

  350. RayCinLA permalink
    March 26, 2010

    @ Scott:

    Do you like to hear yourself talk? It looks like you’re in the minority.

    @ Doug:

    Before you go accusing Alan of encouraging people to eat junkfood, how about reading his entire article, including the conclusion? While you sit there and bitch at him out of sheer ignorance, he’s making a living by getting people IN SHAPE.

    @ Devon:

    Read the debate between Alan and Lusting, srcoll up in the comments. Or better yet, read the blog post summing up the whole debate. Lustig has done nothing more than play the role of a doctor-turned-yellow journalist, as far as this topic is concerned.

  351. Devon permalink
    March 26, 2010

    Sorry I hadn’t read more of the discussion here before posting, but there really is a lot of it, and I still haven’t read it all. My impression at this point, though, is that the conversation, such as it is, is driven far more by ego – on both sides – than anything else. There’s lots of citation dueling, demands for response, and subtle ad hominem. But those of us in the lay category won’t find much of definite use here. I think that’s unfortunate, because it’s clear that there are smart people commenting, and if curiosity reigned we’d probably have better questions, which lead to better answers. One thing that I didn’t see covered is Lustig’s claim in the presentation that any attempt to explain the obesity epidemic had to explain obesity in infants. (Haven’t verified that claim.) If there is such a problem, and we can assume that activity levels in infants hasn’t change as dramatically, if at all, in the last 30 years as it has in older groups, then how do we explain that problem? Lustig said the increase in sugar in formula, the very use of which has also increased, is the explanation. Again, it seems at the least plausible, and is definitely consistent with the rest of his theory.

    Ultimately, I don’t know. But I remain curious. And hopeful, too.

  352. March 26, 2010

    Scott Jenkins,

    ****************
    I’ve done that with Alan’s arguments primarily by showing that he doesn’t have the data to support his position,
    ******************

    But you’ve done nothing but beat up a strawman of Alan’s position.

    **************
    there is reason to question the sources of his data,
    ****************

    Questioning the source of the data is nothing more than the lazy man’s way of trying to produce an argument. In essense, questioning the source of the data is a subtle ad hominem.

    The papers you thought were “questionable” were review papers. If you think the reviews were somehow distorted or incomplete in their presentation of the data, you could show this by demonstrating data or studies that they fail to show or talk about (because it’s a review paper, so there’s nothing “cooked” about the data as you tried to insinuate). But, by your own admittance, you “don’t have time” to debunk the papers. Of course, if your goal is to “debunk” a paper, doesn’t that mean you’ve already made up your mind about the conclusion before you’ve examined the evidence?

    For more on the issue of data source, see my comment here:

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-1208

    and Alan’s comment here:

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-1182

    or Alan’s comment here (which also discusses the fact that he posted many non-vested studies in support of his arguments):

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-1210

    or how about Alan’s comment here (read towards the bottom of the comment):

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-1123

    You are working backwards, Scott. Rather than immediately dismissing work because of you don’t like the source, you should examine the methodology of the work first. The primary determinant of the quality of research is the methodology and data, not the funding source or who the researchers are.

    The other problem with your stance is that it assumes that an “independent” researcher is somehow free of bias. However, nothing could be further from the truth. “Independent” researchers can also have their own agendas, whatever they may be (it could be trying to obtain grant funding, or getting tenure, or wanting to get published on a “hot” topic, or personal biases, etc). This is why studies should be primarily examined for their content, not who produced the content.

    *****************
    To assert that quality of data is on a continuum is nonsense. It either supports what you are saying, or it doesn’t. It either reflects reality or it doesn’t.
    *******************

    Evidently you are living in a different reality from everyone else, then. You are naive if you think that “either data supports what you are saying or it doesn’t.” For example, if I publish a study that involves 2 experiments, and one experiments supports a hypothesis and the other doesn’t, then obviously it’s not as simple as you would like it to be.

    Not only that, but there are many nuances to science that you don’t seem to grasp. For example, data may support a hypothesis under certain conditions, but the results may not necessarily be applicable to other conditions or situations (similar to the “dose and context” aspect that Alan was talking about). Then there is the realm of statistics and probability, and issues such as statistical power and Type I and Type II errors. There are also natural variance in biological responses to treatments (for example, cholesterol responses to eating eggs) that affect research outcomes. These all dramatically muddy the waters when it comes to making conclusions from data, which means there is no simple black and white conclusions.

    So yes, you are setting up a false dichotomy.

    I will address the rest of your comments at a later time.

  353. March 27, 2010

    Scott,

    To further illustrate the problem with your dichotomous viewpoint in regards to data, consider a study that doesn’t show a significant difference between a treatment and control. However, the 95% confidence interval for the difference is (-2, 20). This means that there’s a 95% probability that the true mean for the difference lies between -2 and 20. This confidence interval is heavily skewed towards the positive end, indicating that there’s a strong chance there is a treatment effect, but it just couldn’t be detected. Perhaps there was an insufficient number of subjects and the variability was too high. Again, there are many gray areas when it comes to scientific outcomes….it is not black or white.

    Even scientists themselves grade studies according to their quality. There are many review articles that give studies A, B, C, D, and E grades depending upon the strength of the evidence supporting a particular hypothesis. RCT’s usually receive A grades, for example, while observational studies fall lower on the grading scale.

    So, yes, the quality of data and its ability to support a particular hypothesis does fall on a continuum.

    ********************
    some food additives consultant doing a bullshit meta-analysis to confirm the truth of their bread and butter doesn’t really lend itself to any kind of vigorous debunking.
    *********************

    Read my previous post on author affiliations.

    Second, if you actually knew how to critique research rather than rant about author affiliations, you could easily dissect the paper. The author affiliation is irrelevant. I’ve published meta-analyses myself….3 of them, to be exact. I don’t give a damn about who the author is when I read a paper. I look at the quality of the meta-analysis itself. What was the methodology? Are the statistics sound? Are their relevant trials not being included? Do they have sound inclusion and exclusion criteria? Are their inconsistencies in the reported data? Does it look like anything is being left out? Do the authors address the limitations of their work?

    Third, the fact you’re looking to “debunk” a paper you haven’t read indicates you’ve already made up your mind before the fact. In essence, you’ve started with your conclusions before examining the data.

    Fourth, in an earlier comment, I posted a meta-analysis from Diabetes Care, of which the primary author was “independent” according to your criteria. Here is the link:

    http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/10/1930.long

    The results are similar to the meta-analysis that Alan posted. Are you still going to spew your bullshit about author affiliations now?

    ********************
    citing astro-turf meta-analysis that anyone that knows anything about statistics would immediately laugh at…
    **********************

    I’m actually laughing at you because I’ve published 3 meta-analyses and know quite a bit more about the statistics involved than you do.

    Of course, if there are problems with the statistics in the meta-analysis that Alan referenced, why don’t you show us exactly what you’re laughing about? Or are you just going to rant about author affiliations again?

    Like I said….back up your assertions with evidence.

    ***************
    I’m not in a position to explain why these details aren’t in the paper.
    ******************

    But apparently you’re in a position to know if an author is “cooking his books”?

    *****************
    Perhaps there is some other good reason besides they’re trying to bamboozle you?
    ********************

    That’s not the point. The point was to show you that just because research is “independent” doesn’t mean the work is quality work or that the results can be trusted. It was to show you that you need to look at a study’s methodology rather than who the authors are.

    Also, the fact that they left out the dietary intake data from the 7-month experiments is important, because it’s needed to assess the effects of fructose on weight gain.

    **********************
    I don’t see you subjecting Alan to any vigorous critique about his off hand dismissal of rat models.
    ************************

    “Off-hand” dismissal? First, Alan says nothing about animal models in his post. Second, in his comment to AzureSky, he linked to my critique of the paper out of Hoebel’s lab. He simply included the comment about rat models as an additional point to that critique. And Alan is correct….there are important differences in hepatic lipid metabolism when comparing rats to humans….differences that need to be considered when you’re looking at the effects of fructose on triglycerides.

    ************************
    . So, it’s not quite appropriate, in this forum, to get into details on a paper people can’t look at for themselves, don’t cha think?
    ****************************

    No, what’s not appropriate is for you to draw conclusions based on a cursory glance. If you’re going to be citing scientific work in support of your position, then you should be reading that work.

  354. March 27, 2010

    One last comment to Scott Jenkins,

    ****************
    However, he doesn’t get to take cheap shots about my referring to a news article because I am aware of the restrictions on the access to the original paper.

    Nor does that entitle him to make cheap shots because I didn’t anticipate his esoteric arguments.
    ********************

    Yet apparently it’s OK for you to take cheap shots at people when you come on here and tell people they have their “head up their ass” and all other such comments? If you’re going to come on here and behave in such a way, then expect the same behavior in return.

    You should fully expect cheap shots if you’re going to be drawing conclusions based on cursory glances of literature, or basing your conclusions off author affiliations, or citing research you haven’t read, or talking about debunking papers before you’ve examined the evidence.

    ***********************
    “Can someone explain what exactly is wrong with a rat model in respect to HFCS?”
    **************************

    It’s not that a rat model is “wrong.” It’s just that there are differences that need to be taken into consideration.

    For example, human glucokinase-regulatory protein (GKRP) has a higher binding affinity for fructose-6-phosphate than rat GKRP:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1223974/

    This would affect liver fructose metabolism in the sense that it would make rats more sensitive to the deleterious effects of high fructose intake than humans.

    SREBP-1c protein abudance is higher in rats compared to humans. SREBP-1c is a key gene involved in de novo lipogenesis. This means rats have a higher lipogenic capacity than humans do:

    http://www.jlr.org/cgi/content/abstract/M300235-JLR200v1

    The fact is, rodents are more sensitive to high fructose diets compared to humans, which needs to be considered when looking at animal models.

  355. Scott Jenkins permalink
    March 29, 2010

    Alan: Nice sloppy dodge. I made specific points, and instead of addressing them, you play the know it all card where people should be learning from the one sided discussion. At least James makes some effort to try to point to where I have supposedly got it wrong. The rat model being one example.

    James: Speaking of strawmen,

    ““Off-hand” dismissal? First, Alan says nothing about animal models in his post.”

    Perhaps you missed this part of Alan’s original post, which is clearly making a comment about rat models.

    “So much for Lustig’s repeated assertion that fructose and fructose-containing sugars increase subsequent food intake. I suppose it’s easier to sensationalize claims based on rodent data.”

    I take this as a claim against sensational claims, pointing to some problem in rat models and asshat egoism. And this is indicative of your reconstruction of the points I am making, i.e., attacking strawmen. Questioning the data, which by the way is precisely what you are doing in the Princeton study, is essentially questioning the truth of the facts being asserted. This is basic logic 101 and it is one of the main ways you you deny the soundness of an argument.

    Actually, I debunked one of the review articles because, in this context, a meta-analysis is bogus with any methodology. It would be one thing if we were comparing studies of a standardized medical procedure, it is quite another to put together studies with different methodologies in a meta-analysis. and frankly, statistical analysis is rarely done right and I would question the whole business along the lines of The Cult of Statistical Significance of in articles like this one:

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/57091/title/Odds_are,_its_wrong

    I’ll grant your point that independence is not a guarantee for impartial evaluation, but financial consideration have been shown time and time again to influence scientific outcomes, which is why we have to disclose them when we submit these kinds of articles – because they are important.

    As for your nuance argument, I don’t disagree. There are many factors that might require a finding to be qualified. But, the fact that a finding needs to be qualified to be true, doesn’t mean it is not either true or false. The fact that we may not be certain whether a given fact is true or false doesn’t mean it isn’t either true or false. It’s a separate epistemological issue, but again, it is either true or not, and we have to make guesses based on our assessment of the probabilities, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking we are doing anything beyond making educated guesses – that we know something we don’t.

    “Second, if you actually knew how to critique research rather than rant about author affiliations, you could easily dissect the paper…”

    I’m not only pointing out a problem in author affiliations, which is a legitimate point. I also pointed to the problem of doing a statistical analysis on this topic. So, you were saying something about strawmen?

    And speaking of strawmen, can you tell me what exactly is the problem I’m incorrectly attributing to Alan? See, when you can’t point to something specific, that’s a good indication that perhaps your claim is false.

    “I look at the quality of the meta-analysis itself. What was the methodology? Are the statistics sound? Are their relevant trials not being included? Do they have sound inclusion and exclusion criteria? Are their inconsistencies in the reported data? Does it look like anything is being left out? Do the authors address the limitations of their work?”

    Here’s a specific claim. You seem to ask all these really interesting questions, when they go against your notions. Did you make this effort on the meta-analysis Alan cites? Or is that something you save up for only one side of the discussion?

    “Third, the fact you’re looking to “debunk” a paper you haven’t read indicates you’ve already made up your mind before the fact.”

    Pot meet kettle. Right? I’ve already said that I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m not invested in it one way or another. However, I am noticing that the discussion, here, is piss poor when the critique is putting forth something positive for the argument being presented by Lustig. You’ll offer all kinds of potential problems in the Princeton study, yet not one for Alan’s studies, why is that?

    And why not specifically talk about what’s so good about the meta-analysis? Why go for some vague generalities? Why not explain to us why this particular study has good methodology? No access? Or is it because it doesn’t help your argument that I’m right that’s its a bullshit study – and which is why you want to talk about some other studies or hide in vague generalities of what I should be doing if I was as good as you?

    “I’m actually laughing at you because I’ve published 3 meta-analyses and know quite a bit more about the statistics involved than you do.”

    You may know more than me. But, your arguments to this point are, frankly, shit. You’ve been a condescending prick – which is fine, I’ve asked for it by taking the tone that I see through the comment section of this thread. It certainly sounds like you work with statistics more than I do. But, the bottom line is that I’ve put forth specific problems: the problem of obese infants, the problem in Alan’s sources, the problem that he questions the rat model without supporting this claim, etc. And you keep asking for data. And you keep trying to out condescend me.

    “If you’re going to come on here and behave in such a way, then expect the same behavior in return.”

    Perhaps you’ll want to revisit how you and others responded to people that said anything positive in relation to Lustig’s thesis prior to my commenting in this forum. The fact that I came in and gave you a little taste of what you folks like to dish out….well, boo hoo. You want to be a dick, by prepared to deal with people that have no problem being a dick in return.

  356. March 30, 2010

    Scott Jenkins,

    *****************
    Perhaps you missed this part of Alan’s original post, which is clearly making a comment about rat models.

    “So much for Lustig’s repeated assertion that fructose and fructose-containing sugars increase subsequent food intake. I suppose it’s easier to sensationalize claims based on rodent data.”

    I take this as a claim against sensational claims, pointing to some problem in rat models and asshat egoism.
    **********************

    But you’ve taken Alan’s quote out of context. If you look at the entire paragraph, Alan was talking about the effects of fructose on appetite, and referred to a number of human studies. So, the question for you, Scott, is why you think animal studies should take precedent over human studies in this particular case.

    I will address your other comments at a later time.

  357. Jared permalink
    March 30, 2010

    I may have missed it above, but what are the physiological benefits of HFCS or fructose alone to the human body?

  358. March 30, 2010

    ***************
    Perhaps you’ll want to revisit how you and others responded to people that said anything positive in relation to Lustig’s thesis prior to my commenting in this forum.
    ******************

    Perhaps you may want to revisit all of my comments as well.

    I just went through all of mine, and, sans my responses to you, there are only two that I would consider “dick-like.” One was a very short comment at the end of my response to Fred Hahn:

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-1078

    Another was a joke I made regarding David Gillespie; David was continuing to ignore errors he was making regarding funding source (despite the fact that these errors were pointed out to him), and also misquoted a paper:

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-1275

    The vast majority of my comments were quite civil. It wasn’t until you came in with your comments that I decided to start commenting back to you in kind.

  359. March 30, 2010

    **************
    But, the bottom line is that I’ve put forth specific problems: the problem of obese infants,
    *****************

    The problem with your “problem” is that you are assuming that obesity has a single cause. There is absolutely no evidence that this assumption is true.

    Increased food consumption and decreased activity doesn’t need to explain the problem of obese infants, because there are many, many causes to obesity that are all interplaying with each other to create the “perfect storm” that results in an obesity epidemic.

    Nevertheless, even the data on infants indicates the causes of obesity are multifactorial. For example, a high-glycemic diet in mothers can contribute to infant obesity (i.e., the infant is actually born obese):

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20307352

    Fructose or HFCS aren’t a factor here because HFCS is not high glycemic.

    Excessive intrapartum weight gain is a risk factor for having an obese infant:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20338575

    ….meaning a woman who gains excessive weight during pregnancy is at higher risk of having an infant *born* obese (not made obese by giving the kid juice). There’s actually quite a bit of research on this….here’s another paper:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19208280

    Infants of obese mothers have lower energy expenditures than infants of non-obese mothers

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18485223
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3340127

    Obese infants do in fact consume more calories than normal weight infants:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15890076

    Thus, the data shows that the concept of energy balance applies to infants as it does adults, and thus increased energy intake and decreased energy expenditure is contributing to obesity in infants as it does in adults. Thus, it is erroneous to try to pinpoint obesity as having a single cause (i.e. HFCS) in either adults or infants.

  360. March 30, 2010

    ******************
    but financial consideration have been shown time and time again to influence scientific outcomes, which is why we have to disclose them when we submit these kinds of articles – because they are important.
    *********************

    But that is not a reason to dismiss a study off-hand, which is what you have done. Certainly, it is important to be a bit more skeptical with industry-funded research, but it’s still the methodology and study design that are by far the most important. In fact, there’s even research showing that methodological quality is by far more important than funding source:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20222753

    You also need to consider that industry-funded research tends to have superior methodological quality to non-industry-funded research (typically because it takes more money to do a really good study):

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20222753
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18711388

    ****************
    the problem in Alan’s sources,
    ******************

    But the problem is you’re ignoring all of Alan’s sources that DON’T have any ties to industry, and you continue to focus on a few that do.

    On top of that, it’s a pretty weak argument if that’s the only “flaw” that you can point out in a paper. If I were to take your reasoning seriously, that would mean I would have to dismisss all of the research out there that shows that antihistamines help with allergies (because much of this research was funded by industry). I would have to dismiss all of the research out there that shows that Viagra helps with erectile dysfunction (because it was funded by industry). I would have to dismiss all of the research out there that shows that creatine monohydrate improves high-intensity exercise performance (because it was funded by industry). I would have to dismiss all of the research out there on various cancer drugs that have advanced people’s abilities to fight and overcome cancer (because it was funded by industry). I could go on and on.

  361. March 30, 2010

    ***************
    meta-analysis is bogus with any methodology. It would be one thing if we were comparing studies of a standardized medical procedure, it is quite another to put together studies with different methodologies in a meta-analysis.
    *******************

    Another assertion for which you have no evidence. Making assertions is not making arguments. You need to provide evidence supporting those assertions.

    The fact is, you can combine studies with different methodologies in a meta-analysis. There’s nothing “bogus” about this. There are statistical models that allow you to account for between-study differences (such as the hierarchical random effects models that I used in my published meta-analyses).

