An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
If you want an excellent 11 minute synopsis which hits all the big points, this gentleman does a great job (and he admits he used to believe that metabolism is simply math - who of us were not taught that?)
I think Dr. Lustig is right, however he drives me nuts with his government regulatory solutions. It is absurd and his own lecture demonstrates why this is so. He well notes that over the last few decades without ANY significant government regulation, Americans have by and large reduced our fat intake as we were told to do. In other words, education was enough to do the job and as people sought out low fat foods, the industry responded. Sadly, our listening to the government led to increased heart disease, increased high blood pressure, increased rates of diabetes, and of course increased rates of obesity. But by golly we certainly didn't need government to regulate us into the ailments...we simply do what they tell us.
The other issue that bothered me is how he somewhat glosses over the issue of government's role in his "fructose perfect storm." There is only ONE reason why HFCS is cheaper than sugar and that's because of government regulation. If I may quote from "Wikinvest": "The primary driver of sugar prices is government regulation. Many governments heavily subsidize their sugar manufacturers, to "dump" cheaply-priced sugar in the market, while the United States government has tried to elevate prices within its borders by imposing import restrictions." And voila, HFCS is cheap in comparison.
Now, Dr. Lustig doesn't seem to think there is anything particularly MORE wrong with HFCS than sugar and I'm in no position to argue with him - though others likely are so.
I haven't listened to the 90 minute version, but I think he glosses over a couple of important points. First, it IS calories. If you eat fattier food than straight sugar you'll also get stuff stored...As fat! Second, all his initial talk about what % calories go to metabolism, etc is contingent on demand. The body is really good at reproducing and eating. So it can reproduce, ad infinitum. If there's one thing we're better at than reproducing it's storing energy for "Later" which almost never comes. That's fat. No demand, more calories stored whatever their origin. If you have an athletic person who burns a lot of it the very efficient path to fat gets headed off to heat and muscle contractions. As I read recently, nothing likes glucose more than a contracting muscle (unless it's the central nervous system). Exercise more and the glucose goes that way, the glyogen is used. Don't exercise as much the glycogen gets stored but only to a certain point, then it's long term (alas) storage in the fat. I am always skeptical about people claiming that once upon a time "We" ate such and such an amount of this kind of food, then it went to this amount, etc. I certainly agree there is more obesity and diabetes and such, but my father's generation didn't exercise either unless forced to. There were fewer diabetics around for one thing because they just died instead of getting medicated, same for heart disease patients. I also agree that HFCS is nasty stuff and I eat it just about never. I bake the bread I eat, I cook just about everything I eat. HOWEVER I still am overweight because my calories in > calories out! That happens whether good ones or bad! I wish it were different. I'll listen to the long version soon!
Well, I don't know Bob...I'm not an expert on metabolism by any stretch, but watching the Lustig's lecture and other published articles and such I really think that the system is SO complex that "calories in vs. calories out" may in fact be too simple an explanation. I often liken nutrition studies to sociological studies in that the variables are massive.
While it is of course a general truth that counting calories is a basic foundation of weight gain (I'm thinking of perhaps comparing Newtonian and Quantum physics), there's clearly a GREAT deal of feedback loops and cofactors etc etc that play roles in what we do with calories...we are FAR more complex than a combustion engine.
If nothing else I am SURE of this much: if in fact fructose does all that he says (including inhibiting the Leptin pathway - which will lead one to seek out MORE calories no matter what the real need may be) then sugar poses some serious issues far beyond obesity - but certainly plays a role in it.
It's a good talk. I heard most of it today, Rebecca made Stephen & Anna sit through a chunk of it to get them to see why we only let them drink artificially flavored stuff if we do at all. He's wrong, the biochemistry didn't make me apoplectic. I remember even 30 years ago that it was in far worse detail than he presented, but glad to see it wasn't all unfamiliar! It's certainly clear that stuff is nasty. Thanks for the link to the talk. I expect the fructose folk don't like it a bit.
You might also look for the critics. He seems to have been engaged, thn disengaged with some blogging folk who wanted clarification on some points. He has little patience for it, it would appear. I for one had a little trouble buying the Nixon/Earl Butz/Fructose Axis of Evil. No one suspected a thing about a source of calories. I don't think "All the President's Men" mined that clue as to the insidious nature of Nixon's nutritious dirty tricks. That must have been engineered by Kissinger, carried out by G. Gordon Liddy.... Japanese it turns out DO eat sugary things! It doesn't undermine everything he says, some commenters simply wish he'd said more about dose of the substance. No one will OD on Fructose via *fruit*. It's unliely you'll eat six oranges, but anyone can drink too much orange juice. Which makes the phenomenon of juicers as a cure-all a bad idea.
I'll admit I FF'd through the part where he disses ethanol. I'll have no part of that.
As I mentioned I think he glosses over the role of government in keeping sugar prices artificially high and he demonizes businesses too much. Businesses do WHATEVER consumers want and they'll do it FAR faster than government. If we want less sugar, they will provide it.