When sugar turns bitter

When glucose levels in the blood rise, the pancreas produces insulin, the key that opens doors on cells to allow the glucose in. But too many sugary snacks can keep blood glucose levels high, and so more insulin is also produced. In response to the continual bombardment with insulin, cells change their locks so the insulin key no longer works. With cells desensitised to insulin, blood glucose levels rise even more and the pancreas responds by producing even more insulin. This dangerous state of high blood glucose and insulin can persist undiagnosed for years and is a driving force behind many diseases, even in those of normal body weight.

Why are elevated glucose and insulin so dangerous?

High blood glucose is a well-established risk factor for type 2 diabetes. It also leads to free radicals being produced that damage blood vessels. The tradition of three meals a day allows time between meals for antioxidants to repair the damage. With snacking on sugary foods there may be less reprieve. The result is an increased likelihood of a heart attack.

What’s more, insulin – glucose’s partner in crime – is a cell “fertiliser” promoting the growth of cells, and making it more likely that a normal cell will cross the threshold into cancer. Raised insulin levels are linked to many cancers and may be an important risk factor for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. So the double whammy of high glucose and high insulin is an insidious driver of many diseases.

-More at Independent

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