    The study in a meta-analysis is the experimental unit. Just as you can have different types of subjects in an experiment (for example, a mix of males and females of different ages), you can also have different studies. As long as those studies are meeting your particular inclusion/exclusion criteria, and as long as that inclusion/exclusion criteria is sound, it is certainly valid to combine the results of different studies with different methodologies. To assert otherwise is like arguing you can’t have males and females in a particular study group because they’re different.

  362. March 30, 2010

    ***************
    Questioning the data, which by the way is precisely what you are doing in the Princeton study, is essentially questioning the truth of the facts being asserted.
    *****************

    But you weren’t questioning the actual data. You were questioning the source of the data. There’s a big difference.

    ****************
    but we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking we are doing anything beyond making educated guesses –
    *******************

    Science is nothing but one big educated guess. As you gather more data, the more “educated” your guess becomes, and the less of a “guess” it is if the majority of the data is pointing towards a particular conclusion.

    In science, there is also the concept known as the “convergence of evidence”, where the strength of a hypothesis increases as data from different experiments and different study designs (basic research, animal research, human research, observational research) all support that particular hypothesis.

    ******************
    I’m not only pointing out a problem in author affiliations, which is a legitimate point.
    ********************

    But you point out author affiliations as if that automatically invalidates a study. So, your point is not legitimate in the way you’re using it.

    When I looked at the Princeton study, I didn’t take a single look at who the authors were. It could’ve been funded by the sugar cane industry (to fight against the HFCS industry) and I wouldn’t care. I went straight for the methodology of the paper….which is the most important thing.

    **************
    I also pointed to the problem of doing a statistical analysis on this topic.
    ****************

    You didn’t really say much other than saying it wasn’t valid to combine different studies. To support an argument, you should explain WHY it’s not valid to combine different studies, and also show why the statistical methods used are not appropriate.

    *****************
    And speaking of strawmen, can you tell me what exactly is the problem I’m incorrectly attributing to Alan?
    ******************

    You took Alan’s sentence out of context (which I showed in another post). On top of that, you are ignoring the entire point of Alan’s post….that fructose’s effects are dose and context dependent, and that it is erroneous to focus on a single entity (fructose) without considering the big picture. You haven’t said anything to refute that.

    ****************
    “Third, the fact you’re looking to “debunk” a paper you haven’t read indicates you’ve already made up your mind before the fact.”

    Pot meet kettle.
    *******************

    Not quite. I haven’t talked about debunking papers I have yet to read. You have.

    ********************
    Or is it because it doesn’t help your argument that I’m right that’s its a bullshit study
    **********************

    The burden of proof lies on the individual making the assertion. You’re the one asserting it’s a bullshit study. That was your original contention when you burst onto this blog. If that is your contention, show us WHY. Explain what is wrong with the methodology if you are so certain it’s a bullshit study. But I have a feeling you haven’t even read the paper. So why are you calling a study bullshit if you haven’t even read it?

    The fact is….if you are calling a study bullshit before you’ve read it….then that means you are starting with your conclusion before examining the evidence.

  363. March 30, 2010

    Devon,

    ***************
    If there is such a problem, and we can assume that activity levels in infants hasn’t change as dramatically, if at all, in the last 30 years as it has in older groups, then how do we explain that problem?
    ***************

    See my comment here regarding obesity in infants:

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-3023

    The data shows that energy expenditure has, in fact, decreased in obese infants, accompanied by an increase in energy intake.

  364. Sam permalink
    March 31, 2010

    James, I was working from the notion that fat babies’ fat is due to the babies. Narrow focus.

    And I don’t have much of an excuse for the narrow focus – I did a tiny bit of research in nuclear medicine around 20 years ago, and some of my friends at the research-oriented hospital worked on fetal alcohol syndrome and other maternal environmental effects on babies so it should have occurred to me that there are many other explanations.

    Thanks for expanding my horizons on that.

  365. Sam permalink
    March 31, 2010

    Univariate causation thinking seems to be very attractive to lots of folks, when a multivariate approach is required. The attraction to univariate seems universal, but especially bad in “health circles”.

    Whether from a desperate search for simple answers to a simple lack of thinking & brainstorming on alternative explanations.

  366. Sam permalink
    March 31, 2010

    Jared
    >> I may have missed it above, but what are the physiological
    >> benefits of HFCS or fructose alone to the human body?

    One effect is that dietary fructose will fill liver glycogen preferentially over other body tissues.

    What are the benefits of this effect? Purely hypothetically, if you are on a ketogenic diet for medical reasons you can’t eat glucose, so you can’t fiddle with leptin satiety signals[*]. Eating pure fructose would trigger liver-based satiety signals.

    Fructose is also sweeter than sugar and/or glucose.

    [*] bromocriptine is an alternative here , see Lyle McDonald’s book on this

  367. Sam permalink
    March 31, 2010

    Jared: sorry … I missed the obvious thing that Lyle and Alan write about – sucrose seems better as a workout drink because more types of sugar transporters are used – those for glucose and fructose.

    You’re basically using 2 pumps (glut-1 for glucose and glut-4 for fructose, if memory serves) to get calories from the intestines into the body, where a glucose-only drink, or starchy foods that break down only to glucose use only one the glucose pump.

    Mixing in fructose is also better as a “glycogen refilling” food, if you’re on a so called “cyclic keto” diet.

  368. March 31, 2010

    ***************
    Univariate causation thinking seems to be very attractive to lots of folks, when a multivariate approach is required. The attraction to univariate seems universal, but especially bad in “health circles”.

    Whether from a desperate search for simple answers to a simple lack of thinking & brainstorming on alternative explanations.
    *********************

    Excellent point, Sam

  369. Chris Forbes-Ewan permalink
    March 31, 2010

    As Alan points out, Robert Lustig exaggerates the evidence against fructose. However, Lustig has a scientific background, so he can put forward arguments that at least give the appearance of being science-based. An Australian lawyer named David Gillespie decided several years ago that he knows more than any scientist about fructose and its effects on health and obesity. He wrote a book called ‘Sweet Poison’ (published in 2008) in which he goes even further than Lustig in a diatribe about fructose. This book is a best-seller in Australia. I don’t know if it is also making waves elsewhere, but if you know of anyone who believes the claims made in ‘Sweet Poison’, I suggest you direct them to a radio program I presented in January of this year. An audio or transcript can be downloaded from: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2010/2770728.htm
    It would be diplomatic (but euphemistic) to say that Gillespie’s book is based on ‘misinterpretation’ of the scientific literature; in fact, it is based on misrepresentation of the literature.

  370. Sam permalink
    March 31, 2010

    Chris Forbes-Ewan:
    >> Australian lawyer named David Gillespie decided several
    >> years ago that he knows more than any scientist about fructose

    Chris, once this page is completely loaded in your browser, search within the page for

    “David Gillespie”

    or
    “DG: ” (the letters DG, then colon, then space)

    then
    get some popcorn (or a Foster’s, or, more appropriately, some HFCS soda)
    and ENJOY THE SHOW

  371. Black Flag permalink
    April 4, 2010

    Hi Alan,

    Context is important.

    Obviously, adding an additional 22% (55/45) more fructose to one’s diet by simply substituting, by weight, sucrose with HFC-55 will increase frusctose’s impact on a seditary person’s liver.

    However, the answer is – and I think everyone who has posted here will agree – is to lower all sugar intake.

    But this raises the real problem with HFCS.

    The predominance of HFCS in our food exists because it is subsidized by the US government.

    It is so cheap to make HFCS that food producers can turn paper and garbage into a delicious (well-sweeted) “food”.

    It is cheaper to make poor nutrutional food. With cheap sugar, one can turn cheap food into delicious food, and price it lower than the healthier alternatives.

    Cheap, bad (but tasty) food drives away healthy food out of the market place.

    What is left is an over-abundance of high sugar, unhealthy (but cheap) food. And that is what is being eaten, and that is what is causing the litany of health issues.

    The fight -though important- isn’t necessarily on HFCS because it is a worse/slightly worse/equal villian compared to sucrose.

    The fight should be to end the subsidization of HFCS. Then healthy food has a marketable chance -on price- in our stores.

    A personal way to end the subsidization is by us, the people, purposely avoiding foods that contain HFCS. If we do not buy the junk, then it will be removed from the market.

    So we should actively seek out products that do not have HFCS as a ingrediant. Use market pressure to remove the subsidy – which will, by market forces, withdraw the junk food and the vacumn will be filled by a healthier alternative.

  372. Paula permalink
    April 5, 2010

    Don’t know if anyone posted this Alan as I am half way through the replies. Here is the abstract and results of Jean Marc Scwartz research-
    http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385
    called – Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans

  373. April 5, 2010

    Paula — I address that study in this post: http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-1250

    Black Flag — I think some companies have already caught a whiff of consumer avoidance of HFCS. But if you’ll notice, the vast majority the foods that have any significant amount HFCS are processed foods that should be a minor-at-best part of the diet anyway. This is a major part of the point I’m making: lead a nonsedentary life, eat a mostly unprocessed, non-crappy diet, and a small part of your diet can be what ever the balls you want.

    Chris — As Sam noted, I had quite the volley with David Gillespie in this very thread.

  374. Eric permalink
    April 8, 2010

    I am a 5’9″ 320 pounds morbidly, centrally obese 33 year old white male. In desperation I came across Dr. Lustig’s lecture on Youtube last night and found it very interesting. I decided to do a bit of searching around further on Dr. Lustig and came across this blog. After reading all of the comments I have come to the conclusion that Dr. Lustig and those like him are shysters. I stumbled across his video by searching around about food addiction in my desperation to lose weight and figure out why I eat so much and am so fat. These alarmists of all types play on folks just like me, someone looking for the “smoking gun”, the easy answer, the reason why. As so many of you have said in these comments, these a**holes pick something and turn it into cults of avoidance(s). All the while lining their pockets off of the gullible and porcine masses. Also, after reading all of these comments I have realized what I really have known all along. That the only way to lose weight is to eat less and do more. If I continue to eat 4000 to 6000 calories per day at current expenditures of caloric energy then I will keep getting what I’ve been getting…..fatter. I could eat 6000 calories of Coke and Oreos or 6000 calories of nuts and oranges…..the results will be the same. I don’t have high hopes though as I consider myself a food addict. I like to gorge myself and couple that with a love for sloth and you get the deadly results that I have. Hopefully I will turn it all around. I have fought other addictions in the past and won. I believe part of the success of overcoming those addictions was replacing them with food. So, we’ll see. If any of you have any advice for me I would gladly take it. Thanks in advance.

  375. April 8, 2010

    Eric — Thanks for taking the time to read the comments. If you got past some of the ego-flexing, posturing, and ad hominem stuff, I’m certain that you learned some important stuff. Let me commend you on having a strong enough BS detector to know when you’re being fed some untenable alarmist crap. Also, congrats on beating your other addictions. Chronic overeating can be conquered as well.

    Since you have a lot of weight to lose, you’ll need to remove the intimidation factor of this project by breaking it down into a realistic progression with realistic timeframes. One of the main things that prevents people from succeeding is not having a focused framework that they can chip away at productively while seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Set a 1.5-year goal, where you target a loss of 130-145 lbs, putting you at a much healthier weight of 175-190 lbs by the final quarter of 2011. Broken down into 3-month milestones, your progression might look something like this:

    Months….lbs lost….lbs/week
    1-3…………..40……….3.3
    4-6…………..35……….2.9
    7-9…………..25……….2.1
    10-12……….20……….1.7
    13-15……….15………..1.2
    16-18……….10………..0.8

  376. Eric permalink
    April 8, 2010

    @Alan

    Thank you so much for the quick, thoughtful and sound response. A regressive set of weight loss goals/milestones actually makes sense. I hope to put it to use. I will keep you posted and look forward to looking through your past blog entries for other info.

  377. April 8, 2010

    Eric — you got it, bro. Please keep us updated about your progress. If you’re making progress, you’re succeeding. Do me a favor, go get a calendar put it up on your fridge, and mark the goals down so they can be more concrete and in-your-face each day. Here’s to taking a couple years of your life to get into your best shape EVER.

  378. Clif Harski permalink
    April 8, 2010

    This:

    http://progenexusa.com/Blog/Default.aspx

    is pretty interesting, in that it is very much related/the same as what is being discussed here. It isn’t the whole thing, but the entire video is listed in the crossfit journal. A quote taken from Dr. Connelly “What the fuck is healthy about a grain?!”

  379. April 8, 2010

    pro-carb zealotry < ------ scientific fact ------ > anti-carb zealotry

    Take a guess where Connelly falls on the above continuum.

  380. Clif permalink
    April 9, 2010

    There is no question where he falls. Just thought you’d be interested to check it out. Entertaining. Also, loading this page on my phone takes a SHITLOAD of scrolling to see the respons(es)!

  381. SethRPh permalink
    April 9, 2010

    I think the one thing we can all agree on is that people eat way too much processed food. If people were to eat what we were made to eat (meat, fruits, and veggies) the country as a whole would not be obese. Fructose from fruit is NOT a bad thing. I do think that ingesting too much of it from HFCS (straight dose of fructose/sucrose with no fiber) is not a good thing. Fructose does not necessarily cause insulin to be released, true. However, HFCS is 45% glucose which DOES cause insulin to be released. Maybe that distinction is not made clear enough.

    Insulin, and this is fairly well documented fact (Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Pharmacotherapy, Dipiro, et al – to name 2 pharmacy textbooks that are used in EVERY pharmacy school in this country at least), is a hormone that drives glucose into the cells of the body; including fat cells. Put another way, insulin inhibits the breakdown of fat. Therefore if you have a high amount of insulin present in the bloodstream you will not have any lipolysis. High amounts of insulin are secreted into the bloodstream after eating large quantities of food in general of course; but if you are trying to lose weight one of the worst things that you can eat are highly processed, REFINED carbohydrates. These cause the most amount of insulin to be released. Total avoidance of carbs is ridiculous, because fruits and vegetables fall into this category. However, a more moderate approach, limiting your sugar and HFCS intake to occasionally is the winning strategy in my view. Agree? Disagree?

  382. SethRPh permalink
    April 9, 2010

    Just to clarify a mistake in my typing above…I meant to put glucose NOT sucrose in the parentheses after HFCS.

  383. April 10, 2010

    “However, a more moderate approach, limiting your sugar and HFCS intake to occasionally is the winning strategy in my view. ”

    A moderate approach is necessary, regardless of insulin, HFCS, etc. If one is trying to lose weight, one can’t eat large amounts of high calorie foods and create a calorie deficit at the same time. They’re polar opposites. One either has to eat a moderate amount of high-cal foods, a small amount, or none at all. One simply can’t eat large amounts of soda, doughnut, french fries, milkshakes, etc., and create a deficit. So moderation/ restriction is essential, even if one is solely focused on creating a calorie deficit.

  384. SethRPh permalink
    April 10, 2010

    Jordan…true true, I really thought that was implied and prefaced in my first sentence of Americans eating too much processed foods. I really think that we are saying the same thing. I will say that the whole calorie deficit thing is not completely false but a little overdone. If you have someone that is eating strictly lean meats, veggies, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar they will not necessarily have to worry about the caloric deficit because there is only so much lettuce and turkey someone can eat honestly. The caloric balance will take care of itself.

    That said though, no you cannot have a person gorge themselves on the same food I just mentioned, taking in 3-4000 kcals/day…they WILL gain weight, point conceded. The problem American is facing is a manifestation of metabolic derangement through overconsumption (and addiction quite honestly) to highly processed foods loaded with refined carbohydrate and omega-6 fatty acids. This leads us to a hyperinsulinemic and pro-inflammatory state: The obesity epidemic.

    BTW, do you live in Lexington…That’s where I am…I workout at the CrossFit here in Lex…come check it out if you do.

  385. April 10, 2010

    We’re basically in agreement. If one finds a diet that allows one to create a calorie deficit without it feeling like a burden, I’m all for it. But it’s still a calorie deficit. :-)

    “there is only so much lettuce and turkey someone can eat honestly. ”

    That’s a good point. Filling up on low-cal foods is a good option. Sometimes I do this, sometimes I won’t. It really just depends on what I feel like eating. I know I can eat a greater volume of food if they’re low cal fruits, veggies, fish, etc. Or, if I want something that is higher in calories, I must reduce the volume. I think a lot of people have a hard time believing that they can reduce volume like this. Well, I used to think I couldn’t do it, but now I can! Sometimes we surprise ourselves.

    The two obvious ways to cut calories are to either reduce or eliminate high-cal foods that one enjoys. Either way is valid. Personally, I’d rather reduce than eliminate. I eat foods that I enjoy (mostly healthy, but one or two desserts a day, as well,) just less of them. I’m down 25 pounds (255 to 230,) so it’s working so far! :-) I will admit that I haven’t eaten ice cream in a while. It’s just so easy to keep digging deeper into that container! lol. Eventually I may bring it back in moderation, but I don’t trust myself with it yet. I haven’t completely eliminated anything else from my diet.

    I’m in Berea.

  386. SethRPh permalink
    April 10, 2010

    I am crazy happy for you, that is GREAT that you have lost that weight! You’re doing an awesome job so I won’t fix what isn’t broken. What you are essentially referring to though is using the glycemic load, which honestly further makes my insulin point. :-) That is, if you are going to eat foods that are calorically dense (refined carbs, fat) you eat less of them. What does this do? Obviously, yes you are not eating as many calories. Also, not as much insulin is secreted by the pancreas and therefore not being stored in your fat cells.

    That whole first law of thermodymanics applies to CLOSED systems…it does hold true for all closed systems, for sure. It’s a LAW. However, it does NOT apply to systems are that hormonally controlled (humans). Plain and simple. On top of that the basic principles of it when applied to people is all wrong. A unit of mass (weight) and a unit of energy (kcals) are not equal terms and cannot be directly related in such a simple way. I know, I know, 3500 kcals=1 pound (2.2 kg). Each of the variables in that equation when related to weight and energy implies that they are dependent variables. If this is true…why is there a plateau effect in weight loss (metabolism adjusts to conserve energy)? Or even better why is it that Type I diabetics (inability to make and secrete insulin) can eat all of the food they want and they will actually LOSE weight (without insulin)? They will literally starve themselves to death without insulin and if that doesn’t kill them the ketoacidosis will.

    If there is one thing that this country needs to reverse its thinking on…it is the dogma that we just need to eat less and exercise more (set up a caloric deficit)…unfortunately, it is just not that simple and quite honestly, plain wrong.

  387. April 11, 2010

    Thanks, Seth. I appreciate that. I feel pretty good about it, too. :-)

    I was just referring to the idea of eating high-volume, low-calorie foods as a way to increase satiety. Basically, eating foods that have lower energy density so that one can eat more of them. There’s also a common belief that protein increases satiety, as well. So those two ideas could be why people have success with LC and Paleo diets. High volume/ low cal veggies and fruit + high protein foods is probably a good strategy for increasing satiety while eating less calories. Like I said, I’ll do that sometimes. Other times I’ll have a piece of pie. :-)

    I haven’t been perfect, but for the most part I’ve been able to control the quantity of food I’m eating, regardless of which foods I eat. I think sometimes we blame the Twinkies or cookies or chips instead of our own lack of self-control.

