Weekend Bonus: Hypertension and Fructose

A reader posted a link to this slide show and lecture.  There’s a  LOT of biochemistry in the lecture and it’s 49 minutes long, so if you decide to watch it, congratulations — but you may want to grab a cup of coffee first.

View more webinars from Joel Topf.

The brief synopsis:  there’s good scientific evidence that hypertension is largely the result of too much uric acid, and elevated uric acid is largely caused by (drum roll, please) … TOO MUCH FRUCTOSE! 

So let’s think about this … the FDA is demanding that the food industry reformulate their recipes (at no small expense) to drastically reduce the sodium content.  This is in spite of several studies in which drastically reducing sodium showed little effect on blood pressure.  And of course, it’s likely that people will respond to low-sodium foods by adding salt. 

Meanwhile, the federal government continues to subsidize corn, just in case the Great Depression ever comes back.  Thanks to those subsidies, high-fructose corn syrup is dirt cheap, which is why it’s in a gazillion food products and also why our consumption of fructose has skyrocketed since 1970.  If the federal government really wanted to encourage better health, they could stop demanding that the food industry produce low-sodium foods and drop the corn subsidies instead … but that won’t happen because it would mean saving taxpayer dollars instead of spending them.

@#$%ing brilliant …

Hat tip to Gwen for the link.


13 thoughts on “Weekend Bonus: Hypertension and Fructose

  1. Fred Tully

    and once again, the medical types do not say “quit eating fructose” as the solution

    He didn’t come right out and say it, but he’s clearly no fan of the stuff. Lustig was the most direct on that point. No mincing words.

  2. Jim Purdy

    Why wait for the government to act? Just look at the nutrition fact labels and don’t buy foods with HFCS.

    I do that, of course, but the FDA’s attack on salt is predicated on the notion that people just eat what’s in the box without thinking. If they want something taken out of the box, it should be HFCS, not salt.

  3. Ellen

    And to make matters worse, the push to cut salt from our diets has contributed to a growing iodine deficiency problem in the US. Iodine deficiencies contribute to an increase in breast cancer rates and thyroid irregularities. Japanese women, who eat large amounts of iodine each day, have the lowest breast cancer rates in the world – could be other factors, but it is an interesting coincidence that US breast cancer and thyroid disease rates are very high, and our iodine intake is very low. The Feds are just geniuses at giving screwed up health advice and supporting the wrong industries.

    That’s the unintended consequences part of the story.

  4. Anders

    I’ve always been told by my doctor(s) that high uric acid levels are caused by high intake of protein. On my nine months no-carb diet I’ve had 4 gout attacks. How does that fit the fructose cause uric acid hypothesis? I’ve only had 2-3 gout attacks before that.

    I wish I could tell you, but I’m not sure. It was interesting that Dr. Tofp said counseling people to consume fewer purines doesn’t seem to do much good.

  5. Ellen

    Anders: This study concluded that a “higher vitamin C intake is independently associated with a lower risk of gout. Supplemental vitamin C intake may be beneficial in the prevention of gout.” Since a no carb diet is not normally high in vitamin C, it might be a path to explore..

    Choi HK, Gao X, Curhan G. Vitamin C intake and the risk of gout in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(5):502-7.

  6. Phyllis Mueller

    Anders: James Duke, Ph.D., author of “The Green Pharmacy,” writes about his experiences controlling gout with celery seed in “Dr. Duke’s Essential Herbs.”

    Vitamin C is water-soluble and low-carb diets discourage fluid retention so supplementing with C–particularly in the early stages as the body adjusts–might help.

    Even after a year of low carb, I occasionally need mineral supplementation to deal with muscle cramps. I use a stevia-sweetened powder that comes in little envelopes called ElectroMix. The same company also makes a C supplement called Emergen-C.

  7. Sarah

    Have you seen that new commercial about “low T” or low testosterone in middle ages guys, causing them to have low energy, low “desire”, etc.? Didn’t you say something about saturated fat producing testosterone?

    Haven’t seen the commercial — a blessing provided by TiVo — but yes, saturated fat and cholesterol both help produce testosterone. Google those terms and you’ll find quite a bit of information.

  8. Howard

    Anders: “No carb” can mean all kinds of things. Many folks eat high protein, but still continue to keep fat low. High animal fat is essential for good health.

  9. Debbie

    I wish I *could* figure out what causes my own hyeprtension! Grrr. Very low carb diet, NO fructose (well RARE fructose, very occasional servings of berries), 110 pounds lost, and I take blood pressure medication, which I truly don’t WANT to do, but I still can’t get my blood pressure down. It’s still high even on medication and all the rest that I do. . I keep hoping for the magic bullet but no luck so far. But I keep hoping the answer is out there somewhere!

    I hope you find the answer as well. I’m guessing genetics plays a significant role.

  10. Michael Kovacs

    Saturated Animal Fat needs to be exonerated NOW. I too was afraid of fat when I first started low-carbing nearly a year ago. I ran into all sorts of problems. But once I learned that FAT was good for me and allowed myself to eat Animal Fat, everything changed. My asthma disappeared, I no-longer suffer from Sleep Apnea, my BP normalized, My HDL shot up, My Triglycerides dropped and my gum disease vanished. And the other side-effect of low-carbing was losing 75lbs of body fat. I haven’t felt this good in many years. Most people I talk to about low-carb dieting have a hard time understanding how eating fat can be healthy. Or how eating Fat helps you burn Fat, so when someone who is low-carbing says they are having problems its usually the first thing I ask; “Are you eating enough Saturated Animal Fat?” Most of the time they aren’t.

    Demonizing saturated fat was the worst mistake we ever made.

  11. Ben_P

    The thing that pisses me off about demonizing saturated animal fat is that now I can’t go buy it easily, except for butter. No tubs of tallow available anywhere local that I can find and I wonder about the lard.


    Yes, there have been a couple small studies that showed saturated fat raised testosterone levels. Lyle McDonald, whom I trust but who takes a much more mainstream view than Tom, believes that it’s just fat in general that raises T-levels. The funny part is that there was a study done not too long ago looking at “andropause”, the name given to low T-levels with advancing age. What they found was that glucose intake lowered T-levels significantly for quite a few hours after intake. Of course the study wasn’t interpreted like that. What they said was that any test of T-levels should be done in a fasted, and not a fed state.

    The takeaway for me is that fat raises testosterone and starch and sugar lower testosterone.

    We’ve got pork fat in the freezer, waiting for a weekend when we feel like rendering our own lard. And then, by gosh, I’m going to fry something.


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