Sugar and Bone Health

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Update Date 12/05/2020 . 2 mins read

Sugar is used more and more in the food industry due to its ability to improve food taste. One of the most common types of sugar used in the food industry is fructose, which have been associated with increased risk of obesity, heart problems, and diabetes. Besides all those health risks, a new study suggests that fructose may harm bone health as well.

Fructose consumption linked to poor calcium absorption

Calcium is a mineral responsible for supporting bone structures and general health. The human body cannot produce calcium, so it must be obtained from diets. Your body regulates the blood levels of calcium, intestinal and renal absorption, as well as the intake and release of calcium from the bones with certain mechanisms. To examine how fructose interferes with those mechanisms, researchers fed rats with high fructose diets.

The calcium absorption of the rats declined, followed by lowered calcium levels in their bodies. This triggered the bones to release calcium in an effort to balance the body calcium levels, resulting in a loss of bone density (osteoporosis).

Excessive sugar intake may lead to calcium depletion

Studies looked at both healthy subjects and those with an increased risk of kidney stones found that excessive sugar intake caused the body to excrete calcium in large quantities through the urine.

Too much sugar tied to increased cortisol levels

High levels of cortisol have a deleterious effect on bone health. Normally, the cortisol levels in the body are affected by stress. However, high intakes of sugar can also raise the cortisol levels. A study on hamsters suggests that a high sucrose diet may result in osteoporosis even with sufficient calcium intake.

What about fruits and vegetables?

The studies mentioned about mostly focused on processed and refined sugar types, rather than those naturally found in foods. This is because along with sugar, fruits are also rich in fiber, which hinders the release of sugar molecules. If you want to protect your bones, it’s advisable to limit your consumption of processed sugar.

Tips to eat less sugar

The turnover rate of your taste buds is around 10 days, which means if you can refrain yourself from sweets for 10 days, you will grow new taste buds that do not remember how good sugar is. If you still want some sweetness in your life, try honey. Honey is nutritious and tasty, just keep it in moderation. Or, you can switch to stevia. Stevia is a sweetener derived from plant sources. It tastes nice and is much healthier than sugar.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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