How did sugarmakers try to deceive humans for half a century.
About 50 years ago, the sugar industry stopped financing research that began to reveal facts that you want to hide, including that the intake of sugar is linked to heart disease.
A new study reveals the efforts made by the sugar industry decades ago, to stop and hide this embarrassing research.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed historical documents on the study of mice, known as Project 259, which was launched in 1968.
The study was funded by the Sugar Industry Trade Group called the International Sugar Research Foundation (ISRF), under the supervision of W. F. F. Pover at the University of Birmingham.
When initial results began to show that eating too much sugar could lead to heart disease, and even bladder cancer, ISRF withdrew funding for research. With no funding, the study was terminated and the results were never published, according to a study published in PLOS Biology.
Last year, according to internal industry documents, the same group of researchers found that ISRF (later known as the Sugar Research Foundation) also funded Harvard scientists in the 1960s to disguise the relationship between sugar and heart disease, prompting them to blame saturated fats.
The present study adds to the earlier evidence that the sugar industry has helped to steer the general trend away from the potential negative health effects of the consumption of added sugars by funding research.
"If Project 259 has already been published, it will provide a general scientific debate on the association of heart disease with diabetes," said Stanton Glanter, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. "But preventing it has helped to disrupt this study for a long time."
Research on the health effects of certain foods is crucial, as it helps formulate federal food guidelines, which recommend that Americans follow a health system in order to prevent disease.
But nutrition science is sometimes influenced by industry groups that have an interest in the results: in 2015, the New York Times reported that Coca-Cola had prompted scientists to distract everyone from the relationship between sugary soda and obesity. Last year, the Associated Press showed that sugar or confectionery makers also funded false research. One study found that children who ate sweets were less likely to be overweight than those who did not.
Industry-funded research suggests the results are often in line with the interests of sponsors or sponsors, said Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University who wrote a book on the issue. The same applies to pharmaceutical companies, known for their suppression of research leading to unfavorable results.
The study examined the relationship between sugars and triglycerides in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease. Preliminary results in the "Project 259" study indicated that mice with a high-sugar diet had higher levels of triglycerides.
It should also be noted that mice that ate a lot of sugar, suffered from higher levels of beta-glucuronidase in the urine, where it was believed at the time that it is linked to bladder cancer.
However, after financing the research for 27 months, the International Sugar Research Foundation stopped its support, so the study was not terminated and the results were never published, according to the researchers.
It is impossible to say whether these early results can be confirmed. Today, we know that eating plenty of added sugars in soft drinks and sweets increases the risk of dying from heart disease. However, there is no good evidence that glucose is linked to bladder cancer in humans, according to Harvard epidemiology and nutrition professor Walter Willett, who did not participate in the research.
However, the initial results at that time were interesting enough to warrant further research.