    I don’t know all the scientific details, so I won’t get into that. I will respond to your last paragraph though. I think what this country needs is to reduce the sheer amount of gluttony that we are indulging in. I know because I was there. My diet was godawful, lemme tell you! lol. I had zero self-control. My personal belief is that people can reduce their calorie intake regardless of what foods they eat. Maybe not every single person, but many/ most. If it’s true for a former basket case like me, it has to be true for other basket cases, too! :-) I just don’t think they know it yet.

    Nutritious food is good, of course, but being at an ideal weight is healthy, too. If every overweight American created a consistent calorie deficit and slimmed down, we would be a healthier, happier, and more attractive people, even if our diets contain some… indulgences. :-)

  388. April 11, 2010

    All — I’m recovering from my monthly research review, & I’ll be back tomorrow to answer the comments. Thanks Seth, for providing me some good broscience to rectify :).

  389. Matt permalink
    April 11, 2010

    “That whole first law of thermodymanics applies to CLOSED systems…it does hold true for all closed systems, for sure. It’s a LAW. However, it does NOT apply to systems are that hormonally controlled (humans).”

    You know there’s a version of the first law of thermo that applies to open systems, right? Also for semi-closed systems. Humans are open, as they can take on mass and excrete it (snicker, snicker).

    “On top of that the basic principles of it when applied to people is all wrong. A unit of mass (weight) and a unit of energy (kcals) are not equal terms and cannot be directly related in such a simple way. I know, I know, 3500 kcals=1 pound (2.2 kg).”

    Of course they can, at least when it pertains to the almost exact transfer of energy that occurs on the molecular level. 3500 is just an arbitrary number for a pound that’s supposedly referring to a pound of fat. Also, just to be an asshole, weight is not a unit of mass. Sorry. :) And while the caloric values determined in a bomb calorimeter might not match up exactly to how some foods (especially fiber and alcohol) are treated in the body, they’re close enough to provide a measurement of energy intake.

    “Each of the variables in that equation when related to weight and energy implies that they are dependent variables. If this is true…why is there a plateau effect in weight loss (metabolism adjusts to conserve energy)?”

    There are a multitude of reasons for plateau effects, only a few having to do with actual metabolic adjustment, and even then it’s usually because basal metabolic rate changes with bodyweight (lower with a lower bodyweight and vice versa). Water weight’s a very common reason, especially in women.

    “Or even better why is it that Type I diabetics (inability to make and secrete insulin) can eat all of the food they want and they will actually LOSE weight (without insulin)? They will literally starve themselves to death without insulin and if that doesn’t kill them the ketoacidosis will.”

    While this is true for diabetics, it doesn’t do anything but illustrate how important insulin’s role is in shuttling glucose to muscle cells and fatty acids to fat cells. This is not news. In a person with a normally functioning pancreas, your argument here has no meaning.

    “If there is one thing that this country needs to reverse its thinking on…it is the dogma that we just need to eat less and exercise more (set up a caloric deficit)…unfortunately, it is just not that simple and quite honestly, plain wrong.”

    Setting up a caloric deficit is less of a dogma and more of a method proven over decades of research. What you’re referring to is a fundamental misunderstanding of the energy balance equation, mostly a seemingly universal assumption that it is in any way static and that everyone is the same. For example, say a person wants to set a 500 Calorie daily deficit in order to lose 1 pound per week. The first problem is that unless that person has gone through extensive testing, they don’t know: a) Their basal metabolic rate, b) The caloric requirements of being up and around for whatever their job may be, and c) The caloric requirements of any exercise they may be doing. Couple that problem with the fact that said person probably doesn’t weigh their food on a scale and/or uses prepackaged food which has been documented to be off by about 20% on average in caloric estimates. So this person uses an online equation to find their daily caloric requirements, and comes up with 2500 Calories, so they begin eating 2000 Calories daily. Or at least they think they do. With all the packaging errors, they’re actually eating 2400 Calories daily. And then they’re not weighing their food, so they’re actually eating 2700 Calories daily. Top that off with the fact that they don’t do much other than sit around at their job and don’t exercise, and their actual AVERAGE daily caloric requirement is 2100 Calories per day, and instead of a 500 Calorie deficit, they’re actually in a 600 Calorie surplus! So naturally after gaining a pound the first week, they assume that they must be a special flower who can never lose weight and that Calories are bunk.

  390. SethRPh permalink
    April 11, 2010

    Hey Alan, what is broscience?

    Matt…kilograms ARE a unit of mass. We are not living in bomb calorimeters. Insulin inhibits lipolysis, for someone trying to lose weight this understanding has EVERYTHING to do with the discussion.

    The problem of obesity is a problem of an unregulated metabolism…unregulated by what? Highly palatable, calorically dense food that people cannot resist and eat continuously due to the disruption of the negative feedback on our brains that normally stop us from gorging ourselves. Coupled with the fact that these foods OVER elevate our insulin levels, locking fat into our fat stores, while also creating an environment where there is too much glucose (advanced glycated end products), too much cholesterol hanging out in our bodies turning on our immune system and causing an inflammatory response (this is how atherosclerosis begins).

    It is NOT just as simple as eating less and exercising more, period.

    Do you really think that anyone can be so precise to measure the caloric content of food on a daily basis day in day out without error? This kind of precision requires a lab! It is WAY easier to let the homeostatic controls our body has in place to maintain our body weight. How do you do that? By eating unprocessed “natural” foods. As hokey as that may sound, it’s the way to go for 99.9% of the population, UNLESS you are trying to achieve some kind of feat of strength or endurance (i.e. strongman type lifting, ironman, etc.).

  391. SethRPh permalink
    April 11, 2010

    Ah, that broscience comment was an insult! Ugh…

    This stuff is NOT broscience for God sakes (laughing)! It’s science, look it up! I’m a pharmacist…food affects your body the same way drugs do. Everything I’ve said about insulin, is ABSOLUTELY accurate. That is its mechanism of action.

    What in particular is INACCURATE??

  392. Matt permalink
    April 11, 2010

    “Matt…kilograms ARE a unit of mass.”

    I never said they weren’t. I said that WEIGHT is not a unit of mass, meaning weight = mass. Don’t worry about it, I was really just talking semantics there; as I said, I was being an asshole.

    “We are not living in bomb calorimeters. Insulin inhibits lipolysis, for someone trying to lose weight this understanding has EVERYTHING to do with the discussion. The problem of obesity is a problem of an unregulated metabolism…unregulated by what? Highly palatable, calorically dense food that people cannot resist and eat continuously due to the disruption of the negative feedback on our brains that normally stop us from gorging ourselves. Coupled with the fact that these foods OVER elevate our insulin levels, locking fat into our fat stores, while also creating an environment where there is too much glucose (advanced glycated end products), too much cholesterol hanging out in our bodies turning on our immune system and causing an inflammatory response (this is how atherosclerosis begins).”

    Difficult to argue with most of that, except that if insulin was completely locking in fat stores, people would die, and also that people “can’t” resist the food, at least to some degree. The situation that you’re referring to re: insulin is a sugar crash, where people suddenly feel tired and hungry; the difference is, people can actually wait it out (at least the majority can) and/or just avoid excessive sugar for the most part. What you seem to be arguing re: people’s apparent inability to control their intake is basically along the lines of recent low-carb zealots who are trying to take the responsibility completely out of the hands of those who “can’t” lose weight, instead of trying to properly educate them. Ironically that usually leads those individuals to low-carb diets, where their appetites are suppressed (and their caloric intake plummets) and MMMMAAAAGGGIIICCC suddenly they lose weight, and subsequently become low-carb zealots themselves, contributing to the breeding of a whole new generation that absolutely refuses to take responsibility for its actions.

    “It is NOT just as simple as eating less and exercising more, period.”

    It IS that simple. It’s just not that easy.

    “Do you really think that anyone can be so precise to measure the caloric content of food on a daily basis day in day out without error? This kind of precision requires a lab! It is WAY easier to let the homeostatic controls our body has in place to maintain our body weight. ”

    Straw man. I know for a fact that people can be precise ENOUGH to maintain or lose weight. However, measurement is pretty much paramount for it, as studies have shown that those trying to lose weight tend to underestimate their caloric intake by as much as 50% when attempting to keep track without weighing. Also, I’m starting to get the impression you’re a paleo guy.

    “How do you do that? By eating unprocessed “natural” foods. As hokey as that may sound, it’s the way to go for 99.9% of the population, UNLESS you are trying to achieve some kind of feat of strength or endurance (i.e. strongman type lifting, ironman, etc.).”

    No argument there, and I don’t think anyone’s trying to argue with the majority of that point. The only thing I would argue is that it’s okay to have said “processed” foods once a week or so and in small amounts, provided that the rest of the diet is set up well (sufficient protein, carbs/fats as needed) and training is taken care of.

  393. SethRPh permalink
    April 11, 2010

    Ok you called the straw man…check. However, I still contend that even the most precise, type A, anal retentive people are not THAT accurate.

    Yes, I’m a paleo (w/ zone) dude…HATE weighing and measuring honestly. Been there done that man…way too frustrating for my personality.

    I’m not a low-carb zealot either though…I just believe in eating the RIGHT carbs. Eat all of the veggies you want (with common sense). Fruit too, but to a limit. It’s about BALANCE. Balance between eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones (processed) as much as possible.

    Yeah, you can have processed foods…I’d be lying if I said I NEVER eat processed foods. I just had a PB cup a little while ago actually. :-) BUT, for someone trying to lose weight…I think that is a different story.

    No, the insulin thing is NOT an all or nothing type thing, I haven’t hung out on a cell and seen first hand how many triglycerides are leaving cells when insulin is spiked in our bodies but I doubt it is very much.

  394. SethRPh permalink
    April 11, 2010

    One more thing…I’m not necessarily saying that the whole calories in calories out thing is COMPLETE hogwash (not back pedaling just clarifying), I think that this will get you a fair amount of weight loss if you are totally eating just retarded amounts of food to begin with. BUT, it has been my experience personally that if you are trying to lose that last 10-20 pounds…that is when you really have to control the insulin levels in your body to squeeze out those last few pounds.

  395. Matt permalink
    April 11, 2010

    “Ok you called the straw man…check. However, I still contend that even the most precise, type A, anal retentive people are not THAT accurate.”

    No, they’re certainly not 100% accurate, they may be accurate to within 5% on intake. Output is where the real variation comes in and that’s where you have to adjust to account for real world results.

    “Yes, I’m a paleo (w/ zone) dude…HATE weighing and measuring honestly. Been there done that man…way too frustrating for my personality.

    I’m not a low-carb zealot either though…I just believe in eating the RIGHT carbs. Eat all of the veggies you want (with common sense). Fruit too, but to a limit. It’s about BALANCE. Balance between eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones (processed) as much as possible.”

    There’s certainly nothing wrong with the paleo lifestyle, but the contention that man absolutely WAS NOT meant to have grains is horseshit. As you said, it’s about balance. The more active and insulin sensitive you are, the more carbohydrates you can eat, from any source (though it seems that “low GI” carbs are preferable from a health standpoint).

    “Yeah, you can have processed foods…I’d be lying if I said I NEVER eat processed foods. I just had a PB cup a little while ago actually. :-) BUT, for someone trying to lose weight…I think that is a different story.”

    It’s a different story about 90% of the time. The other 10% can be a little more flexible. For example, if a person trying to lose weight follows their diet for 20 meals out of the week, 1 free meal won’t hurt progress significantly; in fact, it’s been shown to help with diet adherence, which is arguably the most important factor.

    “No, the insulin thing is NOT an all or nothing type thing, I haven’t hung out on a cell and seen first hand how many triglycerides are leaving cells when insulin is spiked in our bodies but I doubt it is very much.”

    Please don’t think I’m underplaying insulin’s role in weight loss/maintenance/gain because it is critical; note my comment above where I related glycemic load to insulin sensitivity. But save for the case of type II diabetes, hyperinsulinemia probably won’t cause problems (beyond hunger, that tired feeling, and a little craving for carbs) that can’t be solved by a healthy body.

  396. SethRPh permalink
    April 11, 2010

    Totally agree with the compliance to diet by cheating once a week…completely, it’s how you make it last a lifetime for sure.

    The hyperinsulinemia thing is central to metabolic syndrome. It is referenced in a whole bunch of journals (pub med) as being at the core to all of those issues. Insulin can raise blood pressure by retaining sodium, in turn retaining water. It, along with high cortisol levels contributes to visceral adiposity. Constantly elevated levels of insulin causes insulin resistance, etc.

    For the people that are not overweight, but usually insulin resistant naturally, usually have horrible cholesterol profiles…of course depending on how they eat. Unless they have familial hypercholesterolemia, double whammy. :-( But, admittedly I’m not sure if this ALWAYS leads to some kind of pathological disorder. So, yes and no I guess, depends.

  397. SethRPh permalink
    April 11, 2010

    The grains thing…agreed, that’s why I say zone too. I think you have to take the best science of all things to make what works for you. Yes yes, low GL/GI. :-)

  398. April 12, 2010

    “Highly palatable, calorically dense food that people cannot resist and eat continuously”

    But people *can* resist. People *can* eat them moderately, or eat a small amount. It *is* possible. If I can do it, others can do it. Trust me, I’m not special! I was as gluttonous as anybody.

    Re: calorie counting, I don’t count calories. I just try to be aggressive with my calorie deficit on most days. Maybe I’ll have to be more exact when I have less weight to lose. But for now, I just eat a lot less than I used to, and that’s been enough.

    “I just had a PB cup a little while ago actually.”

    I had a mini PB cup yesterday, then saved the other two for later. I might have them today or tomorrow, or the next day. I also have two Cadbury Creme Eggs that I’ll eat eventually. Mmm, it’s so great to have self-control! :-)

  399. April 13, 2010

    Well, I guess Jordan & Matt beat me to the punch. Seth, please study their responses. If you have any further questions, let me know. Thanks.

  400. Matt permalink
    April 13, 2010

    Sorry about that, Alan. It’s just that you said you wouldn’t respond until the next day and, well… I just can’t sleep when someone’s wrong on the internet.

  401. April 13, 2010

    Matt — I know the feeling. Thanks for weighing in on the bro-down.

  402. SethRPh permalink
    April 13, 2010

    I am not wrong about what I’ve said…I thought we went through this? You guys are delusional :-)

    For sure people CAN resist…what I am saying is that sucrose throws off our body’s natural mechanisms for controlling energy balance. Man, I’m not going through the whole insulin thing again. Everything I’ve said is accurate.

    Alan, it seems like you read the Am J of Clin Nutr…look up what I’ve said on pub med man, it’s all there.

    Of course all of these things we’re all arguing about on here…they’re all just hypotheses at the end of the day. Not even any of our original work or research, I guess that’s probably the funniest thing about you guys on these forums…but as far as the insulin thing…facts, plain and simple, that is how insulin works.

    I’m not even sure what points you guys are disagreeing with me on anymore. On which point am I “wrong”??

  403. April 13, 2010

    Seth…do you think that insulin is elevated enough while in a caloric deficit to cause fat storage? Another question, if what you say is true, how do natural bodybuilders (myself included along with many of my clients) get to incredibly lean levels with relatively high carb diets (that ignore the GI scale), with high protein and low fat? High protein, non-GI controlled high carb meals spike insulin quite high without the fiber and fat to slow down digestion. If what you are saying is scientific fact then people should not be able to get to 3-5% bodyfat using these protocols….but they do.

    What gives?

  404. JLB permalink
    April 13, 2010

    Eric,

    Seth sounds to me like he needs to do quite a bit more studying about fat loss and how it occurs. Apparently, he thinks insulin fluctuations can override a sustained net negative caloric balance and prevent fat loss in the said conditions. Funny, that.

  405. SethRPh permalink
    April 14, 2010

    The explanation for your question is simple…just like in body building and training clients, everyone is slightly different. Some people FOR SURE have different tolerances for carbs and different sensitivities to the effects of insulin. I WISH I drew the genetic winning lottery ticket and was able to be lean while being able to eat all of the refined carbs I wanted. This is true for some people, I know some of these people (I hate these people :-) I kid). Like I have said in previous posts, I can reconcile with the whole caloric deficit thing for overall weight loss if your diet is not that great to begin with. Like I’ve also said, for someone that is trying to REALLY lean out (less than 10% body fat), I believe it comes down to more than just trying to set up a caloric deficit. That has been my personal experience.

    I at one point had been counting calories, weighing, measuring, the whole 9 and just was stagnant in my pursuits. Cut out refined carbs and processed foods, voila, lost 20 pounds in 2 months. I’ve been doing this whole counting calories thing and caloric deficit for the last 8 years and only in the last year have I actually seen the scale get down to where it was in high school. Not that I was ever really heavy (5’7″ 183 lbs was my top weight – not muscle). Now I’m down to 147 lbs, lean, and I feel great!

    I’m really not trying to come on here and tell you guys that the whole counting calories caloric deficit is just total bullocks BUT I will say that I think that there is a little bit more to it than just simply setting up a mathematical equation for a good portion of the population. I think some of the people (Alan included) that have been having this back and forth with me fall into the category of not being extremely sensitive to the effects of insulin. For those people this equation works really well for them. And while maybe everyone disagrees with what I’m saying, I’m just telling you the mechanism of action of one hormone in our body and how it affects us. Like I’ve said before just look up in textbooks what insulin does and how it works, I’m not saying anything that isn’t very well known.

  406. SethRPh permalink
    April 14, 2010

    JLB, that is exactly what I’m saying actually…why does everyone underestimate hormones and the power they have over our body??! After all what do you think steroids are?? They’re HORMONES! They can make you lean, can make you big, 8 feet tall. It’s biochem people.

  407. Matt permalink
    April 14, 2010

    “The explanation for your question is simple…just like in body building and training clients, everyone is slightly different. Some people FOR SURE have different tolerances for carbs and different sensitivities to the effects of insulin. I WISH I drew the genetic winning lottery ticket and was able to be lean while being able to eat all of the refined carbs I wanted. This is true for some people, I know some of these people (I hate these people :-) I kid). Like I have said in previous posts, I can reconcile with the whole caloric deficit thing for overall weight loss if your diet is not that great to begin with. Like I’ve also said, for someone that is trying to REALLY lean out (less than 10% body fat), I believe it comes down to more than just trying to set up a caloric deficit. That has been my personal experience.”

    I agree, everyone is different. And you’re right, a lot of it does come down to insulin sensitivity/resistance and insulin secretion.

    “I at one point had been counting calories, weighing, measuring, the whole 9 and just was stagnant in my pursuits. Cut out refined carbs and processed foods, voila, lost 20 pounds in 2 months. I’ve been doing this whole counting calories thing and caloric deficit for the last 8 years and only in the last year have I actually seen the scale get down to where it was in high school. Not that I was ever really heavy (5′7″ 183 lbs was my top weight – not muscle). Now I’m down to 147 lbs, lean, and I feel great!”

    Please reread my first post. I think you’re a perfect example of the anecdote I was talking about, where the person thinks they have a certain output per day but doesn’t. If you were actually weighing and measuring as you say, then that’s the only explanation I can think of. If you were TRULY in a deficit, no amount of insulin could stop weight loss without killing you.

