If you still think sugar is harmless, consider the recent research out of the University of Utah. Researchers discovered increased mortality and strange behaviors when mice were given extra sugar in their diet.
Not lots of extra sugar, mind you. But doses generally considered “safe”.
The research itself is behind a paywall (boo!), but here’s a sampling of some of the press coverage. We’ll start with the LA Times:
When mice were fed a diet that was 25% added sugars – an amount consumed by many humans – the females died at twice the normal rate and the males were less likely to reproduce and hold territory, scientists said in a study published Tuesday.
The study shows “that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic impacts on mammalian health,” the researchers said in the study, published in the journal Nature Communications. “Many researchers have already made calls for reevaluation of these safe levels of consumption.”
When mice ate a diet of 25 percent extra sugar – the mouse equivalent of a healthy human diet plus three cans of soda daily – females died at twice the normal rate and males were a quarter less likely to hold territory and reproduce, according to a toxicity test developed at the University of Utah.
Females who ate the high-sugar diet died at rates twice that of control mice – 35% vs. 17%. The males were much worse at acquiring territories, and they had significantly fewer offspring than control mice (about a quarter fewer in both cases).
Folks, at what point do we begin to take this seriously?
- Human-relevant levels of added sugar consumption increase female mortality and lower male fitness in mice, Ruff, Suchy Guentobler, et al. Nature Communications 4, Article number: 2245 doi:10.1038/ncomms3245. August 13, 2013.
- ‘Safe’ Doses Of Sugar May Still Pose Health Risks, Alice Walton. Forbes, August 13, 2013.
- Scientists say sugar at levels considered safe is harmful, Mary MacVean. LA Times, August 13, 2013.
- Study: Soda-Drinking Mice Die Earlier, Francie Diep. Popular Science, August 13, 2013.
- Sugar is Toxic to Mice in ‘Safe’ Doses. Press Release. University of Utah, August 13, 2013.