Submitted by News Account on 9 November 2007 - 7:54pm. Biology
Eating too much fructose and glucose can turn off the gene that regulates the levels of active testosterone and estrogen in the body, shows a new study in mice and human cell cultures that’s published this month in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. This discovery reinforces public health advice to eat complex carbohydrates and avoid sugar.
Table sugar is made of glucose and fructose, while fructose is also commonly used in sweetened beverages, syrups, and low-fat food products. Estimates suggest North Americans consume 33 kg of refined sugar and an additional 20 kg of high fructose corn syrup per person per year.
Glucose and fructose are metabolized in the liver. When there’s too much sugar in the diet, the liver converts it to lipid. Using a mouse model and human liver cell cultures, the scientists discovered that the increased production of lipid shut down a gene called SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), reducing the amount of SHBG protein in the blood. SHBG protein plays a key role in controlling the amount of testosterone and estrogen that’s available throughout the body. If there’s less SHBG protein, then more testosterone and estrogen will be released throughout the body, which is associated with an increased risk of acne, infertility, polycystic ovaries, and uterine cancer in overweight women. Abnormal amounts of SHBG also disturb the delicate balance between estrogen and testosterone, which is associated with the development of cardiovascular disease, especially in women.
“We discovered that low levels of SHBG in a person’s blood means the liver’s metabolic state is out of whack – because of inappropriate diet or something that’s inherently wrong with the liver – long before there are any disease symptoms,” says Dr. Geoffrey Hammond, the study’s principal investigator, scientific director of the Child & Family Research Institute in Vancouver, Canada, and professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of British Columbia.
“With this new understanding, we can now use SHBG as a biomarker for monitoring liver function well before symptoms arise,” says Dr Hammond, who is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Reproductive Health. “We can also use it for determining the effectiveness of dietary interventions and drugs aimed at improving the liver’s metabolic state.”
Physicians have traditionally measured SHBG in the blood to determine a patient’s amount of free testosterone, which is key information for diagnosing hormonal disorders. In addition, SHBG levels are used to indicate an individual’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The discovery dispels the earlier assumption that too much insulin reduces SHBG, a view which arose from the observation that overweight, pre-diabetic individuals have high levels of insulin and low levels of SHBG. This new study proves that insulin is not to blame and that it’s actually the liver’s metabolism of sugar that counts.
This research was supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Submitted by News Account on 9 November 2007 - 7:54pm. Biology
I’m thinking OP’s intent was to throw out the idea that our diet & lifestyle choices can affect our fertility, and that poor choices can contribute to infertility problems in quite a few people.
Just in time for the Holidays! as I’m busy baking my favorite Thanksgiving pies & goodies.
Does this mean I have to skip the pecan, pumpkin, or mincemeat pies, and candied yams?
So where’s the “culture of death” angle in all this?
I think that the culture of death aspect is that if you destroy your fertility by eating sugar you’re not able to have kids? And for some people, not having kids even if you’re infertile, makes you part of the death culture? Or something?
I have PCOS, won’t take the pill, and am allergic to Metformin. I’ve been SLOOOOWLY losing weight in an attempt to get my hormones under control. This article makes me think of all the sweets I ate in high school/jr high to comfort myself when bullied, and how I brought this problem on myself. Which makes me feel both optimistic and
Do you think the damage can be reversed, through not eating glucose and fructose for a long period?
Thanks, as a man, I’m a bit slow “connecting the dots of subtlety” sometimes. It is a little funny when I saw the OP’s name “jbuttrey” makes me think of “buttery”
I’m trying to figure out how those of us who did not choose to be infertile are contributing to the “culture of death”. We did not choose to bear this cross, it was thrust upon us.
I think he’s saying we did choose it (though in all probability in ignorance), by choosing to eat sugar, and having it affect our fertility down the road, ie PCOS, which is linked to insulin resistance.
Now I’m really wondering what the OP meant.
jbuttrey…where are you?
I think so. I’ve read where losing weight can restore fertility. I’ve also read that drinking whole milk helps. I was obese 4-5 years ago and I’ve lost about 60 pounds since then. I’m still overweight (i’m short) but hopely If I can get my weight down more and keep it down, I won’t have fertility problems in the futrue.
I can only speak for myself. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 11 and PCOS at 15. Obviously, I have seen no change in my fertility with the elimination of refined sugars since the PCOS came on 4 years later. I also do not have insulin resistance. I have low insulin requirements for my age and weight. And I am dealing with infertility. I hope that some of you find better responses to removing the sugar.
