In this episode we talk about the amazing, immediate benefits cutting out sugar has on five organs. We talk about the effect of cutting out sugar has on your: Liver Eyes Joints Gut Brain Many of the benefits we talk about are independent of weight loss. Even if you don’t lose any weight from cutting out sugar, you’ll still benefit metabolically.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr. Martin Jr.: You’re listening to the Doctor Is In Podcast from martinclinic.com. Although we share a lot of practical and in our opinion awesome information, what you hear on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. It’s strictly for informational purposes. So enjoy.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Hi, I’m Dr. Martin Jr.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I’m Dr. Martin Sr.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And this is a Doctor Is In Podcast. [00:00:30] And today we want to talk about five immediate, you know, we use the word immediate, but immediate things that happen when you cut sugar out of your diet. Right? So these are five things, and I guess we could label these surprising things that happen when you cut out sugar. Things that people don’t think about when they cut out sugar. And even if they don’t lose any weight, and that’s important to understand that. So these are things, you know, a lot of people when they cut out sugar, they do lose some weight and it’s amazing. [00:01:00] I read articles, I read different things, people that all they did was cut out sugar and they’ve lost fair amount of weight.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well, I can tell you from personal experience, for me, when I was in, I mean, now we’re going back, if you go look back to grade 12, I decided between grade 12 and grade 13, that’s aging me, right, because you went to grade 13, didn’t you?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yes.
Dr. Martin Sr.: In Ontario, there was still grade 13. So for anybody that’s younger than me or you, what was that? Well, I was sort of like [00:01:30] your first year of university-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, they called them OACs when we were there. I don’t know what they called them back then.
Dr. Martin Sr.: They called it grade 13. You were doing a victory lap at high school. No, but actually in those days, you couldn’t go to university without doing your grade 13. But I had decided between grade 12 and grade 13 to lose weight. It was funny because I was a sugarholic, I mean, big time bad diet. But what I did, I just simply did this, I just stopped drinking soda. And my [00:02:00] dad was the first guy that ever drank a diet soda called Tab. Oh my word, it was the worst stuff. That stuff you would die. I think they still make it, but I hope it’s not as bad as it was because when my dad started, my dad found out he was a diabetic, I think I was 15 or 16. That changed our home big time. And my dad lost a lot of weight because he just cut out sugar. Like my dad started having steak seven days a week. I mean it. Like his diet changed [00:02:30] because he took it very seriously.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Anyway, so for me, I said, okay, between, I was 220 pounds in grade 12. I remember going on the scale one time, it was 220 pounds. And I was active, I was an athlete, I was a big boy, but I was carrying too much weight. I just said, that’s it. I’m going to stop. You know what I did? Stop eating chocolate bars and stopped drinking pop. That’s all I did. I stopped eating chocolate bars and I stopped drinking soda. [00:03:00] And I’m telling you, within let’s say 30, 40 days, I was down to 180 pounds. I lost 40 pounds.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And you were young.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I was young.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Active. But still, I mean it is, it is amazing. And you know, one of the things that happens too when a person kind of says, you know what, I’m going to consciously avoid sugar, they tend to also make other healthy decisions in their lifestyle, in their daytime routine. Also, you know, really, if you kind of sugar and you [00:03:30] improve your sleeping habits, it’s amazing what that does. And studies have shown this, right? Even when somebody cuts out sugar or they cut out carbs, they get metabolically healthy even if they’re not necessarily losing a lot of weight. So weight loss is a, you know, a lot of people do these things for weight loss, but we get people all the time, they start cutting out sugar, they start cutting out carbs and like, I’m not really losing any weight. That’ll come, you could dial that in a little differently.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You want to change your body-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Metabolically they’re getting healthier.
Dr. Martin Sr.: [00:04:00] Big time.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And that’s really, that’s why you’re doing it. The weight will come along, especially as you, like you said, you could dial that in. A lot of times, we talked about this in previous episodes but there are the things that are going on or other habits that might be effecting weight that they don’t realize, but at the end of the day, they cut out sugar. So we’re not even saying go low carb. I mean, if you cut out sugar and you go low carb, well, that’s even an added bonus. But just cutting out sugar, we want to talk about the effect that it has on five different organs. [00:04:30] And the surprising effect it has on five different organs. And so that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So let’s start by talking about the liver. Now, a couple of episodes ago, I think it was episode 180 we talked about reversing fatty liver and again, that was a great episode and we talk a ton about-
Dr. Martin Sr.: They should go back and listen.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, because we talk a lot about how much more common fatty liver is becoming.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Epidemic today.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It is an epidemic. And it’s how it’s that [00:05:00] stepping stone, it’s that first step towards diabetes and a lot of other things.