    “I’m really not trying to come on here and tell you guys that the whole counting calories caloric deficit is just total bullocks BUT I will say that I think that there is a little bit more to it than just simply setting up a mathematical equation for a good portion of the population. I think some of the people (Alan included) that have been having this back and forth with me fall into the category of not being extremely sensitive to the effects of insulin. For those people this equation works really well for them. And while maybe everyone disagrees with what I’m saying, I’m just telling you the mechanism of action of one hormone in our body and how it affects us. Like I’ve said before just look up in textbooks what insulin does and how it works, I’m not saying anything that isn’t very well known.”

    I’m not insulin sensitive in the last (except after a long fasting period) and as I said before, I agree that insulin is a big part of the puzzle, but it’s not the WHOLE puzzle. Where before I wanted to be sure you knew I wasn’t understating insulin’s role in fat loss, now I want you to understand that you’re overstating insulin’s role in fat loss: Insulin’s role in fat loss is HUGE, but it’s far from everything. You seem to be confusing insulin sensitivity with caloric deficit here; even if you go zero-carb (which, by the way, makes you MORE insulin resistant) and you reduce your insulin intake to comparatively near-zero levels (can’t be zero because protein causes a reasonable insulin secretion itself), you’re STILL creating a caloric deficit; it’s quite easy to create a deficit when you cut out an entire macronutrient. You’re just finding a way to create a deficit that works for you and keeps you sated, in the same way that someone who loses weight well on a high-carb diet finds that that keeps them sated; again, yes, this has a lot to do with insulin sensitivity and secretion, but please don’t think that just because you’re keeping your insulin minimized that you’ve somehow sidestepped thermodynamics.

  408. April 14, 2010

    Seth — Before I engage in debate with you, did you just admit to being a Paleo-Zoner? You better not be trolling, man.

  409. April 14, 2010

    “I WISH I drew the genetic winning lottery ticket and was able to be lean while being able to eat all of the refined carbs I wanted.”

    Not “all” of the refined carbs you want. In moderation. Or a small amount. Nobody can eat “all” of the food they want. (Except maybe people with extremely high activity levels.)

    For someone trying to get to under 10% body fat, of course they have to be more strict. They have a smaller margin for error.

  410. April 19, 2010

    Seth, hormones do not, and will not ever trump the laws of physics. If you take a gram of test a day but do not eat enough calories to gain weight, you will not gain weight. If you are in a negative energy balance, you will lose weight despite the actions of insulin.

    If the above statement is wrong, I have a lot more to worry about than my clients getting lean, because the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy are apparently wrong.

    And by the way….I’d be pretty surprised if in the 7 years working as a trainer that every client I’ve ever had won the genetic lottery. I’m not talking about me and my two buddies when I say clients, I’m talking about a large population group all getting into the single digits without eating only “clean” foods.

    And you missed a big point I made….in a negative energy balance, insulin is simply not elevated like you are making it out to be. If you only have 30g of carbs at an alloted meal, it won’t make a huge insulin spike regardless of food type. Its just not enough carbohydrate.

  411. Mario permalink
    April 26, 2010

    That’s a poor criticism. Dr. Lustig’s main thesis is NOT that fructose is evil because of what it does metabolically. If you watch his video carefully, you will even hear him say the exact words. His thesis is that fructose is evil because it’s economically evil. Because it is so cheap and unregulated that it made its way into EVERYTHING. And that makes it hard to eat small quantities of it (certainly when every drink that is not water you drink, almost all bread you eat, and most certainly anything “sweet” you eat, and even things like tomato sauce or soups you buy at the grocery store).

    Besides, it’s not news to anyone (I would hope) that fructose metabolism is different that glucose. Every medical student or person cursorily interested in human physiology knows that glucose can be used by every cell in the body, while fructose on the other hand must be processed by the liver, and liver is the only organ that can do anything with it.

    What it does with fructose is very similar (almost the same) as what it does with alcohol, and as a matter of fact fructose does the same things to your liver as alcohol does (it damages it, and makes it fatty). Yet, because alcohol also affects your brain (unlike fructose) it is regulated substance virtually anywhere in the world. Fructose which does the same thing to your liver on the other hand is added to everything you eat.

  412. April 26, 2010

    Mario — Yeah, bro. I too feel bad for people whose diets consist mainly of sodas, desserts, & crappy fast food. Dose & context, ya know. Strong regurgitation of Lustig’s weak points, by the way.

  413. Marie permalink
    April 26, 2010

    Hi, Alan, I’m new to your blog. (There’s a ton of info to try to absorb, lol!) I’m wondering, do you think a keto diet could be best for certain people, or is the whole low carb thing hogwash?

    I’m asking because I became obese (BMI of 31) several years after having my kids and have been having the hardest time losing weight. Following a low calorie diet (under 1,400/day) and lots of exercise (2+ hrs/day) to lose weight has worked for me to slowly get weight off, but it’s hard to keep up and I always end up gaining the weight back. I recently tried a keto diet for a month and lost weight, but something weird happened on that diet. I was constantly hungry, so I upped my calories. Even on 2,400+ calories a day (1,000 cals more than usual), I was still hungry. But the weight was still coming off. That makes no sense to me. Is there some explanation for this besides the whole “carbs are fattening” mantra that others might see it as?

  414. Mario permalink
    April 26, 2010

    Here some more interesting links to check out as well.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19403712?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Exploration of link between fructose and metabolic syndrome

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/2/1/5

    http://edrv.endojournals.org/cgi/content/short/30/1/96

    Note that some of these clearly state that it is excessive consumption of fructose (esp. when your normal caloric requirements are met from other sources that danger of fructose is highest. And that just happens to be almost all of us in the developed world).

  415. April 28, 2010

    Marie — as long as you get your protein requirements covered, the proportion of carb & fat in your diet is dependent upon your personal preference, tolerance, & individual response. If you increased cals on a keto-type plan & kept losing weight, it could have been due to a number of factors, the biggest one being that you were still in an energy deficit, or you were dropping more water weight than before. The whole low-carb thing isn’t hogwash; it just has a better tendency to cover protein needs than the Standard American Diet. This tends to give it an advantage in terms of satiating effect, thermic effect, and preservation of lean mass. Bottm line = if you found what works for you, stick with it.

  416. Marie permalink
    April 28, 2010

    Thanks for the explanation, Alan.

    Weight loss is not the calories in-calories out thing I thought it’d be. And certainly not as cut and dry as my old textbooks made it seem. If I’d known then what I know now about how hard it is to lose weight, the extra pounds would’ve NEVER happened. *sigh*

  417. MvB permalink
    May 4, 2010

    I’m going to attempt to state an opinion which I feel will be about as constructive and helpful as 99% of the comments on this blog have been:

    Your background image made me gain at least thirty fucking pounds and caused at least a sixty percent increase in blockage in my already-diseased heart, brodudehomeskillitmostspectacularg-unit.

  418. Little Dragon permalink
    May 9, 2010

    Maybe all camps of thought are loyal to their ideologies and over-simplifying a bit. Unfortunately, all humans are subject to bias. I’m guilty of this myself and I’ve recently had to loosen up a lot on what I thought. I never even saw mention of other ways the body stores fat besides insulin in the 10 years of diet research I’ve done (which I intend to look into). We tend to easily get sucked into siding with one view or another and this causes us to become blind to any evidence to the contrary, be it diet, politics or religion.

    That said, I think that it’s useless to over-emphasize fructose and not focus on more important factors, like overall excess food intake which includes all forms of carbohydrates. I’m in the low carb camp by the way. From what I gather, diet and it’s outcomes on health are so multifactoral that it is illogical and biased to point the finger at any one thing as being a sole contributor. I personally feel that it’s a combination of chronically high blood sugar (maxed out glycogen stores I’m sure don’t help either) and more calories than needed.

    As for thermodynamics, I think it applies to a degree. However, the human body is quite complex and all the known and unknown metabolic processes going on can complicate what happens to calories.

    I used to think that in the absence of sufficient insulin, the body would simply excrete excess calories from fat. Now I’m not sure what to think. One thing is certain, there is so much contradictory information about diet floating around on the internet and the media, it’s maddening trying to seperate the science from the pseudoscience!

    I think a safe rule of thumb is to go by what we are genetically adapted to. I think that the truth will be revealed in time. If science can figure out what it has about our planet and the universe, surely it will crack the diet code at some point.

  419. davide permalink
    May 26, 2010

    Actually Alan is incorrect on some points. For example, according to the US Department of Agriculture food consumption tables, the consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group.

    This is a major point that Alan left out.

    Secondly, the test to determine if pre-loading on sugar increases appetite did not take into account the time factor. Of course when sugar levels are high, the person will not feel hungry, and indeed will feel quite full. It is only when the sugar levels begin to drop that the hunger cravings return with greater intensity.

    There are other holes in Alan’s reasoning that did not address Lustig’s arguments directly, which hopefully people will be able to pick up on.

  420. Sam permalink
    May 26, 2010

    >> consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990

    So what? HFCS is nearly identical to cane & beet sugar to the human body, and in that time period people replaced fructose from cane and beet sugar for fructose in HFCS

    Dr. Lustig’s talk was NOT HFCS=POISON, it was

    fructose = poison

    In the time period you write about:

    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/79/4/537

    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content-nw/full/79/4/537/F1

    The circled dots are total fructose. – not much change, huh?

    >> There are other holes in Alan’s reasoning that did not address
    >> Lustig’s arguments directly, which hopefully people will be able to
    >> pick up on.

    wow – I’ve never read this calibre of argumentation

    obsessively detailed
    well referenced
    very specific
    impeccablly argued
    irrefutably logical

    durn it all dude YOU CONVINCED ME !!!!!

    OH NOEZ!!! FRUCTOZE IS TEH POIZONZ!!!!

  421. Sam permalink
    May 26, 2010

    >> There are other holes in Alan’s reasoning that did not address
    >> Lustig’s arguments directly, which hopefully people will be able to
    >> pick up on.

    To beat the dead horse some more:

    indubitably my dear Watson, people WILL indeed note certain holes, a certain GAPING lack …

  422. davide permalink
    May 27, 2010

    Sugar consumption has increased over the years, dramatically, no matter which way one slices it.

    Lustig is not a lone ranger as some here would purport. His findings are backed by nearly all the major health organizations of the world, except for the US sugar industry. And although the US sugar lobbyists have threatened the World Health Organization for their reports on sugar and health (which again confirm Lustig’s work), the WHO has not ceded.

    Just follow the money trail, and be careful what your sources are.

    The sugar lobbyists have invested millions to change the time-honored USDA and WHO guidelines of a 10% limit of daily sugar intake to a 25% limit. They have launched major campaigns to sway public opinion; to turn attention away from sugar. What are they hiding? Why are they so threatened?

    Fructose *does* increase hunger and cause sugar addiction. There is no way to ignore this. Just look up any reputable study on this subject (not one that is funded by sugar stakeholders).


    Consumption of High-Fructose Corn Syrup in Beverages and Obesity,
    By the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

    Nutritionists Unimpressed by Sugar Lobby’s Outcry

    US Sugar Industry Threatens World Health Organization Over Healthy Eating Guidelines

  423. davide permalink
    May 27, 2010

    By the way, your graph is incorrect. It only shows the prevalence of being “overweight”, not obesity. Again, be careful about your sources.

    Here is a more thorough graph;

    -CDC Trends in Obesity from 1965-2005

    In 1960, only about 13% of the population was obese.
    In 2005, the number has skyrocketed to about 33%.

    This is unprecedented in the history of the world, and the sugar industry is scrambling to hide the correlation to sugar, even resorting to threats against the major health organizations of the world.

    -

  424. davide permalink
    May 27, 2010

    One way to prove that processed sugar is addictive (for those who eat sugar in their diet regularly), is to stop eating it, and observe the withdraw symptoms you experience.

    If you are used to drinking coffee in the morning with sugar, stop. And observe how your body reacts. If you are used to drinking soda, juice, or any sweetened beverage, stop.
    sugary cereals? anything with high dose HFCS, such as ketchup, mustard, etc.? sweets, cakes, syrups, cookies, fast food?

    People who have eliminated processed (free) sugar from their diet report that after a while, once their body readjusts to not taking in so much sugar, they no longer feel the cravings for sugary foods and junk foods. They can look at a piece of cake indifferently. It is true, because I have experienced it myself.

    This is a sure-fire victory over obesity.

  425. Sam permalink
    May 28, 2010

    you’re rehashing arguments that were roundly thrashed eons ago (read the posts above)

    >> People who have eliminated processed (free) sugar from their diet
    >> report that after a while, once their body readjusts to not taking in
    >> so much sugar, they no longer feel the cravings for sugary foods and

    “people who have …” my, my, my, how “scientific” and “controlled’ and “randomized” (yes, my sarcasm is scieintific, and controlled, but definitely not randomized)

    >> junk foods. They can look at a piece of cake indifferently. It is true,
    >>> because I have experienced it myself.

    I bet, whether you will ever admit it or not, this is the basis for all you’re writing, and all the verbiage I predict will be forthcoming

    And quite a basis, isn’t it? It’s quite a large, nay, a HUMONGOUS controlled intervention study, isn’t it? And being such, it MUST be applied to the entire population. IF THEY WOULD JUST LISTEN !!!!!

    Anyway, since the corpuse you’ve presented has been thrashed to within an inch, and you’re following in the footsteps of (yes, you’re showing several of the signs) I’ll take a “pass ” on being @ the receiving end of your monologueing[0]. Good luck with the volumes you’re about to write; Fred Hahn will probably love it (and accuse me of trolling for saying so).

    [0] see “the Incredibles”

  426. Sam permalink
    May 28, 2010

    while I try to figure out why my post isn’t going up, I’ll put up my original reaction

    >>> By the way, your graph is incorrect. It only shows the
    >> prevalence of being “overweight”, not obesity. Again,
    >> be careful about your sources.

    You fear mongering anti-science demagogues are SO EFFIN PREDICTABLE

    THE GRAPH AND THE PAPER i LINKED TO SUPPORT YOUR FRICKIN POSITION.

    How, OH HOW, oh HOW did I know you would ignore anything I actually wrote & simply spew your pre-rehearsed crap? How, oh how did I have the presence of mind to put up links that agree with you, hoping you would show your true colors?

    Because you showed the signs, and You fear mongering unscientific demagogues are SO EFFIN PREDICTABLE

  427. davide permalink
    May 28, 2010

    “I believe it comes down to more than just trying to set up a caloric deficit. ”

    Seth, have you heard of the case studies done on children with insulin secretion disorders, who were given 500 calories/day for a month, and still gained weight? When the children were given a medicine to suppress insulin secretion, they immediately began losing weight and their energy and activity increased dramatically.

    Dr. Lustig claims he tested this on normal adults with obesity, and discovered the same results. This seems to confirm that the “caloric deficit” approach is not necessarily a shoe-in. I would be curious if you know of where I can find these studies?

    .

  428. davide permalink
    May 29, 2010

    Another tip for those who are struggling with a sugar addiction (which IS a real addiction): L-Glutamine and Chromium Picolinate both naturally suppress the appetite, and especially sugar cravings. Take a normal dosage in the morning, mid-morning, and in the afternoon, and you will no longer have sugar cravings. The positive testimonies of people all over the internet corroborate this fact. It is the real deal, not just another gimmick. Look it up!

    Good luck!

  429. May 29, 2010

    Davide — Your deadhorse points have all been addressed in this discussion, you may also review the summary, where your points are further addressed: http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/02/19/a-retrospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/

    Also, the way you attempted to support your argument by citing “The positive testimonies of people all over the internet” tells me that you have not the faintest clue what constitutes strong vs weak evidence. Every time I put sugar in my morning coffee, I chuckle to myself about folks with your utterly neurotic perspective.

  430. davide permalink
    May 30, 2010

    Alan,
    Corroborative evidence is valid evidence, even in a court of law (and especially if it is corroborated by thousands of individuals, all with the same experiences)

    I think some people here might be missing the point. Fructose in moderation might not produce adverse health effects, just as alcohol in moderation might not produce adverse health effects either. In my opinion, the greater issue is the addictive properties of Fructose, which most people are not aware of. Those who have not struggled with an addiction may not be prone to an addiction, and will not understand why “putting sugar in my coffee”–if even just one teaspoon–can enable the addiction to continue. “Alcohol in moderation” to alcoholics is like saying “smoking in moderation” to a heavy smoker. It is nearly impossible to maintain over time without desiring more and more for the same effect.

    Ultimately, I think I will trust the peer-reviewed medical doctor (with numerous case studies to support his findings) over a fan-club blog page.
    .

  431. May 30, 2010

    Davide — Nice appeal to authority (look it up & familiarize yourself with the logical fallacy). I’m going to guess you fell face-first for Lustig’s appeal to Youtube hits too? Right now now I’m quite literally going to have some coffee with sugar…and chuckle to myself about folks who have nightmares about being chased by sugar cubes.

  432. Sam permalink
    May 31, 2010

    >> Also, the way you attempted to support your argument by citing
    >> “The positive testimonies of people all over the internet” tells me that
    >> you have not the faintest clue what constitutes strong vs weak evidence.

    he used this as “proof” ?

    and natch, the actual pages are missing – proof, without the proof.

    Almost ANY weight loss strategy works for a few weeks.

    I wonder How many of his internet “proof” cohort, if they’re real, have kept any weight off – I would bet very few, if the diet is to permanetly get rid of junk food.

    Draconian diets set people up for people giving up on the first “rebound binge”.

    Flexible diets don’t set up the same kind of psychological mechanism.

  433. Sam permalink
    June 2, 2010

    Mario permalink
    April 26, 2010

    >> words. His thesis is that fructose is evil because it’s
    >> economically evil. Because it is so cheap and unregulated that it
    >> made its way into EVERYTHING. And that makes it hard to eat small
    >> quantities of it (certainly when every drink that is not water you
    >> drink, almost all bread you eat, and most certainly anything

    Same thing can be said of corn, soy, wheat & beans – they’ve all gotten cheaper over the last couuple of decades. Note all the cheap food in your grocery stores’ centre ailes – it’s all cheap stuff. So why pin the blame on sucrose, when there’s more wheat and fat being consumed in the pastries that carry the HFCS?

    And what if HFCS were not the cheapest sweetener? So what? The world would no longer be obese?

    That’s a dubious proposition

    the “cheap HFCS” factoid is only true in the US; some US taxes double the price of sucrose (over worldwide prices) in the US.

    Without those taxes sucrose would be even cheaper than HFCS.

    Basic economics tells you that instead of hfcs in your food, you would probably get the next closest thing or “best substitute that provides the same food engineering properties” – sucrose.

    Common sense tells you the same thing – you’re an engineer working at ADM or Pepsi or some other obesity-creating mega-evil-corporation, and HFCS’s price rises, what do you do? Nothing? Heck no – you have to maintain your evilness quotient, so you get on the horn to whoever produces sucrose & secure a supply for your next production run.

  434. Joek permalink
    June 5, 2010

    You wrote that he does not mention that…. fructose in both the commercial and natural domain has an equal amount of glucose attached to it. What? Did you watch it? He goes on and on talking about the 50/50 fructose/ glucose split!
    You have a clear agenda, and are are wrong. How does it help your cause to lie about what he is saying? Bottom line – fructose is poison, there’s an immense amount of data showing this.

