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Study shows “safe” levels of sugar to be toxic in mice

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Posted at 10:17 AM, Aug 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-14 10:17:39-04

Sugar was found to be toxic for mice, even in levels that would equal a “safe” diet for human consumption, researchers announced Tuesday.

A group at the University of Utah looked at how sugar affected mice and found that with the mouse equivalent of three cans of soda daily, or 25 percent extra sugar, female mice died at twice the normal rate and males were a quarter less likely to hold territory and reproduce.

“Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian health,” the researchers say.

The study’s senior author, biology professor Wayne Potts, says, “Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian health.

Currently, the National Research Council recommends that added sugar should not account for more than 25 percent of a person’s diet. That doesn’t include the sugar that’s naturally in fruits, vegetables or other non-processed food. Thirteen to 25 percent of Americans consume a dose of added sugar equivalent to that used in the study, Potts said.

Despite the added sugar, the mice didn’t become obese or demonstrate significant metabolic symptoms. Those effects the researchers did see, however, were just as harmful to the mice’s health as being the inbred offspring of two cousins.