Dr. Martin Sr.: A lot of people walk around, they don’t know that they have a fatty liver. They don’t know it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: There’d be no symptoms per se that they would, it’s just that it’s that starting point so they would be, they’d be diabetic because they started with the fatty liver, right? Things started to go metabolically bad once they started to put fat into the liver. So yeah, if I were to cut out sugar today, what effect would it have on my liver?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well, right [00:05:30] away you are starting to reverse fatty liver because simply, well, two reasons. One of the biggest factors, I said it last week on our podcast, we live in a different world. We live in a different world that I lived in as a kid and even that you lived in when you were a kid, because the world is changing, and one of the ways that has nutritionally is with something that sounds healthy that is poison to your body, and that is high fructose corn [00:06:00] syrup. So that was introduced and boy, oh boy, there’s nothing that destroys your liver quicker than high fructose corn syrup because it goes directly to your liver.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s metabolized similar to ethanol.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Exactly.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Which is metabolized by your liver. So your liver has to …
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s like drinking alcohol as a kid.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, without the buzz. Which is why you see a lot of sugar bellies in kids. They have these sugar bellies in a sense, it’s like a beer [00:06:30] belly, but it’s a sugar belly, it’s because it’s metabolized very similar. And what’s your starting to see is a drastic increase in the amount of teens even and kids with non-alcoholic fatty liver. It’s insane. And you know, it’s interesting, there was a study that just came out in January of 2019, not that long ago from the date we’re recording this, and they found that even just a diet lower in sugar significantly improved fatty liver disease in children. So just all [00:07:00] they did-
Dr. Martin Sr.: It happens quickly.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yes right. All they did was cut out sugar and because of that, the liver basically didn’t pack on as much fat and in fact, the liver actually started to lose fat.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And a liver [inaudible 00:07:14] oh, so what, there’s some fight around my liver. But listen, this is a very dangerous thing.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Go back and listen to episode 180 because we talk about how that is the starting point. You’re heading down a disease path.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You are heading on [00:07:30] to destruction in your body. Metabolically, you are tipping the scales in the wrong way.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, because the liver is not, you know, we talked about the myth that the liver is a filter. And it’s not, it’s not a filter.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s a manufacturing plant.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. It helps in the filtration system but the liver itself doesn’t get gunked up in a sense. That’s not how it works. However, the liver can get fatty and that becomes a problem. All right, so you cut out sugar, specifically, like [00:08:00] you said, high fructose corn syrup is especially bad. Well, listen, I always figured that, it’s kind of funny that if a mad scientist created high fructose corn syrup, because I don’t know if you remember Michael Keaton back in the Batman days, the first Batman that came out, Michael Keaton, he was the original, well, not from the TV show, but the original movie version of Batman was Michael Keaton. And a lot of people at the time thought it was kind of a strange casting but he’s a great actor.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And in that movie, Jack Nicholson was [00:08:30] the joker. What’s interesting is that part of his scheme was creating poisons that only get activated if you mix, for example, hairspray and a certain kind of deodorant and then the combination caused. And that was causing all this disease and sickness. So it was a master plan with chemicals, it was kind of funny. But I always kind of pictured the person who invented high fructose corn syrup was the joker with that crazy laughing. He’s like, I’m going to really get them because this is not going to be metabolized like sugar, [00:09:00] it’s going to be metabolized.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It tastes like sugar. It tastes better than sugar.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And that’s going to be cheaper for companies to put it in there but I always figured that this guy, this joker, his plan was to create something that was going to destroy livers that nobody would ever know happened, and you know, he’s laughing all the way. Of course, that’s not happening but it’s really hard on the liver. And it’s in everything because it’s a waste, I mean, it’s so cheap and a lot of jobs rely on high fructose corn syrup. [00:09:30] So it’s such a cheap thing. We’ve been around for a while, remember Agave came out? People were like Agave.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Sounds so good.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s so healthy. It’s a natural sugar. It’s loaded, loaded with high fructose corn syrup, right? But Agave, sounds good, right? I mean, how can you say something like Agave and it doesn’t sound so good for you, right? It sounds exotic. It’s like, oh, no, it doesn’t got sugar, it’s got Agave, it’s sweetened with Agave in [00:10:00] it, right? That cycle’s come and gone. I don’t think people really talk about the health benefits necessarily anymore of a high processed Agave, right? But it was loaded with high fructose corn syrup.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So, okay, so the first thing is you cut out sugar, your liver will give you a high five-
Dr. Martin Sr.: And quickly. Quickly.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Pretty quickly. And again, the number one thing, and I’m just going to read you a quote from the study that was done on kids because a lot of kids already have fatty liver. I mean, it’s very common [00:10:30] and you’re starting to see they get the liver fat in their teens and it just carries with them for the rest of their life. And then they end up getting diabetes younger, heart disease younger. I just want to read a quote here, it says that, so our study shows that children and their families can follow a diet low in free sugars for up to eight weeks. And that’s what he did. And then they found a difference. Even eight weeks of cutting out sugar, they saw a decrease in fatty liver. [00:11:00] So imagine if they would’ve gone full steam ahead and brought the carb count down, the sugar content gone, it would have been even better. That’s the first thing, right? That’s the first thing.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So let’s talk about the eyes because that’s a big issue. A lot of eyes today are aging faster than they have in the past it seems like. You’re getting people in their, they’re getting old age eye disease stuff, macular degeneration, they’re getting all these things-
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s all circulation.
