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How Many Tens of Millions of Lives has Sugar Promotion by “Experts” Damaged?

re: follow the money
re: ethics in medicine
re: Ioannidis: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False
re: Sebastian Rushworth MD: How to understand scientific studies (in health and medicine)
re: Sebastian Rushworth MD: How Well do Doctors Understand Probability?

Nothing new here, but too many doctors spend zero time advising their patients to cut out all added sugars. Worse, the public gets sicker and sicker from official advice.


2022-12-22. Emphasis added.

Over 50 years ago, the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) funded Project 259, a study that examined and compared the effects of gut bacteria and cardiovascular health after rats consumed either compared starch-containing diet or sucrose (table sugar). The early results of the study showed that sucrose≠ negatively altered the microbiota of the sugar-fed rats, to the point where it increased their levels of triglycerides. When elevated, triglycerides are a primary culprit for clogged articles, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. This effect was not seen in the rats consuming the starch-food diet. Another negative result of the early stages of the study showed that, compared to a starch diet, the high-sugar diet boosted the activity of an enzyme, beta-glucuronidase, which is linked to bladder cancer. Needless to say, these were not the results that the SRF was hoping for.

When researchers from the University of California at San Francisco discovered a plethora of documents from Project 259—all of which, of course, reflected negatively on the sugar industry’s interests—they found that Project 259 was cut short, the funding ceased, and the results were never published. By shutting down the project without disclosing evidence of sugar’s harm, the SRF (which eventually changed its name to the International Sugar Research Foundation, or ISRF) had essentially covered up sugar's role in cardiovascular disease. [1]

It gets worse, though, as Drs. Kearns and Glantz also uncovered that the SRF had “sponsored” (i.e., paid for) research by Harvard scientists to refute concerns about sugar's possible role in heart disease, to make sugar seem less unhealthy, and instead claim that fat in our diets was the real villain... Amazingly, one of the Harvard researchers, the now-deceased Dr. Frederick J. Stare, bolstered the idea that sugar was a harmless substance, by including recommendations [2] such as:

  • Sugar is “a quick energy food...put a teaspoon in [your] coffee or tea three or four times a day”
  • Coca-Cola is “a healthy between-meals snack”
  • “All Americans should drink a cup of corn oil a day”
  • “Eat your [food] additives. They're good for you”
  • “We get as much food value from refined foods that have been enriched as from natural foods, and sometimes more”

Regarding the published NEJM published research, Dr. Glantz stated:

It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion.

...The kind of manipulation of research is similar to what the tobacco industry does. This kind of behavior calls into question sugar industry-funded studies as a reliable source of information for public policy making. This case is one more illustration that, like the tobacco industry, the sugar industry has a long history of suppressing scientific results that do not support its economic interests.

All we know is that the plug got pulled and nothing got published. We don’t know what would have happened had this study come out differently and showed no effect of sugar. I would bet that it would have been published, and they would be thumping the drums about it.

Our study contributes to a wider body of literature documenting industry manipulation of science...

Combined with relentless promotion that sugar wasn’t the cause of health issues, one must wonder how many people unnecessarily succumbed to sugar-related disease and death.

WIND: when a new study arrives, you need to do two things: (1) assume by default that it is rubbish, (2) follow the money—who paid for it?

But it is reallly much worse than the sugar industry. The medical profession and its research arms have spent decades harming public health. The whole grains and high-carb diets along with (first) trans fats then seed oils doomed millions to heart disease, diabetes and all its devastating downstream effects. And the medical industry pushes this horror even today.

Cut out all added sugars, eat fruit modestly, increase saturated fats like grass-fed animals, coconut oil, strictly avoid PUFAs eg seed oils, eat whole unprocessed foods, eat only foods with truncated ingredient lists, etc. No snack bars, no restaurants, most of the grocery store.

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