The unexpected link between food and health: Research Article

  • Find out why the UK is in the grip of a stifling malaise
  • The truth about the evils of this food
  • Discover how we are playing into the hands of Big Pharma

Prior to COVID anyone reading the health section of the popular press would draw two conclusions: first that we are in an obesity crisis and second that our population is weak-willed and lazy.

Taking the second point first, we are told that the UK has low levels of productivity and a general unwillingness to do ‘menial’ jobs, preferring to live on benefits whilst immigrants mop hospital floors.

In the first instance we are becoming the fat folk of Europe because we gorge ourselves silly on fat and sugar and as a result cost the economy billions of pounds because we are all developing type 2 diabetes.

A big issue has been made this week about the benefits of radical dieting on the effects of diabetes (type 2 only), with many papers claiming that consuming a mere 800 calories a day over a period of 17 weeks, in the form of drinks and shakes, cures the condition.

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, director of research at Diabetes UK, said, “We’re very encouraged by these initial results, and the building of robust evidence that remission could be achievable for some people. The trial is ongoing, so that we can understand the long-term effects of an approach like this. It’s very important that anyone living with type 2 diabetes considering losing weight in this way seeks support and advice from a healthcare professional.”

So once again all you fat folk out there who have force fed yourselves, you need to get yourselves sorted!

By following this line of reporting it is easy to think that the story is correct. We have become lazy and eat rubbish, therefore we are responsible for getting ourselves back in working order.

But the reality is that this isn’t in the interests of those who control our health.

Today I want to tell this story in a very different way, and highlight the real facts about food and health which don’t seem to be making the headlines in the way they should.

Let me explain.

The sinister effect of a sweet life

Virtually all published research into diet concludes that high sugar diets lead to poor health, including cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes…at least, those which see the light of day do.

There is increasing evidence that the powerful sugar lobby has been suppressing trial results which show causal links between sugar and health.

One such incidence was reported recently in ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ where they highlighted a study from fifty years ago that the sugar industry funded but which showed an indisputable link between a sugar-rich diet, heart disease and bladder cancer.

Of course, the industry really didn’t want this coming to light so it conveniently locked it away in a cupboard and let it gather dust, whilst at the same time exhorted politicians in the US and Europe to support its aims.

Fuelling the growth in High Street takeaway shops was part of this strategy, with meals consisting of pure sugar, much of it in the most damaging form as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi Co and McDonalds enjoyed financial benefits directly from the sugar giants to include as much HFCS in their products as possible, money which was cleverly used to build brands and drive demand.

In the meantime the sugar industry conspired with nutritionists to point the finger of blame towards dietary fat rather than sugar(1).

There can be no clearer evidence that our diets were being manipulated for the specific gain of vested interests.

Worse than this, the products they were promoting were both addictive and highly damaging(2).

But why is sugar so bad for us? Is it just that it causes obesity or is there something else?

There most certainly is something else – inflammation – chronic, low level and deeply damaging inflammatory responses.

A 2014 study(3) managed to avoid the attempts to block its publication and showed how a diet rich in HFCS led to serious long term problems where blood vessels, joints, nerves and the brain all suffered from increased levels of inflammation.

It is these damaging changes to cell walls and tissue beds that cause the health conditions associated with sugar, rather than the accumulation of fat as the body tries to store the excess calories.

Arguably, the way the trial with the low calorie drinks works is because it removes sugar, and HFCS in particular, from the diet preventing the damage to pancreatic tissue and the production of insulin.

But the tale of corporate greed and subterfuge do not end there… there is yet one more vulture circling over the carcass of UK health.

Need help? Step this way…

Having weakened the body and controlled the mind, our gallant business folk now strike their next blow for cash… the cure needed to fix the problem.

Big Pharma loves sugar.

It revels in diabetes, delights in the erroneous finger of blame pointed at cholesterol and adores cardiovascular disease.

These conditions are an absolute gold mine for the drug companies who use their skills of PR and direct political pressure to force the NHS to follow a costly plan of containment, but never a cure.

Daily doses of metformin for diabetes, ACE inhibitors for blood pressure and the dreaded statins for high cholesterol really swell the coffers at Big Pharma HQ so it is not in their interest to get anyone better.

Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas do they?

Imagine how successful a campaign to force all food companies to drop sugar content would be, plus having GPs start to offer advice on taking turmeric for controlling inflammation at a fraction of the cost of the other prescription drugs.

We would all be healthier, happier and probably a lot more productive.

The true cause and effect of modern society can be seen in today’s newsletter, but sadly there is little chance of anything changing because there isn’t the political will or courage to do so.

I hope our GPs soon wake up to what they can achieve by following a different course.

References;

(1) Kearns, C.E., Schmidt, L.A. and Glantz, S.A., 2016. Sugar industry and coronary heart disease research: a historical analysis of internal industry documents. JAMA internal medicine, 176(11), pp.1680-1685.

(2) DiNicolantonio, J.J., O’Keefe, J.H. and Wilson, W.L., 2017. Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review. Br J Sports Med, pp.bjsports-2017.

(3) Jameel, F., Wood, L.G., Garg, M.L. and Phang, M., 2014. Acute effects of feeding fructose, glucose and sucrose on blood lipid levels and systemic inflammation. Lipids in health and disease, 13(1), p.195.