Sugar: The sweet thief of Life (

Sugar: The sweet thief of Life (

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Sugar: The sweet thief of Life

Friday July 29th 2005, 1:33 pm Filed under: Health Secrets

- by Timothy O’Shea, medical researcher“The taste of sweetness, whereof a little more than a little is by much too much.” - Henry IV, Part I, Shakespeare

There’s no doubt that Americans are addicted to sugar. We consume an average of 150 lbs. per person per year.(Appleton, p.10) For many of us, that means we eat our own weight in sugar every year! So it might be helpful to find out what that means - what sugar really is, what food value it has, and what problems it causes.

The sugar industry is big: $100 billion per year. As with any other billion dollar business, there’s bound to be a

ton of information that will support such an empire anywhere you look - the media, bookstores, advertising, etc.

Boats like this don’t like to be rocked.On the other side is a group claiming that white sugar is poison, a harmful drug, barely differing from cocaine, etc. Some claims are true; others are unreferenced opinion, often bordering on hysteria. For our purposes, we’ll focus on what we really can verify about sugar, and hopefully avoid the errors of disinformation on both sides of the fence. What Is Sugar?

That’s easy - it’s that white stuff in the sugar bowl. Refined white cane sugar is only one type, however. There’s alsobrown sugar, raw sugar, fruit sugar, corn sugar, milk sugar, beet sugar, alcohol, monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. All these are also sugar.

Start with white sugar. It is made by refining sugar cane, a process involving many chemicals. Or from beets,

whose refinement also involves synthetic chemicals, and charcoal. The big problem is that the finished product contains none of the nutrients, vitamins, or minerals of the original plant. White sugar is a simple carbohydrate, which means a fractionated, artificial, devitalized by-product of the original plant. The original plant was a complex carbohydrate, which means it contained all the properties of a whole food: vitamins, minerals, enzymes.Refined sugar from beets and cane is sucrose. Up to the mid 1970’s, sucrose was the primary sugar consumed by Americans.

That changed when manufacturers discovered a cheaper source of refined sugar: corn. A process was

evolved that could change the natural fructose in corn to glucose, and then by adding synthetic chemicals, change the glucose back into an artificial, synthetic type of fructose called high fructose corn syrup. (Freeston) High fructose became big real fast. In 1984, Coke and Pepsi changed from cane sugar to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). True connoisseurs could tell the difference, but there weren’t many of us. Today high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the preferred sweetener in most soft drinks and processed foods.

Read the labels. As of 1997, worldwide

production of HFCS exceeded 8 billion kilograms. (Freeston)

Remember, natural fructose is contained in most raw fruits and vegetables. It is a natural food. Moderate

amounts of natural fructose can be easily digested by the body with no stress or depleting of mineral stores. Natural fructose does not cause rollercoaster blood sugar, unless the person overdoes it. Natural fructose is not addicting.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), by contrast, cannot be well digested, actually inhibits digestion, is

addicting, and causes a great number of biochemical errors, HFCS is artificial; a non-food.

Sunday July 24th 2005, 11:59 pm Filed under: Health Secrets

A Source of Toxic Chemicals, Carcinogens and Indoor Air PollutionFragrances and perfumes in cosmetics, personal and household products are leading causes of allergy,

sensitization, breathing irritation and physical distress symptoms which can include serious

consequences such as brain damage. Animal toxicity studies have found many fragrances to be hazardous

to human health. Fragrances are essentially “indoor air-pollutants” and can be especially toxic to

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health reported that the fragrance industry uses up to

3,000 ingredients, predominantly synthetic, some 900 of which were identified as toxic. However, the

fragrance industry is not required to disclose ingredients of fragrances and perfumes on their labels

due to trade secrecy considerations. The FDA supports this non-disclosure on the grounds that “consumers

are not adversely affected — and should not be deprived of the enjoyment” of these products.

An analysis of 6 different mainstream perfumes by Scientific Instrument Services, released in 1998,

identified over 800 ingredients with distinctive patterns for each perfume. These ingredients include a

wide range of volatile and semi-volatile organic chemicals which are thus significant contributors to

indoor air pollution and are hazardous to humans.

In 1999, the California Environmental Health Network filed a Citizen Petition with the FDA requiring

warning labels on all fragrances which are marketed without prior adequate safety testing. For example,

two independent laboratories, Scientific Instruments Services and the cosmetic industry’s Research

Institute of Fragrance Materials Laboratory, analyzed Calvin Klein’s “Eternity Eau de Parfum”

(Eternity) and found 41 ingredients which included some known to be toxic to the skin, respiratory

tract, nervous, and reproductive systems by routes including skin absorption and inhalation, and others

known to be carcinogens such as phenylmethyl acetic acid ester and 2,6–bis (1,1–dimethylethyl) –4–

methyl–phenol. No toxicity data are available on several ingredients, while data on most are inadequate.

The petition requested that the FDA take administrative action and declare Eternity “misbranded” or

“adulterated” since it does not carry a warning label as required by the terms of the Food, Drug, and

Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Grounds for requesting the warning label include

FDA regulation 21CFR Sec. 740/10: “Each ingredient used in a cosmetic product and each finished

cosmetic product shall be adequately substantiated for safety prior to marketing. Any such ingredient or

product whose safety is not adequately substantiated prior to marketing is misbranded unless it contains the

following conspicuous statement on the principal display panel: Warning: the safety of this product has not

Many consumers with health problems from exposure to various brand name fragrances have written to the

FDA supporting EHN’s petition. However, the FDA responded saying they were unable to reach a decision

on the grounds of “other priorities and the limited availability of resources.” Thus, this petition is thus still

open for further public complaints and comments.

A wide range of mainstream fragrances and perfumes, predominantly based on synthetic ingredients, are

used in numerous cosmetics and toiletries, and also soaps and other household products. Currently, the

fragrance industry is virtually unregulated. The toxic harm is compounded by FDA’s refusal to set

standards for toxicity. The FDA still takes the position that consumers are not adversely affected. The

Cancer Prevention Coalition and EHN take the unequivocal position that the FDA should implement its

own regulations and act belatedly to protect consumer health and safety.

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