Sugar shock

You know I don’t put much weight in animal studies. But the results of this latest bit of research on sugar are too alarming not to share.

A team of scientists at the University of Utah recently set out to see how feeding lab mice a combination of sugars mimicking corn syrup would affect their health. And, well… let’s just say the results speak for themselves.

For one thing, the female mice died sooner than their sugar-free counterparts. The male mice, meanwhile, took serious hits to their reproductive efforts–most likely due to a weakened ability to defend their territory from interlopers.

In other words, eating too much sugar undermined these animals’ most basic efforts for survival.

Maybe you’re wondering what the big deal is. After all, plenty of studies on mice have revealed the damaging effects of sugar. The catch? They all looked at quantities of sugar that surpassed any amount that would be practically relevant to humans.

This time around, it was a different story. In fact, the sugar levels used in this mouse study amounted to what, in human terms, you’d find in about three cans of soda per day.

This level of sugar exposure matches the daily consumption of roughly a quarter of all Americans. Do I really need to say more?

Ruff JS, et al. “Human-relevant levels of added sugar consumption increase female mortality and lower male fitness in mice.” Nat Commun. 2013 Aug 14;4:2245.