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The Science of Sugars, Part 4: Sugars and Other Health Issues

Schorin, Marilyn D. PhD, RD, FADA; Sollid, Kris RD; Edge, Marianne Smith MS, RD, LD, FADA; Bouchoux, Ann MSW

doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e318244201e
Feature Article

Sugars are a key dietary component. In fact, the central nervous system (ie, the brain) contains cells that have an absolute requirement for the sugar glucose. In addition to the glucose requirement, sugars are also consumed for their pleasant taste and ease of digestion. The role of sugars in dental health, behavior, and mental and physical performance has been studied. All fermentable carbohydrates, including sugars, contribute to the etiology of tooth decay, but dental researchers who recommend tooth decay prevention efforts also focus on factors other than sugar intake that may have a greater impact, such as good dental hygiene routines that include regular toothbrushing and use of fluoride toothpaste. Numerous scientific studies have failed to support the theory that sugar consumption leads to hyperactivity in children. However, research does support a positive link between sugar consumption and cognitive ability, particularly in the elderly and those with memory impairment, although more research is needed.

The examination of sugars continues with a look at some health issues

Marilyn D. Schorin, PhD, RD, FADA, is principal of Schorin Strategies, LLC, in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr Schorin gained extensive experience in scientific, health, and nutrition strategies with more than 20 years working on food and nutrition issues. She currently advises a wide variety of Fortune 500 corporations, identifying emerging nutrition issues and combining communications and regulatory plans to address these topics.

Kris Sollid, RD, is the manager of nutrients at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the IFIC Foundation in Washington, DC (http://http://www.foodinsight.org). He is a registered dietitian dedicated to communicating science-based nutrition information to consumers, health professionals, and other message multipliers that correspond directly with consumers.

Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, is the senior vice president of nutrition and food safety at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the IFIC Foundation in Washington, DC (http://http://www.foodinsight.org). She is a registered dietitian, experienced communicator, strategic planner, and facilitator with more than 25 years of experience working in the healthcare and food industries. Marianne’s expertise includes strategic positioning of nutritional products/services and nutrition communications, and she is a nationally recognized speaker in health, wellness, and farm-to-table issues.

Ann Bouchoux, MSW, is the senior director of nutrients at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) in Washington, DC, and editor of Food Insight newsletter for the IFIC Foundation (http://http://www.foodinsight.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of effectively communicating science-based information on health, nutrition, and food safety for the public good.

Dr. Schorin has disclosed that she is a consultant for the American Beverage Association. All other authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Kris Sollid, RD, International Food Information Council, 1100 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 430, Washington, DC 20036 (sollid@ific.org).

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.