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Endocrinologist vilifies fructose as “a poison”

April 17th, 2011

Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology gives a fascinating talk on fructose, and how it is poisoning us and contributing to the obesity, heart disease, and hypertension epidemics we face throughout the world.



Fructose by itself has been somewhat under the radar when it comes to blaming the obesity epidemic on something. Possibly because the “healthy halo” it sports, since it is the sugar found in fruits. However, when combined with glucose, whether as sucrose (table sugar), or high-fructose corn syrup, fructose has not been so lucky.

Some main points Dr. Lustig makes in his talk:

  • Fructose intake has dramatically increased over the past 30 years, coinciding with the obesity epidemic
  • A calorie is NOT a calorie regardless of what food source it comes from, and fructose is not the same as glucose
  • You are not what you eat, you are what you do with what you eat
  • Hepatic fructose metabolism leads to all the manifestations of metabolic syndrome, such as hypertension, inflamation, obesity, and CNS leptin resistance
  • Fructose ingestion interferes with obesity interventions
  • Fructose is a chronic hepatotoxin (toxic to the liver), but FDA cannot and will not regulate it

This video was profiled in the cover story of this week’s New York Times magazine, in which journalist Gary Taubes eloquently describes the hazards of sugar.

This talk has gotten over 900,000 views on youtube, no small feat for a 1.5 hour biochemistry lecture. Although not as popular as Rebecca Black’s pop hit Friday(108 million views and counting), Dr. Lustig’s talk is arguably more beneficial to society.

Talks