More sugar means shorter telomere length, faster aging, and higher risk of diseases
Monday 04/05/2021 (jkzx.com) — Sugar is known as a the primary fuel for cancer growth. But if for healthy men and women, sugar can promote human aging increasing risk of cardiometabolic disease among other things, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2014.
The study conducted by Cindy W. Leung at the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues shows that men and women who drank sugar-sweetened beverages have shorter leukocyte telomere length. The length of telomeres indicates the lifespan an individual can have. After each cell cycle, the telomere length is shortened by losing some portion of the DNA.
Dr. Leung et al. analyzed data on the 24-hour consumed amounts of sugar sweetened beverages, diet soda, and fruit juice from a cohort of 5308 men and women aged 20 to 65 years who were enrolled in the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and then tried to associate it to the telomere length.
They found drinking sugar sweetened soda linked to shortened telomere length while consumption of fruit juice is correlated to a slightly longer leukocyte telomere length, and diet soda does not seem to have an impact on the telomere length.
The researcher concluded that “regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging.”
Another study published in Childhood Obesity in 2018 finds a similar association between sugar sweetened beverages and increased aging in 3-year olds and preschool children.
This study conducted by Janet Wojcicki also from University of California, San Francisco and colleagues also measured leukocyte telomere length in children whose consumption of sugar sweetened beverages was surveyed.
The association was the same as the study by Leung et al. which suggests that consumption of sugar sweetened drinks can promote aging and have a negative impact on the immunity in children even before children develop obesity, the researchers reported.
How does sugar damage your cells?
Sugars can damage all sorts of cells by reacting with protein and other nitrogen containing compounds. This reaction is commonly known as browning reactions/Maillard reaction to form advanced glycation products. Not all types of sugar are equally damaging. High fructose corn syrup/honey can be more reactive than common table sugar/cane sugar/beet sugar/maltodextrin/corn syrup solids.
How can you avoid sugar?
You need to know your enemies before you do anything else. Sugar comes in 50 different forms. The most common sugars or sugary products include cane sugar, beet sugar, date sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup solids, brown sugar, maltodextrin, honey, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup. Fruit juices can also be risky as the juice is kind of purified and stripped of other nutrients that would otherwise provide some protection against sugar-induced damage to cells.
What other risk factor can also cause cellular damage?
Sugar is only one factor that causes cellular damage, shorten telomere length, promote aging, increase risk of various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, dementia. Processed foods that lack many nutrients can also promote aging. Normally, raw plant-based diet that is full of vegetables and legumes can protect against some damage induced by the sugar-protein reaction because of their antioxidant properties. Dietary proteins can help mitigate the damage by sacrificing themselves to save proteins/enzymes and other endogenously produced cellular components. This is how foods can affect a person’s aging process and his lifespan.
Other lifestyle parameters can also affect the telomere length and aging speed. In fact, anything such as psychological stress and behavioral factors that influence inflammation, oxidative stress, and stress hormones can affect the tear and wear of the telomere, thus its length, and overall aging process. (Dr. Lu)
加利福尼亞大學舊金山分校的辛迪·W·梁（Cindy W. Leung）及其同事進行的研究表明，喝含糖飲料的男人和女人的白細胞端粒長度較短。端粒的長度表明一個人可以擁有的壽命。在每個細胞週期後，端粒長度通過丟失DNA的一部分而縮短。
另一篇發表於2018年《兒童肥胖》的研究發現，含糖飲料與3歲及學齡前兒童的衰老增加之間存在相似的關聯。 同樣由加利福尼亞大學舊金山分校的珍妮特·沃西基（Janet Wojcicki）及其同事進行的這項研究還測量了接受過糖甜飲料消費的兒童的白細胞端粒長度。
糖可以通過與蛋白質和其他含氮化合物發生反應來破壞各種細胞。 該反應通常稱為褐變反應/美拉德反應，以形成高級糖基化產物。 並非所有類型的糖都具有同等的破壞力。 高果糖玉米糖漿/蜂蜜比普通食糖/蔗糖/甜菜糖/麥芽糊精/玉米糖漿固體的反應性更高。
糖有50種不同形式。 最常見的糖或含糖產品包括蔗糖，甜菜糖，棗糖，原糖，玉米糖漿固體，紅糖，麥芽糊精，蜂蜜，楓糖漿，高果糖玉米糖漿。 果汁也可能具有風險，因為果汁經過提純並去除了其他營養物質，否則會提供某些保護作用，以防止糖引起的細胞損傷。
糖只是引起細胞損傷，縮短端粒長度，促進衰老，增加各種慢性疾病（如心血管疾病，癡呆症）風險的因素之一。 缺乏許多營養的加工食品也會促進衰老。 通常，富含蔬菜和豆類的未經加工的植物性飲食由於其抗氧化特性，可以防止糖蛋白反應引起的某些損害。 膳食蛋白質可以通過犧牲自身以保存蛋白質/酶和其他內源產生的細胞成分。 食物就是這樣影響人的衰老過程和壽命的方式。
其他生活方式參數也會影響端粒的長度和衰老速度。 實際上，諸如心理壓力和影響炎症，氧化應激和應激激素的行為因素之類的任何事物都可能影響端粒的撕裂和磨損，從而影響端粒的長度和整個衰老過程。 (陸博士)