–by Dena Schmidt
Most people are aware that eating too much sugar can cause high blood glucose, insulin spikes and obesity. It can also elevate the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. However, excess glucose can also lead to nutrient deficiencies that impact the levels of vitamins and minerals that are able to reach the cells.
Sugar does this by depleting and reducing the absorption of key vitamins and minerals, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. The following vitamins and minerals are the most at risk for depletion from the presence of too much glucose in the body.
Vitamin C in jeopardy due to sugar
Humans are among a small group of mammals unable to synthesize vitamin C on our own. Additionally, both vitamin C and glucose use the same transporters, and high glucose levels can slow and limit vitamin C absorption in the body.
There is literally a competition between glucose and vitamin C in the bloodstream. When adequate vitamin C cannot reach the cells, the result is reduced immune functioning and suppressed tissue regeneration.
Magnesium gets depleted by eating too much sugar
Magnesium is required by just about every organ in the body. It regulates nerve and muscle functioning, helps create protein, synthesizes DNA, builds bone, and regulates blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar and elevated insulin increases magnesium excretion by the kidneys and causes the body to use up its reserves. The fact that magnesium is required for effective blood sugar regulation means that the presence of sugar is doubly harmful to retention of this important mineral.
Vitamin D deficiencies increase with sugar consumption
While vitamin D deficiency is most common in geographic areas with the least amount of sunshine, sugar can exacerbate the problem. It does so by increasing the presence of an enzyme that helps synthesize it.
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked with inflammation, greater risk of infection, autoimmunity, dementia and certain cancers.
Calcium uptake is inhibited by eating sugar
As you know, calcium is essential to bone health, blood coagulation and assisting in nerve and muscle contraction. Since vitamin D is required for calcium absorption, sugar indirectly suppresses the body’s intake of this essential mineral.
Glucose, a form of sugar, is also linked with the increase of the kidneys’ calcium excretion through hormone suppression and inhibiting calcium reabsorption.
Chromium drained by sugar
Chromium is a trace mineral involved in both blood sugar control and macronutrient metabolism. While just small amounts are required by the body, an excess of sugar can cause a deficiency by triggering its excretion.
Chromium deficiency can then contribute to higher blood sugar levels and poor glucose tolerance, as it is important to insulin binding.
Bottom line: Most people are already aware of the numerous health hazards of eating too much sugar. However, its role in nutrient deficiencies and the suppression of key vitamins and minerals in the body may not be as familiar.
Let this serve as additional motivation to practice moderation and favor healthy choices like berries and fruit when your sweet cravings flares up.
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-by Dr. Mercola
Eating a balanced whole-food diet, such as described in my nutrition plan, is a foundational requirement for optimal nutrition. It can be quite difficult to get sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals from your diet if you do not eat real food.
Unfortunately, even if you do eat well, how and where your food was grown can also influence your nutritional intake. Soil quality, for example, can significantly influence the levels of certain nutrients in your food, even if you eat organic… see more