It was Dr. Robert Lustig’s talk, “Sugar, the bitter truth” that first really scared me on this topic. He explains how fructose is metabolised in the body. It never crossed my mind the parallels between orange juice and alcohol until I learned how similarly they are metabolised by the liver. Yikes! That really put me off juice. He describes how ethanol is processed by the liver. He explains the dyslipidemia mechanism of ethanol metabolism in the liver (fatty liver) and how it also leads to insulin resistance. Then he goes on to explain what happens then in the case of fructose and how we digest for example juice. Only the liver can process fructose. In doing so it creates uric acid; a waste product that causes gout and hypertension. Uric acid blocks the enzyme that makes nitric oxide – your endogenous blood pressure lowering mechanism. Hence sugar beverages, yep including your morning OJ, actually increases your systolic blood pressure. Oops. He says that 30% of the fructose you ingest is converted to fat in your liver. In his words, “a high sugar diet is a high fat diet”. This the the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis of sugar consumption and ultimately your liver becomes insulin resistance too. The more insulin resistance you become, the less able your brain is to see your leptin (your satiety signal). Insulin blocks leptin’s signal. Your brain thinks you are starving! This is why sugar makes you feel more hungry. Well, I’m not sure how funny this cartoon is but at least George is honest! Here is the link to the University of California Television (UCTV) talk by Dr. Robert Lustig.