Do you feel down and out of strength? Eat sugars ... how many times have we heard this advice. Still, the reality seems a little different. Yes, because while on the one hand sugars are essential for our body to perform the basic functions of life, on the other, an excess of sugars can even take away energy and make us feel tired. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research published in Cell Reports by an American team (Waldhart et al, Cell Reports, 2021).
The two faces of glucose
Glucose is the main source of energy used by the cells of our body to carry out their functions. Therefore, glucose, if within the parameters considered normal, is essential to life. The problem, however, is when glucose levels rise excessively, for example due to an unbalanced diet and a sedentary lifestyle. High levels of glucose, and therefore of blood sugar, open the way, in the long run, to diabetes, causing cardiovascular damage and in general damages to all organs of the body. But that's not all. High glucose levels can make us feel even more tired, as evidenced by the research we are talking about today.
Too much sugar and less energy
Researchers have analyzed what happens in the mitochondria when the cell is exposed to too high levels of glucose. Mitochondria are cellular organs responsible for producing energy for the cell. This action occurs in the presence of glucose. But if the diet brings too much sugar and / or we lead an inactive lifestyle, there is a risk that glucose then accumulates in excess in the cells and changes in the cellular structure can be observed. In fact, excess glucose modifies the mitochondrial membrane itself by reducing the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and making the mitochondria less efficient in their function as cellular energy producers. Not only that, polyunsaturated fatty acids also play an essential role in other processes such as cellular communication and the regulation of inflammation levels and blood pressure.
A healthy lifestyle
As indicated by the authors of the study themselves, the body is very receptive to these changes and it may be that, in the presence of excessive amounts of glucose, we can often feel more tired. But there is good news. In fact, the researchers were even able to reverse this effect thanks to a low-sugar diet. Therefore, a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle that includes moderate physical activity are the basis of a healthy and full of energy body.