Is Sugar Toxic?

This NYT Magazine article by Gary Taubes is an excellent read.  It begins by examining Robert Lustig’s accusations that sugar is a toxic poison, but goes on to ask some very important questions about the relationship between sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and obesity, diabetes and cancer. Much needed research may not be forthcoming, however.

As Lustig points out, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are certainly not “acute toxins” of the kind the F.D.A. typically regulates and the effects of which can be studied over the course of days or months. The question is whether they’re “chronic toxins,” which means “not toxic after one meal, but after 1,000 meals.” This means that what Tappy calls “intervention studies” have to go on for significantly longer than 1,000 meals to be meaningful.

At the moment, the National Institutes of Health are supporting surprisingly few clinical trials related to sugar and high-fructose corn syrup in the U.S. All are small, and none will last more than a few months.

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