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updated: 8/19/2013 7:44 AM

Your Health: Dangers of too much sugar

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  • Watch out for too much sugar in your diet -- even a very small amount can have consequences.

      Watch out for too much sugar in your diet -- even a very small amount can have consequences.

  • Natural beauty remedies do work. Try cool steeped green tea bags on your eyes to reduce puffiness.

      Natural beauty remedies do work. Try cool steeped green tea bags on your eyes to reduce puffiness.

Daily Herald report

Toxic sugar?

A sugar rush could be dangerous to more than your waistline, according to a new study from the University of Utah.

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Researchers found that male mice fed a diet with 25 percent extra sugar -- equivalent to about an additional three cans of soda a day in humans -- were less likely to defend their territory and reproduce, while female mice on the same diet died at twice the normal rate, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. The results are similar to the lab's findings on inbreeding in mice.

"Would you rather be on the American diet ... or have parents be full cousins?" said senior author Wayne Potts, a biology professor. "This data is telling us it's a toss up."

The research was published online Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

Studies indicate that between 13 percent and 25 percent of Americans get a quarter or more of their calories from added sugars, which also include candy, cookies, fruit drinks and ice cream. While previous studies have found sugar has a toxic effect, they generally used amounts much higher than most people actually eat, said the study's first author, James Ruff.

"I think the big take-away is the level of sugar we readily eat and think is safe causes major health declines in mice," said Ruff, who recently earned his doctorate at the U. "We're not just talking about some minor metabolic thing. We're taking about increased rates of death and [lower rates] of reproduction."

Beauty tricks

You've probably heard any number of beauty tricks to keep your skin clear, your hair shiny and undereye circles at bay.

Believe it or not, some do work, according to website Here's the real deal when it comes to weird -- but effective -- beauty buys.

Diaper rash cream: It has moisturizers and anti-inflammatory ingredients, which are perfect for healing dry and cracked skin, especially on your heels and elbows.

Black tea: You're probably spending a lot more time outdoors, which could potentially mean trouble for your skin. Believe it or not, taking a warm bath in black tea can actually help -- tea's tannins help heal the burn's sting and swelling.

Green tea: Need a cure for puffy eyes? Cool some steeped green tea bags in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, then put them on those tired lids. The caffeine in the tea helps constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling.

Whitening toothpaste: Scrub some on your nails to help lift remnants of dark nail polish, or use it on your palms when you need to get rid of excess tanning lotion.

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