Sugar: Not So Sweet to Your Body

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: We use it to sweeten just about everything; but did you know that what sugar does to your body is, well, not so sweet?
Air Date: 4/10/15
Duration: 10
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: Richard Jacoby, MD
Dr. Richard Jacoby ap1 credit David Weingarten for Nobilis HealthDr. Richard Jacoby is one of the country’s leading peripheral nerve surgeons. He practices in Scottsdale, Arizona, and specializes in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy. He is also one of the co-founders of the Scottsdale Healthcare Wound Management Center, a diplomat of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a member of the American Podiatry Association, the Arizona Podiatry Association, and the Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons.
  • Guest Facebook Account: facebook.com/sugarcrushbook
Sugar: Not So Sweet to Your Body

According to most nutritional experts and doctors, sugar is known to make you gain unwanted pounds and can rot your teeth.

But, did you know that it is also linked to severe, life-threatening diseases?

Staying healthy is all about keeping informed, and the author of the groundbreaking book, SUGAR CRUSH: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health, Richard Jacoby, MD, joins the Wellness for Life Radio Show to inform you about the dangers of sugar.  


RadioMD PresentsWellness for Life Radio | Original Air Date: April 10, 2015
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest: Richard Jacoby, MD

It's time to feel better with Dr. Susanne Bennett. Allergies, nutrition, ultimate wellness, all discussed right here, right now. It's Wellness for Life Radio on RadioMD. Here's your host, Dr. Susanne.

DR SUSANNE: According most nutritional experts and doctors alike, sugar is known to make you gain unwanted pounds, but did you also know that it's linked to severe life-threatening diseases? Staying healthy is all about keeping informed. My next guest is the author of a ground-breaking book, Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage and Reclaim Good Health. He is here to inform you about the dangers of sugar.

Thanks for being on Wellness for Life, Dr. Richard Jacoby. Now, please tell us, the listeners, what inspired you to look into sugars?

DR JACOBY: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on and I want to just reiterate, I'm standing as I'm speaking to you because I listened to your previous guest. And, you're standing. That's a very important part of what I'm going to talk about today. Sugar Crush is about how sugar destroys nerves not only the diabetic peripheral neuropathy, the nerves in the feet and the legs, but every nerve in your body. My contention is that all these diseases that we're talking about from Alzheimer's to autism and from MS to diabetic peripheral neuropathy, are really the same disease. I go into the biochemistry of how sugar destroys your nerves and I go into the particular end organ damage that it produces. That's the crux of the book.

DR SUSANNE: You know, when I took a look at the just the beginning, the intro, and the table of contents, in the beginning you wrote, literally, a little diagram that says "sugar equals chronic inflammation plus trauma" and what that equals is "nerve damage, pain and dysfunction". I am a total strong proponent of what you're saying about inflammation and sugar. Can you talk about that a bit because people don't realize inflammation is really the root cause. Of course, sugar is what causes inflammation, but it's also the root cause of these debilitating diseases that we deal with every day.

