Sugar pouring into cup

Sugar: the age drug

In Health and Nutrition by LivingNowLeave a Comment

“Let us first understand the facts, and then we may seek the cause.”

What is the ‘fact’ of ‘ageing’? Collins Dictionary says it’s ‘the process of growing old’ or ‘developing the appearance of old age’. So a person who, for whatever reason at all, starts to ‘look’ old, must be ageing. Hmm. Surely ageing is a bit more specific than just ‘growing old’ or ‘developing the appearance of old age’. Ageing, I suggest, is the process of decay that occurs as we grow chronologically older. It is the constant process that may accelerate, may pause, but never stops. It is therefore a state of motion, like a car rolling downhill. We are the car; the downward motion is ageing, and a reverse action is required to it to slow it down. We push the car uphill. We attempt to ‘reverse’ its downward motion. So ‘reverse ageing’ is the slowing down of ageing. It is the reduction – or delay – of the actual process or ‘motion’ of ageing.

With apology to Collins Dictionary, to describe ageing as ‘the process of growing old’ is about as useful as a parking ticket. It describes the obvious, but it doesn’t describe what ageing is.

We all know ageing is decay. It’s what we fear; decay of tissues, reduction in bone strength, dehydration and degradation of the cartilage, degradation of the waste management systems, the blood, the lymph, the kidney, the liver, the skin…

But what is it that causes decay? M. Carroll, a French scientist, once isolated tissue from a chicken’s heart. By constantly replenishing it with clean interstitial fluid and nutrition, he was able to keep the tissue alive for 26 years. It only died when his lab assistant took a smoko and forgot to change the nutrient solution.

The conclusion is obvious; keep our innards clean and away from waste material and we may live indefinitely – or at least until the cosmic lab assistant takes a smoko.

So we can more correctly define ageing as what happens when we are allowed to rot, rust, oxidise and degenerate through exposure to our own wastes. This is exactly what happens to us as we get older. We are exposed, through excessive life and diet habits, to an excess of acidic waste products. Acid burns, rusts and rots anything it touches.

Our foods, predominantly composed of carbon and oxygen, are ‘cooked’ by our cells to produce our energy. The ‘ash’ of this cooking is almost completely acid waste, and it is this acid waste that rots us.

Changing our excessively acid inner terrain to a balanced alkaline one, the same as it was for our ancestors, ‘reverses’ the ‘rot rate’. Amazingly, it is illegal to advertise this obvious science because we have no double blind peer reviewed studies to support the theory.

So let’s quickly recap. To reverse ageing isn’t to suddenly get pimples and smooth skinned, wrinkle free and sexy. It is to work against the seemingly inevitable momentum of degradation of our body and if successful, to slow down or temporarily halt that momentum.

We have witnessed many, many hundreds of people who acted to stem the acid ageing tide. They have reported all sorts of beneficial health changes, and of course, any beneficial health change is, obviously, a reversal of deterioration or ‘ageing’. But is it common knowledge – or limited to the privileged or more curious few?

We are in an epidemic that has overtaken 120 million Americans and is now sweeping Australia. In 1991 ageing – in the form of obesity – killed 325,000 Americans – eight times the number who died of AIDS, and more than the combined deaths from alcohol, drugs, firearms, and motor vehicles.

Obesity is ageing. Let’s look at the reasons. “Fat” says Dr Robert O. Young, author of The pH Miracle “is not the problem.” The problem, according to him, is acid, in the many forms it takes, but particularly in the form of that sinister, insidious yet highly respectable hard drug called sugar. Gaining fat ages you. It’s simple science.

But haven’t you ever wondered about all those obese people who complain bitterly that they really don’t eat a lot of fat? There’s a big secret that every giant food manufacturer wants to keep from you. It isn’t fat that ages you. It is acid. Fat may even be a friend in need. But wait a minute! Didn’t I just say gaining fat ages you? Yes, but why do you gain fat?

When our body becomes over acidic and is threatened with accelerated ageing due to our modern lifestyle, consumption and stress, the body uses fat to bind to the acid to neutralises its effects on all other cells, tissues and organs that sustain life.

When you eat sugar, it ferments to lactic acid. If lactic acid is not neutralised it does what all acid will do. It burns, rusts and rots healthy cells, leading to disease, decay and ageing. In its infinite wisdom, our body retrieves fat from our food or from our own body to protect us from acid, the real ageing agent. Surrounding the acid with fat neutralises its attack power.

The body’s self-management system is a powerful anti-ageing weapon. It is always in full ‘preservation’ or ‘reverse ageing’ mode. Acid bound in fat can be now eliminated – or if elimination is compromised because of our poor kidney and liver health, (an extremely common modern health condition) it is stored in the extremities or away from the organs that sustain life. Acid-binding fat accumulates in all those places the slimming ads tell us we need to reduce. We save our vital organs by stashing acid in fat!

