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  #1   ^
Old Mon, Aug-13-18, 15:12
BillyHW's Avatar
BillyHW BillyHW is offline
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Default Sugar Alcohols vs. Fructose

(We need a forum just for discussing scientific questions people bring up. It doesn't seem to really fit into either the Research/Media forums, or the War Zone.)

So recently I've been researching on the harmful metabolic effects of fructose, like how it can lead to fatty liver and insulin resistance etc. Part of this is because it needs to be processed by the liver (unlike glucose). Large amounts of concentrated, quickly digested fructose are relatively new to the human diet. The problems with fructose metabolism are a relatively recent scientific discovery.

Fructose is also a low glycemic sweetener, but because of all the above issues with fructose-consumption, no one touts fructose as a healthy sweetener any more.

This left me wondering about sugar alcohols. They are touted as low-carb friendly because of their low glycemic index. But do they need to be processed by the liver, and can they cause similar damage to fructose? They are also relatively new to the human diet, at least in any significant quantities.

How are the various sugar alcohols processed by the body? What is the current state of the science on these and can we be sure they are safe over the long term?

I don't want to learn 20 years from now that, oops, eryrhtritol is actually ten times worse than fructose.
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Aug-13-18, 15:38
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Interesting question.

Frustose--- is a sugar. Pure sugar. FOr the glycemic index , glucose is used as the base line. And while fructose needs to be processed to get it to glucose, it is still pure sugar. Just in case anyone thinks with a 19 on the GI it is a reasonable choice for a low carber.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Aug-13-18, 20:59
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JLx JLx is offline
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Plan: Eat less, less often
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My understanding is that sugar alcohols, to varying degrees, pass through the intestinal tract without being absorbed.

Glycemic Index of Sweeteners

Stevia Glycerite = 0
Swerve = 0
Erythritol = 0
Allulose = 1
Yacon = 1
Xylitol = 7
Maple Syrup = 54
Honey = 62
Table Sugar = 68
Splenda = 80
HFCS = 87

http://mariamindbodyhealth.com/guid...ral-sweeteners/

(Wow, Maria is looking thin these days. In that one pic you can see her ribcage in the v-neck of her tank top, which is hanging on her.)
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Aug-13-18, 21:57
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Here's an interesting review of how various sweeteners impact one's blood glucose. Enjoy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYfqvTZWilw
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Aug-13-18, 23:45
BillyHW's Avatar
BillyHW BillyHW is offline
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Plan: Keto + IF
Stats: 260/300/165 Male 5' 6"
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Right, but I'm less interested in how they impact glucose, as I am how they are metabolized and if they are safe, or if they are dangerous like fructose.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Aug-14-18, 06:44
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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Plan: Atkins-ish (hypoglycemia)
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Apparently sorbitol can be converted in the body to fructose:





I would imagine it's possible for other sugar alcohols to do the same.
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  #7   ^
Old Tue, Aug-14-18, 10:25
BillyHW's Avatar
BillyHW BillyHW is offline
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Plan: Keto + IF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calianna
Apparently sorbitol can be converted in the body to fructose:





I would imagine it's possible for other sugar alcohols to do the same.


Interesting. I wonder what percentage of the Sorbitol ingested does this. If it's 1%, probably not important. If it's 50+%, I'd be wary. But also the process may be slow. The liver can probably handle slow fructose like in whole fruit, which doesn't appear to be a problem compared to fast fructose like in Coke or Juice.
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Aug-14-18, 11:16
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyHW
Right, but I'm less interested in how they impact glucose, as I am how they are metabolized and if they are safe, or if they are dangerous like fructose.

BG impact has merit, as this would indicate that those having greater BG impact are dangerous at some level. The sweeteners with the least BG impact are some that I will consume. Considering liquid stevia has no added ingredients, that's the one I go with on those rare occasions that I use a sweetener. If you're worried about the danger of sweeteners, you can choose not to use them. All sweeteners that are overused including honey, agave, stevia, molasses, and other "naturally occurring sweeteners" have the potential to cause damage. The first thing I decided when I went low carb was to eliminate even low carb recipes that simulated what I ate with a high-carb WOE, and that included any low carb desserts or breads or whatever. I rarely crave sweets due to this decision, so I rarely use sweeteners of any kind, as I now find many things that are sweet to be unrewarding. YMMV.
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  #9   ^
Old Tue, Aug-14-18, 15:12
BillyHW's Avatar
BillyHW BillyHW is offline
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Plan: Keto + IF
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Not saying BG impact doesn't have merit, because it certainly does. But on that basis alone fructose would be good too.

