September 10, 2018

Podcast

#14 – Robert Lustig, M.D., M.S.L.: fructose, processed food, NAFLD, and changing the food system

"Neurons like to be tickled, not bludgeoned." —Rob Lustig

Read Time 22 minutes

In this episode, Rob Lustig — a researcher, an expert in fructose metabolism, and a former pediatric endocrinologist — discusses what’s wrong with the current food environment, and what we can do to reduce our chances of becoming part of the obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) epidemics. Rob recently earned a Master of Studies in Law because he believes that educating people about sugar from a scientific standpoint is only half the equation: the other half involves changing policy, which he explains in this episode.

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We discuss:

  • What’s the difference between glucose and fructose? [7:00];
  • Do we have biomarkers that can give us some indication of average exposure to fructose over a given period of time? [14:20];
  • What’s the difference between ALT and AST? [18:45];
  • Inflammation, endothelial function, and uric acid [21:30];
  • Is there something that fructose does better than glucose? [23:45];
  • For children that undergo a remarkable shift from metabolic health to metabolic derangement, is there a concern that these kids suffer an epigenetic hit that makes it harder for them later in life? [26:15];
  • How many times do you have to introduce a savory food vs a sugary food to an infant before they will accept it? [29:30];
  • How are alcohol and fructose similar in how they affect the brain? [33:51];
  • Advice for parents and kids for creating a sustainable environment that’s going to prevent them from running into metabolic problems [40:30];
  • Why do some populations have a higher risk of NAFLD? [45:42];
  • What causes NAFLD? [48:45];
  • Is insulin resistance the result of NAFLD or is NAFLD the result of insulin resistance? [56:00];
  • HRV, cortisol, and norepinephrine [1:00:30];
  • What are the actual mechanisms that links metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes? [1:03:00];
  • Is the food industry still saying that all calories contribute equally to adiposity and insulin resistance? [1:09:00];
  • What is the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber and why do you need both? [1:13:00];
  • How can we change the food system when 10 companies control almost 90 percent of the Calories we consume in the US? [1:15:00]; and
  • More.
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Robert Lustig, M.D., M.S.L.

Robert H. Lustig, M.D., M.S.L. is Professor emeritus of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He specializes in the field of neuroendocrinology, with an emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. His research and clinical practice has focused on childhood obesity and diabetes. Dr. Lustig holds a Bachelor’s in Science from MIT, a Doctorate in Medicine from Cornell University. Medical College, and a Master’s of Studies in Law from U.C. Hastings College of the Law.

Dr. Lustig has fostered a global discussion of metabolic health and nutrition, exposing some of the leading myths that underlie the current pandemic of diet-related disease. He believes the food business, by pushing processed food loaded with sugar, has hacked our bodies and minds to pursue pleasure instead of happiness; fostering today’s epidemics of addiction and depression. Yet by focusing on real food, we can beat the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity, and disease. [robertlustig.com]

Disclaimer: This blog is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this blog or materials linked from this blog is at the user's own risk. The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have, and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.
  1. I must say I’m a bit awestruck that no one has commented on this podcast. I’ve listened to nearly all the podcasts here and found this one to be one of the more exceptional ones. I’m a medical student and still have 4 pages of notes from this short podcast.! I’m bummed Dr. Lustig had to go. I feel like this could have been an epic multipart podcast with the likes of Dr. Walker and Dr. Dayspring. Hope he comes back for a long round 2!

    Thanks for all that you do Dr. Attia. Fingers crossed I can get in touch with you one of these days to become a patient.

  2. I agree, I listened to this one several times. As a parent it was enormously reassuring to hear that real food takes twice the money and twice the time, and also to hear in detail why it’s worth it. Great explanation of fatty liver.

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