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 Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?

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PostSubject: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:00 am

Here's something I got off of powermag.org newsletter - unfortunately it wasn't fully referenced, so it's just anecdotal.
It has been known for a while that food generally lowers testosterone for a brief period, but if sugar does this especially then it would be significant. The problem with this piece is it doesn't have a control, doesn't show effects of other food stuffs in comparison & generally fails to quantify any of the things we'd need to know to make a reasonable choice. I would suggest most of us actually steer clear of processed sugar as much as possible, simply because it is lacking in micro-nutrients & eating something else will benefit you so much more, but unless we can find more facts I couldn't say this piece actually convinces me as it is so vague in it's methods.

Quote :
This century’s version of "real men don’t eat quiche" might turn out to be "real men don’t eat sugar"... based on a recent study in which testosterone levels were found to plunge after men consumed sugar.

Researchers at the Harvard Reproductive Endocrine Sciences Center and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston gave a glucose tolerance test to 74 men, average age 51. This is a standard test in which subjects drink a 50-gram, 75-gram or 100-gram dose of pure glucose (in this case, 75 grams), after which their blood levels of sugar and insulin are measured at 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes. Researchers also measured testosterone levels and found that for 73 of the 74 subjects, testosterone was significantly reduced after drinking the glucose.

Aside from the fact that few men feel comfortable messing with their testosterone levels, another reason this is important is that it demonstrates how eating sugar could have a profound effect on the results of medical tests for hormones. Where men had previously been told that they didn’t need to fast prior to having blood drawn for such a test, it appears that the results are skewed by blood sugar levels -- so fasting may be necessary.

Testosterone, the major male sex hormone, affects energy, well-being and libido and helps maintain bone density, muscle mass and even red blood cell production. Testosterone production peaks in adolescence for males, and though there are considerable individual variations, it generally begins to wane around age 40 as men experience andropause (see Daily Health News, April 22, 2008, for more information on this male hormonal shift). So it is no wonder that testosterone replacement therapy has become big business and is frequently prescribed by doctors who advertise themselves as specialists in "antiaging medicine."

When we ask medical editor, Andrew L. Rubman, ND, about these findings, he said they make perfect sense. "Men are becoming aware of the fact that stressful lives, poor diet and poor lifestyle can depress testosterone levels," he said, "so it’s wise to now look at yet another factor -- sugar -- that influences this important hormone." He notes that not only is this a significant finding that will likely impact how testing is done going forward, it also raises questions about how reliable results are for men whose testosterone levels were checked with a nonfasting test. "It may be that not only do they not need it, but men may be doing themselves harm by taking testosterone that they don’t need or by taking the wrong dosage."

Interestingly, the men who were the most "normal" in their response to the glucose test had the greatest drop in their testosterone levels, though Dr. Rubman said this isn’t as surprising as it might seem. He pointed out that people who focus on eating pure and organic foods and who don’t take many medications often can feel the effect of a single aspirin, whereas a drug abuser could take several codeine tablets and hardly notice. The effect with sugar is similar -- a little bit has a greater impact in people who don't eat much of it.

His advice is to consider sugar a "recreational substance, to be enjoyed as a condiment and in close proximity to meals." He suggests that men taking testosterone replacement ask their doctor for a retest of their levels after three days of simple sugar avoidance with a 24-hour urine catch and an overnight fast. (Your last meal before fasting should be light protein, such as chicken or fish, and a salad.) "The results will be much more clinically significant and will help keep your doctor from giving you an unintentional overdose of testosterone," said Dr. Rubman, adding that "sugar is like cheap wine -- the pleasurable effect is short-lived and the payback may not be worth it."

Source(s): Andrew L. Rubman, ND, medical director, Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines, Southbury, Connecticut. www.naturopath.org.
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PostSubject: Any recommended sugar substitutes?   Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:46 pm

Pete:

Are there any sugar substitutes you recommend?

