Sucrose: Dangerous Poison or Plain Table Sugar?

The answer is clearly “plain table sugar”. I’ll explain why in a little bit. But let me first show you an anti-vaccine rant about sucrose (emphases mine):

“Here is the promised Sucrose information. It can also be found in the notes section.
Sucrose:Material Safety Data Sheet:http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927285 

The first thing I want to point out is that the MSDS is for the safe handling of large quantities of the chemical. It would be seen in a binder on the floor of a manufacturing plant, storage facility and anywhere it may come in contact with humans working with it. As we can see, this MSDS was updated on 6/09/2012 at 12:00pm. This is important information to note. One must always be sure the MSDS you find is up to date. 

I am NOT going to break down each section of the MSDS. However, I am going to point out Section 3 and 4. As we can see it has a listing of acute and chronic health effects and the first aid required for acute exposure.

The acute affects make it dangerous for skin and eyes to come in contact with it, as well as an indication that ingestion would be unwise. Treating acute exposure is covered in Section 4 of the MSDS. The chronic affects would be difficult to pin down to exclusive exposure to this chemical. We do see it has carcinogenic effects label of A4.

Here are 2 websites that break down the classes of carcinogenicity:

http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/iupacglossary/annex3.html

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/occup-travail/whmis-simdut/carcinogenesis-carcinogenese-eng.php

It is important to note that “Not classifiable as a human carcinogen” often means the government has not conducted definitive studies to rule one way or the other. Although we are seeing many independent university studies regarding this specific chemical.

All one has to do is Google “dangers of sucrose” and you will be bombarded with many health sites, such as livestrong.com, telling of the danger this artificial sweetener poses. I want to present studies though. There have been none in recent years to determine whether long term exposure to sucrose would cause permanent damage to the human body. At least none that I could find.

(Please, if you have links to the study summary in PubMed, post them!)

Here is what I did find:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9519848 – This relates to a study done with rats and dogs, but it was a short study. Because I am not a chemist nor a biologist, I’m not sure how this translates to humans consumption. This is an older study and I could find nothing newer.

One more, and it is from 1998. It shows no long term affects:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9519849I am not going to report things that don’t exist. However, the MSDS shows definite hazards to being exposed to the chemical in the event of a spill. Again, if you have links to the specific studies I keep seeing mentioned, post them or message them so I can update the notes section and my own records.

Carrie 

**Later today I will address the next 3 ingredients and post it to notes and the wall. Thank you.”

Of course she’s not a chemist or biologist. If she was, she would know what sucrose is.

There are these chemicals called sugars. They consist of carbons attached to hydrogen and oxygen. If they have six carbons, they are “hexoses”. “Hex” is the prefix for “six”. If they have five carbons, they are “pentoses”, with “pent” being the prefix for five. Human beings take in these hexoses and pentoses and break them down via chemical reactions. These chemical reactions produce energy. Our cells then use that energy to grow and multiply, repair themselves, and just, you know, live.

You are warm right now because you are actively breaking down these sugars and the reactions produce heat.

You’ve probably heard of “glucose”. It’s the sugar in your blood right now. It’s a hexose, and it packs quite a punch when it comes to energy. The energy is stored in the bonds between the carbons. Break those bonds, and you release a ton of energy.

You’ve probably also heard of “fructose”. It is the sugar in plants. We have glucose, and plants have fructose. We consume fructose when we eat fruits and vegetables. Some have more fructose than others. “High fructose corn syrup” is a corn product (corn has fructose) that has been refined to contain the most fructose possible. It’s super sweet because it has a lot of sugar in it. Fructose, a pentose hexose, is a sugar.

Still with me?

Here is a picture of glucose:

Note the six carbons are labeled 1-6.

Now, here is a picture of fructose:

They’re not labeled, but there are five six carbons there.

Now, let’s talk sucrose.

The reason why that anti-vaccine person is demonizing sucrose is because it is contained in some vaccines. If it is in a vaccine, then either the devil defecated it or aliens produced it. That is to say that anti-vaccine people think that everything inside a vaccine vial is absolute evil and/or not of this world.

