Chemical Stress
June 20, 2023

The Intimate Relationship Between Your Mouth And Inflammation

Atlas Team
Atlas Team

What can you do to help reduce inflammation in the body? Start with what goes in your mouth. There is one culprit that increases inflammation in the body: sugar.

But not all sugars are the same.

Sucrose is table sugar. It is made up of glucose and fructose. It is found in fruits, vegetables, bread and other carbohydrates.

Glucose is the basic sugar that the human body uses as fuel. Multiple glucose molecules together make up carbohydrates.

Fructose is fruit sugar, also found in honey and vegetables.

These sugars are metabolized - or broken down and used - differently due to their chemical composition. Fructose is metabolized by the liver. Glucose is metabolized by any cell in the body. Why does this matter? Because the liver turns that fructose into fatty acids when people consume more of it than they can use. When we eat more energy than we expend, we store that extra energy. In the case of sugars, they are stored as fat. When the liver makes these fatty acids, they may be one of the reasons for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, due to inflammation.

Additionally, some research has suggested a relationship between fructose and visceral fat. Visceral fat lives deep in the body, around the internal organs. This type of fat is different from subcutaneous fat, which is stored just under our skin (it is the fat we tend to think of when we look at a body; visceral fat is hidden, so it cannot be identified in people based on outward appearance). Visceral fat is dangerous because we cannot easily see if someone has a lot of it and because it produces inflammatory signaling in the body.

But fructose is not the only potential hazard. Glucose can also cause an increase in inflammation. Excess consumption of any sugar may lead to being overweight or obese, which is related to low-grade inflammation. However, it is not conclusive if the inflammation is a result of the specific over-consumption of sugar or just over-consumption of calories in general. Either way, it is conclusive that weight loss down to healthy weight leads to a reduction in inflammation.



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