By estimate, up to 40 percent of men with type 2 diabetes have low testosterone. One of the more starkly revealing studies showing the impact of sugar consumption on testosterone levels was done in 2013 and published in the science journal Clinical Endocrinology. A group of seventy-four men, ages nineteen to seventy-four, underwent a sampling of oral glucose accompanied by blood testing at intervals of 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes. As part of the blood testing, measures were taken of fasting serum, glucose, insulin, total testosterone, free testosterone, SHBG, leptin and Cortisol.
On an average, glucose ingestion resulted in a 25 percent decrease in mean testosterone levels, and those levels remained suppressed at 120 minutes after absorption. This happened in both total and free testosterone levels. The impact of sugar on testosterone was so dramatic, that 15 percent of the men across the age ranges had their levels decrease until they were in the hypogonadal (andropausal) range at one or more of the time measurement points.
Know where we stand as a country
In the entire history of mankind, it is now that we consume the largest amount of sugar. Indian Sugar Mills Association reports that India’s consumption has increased to 26 million tons and our per capita consumption of sugar is 20Kg per anum. Our per capita consumption was 2.7kg per annum in 1950 and now it has increased to 20Kg, almost 7.5 times. No doubt, we are more “Sweeter than Ever.”
We are the sweetest country. We could not beat Brazil in soccer but we have beaten them on the ‘Sugar Bowl contest. Brazil is no more the sugar bowl of world. I would rather say, we regained our glory, because the sugarcane cultivation originated in Indus civilization. India has regained the glory of White Gold, by surpassing Brazil as the largest producer of sugar, the throne Brazil was occupying for a very long time. India’s sugar production has increased from 1 mn tons in 1950 to 33 mn tons in 2019.
History dates to 510 BC, when the Emperor Darius, of what was then Persia invaded India, found “the reed which gives honey without bees”. The secret of cane sugar, as with many other of man’s discoveries, was kept a closely guarded secret whilst the finished product was exported for a rich profit. It was the major expansion of the Arab people in the seventh century AD that led to a breaking of the secret. When they invaded Persia in 642 AD they found sugar cane being grown and learnt how sugar was made. As their expansion continued they established sugar production in other lands that they conquered including North Africa and Spain.
The first refined sugar appeared on the scene in India about 2,500 years ago. From there, the technique spread east towards China, and west towards Persia and the early Islamic worlds, eventually reaching the Mediterranean in the 13th century. Cyprus and Sicily became important centers for sugar production. Throughout the Middle Ages, it was considered a rare and expensive spice, rather than an everyday condiment, reports Mark Horton, Professor in Archaeology, University of Bristol.
Industrial production of sugar was dominated by the British during 1700s. By 1750 there were 120 sugar refineries operating in Britain. Their combined output was only 30,000 tons per annum. At this stage sugar was still a luxury and vast profits were made to the extent that sugar was called “white gold”. Governments recognized the vast profits to be made from sugar and taxed it highly. In Britain for instance, sugar tax in 1781 totaled £326,000, a figure that had grown by 1815 to £3,000,000. This situation was to stay until 1874 when the British government, under Prime Minister Gladstone, abolished the tax and brought sugar prices within the means of the ordinary citizen.
Today our (Indian) sugar production is 33 million tons, of which 35% is consumed directly by household. Consumer awareness about the ill effects of sugar is growing but lot of awareness needs to be created for sugar as a toxin. Now, United States of America would also be proud of India being the sweetest nation because now they can pump all the pharma drugs into India as we will be the largest market.
Time to wake up and look what sugar can do to your body
Sugar is a poison. Though sugar is the poison , it’s not about diabetes, it’s about the metabolic syndrome. Chemically produced sugar is the worst source of metabolic syndrome. Table sugar is made up of one molecule of Fructose and one molecule of Sucrose. Fructose makes the sweet stuff really sweet. Fructose from processed sugar is responsible for diabetes, liver dysfunction, cancer, dementia, aging and hunger.
As parents we prioritize convenience on foods rich in sugar. Source of enjoyment starts with few bottles of cola drinks, ice-cream, chocolates, biscuits and more with the assumption that they will burn these things fast as they go out and play. But sugar makes them metabolically inactive and resulting in irreversible complications.
Much of the sugars consumed today are ‘hidden’ in processed foods that are not usually seen as sweets. For example, 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains around 4 grams (around 1 teaspoon) of free sugars. A single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains up to 40 grams (around 10 teaspoons) of free sugars. Only about 25% of the total sugar we ingest is sugar that we consciously add to foods, for example in tea, coffee or in home baking. The remaining 75% comes from the everyday packaged foods and drinks we consume such as soft drinks, juices, cereals, biscuits and sweets.
The WHO recommends a reduced intake of free sugars throughout the life . In both adults and children, WHO recommends reducing the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake and then progressively reduce it to below 5% of total energy intake.
Born with a sweet tooth, we have started avoiding sweets in its crudest form, but seldom we know that the processed food that we consume is laden with sugar. The food industry is being clever by labeling sugar in by different names (40+ varieties), which Aaam Aadmi can’t recognize.
For detailed information how sugar detoriates the human design, you can refer to “Reclaim your body – A guide to restoring health and fitness”