The key to life is balance between those environmental forces – both external and internal – that promote and sustain life. Functioning through a balanced interplay between its parts, life forms an organic whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. A carrot, for example, contains most of the nutritional elements that promote and sustain human life: fat, carbohydrate, protein, most known vitamins, and over 12 essential minerals. If one were to extract Vitamin A from the carrot and take it in its pure form, one would certainly be getting one of the finest sources of Vitamin A obtainable, but one would also be missing out on the other essential nutrients that, combined with Vitamin A, actually increase its usefulness to the body. We term these elements synergists- nutritional elements that promote the biological efficiency of other nutritional elements. This concept may be visualized by picturing a steel chain, one link binding another. If one link is broken, the function of the chain is either entirely lost or greatly hindered.

The story of sugar is the story of one link in a metabolic chain deprived of the other links that promote its usefulness and efficiency in human metabolism. Separated from the cane, washed, filtered, heated, spun in centrifuges at up to 1200 revolutions per minute, the final result is a product that is over 99,9 per cent pure. Over 45kg of this product is consumed annually by every man, woman, and child in Western Countries, without the benefit of the other elements necessary to its proper utilization. The result of this broken metabolic chain forms countless pages of statistics that have prompted some scientific investigators to advocate banning its sale.

To more completely understand the detrimental effects of refined sugar in human nutrition, let us first examine what happens in the body when we eat a meal. To be utilized as energy, food must first be broken down through the digestive process to render glucose. Digestion converts our food into glucose at the rate of about 100 per cent of the carbohydrates, 56 per cent of the proteins, and 10 per cent of the fats. The blood carries the glucose from the intestinal tract to the liver. Because there is little insulin in the liver, the sugar passes through virtually unchanged and is carried by general circulation into the pancreas where the sudden increased blood sugar level stimulates the islands of Langerhans to produce insulin which acts as a kind of carrier of glucose, allowing it to enter a cell where its energy potential may be realized. The insulin reaches the liver while the major portion of the meal is still being digested; thus, the liver is able to remove the excess glucose from the blood by converting it into glycogen and storing it for future use. Glycogen in humans may be likened to starch in plants. If the blood sugar level falls below normal between meals, it is the function of the adrenal cortex to secrete hormones that induce the liver to break up some of its store of glycogen and release it into the bloodstream as glucose. Thus, a balanced blood sugar level is maintained.

Where problems arise is when the blood sugar is either too high or too low. If the blood sugar level is too high as in diabetes, the damaged islands of Langerhans cannot produce enough insulin to meet the body’s requirements, and the liver is unable to convert glucose into glycogen fast enough. The result is a blood sugar level so high that the excess must be excreted via the kidneys through the urinary tract in order to avoid a complete metabolic blockage. If the blood sugar level is too low as in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, or hyperinsulinism), the opposite of diabetes exists. The islands of Langerhans over-react to the metabolic demand by secreting too much insulin. The liver converts too much glucose into glycogen, the net result being an insufficient amount of blood glucose.

Current scientific investigation has shown that both high an low blood sugar level conditions may be traced to an increased consumption of refined sugar. It has been suggested back in 1935 by the researchers, Himsworth and Marchall, that the incidence of diabetes could be directly correlated to the amount of fat consumed.