  435. June 5, 2010

    Joek, the details/premises of Lustig’s argument are inconsistent with his conclusions (among other errors which you ignored) – which makes his stance that much more convoluted. Thanks for pointing this out. Gimmie a second, I’m gonna go collect my check from the Corn Refiner’s Association, and then sit pretty while you deprive thyself of The Sweet Surprise.

  436. Sam permalink
    June 6, 2010

    Joek June 5, 2010

    >> You wrote that he does not mention that…. fructose in both the
    >> commercial and natural domain has an equal amount of glucose
    >> attached to it. What? Did you watch it?

    Maybe you rushed through it and didn’t put down all you wanted, but I can’t make sense of that. Please quote the post or posts you object to, and DETAIL your objections EXPLICITLY.

    Couple of fragments I understood are patently false. Commercial fructose has no glucose. You can buy it by the ton or hundreds of tons, all glucose free.

    Commercial HFCS does have glucose. But so what? What point is supported by this (false) assertion? (DETAILS would help)

    >> He goes on and on talking about the 50/50 fructose/ glucose split!

    Almost everybody posting above did – including Alan, Messrs. Lustig, Krieger and Hale; so which “he” did you mean? (DETAILS would help)

    You did read a few of the posts above, right?

    >> You have a clear agenda, and are are wrong. How does it help your
    >> cause to lie about what he is saying?

    Who lied? to whom? About what, SPECIFICALLY? In which post or posts, SPECIFICALLY? (DETAILS would help)

    >> Bottom line – fructose is poison, there’s an immense
    >> amount of data showing this

    Here is someone who disagrees with you [0]
    _________________
    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-983

    Robert Lustig, M.D. February 1, 2010

    3. It is about dose, and it is about context. I say so in the video, please do not misquote me.

    Sincerely,
    Robert Lustig, M.D.
    ________________________________________

    >> You have a clear agenda,
    Both sides here have a clear agenda – one is laid out here:
    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/02/19/a-retrospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/#comment-1334

    the most salient points:
    · Thinks critically.
    · Examines all the data, not just the data that support his or her view.

    >> Bottom line – fructose is poison, there’s an immense
    >> amount of data showing this

    only if you violate this rule: a real scientist
    · Examines all the data, not just the data that support his or her view.

    [0] but only sometimes – seems he wants it both ways. Hysteria, but only wometimes

    (apologies if formatting errors make my post nonsensical. I can’t find a “preview” button)

  437. sandra breulle permalink
    June 8, 2010

    Dr. Lustig finished his sentences with “…, K?” over 370 times in his 90-minute talk, an average of over 4 times per minute. He laid out some good ideas, but good god, that single verbal tic made it impossible to really listen to him.

  438. June 9, 2010

    Sandra — That’s a pretty hilarious observation. I actually found it kinda charming.

  439. Sam permalink
    June 22, 2010

    I just finished this book

    Lots of folks posting above would do well to read it (but won’t)

    http://www.rburton.com/_i_on_being_certain_i___believing_you_are_right_even_when_you_re_not_63166.htm

  440. Oli permalink
    July 5, 2010

    Not long after I had enjoyed the good taste of agave nectar for the first time, I came across the video by Dr. Robert H Lustig. I was very surprised by the very bad comments by him, and I was also much puzzled, until I found this site. I am happy to see all the in depth discussions. I am happy not only because I do not have to throw away my bottle of the syrup — I am lucky to have found this site where I will be better informed while enjoying watching the “high class” debates.

  441. Mike permalink
    July 15, 2010

    Alan,

    I’d like to call your attention to the following comment I made recently on futurepundit:

    A study was done in 1966 that has not received the attention it deserves. Winitz and Adams researching diets for astronauts created a nutrition mixture and fed it under controlled conditions to a prison population in Vacaville, CA.

    At one point the the prisoners complained that the diet was too bland. The researchers had been using glucose rather than sucrose. They changed back to sucrose to the approval of the prisoners. However their daily monitoring of the cholesterol levels of the subject population went up significanly with the sucrose. The diet was changed back to glucose and the cholesterol levels decreased. Back to sucrose and back up they went.

    The difference between glucose and sucrose is FRUCTOSE. Sucrose (table sugar) is a disaccharide consisting of one molecule of glucose and one of fructose. The addition of fructose through the use of sucrose raised cholesterol.

    I found this out a few years ago from an article by Linus Pauling. It is the only reference to the study I have been able to find on the web aside from the original article available from JAMA which I have not purchased.

    Pauling’s article is here: http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/51/2/Nutrition.htm

    The Jama article is here: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/196/6/35.pdf

    Hopefully one of the commenters or someone else will be able to follow this up. I suspect it may lead to significant progress in understanding the effect of fructose on health.

    BTW 4000 IU of Vitamin D/day significantly changed my cholesterol profile for the better as well as reducing my blood pressure back to where it was 10 years ago to 100-120/55-60 from 150-175/90-120 without meds. No longer taking isopril just Vitamin D.

    Mike

  442. July 15, 2010

    Mike — As for fructose’s effect on cholesterol, here’s a study for you to ponder. The researchers imposed a 17% fructose diet on the subjects (about double what the current average intake is), and the men’s TGs went up, women were unaffected, and cholesterol values were unaffected in either sex: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11063439?dopt=Abstract

    But again, whether fructose is something to get all jumpy about depends on how much you habitually ingest, and in what context it’s ingested.

    PS – Why are you groping for ancient/archival work when there’s a full bounty of more current stuff? Here, get your hands on these & read them through for a more balanced look at the big picture:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19592634

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18996880

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047139

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20086073

  443. Mike permalink
    July 15, 2010

    Alan,

    I was groping because it was the only evidence I had seen. Thanks for the further links I will have a look at them and get back to you if I have more to say or ask.

    Best,

    Mike

  444. Joris permalink
    July 27, 2010

    Ok your first argument isnt really correct. The data doesnt show anything.

    If you look at the percentages you see that added fat increased. However if you just look at the calorie data youll find that sugar, fat and calorie increased. Fat however has increased a bit more. Also in the years HFCS has gone up and sucrose down. So more fructose and more total sugar calorie intake. So out of this data you cant say if its the calorie increase, fat increase or the sugar increase. Also there can be a split in the society , as one part started calorie restriction hardcore (1500 cal) the other part started eating a lot more (3000+)
    You would first have to put people into groups of calorie and kind of calorie intake and then look at obesity. You cant average 2 extremes. Since the average calories could stay the same but half the people could get more obese and other half more underfed.

    I havent took time yet to look at the satisfaction studies. However i can say out of my own experience that sugar doesnt satisfy me. On high sugar diet I can eat up to 4500cal (with effort!) , on a high fat diet I have to watch out i dont go under 1800cal )

  445. Joris permalink
    July 27, 2010

    Alan Aragon permalink
    May 30, 2010
    Davide — Nice appeal to authority (look it up & familiarize yourself with the logical fallacy). I’m going to guess you fell face-first for Lustig’s appeal to Youtube hits too? Right now now I’m quite literally going to have some coffee with sugar…and chuckle to myself about folks who have nightmares about being chased by sugar cubes.

    Whats that for argument/comeback! sugar stimilates dopamine,so it can be/is addictive. Moderation like davide was talking about is hard for people who already have an addiction/ stopped an adiction or are quickly addicted to stuff.

  446. doug permalink
    July 28, 2010

    Alan Aragon – who are and who do u work for?

  447. July 29, 2010

    Doug — Who are you and who do you work for?

  448. cat permalink
    August 12, 2010

    I really don’t know what everyone thinks is so clever about debating an untested hypothesis – I just lost 70lb testing it, and have a perfectly normal appetite, thank you, and I was never lazy. If you would like to try the same thing, perhaps you might have a clue what you are talking about – otherwise I do not think it is helpful to keep repeating the same rubbish the obese have endured for decades and what is effectively allowing the poisoning of the American, and now the worldwide food system by multinationals.

  449. tyler permalink
    August 31, 2010

    “Hold on a second…Lustig is forgetting that most fructose in both the commercial and natural domain has an equal amount of glucose attached to it.”

    Fructose does not have glucose attached to it. Yes, sucrose has fructose in it attached to glucose. But straight fructose does not have anything attached…it is a monosaccharide.

    Fructose is not metabolized the same as glucose. This is the point. It’s not about carbohydrates in general. We are talking simple, non-nutritious carbs. Sugar, processed grains, etc. Not Fruit. Not whole grains. Not carbs from veggies. Carbs from sugar.

    Ludwig makes the comment that fructose and glucose are not the same and that this is what the whole talk is about.

    Fructose is the abundant sugar in the diet since HFCS is used in most processed foods. Yes HFCS illicits insulin response because corn syrup has fructose and glucose…BUT the added fructose does NOT illicit an insulin response. However, it does wreak havoc on our system the same way that high blood sugar would…especially for diabetics. We cannot monitor the blood-sugar levels that fructose causes. And if one can understand this biochemistry, then it can be understood that we can’t monitor the fructose half of what sucrose contains because half of it is fructose.

    He makes the comment that HFCS is just as bad as sucrose. This is true. However, I would have to say that HFCS is worse because of the added fructose.

    Either way, Lustig may have some flaws here and there or maybe just points that are not clearly made, but the whole point is that fructose in excess is damaging to our health. This is not too difficult to understand.

    There are always exceptions. For example, a high performance athlete or very active person could benefit from a small amount of fructose. But for the majority of the population this does not apply.

    We have become so out-of-tune with what we need naturally. We have demonized real food like grassfed meat and raw milk and animal fats in general. Instead we have shifted to unaturally occuring supplements, oils from plants that were never meant to be extracted and processed junk food labeled as “healthy.” Refined sugar and grains are fairly new to mankind compared to our time of existence. The point is that when everthing that is being consumed by many people (if not most) contains ingredients that are unnatural to our metabolic system (every cell metabolizes) we are going to have problems. This includes refined sugar and HFCS. HFCS is just an extension of unnatural processing of sugar cane.

  450. August 31, 2010

    Hey Tyler — You need to be brought up to speed, because all that you just spouted off has been discussed about 110x. Please do yourself a big favor & read the summary post.

  451. k0gepan permalink
    September 12, 2010

    “On the contrary, bananas, grapefruits, Mandarin oranges, apples, grapes, watermelons, pears, persimmons, peaches, and strawberries are significant staples of the Japanese diet [17]”

    NO. I’ve lived in Japan and most people over there treat fruits as an occasional treat, not a staple. A pound of strawberries here might cost 3 dollars but in Japan it can be as a high as 10 dollars for a pound.

  452. September 12, 2010

    Kogepan — Your personal anecdote means very little. This is not an anecdote sharing session. If you have more objective data showing that the Japanese eat fruit as “an occasional treat, not a staple” – I’d like to see it. Again, anecdote is weak compared to the reference I provided, which I’ll quote:

    “Japan’s fruit consumption was 41.5 kg per person in 2000. The volume of fruit per person has hovered around 40 kg over the last 25 years. […] Leading fruits by wholesale value are mandarin oranges, strawberries, apples, grapes, bananas, watermelons, pears, persimmons, and peaches.”

  453. September 21, 2010

    Well..i am 35. healthy. 175 lbs 6 ft, ~22 bmi. never ate sugary substance. hardly any soda. Ate Cereals, mostly Honey nut cheerios (now i don’t see HFCS in it, but i guess it used to have it) for 10 years. Now I have Fatty liver. how do you explain that?

  454. September 21, 2010

    Wow just read Dr. Robert Lustig’s last comment “fructose, and not just extra calories, is behind dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, visceral adiposity, and hepatic steatosis.” I was diagnosed with Fatty liver 3 months ago. I prided myself before that for eating healthy. I am (mostly) vegetarian..rarely eat meat. But ate cereals for 10/12 years. Today, if i check on the store shelves, General Mills cereals don’t have HFCS, but I have no doubt that it’s a recent phenomenon. Anyone knows when GM stopped using HFCS in cereals?
    What a coincidence..as i was typing this, Dr Lustig showed up on Dr. Oz show!

  455. September 22, 2010

    DC — Could be a number of factors at play in your development of fatty liver. You should talk to your doctor about that.

  456. Alex permalink
    September 24, 2010

    My advice to DC: do a Google search of Stephan Guyenet’s “Whole Health Source” blog for ‘fatty liver’, i.e. go to Google and plug in this:

    fatty liver site:wholehealthsource.blogspot.com

    You might find some dietary clues as to what caused your fatty liver.

  457. Cindy permalink
    October 5, 2010

    I agree that condemning fructose as the sole cause for obesity is silly, though it has been proven to be a detrimental part of the American diet. People need something to blame in order to feel encouragement and reassurance. I also believe that we need to step back and look at our food culture as a whole. How did fructose become a problem? The American food system is at fault. The way food is produced and the amount that is produced have caused food to transform farther and farther from it’s natural state. Why has food production become the way it is today? Americans want and expect food to be convenient. What we need to do is look at the big picture, but most people are afraid to blame themselves and so look for someone or something else to blame.

  458. Jack Cameron permalink
    October 7, 2010

    I disagree with your opinion that the calorie increase that has occurred was “across the board” based on an analysis of data from USDA and ISEO (edible oil group), which data shows that between 1970 and 2008, caloric intake increased by 27% while total fat intake increased by only 4%. The difference of 23% would therefore have to be carbohydrates and protein. I have no data on protein but I doubt it changed much.

    During the same period, consumption of animal fat decreased from 61% to 42% of total fat consumed, with the difference coming from vegetable fats. It is therefore likely that consumption of animal protein decreased during the period. I have no data on plant protein, but i doubt that any increase would more than offset the decrease in animal protein.

    On the ISEO website there is a statement attributed to USDA that between 1970 and 1997, per person fat consumption was unchanged but fat as a percentage of calories decreased from 43% to33%. This, too, supports the conclusion that the bulk of calorie increase was from carbohydrates.

    You may be right on many of the arguments you set forth regarding sugar, but on the this point I am confident you are wrong.

    Jack.

  459. Patricia Nadine Argueza permalink
    October 12, 2010

    Robert Lustig has opened my eyes to the ways in which our most trusted authorities on nutrition, such as the FDA and the USDA have failed for the last 30 years to deliver scientifically valid information. I believe that though consumers are ultimately responsible for their own health, it’s important to educate the public as much as possible about what they are consuming. I think one of the best ways to do this is to start with children in schools. As a California resident, I’ve witnessed the gradual degradation of our public education system for the past 12 years and have noted not the increasingly bad quality of school lunches. There is a severe lack of nutritionally viable food due to the industrialization of our food system. I can personally connect to Lustig’s mention of mothers on WIC receiving foods so high in fructose e.g. juice, that it has caused an epidemic of obese infants. After my father died, my mother enrolled in WIC and food stamps to support her six children. Looking back on what the government handed out to us, I realize that the food was usually of poor quality: overly processed and high in fat and sugar. Similar handouts can be seen through the history of Native American reservations. As the government took away native hunting and foraging grounds and continuously pumped “white food” such as white flour, lard, sugar, etc. into the diets of these people, rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc. skyrocketed. Franz Boas’ observation of Plains Indians who exceeded the health of white settlers are certainly not applicable today, where the words “Native American” are synonymous are obesity and type II diabetes. In spite of the failures of the government’s food policy, I will stress again that I am in no way blaming everything on the institutions and corporations that currently mandate what goes onto our plates. What I am advocating, alongside Robert Lusting, is greater accessibility and education about what we are eating.

  460. October 12, 2010

    Jack — As I stated in my article, “Survey data is far from the gold standard of evidence”, and I mean that. Which means, this part of the discussion is not as concrete as the rest. Also, if you read the link I provided (which I based my stats on), you’ll see that indeed my numbers are accurate according to the source I cited. You might wanna read the follow-up of this blog post, where again, I state that “I don’t disagree that survey data in general is pretty messy and equivocal, not to mention, incapable of establishing causal relationships.”

    Patricia — I agree that education is the key to getting the world healthier. But Lustig’s brand of miseducation stands to create a good lot of paranoia and ignorance. The man showed a poor sense of reason, as displayed in his direct discussion of this topic with me (this can be easily found in the follow-up post).

  461. Sydney permalink
    October 12, 2010

    I liked your post a lot and agree with many of the points you make. What was very unconvincing to me too was the failure to mention the effect of the great increase in caloric consumption in recent years as a large factor in weight gain. Even though Lustig backs up a lot of his points with science, it seems to me like he uses these points almost as a substitute for other key facts and information. I felt like the scientific breakdown about how a calorie is not just a calorie and how glucose and fructose affect the body and contribute to fat accumulation differently was interesting but a little overwhelming. I can see many people getting lost in the science of it all and just accepting all of Lustig’s points without thinking about other factors for why obesity is currently such a problem. Also, it is hard for me to accept his ideas when so much blame is just placed on one part of the diet. There are so many factors and reasons for weight gain and saying that one simple carbohydrate is so heavily responsible is quite a huge claim. In all, I really appreciated this analysis and how this post broke down Lustig’s good points and his weaker arguments.

  462. October 12, 2010

    Sydney — Thanks for taking the time to read this. There’s some really good debate in the commmentary, and I’ve highlighted & summarized it here.

  463. Alex M permalink
    October 12, 2010

    I agree that the claims by Lustig seemed sensationalized. Really, the minutae of exactly how many grams of fructose you should eat per day (whether maximum or minimum) seems rather trivial. Really, the focus should be less on the one demon nutrient in the Western Diet and more on how to eat healthily overall, as Michael Pollan states in “Food Rules” (which is an excellent book, by the way.) Almost everything is okay for you in moderation–that includes fructose. And the way to stay away from the “demon” part of fructose is to stay away from the extremely processed foods, which are full of added sugars in various disguises with various names. I think the demonization of a single nutrient is beside the point; in general, we people in the US eat terribly, cutting out whole foods and replacing them with processed “foodlike substances”. It’s the entire Western Diet that needs to be revolutionized…not the presence or absence of fructose, fat, or any other specific nutrient in our diets.

  464. Christopher John Shaker permalink
    October 30, 2010

    My take on the video was much different from yours. His video inspired me to try to refute what he says about how fructose is metabolized, and how it functions in our bodies. I’m finding many other sources, from medical research papers and medical journals, which agree with what he is saying.

    Have you found anything beneficial about fructose consumption for mammals? As he says in the video, it suppresses Ghrelin, which causes you to be hungry. So, maybe it would be useful to get sick people to eat. This article also suggests another way that Fructose increases appetite:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325091811.htm

    Fructose appears to encourage cancer cell growth, it seems to negatively affect memory, it definitely increases uric acid output, which increases your odds of getting gout and hypertension. Also, somewhere around 30% of the food energy from the fructose goes right from the liver into fat stores. Fructose suppresses Ghrelin, which causes you to be hungry. Those two features of Fructose seem to help explain the non linear weight gain that Americans are experiencing.

    The Wiki on Fructose and sucrose are interesting reading, too:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructose

    The Entries for “Liver Disease’, ‘Digestive Problems”, “Metabolic syndromes”, and “Gout” are food for thought. What it does to your liver sounds nasty. 