Seen as evil by a corporate marketing machine, fat can be re-visioned as an anti-ageing tool. The more acidic your lifestyle, the fatter you will become. So to reverse or slow ageing, fat must perform its chosen task. You become fatter because your body is trying to survive an extended acid trip. The less acidic your lifestyle and diet the thinner – and biologically younger (less ageing)– you will be.

Are over-thin people healthier than fat people? Not necessarily. Fat people are generally healthier than over-thin people because their fat is providing a place to park all their acids. If acids are not eliminated in a thinner person they do what acid does; breaking down (ageing) tissues, muscles, bones and organs causing an array of symptomologies. Do you know someone who is underweight who can eat everything and anything and not gain weight? This may reflect a serious problem because the fat buffering system of the body is not working properly. ‘Underweight’ and ‘overweight’ are two sides of the same coin and can simply be a result of over-acidity.

Is everyone at risk? I am sure there are some Westerners somewhere who are not, but I haven’t met one yet. The modern dilemma of acid management is all about stress. Dr Theodore Baroody published an excellent chart of foods that acidify or alkalise. He called it the 80/20 chart and a cursory glance will show that it is just not easy to eat enough alkali-producing foods in the right proportion. However, assuming you achieve this, then the second over-riding problem is stress. Stress will cancel out all your best dietary efforts in a moment, turning alkaline-producing foods into acid. Stress is a modern problem, particularly because it is overlaid on an increasingly acid-rich, alkali-starved diet.

Socially, it is also increasingly ‘important’ that we don’t show stress. “Peace brother”, the catch-cry of the seventies, has come back to haunt us as repressed stress manifests as acid waste in the body. We are truly what we think, as our emotions are chemically translated into actual body mass. The Shaolin monks of China, the Dalai Lama and other spiritual leaders are more alkaline and healthy because they observe daily practices of stress control through meditation – their practices have a direct chemical benefit in their bodies.

What did you have for breakfast? Was it cereal? Milk? Yoghurt, oatmeal, an orange or apple juice? All of these foods metabolise to sugar, increase metabolic acids and cause your body to go into the reverse ageing mode, binding acid to fat. Acid levels are expressed as obesity. Don’t blame your body for using fat to save your life. Blame your life choices.

I mentioned earlier that sugar is a drug. One result of addiction will be hyper- and hypo-glycemia. A drug compels people to increase consumption. Sugar isn’t the sort of drug that, like cigarettes, carries a government warning. You can buy sacks of it off the shelf if you so desire. Yet the drug-like results are obvious; diabetes, hypertension in children, and antisocial behaviour.

A UK study found direct correlation between over consumption of sugar and arteriosclerosis and heart attacks. The UK Heart Foundations website has wonderful statistics that show heart disease by socio-economic, age and racial groupings. One thing stands out; that beer and soft drinkers are loading up on sugar and dying in droves. I am at the moment compiling statistics for all countries I can find data for, to study and confirm this correlation, but it is too obvious. American kids now derive more energy from their ‘sodas’ than from their food. Alcoholics regularly substitute beer for food because the sugar is readily available.

Low fat foods, the trend of the decade, also mask a sinister surprise. When you reduce fat, you also reduce flavour. When you reduce flavour, you reduce sales. The answer? Increase sugar, reduce fat.

A University of Pennsylvania study confirmed that that by giving sugar to patients, blood fats increase. It concluded that a person ingesting more than 120 g of sugar a day is more than five times likely to develop myocardial infarction as someone taking less than 60 g a day.

If we were to graph the increase in diabetes and the increase in sugar consumption we would see an almost perfect correlation. A century ago one person in 100 had diabetes. Today it is one in 12. If we look at drugs as something we want and crave and consume as much as we are able, it’s a sobering thought to realise that we consume around 170 grams every day; a massive seven kilos a year. The drug pushers are not found in the street or down an alley; they are found in our supermarkets with their new weapon; low fat foods.

We are starting our kids early these days. A visit to the local fast food joint, a candy bar, a cola that is 100,000 times more acidic than their blood to give them a hit of the ‘real thing’, pasta, potatoes, buttery corn – it’s so easy when the drug pushers have a drive-through.

I mentioned earlier that fat/acid are stored in the body when the liver or kidneys are not capable of eliminating it. The liver is a filter. The toxins that we manufacture within the body include gastrointestinal, metabolic, respiratory and cellular metabolic acids.

Yet on top of all that, we guzzle acid with coffee, tea, beer, wine, and colas, and still expect the liver to fulfill its part in reversing ageing – under a veritable tsunami of acids.

Of course the liver degenerates! It was designed in prehistory and it is being used like a horse on a freeway. It has a maximum capacity and we’ve reached it. When homeostasis detects the liver in pain, it switches the job of acid elimination to the kidneys, which in turn can lead to dysfunction through overload. Finally, the acid will seep out of our last post of detoxification, that massive organ we call the skin. We see it in the form of acne, blemishes, rashes, eczema, or psoriasis. Yet people with the most terrible forms of disfiguring eczema experience a complete turnaround just by becoming more alkaline.