But here is why the government has never tested sucrose for toxicity. Check out the picture of sucrose:

Look familiar?

That’s right, dear reader! Sucrose is glucose put together with fructose. It’s also known as table sugar. It’s the white powder that you use to sweeten your coffee or your muffins. Pineapples and apricots produce sucrose as the main sugar. When you eat sucrose, an enzyme in your gut breaks it apart into glucose and fructose. Then these are absorbed into the bloodstream and metabolized.

When you are injected with sucrose, or you are given it by IV as part of a medical therapy, a similar enzyme breaks it apart in your circulation. Then your metabolism takes over.

“But wait, she said it could be a carcinogen?” Tumors (large groups of cancer cells) also need energy. They’re cells! So a well-fed person who eats plenty of refined sugar and has cancer is only feeding those cells. It’s not a cancer-cause as much as it is a cancer-collaborator.

So don’t fear sucrose. It’s not evil. It’s delicious.

Then again, fear it a little bit if you’re overweight or a diabetic… Or both.

PS: Would you like the government to spend millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours to study table sugar?

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17 thoughts on “Sucrose: Dangerous Poison or Plain Table Sugar?

  1. @SkepticalRaptor, as I recall, sucrose typically isn't absorbed by the intestine. It has to be cleaved by sucrase before it can be absorbed.Hence, the body absorbs the fructose and glucose. If I recall the desiccating properties correctly, it's fairly close at an LD50 level to sodium chloride in causing toxic effects due to hypertonic effects in the GI tract. Of course, the amount required to be toxic is a ludicrous amount and emesis would typically remove the offending amount of sucrose or sodium chloride from the stomach before it became a significant issue. I've been chuckling since I discovered this article (courtesy of Science Mom mentioning it), as I use these "toxic substances" in many vaccines on a regular basis at home.I use that evil sucrose, hyper evil sodium chloride on meat, along with some toxins.Like allicin and piperine (contained in garlic and black pepper). The result, beef jerky.But then, one creature's toxins are another's creature's spices. 😉

  2. I posted a comment but doesn't seem to have gone through. Reuben, Just the Vax is doing a "Toxin Gambit" series and we would love to re-post this (with link back of course and verbatim). It's amazing what these people think are 'toxins'.

  3. Drats! I wish I would have known beforehand. I love to take on the Daschel-bot. It's too easy. Infuriating, but easy.Please feel free to drop a comment next time you need back-up. I'm always around.

  4. I must be sooooo evil; I'm up to date with all my immunizations.BTW Reuben, Someone *I know* went slumming at that notorious anti-vax blog and found the Media Editor bot bragging about her spamming a column that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, and asking for assistance. That certain *someone* went posting back at the bot.Suddenly, all the bot's posts were removed, but all the comments directed at the bot remain (check newest to oldest comments):http://www.sfgate.com/health/articleComments/Parents-can-t-sue-vaccine-manufacturers-3894230.phpIt's not too late to join the conversation Reuben.I *wonder* if the emails flying backing forth between me and the columnist at the SF Chronicle had any impact.

  5. I read this thinking 'Thats funny, It's almost like she doesn't know what sucrose is.' It didn't even occur to me that she really didn't – how is that even possible? This is just scary.

  6. More and more people are blaming cancer on sugar, from what I've been reading and seeing on the interwebs. They point to the bad outcomes from it in diabetics. Diabetes = high sugar = bad outcomes with cancer.Of course, if they read up on confounding anywhere, they'd know why their view is a little askew.Anyway, I tried to reason with the person who wrote this, and one of her minions deleted my post and banned me from their FB page. All the better. I would have only gotten in trouble.

  7. There is no way that sucrose could be carcinogenic, since it's half-life in blood probably could be measured in minutes or seconds, as it is metabolized quickly, as you mentioned. And I wonder if the author of that screed even understands "carcinogenicity?"This is why science is so complicated to these science amateurs. They don't understand this stuff, because they don't bother to figure out the basics.

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