    This article from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism says some of the same things:

    “Dietary Fructose Reduces Circulating Insulin and Leptin, Attenuates Postprandial Suppression of Ghrelin, and Increases Triglycerides in Women”
    http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/jcem;89/6/2963

    It appears that Fructose impairs our memory as well!
    “How Fructose Impairs the Memory”
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=forget-the-fructose&sc=CAT_

    Even though normal cells in your body can not metabolize fructose directly, it appears that cancer cells can metabolize fructose to speed cancer growth!

    “Pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a study that challenges the common wisdom that all sugars are the same.”

    “They said their finding, published in the journal Cancer Research, may help explain other studies that have linked fructose intake with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancer types.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idAFN0210830520100802?rpc=44

    After learning more about Fructose, I’m attempting to cut it out of my diet.

    If you’re also curious about what sweeteners might be safe, it appears that Glucose, the sugar of life, is safe. Every cell in your body can metabolize it.

    The commercial sweetener, dextrose, is glucose. So is plain ‘corn syrup’ (but not high fructose corn syrup):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_syrup

    The Wikipedia entry for glucose is interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucose

    Under ‘Function':

    “Scientists can speculate on the reasons why glucose, and not another monosaccharide such as fructose (Fru), is so widely used in organisms. One reason might be that glucose has a lower tendency, relative to other hexose sugars, to react non-specifically with the amino groups of proteins. This reaction (glycation) reduces or destroys the function of many enzymes. The low rate of glycation is due to glucose’s preference for the less reactive cyclic isomer.”

    That paragraph seems to be saying that glucose is much less likely to mess with proteins and enzymes in your body than fructose is.

    One of my friends said that she cooks with Brown Rice Syrup. It appears to have no fructose, consisting of the sugar of life, glucose, according to the Wiki entries

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_rice_syrup

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltotriose

    Maltose in beer also seems to be the safe sugar, Glucose

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltose

    The Wiki on Beer is interesting, too:

    “Several diet books quote beer as having an undesirably high glycemic index of 110, the same as maltose; however, the maltose in beer undergoes metabolism by yeast during fermentation so that beer consists mostly of water, hop oils and only trace amounts of sugars, including maltose.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer

    I welcome factual corrections, additional information, or education.

    Chris Shaker

  465. Christopher John Shaker permalink
    October 30, 2010

    I forgot about another possibly beneficial attribute of fructose. It actually lowers blood insulin levels. The wiki on Fructose says that some doctors consider it a safe sweetner for diabetics.

    Chris Shaker

  466. Christopher John Shaker permalink
    October 30, 2010

    If you have hypertension, you may want to try cutting fructose out of your diet, and/or drink more water. The mechanism is that fructose is processed in the liver. The liver emits more uric acid as a result. Increased uric acid output raises blood pressure. They have also shown that lowering uric acid levels lowers blood pressure Increased uric acid output also increases your chances of getting gout.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20009722-10391704.html
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66057P20100701 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080826190906.htm
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061102110335.htm
    http://www.bcm.edu/news/item.cfm?newsID=1191
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2091395/high_blood_uric_acid_level_it_may_cause.html

  467. Christopher John Shaker permalink
    October 31, 2010

    You can get more interesting data on Fructose from the “Medscape Medical News” website. You’ll need a free account to access the articles.

    http://cme.medscape.com/medscapetoday

    This article seemed interesting, saying that “Intake of fructose has increased in the typical US diets to more than 10% of energy intake”

    http://cme.medscape.com/viewarticle/577279

    “Dr. Vos and colleagues note that fructose consumption may play a role in health outcomes. High fructose intake has been linked to increased de novo lipogenesis in the liver as well as increased plasma triglyceride levels, insulin resistance, and obesity. In short-term studies, fructose intake increases plasma triglyceride levels in healthy adults. Although no studies to date have looked at the effect of fructose feeding on triglyceride levels in children, there have been reports of correlations between fructose intake and plasma lipid levels.

    In children aged 6 to 19 years, dietary sucrose has been linked to increased plasma triglyceride and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. Total fructose intake in normal-weight and overweight children was a significant predictor of smaller low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol particle size, which in turn has been linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. On the basis of their review of the literature, the investigators suggest that there may be a threshold level for the effects of fructose.”

    “Other negative effects of fructose consumption include increased levels of serum uric acid, indirectly contributing to hypertension and cardiovascular disease and directly related to the risk for gout in men. Consumption of soft drinks has been associated with the development of cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in participants in the Framingham Study.

    “Compared to other sugars, fructose worsens levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and uric acid, [which] may accelerate heart disease risk,” Dr. Dansinger concluded. “The best approach is to stick as much as possible to a whole-foods diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins. Avoid foods with added sugars.”

    This article agrees with what the Wikipedia entry on Fructose says about malabsorption problems some people have with Fructose

    Fructose Intolerance, Malabsorption a Common Culprit in Pediatric Abdominal Pain
    http://cme.medscape.com/viewarticle/731472

    “In the study of 245 patients between the ages of 2 and 18 years with unexplained chronic abdominal pain, researchers from Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center, in Tacoma, Washington, gave patients a standard dose of fructose (1 g/kg, to a maximum of 25 g), followed by a breath hydrogen test, which measured methane levels at 30-minute intervals for 90 minutes. The researchers found that the test was positive for fructose intolerance in 132 of the patients (53.9%).”

    “Using a standard pain scale for children, the researchers found that after at least 3 months on the low-fructose diet, 88 of the 132 patients (67.7%) with fructose intolerance showed a resolution of symptoms. Among the 113 patients who tested negative for fructose intolerance, 54 (47.8%) reported a resolution of symptoms without a low-fructose diet, but investigator Rasha Saeed, MD, observed that the findings underscore the potential benefits of weaning patients from fructose.”

    Chris Shaker

  468. Brian Kozmo permalink
    November 29, 2010

    Great. But the reference to the “mid-sized Banana” and its fiber content, isn’t “found in nature”, as would have been suggested by Lustig. Most fruits have gone through an agricultural and/or industrial process to be bigger and tastier, far from what their natural counterparts would have been.

  469. November 29, 2010

    Brian – How much of increase in fructose grams in today’s fruits vs the fruits of yore are we talking about? Links to scientific (Pubmed-indexed) references would be appreciated.

  470. Andreas Schroeter, M.D. permalink
    December 11, 2010

    Hi Alan,
    Critic and healthy skepticism is always warranted when someone reveals “the truth”. More so, when complex problems are claimed to be caused by one simple mechanism. Yet, I have to give Prof. Lustig a lot of credit. Rarely have I enjoyed such an eloquent speaker, who managed to pack such an enormous amount of information in the mere 90 min. his talk lasted; and rarely did I see a speaker that made the lecture comprehensible to interested listeners of any educational background. He overemphasized and simplified the message a little to make his point, but I believe he was trying to create an IMPACT on the awareness of the ever weight gaining population. Sadly enough, I can guarantee you, that the great majority of my practicing physician colleges here in Germany have no idea, that a high fructose intake elevates serum Uric Acid . I can also assure you, that in our modest medical clinic ( my brother and I are diabetologist in a rural setting) there are many young patients that do drink “sport-drinks” in relative large amounts, thinking they are doing something good an healthy for their body ( and they contain , aside from the glucose content in the fruit‘s-sucrose, fructose as the mere carbohydrate).
    Unfortunately the less educated Americans are those who are hit the worst by the adipositas- pandemia. And offering a simple concept and common culprit is probably not a bad idea to generate some awareness after all. Many people associate fructose with : “oh it‘s from fruits, oh it’s not the same like glucose and oh it doesn’t instantly elevate my blood sugar level,oh it must be so healthy”-thoughts.
    Prof. Lustig‘s lecture was, in my opinion, one of the very highlights in the field of medical information. And I also appreciated your critical thoughts on his slick lecture, but nevertheless do not share the degree of skepticism. Thx

  471. December 12, 2010

    Andreas — Do yourself a favor & read this carefully, it’s probably more important than the original article I wrote.

  472. Dave Neary permalink
    December 15, 2010

    Looking into the breakdown over the caloric increases:
    * Cereal products: +44% (432.0 -> 624.9)
    Within that figure:
    * Wheat flour: +23% (354.1 -> 436.5)
    * Rice: +174% (24.3 -> 66.7)
    * Corn products: +196% (36.1 ->107.1) (Aha!)
    * Oats, barley & rye basically stable or down
    * Fats: +56% (409.8 ->640.7)
    * Salad & cooking oils: +52% (108.7 -> 383.5) (So you need to figure out where these cooking oils are going – fried food?)
    * Other oils & fats: -21% (294.6 -> 232.3) (Butter & shortening stable, lard & margarine down)
    * Dairy fats: +284% (6.5 -> 25.0)
    * Sugars: +15% (401.6 -> 459.4)
    * Corn sweetener: +335% (53.6 -> 233.3) (*all* HFCS increase, +180 extra calories)
    * Cane/beet sugar: -35.5% (343.0 -> 221.3) (-120 calories)
    * Syrups & honey stable

    So of total new caloric input (2168 -> 2673), 180 comes from HFCS, 280 salad & cooking oils, 70 in corn cereal products, bits & pieces from other fats, wheat products & rice, with significant reductions in sugar consumption.

    So, in fact, you’re not contesting the data Dr. Lustig presented. Sugar down, HFCS up.

    Dave.

  473. December 16, 2010

    Dave — Even if you’ve found a loophole in the linked ERS data that supports the idea that sugar is down but HFCS is up, this still doesn’t mean that the ratio of fructose-to-glucose in the diet has significantly increased (which isn’t hard to fathom since sucrose & HFCS have similar proportions of fructose).

  474. Village Idiot permalink
    December 31, 2010

    Folks,

    It seems to me (a clueless American) that the good Dr. covered many topics in 90 minutes: history, politics, metabolism, the food industry, comparing carb types, etc. And he did it in an entertaing manner. He had to gloss over many thing and pick and choose his detail.

    It was clear to me that he saying moderation is important and I did not need him to get into dosage. It was clear to me that the Japanese eat plenty of fructose – I guess I was able to read between the lines because I was not trying find flaws in his presentation. I took it for what it was intended for.

    He had to keep people’s attention and I think he went about it the right way.

    Unfortunately, as with most blogs, egos and oneupmanship got in the way here. Too bad…

  475. January 2, 2011

    Village Idiot — I think you’re not realizing the problem with Lustig’s lecture. He’s misleading people into missing the forest by focusing on one of its trees. Read this summary for more clarity:

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/02/19/a-retrospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/

  476. Village Idiot permalink
    January 3, 2011

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for the response.

    Ironically, I was thinking to myself that you were missing the forest, but maybe you are looking at a bigger forest of which I am not even aware!

    Another topic (because the above has been beat to death):

    I looked at the ingredients of the loaf of whole wheat bread in my kitchen – HFCS was the third item listed (oops – and I thought I was being cautious). This stuff is everywhere and I simply don’t believe that we are consuming the same amount of Fructose that we did 30 years ago – never mind the great variety of “Big Gulp” drinks for 79 cents.

    Someone here said that people should keep track of what they eat. Not everyone has the awareness that there is even a need to do that. I keep hearing (even from the corn refining industry) to consume HFCS in moderation, but I don’t see how much an adult or child should have a day and I certainly don’t see products disclosing the quantity of HFCS they contain. This yet something else that parents somehow have to figure out for themselves.

    Here’s a question for you or anyone else here: How does HFCS act as a preservative? I keep reading that this and the low price (pre-paid by taxpayer’s subsidies to Big Ag) is what make HFCS so attractive to food producers. Any insight on how HFCS acts a preservative?

    I’m not anti HFCS but I don’t see enough that makes me want to embrace it either – I keep hearing it is not that good for us (as with all sugars and fructos specifically), yet I can see that it is everywhere and no one is disclosing quantities – sorry, but this leaves a bitter taste in my mouth ;)

    Thanks again folks…

  477. January 3, 2011

    Village idiot — Did you read the link I provided? The big picture is there. Regarding the HFCS in your bread, do you realize that certain zealot factions would berate you for eating bread in the first place? They are just as bad as HFCS alarmists (these folks are in the same boat), but that’s another topic. Have you looked at the sugar content of your bread? Chances are it’s about one gram per slice. This means that even liberally speaking, you’d be consuming 0.5-1g fructose per slice. Unless you eat 20 sandwiches a day, your bread will not be a major fructose contributor to your diet.

  478. Village Idiot permalink
    January 3, 2011

    Yes Alan, I read the summary, thank you.

    It looks like you wrote it so I do not consider it to be any further validation or clarification of the information provided in this, your blog. Perhaps a TRUE third party summary of this information would be more appropriate. I’m not slamming you here – just my preference for data points – in fact I am quite grateful for the information from “both sides” in this blog.

    I do realize that one slice of bread is not going to kill me – I was just pointing out that the stuff is everywhere, and probably in more places than before because of the preservative qualities of the stuff (trees and forests again!).

    Any thoughts on the preservative side of HFCS? I have not found much of anything online.

    Oh, and stop calling me an idiot! (just kidding)

    Thanks

  479. January 3, 2011

    Village — In case you missed it, I posted the best you’re gonna get to a 3rd party assessment of the topic, links to recent reviews indexed in Pubmed.

    As for the preservative aspects, I haven’t looked into that, and can’t seem to generate enough motivation or interest to do so. If you find anything legitimate, feel free to share it.

  480. Village Idiot permalink
    January 4, 2011

    Alan,

    Okay – I’ll keep poking around on that. I’m not sure why you’re not interested though – every discussion of HFCS brings up “preservative” but the magic never seems to be explained, just glossed over. And I thought you were a motivation guy ;)

    Thanks again.

  481. January 4, 2011

    It’s a “freshness” preservative in that it helps retain moisture, just like sugar does.

  482. Village Idiot permalink
    January 5, 2011

    Thanks Roland – I’m just wondering why one of the benefits of HFCS often touted about is its preservative quality – as if that is one of the reasons they use it and that it preserves better than plain ol’ sugar. I wonder if it is better than sugar or maybe the only preservative benefit is that it is cheaper than sugar.

  483. Village Idiot permalink
    January 5, 2011

    Hi Alan,

    So I saw that a can of Fanta Orange has 44g of sugar. If 55% of that is fructose then one can has 24.2g of fructose. Two cans is 48.4g of fructose. I saw no other sugars listed in the ingredients.

    If I did this right and if I interpreted the below statement posted earlier in this blog then two cans of that soda almost max out my safe limit of fructose…. or did I get something wrong?

    <<>>

    Thanks

  484. Village Idiot permalink
    January 5, 2011

    I’m not sure why the cut/paste did not work – I’ll try again.

    Here is the text I referred to in my previous post:

    Technically, it wouldn’t violate the AHA’s recommendations if someone’s entire discretionary kcals came from sugar, which in the case of 401 kcals is about 100g, which equates to 50g fructose, which brings us right back to the exact number I listed as the upper safe limit in my original article.”

  485. Ralph Gardner Jr. permalink
    January 21, 2011

    A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain
    Posted March 22, 2010; 10:00 a.m.

    share | e-mail | print
    by Hilary Parker

    A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

    In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

    “Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”
    In results published online Feb. 26 by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, the researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute reported on two experiments investigating the link between the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and obesity.

    There is more but I didn’t copy it.

    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/
    Copied from Princeton website.

    The food manufactures never did long term(30-40 year) human studies. We are their study and they seem to be ignoring the results.

  486. January 22, 2011

    Ralph — The Princeton study is a weak case against HFCS, especially in terms of its supposed evil compared to sucrose. To begin with, when it comes to carbohydrate metabolism, humans and rats differ considerably. Secondly, sucrose controls were missing in the long-term phases of the experiment. This renders it impossible for the investigators to conclude that HFCS is uniquely lipogenic compared to sucrose. But this is neither here nor there, since the rats in the study consumed the human daily equivalent of 3000 kcals from HFCS. This is why I have to smile & shake my head whenever someone mentions the Princeton Rat Fiasco.

  487. A lot to think about. permalink
    January 23, 2011

    Well, I heard Dr. Lustig speak a 40minute version of this just 3 nights ago in person. He has updated it a bit and added some other information. As many have pointed out, he’s a dynamic speaker. Like many, I was enthused to get some bio-chemistry and political and economic (corporate interests )context around a major additive to the food supply.

    I have shared the infamous YouTube video with some folks and stumbled here. I’ve read the entire years worth of comment/debate — ego, and passion.

    There are many theories and a lot of science hanging out there in the world. No one, no one has it all put together. (including Dr. Lustig) A ‘single theory’ is not in play. I’ve worked with a bio-chemistry expert/clinician (Orthomolecular doctor, now in his late 70’s), he has diagrams as complex as Dr Lustig’s and is one of the leading experts on methylation. Over my head. The proof is whether or not as a clinician, these guys can help patients, and whether as researchers and thinkers – they can advance science and discussion. In that, Dr. Lustig has been successful.

    What has been troubling for me, from the anti-Lustig camp, has been lack of response to the mostly mild posters who have said, (paraphrase coming) “even if he isn’t 100% on the mark, his voice is making a contribution” Every time that type of point is asserted, Alan comes on to say “but he’s an alarmist nevertheless and must be put in check” (again, paraphrase) Alan, I know you acknowledge some of this in the original blog article, but it might be helpful if you could do a little side-update talking about the broad aspects of Dr Lustig’s contribution that you support? What you think he got right? And if you think he’s doing more good than harm? EVEN if you still believe some of his remarks or style of delivery to be “alarmist”, and needlessly so? It feels skewed now that you essentially want to refute him entirely, did I get that wrong?

    It took quite some time in the thread for a very important set of comments to be put in to the discussion (which also seem to be totally non-responded to by the anti-Lustig camp). Dr. Lustig made some big assertions and interpretations, he also put out facts on the science front. But he also talked about culture, economics, corporate interests, govts role or lack-there-of — you cannot talk about anything related to the food supply without talking about profit motive. You just can’t. And none of the anti-Lustig commentators have responded to that aspect of the discussion at all?

    I thank Scott Jenkins for his contribution to this thread, if for no other reason than we needed some balance from the more ‘animated crowd’! The Pro Lustig camp was a lot more tame than the anti-Lustig camp! :-)

    I’m not here to say “I believe” or don’t believe. I’m not a scientist. Like many who have popped up in this thread, I’m a citizen with my own set of health issues, and my own specific journey spanning a lot of years now, trying to cobble together some insights and understanding about matters of health, nutrition. I have worked with variety of healers and so-called experts from eastern disciplines and western.

    I heard a famous academic once, say, “there are facts, there are assertions and there are interpretations…” And I always try to use that filter to assess things no matter how passionate or compelling the delivery.

    It is impossible for anyone to make an argument or take a position devoid of pre-influence. So no one in this conversation is truly objective.

    I thank this thread for taking me off my excitement factor of Dr. Lustig, and helping me to begin to think more critically. I think I knew when I heard him speak the other night, that he was just poking at one thin piece of a big complicated picture. The audience was over 50% MDs and scientists and he was well received btw.

    As just a personal observation — there also seem to generally, broadly to be two camps — the ‘moderation’ and the “black n white” camps. I’m not sure Alan’s original assertion that its about “dosage context” matters. Because even if its correct as it shines on the science, there really isn’t any reason I can think of that human beings need processed food additives at all? Is there a Unique benefit? Is there something manufacturing and modern science is offering that nature didn’t already provide for? Or that the modern world mitigates against?