I have insulin resistance (and my gyn said I was right on the cusp of pre-diabetes). I do notice a visible change in hormone problems when I loose weight. However, it gets drastic - I’m 5’7" and currently weigh 155lbs, so I’m not obese, just slightly chubby. My symptoms begin to clear up below 135 and are entirely fixed at 120lbs. For years I kept it under control and maintained between 125 and 130 - then went on an anti-depressant, gained 20lbs in 4 weeks (while also not eating, because of an upset stomach), and have not been able to budge that weight more than 5lbs in 3 years, even when giving up sugar and carbs for months at a time. I’ll go up and then down again at holidays/stressful times, but it always comes back to that dreadful 150-155.
I really wish Metformin hadn’t landed me in the ER - it seems to work miracles for a lot of ladies.
Considering that glucose and fructose are naturally found in so many foods and in fact, our bodies have whole metabolic cascades to process these molecules, and further considering that this is new, I do not think it is fair to say that we chose to render ourselves infertile. We did not have ourselves sterilized, we did not take abortifacients, we did not use artificial contraception. We ate. HUGE difference, and to blame us for actively participating in the “culture of death” smacks of insensitivity. :mad:
I also don’t have insulin resistance or PCOS. Yet I cannot carry a pregnancy past 5 weeks. I’m amazed that anyone would suggest that I chose this.
Perhaps I’m assuming too much, but I took OP’s point to be that the increased consumption of fructose and glucose is causing too much testosterone and estrogen in the bodies of Americans. This, in turn, causes more physical desire toward sex, which contributes to the Culture of Death. Am I reaching too far?
Accept my apology for being so obtuse in my post and not replying earlier. Forgive me.
Let me try and explain with a very short response that I admit is lacking details of the science and a so for a complete explanation you need to research my claims.
My spiritual references are that some Jews captive in Babylon refuse the king’s food and eat vegetables and are wiser than the king’s wizards. St. Benedict has a fresh food component to his rule.
In the 1800s I propose that a major cause of the advancement of the culture of death was a drastic diet change from a lot of natural farm foods to the high refined carbohydrate diet of the new industrial city dwellers.
We all became physically sick and mentally unstable from our new eating habits. We all naturally crave sweet and our parents and all of us didn’t even know it was a plot to give us sugar diseases. So we aren’t sinners, but we still became captive to the natural physical laws of the universe, you eat food stripped of vitamins minerals and fiber and you get sick. Lots of good Catholics were lost to sugar disease.
This was part of the big conspiracy to enslave the whole world. Then as we were unstable we didn’t recognize the popes were teaching the truth with the gospel of life and rebelled against them.
Up until now as science has shown in the last year, we all thought sugar was food and you could take a vitamin pill and live on sugar.
This article talks about sex hormones but the real message is imbalance of sex hormones caused by high refined carbohydrate diets are enslaving our bodies to disease and early death by affecting our livers. This also makes us hyper and unable to think.
What has happened is so many people have been mentally unstable from their diet that those who purposely sold us sugar could then go on to sell us even bigger poisons in the form of BC pills.
Christ is risen
For a my personal story of the steps to freedom from sugar diseases, write email@example.com
Actually, I was that odd child who could take or leave sweet things - I preferred salt, sharp and (even quite early on) spicy food. I wasn’t anti-social about it (I’d eat a piece of birthday cake rather than make a fuss) and people tended to be quite good about saying things like “would you prefer an orange (or whatever)?” Not only that, highly refined flour products had a tendency to make me sick.
Inevitably, I’ve raised a family on my tastes (!) but, fortunately, my childhood tastes and fads are recommended dietary regimes today.
I do wonder whether I was a bit of a ‘canary in a coalmine’ as a child - that sugar etc affected me somewhat (mildly) adversely so I avoided them but I’ve also never had addictive personality so it could have been that the taste of something sweet didn’t generate a physical desire for another ‘hit’.
Where is the link to the actual research that was conducted? Has this been replicated? How large was the study? Was this done in actual human beings or only in the lab? At the most I would think this would only apply to certain number of people with certain genetic tendencies. As far as this being a wide cause of infertility I say HOGWASH! Infertility has many causes. Furthermore if you look at what the researchers allegedly said, it is more to look at the function of the liver not as a cause of infertility.
The thing is that, in many ways, the history of sugarcane/the history of the demand for sugarcane (a pretty useless food but very, very addictive) is part of the weft and weave of things like imperialism and slavery on the one hand and dietary problems (certainly dental problems!) on the other.
Like many things you can take conspiracy theory too far but the OP certainly has a point.