Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Yet another way sugar is bad for you

I'm going to take a quick break from my training rants and go back to nutrition for a second. I came across this article earlier this year about how a popular food additive called trehalose has helped to fuel two deadly superbugs in hospitals recently.

I'm not as concerned about the actual "superbugs" themselves, but the way these bacteria become deadly is really interesting. I can't believe that I call myself a chemist and I didn't know the structure (above) of trehalose off the top of my head. Basically it's just two glucose molecules bound together with an oxygen atom. I assumed that in an acidic environment like the stomach that trehalose would just break apart and become glucose monomers.

That doesn't happen.

Certain strains of bacteria have the DNA that allows them to break the trehalose apart and use it as fuel. You already have these "superbug" bacteria in your gut, but they're kept in check by the hundreds of other strains of bacteria in there too. But in the presence of trehalose, the superbug bacteria can preferentially get extra fuel and overtake the other bacteria. Pretty interesting (to me).

Why do I point out this weird little story now? For a while I've been reading that the gut bacteria of sick or overweight or obese folks look different than healthy individuals. Some folks have noticed a correlation between high-fructose corn syrup and bad bacteria. Some have just noticed that a high carbohydrate diet can cause a gut dysbiosis (too much bad bacteria).  Sometimes a very low carb, even ketogenic diet will solve the problem. The prevailing theory is that the low carb diet is pruning back the bad bacteria through starvation.

Even though I'm against sugar in general, I've always been on the side that table sugar (sucrose) is the same as high-fructose corn syrup. Table sugar is 1 glucose bound to 1 fructose molecule. high-fructose corn syrup is a gooey mix of 45% glucose with 55% fructose not bound together.

My thought was that as soon as the sugar hits your stomach, the difference between 50:50 and 45:55 was inconsequential.  But maybe that bound glucose-fructose in table sugar is different than the gooey unbound HFCS? Maybe since the glucose and fructose are already free to be eaten by gut bacteria that HFCS is preferentially feeding bad bacteria that starts the downstream effects that end up in sickness and obesity?  Who knows, but it's giving me something else to think about.

tl;dr - don't eat HFCS (and probably trehalose too).


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


deadlift 8-5-3x5


5 heavy swings between sets

Group Workout

3 rounds:
20 hand to hand kettlebell swings at a challenging weight 
1 minute rest


3 rounds:
10L, 10R 1-arm kettlebell swing 
1 minute rest


5 rounds:
5L, 5R kettlebell thrusters


2 x 20 banded good morning


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