Archive for June, 2012

Fructose metabolism

Posted in Food, Health, Nature with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2012/06/12 by rmolby
High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup (Photo credit: Food Thinkers)

This post is part of my health research on my own weight and health problems. Part of fixing my health issues is learning how the human body processes or digests food and food-like substances; there is a single word describing this process: metabolism.

Anyway, in relation to the previous post, the first thing I was interested in is how the human metabolism deals with simple carbohydrates, like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), honey, and sugar, etc/.

So the way I understand it, when we digest plain sugars, such as sucrose (white table sugar) or honey, they pass through the stomach almost unchanged and go into the small intestine where the enzyme sucrase splits the sugar into its glucose and fructose component.

HFCS on the other hand, being a man-made product, doesn’t have strong bonds between the glucose and fructose molecules, and can be broken down easily in the small intestine.

The now available glucose is absorbed by the intestine, and transported directly to the blood as energy source, and all excess glucose is sent to the liver to be processed into glycogen. At the same time that glucose level rise, so do insulin levels, when a certain threshold of glucose is reached the hormone ghrelin drops off, signaling to the brain to stop consuming carbohydrates.

Fructose on the other hand is also absorbed by the small intestine, but to a lesser extend and using a slightly different process, and very few tissues in the human body are able to utilize fructose. What fructose is not absorbed by the small intestine is sent on to the large intestine to be fermented there into hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

What fructose is absorbed by the small intestine is transported directly to the liver to be processed by fructokinase, using phosphate, and is further metabolized into different compounds.

The metabolism of fructose at this point can lead to glycogen synthesis as well as fatty acid and triglyceride synthesis. Glycogen is the first compound that is produced, once the liver has a sufficient level of glycogen, it will begin to produce triglycerides, and finally, fatty acids.

Hence, when we consume anything that contains fructose, whether it be honey, sugar or HFCS, our triglyceride and fatty acid levels rise.

The triglycerides are then incorporated into very low density lipoproteins (VLDL, the “bad” cholesterol), which are released from the liver for storage in both fat and muscle cells.

During the entire process of metabolizing fructose, the hormone ghrelin never goes down in level or intensity, so the brain does not get any indication to stop consuming carbohydrates, causing us to continue to consume carbs, which gives us more fructose, which causes more triglyceride and fatty acid, still not dropping ghrelin, and cycle continues.

So there we go, fructose makes us fat, and it doesn’t matter if it comes from HFCS, honey or sugar. So the generalization we hear, sugar is sugar appears to be reasonable after all. The only difference is that HFCS absorbs into the intestine faster than sugar or honey, because it does not have to be broken down into glucose and fructose by the enzymatic process.

Is sugar toxic?

Posted in Food, Health, Nature with tags , , , , , , , , on 2012/06/06 by rmolby
Image representing New York Times as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

Well, this sux, I posted the article I just spent one hour writing, and it’s all gone… reason unknown. So, I will try to recreate what I typed but it will not be the same as what I had written before.

Even though I have not had much time to devote to blogging or such, I was able to spend some quiet time in the mornings reading a little on the (slow AT&T air card driven) internet. One such article is by Gary Taubes, titled Is sugar toxic? and published in 2011 on the NY Times web site.

Even though there hasn’t been much time to devote to the blog, I felt I needed to mention the article so you, my readers can read the article, as well, and let the information sink in.

Over the next few weeks I plan to making a series of posts addressing some of the subjects mentioned in the article, and if you have any interest in reading more on a certain subject, leave comments on this post or any subsequent ones, and if they relate to my own needs, I will further research them and publish my findings in additional posts.

What has prompted me to post this is that I am overweight, I have the typical male “beer gut” (also known these days as the “wheat gut”), but after reading Gary’s article in the NY Times, I’m think we should call it “fructose gut!”

I want to say that anything I mention here on my blog about my health, and what I am doing to repair my body and restore my health is only for me. It is not medical advice, and if you decide to try anything I do, please connsult your health practitioner first.

I am by no means a health professional, but I can read, and my comprehension level of these subjects is quite good, since I grew up eating healthy, semi-organic back in Germany during my childhood, and have only descended to my current health state after moving to North America, and especially these last 10 years or so.

So, talk to your doctor or nutritionist, but do your own research, don’t trust anyone, everyone has their own slant on health, and only you really know how you feel, even your health practitioner can only guess what you feel. It’s your body, take care of it and it will take care of you.

Vacation – 4 June 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on 2012/06/04 by rmolby

Well, we are on vacation back at Osage Hills State Park.

Last time we were here for our son’s birthday, I said I would try to blog a little, but it just didn’t happen. So, instead of saying I going to blog this time, I think I will just let things happen, and we’ll see what happens.

So we get settled in for the night after making a quick trip to Wally World to stock up on a few basic needs like milk, cereal, bread, English muffins, etc. and now it is storming outside.

Wife was going to take a bubble bath, but with the threat of lightening, she isn’t going to so I think I will wrap this up and hit the sack.

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