Excessive intake of sugar: An accomplice of inflammation

We exhibited at the Chocolate & Coffee Festival over the weekend and I got talking to one visitor about the effects of sugar on inflammation. This person had experienced joint pain that they associated with sugar intake, and I promised them that I would share a paper that I found on the subject and so here we are.

A Tale of Two Stories

As an ex-NZ age grade rep, our eldest boy Josh is a mad keen volleyballer who currently plays at the top club level. He often complained of sore knees when training and playing. It seemed odd for a 20 year old at the time, but in the very first week of his sugar reduction regime he played in a big tournament on the weekend. He came home declaring that he had no joint pain at all over the whole tourney!

On the flip side, our youngest son is still very much addicted to sugar. It is everywhere and nearly impossible for a young teenager to avoid - assuming they wanted to! To give just one example, our youngest had a small bottle of orange juice the other day which had something like 38g of sugar! That is 9.5 teaspoons of sugar in a small bottle that was consumed in 90 seconds. 

Tell Us About Inflammation 

An article titled Chronic Inflammation states that inflammation is associated with the most common ailments affecting modern humans today: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and joint diseases, allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The following is taken from this article.

What Does Inflammation Feel Like?

Inflammation is manifested by:

  • Body pain, arthralgia, myalgia
  • Chronic fatigue and insomnia
  • Depression, anxiety and mood disorders
  • Gastrointestinal complications like constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Frequent infections 

Does Diet Affect Inflammation?

Diet is recognised as a significant risk factor leading to inflammation:

  • Diet: Diet rich in saturated fat, trans-fats, or refined sugar is associated with higher production of pro-inflammatory molecules, especially in individuals with diabetes or overweight individuals.

How Can We Prevent Inflammation?

Ways to prevent chronic inflammation include: 

  • Increase uptake of anti-inflammatory foods: It is important to avoid eating simple sugars, refined carbohydrates, high-glycemic foods, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils. Consuming whole grains, natural foods, plenty of vegetables and fruits such as avocados, cherries, kale, and fatty fish like salmon is helpful in defeating inflammation.

Excessive intake of sugar: An accomplice of inflammation

Here is another paper for those who want to explore the subject:

Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9471313/

"Based on these reported findings, we emphasize that dietary sugars and mixed processed foods may be a key factor leading to the occurrence and aggravation of inflammation."


Inflammation causes a great deal of health problems and we all need to aware of it. Ideally we can make our health experts and politicians aware of it and see some change.