More sugar crusade nonsense

Ever since the demonization of salt and fat went into a 180 degree turn, sugar has been the favoured dietary nemesis, despite a lot of evidence that sugar is generally harmless.  We eat so much sugar that we would all be dead if it really were harmful.  But the idea that there is no such thing as "healthy" food just seems to be beyond a lot of brains to accept.

The campaigners below however have found a study which showed sugar as harmful in rats.  Sadly however, the study was never completed or published.  The authors below draw most adverse inferences from that -- blaming "big sugar".

But if big sugar was reponsisible for cancelling the study, they had good reason to do so.  The study was a example of the now discredited strategy of feeding rats huge amounts of something and seeing what happened.  As soon as the paymasters saw that that was what the researchers were doing, they had every right to withdaw funding.  You can show that almost anything -- including water -- can be harmful if you feed some subject huge amounts of it.  The quantities used these days have to bear some relationship to normal consumption.

And none of that is new.  It has long been a basic principle of toxicology that the toxicity is in the dose.  It is no loss that a study which ignored that faded from view

More than four decades ago, a study in rats funded by the sugar industry found evidence linking the sweetener to heart disease and bladder cancer, the paper trail investigation reports.

The results of that study were never made public.

Instead, the sugar industry pulled the plug on the study and buried the evidence, said senior researcher Stanton Glantz. He is a professor of medicine and director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

Glantz likened this to suppressed Big Tobacco internal research linking smoking with heart disease and cancer.

"This was an experiment that produced evidence that contradicted the scientific position of the sugar industry," Glantz said. "It certainly would have contributed to increasing our understanding of the cardiovascular risk associated with eating a lot of sugar, and they didn't want that."

In response to the investigation, The Sugar Association issued a statement calling it "a collection of speculations and assumptions about events that happened nearly five decades ago, conducted by a group of researchers and funded by individuals and organizations that are known critics of the sugar industry."

The new paper focuses on an industry-sponsored study referred to as Project 259 in documents generated by the Sugar Research Foundation and its successor, the International Sugar Research Foundation, and dug up decades later by Glantz and his colleagues.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in England conducted Project 259 between 1967 and 1971, comparing how lab rats fared when fed table sugar versus starch. The scientists specifically looked at how gut bacteria processed the two different forms of carbohydrate.

Early results in August 1970 indicated that rats fed a high-sugar diet experienced an increase in blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat that contributes to cholesterol.

Rats fed loads of sugar also appeared to have elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme previously associated with bladder cancer in humans, the researchers said.

Months after receiving these results, the International Sugar Research Foundation failed to approve an additional 12 weeks of funding that the Birmingham researchers needed to complete their work, according to the authors behind the new investigation.

SOURCE. Journal article here

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