Guess what our kids ingest when they try a smoke behind the schoolhouse? Nicotine? Of course. Sugar? Yes, sugar, the latest weapon in the tobacco corporation’s armoury of sales-producing drugs. Tobacco is now fermented with sugar and yeast during the drying process of the tobacco leaves. When our kids try to give up, they face a combined whammy of nicotine and sugar craving. Smoking increases blood sugar. Blood sugar converts to acid. Acid causes fat retention, which causes ageing. Ageing causes death. Acid also breaks down insulin-producing alpha and beta cells, precipitating the risk of pancreatic cancer as localised acids breaks down the pancreas’ alkaline production ability.

Acid is a wonderful meat tenderiser. It is the acid in barbecue sauce that tenderises steak. So imagine the effect it has on vital organs like the heart. Much heart disease is the result of the heart muscle turning to mush as sugars breakdown to acids tenderising the heart. Under live blood microscopy acid crystals look and act like shards of glass in the blood, scraping and cutting as they endlessly circulate. The body answers this by combining cholesterol with free calcium to produce the plaque that slowly chokes our blood flow from our heart.

If we were able to closely examine an arthritic joint, we would see micro-calcifications of calcium. This is the calcium that should be used for bone building, diverted by the body to attempt to reverse ageing of an acid-ravaged joint. Calcium also builds up in the brain in dementia or Parkinson’s, in the breasts in breast cancer, and in the liver or gallbladder, as in liver and gall stones.

Reverse ageing exposes many scientific half-truths, because as we change from acid to alkaline, all manner of beneficial changes begin. Reverse ageing lowers our cholesterol, yet increasing acid levels through lifestyle and diet increases cholesterol. Low density lipoproteins (LDLs) – is yet another form of fat that binds to systemic acids. When the body fluids – especially the blood – is acidic, the body goes into preservation mode and creates LDLs out of fat to bind to acids in the blood. Intravascular coagulation (premature clotting of the blood) follows, causing circulation problems, oxygen deprivation, cellular breakdown, and further acidity, even perhaps culminating in arteriosclerosis, stroke and/or heart attack.

Perhaps the most telling proof that fat is not the ageing villain it has been portrayed as can be found in study of other cultures.

In the Vasalian Alps in Switzerland, people share a diet high in satured fat and cholersterol, yet they have low serum cholesterol and excellent cardio-health. The Samburu, the Somalis and the Masai in East Africa eat as high as 65% fat yet are almost free from heart disease. The Lancet (1981) published a study of Greenlandic Eskimos, showing extremely low incidence of arteriosclerotic heart disease, including coronary arterial disease. Not one case of diabetes mellitus has been reported in the population of Greenlandic Uhanak district. Yet these people are Eskimo, meaning, in their own language, “raw meat eaters”. Their diet is very high in the fats from whale, seal, seabirds, halibut and salmon.

A comparative study of two groups of people living in close proximity lends a further clue. In Polynesia, the diet, body-build, blood pressure, and serum cholesterol levels of the traditional-following Atiu and Mitiaro were compared with their Westernised Rarotongan neighbours. The Atiu-Mitiaro people live on a diet low in calories and protein but rich in the highly saturated coconut fat. The Rarotongans consume more, but comparatively little, coconut fat. It was found that 25% of the male Rarotongans suffered hypertension, as compared to only 10% of the Atiu-Mitiaro males. Serum cholesterol levels of the saturated coconut fat-eating Atiu-Mitiaro males were as high as European males, yet no tendency to coronary heart disease was discovered. Obviously, adults of different ethnicity on a high fat, high cholesterol, high caloric diet, can remain free of cardiovascular disorders.

My own research supports the conclusion that a diet low in sugar will be low in acid. It will preserve the pH balance of body fluids, maintaining cellular health and integrity. The amount of fat or cholesterol consumed appears relatively inconsequential. Your fat is like a ‘renta-store’ and the acid you create is what you choose to store. The more you have to store, the more ‘renta-store’ you need to pay for. Taking care of your liver with clean alkaline foods and drinks and eating lots of good healthy fat from sources such as avocado, coconut and olive oil, flax, borage, primrose and marine oils can definitely fall within our definition of reverse ageing.

Fat burns cleaner than sugar. Our inner fluids are purer, our liver is stronger and less stressed. Our pancreas will be able to take a break from constant sugar metabolism and begin healing itself!

However we do it, the realisation that ageing as we have explored it here can be reversed is liberating in the extreme.

The only problem we all face is coming to terms with the fact that we may actually already be sugar and acid addicts. Once we face this, however, for the sake of our own future, our loved ones and this wonderful country that is going to have to support our indulgence and its inevitable result – we can make the decision to alkalise, detox, drop the habit, and reverse ageing.


Ian Blair Hamilton is the creator of Conscious Aging workshops. He is also Managing Director of Ion Life, suppliers of ionised water and air systems.

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