For starters, of course, honey is great, raw honey better. I have also gotten into the habit of using brown rice syrup. I use it in case I take a long bike ride especially in the summer heat as a substitute for those energy gels one sees cyclists use. In that sense, they are economic.

But I mean more specifically the sugar substitutes out there, Xylacaine or whatever it's called and the like? Are any of them good? To me, a good number of natural sugar substitutes seem to have side effects like being a laxative or causing stomach cramps as examples which has made me shy away from them.
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PostSubject: Re: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:55 am

I'll be honest the best source for any sweetness is whole food, so ideally fruit would be the best option, next best would be dried fruit after that would be dilute fruit juices (best freshly squeezed less good from concentrate). Things like honey, syrups, sugars are all pretty denatured & don't contain all the co-factors you need to utilise the carbs most efficiently & so you get sugar highs, then sugar crashes. Best bet if you are cycling would actually be to carry fruit & eat a bit as you need to (assuming you are not racing!), if you are, so you can't stop I would actually go for dilute red or purple grape juice & it is high glucose & has some of the co-factors that will aid utilisation. I'd also think about some high B-complex pill at some point before the race as B vits aid energy release & aid waste disposal by the liver, both of which need to be chugging along nicely so you get enough energy & can dump the metabolic waste as it builds up.
I don't recommend any fake sweeteners. one reason is they do have calories (less than sugar, but some), they do affect insulin, they also get you used to an artificially high amount of sweetness & in studies people who eat the most of them tend to be the fattest! (again is that because they get used to that amount of sweetness, so overeat sweet things generally?). So no I tend to stick with the idea of natural sweetness, if you want mega-sweet try a date or fig! Man those are sweet! Finally we don't know about long term usage of any of these fake sweeteners, so it seems best to stick to stuff we know is 100% safe (& work towards lowering peoples unnaturally high need for sweetness).
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PostSubject: Re: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:59 am

Testostorone is usually highest in the morning before one has eaten anything. I think eating anything is going to drop your testostorone levels, although perhaps the drop will vary with the type of food.
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PostSubject: Re: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:59 am

Testosterone does temporarily drop when you consume any food. As a side note there was actually a study that the dairy industry funded on soya way back where they ingested it then tested testosterone before & after then released the results to the press - failing to mention a drop in testosterone happens with ALL or any food ingested! I must admit that was a sly one, got give them some credit for a decent PR crew on that one as it hit the bodybuilding world at least like a tidal wave as 99% of people knew (know) nothing about metabolism. But yes I don't know how much metabolism & hormone function is affected by various foods. I've got a feeling it will be another 'depends' answer as we probably all react slightly differently to different foods.
I can say that sugar uses up B-vitamin stores during metabolism & removal of metabolic toxins, most whole foods come with a 'package' of nutrients that can be used to aid metabolism & saves the body using up it's reserves, refined foods don't, so in that respect they will tax the body more, in general, than more complete foods as they will use more resources to process them, so ideally eating as near to complete foods as you can is, for the most part, the best idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Sun May 02, 2010 5:31 pm

I was rereading the famous "Sugar Blues" book by Willam Duffy, I read a book on John Lennon once and the book says he read that book of all things so I think then, I went looking for it. Since then, there have been additional like books, perhaps even improving on information but this was the original from what I can tell but he even says he got a lot of that thought from other people. I'm sure plenty of people had thought of a lot of these things.

Duffy makes some interesting observations, not saying it's scientifically proven:

He asserts, he doesn't really sun burn and tans real easily.

Of course, these things he says is after one has been sugar free for a fair amount of time, 2 years or more... He says he can lay next to someone on the beach, the mosquitos won't bother the sugar free person but tend to go after the others.

Also, he relates that women who got sugar free had much more gentler, you know, menstrual cycles and this happened pretty quick, say within 2 months of going sugar free.

Don't know if all that is true but interesting. The book itself since it is basically the first has an involved history of sugar which is good but probably doesn't need to be fully explained again and again.




