Author: Dr. Brent Barlow • Date: July 19, 2016 • Appears in:
Part 2: 3 Reasons To Reduce Sugar Excess
In Part 1, Dr. Brent Barlow talks about addressing excess sugar consumption for 3 reasons. Here are three more reasons to reduce excess sugar:
1. Excess Sugar Throws Off Your Bacterial Balance
It has become common knowledge that bacteria plays many important roles in the human body. In the last 10-15 years there has been a lot of advertising about probiotic-rich yogurt and other similar products. One very important part of the bacterial balance in the body is the food you eat. The beneficial species, who we want in our bodies, prefer nutrients from fruits, vegetables, and some grains called fructo-oligo-scaccharides. The species of bacteria that cause harm to us prefer simple sugars. These species are opportunistic and can take advantage of sugars provided from your diet. If over the course of weeks, months, and certainly years these species can out-compete the beneficial species and start to cause chronic symptoms. Consuming yogurt, kefir, fermented foods, or a probiotic supplement are in general a good idea. However, if you are consuming too much sugar the bad bacterial species will continue to thrive. Limiting sugar is essential in treating the actual cause of chronic bacterial imbalance.
2. Excess Sugar Causes Yeast Infections
It’s not just bacteria that loves excess sugar. Yeast excels when sugar is consumed in large quantities. Most of us, men and women, will have a yeast infection somewhere in our bodies throughout our lifetime. However, some people suffer from chronic and recurrent yeast infections for what looks like no reason. This could be vaginal yeast infections, toe nail fungus, thrush, athletes foot, or jock itch to name a few. A common underlying cause for many of these yeast overgrowths is high sugar consumption. Sugar is the primary fuel for yeast. If your immune system is strong and your diet is generally good yeast should not be able to take advantage of sugar in moderation. However, if you consume too much sugar too often you are continually feeding the wrong species of microorganisms. If there are other underlying issues like recurrent antibiotic use or compromised immunity the likelihood of yeast overgrowth increases.
3. Dental Problems
For decades the dental associations have talked about the harm of excess sugar to the health of our teeth. Sugar both directly and indirectly harms your oral health. This fact shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. However, one mechanism that might surprise you involves bacteria. The main way excess sugar harms your teeth and gums is by throwing off the bacterial balance in your mouth. The good bacteria species that protect our teeth lose territory to the opportunistic species. This is why so many companies that manufacture gum have switched to artificial or alternative sugars. It is believed that xylitol is likely the best for this purpose. It has been backed by a great deal of research from the gum industry to show how it reduces the likelihood of cavities. The reason it does so is mainly because it is simply not fuelling the wrong species of bacteria like sugar does. Xilitol mainly works because it lacks something, not because it does something.
Enjoy sugar in moderation as a treat. Avoid daily excess sugar consumption. You may not realize the negative effects of excess sugar until you address it and reduce your sugar consumption for a few weeks. However, you may be surprised to see some of your symptoms improve simply by avoiding excess sugar.