We like it sweet

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Just now, many will be starting the New Year with well-intended resolutions, especially if they might have overindulged in hot punch, Christmas biscuits and pretty looking treats.

Chocolate is of course good for body and soul! In moderation, chocolate can protect against cardiovascular conditions, stroke, blood clots or cholesterol. Chocolate combined with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom or chili also has a positive effect on the human body [1].

A look at the sugar content of any food ingredient , or snack between meals, shows just how quickly the maximum intake of 50g of sugar per day as recommended by specialist bodies for nutrition (DGE), diabetes (DDG) and obesity (DAG), and defined on the basis of various studies as a specific upper limit for avoidance of diabetes or obesity in the long term, can be exceeded [2].

It is now widely known that overconsumption of sugar can lead to excess weight or obesity in the long term, including in association with numerous comorbidities and secondary diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and degenerative joint diseases. The resulting medical costs run into to billions.

Similarly, some studies [3/4/5] have already examined the relationship between diabetes and the risk of Covid-19 disease. These showed that diabetics were at greater risk of developing a serious case of Covid-19 than the control group.

Another blinded cross-over intervention study with dextrose (glucose) and retail sugar (sucrose) by a group of researchers from Vienna and Munich examined the possibility of eliminating the sugar taste [6]. 27 healthy men aged between 18 and 45 participating as test subjects received either a pure 10% (w/v, % by weight) glucose or sucrose solution or one of these two sugar solutions with an additional 60 ppm lactisole. Lactisole is a substance that binds to a subunit of the sweetness receptor and causes this to be perceived less strongly in taste. Notwithstanding the different sugar types, all test solutions, with and without lactisole, had the same energy content. Two hours later at breakfast, the participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. The result was that the group with subdued sweetness perception ate more than the control group: After consuming the lactisole-containing sucrose solution, the participants absorbed approx. 13 percent more food energy from breakfast – i.e. approx. 100 kilocalories more than after drinking the sucrose solution without lactisole. This equates to approximately 1 bar of milk chocolate in additional energy.

Further research is therefore needed to clarify complex correlations between sugar consumption, taste receptors and appetite regulation at the molecular level [7].

So, while sugar may be filling, it comes with a warning that the "global epidemic", as the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) calls the worldwide spread of diabetes, is currently becoming one of the biggest health problems in the world with around 425 million affected individuals or 8.8 percent of the world's population rising to approximately 548.4 million people by 2045. World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2020 also called for the increased early detection of diabetes [9].

<link shop.gbo.com/en/row/products/preanalytics/venous-blood-collection/vacuette-tube/glucose/fc-mix/ - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">VACUETTE® FC Mix Tubes</link>

The breakdown of glucose (glycolysis) in venous blood samples affects the preanalytical phase in the tube up until determination of the glucose concentration. Greiner Bio-One has a solution to stop the breakdown of glucose in venous blood samples immediately after blood collection. Addition of a citrate buffer to the mixture of sodium fluoride and EDTA in the tube stabilizes the in-vivo concentration of glucose in the sample directly after blood collection. [10]


[1] <link www.experto.de/praxistipps/warum-schokolade-gut-fuer-koerper-und-seele-ist.html. - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">Why chocolate is good for body and soul - experto.de</link>

[2] <link www.aerztezeitung.de/Medizin/So-viel-Zucker-pro-Tag-darfs-sein-254183.html - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">This is how much sugar you are allowed per day (aerztezeitung.de)</link>

[3] J. Hartmann-Boyce, E. Morris, C. Goyder, J. Kinton, J. Perring, D. Nunan, K. Mahtani, J. B. Buse, S. Del Prato, L. Ji, R. Roussel, K. Khunti, Are patients with hypertension and diabetes mellitus at increased risk for COVID-19 infection? www.thelancet.com/respiratory. Vol 8, April 2020

[4] L. Fang, G. Karakiulakis, M Roth, Diabetes and COVID-19: Risks, Management, and Learnings From Other National Disasters Diabetes Care 2020;43:1695–1703 | doi.org/10.2337/dc20-11.Diabetes Care Volume 43, August 2020

[5] <link apps.derstandard.at/privacywall/story/2000121674114/fatale-kombination-diabetes-und-covid-19 - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">Fatal combination: Diabetes and Covid-19 - derStandard.at</link>

[6] Schweiger K et al.: <link www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/10/3133 - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">Sweet Taste Antagonist Lactisole Administered in combination with Sucrose, but Not Glucose, Increases Energy Intake and Decreases Peripheral Serotonin in Male Subjects</link>, Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3133; DOI: 10.3390/nu12103133

[7] <link www.laborpraxis.vogel.de/zuckersuesse-entdeckung-weniger-essen-durch-suessgeschmack-a-983248/ - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">Sugar sweetness discovery - do we eat less food if it tastes sweet? (vogel.de)</link>

[8] <link de.statista.com/themen/262/diabetes/ - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">Diabetes statistics | Statista</link>

[9] <link www.diabetesde.org/pressemitteilung/weltdiabetestag-1411-weltweit-dramatische-zunahme-diabeteserkrankungen - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">World Diabetes Day 14/11: Worldwide dramatic increase in diabetic diseases | diabetesDE - Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe</link>

[10] <link file:16157>Greiner Bio One, VACUETTE® FC Mix Tube Brochure</link>


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