Dr. Martin Jr.: [00:11:30] It’s all micro circulation to the eye.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Exactly.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And again, sugar, high blood sugar levels are eye killers in a number of different ways. It affects the way that the blood flow goes to the eyes, a whole bunch of different ways. One of the best things you could do for your eye health is normalize your blood sugar levels. Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Absolutely.
Dr. Martin Jr.: There’s no question. And it’s really interesting, there’s a lot of tissues in the body that are what they call aldose reductase producers. Under [00:12:00] a certain condition, they make this enzyme. So when your blood sugar levels go up, we won’t get too complicated with this, but when your blood sugar levels go up, these tissues make an enzyme that basically converts glucose into sorbitol. If you’re consuming a lot of sugar, your blood sugar levels are elevated, you’re basically in certain tissues, you’re taking glucose and converting it to sorbitol. Why is that a big deal? Well, sorbitol attracts [00:12:30] water. So these cells swell up and they burst. They attract water because they’re loaded with glucose that got converted into sorbitol. And what’s interesting is that the eyes, so cataracts, the eyes have a lot of these tissue producing cells that create this aldose reductase and it just-
Dr. Martin Sr.: They burst.
Dr. Martin Jr.: The eyes are very sensitive to blood sugar in a sense that some of [00:13:00] the cells swell up and blow up. You end up with a condition in diabetes called retinopathy, which is an increase in little tiny blood vessels to the eyes, but they’re so fragile. And then the blood vessels get hardened, sugar through a whole bunch of processes-
Dr. Martin Sr.: We call it glycation.
Dr. Martin Jr.: They harden the blood vessels. So, the eyes are so sensitive to two things really. It’s amazing what happens when you improve blood flow in the body, your eyes benefit from that big time. [00:13:30] So, somebody that, they’re not even diabetic and this is another thing. High normal blood sugar levels. So you’re still normal but you’re still elevated over a long period of time, will hurt your eyes. Your eyes will age faster as a result of that. So if you want to accelerate the aging of your eyes, have elevated blood sugar levels over a period of time, your eyes will age quicker. So when you cut out sugar …
Dr. Martin Sr.: You’re improving [00:14:00] your eyes.
Dr. Martin Jr.: You improve your blood glucose levels, you’re saving the health of your eyes. No question. Your eyes are so sensitive to blood sugar. From blood flow to cells health, everything. It’s no good. So that’s one thing.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So we talked about liver, we talked about eye health. Let’s talk about joints.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Joints, yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Let’s talk about joint pain and even tendon pain. Even like low back pain and [00:14:30] shoulder pain and everything.
Dr. Martin Sr.: We always find it, well, at least my patients always find it fascinating when people that have a lot of pain, fibromyalgia, joint pain, muscle pain, and I’m asking them to change their diet. They never see the relationship between their pain and diet. They only assume it’s, well, fibromyalgia, I don’t know how I got that, but they don’t put the connection together. [00:15:00] But I’m always telling them that when you got a lot of pain, what will put pain on steroids is sugar. So if you lower your sugars and what a difference it makes in joint pain.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I tell you, I’ve had patients over the years within a couple of weeks see an enormous difference in pain levels when they clean up and cut the sugar out of their diets. Incredible. You know, some people they, oh doc, [00:15:30] I don’t have that much sugar. But I said, well look, you’re drinking coffee. Yeah. What do you put in it? Well, yeah, I have three or four, but two teaspoons of sugar, but that’s not a lot of sugar. It adds up. So you know, if you do nothing else, like cut the extra sugars out of your diet, look at labels, read labels, it’s amazing how much sugar you’re consuming. Get that down and your joints will thank you. They really will. Muscles will thank you.
