Does sugar actually cause diabetes mellitus?

diabetes mellitus

Sugar, too much of it causes diabetes mellitus. That is what you might also know. This though is a myth. It does have an effect on type 2 diabetes but does not cause diabetes mellitus. Many other factors have effects on diabetes. Diabetes mellitus was discovered through the sweet smell of urine.

Diabetes mellitus occurs when;

  • Type 1: Occurs when your immune system attacks your pancreas, destroying its ability to produce insulin.
  • Type 2: Occurs when your pancreas stops producing enough insulin. When your body’s cells no longer respond to the insulin it produces or both.


Rise in blood sugar levels alert the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin takes glucose out of the bloodstream into your cells where it is metabolized for energy. A small amount of fructose is also taken up by your cells and used for energy. Majority of the fructose is carried to your liver where it is converted to either glucose for energy or fat for storage.

Fructose is converted to fat owing to increase triglyceride levels. This may increase your risk of heart disease and fatty liver.

Fructose metabolism also raises uric acid levels in your blood. If these uric acid crystals settle in your joints, a painful condition known as gout can develop.

Excess of sugar is converted into fatty acids and stored as body fat.

What Happens When You Eat Lots of Sugar

Glucose from sugar is used by your body for energy. Fructose is taken to your liver for conversion into glucose or fat. High fructose intake has been linked to elevated triglycerides, fatty liver and gout.

A large number of studies have found that people who regularly drink sweetened beverages have a roughly 25% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.

In fact, drinking just one sweetened beverage per day increases your risk by 13%, independent of any weight gain it may cause.

Many researchers believe that sugar increases diabetes mellitus risk both directly and indirectly.

These effects trigger abnormal insulin production in your pancreas and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Eating large amounts of sugar can also indirectly raise diabetes risk by contributing to weight gain and increased body fat, which are separate risk factors for developing diabetes.

Studies and Recommendations

What’s more, animal studies suggest that eating a lot of sugar may disrupt the signaling of leptin, a hormone that promotes feelings of fullness, leading to overeating and weight gain.

WHO recommends getting less than 10% of your daily calories from added sugar.

This therefore means that in as much as lots of sugar intake puts you at risk of diabetes, sugar in itself is not a causality.

About felclinic 593 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

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