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Sugar vs cocaine

Updated on April 18, 2013

Are you drugging your kids?

Sugar has been compared to cocaine, this is buzzar right, well not really! because there are some similarity which is quiet worrying....

Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything you always wanted to know about nutrition says,

“White refined sugar-is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22O11.The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4, .......For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom.”

If we look at the definition of a drug "any absorbable substance that changes or enhances any physical or psychological function in the body"
So when you consume sugar, how do you feel? do you feel a boost of energy? Do you feel hyperactive? Does it change your mood? But this is not evident enough to say sugar is a drug, what about if you are addicted to it? Would that resemble a drug more? Try to go a week without sugar; remember sugar is in the majority of processed foods from cheese spreads to your Bolognese sauce. If you have patterns of compulsion where you crave something sweet, and have no control for your urges and you will stop at nothing to get your next fix, then you may be dependent, the trouble is sugar is everywhere and very available, which means getting your next fix is too easy and the fact you probably have a stash of goodies in your cupboard, this makes it nearly impossible to determine you are addicted because you always have a constant supply, only when you dismiss access or you try to quit sugar you notice you NEED IT.

Supposedly sugar is one atom away from cocaine, sugar comes from sugar cane or beet, its sugar juices are chemically extracted, separated and processed to the point that all nutritional value are stripped, which means sugar becomes purified and turns into sucrose or C12H22011. Cocaine is processed the same way as sugar except its from the coca plant, which is not a drug in its whole form and has been used for thousand of years by the indigenous people of the Andes for health benefits, only after it has been stripped of all nutritional value and altered by man the coca plant becomes cocaine or C17H21NO4. As we can see that sugar is only missing the nitrate atom (N) the other numbers and letters just determine how many carbon bonds (C) and hydrogen bonds (H) there are.

So eating refined sugar spikes the blood sugar levels, the body then has to flood the blood with insulin and other hormones to bring the sugar levels back down to normal, this causes a crash and makes many people crave yet more sugar, which leads to a cycle of binging. Repeated consumptions of sugar disrupts the normal functions, exhausts and disturbs the finely balanced process of insulin secretion and glucose absorption; to make matters worse refined sugar has no nutritional value, and can actually withdraw on the body's own reserve of vitamins and minerals therefore affecting the endocrine system opening a gateway of possible pathological condition.
Well there must be some benefits of sugar otherwise why is it used for so many products? is it because it cheap and addictive and once your a consumer they got you for life? That another story....

So what do we know about refined sugar:

  • Sugar destroys a person health
  • Disrupts normal brain function
  • Fuels cancer
  • Linked to diabetes
  • Linked to obesity
  • Promotes heart disease

Are all sugars the same

In brief, yes! if they are not in there whole form, they will affect the body in a negative way because they will have no or minimal nutrient, although some sugars are worse because they are metabolized by the body differently, this is the major difference in sugar as well as how they are processed, although glucose another form of sugar is essential to life as it fuels the brain and is responsible for many cellular activities, this to can cause very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) i.e bad cholesterol, but don't worry to much because 80% of glucose is used by the organs and the remaining is used by the liver and this is where the VLDL are synthesized but only 1 calorie in every 100 will be harmful. Fructose is solely metabolized in the liver thus causing an abundance of problems, which is why it is important to consume in its whole form as it is partnered with fiber and other essential nutrients to counteract any negative effect from fructose. So guessing that means fruit juice is a NO NO!!! Sucrose is 50% fructose and 50% glucose this two are both monosaccharide but combined they turn into a disaccharide, Sucrose is an unusual disaccharide because of the way it is processed

Do you really think it is wise giving these products to your children, blood sugar imbalances and deficiencies of nutrients will affect behavior and mood making your job as a parent even harder, so the importance of a good breakfast like boiled eggs and not process cereal flakes high in sugar is a wiser choice. I think it's fair to say sugar is the villain, it gets you hooked and it slowly destroys you internally, but to be fair it does taste great, but its not worth dying for.


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      4 years ago

      This is complete drivel.

      To say that the difference between cocaine and sucrose is one nitrogen atom and the rest of molecular formula 'just determines how carbon bonds there are' shows an astonishing ignorance of chemistry and biochemistry.

      There are many groups of molecules that have the same molecular formula. What distinguishes each molecule is how its atoms are arranged and connected to each other. This determines the molecule's chemical properties.

      If you don't get this, google cocaine and sucrose and look at how each molecule is depicted. Notice that the distinguishing feature of sucrose, as with all sugars, is the number and orientation of OH or hydroxy groups arranged spacially around a 6 or 5 member end ring.

      Compare this to cocaine which in comparison contains no hydroxy groups at all.

      The addition of a different atom, such as nitrogen, can introduce a remarkably different set of chemical properties.

      How any given molecule reacts in our bodies or how it is metabolised is determined by these chemical properties.

      Despite the difference of 'just one nitrogen atom', cocaine and sucrose will travel to different parts of the body and will interact with different receptors, leading to the vastly different response our bodies display to each molecule.

      This is not to say that both molecules can't be highly addictive or harmful if taken in excess, they just do it in different ways.

      And another thing, how foods or drugs are extracted from their source won't have much bearing on their chemical properties. The fact that two things are extracted in broadly similar ways doesn't make them the same.

      What will be the same is the cocaine in the coca plant and the cocaine once it's been extracted. Just as the sucrose in the cane is the same as the sucrose in the sugar cube. One is not 'more natural' than the other.


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