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What Mystery Disease is Killing Thousands in Central America?

What Mystery Disease is Killing Thousands in Central America?

Story at-a-glance -

  • Chronic kidney disease is claiming the lives of many young workers on sugar plantations in Central America; though the cause remains a mystery, exposure to agricultural chemicals, fructose and dehydration from the labor-intensive work are the front-running theories
  • Severe dehydration can activate the polyol pathway that will convert glucose to fructose, which is then metabolized by a “killer” enzyme called fructokinase, which may cause kidney disease and damage
  • The rate of chronic kidney disease in Nicaragua is 10 times higher than in the U.S.
  • World Bank, which has issued more than $100 million in loans to Nicaragua’s sugar industry, is funding an investigation to search for causes of the long-term epidemic of chronic kidney disease in Nicaragua

By Dr. Mercola

The United States imports one-fourth of its raw sugar from Central America, a region known as much for its sandy beaches and lush rainforests as its many acres of sugar plantations.


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