Dr. Martin Jr.: [00:16:00] Yeah, and you know it’s funny because we talked about this before, surprising signs of insulin resistance and carpal tunnel syndrome, especially idiopathic. You’re not sure why you have carpal tunnel syndrome. You’re not really doing anything. Just a lot of, you see this, a lot of people that have elevated insulin, one of the things that they are at risk for is this kind of spontaneous carpal tunnel syndrome, but it’s all the same thing again. It affects blood flow. So blood sugar levels can affect blood flow to the joints.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Uric acid levels to [00:16:30] the joints. Big time.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Massive amounts of pain. You and I have talked about this a long time ago, the two most, surprising most common cause of pain not associated with an injury. Like if somebody says, I was playing football, I blew my knee out. Well …
Dr. Martin Sr.: Okay. We got it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That’s an A and B thing, that’s pretty easy to figure out. But if somebody comes in and says, listen, I don’t really have an injury but I’m sore. Well, the two most common causes of that is high blood sugar level [00:17:00] or increased high circulating insulin and leaky gut. Leaky Gut Syndrome causes a lot of pain and people and they don’t even realize it, right? I mean, it’s a common thing.
Dr. Martin Jr.: All right, so your joints are thankful. And there’s a reason why diabetics are more likely to suffer from joint or some kind of disorder.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And how many diabetics have to have joint replacements, knee replacements. They just wear their joints right down. Hip replacements. And I know a lot of times [00:17:30] they’re heavier in that. But again, sugar is destructive, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: All right, so that’s the third one. Let’s talk about the fourth one which is your gut. And we’re not talking about belly fat. We’re talking about the health of your digestive system.
Dr. Martin Sr.: There’s battle that goes on in your gut. You’re made up of bacteria. You got good and bad bacteria. And if you cut sugar [00:18:00] out of your diet, one of the things that you’re no longer feeding bad bacteria and yeast, fungus. People don’t realize that again, candida, we love probiotics and it really makes a difference. You’re adding lots of billions and billions of friendly bacteria a day. You and I recommend probiotics on a daily basis. But what I always say, look, you’ll kill them when your army’s bigger than their army. And the second thing is, if you don’t feed the [00:18:30] bad army, don’t feed it. Like it wants sugar, yeast loves sugar. Bad bacteria, those bad guys, they’re bottom feeders. They want sugar, they want something quick.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And you know, it’s interesting because when candida has become such a major issue in people’s health, and it was one of those things that was laughed at for a long time.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Dismissed.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, it was completely dismissed. Candida, mold and fungus [00:19:00] and all these kinds of things. They were laughed at. Now, it’s not so funny anymore. There’s a fair amount of research backing up a lot of different aspects of it. But I remember when candida first came out, there was that candida diet. They cut out sugars, white flours and all that kind of stuff. I mean, that’s the right idea, but again, there’s a bigger issue there as well. How did they get in there in the first place? If your digestive system is built in a way that the acid in your stomach [00:19:30] and your gallbladder and everything should kill that stuff before it gets into your gut. So you’re dealing with a leaky gut issue, you’re dealing with a low stomach acid issue, a gallbladder dysfunction.
Dr. Martin Sr.: The perfect storm.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Exactly. Then it gets into that, it gets into your bowels and then it gets into your blood. But again, the sugar consumption, and it’s funny, again, I like bringing up these old movies I remember when I was younger, but do you remember [00:20:00] Gremlins? You probably never watched the Gremlin movie.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Nope.
Dr. Martin Jr.: But there were certain rules, they were really cute little fur balls, until you broke some of the rules, like never feed them after dark. There was these certain rules, never get them wet because all these little cute fur balls became gremlins, which were these like brat little scary things that wanted to cause mayhem everywhere they went. So this little cute thing went into that. One of the things you could do was pour water on them [00:20:30] because they multiplied. These little fur balls would multiply with water. Sugar does the same thing to candida. So you can get candida into your system but then if you had a high sugar diet, then bacteria loves glucose.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And you know it’s funny, years ago, people were talking about the cancer cells in glucose and they’re like, you know, dieticians are like, there’s no connection between that. And now you have these leading cancer researchers saying, eh, not so fast. [00:21:00] Not so fast. A lot of cancer cells need glucose to grow.
