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Is Sugar a Toxin?

© Ori Hofmekler

Recent reports linking “normal” sugar consumption to enormous mortality raise serious concerns about the typical amounts of added sugar in our foods and drinks. Is sugar more deadly than previously thought? Should it be treated like a toxin?

Sugar is a sweet simple carbohydrate disaccharide consisting of glucose and fructose, industrially available as white sugar, brown sugar, maple, malt and molasses. As a nutrient, sugar plays a tricky role which is both critical and lethal – you can’t live without it and you can’t live with it…

Though sugar serves as a quintessential fuel in all biological systems, its consumption has been shown to overwhelm organisms’ metabolism and shorten their life-span. Recent studies reveal that sugar is more harmful than previously thought. Aside from causing insulin resistance and obesity, it has been reported to induce systemic toxicity.

Sugar Toxicity

Recent research trials provided evidence that sugar causes clinical toxicity even in generally considered “safe doses”. Scientists at the University of Utah reported that mice fed extra sugar equivalent to human consumption of 3 soda pops (added to a feed designed to mimic a healthy human diet), shortened the animals’ lifespan by 50% and decreased male reproductivity by 25%; all due to sugar toxicity. Incredibly, no matter how healthy the mice ate, excess sugar caused toxicity related symptoms.

Previous studies using large doses of sugar (mimicking the amount people typically consume in sweetened beverages, baked goods and candies), showed similar toxicity related effects.

This indicates that –

Sugar is a toxin and should be treated as such. Its’ toxicity isn’t only real, it can occur regardless to how healthy the diet is. What has been considered “typical” human consumption of added sugar from soft drinks alone, can cause clinical toxicity with life shortening – virility diminishing consequences.

“Ask Your Doctor if Your Heart is Healthy Enough for Sex…”

The above Viagra commercial is a sign of the time. Sugar is apparently a sex shattering substance; and so are products made with sugar. Indeed, as sugar consumption in the American diet keeps creeping up, it has been accompanied by dramatic increases in metabolic syndrome related diseases associated with disorders of sexual dysfunction.

Given the latest reports on sugar toxicity, it makes you wonder whether the average American who routinely consumes sweetened drinks, cereals and snacks, is unknowingly accelerating his physical and sexual aging. Are people today getting prematurely more aged and less virile without being aware of that?

Conclusions and Notes


  • Added sugar is toxic even when consumed in generally considered moderate amounts.
  • The only time your body can tolerate sugar is under conditions of glycogen depletion (such as following fasting and exercising); that’s until glycogen stores are replenished. Any additional intake of sugar beyond that may cause side effects.
  • All products with added sugar should be avoided. If sugar of any kind is listed on the label’s list of ingredients, don’t purchase that item regardless to how healthy it claims to be.
  • The exception is naturally occurring sugars such as in whole fruits, vegetables and dairy. Naturally occurring sugars are ok as long as they’re part of a whole food and not extracted as a stand-alone product.



Potts W, Ruff J, Morrison L, Suchy A, Hugentobler S, Sosa M, Schwartz B, Gieng S, Shigenaga M. Sugar is toxic to mice in ‘safe’ doses. University of Utah, Aug 13, 2013.

Vartanian LR, Schwartz MB, Brownell, KD. Effects of soft drink consumption on nutrition and health: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Public Health 2007;97:667-75.

Harnack L, Stang J, Story M. Soft drink consumption among US children and adolescents: nutritional consequences. J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99:436-41.

Sugary drinks lead to thousands of deaths, study finds. Ashley Welsch, CBS News. June 30, 2015. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sugary-drinks-linked-to-high-global-death-tolls

About Ori Hofmekler — founder of Defense Nutrition and author of The Warrior Diet, is a nutritional and fitness expert. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.