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Diets High in Glucose Lead to Shorter Lifespan

Monday, January 28, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: glucose, lifespan, health news

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(NewsTarget) Restricting worms' intake of glucose led to a lifespan increase of up to 20 percent in a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Jena, Germany.

"If the findings in worms hold for humans, it suggests that, in healthy people, glucose may have negative effects on lifespan," researcher Michael Ristow said.

The researchers used a chemical intervention to interfere with the worms' ability to make use of glucose. According to the scientists, this put the worms' bodies into a metabolic state similar to that experienced by a human with limited glucose consumption. The researchers then removed all glucose from the animals' diets.

The lifespans of the worms who had glucose removed from their diets ended up being 20 percent longer than the lifespans of worms that were still consuming glucose.

According to Ristow, consumers in the United Kingdom and the United States get approximately 15 to 20 percent of their daily calories from added sugars, which always break down to produce glucose.

According to a recent survey conducted by Datamonitor, consumers in both the United States and Europe are increasingly concerned with the ingredients in their food, including sugar. Out of 5,000 people surveyed, 68 percent said that they considered it important to reduce their sugar intake, and 64 percent said that they considered it important to reduce their calorie consumption.

More than 50 percent of the respondents said that they had checked the nutritional labels of packaged foods more regularly in 2006 than in previous years -- 58 percent in the United States, 60 percent in the United Kingdom, 57 percent in Spain and 54 percent in Italy.

Glucose is a critical source of energy for the human body, and the brain's primary source of energy. However, the body is capable of acquiring all the glucose it needs from a balanced diet containing complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.

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