Sugar, Stress, and Fat, Oh My!

Sugar helps keep cortisol levels high. YUCK!

The brain will make it’s own cortisol, about 1/3 of the body’s total cortisol amount. Each brain cell can make cortisol within the cell, actually stemming from the genetic compartment of the nucleus where the DNA lives.

Cortisol in is anti-inflammatory…. just think of prednisone, a corticosteroid medication, it is just synthetic cortisol. When we burn sugar for fuel it produces 50 times more free radicals than when we burn fat. The increase and constant exposure of free radicals contributes to oxidative stress (rust so to speak) and that leads to cellular inflammation.

Chronic cortisol exposure from sugar burning or stress leads cortisol to gang up with insulin and increases insulin resistance keeping circulating blood sugar high and compounding the issue and adding to many more chronic disease states.

Here is the real kicker….since this happens inside the cell your blood levels and saliva levels (where they check for high cortisol) may not reflect this issue.

Even worse is that intracellular raised cortisol levels can increase an enzyme that opens the door for fat gain and builds resistance to losing fat. Couple that with high insulin levels from Insulin Resistance and weight gain is inevitable and very hard to lose.

This is a simple attempt to describe a complex process, so my suggestion to reduce your sugar/grain intake to help off-set this cascade of health and weight issues is an oversimplified one, but an effective first step nonetheless.

There really is no way around it, refined sugar and grains are simply bad for us, beware!

Dr. Don

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