Sex and Sugar
Scientists have long been trying to understand sugar’s effects on the body. When in 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg discovered the correlation between sugar fermentation and cancer, the news rocked the scientific world. But such revelations were not enough to dissuade the public from enjoying sugar as treat and meal. Sugar consumption has risen drastically since the 1930s, and we are paying the price for it now.
The price that most of you probably didn’t anticipate was your sex drive, performance, and sex-related hormone levels.
The Trouble in Our Sex Hormones
No one has to tell you how important testosterone and estrogen are. It’s part of what makes up the difference in men and women. Dr. Geoffrey Hammond and researchers at the Child and Family Research institute in Vancouver Canada conducted their studies and discovered that sugar transforms in the liver as the liver becomes inundated with glucose and fructose. The sugar then changes into lipids, which, when produced in excess, turn off the sex hormone binding globulin gene, also known as SHGB.
This gene produces proteins which bind to our sex hormones and whisk them off into the bloodstream. Remember, only the hormones that escape without these proteins can actually enter the cells and become active. But that is not necessarily a good thing. The body uses production of SHGB to help control the release of estrogen and testosterone. Too much sugar means that greater amounts and the wrong balance of these hormones can then get through and start affecting the body.
What Does a SHGB Imbalance Mean For You?
Having the improper balance, in other words too much estrogen and testosterone can be as bad as having too little. In some instances, the result can be quite similar. Here’s just a sample of the way that this can affect you:
- Loss of sex drive
- Decreased energy
- Increased risk of polycystic conditions in women
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Uterine cancer in women
- Possibly prostate cancer in men
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- Infertility or sterility
- Facial hair in women
- Decreased testicular size in men
Scientists and physicians are still studying the wide range of effects that this can have on your body. What makes it particularly dangerous is that this is in conjunction with an excess of sugar, which already causes issues for our bodies.
Eating too much sugar then can become even more dangerous for you if you are also struggling with an imbalance of sex hormones. In most cases, folks struggling with this go to the doctor, get a prescription, and take their pills. But generally, they don’t address the root of the problem. The medications may help control some of the primary side effects of too much sugar and a lack of SHGB, but it does not prevent the damage happening to your liver at that moment and beyond.
Action Steps for Saving Your Sex Drive (and your Liver)
Your first temptation might be to reach for the pill bottle or look for a magic solution, but the only real long term solution is to start reducing the sugar in your diet. That extends to both naturally and artificially occurring sources.
Speaking from experience, I can tell you that the incredible difference you’ll feel when you stop consuming sugar more than compensates for any inconvenience or cravings.
Water is also essential for helping to flush the additional sugars out without causing harm to your liver. And, if you struggle with hormonal imbalances, you should avoid soda religiously! The carbonation combined with high sugar and high fructose corn syrup do enough damage on their own to take blood off pavement. Imagine what they do to your liver.
Hopefully, with some small (but serious) life changes, you too can see the fireworks back to the grand finale once more.
“Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg: The Cause of Cancer,” Health Resolution Revolution: Freedom From Chronic Disease http://michael2108.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/nobel-peace-prize-winner-dr-otto-heinrich-warburg-the-cause-of-cancer/ (Apr. 3, 2010).
“Too Much Sugar Turns Off Gene That Controls The Effects of Sex Steroids: New Research Supports Advance to Eat Complex Carbs and Avoid Sugar,” Child and Family Research Institute, http://www.cfri.ca/PDF/media/CFRI_JCI_Hammond_Nov8.pdf (Nov. 8, 2007).
Isabelle de Los Rios, “Five Foods You Should Never Eat,” Diet Solutions, http://www.thedietsolutionprogram.com/5-foods-to-never-eat?hop=drtremba (2012).