Does many years of fructose permanently damage your ability to know/feel satiety soon enough and does it permanently impact other bodily regulations?

by (45) Updated October 19, 2010 at 4:46 AM Created October 18, 2010 at 7:45 PM

After watching that video by Dr. Lustig "The Bitter Truth" and after being on this diet for about a month. It seems like I wonder if we are eating too much and don't know when to stop. Robb says to eat to satiety and no calorie counting or measuring really and depending on self regulation. But I feel like we get full rather than satiated and our bodies do not know the difference until it is too late.

Seriously I think it is hard to know when to stop when you have eaten a certain way for many decades like we have. We are eating slower for sure but I do wonder if our sensors are fried when it comes to satiety and full. If the pancreas can be impacted by too much sweetners and diabetes takes over then why wouldn't other functions also be permanently impacted like the ability to know when to stop? Certainly rats have proven then can't stop eating sugar stuff in labs when tested.

Which leads me to this question. When I read about how fructose stores fat in muscles which is not good and turns off our natural ability to stop eating when full, it makes me wonder if there is some food connection to Fibromyalgia. My muscles tire easily and are extremely painful. Could foods such as fructose that like to store fat or whatever into muscles caused a short in muscles ability to regulate pain? If it can short out our pancreas what else can it fry?

I had been to a joke of a seminar at Kaiser Permanente for their Fibromyalgia patients about 3 yrs back. They didn't know what to do with us so they put us in a large conference room which we filled easily and handed out bibliography in hopes of sending us off on wild goose chases to keep us out of doctors waiting rooms. I like many women were upset at the presentation and lack of services they offered patience for this condition. Out of desperation and frustration this one women spoke up and said hey look around this room, we are all women and we are all heavy, this must mean something. Kaiser liked to hand out drugs and track this as pain management issues but since being on this diet my pain has decreased and they never talked to us about maybe a Paleo diet to reduce pain.

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3 Replies

20469 · October 19, 2010 at 4:46 AM

I don't think the prob is unregulated access to food. I think the prob is what type of food. Even in the paleo, there were surely successful tribes that got all the food they needed for long periods, knew how to store food, etc, especially in lush tropical regions, and this was long before game was hunted out by human overpopulation. Overeating to the state of overfatness is not normal, food or no food.

Also, I think most people in the modern world still fill satiation. You can't eat all day. YOu get full. YOu get to where you don't want any more right now. You can't eat 3 steaks or 5 bags of potato chips at one sitting. You get satiated. THe problem is that the point at which you get satiated is skewed towards either a bit or a lot more food than you should be eating.

So the question for most is not if you can get satiated but how do you set the satiation point back to a more natural point. Paleo helps a lot for a lot of people. And part of the reason some of this might seem 'permanent' is because we are still only guessing at exactly what goes wrong and how to fix it. We don't understand all the chemical processes. I would guess that somewhere down the line, we will probably eventually gain a much better understanding of how to reset and rejuvenite all these skewed metabolisms. But right, now, we don't have much recourse other than paleo and fingers crossed.

15334 · October 18, 2010 at 8:30 PM

I should have thought that the harm was from fructose causing fat to be stored in the liver rather than in the muscle. On a fat-burning metabolism I can't imagine anything harmful about having fat stored in the muscle; intra-muscular fat is how we should fuel all but the most intense of our activity. Indeed intra-muscular fat is typically recognised as a good thing, compared to visceral or abdominal fat (c.f. the role of lipoprotein lipase described here). Of course on a standard high carb diet, build-up of fat in the muscles (or anywhere) is viewed as a pathological sign, but that's basically nonsense if you think that fat is our cells' default energy source. So I'd be surprised if buildup of fat in the muscles was the cause of pain.

Fructose can also turn off leptin signalling and interfere with ghrelin (reducing satiety), as you say, but I was under the impression that this was temporary. Hence if fructose is to cause people to gain weight, overeat etc over the long term, rather than just in the post-prandial period a couple of hours after eating, then I'd point the finger at fatty liver rather than anything else. These effects would be potentially permanent, i.e. they wouldn't go away if you don't do anything about the fatty liver, but fatty liver can be reversed. How long it takes is an open question but there are multiple cases of people successfully doing so through basic adjustments to diet.

24343 · October 18, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Deanne--I've been a pain clinic patient for a while now, and also a paleo practitioner for a while. In that time, I've formulated some stupid theories about nutrition and pain. But here's one that makes sense with regards to fructose.

  • Acute pain is natural, but chronic pain is a dysregulation of the feedback system of bodily sensing. The sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system is ramped up in modern man because of many reasons--long work hours, lack of sunshine, etc. BUT...there's one thing I don't hear about very often. If you have unlimited access to foods that over time dysregulate your ability to eat to satiety, that may cause you to be in a "souped-up" physical state more often than is natural. This state may predisposition some to have increased pain sensation, when coupled with a relative lack of movement.

  • The main constituent of this "souped-up" state that I worry about is an overexcited brain wave pattern characterized by rushes of dopamine, which can happen very easily on a high sugar diet (I think). I would be interested in a study measuring Substance P (a fibromyalgia culprit) before and after a bolus of sugar.

  • This theory is probably out there in some book, but it came to me one day as I was cheating and eating a box of donuts. While paleo hasn't calmed my pain, I don't disregard time as a factor--having a certain hormonal milieu for 30 years won't be corrected in 30 days, or even 30 weeks. (Or so I tell myself!)

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