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June 26, 2023 6 min read

While it may seem like an unlikely topic, sugar is one dietary component that has a unique relationship with thyroid function. Here's everything you need to know about sugar.

How sugar impacts our metabolism

An essential factor to note is that our body's metabolic rate is directly linked to sugar consumption. A lowered metabolic rate is often associated with aging and metabolic degenerative diseases. Stress and starvation can shift the balance in the body, causing it to rely on fats stored in the tissues for energy. While sugar, especially fructose (fruit sugar), provides additional energy in certain situations, excess sugar can have detrimental effects on the body and mind.

Does sugar cause diabetes?

Diabetes has often been labeled as the "sugar disease" due to the widespread belief that excessive sugar consumption causes the condition. However, it is vital to recognize that diabetes has more complex origins than just sugar intake.

Diabetes and its types

To better understand the distinction, let's first explore the two main types of diabetes and how they relate to sugar before delving into Dr. Ray Peat's perspective on the matter.

There are two primary types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes results predominantly from an autoimmune attack on the pancreas, leading to insufficient insulin production. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes involves insulin resistance, commonly found among individuals struggling with obesity.

In both types, elevated blood glucose levels are a shared characteristic due to impaired glucose uptake and metabolism by the cells. This can be attributed to either cellular resistance to insulin (type 2) or insulin deficiency (type 1). In either case, the cells are starved for the glucose they require.

Diabetes and sugar

According to Dr. Ray Peat, the primary cause of diabetes is not sugar but rather an excess of polyunsaturated fats. He asserts that an acute surplus of these fats directly induces insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. This occurs due to the interference with the cellular enzyme system (pyruvate dehydrogenase) required for glucose metabolism, ultimately blocking glucose uptake and utilization.

Furthermore, he explains that chronic exposure to polyunsaturated fats places undue stress on the pancreas's beta cells, impairing their ability to produce insulin. This prolonged stress may eventually contribute to the development of type 1 diabetes.

Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Peat suggests that sugar, in fact, stimulates the regeneration of the pancreas's beta cells. Thus, a more effective approach to managing diabetes involves avoiding polyunsaturated fats and starches while incorporating saturated fats, fruits, sucrose, and fructose into one's diet.

Are there any benefits to sugar?

When you hear sugar, the first thing to come to mind might be "too much added sugar, sweetened beverages, and sugary foods are bad." Of course, you shouldn't be eating too much sugar, especially added sugars in sugary drinks like soft drinks. But did you know that sugar also has some benefits? Here are some of them:

1. Sugar can help with yeast infections

When faced with an intestinal yeast or fungus infection like candida, it's common to hear advice suggesting the elimination of sugar and even fruit from one's diet. But did you know that starving yeast of sugar can actually be harmful instead of helpful? This is due to the yeast turning invasive, sending out filaments that dig into the intestine and penetrate tissues to find the sugar it necessitates. As a result, sugar actually acts as a defense mechanism, preventing yeast from becoming invasive.

So, how can you effectively treat an intestinal yeast or fungus infection? The key is to maintain a high metabolism while keeping estrogen levels low. Incorporating antimicrobial fibers into your daily routine can often resolve an intestinal yeast infection.

Additionally, other remedies, like sulfur powder, oregano oil, and cascara sagrada herb, can be advantageous in eliminating yeast from the digestive system. With the right balance and treatment plan, it's possible to overcome intestinal yeast infections without inflicting more harm.

2. Helping with migraines and allergy attacks

In the midst of a migraine or an allergy attack, such as one triggered by specific food, you may experience increased intensity due to low blood sugar levels. These situations involve heightened stress responses, leading to the release of serotonin and histamine.

Surprisingly, sugar might just be the first aid solution you need during a migraine or an allergy attack. Consuming something sweet, like ice cream or orange juice, can provide immediate relief.

Moreover, caffeine has been shown to be effective in counteracting the effects of histamine and serotonin. For an even more potent remedy, consider combining sugar and caffeine - for example, a sweetened coffee or a soda like Coke. This combination can potentially provide more significant relief during a migraine or allergy attack. However, it's essential to note that this is just one approach, and individuals may respond differently to varying treatments.

3. Reducing stress levels

Stress is perceived by the body as a need for sugar. In times of stress, the body's cortisol levels rise, and it craves sugar and fat. Consuming fructose has been shown to reduce stress levels by lowering cortisol. Further, fructose consumption has been found to reduce pain in both newborns and adults by influencing various nerve systems and acting as an analgesic agent.

What is the best type of sugar?

There are so many types of sugar out there, from table sugar to brown sugar. But which one should you consume when you have sugar cravings?

Fructose, a component of common sugars like sucrose, faced neglect as a therapeutic medium after insulin's discovery in 1922. It re-emerged in the 1950s, thanks to new manufacturing methods, and gained popularity in diabetic diets. However, with the cholesterol-based theory of heart disease on the rise, fructose came under scrutiny for its role in the formation of "bad lipids" in the blood. This belief evolved into a near-cult following, with sugar and fructose blamed for obesity, diabetes, and its related health complications.

The truth is fructose is a versatile sugar that can bypass the fatty acids' inhibition of glucose metabolism to be oxidized when glucose cannot, even under stress. It has special functions in reproduction and plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of energy levels during pregnancy. Additionally, fructose is beneficial in protecting against oxidative damage by maintaining or restoring the cell's redox balance.

Fructose has shown potential in treating shock, surgical stress, and infection and improving metabolic rates in obese patients. Its metabolite, fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, is also an effective antioxidant.

Can the right diet substitute for thyroid hormone replacement therapy

Implementing a balanced diet and including natural sugars like fructose is important. However, dietary changes can only provide support. They're not a substitute for the required thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

Thyroid hormone replacement therapy plays a crucial role in managing hypothyroidism, ensuring that the body maintains its optimal functioning. There are two main options when it comes to thyroid hormone replacement therapy: synthetic and natural.

The standard medication for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine, a synthetic hormone replacement medication containing only the T4 (thyroxine) hormone. In the US, the most popular brand names for levothyroxine are Synthroid and Levoxyl. While it's widely prescribed and effective for most individuals, there are cases where patients don't respond well to levothyroxine or experience undesirable side effects. In such situations, natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) might be a more suitable choice.

NDT is a thyroid hormone replacement derived from the desiccated thyroid glands of pigs. This natural treatment contains T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 hormones, as well as additional elements like T1, T2, and calcitonin, which may provide extra health benefits for some individuals.

The primary advantage of choosing NDT over levothyroxine is that it offers a more holistic approach to hormone replacement. And for many patients, it delivers a better level of symptom relief.

A wide range of NDT brands is available, including NP Thyroid, WP Thyroid, and Armour Thyroid. However, the downside of NDT is that they can be hard to find. The good news is that you can buy desiccated thyroid online without a prescription in the form of a supplement. One great option is VitaliThy, a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online. Like Armour Thyroid, VitaliThy is made of desiccated pig thyroid glands. Moreover, this NDT supplement is free from lactose, gluten, fish, shellfish, and eggs, as well as artificial coloring and flavoring.

Conclusion: Sugar may have some benefits

Understanding the relationship between sugar and thyroid function is crucial when managing hypothyroidism. While sugar, and particularly fructose, does have some notable benefits, it's essential to consume it in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Keep in mind that diet alone cannot replace thyroid hormone replacement therapy required for optimal health. Exploring the different treatment options, such as VitaliThy, a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online, can help individuals in making an informed decision best suited to their specific needs. Ultimately, staying well-informed and working closely with healthcare providers will ensure the most effective approach to managing hypothyroidism.

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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