Dr. Martin Sr.: As a fuel.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Sure.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s rocket fuel for them.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Again, cutting out sugar will not cure cancer. But again, you can’t downplay the effect that cutting out cancer has on your immune system. So again, your gut health, a lot of your gut health is determined or destroyed by elevated blood sugar levels by over-consumption of sugar. So, cutting out sugar [00:21:30] is good for your gut. There’s no question. All right, so that’s the fourth one.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And then the last one, we’re almost out of time, let’s talk about probably one of the biggest effects of elevated blood sugar levels, even normal elevated blood sugar levels has is brain health.
Dr. Martin Sr.: But who would deny that in a sense? Like think about it, like every parent in new universe knows that you don’t give little Johnny sugar before going [00:22:00] to bed because if Johnny has sugar before going to bed, Johnny can’t go to sleep and teachers know, every teacher I’ve ever talked to, not a dietician, but a teacher that has to deal with kids with ADD or whatever, you know when they do bad, when they have a sugary cereal and they come to school. Every teacher that I’ve ever talked to would agree there is a connection between sugar and your brain. Now they’re [00:22:30] only connecting to little weak kids, but we know that sugar in the brain has an enormous effect on the function of your brain. But again, like I said, the lay person, they got it. Mummies get it. Like always say, being a grandparent is fun because if you want to get your kids back, just feed your grandchildren sugar and say, hey, go home and bug your parents. I didn’t do that to you kids.
Dr. Martin Jr.: [00:23:00] You’re right. I remember at my in-laws’ house, my son was, he was, Ethan was, I can’t remember how old, he was young. And I remember waking up in the morning coming around and Ethan’s eating ice cream.
Dr. Martin Sr.: At grandmas.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And then I asked my father-in-law, I’m like, why I Ethan eating ice cream? He said, well, he asked. I’m like, oh, things have changed, haven’t they? Because he asked. Right, it is funny. But again, too [00:23:30] much sugar. Glucose metabolism in the brain is one of the biggest areas of research when it comes to dementia and Alzheimer’s. There seems to be a glucose uptake problem by the cells in your brain as you move towards dementia and Alzheimer’s. So there’s a glucose metabolism problem that takes place in your brain. Now, you and I talk a lot about the different mechanisms of ways of heading down the path to dementia, but one of them [00:24:00] is elevated blood sugar levels. Chronic, in fact here, if I were to name the two Bonnie and Clyde for brain health, you watch that movie Highwaymen?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, wasn’t that good?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, it’s an interesting story.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Because, you know, going back when you would have been a little kid and even maybe before you were born, they came up with a movie Bonnie and Clyde. I’m trying to think of name of the actors the other day and it was such a big hit.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, they were glorified in a lot of ways too, and you can really see they were really big celebrities.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And that’s true story. The Highwaymen [00:24:30] is a true story about the guys that-
Dr. Martin Jr.: And they were serial killers. I mean, Bonnie and Clyde were serial killers. But anyways, Bonnie and Clyde, if I were to name the two Bonnie and Clyde for your brain health right now would be elevated blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. Midlife elevated blood sugar levels and midlife elevated high blood pressure are Bonnie and Clyde for your brain. Your brain is the bank and they’re coming for the money.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And guess blood sugar, blood pressure [00:25:00] I mean. We talked about it in the previous episode.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So that’s what I’m saying. So you think about, if you want to protect the health of your brain, you definitely want to limit sugar intake. You can’t consume a lot of sugar over your life and have a healthy brain as you age. Your eyes won’t be healthy, your liver won’t be healthy, your joints won’t be healthy, your gut won’t be healthy and now we’re saying your brain won’t be healthy. So if you want to start down [00:25:30] the path of better health and cut out sugar, not only will you most likely lose some weight, these five things that we’ve mentioned will thank you and you’ll see positive health changes in those five areas.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And rapidly, and rapidly. Not waiting two to three years, rapidly, you will get results rapidly by doing that.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Your metabolic markers of those areas will improve. There’s no question. So again, those are the five immediate results when you cut [00:26:00] out sugar. Again, you know, we went through a lot of material, but we want to thank you for listening and have a great day.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Thanks for listening to the Doctor Is In Podcast from martinclinic.com. If you have any questions, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, you can head to our website and sign up for free. We also have a private Facebook group that you can join. It’s a community of Austin people. Finally, [00:26:30] I do a Facebook live every Thursday morning at 8:30. Join us again next week for a new episode.