    Dr. Ludwig said something interesting in the talk that wasn’t on the YouTube. He pointed out how hard it is for socio-economically challenged people to be given options so that they can choose whether or not have an Apple vs a Snickers or a bread that is just multi-grain flower vs bleached processed wheat with HFCS and other additives? He made the insight that in Detroit, HQ for the grocery chain Kroegers, there isn’t a single Kroeger’s in Detroit?! If the outcome of Dr. Lustig’s hyperbolic talk, lead to nothing more than inner-city poor children getting organic apples and whole grain bread in lieu of snickers and pop tarts — and if it helped more ravaged urban landscapes turning in to community gardens so that people could re-learn that food comes from the earth not from a box or can or plastic wrapper in a store — if his message leads us there — isn’t he making an important contribution?

    There’s a lot more than science in his lecture.

    Anyway — I don’t think I have any special insights to add to this discussion — but I will say I’ve yet to hear anyone forward an explanation about the obese 6 month olds? This was one of Scott Jenkins strongest points??!

    I personally think Dr. Lustig is making an important contribution. He’s passionate. And he’s just one guy combining research with clinical work. He has a theory, there’s some strong science in there and a deep deep (especially for an academic MD) discussion of the business interests and govt. regulator coopting and historical context — that adds to the other discussions that have been out there for a while now in the alternative food crowd.

    I don’t drink juice or soda and haven’t for a long time. I don’t eat fast food, haven’t for decades. But I’m always trying to churn — add info, update info, drop info — and there is the what I call “common sense” gauge. Does something sort of seem reasonable or not? Struck me that a lot of his assertions were reasonable. I’m not qualified to say whether they were all factually sound or not, and I appreciate the vigorous debate in this thread that call some of it in to question.

    The 100% accuracy as to whether or not having any amount of HFCS seems besides the point. Some of Alan and his team have possibly (Jenkins kind of blew some of you up a bit) punched some holes around that. But is that important in the bigger picture?

    I’m going to assume that no one in this conversation has ever been paid by anyone with a stake in keeping HFCS in the food supply. I have no easy way to determine that. I’ll assume the best of intentions.

    I think the goal for most people, is to function well and learn enough of what can be known, to make good choices. I lean in the direction of the least amount of time from the earth to my plate. No chemicals please. No GMO please. No irradiation please. Let cows eat grass. Let them roam free. And if as part of our cultural rituals and celebration we enjoy things recreationally that might cause dis-equillibrium to our systems…hormonal disregulation on occasion — well – few of us are going to run like fine machines 24-7 for a lifetime.

    I think part of what resonates in a talk like Dr. Lustig’s is the political and corporate interests context. It makes us, joe-citizen feel vulnerable to powerful forces that care about our money not our well-being.

    Does anyone need HFCS? Can good health be maintained without it? If the answer is “yes”, (yes, good health can maintained with out it, and no, we don’t need it in the food supply) then why argue over whether Dr Lustig is spot-on vs alarmist at all? Isn’t our attention better spent promoting things that are unequivocal?

    No need to point me to links. I’ve read the entire thread thus far.

    It would help me if the strongest anti-Lustig voices in this thread over the last year could say a few things regarding:

    6 month olds and obesity?
    HFCS and corporate interests?

    I believe there is far too much fluidity between corporate entities and govt agency entities. A lot of movement back n forth there. I don’t trust the FDA or USDA. I don’t trust a lot of large bodies that put out the press releases and reports to the mainstream media either.

    IMHO dogma is dangerous. I live in a region where every kind of approach to food and nutrition is discussed ad nauseum. Slow-Food, Raw, Paleo, Vegan, Flexitarian, Weston Price informed, Ayurvedic informed, Ancient Chinese informed, anti-grains, anti-dairy, anti-sugar, macrobiotic, on and on and on. Some say we’re all alike as humans, and others say we’re all so different — different genetics, different blood constitution. Ph Balance in the blood matters, no it doesn’t. We’re designed to eat like our ancestors who were nomads, no, we’re agrarian. Raising crops conicided with class — Pharoahs ate diverse food, slaves building pyramids got a bowl of mushy starchy carb loading …

    Oh, that guy Ferris — the 4 hour body or whatever — he was a speaker at this event as well, he came on after Lustig — didn’t seemed too pleased. Had a very different discussion/perspective. Good stuff.

    I don’t think btw, that Dr. Lustig left the thread because he couldn’t defend his position, I think guys like that aren’t interested in winning an internet debate, where the debate itself becomes more important. He’s interested in his work. Is he biased? Of course he is. Is he passionate? No doubt. This isn’t the kind of forum he can thrive in. I think he tried, at first to respond. Some of that was rejected. This guy isn’t an experienced online debater, but he’s a smart doc and in total — when you step back and go — does his talk do more harm or more good? Does it get important conversations going? And is there some important science to look at? Science that calls for more research? More studies? And did he begin to put down a historical, economic, corporate, social, political context — I think the answers are yes yes and yes.

    That’s what I end up with. I would never tell anyone to turn of their critical thinking and again, for that I thank this thread. But no one here has convinced me that he is harmful nor making a positive contribution. That’s the bottom line for me.

    It’s daunting. And in conclusion — I’m grateful for this thread, to keep me on my toes, to keep me from just taking anything Dr Lustig’s talk said at face value with no critical eye, but in total, I feel he’s making a contribution and doing more good than harm. I suspect he himself in 10 years will have refined his theory further.

    Good health.

  488. January 23, 2011

    A Lot to Think About — I think overall you’ve been beguiled by style over substance. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again, Lustig means well, but his lecture had too much wrong with it for me to consider it productive. Its net effect is leaving people no sense of control other than avoidance of a “poison.” That’s not just inaccurate & misleading, it’s counterproductive to having a sane perspective.

    Here’s James Krieger commenting on obese babies:

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/#comment-3023

    Here’s a summary of the debate that might help you organize your thoughts about the whole thing:

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/02/19/a-retrospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/

  489. Village Idiot permalink
    January 24, 2011

    Hi Alan – i’m going to repost my question that was not answered. Perhaps it wasn’t asnwered becuase it ended up in two posts. Maybe it was a stupid question!

    Here it is:

    So I saw that a can of Fanta Orange has 44g of sugar. If 55% of that is fructose then one can has 24.2g of fructose. Two cans is 48.4g of fructose. I saw no other sugars listed in the ingredients.

    If I did this right and if I interpreted the below statement posted earlier in this blog then two cans of that soda almost max out my safe limit of fructose…. or did I get something wrong?

    “Technically, it wouldn’t violate the AHA’s recommendations if someone’s entire discretionary kcals came from sugar, which in the case of 401 kcals is about 100g, which equates to 50g fructose, which brings us right back to the exact number I listed as the upper safe limit in my original article.”

    Thanks

    BTW – I’ve noticed that you send people to your summary page about this debate. You should realize that it comes across as an entirely biased summary and does nothing to clarify the debate.

    One does not take it seriously when one sees phrases like:

    “he responded by preaching to me more of his gospel”

    “still find yourself fumbling over groundless claims.”

    “Fred Hahn brought his classic carbophobic flair”

    “Ardent sugarphobe David Gillespie”

    i’m not trying to be a jerk here – just trying to filter through the emotion

  490. January 25, 2011

    Village — Without knowing your individual stats & physical activity details, a general statement can be made that yes, 2 can of nondiet soda comes close to maxing out the average person’s “safe” fructose intake. But again, this is still a conservative statement, since scientific reviews generally list 50g at the low end. As for me linking to the summary page, I’ve highlighted what I feel to be the “meat” of the debate – this saves people from searching for the exchange between Lustig & myself, which really captures the essence of the topic at hand. If you don’t like the language used to describe certain characters (ie, carbophobes), then I’m sorry I rubbed your emotions the wrong way. Would you like a soda? It’s on me :)

  491. Village Idiot permalink
    January 25, 2011

    Alan – Your summary did not rub me the wrong way – my emotions are not involved in this discussion. The summary does nothing to cut through the ego-driven drivel that tends to happen on every blog – in this case, it just reorganizes to it. I’m just suggesting that you should not expect people to see things differently after looking at your summary. I am NOT saying you are wrong.

    In terms of the soda, I was not asking about the soda for my own sake, I was just curious about what is “generaly” safe. I can imagine a lot of kids easily drinking 2 cans a day plus getting plenty more fructose from other sources. I wonder if 50g is “safe” for a 10 year old.

  492. Derek permalink
    January 25, 2011

    In conclusion:

    Everything in moderation.

    /The End.

  493. January 25, 2011

    Village — I’m not sure how you’re arriving at the conclusion that the summary just “reorganizes the ego-driven drivel.” I engaged in 2 main debates in the discussion of this topic. One of the debates was me vs Lustig. The other debate was me vs Gillespie. The summary linked you straight to each debate & gives an accurate assessment of what transpired in each debate. Is it really that tough to see this? As for your closing question, I’ll quote myself (note the bold): “Figuring that both sides are biased, the middle figure between the two camps is roughly 50 grams for active adults.”

  494. Village Idiot permalink
    January 25, 2011

    Sorry I missed your “active adults” quote earlier. Thanks for the data. It’s a shame – I know there are plenty of kids in town that pound down more than two cans a day.

    You just need to remove your derogatory remarks/characterizations from your summary and then you’re good.

    Thanks for the blog

  495. Mark permalink
    February 22, 2011

    Hate to rain on your parade, Alan, but your facts are actually 100% wrong. Don’t tune me out yet!

    First, when did Dr. Lustig ever say carbs were a key factor in the problems of the modern diet? In fact, and if you follow his lengthy interview on livinglalocarbvida.com site, he says JUST THE OPPOSITE. He doesn’t view a low carb diet as effective, since it’s a red herring.

    Secondly, you point out his “no fructose” Atkins/Japanese diet point. He never states that fructose does not exist in the Japanese diet. Wow. You’re just being really lazy here… He says that the natural state of sugars in these diets is NOT REMOVED through modern industrial processing, as it is in Western diets today. The sugars are absorbed along with the fiber in these foods because it is not refined, and separated from said foods. Therefor it is digested normally, and in a healthy fashion compared to refined sugars in foods.

    What’s hard to understand about that and why are you so blatantly incorrect on the basic facts and understanding of this well presented lecture?

    You seem to argue at length based on gross errors in fact, and worse a casual support of industrialized, processed foods.

    Sorry, but your argument is completely bogus.

  496. February 22, 2011

    Mark — At 2:16, Lustig explicitly says & shows slide text saying that the Japanese & Atkins diets “both eliminate fructose”. He then contradicts himself toward the end of the lecture by saying fructose is okay in fruit, but for reasons that are ill-supported. I already discussed this in the article & in the subequent discussion. Here, read this summation to get a better grip on reality:

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/02/19/a-retrospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/

    And while you’re at it, consider getting further help here:

    http://www.learntoreadfree.com/

    :)

  497. Jon permalink
    March 8, 2011

    For those people who don’t belive that sugar is the bigger culprit than fat, you are all nuts. keep eating your high carbohydrate diets, and keep getting fat, keep getting heart disease, and keep getting type 2 diabetes.

    Yes, lifestyle has changed in the last few decades. Yes, people are more sedentary… So wouldn’t that mean that you would LOWER the amount of foods that are more quickly digested into your body? Wouldn’t you want to eat more protein and fats, which cause sateity and keep you fuller longer?

    Even if some of the points Dr. Lustig makes are a bit extreme and biased, in my opinion, his general idea is correct. When was the last time the Food Industry and FDA did something and promote something that actually benefitted the public? The world, especially North America, has become controlled by the Food and drug Industry. What ever happened to preventative measures? This high carb diet has been implemented for about 50 years now, and has anything gotten any better? The answer is NO, and that should tell you guys something. Open up your eyes. It is plain facts that fat and protein consumption has not changed, and maybe even gone down over the years, yet there is increase is heart disease and diet related illnesses.

  498. Jon permalink
    March 8, 2011

    Oh and btw, on the topic of Aspartame not being bad for you…. Again, there may be studies out there that show yes, no, and maybe. but if it were me, I would not put anything that is a drug in my body. I would rather eat real sugar than aspartame, sucralose etc. Again, the main reason because the FDA is full of dirtbags.

  499. one permalink
    March 13, 2011

    It is well known that not all students in class a brilliant, so it seems that most of these (not brilliant) students having meeting here!? Please run back to school and start again, before this watch the presentation again!

  500. Carl Los permalink
    March 25, 2011

    There’s alot of good information here. It’s too bad not everyone it talking about the same thing. Here’s to year old threads.

  501. Peter Stangolis permalink
    March 29, 2011

    I have just come across the article and this discussion and it has taken me 30mins just to skim through it. Thank you Alan and to all the other thought provoking and enlightening comments. I look forward to reading through your other articles.

  502. Alan J permalink
    April 5, 2011

    Alan are you just a cover for the corn industry?

    I can’t believe one of your commenters actually said it’s overconsumption and laziness. That theory was put to rest by pre WW2 German and Austrian scientists. Watch Gary Taubes (Dartmouth) talk on youtube. It’s not an energy imbalance (calories in calories out) that causes weight gain. It’s insulin production which causes fatty acids to be stearified into triglycerides leading to obesity. To Taubes the culprit is dietary carbs of which fructose may be “90% of the problem.” (althugh fructose does not spike insulin it is strongly linked with obesity and diabetes)

    Whole fruit, fruit juice, honey, molasses, SUGAR, corn syrup, HFCS, glucose all contain fructose. Fructose kills. I dare you to eat 8 graperuits (a lower fructose fruit) in 24 hours and tell me that you didn’t gain weight.

  503. Alan J permalink
    April 5, 2011

    “Univariate causation thinking seems to be very attractive to lots of folks, when a multivariate approach is required. The attraction to univariate seems universal, but especially bad in “health circles” ”

    Yes because univariant causes don’t enrich corporate america

  504. April 5, 2011

    Alan — Do yourself a favor & suspend your hilarious buy-in to Taubes’ science-fiction writing for a moment, & learn some factual information about insulin & weight gain here: http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=319

    All — Thanks for your feedback.

  505. Mike permalink
    April 15, 2011

    Hi Alan. Your original critique of Lustig’s speech was mostly about the weak support for his claims of a causal link between fructose and obesity. But you said nothing about his explanations of sugar metabolism and its effects on the liver and other parts of the body – or about any other part of the speech, for that matter. Can this be taken to mean you had no issues with the video beyond what you listed? If the rest is on the level, it seems that, obesity aside, there are still serious problems with fructose (diabetes, hypertension, cirrhosis, etc.). I know, context and dosage and all that. But the question remains: at any dosage, are these processes happening the way Lustig says or aren’t they?

  506. David permalink
    April 17, 2011

    Quote : ‘Taking a hard look at the data above, it appears that the rise in obesity is due in large part to an increase in caloric intake across the board, rather than an increase in carbohydrate in particular.’

    Well I see natural fats from meat, eggs, fish, nuts, and dairy down, and everything else up…

    So if 600 cals a day has been gained from food, that isnt any of the above (fat) and even with the 7% ‘added fat’ (which would equate to rougly 150 cals of the 600) – where do you think the extra 450 cals is coming from????…….

  507. April 17, 2011

    David — You’re (incorrectly) ascribing proportional changes to the absolute difference in kcal intake.

    Mike — To quote you, “I know, context and dosage and all that. But the question remains: at any dosage, are these processes happening the way Lustig says or aren’t they?” To answer that I’d say it depends on the actual scenario. For people who are sustaining an unused calorie surplus & are sedentary, I’d say that these processes are more likely to occur. But then again, the singling-out of fructose as the “arch enemy” in this scenario is yet another one of the ways people are being misled. So it ALL goes back to dosage & context.

  508. Atalaya permalink
    April 17, 2011

    I don’t know if this is an error or if I am reading incorrectly, but the article claims that added sugars went down 1% from 1970 to 2007. If you actually look at the chart it sourced, it says 1970 was at 401.6 calories, while 2007 was 459.4 (a 14.4% increase). HFCS went from 1.8 to 178.9.

  509. Reka permalink
    April 18, 2011

    Hi, I agree with the Dr that sugar is very dangerous to health and that it will be compulsory required to use the natural one in stead of industrial. Thank you a lot, hope people will know it and practice it.

  510. April 18, 2011

    Atalaya — the changes I reported are percentages of total calories consumed. Again, go over to the link I provided (reference #1) & the spreadsheet of the those figures can be downloaded here, click on the “Percents” tab at the bottom and notice that % of total kcals from caloric sweeteners has decreased since 1970. This doesn’t mean that the net amount we’re consuming is less, but that wasn’t the point I was making. I hope you & others don’t lose sight of the main message of the article by focusing on the survey research.

    Reka — I think that dealing with sugar requires wearing full body armor, and perhaps even a Vatican-trained exorcist. Sugar really is THAT dangerous.

  511. Ash permalink
    April 19, 2011

    I am impressed that you take the time to respond to almost every “argument” that is ported here.

    Thank you for defending reason. People want easiliy identifiable good guys and bad guys, but reality is often much more complex.

    As paracleasus(spelling?) would say, the dose makes the toxin.

  512. Somite permalink
    April 19, 2011

    My wife found a blog refuting Lustig’s video.

    Lustig actually replies in the comment section.

    I have no idea who is right. I’m just frustrated at how many points of view can be argued with such authority.

    I wonder what nutritional will look like in another ten years. Hopefully, less confusing!

    http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/0…tose-alarmism/
    I looked at the arguments on the main article and comments. The author and some commenters seem to object to the idea that a single component can be labeled as toxic. However, they don’t address the major points.

    1) how different the biochemistry of fructose is from glucose resulting in the production of uric acid and VLDL

    2) The rodent studies showing fructose toxicity

    3) the lack of insulin and satiety response from fructose

    The main objection was that not only fructose but other groups have had increased consumption also. This misses the point that fructose consumption has increased and this can be correlated ‘with a mechanism’ to metabolic syndrome.

    Another objection is that human studies use fructose amounts that were higher than average consumption. This is done to elicit a response in a shorter time instead of the lifetime necessary for “natural” metabolic syndrome.

  513. Denis permalink
    April 20, 2011

    The little I understand about nutrition comes from having studied some biochemistry years ago and browsing around websites after bumping into Taube’s recent NYT article.

    My takeaway from Lustig’s video, fwiw, was that refined sugar input, i.e. without the accompanying fibre, is akin to alcohol input – plain and simple. And that there was compelling evidence that sugar intake correlates throughout history with the increase in CVD.

    What’s the fuss with all of the straw man arguments that you felt compelled to raise?

    I’m also curious to know why you are dismissing Taube with such force in your April 5th article.

    Fwiw I’ve been feasting on a nightmare diet for the past 30 years, consisting in potatoes, veggies, eggs, fish and meat, combined with untold quantities of butter, olive oil, sour cream and cheese, essentially no exercise beyond walking to the grocery, zero pasta (hate the stuff), zero sugar (hate that too), and zero ready-made food.

    Speaking as a scientist, Taube and Lustig made perfect sense as to why I’ve a BMI that borders on unhealthily skinny, while my mom’s BMI (who, lately, has been worried about eating healthy) is increasing by the month, and my father’s BMI (who stopped eating sugar after a heart attack) is shooting down on a diet of cheese (can’t live without it), chicken and greens.

