A word from Dr. Kirby – Another Benefit of Moderate Exercise

Jul 9, 2015 @ 12:04

Here is another article from the New York Times reporting on two recent studies investigating the harmful effects of sugar and the way moderate amounts of exercise seem to prevent this damage.

From the NY Times Oct 9, 2014.

People who consume the sweetener, fructose – which is most people nowadays — risk developing a variety of health problems. But two new studies have found that the risk drops substantially if these people get up and move around, even if they don’t formally exercise.

Most of us have heard that ingesting fructose, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, (table sugar is 50% fructose, just slightly lower than high-fructose corn syrup – EK) is unhealthy, which few experts would dispute. High-fructose corn syrup is used to sweeten many processed foods and nearly all soft drinks.

The problem with the sweetener is that, unlike glucose, the other component of common table sugar, fructose is metabolized primarily in the liver. There, much of the fructose is transformed into fatty acids, some of which remain in the liver, marbling that organ and contributing to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (a warning sign that this may be happening shows up as “fatty liver” on ultrasound – EK).

The rest of the fatty acids migrate into the bloodstream, causing metabolic havoc. Past animal and human studies have linked the intake of even moderate amounts of fructose with dangerous gyrations in blood sugar levels, escalating insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, added fat around the middle, obesity, poor cholesterol profiles and other metabolic disruptions.

But in both of these new studies, walking at least 12,000 steps a day effectively wiped out all of the disagreeable changes wrought by the extra fructose. (In these studies the volunteers were given 75 gm of fructose per day – about the amount one would find in two 20-oz bottles of soda pop, which is already about twice the recommended daily sugar intake – EK). When the volunteers moved more, their cholesterol and blood-sugar levels remained normal, even though they were consuming plenty of fructose every day.

The lesson from these studies is not that we should blithely down huge amounts of fructose and assume that a long walk will undo all harmful effects, said Dr. Bidwell, who is now an assistant professor of exercise science at the State University of New York in Oswego. “I don’t want people to consider these results as a license to eat badly,” she added.

But the data suggests that “if you are going to regularly consume fructose,” she said, “be sure to get up and move around.” Interestingly, the young people in the study did not increase the lengths of their normal workouts to achieve the requisite step totals, and most did not formally exercise at all, Dr. Bidwell said. They parked their cars further away from stores; took stairs instead of elevators; strolled the campus; and generally “sat less, moved more,” she said. “That’s a formula for good health, in any case,” she added, “but it appears to be key,” if you’re determined to have that soda.

(This also supports the exercise advice given in the Youtube video entitled “23-1/2 Hours” by Dr Mike Evans – EK).

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