Video Transcript: How Does Sugar Make You Fat and Sick?
Ty Bollinger: You also mentioned insulin. I want you to speak briefly to the relationship that insulin and sugar have because some people think of sugar and they think of insulin as being totally separate. But there is a relationship and I would like you to try to describe that briefly.
Dr. David Jockers: Yeah, great question Ty. So when we take in sugar—really at any one given time we should have about one teaspoon of sugar circulating in our blood stream. So the average American, if they go to 7/11 or whatever and they get a Big Gulp, they’re consuming massive quantities [of sugar]. In fact, if you were to take, for example, a 12 ounce Coke there’s 12 teaspoons of sugar in that. There’s about a teaspoon per ounce in a soft drink.
That is toxic for the body. That will cause—that will literally if that’s elevated, if our sugar is elevated for that long with that much sugar in our blood stream, it will destroy us. It will kill us. Just look at somebody that’s got diabetic neuropathy, for example, uncontrolled diabetes. They’re going to have neuropathy. They’re going to have issues with their eyes—optic neuritis. They’re going to have all kinds of different health problems.
That’s an example of uncontrolled blood sugar. So our body has this response where it sends out this hero hormone called insulin. And insulin comes out and its job is to take the sugar out of the blood stream and put it into the cells. So the first cells that start to fill up are the muscle and the liver cells. Somebody that’s more active, that does more regular exercise will have more open reserves in their muscle and their liver for stored sugar called glycogen. And so they’ll fill those areas up. Somebody’s that’s less active will have less open stores.
Once the muscle and the liver are filled now the body will start to put—the insulin will start to put the sugar into the fat cells. So that will start to obviously increase fat cell development. That’s where you have this problem with insulin increasing weight gain, right, causing obviously problems with obesity. Other individuals like myself, Ty, I mean I could eat all the sugar in the world and I would never get fat. That just wouldn’t happen. However, I’d have no energy. I’d be diabetic. I’d have hypoglycemic issues and I’d have to take a nap all the time. And I’d end up with cancer.
So different metabolic types are going to respond differently to sugar. But basically insulin’s job is to clear the blood stream of the sugar so that way we don’t get these potent inflammatory responses. One of the problems with elevated blood sugar is the sugar molecule binds to proteins, enzymes in our system, and it causes something called advanced glycolytic enzyme development. So if you break that word down, an advanced glycolytic enzyme, which is basically a sticky protein, a sugar binded to a protein. A, it’s an advanced glycolytic enzyme, so AGE. And so, of course, what does that do to us? It ages us.
We want to restrict or reduce the amount of advanced glycolytic enzyme production. Insulin helps us with that. It helps, again, get the sugar into the blood stream. Now, as an altered effect of insulin, when insulin is elevated in your body, number one, your body is in storage mode. So it’s not going to be able to burn through fat stores effectively. Also it’s going to trigger inflammatory processes. It’s going to trigger other inflammatory molecules in your body and increase the inflammatory cascade in your system.
And so keeping your body very sensitive to insulin by reducing sugar consumption is very important for, number one, weight control. Number two, reducing the inflammatory processes in our body.