DR JACOBY: Absolutely. In my book, I trace the history of sugar back into the 1500's, right after Columbus actually brought sugar to the New World. That's why the United States is here today, because of sugar. It was a very valuable commodity brought back to London. It was about 1,000 pounds in those days and in today's money. The rich ate sugar. That's why the rich started to get the problems. If you look through the historical accounts of these diseases like Bell's palsy, Alzheimer's was unknown. There's a lot of reasons why the never got to that point because most people died of infectious diseases, but those people who did live longer died of chronic disease, diabetes mellitus, which means to siphon sugar out of your body. What we're doing is poisoning ourselves with an excessive amount of sugar. Every person today eats about 150 pounds of sugar and maybe 100 years ago, it was only 5 pounds. But, it's more than the genome, our genes, can handle. In the 70's when high fructose corn syrup hit the market, it's been replacing regular table sugar with an artificial sugar that's made from corn. I get into the genetically modified production of that. Few people know that high fructose corn syrup is made with sodium hydroxide. That's a caustic acid that's made with mercury. Mercury gets into our food supply. When I started to look at all these different diseases, it came to me to be the same disease. I'll give you an example. Carpal tunnel, which is the wrist, the median nerve, causes numbness and tingling and eventually, loss of function. Prior to 1960, there were 12 reported cases in the literature. There were close to 500,000 surgeries last years. It was thought that it was a mechanical problem. The computer came on the scene in the early 70's. People were using typewriters prior to that. Typewriters had a lot of force. A computer keyboard really has very little force but what was next to the keyboard was the can of Coke. Coca Cola. That's what they were drinking, but they didn't realize what was in that can was what was causing the problem. The metabolic changes of the nerve. There are three biomechanical pathways. Number one is called the polyol pathway. Sugar gets in the nerve and breaks down to sorbitol. Sorbitol's an alcohol sugar. It pulls water into the nerve and the nerve swells. The malleolar reaction, the second chemical pathway, sugar plus a protein makes the nerve very brittle and less flexible. So, we have a swelling nerve. At the same time, the nerve can't swell and it gets trapped. So, that's called a compression neuropathy. At the wrist, we call it carpal tunnel, but it's the same process throughout the body. The third pathway is called the nitric oxide pathway. When you have sugar blocking that pathway, you have vasoconstriction of the blood vessel and you can't get enough blood to the part. So, it doesn't matter if the brain, Alzheimer's—by the way, the first symptom is compression of the olfactory nerve, cranial nerve number one. Your sense of smell. So, we discuss, in the book, all these end organ damages and how those receptors are affected. So, on the foot, you can't feel because you have mechanical receptors underneath the skin. Your nose is the chemical receptor. Your ears, obviously, and auditory receptor. So, every one of these receptors is being damaged. The face, the facial nerve, number 7, we call it Bell's Palsy only because Dr. Bell, in the 1800's described it. He didn't know about this biochemistry. So, what I've done is taken the literature. It's in the literature. Thousands of articles describe the effects of sugar. I just put them together. Hopefully, in a comprehensive, understandable book. It's very difficult to take biochemistry to the masses. Hopefully, we did that in this book.

DR SUSANNE: Well, you know, just your describing it as the three different ways that you can damage nerves really explains it all, too. Now, I know that a lot of people don't understand what nerve damage and the subtle symptoms that you may be having. Like you're saying, if you can't smell as well, you're ears are going and you have, let's say, a little bit of buzzing tonight. You can't feel like the fingertips, you know? And, you just feel a little bit more deadening and numbness in your fingers and even burning pain in your feet. Now, are there any other symptoms that we should know about to actually talk to our doctors possibly that it might be a sugar problem?

DR JACOBY: Yes. I have a test in the book and we go through these different symptoms: elevated blood pressure is one of them because the blood vessel is getting less flexible. That's part of the nitric oxide effect, plus the malleolar; then, you have a test to kind of go through all your different "itis" things. Sinusitis and all those types of problems that seem unrelated. Migraines are the perfect example. In the 1600's, Lady Conway, a very wealthy and successful woman who was a philosopher who had chronic migraines. Her physician was Dr. Willis. He's the father of neurology and Gray's Anatomy, the circle of Willis around your neck. He did the original autopsy on her and he actually made the first reference to inflammation in the brain that was lying next to a nerve and a blood vessel. That's what we're studying. I took these concepts up to Stanford, discussed this with Dr. Cook who's a vascular biologist and he was able to measure that. Dr. Dillwyn from Johns' Hopkins and investigators all over the country. At Harvard there are several. They understand this from a very basic biochemical standpoint but they just really never put it into clinical practice for the patient to understand.

DR SUSANNE: Well, I really look forward to reading your book more in depth. I'm so excited because it's a brand new book, everyone out there. I want to thank you again, Dr. Jacoby, for being here with us. If you want to learn more about Dr. Jacoby's book, Sugar Crush, I put it on my link on my Wellness for Life radio show page on RadioMD.com.

Again, go check out his book, Sugar Crush. It's excellent.

This is Dr. Susanne Bennett sharing natural strategies for ultimate health and wellness right here on RadioMD.

Until next time, stay well.