A few negative effects of carbohydrates in the body due to the use of it are:
|Relative Sweetness Scale – Sucrose = 100|
|High Fructose Corn Syrup||120-160|
In addition mono- and disaccharides are craved because of their sweetness. All carbohydrate sweeteners (sugar, evaporated cane juice, turbinado sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, juice concentrates) contain primarily sugars and do not provide significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. The value of sugar and other natural sweeteners is measured because they enhance the taste and enjoyment of a wide variety of nutritious foods.
Saccharides have varying degrees of sweetness on a relative scale as illustrated in the table. Fructose is the sweetest, while lactose is only slightly sweet by comparison.
Originally the needs of diabetics and more recently the soft drink industry has provided the stimulus in the search of other sweeteners.
|Relative Sweetness Scale – Sucrose = 1|
Saccharin was discovered in 1879 by Constantine Fahlberg, while working in the laboratory of Ira Remsen, quite by accident as were most other sweeteners. While working in the lab, he spilled a chemical on his hand. Later while eating dinner, Fahlberg noticed a more sweetness in the bread he was eating. He traced the sweetness back to the chemical, later named saccharin, by tasting various residues on his hands and clothes (unsanitary conditions) and finally chemicals in the lab (not a safe lab practice).
By 1907, saccharin was used as a replacement for sugar in foods for diabetics. Since it is not metabolized in the body for energy, saccharin is classified as a noncaloric sweetener. By the 1960s it was used on a massive scale in the “diet” soft drink industry.
|Aspartame: In 1965, Jim Schlatter, a chemist at G.D. Searle was working on an on a project to discover new treatments for gastric ulcers. One of the steps in the research process was to make a dipeptide intermediate, aspartyl-phenylalanine methyl ester. He accidentally and unknowingly spilled some on his hand. Later he licked his finger as he reached for a piece of paper, and noticed the sweet taste. He and a friend decided to test some in coffee and confirmed the identity of the chemical with the sweet taste. The result was the sweetener, aspartame.
Cyclamate: Michael Sveda, while a graduate student at the University of Illinois, discovered cyclamate by smoking a cigarette. While working on the synthesis of antipyretic (anti-fever) drugs in the laboratory in 1937, he put his cigarette down on the lab bench. When he put it back in his mouth, he discovered the sweet taste of cyclamate.
Acesulfame was discovered by another chemist, Karl Clauss, in 1967. He noticed a sweet taste when he licked his finger to pick up a piece of paper.
Sucralose may have the strangest “accidental discovery” story. Tate & Lyle, a British sugar company, was looking for ways to use sucrose as a chemical intermediate. Halogenated sugars were being synthesized and tested. A foreign graduate student, Shashikant Phadnis, misunderstood a request for “testing” of a chlorinated sugar as a request for “tasting,” leading to the discovery that many chlorinated sugars are sweet with potencies some hundreds or thousands of times as great as sucrose. Substituting three chlorine ions for hydroxyl groups on an ordinary sucrose molecule makes Sucralose.
Sugar addiction is a buildup imbalance of blood sugar. When a person eats excess carbs over a long period of time, their body has difficulty balancing blood sugar levels. Many different cells stop being responsive to insulin. This condition is called insulin resistance. As a direct result of this the body produces more insulin to try to balance the blood sugar levels which in turn fuels the vicious cycle of frequent hunger and intense cravings for more carbs to ‘feed’ the excess insulin. It is possible that hypoglycemia turns into diabetes when more favorable conditions are met (such as genetic or diseases). The essence of this problem is the slow but steady dependence training (road to addiction) and craving development.
Adrenals and Thyroid
Underactive thyroid which causes extreme fatigue can lead a person to reach for a quick energy source like carbs or sugar. Similarly, stressed and overworked adrenals (due to chronic stress or disease) can lead to carb cravings. When the body is in a constant fight or flight mode (high-stress level) carbohydrates are used for fast energy. Cortisol, the stress hormone that is released, tries to rebalance the body by demanding more fast energy resources (craving for carbohydrates)
Low serotonin and melatonin levels
Lack of sleep surges the cravings for carbs tremendously, research has proven this. A study at the University of Chicago discovered that leptin levels decreased and ghrelin levels increased among sleep-deprived men. The hormone ghrelin tells the brain that the body needs food and seems not to have many limitations. The hormone leptin, which is decreased by inadequate sleep, tells the brain that there is no need for food (not hungry). Similar studies found that people who slept for less than 6 hours tended to eat more food and preferred calorie dense food. People who slept 8 hours a night did eat less food in general.
PMS/Menopause and Hormone Imbalance
Insulin resistance can occur in women during certain times in their cycle or at certain points in their life as their progesterone and estrogen drops. As insulin production increases they might suddenly find themselves experiencing intense cravings for sweets and carbs. Addressing hormone imbalances is key.
About carbohydrates, there are many stories. One of them is Calorie restriction as an important factor in prologue life. Calorie restriction prolongs lifespan in numerous mammalian species and delays the development of aging-associated diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis. The mechanism is unknown. From an efficiency perspective, one might expect calorie restriction to reduce DNL (known as de novo lipogenesis = DNL), which is a wasteful energetic process. However, the opposite is observed. Calorie-restricted mice demonstrate a four-fold increase in adipose tissue DNL. It is not known whether this mediates the therapeutic effects of calorie restriction. But it is highly plausible that it mediates favorable metabolic effects because enhanced DNL in adipose tissue confers improved glucose homeostasis.
Calorie restriction is a process which should be applied for a prologue period of time in life. Restriction sounds harsh but one should take the following in consideration as the best way of restriction;
Calorie efficiency would be a better way to improve life and prologue lifespan. What is calorie efficiency?