HISTORY: Sugar and Obesity
The relationship between sugar consumption and obesity has been observed for centuries. However, only recently have we started to understand the connecting biology and biochemistry. Obesity and Gout (severe arthritis caused by very high uric acid levels) were both regarded as the "Rich" man's disease in the middle ages.
Beginning in the 17th century an increase in obesity in England was noted to coincide with the consumption of imported cane sugar harvested from the Americas.
In the 1960's the food industry discovered that high fructose corn syrup was an efficient and cost saving alternative to cane sugar. Not surprisingly, the US incidence of obesity accelerated further.
Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
Obesity, diabetes, mild hypertension and elevated fats in the blood constitute a syndrome physicians refer to as the Metabolic Syndrome. Currently, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in three adults in the USA has metabolic syndrome and one in five children.
What is Uric Acid and Where does it come from?
Uric acid is an end product or Metabolism. Famously, excess uric acid leads to a painful arthritic condition called Gout.
One of the most important sources (molecules) of energy in the Body is a molecule called ATP. ATP is a Purine. Purines are also one of the building blocks of DNA. As we use ATP for energy the end product is Uric Acid.
There are also sources of purines from food. Beer contains an abundance of purines. However the most surprising source of Uric acid is from sugar!
Sugar and Uric Acid
The connection between sugar and uric acid was discovered through a series of studies including basic biochemistry and clinical physiology.
Table sugar or sucrose is actually made up of two sugars, fructose and glucose. In turns out that fructose metabolism in our cells leads directly to the production of uric acid.
Uric Acid Shuts Off The Metabolic Switch
An important observation is that uric acid disables AMPK leading to an increasing storage of fat , high blood pressure and diabetes:
The Metabolic Syndrome. Studies that treated patients with uric acid lowering medication such as Allopurinol, showed a normalization of lipids, glucose, blood pressure and weight.
Hundreds of studies published in the scientific literature now support this idea.
Origin of the Obesity Epidemic: The Lost Gene
Humans and primates are known to have the highest blood levels of Uric acid and are generally the only mammals that suffer from metabolic syndrome in such high percentages.
The origin of this observation is interesting. 15 million years ago our biological ancestors lost the gene that maintains lowered uric acid levels.
The resulting higher level of uric acid permitted our biological ancestors, who were largely fruit eaters, to survive long periods of famine by quickly and efficiently storing fat.
In the mid and late 20th century when food and in particular sugar became abundant, the high uric levels we have was no longer a survival advantage but a pathway to heart and metabolic disease.
Cherries: A Natural Solution
Given the relationship between uric acid, obesity and the various metabolic problems that follow, we sought out a natural solution that could help the large number of vulnerable people at risk or already diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
For centuries Chinese and later European physicians used cherries to treat gout. Gout being a very painful arthritis attack initiated by high uric acid levels crystallized in joints.
What was not appreciated until now was that cherries could be used to control the excess fat storage in the body, lower blood pressure and normalize lipids and glucose. Multiple studies in the scientific literature have now demonstrated or supported this effect.
Not all cherries are alike! The most potent cherries possess high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols. The most potent species (cultivars) are the Michigan grown Montmorency and Balaton type cherries.
We therefore created a safe and dose efficient dark cherry formula, that combined with complimentary extracts and herbs, is a natural and effective supplement to support normal metabolic fitness (normalizing blood pressure, glucose, lipids, weight control) as well as performance endurance and energy.
Cherries and Fitness
The molecular and pharmacological properties of dark cherries have had astonishing results in fitness and athletic performance.
Cherries have significant anti-inflammatory properties and that coupled with the AMPK stimulating effect of increasing mitochondria numbers in cells (mitochondrial biogenesis) seems to enable athletes to improve performance , endurance and recovery times across a wide array of sports.
Published studies with triathletes, marathon runners ,soccer players and professional cyclists all demonstrate improved performance with dark cherry extract supplements.
An interesting observation we have made is that often the improvement is in the range of 10 percent. Thus we were inspired to name our brand Ten Plus!