I know you know refined sugar is bad… right? Tooth decay diabetes heart disease and all. But did you know it can zap your love life?
I just read a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation showing that high levels of glucose and fructose can deactivate the gene that controls the amount of sex hormones in your blood.1
This study revealed that when glucose and fructose are metabolized by the liver it deactivates the SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) gene. Why is SHBG so important? It regulates the amounts of testosterone and estrogen floating around in your bloodstream.
Without SHBG to regulate those hormones, your sex hormones go out of whack…which in men can lead to impotence and low libido. For women the effects are worse—in addition to diabetes (which can also significantly decrease a woman’s libido), low SHBG levels can cause infertility, polycystic ovaries, acne and uterine cancer.1 2
If you’re going to take control of your sexual health, one of the first things you can do is avoid sugar. And the easiest way to immediately cut your sugar intake is to ditch the soft drinks, juices and anything with fructose. You’ll see fructose labeled as HFCS or “high fructose corn syrup”.
My recommendation? Drink water instead. I try to drink only purified water, because anything else will probably contain chemicals that will also put your sexual health at risk.
If you’re tempted to use artificial sweeteners…don’t. Stay away from any and all products containing chemical artificial sweeteners as they can also create health problems. Instead, use Stevia, an all-natural sweetener that’s been used for hundreds of years with no side effects. You can use it to sweeten tea, lemonade and even food–it’s about eight times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way.
To satisfy a sweet tooth, eat naturally sweet fruit instead of candies or pastries. Cherries are great since they have a low glycemic index. And don’t buy or keep sugary foods in your house. If they’re not in your house, you won’t be tempted to eat them.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1 Selva D, Hogeveen K, Innis S, Hammond G. “Monosaccharide-induced lipogenesis regulates the human hepatic sex hormone–binding globulin gene”, J. Clin. Invest. 117:3979-3987 doi:10.1172/JCI32249.
2 Laaksonen DE, Niskanen L, Punnonen K; et al. Testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin predict the metabolic syndrome and diabetes in middle-aged men. Diabetes Care. 2004;27(5):1036-1041.