Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Is sugar good for you after all?
Now that the accumulation of evidence has forced even myopic medical researchers and bureaucrats to abandon their demonization of salt and fat in the diet, the solons have reached back to an old scare popularized obsessively by Dr. Robert Lustig. Lustig claims that sugar is bad for you. The health establishment ridiculed Lustig's "evidence" for many years but they were desperate when salt and fat were taken away from them so Lustig and his theories are suddenly now in good odor. They particularly demonize a very simple sugar -- fructose -- because it is widely used in American fizzy drinks.
But the evidence for the demonization of sugar is mostly just epidemiological speculation and it is an easy bet that sugar will one day be comprehensively exonerated too.
More importantly, however, fat was eventually found actually to be GOOD for you. Will the same be found for sugar? A straw in the wind below. The article concerns fucose, not fructose but both are sugars. Science has just recently figured out that fucose is one of the essential sugars that the body needs to function properly. Below is one of several recent reports which find that fucose helps fight cancer!
Dietary Fucose Helps Attenuate Metastatic Melanoma in Mice
Tracy Hampton, PhD
Investigators have identified a mechanism that’s blocked during melanoma metastasis but can be restored in mice by adding the sugar fucose to the diet (Lau E et al. Sci Signal. 2015;8:ra124).
Led by researchers at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, California, the team found that activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2), which is abundant in advanced stages of melanoma, blunts expression of the gene encoding fucokinase (FUK), an enzyme that attaches fucose to target molecules. The findings suggest FUK repression promotes melanoma motility and invasiveness in vitro.
JAMA. 2016;315(5):455. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.19343
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).