    The straw man arguments you linked to in your April 5th reply (or those in your own article, I must confess) did not… I salute that author’s effort to explain what insulin is and does, and your own to put Lustig’s research in a broader context. But I’m afraid everyone seems to have some kind of agenda, and you both completely missed to discuss what I took away from Taube’s two NYT articles (and which I knew intuitively anyway): that easy to break carbohydrates such as pasta and refined cereals end up digested too quickly, and that fat in meals help the body know it’s satiated.

  514. RayCinLA permalink
    April 21, 2011

    WOW, Alan’s blog has attracted some halfwits!

    @Denis:

    No more drunk posting. Just repeat that over and over until you own it.

  515. Sven permalink
    April 21, 2011

    From Lustig’s last post more than a year ago:
    “I could go on, but our manuscript in Nature Reviews, entitled “The role of fructose in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome” will speak for itself in due course.”

    Did he get his paper out (through peer review)?

  516. Sven permalink
    April 21, 2011

    Denis,
    I’m probably one of the greatest junk food fans. Just love the stuff. Fries and steaks and hamburgers, chicken wings, ice cream and coke and stuff. My favorite is pasta carbonara. I pretty much never eat fruit or vegetables (like Alf used to, I consider this to be “what food eats”). And hey, I work in an office, used to play tennis and ski but that was decades ago. Everybody who knows me can confirm that all of this is true and so, to paraphrase you – Taube and Lustig definitely DO NOT make perfect sense as to why I’ve a BMI that borders on unhealthily skinny (that is also true)…

  517. Sven permalink
    April 21, 2011

    What I have in mind with my last posting, is not a call for unhealthy eating habits but rather just an example how anecdotal evidence has no value what so ever. I’m no specialist but I think that in my case it’s genetic as my father has also been quite skinny all his life (and he’s now 85 and still in extremely good shape) and we’ve never had any conscious “healthy eating” in our family. I just eat what pleases me most…

  518. Somite permalink
    April 21, 2011

    @Sven exactly. So why are you arguing from anecdotes?

    Lustig paper was published and can be found here:

    http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/v7/n5/abs/nrgastro.2010.41.html

    Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology 7, 251-264 (May 2010) | doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2010.41

    Subject Categories: Liver | Nutrition

    The role of fructose in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and the metabolic syndrome
    Jung Sub Lim, Michele Mietus-Snyder, Annie Valente, Jean-Marc Schwarz & Robert H. Lustig  About the authors

    top of page
    Abstract
    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most frequent liver disease worldwide, and is commonly associated with the metabolic syndrome. Secular trends in the prevalence of these diseases may be associated with the increased fructose consumption observed in the Western diet. NAFLD is characterized by two steps of liver injury: intrahepatic lipid accumulation (hepatic steatosis), and inflammatory progression to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) (the ‘two-hit’ theory). In the first ‘hit’, hepatic metabolism of fructose promotes de novo lipogenesis and intrahepatic lipid, inhibition of mitochondrial β-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids, triglyceride formation and steatosis, hepatic and skeletal muscle insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia. In the second ‘hit’, owing to the molecular instability of its five-membered furanose ring, fructose promotes protein fructosylation and formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which require quenching by hepatic antioxidants. Many patients with NASH also have micronutrient deficiencies and do not have enough antioxidant capacity to prevent synthesis of ROS, resulting in necroinflammation. We postulate that excessive dietary fructose consumption may underlie the development of NAFLD and the metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, we postulate that NAFLD and alcoholic fatty liver disease share the same pathogenesis.

  519. Sven permalink
    April 21, 2011

    Somite,

    Thanks for the answer about the paper.

    But what in what I wrote do you consider as arguing from anecdotes? I don’t think I’m arguing anything other than neither Denis’ nor my example is a proof of anything?!

  520. Joey Jerimiah permalink
    April 21, 2011

    this place is just like 99% of the internet…just a bunch of people with hugely inflated estimations of their intelligence desperately trying to get some ego gratification through word combat. It would be nice if there was a place people who actually wanted to learn things and find out the ‘truth’ in a spirit of cooperation could go. Let the fighting resume.

  521. Helena permalink
    April 23, 2011

    Hi, I think you didn’t see the all video because in the last half he says fruit is no problem (only fructose alone). And you miss the point of desserts ( he was talking about italian food not japanese).

  522. RayCinLA permalink
    April 24, 2011

    @Helena:

    You’re missing the point. Lustig’s message is that fructose is evil and should be avoided. Alan’s point is that there’s no need to take an extremist stance on a substance that can be part of a healthy diet – as long as you don’t fucking consume idiotic amounts of it.

    People are so thick-headed. And paranoid. And clueless about moderation. Clueless, I say.

  523. josh permalink
    April 26, 2011

    If I consume fiber with some botulinum, is it still technically a poison? Castor beans contain enough fiber along with ricin and fructose. Perhaps Dr. Lustig owes his viewers a profuse apology.

  524. April 27, 2011

    This may be a bit late, but… the New York Times magazine recently (April 17, 2011) published an article in which the author discusses the Lustig hypothesis in some detail – and comes down on the side of Lustig.
    While I’m not prepared to enter into the complex debate presented in this thread, I will say that there is a case to be made for political analysis of nutritional questions. Whether scientific research is supported by commercial interests is a valid question, since corporations already control so much of the content of our lives. The sugar and HFCS industries are no exception.

  525. Michael permalink
    May 3, 2011

    Interesting blog. This would take days to read.

    Sounds like Lustig and Aragon both made good points;

    Lustig is convinced that fructose consumption leads to metabolic syndrome (for various reasons including de novo fat synthesis in the liver, and interference with ghrelin, and leptin), but that glucose consumption would not.

    Aragon seems to be pushing the point that labeling fructose as a “poison” is a little extreme considering the lack of controlled studies on humans.

    I agree. But I understand why Dr. Lustig would say “poison”; to get people to pay attention.

    It’s true that fructose is not a poison if eaten in moderate amounts. Lustig, however, concedes that. He says that it is a toxin after “1000 meals” when eaten in excessive quantities.

    Seems like the studies that would resolve this have not been done. I, for one, anxiously await the new research soon to come…

  526. sillyyou permalink
    May 6, 2011

    Mr. Aragon is wronger than wrong.

  527. sillyyou permalink
    May 6, 2011

    “Sucrose is half fructose and half glucose. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is nearly identical to sucrose in structure and function. Here’s the point I’m getting at: contrary to Lustig’s contentions, both of these compounds have substantial research showing not just their ability to elicit an insulin response, but also their suppressive effect on appetite”

    Suppress appetite? Wow. You’re dangerously misinformed.

  528. Michele permalink
    May 7, 2011

    It’s ironic, as I read through these posts that most of you are beating-up the smallest infringements of Lustwig’s research to objectify your own points of view. At least, that is what I can see IMHO.

    If you look at the big picture here high-fructose corn syrup has enetered into our food-chain supply in megadoses at about the same time as the rise of obesity started. Obviously, there is some coorelation and perhaps others as well. I think the point that is being missed here is something that Lustwig only suggested in his Coke Conspiracy. Highly competitive, profit-raking food companies are using high-fructose corn syrup to “addict” people to their “food” (which isn’t food at all, if you read thorugh the ingredient list, but psuedo-food) to increase their profit-making and addict people to food through the underlying un-satiable trick that high-fructose corn syrup loops people through. And, it works! Talk to any “coke” head out there… They can’t have just one or two, they can have 5-6 and not think anything about it. This is also true for Diet Coke (which, btw is the number 2 leading soft beverage in the US now). These are addictive properties in the food-chain supply that are leading people to eat more food and are directly caused by the “toxicity” of high-fructose corn syrup.

    When people are in balance with themselves and their bodies, they know when enough is enough and YES we can probably can a few grams of high-fructose sugar here and there. And, that is IF we are working out 2-3 times a week, eating a mostly heathful diet of whole foods, etc. MOST of the American population either can’t or won’t do this, which leaves them vunerable to an “addicition” issue.

    I wouldn’t blame obesity on this one factor; though it is surely a definitive one! But, do not throw out this man’s intense and incredible research because some of you (who are educated and balanced and who aren’t sucked into the machine yet) aren’t affected by this personally. We are talking about the masses here (who are obese, who are dying, and who are genetically passing this issue along to the next generation) and are being used by our collective corporate greed machine as pofitable lambs to the slaughter. This is unethical and unjust.

    Whether or not YOU can control your appetite is of little relevance here. Look beyond yourselves and look at what is happening in our society. Most of you are missing the big picture here. Lustwig sees it and is doing what he can to solve and bring attention to a huge issue that most of us dont want to see or process.

    In saying that, I will also say that stress is probably just as much as cause of obesity as refined sugar and crap that the corporations are trying to pull off as food. It’s only a cycle that grows stronger. More stress, more crap food, equals more stress and more crap food. High-fructose corn syrup is not the singular cause, but a major player.

  529. LKB MD permalink
    May 8, 2011

    What I find absurd about this “refuting an expert oh look at me, so bold and supuhsmaht” article is the lack of CONTEXT… The Japanese diet, for instance, is quoted all over without mention brought to how their CURRENT diet is not what gets CALLED that diet in ANY of the studies–they now consume a WESTERN DIET, as I recall was stated in at least one or two of his interviews/seminars/teachings after this “layman’s med school for the general public” series took off (and which I know in the after-seminar session he addressed that very day).

    He states over and over that portion matters. He gives incredible evidence related to how our bodies handle fructose. He also gave context to the “loads more fiber” mention in saying the memorable quote (handy for people getting OFF the fruit juice diet–oh, and recall he states UPFRONT that for athletes, not only can THEY consume anything they want, pretty much, that is “food” but that juice and gatorade are ideal for restoring glycogen that they’ve totally depleted their stores of) “When g*d made the poison, he packed it with the antidote.” Gram for gram is NOT a good comparison. It’s a matter of the amount we SHOULD consume vs the amount we DO. It’s about how ESSENTIAL fiber is despite political moves that made us call it non-essential.

    First, studies show that our OLD diets–ie the Ache people who ate over 400 kinds of fruits and vegetables and 200 kinds of animals (over 120 birdies, 30-50 fish, and another 25 or so of mammals, the true hunter-gatherer diet we evolved into such beautifully brained bodies by consuming)–had far more fiber and less flavor than now, and even our current profiles for many foods are having to be changed because we’ve zapped many micronutrients in favor of more sugar in fruits especially. Breadfruit isn’t especially tasty, but the people of Samoa are extraordinarily beautiful. Don’t forget that AGRICULTURE was the first step to our sedentary lives–ironic as we work longer than we ever did, eat a diet far less diverse, and have diseases brought on solely by domesticating animals (influenza, small and chicken pox, malaria which started with birds not skeeters, measles, etc)…

    When we say MORE, consider the context. How much fiber’s in juice? How much in fruit? There’s a start. If we get 300g carbs from JUST fruits and vegetables in their natural state, how many g will be from fiber? Will we perhaps be closer to the *honest* recommendation of 1g per lb of body weight than if we get our vitamin C from OJ, drink superfood smoothies that lack fiber but even dare claim at times to be all the worth of fruit concentrated so you need less??

    What I think is REALLY missing here is in how fiber keeps not just sugars delivered properly but even more critically how that fiber keeps MICROnutrients available. WHOLE grain is rich with B6, for instance, which is crucial for seratonin production (which we are well educated plays a fundamental role in mood, nerve pain, energy, sleep cycles, and more) as it is vital in handling tryptophan (not to go toooo off topic, but this is why things like turkey are best consumed in day, not night, and also why it is critical to consume it alongside foods that have high amounts of B6 especially, which anymore are tough as we need to keep food as close to how it came to us from the earth to get the B6 but then other nutrients are better delivered by gently cooked–ideally steamed or wilted with absolute minimal runoff–water absorbed not dripped off–vegetables… tryptophan gets turned into seratonin and without B6 in adequate supply will quickly convert to melatonin… and magnesium/niacin/phosphorus, vitamin D, too, though indirectly… they are necessary for B6 to facilitate seratonin production; its sister vitamin B12 is also often deficient in people who lack seratonin and norepinephrine, too, in adequate amounts). That tangent aside, B6 for instance is nearly entirely depleted from grains when milled and cooked, milling taking anywhere from 30-70% depending on the grain and the process and oxidation amounts (so most bread in the USA gets 70% wiped out just in making flour, most of the rest denatured/altered in cooking)–but not often depleted from the nutritional info on labels, and don’t even try talking “enriched” crud since only TWO things have proven to be effective oral supps and a couple others great as either infusions or injections. If we are eating chia seeds or fresh grain sprouts or whole germ seed, we get much of what was there when it was taken off the land. How we DO eat things–grains as pasta that is broken down and low in fiber or as breads that intentionally have fiber all but milled away, as Dr Lustig was clear in pointing out with the McD’s example!… it matters. To have only 90 minutes to tell people who have NO medical qualifications how to get back to nature and why, sure, a little fear is good… UNLESS you think that baby formula is SUPER DUPER in its corn syrup solid construction??

    One would think someone who brags about himself so disgustingly would be able to pay attention to the details and the context–his audience did (and don’t forget that Lustig was only one of several and there WAS in fact that Q&A session after–were you THERE or do you assume the 90mins you saw was all that this set of lectures consisted of? I can tell you as a colleague who was, at that time, down at David Geffen SoM teaching neurology, also with a focus on nutrition as what I call the first, foremost, and forever line of defense, I was there and no one thought for a minute they could just eat eat eat–in fact, when he says upfront (paraphrasing) you can eat all the carrots… but you’ll be full long before you consume too much fructose because of the fiber” he makes it clear that your leptin and ghrelin responses will be respectively kicked in and turned off before you’ve overdone it. His points about waiting fifteen minutes between servings, kicking all sugared beverages out–sticking to water and milk [sure, he could’ve gone into, say, how whole milk is better and all its reasons for BEING better, but he had 90 minutes and did a pretty good job getting through a lot with a little and keeping it community-level-comprehensible… at least for educated-enough, NON-ASSUMING, NON-BIASED people… which sorry kid, you don’t qualify as for a second, as I’ve read so many indoctrinated trite posts now my stomach turns at how free speech lets people follow YOUR sensationalism while you kick down actual experts in their own decades of what you deem sensationalist simply because it goes against what people buy into from all the propaganda. Maybe you’re just a bit guilty that those superdrinks you were consuming are part of why you aren’t happy with something about yourself, which almost no one truly is in our society–There’s almost no chance of you not being self-conscious about your physique, even if you look perfect to a doctor (which in the USA you won’t–just perform a few surgeries in different nations; you won’t look healthy under the knife as even our best foods don’t quite compare to what is truly ideal–fast and feast and fast and feast, something we can no longer do, not if we maintain our stress-filled agendas of 40 hour weeks)… but the way you write, it reads so many places as if you’re essentially looking out for things to attack to support your own self-doubt. That may not be your intent or even what’s going on behind the context-void ranting posts, but if nothing else, consider how it sounds on the other end. Your followers play nice little lemming roles and you can be king of your own site. I hope it somehow fulfills you, but for the love of humanity (even if you don’t possess it yourself), don’t abuse the views in ways that can potentially harm other people who sheepishly follow, if only to justify their bad habits, which is how it sounds when you don’t consider what Robert was building on and the context…

    If you think sandwiches and juice are how to feed your kid, well, since I can’t call it child abuse in this nation of freedom-to-fuck-them-over, I’ll simply hope that your own kids or those of your followers somehow make it out of high school not obese, not insulin-resistant, and not immunocompromised. My hopes aren’t especially high–we have about 60 more years before the permanently-harmed among us will have died off, and that’s if somehow all the upcoming children get a massive shift in diet, from their mothers’ diets in the womb to their hope-it’s-healthy adulthood.

  530. RayCinLA permalink
    May 10, 2011

    @LKB MD:

    If you will shorten your novel/diatribe/conspiracy theory next time, I bet Alan might read it. You sound like the typical carbophobic sloth who refuses to accept that a little thing called ‘moderation” is possible.

    @Alan:

    The carbohphobes done got released from the couches! lol

  531. May 22, 2011

    Well I just don’t have the time to read all the responses, and believe me.. I really want to.

    First of all, good article.

    I spent more time looking at the sources. Seems that you found inconsistencies in Lustig’s video that don’t exist.

    For example a lot of your sources are about how there is no difference between sucrose and HFCS. This is what he cleary said in his video and radio interviews multiple times.

    He also said that fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin or raise blood glucose, and also fails to suppress ghrelin. This is also consistent with your sources.

    Seems that he was wrong when he said if you preload a kid with coke, he will eat more. I think that people eat less on fructose than glucose, despite the failure to communicate satiety to the brain, is because of glucose’s ability to lead to hypoglycemia causes a stronger need to eat and failure to communicate sateity. Especially, in insulin resistant people.

    If you don’t compare fructose to glucose, I bet people are still eating too much when preloaded on fructose.

  532. Alex permalink
    May 23, 2011

    What is the cause of diabetes?

  533. dan permalink
    May 26, 2011

    As I see things, Alan needs attention more then Mr. Lustig, he’s the blogger anyway, not Mr. Lustig. Seems logical that Alan tries to keep him here and harass him as much as possible, this is money after all.
    I like the ideas that Mr. Lustig suggested and (at least from what he talks) there is quite a logic in that.
    I acknowledge some gaps there. The Japanese diet seems a fail to me. And the japanese diet mentioned is 0.05% of the lecture. So most of the talk between Alan and Mr. Lustig was about that miniature amount of information, which was not so important after all. The biochemistry stuff was way more interesting.

    The whole idea stands. I didn’t see it “crumbled” here. We eat sugar or HFCS almost without fibers. (Fast Food = Fiberless food). Mr. Lustig says several times in the lecture that it is a quantity issue.
    It’s the carbohydrates, not the fat, that is causing the “bad” cholesterol, right? Didn’t see that crumbled.

    Mr. Lustig tries to bust the myth “fat is bad”, as I see it.

    And he does that with the skill of a trained salesman, which I think is a must when you try to “sell” your ideas in the academical world. But I’m not against it.
    If I tried to put a pressure on somebody, whose idea is quite logical, I would do it exactly the way Alan did it – pointing out the “wrong” miniature pieces of information, while skipping the big truths.

  534. Paul permalink
    June 18, 2011

    Your reference stating that the Japanese eat a lot of fruit in fact shows the opposite. It says the consumption of fruit in Japan is stable at about 40Kg, which come to about 4 ounces per day, about 120 grams. one medium sized apple is 150, the Japanese food consumption data shows less than one medium serving of fruit per capita per day. This is about the same or less than that consumed in a typical Atkins diet

    You also did some selective quoting of the Livesly article on the “liberal” point of view that 100g is harmless, you omitted one of the 3 conclusions of the article, that doses over 50g of fructose cause acute post prandial hyperlipidemia. The “liberal” study was in fact sponsored and funded by a company producing fructose.

  535. Jason Steele permalink
    June 20, 2011

    Paul,

    I can’t find where Alan said that the Japanese eat a lot of fruit. Maybe you’re projecting your imagination?