How excess sugar can be deadly
Researchers from the University of Utah found that when they gave mice a diet of 25 percent extra sugar—the mouse equivalent of a healthy human diet plus three cans of soda per day—females died at twice the normal rate, and male mice were a quarter less likely to protect their territory which is essential for reproduction.
What does this mean for humans?
“This demonstrates the adverse effects of added sugars at human-relevant levels,” says University of Utah biology professor Wayne Potts, the study’s senior author. He says previous studies using other tests fed mice large doses of sugar disproportionate to the amount people consume in sweetened beverages, baked goods and candy.
The researchers emphasized that the levels of sugars that the mice consumed were considered to be human equivalent of “safe” to consume, which means that even safe levels of sugars can have adverse effects on people.
“I always encourage my patients to significantly cut down or cut out any refined sugar intake—whether it be soda, candy or even juices,” says Dr. Jennifer DeBruler, an internal medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group. “One of the best things a family can do for their collective health is to stop buying or stocking up on soda altogether. If soda is not available in the house, then that can help cut down on the frequency in which it may be consumed.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.