A Logical Argument For Sugar (Part 2)
I don’t know who first came up with the idea of purposefully using your emergency stress system in order to stay healthy (or to fix health issues), but I have a feeling that they might have been a bit low on sugar at the time.
I mean, I get why it’s appealing. It’s a little like getting a magic star in Super Mario Bros. You do feel invincible for a little while. But the problem is, in the real world you feel invincible for a reason, and that invincibility comes with a price. Generally speaking, the more you take advantage of it, the less it tends to work, and the more it costs you.
Jokes aside, the recommendation to quit sugar as a means to fixing blood sugar issues (or health issues in general), stops sounding so logical, once you understand the impact that it can have on metabolism, and how it can actually promote the issues in need of improvement.
It’s true, not everybody is going to have the exact same reaction to quitting sugar. There are some pretty good reasons for that, and no, one of them isn’t that some of us need sugar, and others don’t.
We all need sugar, that’s just the way it is. And because of that, we all have stress mechanisms which are designed to ensure that we always have sugar available. There isn’t now (nor do I believe there ever will be), a person on the planet that can live without getting sugar, one way or another.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t differences in metabolic conditions, and differences in the degree to which people can handle the stress associated with using the metabolic backup survival mechanisms, and as such, a wide range of possible reactions to a lack of sugar supply.
In any case, before I talk about the various reasons for the different reactions, I said in ‘A Logical Argument For Sugar (Part 1)’ that I would discuss some of the things that happen when sugar is removed from the diet, and why it’s not a good idea to treat them lightly.
Because it’s impossible to live without sugar, whenever sugar runs low, defensive mechanisms kick in, to ensure that it continues to be impossible to run out of sugar. There is only one way around this, and it isn’t a good way.
Generally speaking, when blood sugar levels drop, insulin tends to decrease, counter-regulatory hormones (like glucagon, cortisol and adrenaline) are released in greater amounts, and free fatty acids rise.
All of these things occur in order to help deal with a lack of sugar availability. Hypoglycemia is a sign of stress, and the response to hypoglycemia is a stress response. There’s nothing wrong with a stress response that keeps you alive, but there is something wrong with the suggestion that chronic use of the stress response improves health. That’s a little bit like stabbing yourself, in order to have life saving surgery. Best not to do that.
When the stress state has been going for a while, the thyroid energy system slows down so that you don’t rapidly waste away, using your fat, muscle, and other valuable tissue as fuel. Sub-optimal thyroid function interferes with digestion and liver function, which then promotes more stress, including bacterial issues like endotoxin, and greater stress substance exposure, including estrogen, serotonin, lactic acid and nitric oxide.
In the upside down world, all of these things are popularly promoted as being beneficial, but this is just more of the same incoherent, illogical, absurd argument, based on the false biological world view which encourages overuse of the mechanisms that protect us from starvation and malnutrition, as a way towards improved health.
All of these stress substances are involved in the promotion of metabolic interference, as well as blood sugar dysregulation (including high blood sugar and insulin resistance), commonly blamed on over consumption of sugar. But it’s pretty obvious that eating sugar, all things being equal, is one of the most important things when it comes to protection against the negative effects of stress.
The more you use the stress system, the greater the chance that the things designed to be a backup (so that you can’t ever run out of sugar), can cause harm to your system. Over time, if the stress substances accumulate, they can create a vicious circle of metabolic suppression.
Cortisol and adrenaline increase free fatty acids, which then interferes with the use of sugar. When sugar metabolism is inhibited, lactic acid levels increase, and lactic acid places extra strain on the liver and promotes further metabolic suppression. Interference with liver function and metabolic performance, encourages estrogen and serotonin, inhibiting cellular energy metabolism even more, as well as increasing cortisol. And round and round it can go.
And that’s without taking into consideration problems associated with PUFAs and excess iron, and some other things that can powerfully exacerbate inflammation and stress, promoting fatty liver and insulin resistance, and interfering with some of the beneficial effects of sugar.
In the next installment, I’m going to talk about reasons why some people have more problems with sugar than others. Why some of these people, for instance, can be eating sugar, and yet they continue to have sugar related issues, similar to when sugar is being avoided, and how eating sugar can be part of the solution.
While you’re waiting for ‘A Logical Argument For Sugar (Part 3)’, please feel free to search through previous articles like Sugar Feeds Thyroid and PUFAs Poison The Pancreas discussing issues related to sugar and metabolism. You can comment below, and if you like what I have to say, please subscribe to the email list at the top, and please share this for others to see.