Yes, and figs are known to be sweet, on that note, I'd think dates might be a little bit like figs and I read Marilu Henner's book about how if she craved sugar, she'd eat dates and that basically, she could not get a fill of dates. Henner is some sort of an actress, got big, overweight eating chocolate and things like that, so it is a bit like what is said above, she said, you eat a lot of chocolate or other candy and you will probably fill weighed down but it was difficult to eat too many dates.
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PostSubject: Re: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Mon May 03, 2010 1:49 am

The general recommendation is for women to take in complex carbs (or simple carbs from whole fruit only) when nearing their period. It tends to balance blood sugars. I've not heard about sun burn, people vary, so that'd be hard to prove it was sugar alone that caused that. Biting insects might be able to smell or sense higher blood sugar levels? But again hard to say, animals in the wild get bitten & they have no access to refined sugar, how would that be explained - I suppose you might argue that a sugar eating person appears the better food source, if they can sense blood sugar levels? Again you'd need to test it out somehow?
Sugar uses up vitamin B stores (both for it's processing & removal of waste products after metabolism) as well as having negative effects on numerous other bodily reserves that simply do not occur when you eat whole foods, so it makes sense to eat as unrefined as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Mon May 03, 2010 7:49 pm

Pete wrote:
The general recommendation is for women to take in complex carbs (or simple carbs from whole fruit only) when nearing their period. It tends to balance blood sugars. I've not heard about sun burn, people vary, so that'd be hard to prove it was sugar alone that caused that. Biting insects might be able to smell or sense higher blood sugar levels? But again hard to say, animals in the wild get bitten & they have no access to refined sugar, how would that be explained - I suppose you might argue that a sugar eating person appears the better food source, if they can sense blood sugar levels? Again you'd need to test it out somehow?
Sugar uses up vitamin B stores (both for it's processing & removal of waste products after metabolism) as well as having negative effects on numerous other bodily reserves that simply do not occur when you eat whole foods, so it makes sense to eat as unrefined as possible.

I tried some Stevia and read about it over the weekend and it's not suppose to have any drawbacks. This French Vanilla flavoured Stevia tasted okay, in fact pretty good in black tea. I used a few little packets, I have not seen the "little spoons" but read someone say it is often supplied with little spoons when bought in bulk because it doesn't take much to be real sweet.
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PostSubject: Re: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Tue May 04, 2010 11:04 am

Not a plug for Stevia, some history here is a bit interesting:

"... During the second world war, when England was cut off from its usual supply of Caribean sugarcane, Stevia was investigated as a possible substiute. While it grew well in parts of England, the end of the war meant the end of stevia production. . "

http://stevia.homestead.com/

That's great if you all have gotten off sugar but it is in all kinds of foods we get. And besides that, sugar per person in some nations like the USA can be real high. Real addiction. But again, this is no plug.
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PostSubject: Re: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Tue May 04, 2010 2:25 pm

To be honest I don't know enough about stevia to make a judgement about it. I've not looked into it (& I should). I'll have to dig up some info after June when I have more time to check out stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Does Sugar Make You Less of a Man?   Wed May 05, 2010 6:21 pm

From Experience magazine, the magazine of Lifetime fitness, Jan/Feb 2010:

In a discussion about Sugar and alternates, see Stevia doesn't escape criticism:

Quote :
"Stevia is another option, but its calorie-free status raises some of the same concerns critics have noted about artificial sweeteners. While small amounts of Stevia (and its processed brand -name counter part Truvia) are not likely to pose any health risks, high doses of the herb have caused reproductive problems in rats, so consider it a second choice, and avoid commercial products that rely on Stevia as a sweetening ingredient." (I didn't know any commercial products relied on it, perhaps that "Truvia")

finishing up, some all-round advice:

Quote :
"No matter which sweetener you choose, keep in mind that feeding a sweet tooth is simply going to increase your cravings for more sweets and refined carbs and will also reduce your ability to enjoy the natural sweetness of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. So, swap good sweeteners for bad, but use them in moderation."

So, I thought I had a duty to post this "follow up".... not a true fix it in the Battle of the Bulge!! Laughing
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