History of Fructose Carbs and weight-loss


I have heard many people claim that sugar causes hyperactivity in children and have read a report or two (from the popular press) that found no link. It would seem that lots of sugar would cause a spike in the blood glucose level that would cause to much insulin to be secreted. If sugar gives a ‘burst of energy’ it would be followed by a low energy period while the insulin/ sugar balance was restored. This would provide a sort of ‘Skinner box’ that would cause addictive behavior. Most of what I’ve heard about sugar in the diet is anecdotal in nature. I suspect that someone may have done some good research on this? I have a hunch that Sugar could do somewhat the same thing to adults, so I’m thinking of giving it up but would like some hard facts to base my actions. Over the years I have read some articles by a Dr. Wurtman? from MIT? about precursors to neurotransmitters (tryptophan to seritonin) but I have never seen anything about plain old glucose vs. fructose vs. complex carbohydrates other that what I’ve read in diabetic pamphlets. We do know that Carbohydrates up the transport of at least tryptophan into the brain. Perhaps you could point me to some reading on this? My field is electronics but I was #1 in my cellular biology class years ago and should be able to understand some fairly technical journals.

I read enough that I realized that insulin needs to be kept low in order to lose weight, and knowing that fructose does not have the same insulin raising effect, I looked into using fructose as a sugar substitute, but thankfully concluded that it would be a real bad idea!

I figured it was the glucose causing the insulin increase and was looking to cook my cornbread with fructose to avoid the insulin problems. digging up fructose, I ran into a couple of stories about HFCS - wondered if it was a good idea after all - thus I wrote Dr. Robinson in 2002 one of the few people with an excellent science background that I knew was avoiding sugar.

I came to understand that fructose has a different metabolic pathway than glucose and gets turned into triglycerides without raising the blood sugar level. I’m wondering if the huge amounts of HFCS being sold may be largely responsible for the epidemic of obesity and type II diabetes in the US. As I’m sure you know, the rise in blood glucose gives us a good feeling (from increased serotonin levels?) and thus there is the well-known conditioned response to eating sweet tasting food. One would have to consume many more calories of HFCS sweetened foods to get the same satisfying rise in blood sugar. The most common source of fructose today is HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) which can be anywhere from 42 - 90% fructose (so the name isn't useful). Soft drinks have 55% and 'light' foods may have 90%. The switch from sugar to the cheaper HFCS as a sweetener may be the cause of rather serious health problems if I have this right. I’m hoping you can tell me if I have understood this correctly


Looks like back during the space program we had good evidence that fructose was a bad thing. I've included a letter I received in my research of fructose in 2002.

Robinson replies


The drop in cholesterol he was talking about was no doubt mostly trygly - 2002 was 7 years ago - + the 25 years he mentioned so the science was out at least 30 years ago. That fructose is metabolized by a different metabolic pathway than glucose may have been known even earlier. I'm not able to find the original Winitiz paper.

Then came Vivonex 100, Winitiz, Greenstien

In the time of Columbus, an ounce of gold would buy only 40LBs of sugar

Thus - a paradigm shift.

I've found these papers -

It could be that the article was in Nature 1965 Evaluation of Chemical Diets as Nutrition for Man-in-Space

And a patent in 1974 Redcution of blood serum Cholesterol



My point is, that this science was not in dispute - science knew that fructose did increase cholesterol - particularly triglycerides (we know now that fructose is directly converted into trygly in the liver via DNL(de novo lipogenesis) ( unless the liver gets backed up with large amounts ... then even worse things happen.)

So what happened? When I first went to my internist in the '90s and asked him what I should do to lose weight - he said one needs to bed hungry in order to lose - and sent me to a dietitian that stressed low fat and more fruits and vegetables - complex carbs. I also heard about that time on a radio show by Dr Dean Edel that there was no health risk from sugar.

I ate pasta, Orange juice, V8 whole grain breads, beans, corn bread and tried to limit the amount - was always hungry - went to bed hungry - I had found it was easier to take being hungry while asleep. I walked a mile every day. I managed to lose 10 pounds or so - and was miserable. I heard that fat - gram for gram had more calories - so I cut back further on fat - I felt even worse. My fingernails started getting strange - I started having more heart burn and stomach problems. My doctor gave me Pepcid and latter Prylosec (and depleted my B12 to the point that he did follow up tests due to a good and high homocycstein level - no mention of coronary risk). I had some trouble working - I would keep wondering off for a crust of bread - no butter - couldn't focus. I made my own hot Chocolate out of powered nonfat milk (good source of oxy-chol) to avoid even more fat. I started having back problems - from carrying to much weight? - but I think even more from the lower protein diet - (fat is often packaged with protein. ) My attempt was an utter failure - and I was self disciplined, yet frustrated beyond hope.

I remembered a friend that had tried the Atkins diet - with temporary success - started looking into it - At first II figured Atkins was totally cracked - until I read Taub's book. A name jumped out at me - Dr. Gordon - his 1962 diet featured in JAMA - my mom had been on it - temporarily - under Dr Gordons care - and lost weight - and Dr. Gordon had been my fathers endocrinology professor at UW med school. Talking to my father, he recalled Dr. Gordon being impressed by the resolution of diabetic symptoms when sugar was in short supply in WWII. His diet varied from Atkins mainly in that it started out with a 48hour fast to kick people into ketosis fast - followed by eating 6 times a day - weighed out portions - all low carb.

So I bought Atkins book - lost weight - no longer hungry.

So we had the science and even a patent in '74 - and for some reason this information never got back to me or my internist. What can we do to prevent this from happening again?

Post Script

It appears that similar material has/is being ignored that relates to PUFA's ability to cause inappropriate insulin sensitivity - thus causing people to gain weight. PUFAs do lower cholesteral (possibly by increasing fat storage) - but they also greatly increase oxLDL - the bit that actually causes CAD!


Apitite and fructose

Looks like the high levels of Trygl might blind us to the effects of leptin:


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