They pointed to the Jews and the Italians who show a high incidence of diabetes, and who also consume high amounts of dietary fats. On the other hand, they pointed to the Chinese and Japanese who are low fat eaters, and who show a corresponding low incidence of diabetes. What both Himsworth and Marchal must have overlooked was that, in each instance, the fat consumption closely corresponded with the sugar consumption. Professor A. M. Cohen, looking at the prevalence of diabetes among Yemenites who had immigrated to Israel, found that 0.06 per cent of recent immigrants were diabetic versus 2.9 per cent of those who had immigrated 20 years previously. In each case the fat consumption was the same. The increased incidence of diabetes in the older immigrated group was in direct proportion to their increase sugar consumption. In the laboratory, Cohen later demonstrated a decreased glucose tolerance in rats fed refined sugar, thus reinforcing his earlier observations. In all Westernized countries people are growing taller, and are showing decided changes in both structure and size of the boney frame. In this country, for example, it has been shown that children of immigrants coming from Europe are one to two inches taller than their parents. Succeeding generations have never perpetuated the trend toward increased growth by becoming still taller. Dr. Eugen Ziegler of Switzerland is a most enthusiastic proponent of the idea that a definite correlation exists between the amount of sugar consumed and increased height and weight. Over a period of six years, Dr. Ziegler has pointed to statistics from many countries that reinforce his position. For example, the birth weight of babies in Basle, Switzerland, increased an average of 3.1 kilograms to 3.3 kilograms between the years 1900 and 1960. A most interesting side note to this statistics is that during the two world wars there was registered a slight decrease in weight that correlated with a decrease in sugar consumption. In Osolo, the height of girls between eight and fourteen years old increased between 1920 and 1950, the latter fourteen year olds showing a four inch increase! Also in Norway, the height of adult men increased by about three quarters of an inch between 1835 and 1930. The average sugar intake increased from 1.08 kilograms in 1835 to 4.95 kilograms in 1875 and to 30.15 kilograms in 1937.
Current consumption in Norway is over 40.5 kilograms, an increase of 40 times that which was consumed 160 years ago.
Dr.O. Schaeffer, in his research on the Eskimos of the Canadian north, offers support to Dr. Ziegler’s contention that there exists a correlation between increased sugar consumption and increased height and weight in humans.

Dr. Schaeffer studied Eskimos in three areas and measured birth weights, children’s weights, and adult weights, all at various ages. In the first area studied the average annual sugar consumption had increased from 12kg to 46.8kg in eight years, in the second area from 37.35kg to 50kg in one year, and in the third area from 21kg to 27.45kg in five years. Birth weights increased in all three areas, the amount of increase in direct proportion to the amount of increased sugar consumption.

Between 1938 and 1968, Eskimo men averaged 50mm taller, women 25mm taller. The most significant increase in height appeared among the children. Boys and girls between the ages of two and ten were 50 to 75mm taller. Boys of eleven were 100mm taller, while girls in the twelve to thirteen ranges were as much as 200mm taller!

The Japanese nutrition expert, Dr.A.Katase, has conducted laboratory research that seems to verify the statistical observations of Drs. Ziegler and Schaeffer. Over a period of ten years Dr. Katase worked with experimental animals attempting to determine the effects of refined sugar on their growth, behavior and development. He found that bone structures of the experimental animals became deranged; the long bones became longer, and the shape of the pelvis grew narrow. Of even greater significance was the observation of actual bone degeneration. The bones became so soft that they could be scraped easily with a knife.

The solubility of calcium in water has been demonstrated to be one part of calcium to one thousand parts of water. Sugar has an affinity for calcium and will increase calcium’s solubility in water thirty-five times. Dr. Katase found that his experimental animals could accommodate a small amount of refined sugar which the liver converted into glycogen.

Any additional amount was absorbed by osmosis into the circulation where it was converted into free carbonic acid. To keep the organism from becoming over acid, it was observed that the calcium was withdrawn from the bones to neutralize the excess free carbonic acid. The resulting compound, calcium carbonate, was found to collect in the soft meshes of muscles, tissue, and vessels, where it became coated and hardened. One result was found to be atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries.

A most significant factor of Dr.Katase’s research was that, under controlled laboratory conditions, he was able to observe a biological explanation for what Drs. Ziegler and Schaeffer were later to observe and record statistically in their respective field studies. He was able to observe the actual physiological changes that occurred due to an increased refined sugar consumption that have become manifest over the past century in a general trend toward greater height in humans. It was once assumed that the growth increase was due to better nutrition, with emphasis on an increased protein intake. However, as Dr. Schaeffer found in his study of the Eskimo, the Eskimo’s protein intake over a period of study had not only not increased, but has actually decreased from 300 grams a day to just over 100 grams a day.