Sugar Nation

Former Men's Health editor, Jeff O'Connell, has just released his new book, Sugar Nation.

Back in 2009, Jeff contacted me to obtain some background insights into diabetes and its relationship with diet. He recently sent me a copy of his new book that contains some brief quotes from me.

Jeff is a writer, not a physician nor scientist. But I think that you will find his grasp of diabetes and the nutritional and lifestyle events that led him there far exceed the insights held by most practicing physicians. Like many of us, Jeff discovered how to find his way back from pre-diabetes through lessons he had to learn on his own, but not from his doctor.

Jeff tells this story as reporter, son of an estranged diabetic father with whom he reconnects as he approaches the end of his life, and as fellow sufferer of the pre-diabetic/diabetic mess that modern habits and "official" dietary advice have given us. Jeff's book is worth a read to see yet another dimension of the human stories that are emerging from this incredible nutritional tangle we find ourselves in.

Here's a unique YouTube video about Jeff's story.

Comments (10) -

  • Vladimir

    8/11/2011 3:23:39 AM |

    I read Jeff's article, if I'm not mistaken, a while back.  They served his father, dying of diabetes and reactive hypoglycemia, orange juice and toast in the hospital, if this is the same author.  The article was gripping, and I'm sure the book will be too!

  • Richard A.

    8/11/2011 4:33:20 AM |

    It looks like we in the US are leaders in lower extremity amputations from diabetes--

  • cancerclasses

    8/11/2011 6:47:29 PM |

    EFA researcher Brian Peskin in his book "The Hidden Story of Cancer" says it's common practice in chemotherapy treatment centers to give cancer patients cookies, candies, sweets & fruit juices for energy.  But since cancers & systemic fungus operate by glycolysis, the fermentation of sugars, the carbs actually just feed the cancers the massive amounts of sugars they need to grow & proliferate. The level of ignorance in health care & many practitioners is downright criminal.

  • Dave

    8/11/2011 7:30:06 PM |

    I too had to find my own way out of pre-diabetes. I still have normal blood sugar and insulin levels after 5 years. It's so sad that conventional wisdom and the ADA won't teach it. But, the ADA gets millions from drug companies, and there's no money curing diabetes with good food...

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    8/12/2011 5:50:00 AM |

    Hi cancerclasses,
    For tumor cells to shift to aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect) the isoform splicing of Pyruvate Kinase M2 has to be activated; this M2 isoform is what we normally use during embryonic development and influences how body's glucose directs downstream pyruvate to go. As adults we have the M1 pyruvate kinase form; and in experiments with cancer cells that replaced M2 with M1 pyruvate kinase isoform the Warburg effect in that cell is stopped (as evidenced by decreased lactate output and greater oxygen useage).
    See decade of published research from H.R. Chriatofk.

    As for limiting glucose to reverse cancer, there likely is a limit to how effective that is all by itself;  this seems to currently be implicated as an adjunct to other treatments.
    For an excellent  2010  comprehensive technical detail review see http://
    Also, see decade of published research from E. Gottlieb

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    8/12/2011 6:55:11 AM |

    Hi Doctor Davis,
    Server blocked me where relevant so finally writing this here:
    I think your wife's athletic competitiveness may benefit from brown rice Amazake; I have data for a low and double dose. High brown rice Amazake  dose took my fasting blood sugar of 96 in 1st 15 min to 120, and in 1st hour to 117; but then every 15 min. back up to 125, 134, 120 and by 2nd hour to 139 (note:  was sedentary during 2 hour test span) .  A lower by half  dose of brown rice Amazake had blood sugar declining steadily after 2nd hour to finish only 1 point above fasting blood glucose reading.

    I take this to indicate that a reasonable dose of  brown rice Amazake provides not only the initial spike in glucose,  but  that after 1 hour the brown rice Amazake remnant molecules in the intestines are still being metabolized by gut bacteria . My surmise is there is enhanced ability of gut bacteria to utilize the brown rice Amazake substrate results resulting in a progressive absorption of energy by the body ; since this seemingly is still going on in significant amounts well into the 2nd hour post-prandial (ex: 2 hour glucose of 139 is highest  of any earlier readings, even compared to initial blood glucose from amylose rush ).  Thus brown rice Amazake may be an ideal way for a performance athlete to benefit from their need for carbohydrates,  either in training or possibly even during competition; I  will discuss Amazake more if you  want.

  • Dr. William Davis

    8/12/2011 6:19:40 PM |

    HI, Might--
    Nice thought. Thanks.
    My wife and her triathlon friends do indeed struggle to find reasonable high-carb fuel sources for their extended workouts. The bananas and sweet potato thing gets a bit old, and many of them have reactions to Goo, or try to avoid fructose sources, or have reactions to components like maltodextrin.

  • Miriam

    8/23/2011 5:27:43 PM |

    Oh I agree there is very poor education about heart disease and diabetes but you need to use your own common sense too. Maybe I should say your mental health needs to be monitored more carefully too. Like for instance, my mother in law caved into a depression, quit exercising and  started eating 3 cartons of icecream a week! I am not joking here at all. Now she is not only diabetic but due to complications from the diabetes, she has end stage heart failure and even with the best heart rate monitor her life may be extended due to constant monitoring but we all know what the end result will be. But the sad thing is, when she has been hospitalized she was given sugary foods while they knew of her diabetes!!!

  • Robin

    8/26/2011 4:10:34 PM |

    Look: I think the blogess wrote this poem just for you...

    There once was a girl from Nantucket,
    Who bought Imperial Sugar by the bucket.
    She scarfed candies and sweeties,
    ‘Til she got diabetes.
    Then she lost both her legs and said, “F*ck it”.