How Sugar Affects the Body

How Sugar Affects the Body

We’ve always heard how bad sugar is for your body. Is it really that bad? Sugar makes unpleasant food palatable and often the reward of a hard earned treat. What’s the big deal about sugar and how does it affect the body on a daily basis? When we eat sugar, it’s diluted by digestive juices and transported into your small intestine. It is then broken down into two types of molecules: glucose and fructose. Today we look at the effects of glucose and fructose on the body and if it really is as bad as everyone says it is.

Glucose, when seeped into your body, gives you the quick high. Your brain responds in return by releasing serotonin, a sleep regulating hormone. This is commonly referred to as the sugar crash. The pancreas responds by secreting insulin, a hormone that increases energy levels. However, insulin also blocks the production of the ‘hunger hormone’ that tells your brain that you are full. The higher the insulin, the hungrier you feel, and the more you eat- even if you’ve eaten a lot. Eventually, this could lead to diabetes and Alzheimer’s.


When digested, fructose is delivered straight to the liver. The liver metabolizes the fructose. Excess fructose can cause fat to grow in liver, called lipogenesis, or fatty liver disease. Too much fructose can also lead to raising risk for heart attack or stroke.

Is Sugar Really That Bad?

Studies show that sugar is just as habit forming as any narcotic. The average healthy digestive system can digest and eliminate 2-4 teaspoons a day of sugar without harmful side effects. Neurological studies have observed the effect of sugar on the brain. When sugar is consumed, good bacteria in the body begins to die and sleepiness ensues as well as short term memory function begins to decline.

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