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John Oliver on Sugar – More Evidence of a Growing Cultural Awareness?

You may be familiar with John Oliver from his previous contributions to The Daily Show. He’s since moved on to host his weekly news and commentary show on HBO: “Last Week Tonight.” In time for Halloween, he covered the subject of sugar.

From a science perspective, there’s nothing new in his coverage. But the fact that he’s bringing to the public eye the gross over-consumption of sugar in our diet and the concomitant health issues…well this suggests a growing cultural awareness of the problem we’re all facing. That this is now the subject of public discourse and not just the domain of research science and health practitioners…well that’s a sweet development indeed.

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Are Artificial Sweeteners to Blame?

Are artificial sweeteners to blame for the obesity epidemic? From ScienceDaily:

Artificial sweeteners — promoted as aids to weight loss and diabetes prevention — could actually hasten the development of glucose intolerance and metabolic disease, and they do so in a surprising way: by changing the composition and function of the gut microbiota — the substantial population of bacteria residing in our intestines. (source)

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Research: Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways

We’ve been providing a fair bit of coverage on cancer recently, and today will be no exception.

Unfortunately, right now I can offer little more than a pointer to the research article (published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation). I’m still working my way through it and may not have the time to return. So if you’re interested in sharing your thoughts on it, please add to the comments below!
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Full Fat Goes Mainstream?

NPR’s Morning Edition aired a delightful segment on full fait dairy foods and the (to some) unexpected consequence: “people who eat higher fat dairy tend to be leaner than people who eat skim (low fat) products.” It turns out that this “high fat paradox” is present in children as well.

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Ketopia’s New Design

In January of 2012 I started Ketopia with a stock theme, an image across the top that spoke of my journey, and the intention to push the Content First philosophy to the extreme. A couple years and a few hundred posts later (by multiple contributors!), we have a true community, a unique visual identity and a new design for the website.
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Lustig, the EFSA, Fructose, and Poison

Just a quick note to point to Robert Lustig’s recent article in The Guardian: Fructose: The Poison Index.

It’s typical Lustig. Written on the occasion of The European Food and Safety Agency’s (EFSA) ruling that allows food processors and mongers to make health claims about the fructose content of their foods.

And yet the scientific data on fructose says it is one of the most egregious components of the western diet, directly contributing to heart disease and diabetes, and associated with cancer and dementia. Nature magazine has just published a scathing indictment of fructose by Dr Lewis Cantley, one of the US’s leading cancer researchers. But the EFSA says it sees no harm, justifying its stance on the basis that fructose has a lower glycaemic index than glucose.

Resources

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Robert Lustig’s ‘Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0′

Robert Lustig attempts to reprise his viral hit, Sugar the Bitter Truth with a new installment. This one borrows part of the title from his book: “Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0″.

As you might expect, it’s a pretty darn good view. Favorite quote? How ’bout this: “It’s never gluttony and sloth. It’s always biochemical. The question is, ‘Are you smart enough to figure out what the biochemistry is?'”

For those of you interested in Leptin, this is a must watch.

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The Changing Understanding of Fats

I consider myself to be as fortunate as I am frustrated to witness the current revolution in our understanding of the role of fats in proper nutrition and health. The tide seems to be turning and we’re returning from whence we came. Every week, it seems, someone else is questioning the “fat is bad” orthodoxy, and medical practitioners are speaking out.

This week it’s the British Medical Journal, and I have Alice and Fred Ottoboni to thank for pointing it out to me.

When they say, “This is important…”, I tend to listen.
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