Plus, the BG impact is already known pretty well. It's the other long-term effects that are not well understood yet.
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  #10   ^
Old Tue, Aug-14-18, 15:31
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
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Understood and agree.

There are very few studies that have been designed to show the influences of AS and NS (natural sweeteners) in the areas that are of most interest to those on LCHF. I don't consume any AS, as I believe nothing is known about long-term effects, so I choose not to gamble.
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  #11   ^
Old Tue, Aug-14-18, 16:47
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s93uv3h s93uv3h is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyHW
I don't want to learn 20 years from now that, oops, eryrhtritol is actually ten times worse than fructose.
^ there's your answer right there.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov search results
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  #12   ^
Old Tue, Aug-14-18, 16:59
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Better the devil you know. A few examples. Butter vs margarine. Which one do we know, if we believe they're both bad? Lard vs Crisco. Salt vs whatever other substitute. Sugar vs substitutes. Meat vs soycrap. Milk vs soycrap. Fresh vs processed. Fresh meat vs processed meat. Bacon vs bacon bits, you know the ones that come in a box with a list of ingredients. Home cooking vs restaurant.

So, do we know fructose? Maybe, but we certainly don't know fake sugars.

When it comes to long-term information, if we don't have that in the form of modern recent scientific experiments, we can instead use common sense as a fair substitute. So, as a species, it's how long we've been eating it, and how much.

Then, we're talking about sweeteners, we put that stuff on something else. And we're talking about two processed sweeteners. And we're talking about two processed sweeteners that are added to other processed foods that contain a list of processed ingredients. Basically, we're arguing whether filtered or non-filtered cigarettes are the best, when it's obvious to anybody that neither is good.

After we've figured out all the above, let's look at the real question. What kind of crap did we already decide to put in our mouths, that we're now faced with a choice between highly processed pure fructose and highly processed fake sugar, just to make that crap palatable?

Does this whole line of questioning fit even a little bit the big idea of low-carb friendliness? I mean, Dude, if you gonna put crap in your mouth, you're a long way from the question of good vs bad for ya.
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  #13   ^
Old Tue, Aug-14-18, 17:55
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
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Billy, I stay away from fructose as well for the same reasons, but if you're wondering, fructose in large doses is a bad actor as well. It's the wonderful, hard to track other half of sucrose or the dominant party in HFCS, a wonderful concoction for any means other than supporting human health. I'm speaking as a reformed carb addict who was addicted to sweet substances before seeing the light, and I'm not referring to Crystal Light . . .
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  #14   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 11:35
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyHW
Interesting. I wonder what percentage of the Sorbitol ingested does this. If it's 1%, probably not important. If it's 50+%, I'd be wary. But also the process may be slow. The liver can probably handle slow fructose like in whole fruit, which doesn't appear to be a problem compared to fast fructose like in Coke or Juice.



I found that image based on the image (in the link in JLx's post) near the top of that page, which showed that apples have sorbitol in them which converts to fructose, and that the sorbitol also exists in the leaves, and converts into fructose in those too - one assumes they were apple leaves.



Anyhow, if apple leaves have naturally occurring sugar alcohol in them, and apples also have sorbitol, then I expect that all fruits and veggies must have it to some degree, including greens such as spinach. I wasn't able to find any information to confirm that, and the image I posted was the simplest one showing a link between sorbitol and fructose, but it seems that it still requires glucose and sorbitol to start the conversion. The image doesn't really show how this happens, whether any great degree of sorbitol conversion needs an outside source of sorbitol or if it's naturally occurring in large enough quantities in vegetation to be significant.



Someone with a lot more scientific knowledge than I have would need to dig around to figure that out - I was stuck at that point, because I don't know any scientific search terms to go any further with it.
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  #15   ^
Old Wed, Aug-15-18, 17:57
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s93uv3h s93uv3h is offline
 
Plan: Atkins & IF
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