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Why the new study on high-fructose corn syrup and weight gain is flawed

By Nicci Micco, March 26, 2010 - 12:04pm

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Nicci asks: Do you avoid high-fructose corn syrup?

COMMENTS POSTEDsort icon

Yes, I do avoid HFCS it is my understanding that it is processed by a single organ - liver or pancress, I can't remember which. With HFCS in so many processed foods this taxes that one organ. Refined Suger is also not healthy, however Sugar is processed by every cell in the body... that is one reason why some cancer imageing test use a sugary injection to monitor cancer. If I HAD to pick one to use it would be sugar. Forutnately I have the freedom to use Stevia and Natural Honey for sweeting items.

Anonymous

04/02/2010 - 12:08am

I absolutely avoid HFCS for myself and my family, especially my grand children. In fact I avoid all processed sugars. I try to use natural sweeteners like fruit juice, fruit purees, brown rice syrup, etc when baking. I use stevia to sweeten drinks and also experiment with it in baking.

I think the use of sugar in food products is totally out of control.

Anonymous

04/01/2010 - 11:25pm

I hate the taste of HFCS. It leaves an over-sweet taste in my throat that feels uncomfortable. I also hate the taste of hydrogenated oils. They taste waxy and leave a coating in your mouth. Why did the food companies ruin American food? Life is too short for crappy food. Not to mention wasting money, time, and calories on it. I want fruit ripened on the tree without pesticides! I want pasture raised beef and naturally raised chicken! Once you have tasted the good stuff, you can't go back to the bad stuff they sell in the stores or fast food joints. If I am going to get fat eating chocolate, I want it to be high quality. I want it to be smooth and creamy and melt in your mouth without being over sweet or waxy. HFCS and hydrogenated oils and all the other crap they have been adding to our food for the last 60 years needs to go away! I am sure our health would also improve, but what about the crimes that have been committed against our taste buds? We want real food! We want real food! Come on America, say it with me. WE WANT REAL FOOD!!!

Anonymous

04/01/2010 - 11:21pm

Absolutely. I am overweight. Let's do a real study. It's not just drinking a "sweatened caloric beverage" that this study should be about. I also checked the ingrediants in bread. 2nd ingediant is HFCS. Cereal? HFCS. Crackers? HFCS. And the list goes on. Mostly all "boxed" items have it as a main ingrediant. And as much as we would all like to shop the outside aisles of our grocery stores, we live in a fast paced society and buy the dreaded "boxes". Do you see the ingrediants in homemade bread? NO HFCS in it. And yes HFCS does create cravings for more sweets. Take for instance, coffee syrup. Hear of it? Well it's like chocolate syrup yet it's coffee flavored high fructose corn syrup. I had it ALL the time as a kid. I still crave it to this day. If HFCS was not in most of the products we consume we would not have these issues, but with the overuse of it, I feel that HFCS has created a intolerance in our bodies. And weight gain is just one of the effects.

Anonymous

04/01/2010 - 10:41pm

Our family avoids high frustose corn sweetner. Watch the PBS film KING KORN for some interesting information regarding the production of the corn grown to make this highly processsed product. Our farmland should be producing high quality fruits,vegetables and grains. Sharon Nagle

Anonymous

04/01/2010 - 9:44pm

Sounds like to me someone is trying to protect their advertisers that sell HFCS ladened "healthy"processed snacks and other pseudo diet foods.
There has been hundreds of studies on the safety of HFCS, not just this one.

Recent research, reported at the 2007 national meeting of the American Chemical Society, found new evidence that soft drinks sweetened with HFCS may contribute to the development of diabetes because it contains high levels of reactive compounds that have been shown by others to trigger cell and tissue damage that cause diabetes.

Chemical tests among 11 different carbonated soft drinks containing HFCS were found to have ‘astonishingly high’ levels of reactive carbonyls. Reactive carbonyls are undesirable and highly-reactive compounds associated with “unbound” fructose and glucose molecules, and are believed to cause tissue damage.

By contrast, reactive carbonyls are not present in table sugar because its fructose and glucose components are “bound” and chemically stable.

Reactive carbonyls are elevated in the blood of individuals with diabetes and are linked to the health complications of diabetes. Based on the study data, the researchers estimate that a single can of soda contains about five times the concentration of reactive carbonyls than the concentration found in the blood of an adult person with diabetes.

Fructose contains no enzymes, vitamins or minerals, and it leeches micronutrients from the body. Unbound fructose, found in large quantities in HFCS, can interfere with the heart's use of minerals such as magnesium, copper and chromium.

Fructose also reduces the affinity of insulin for its receptor, which is the principle characteristic of type 2 diabetes.

HFCS has been implicated in elevated blood cholesterol levels, and it has been found to inhibit the action of the immune system's white blood cells.

After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.

Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is "burned up" immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.

The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.

Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this.

When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat!

The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.

Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain's communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.

HFCS is almost always made from genetically modified corn, which is fraught with its own well documented side effects and health concerns, such as increasing your risk of developing a food allergy to corn.

If anyone tries to tell you "sugar is sugar," they are way behind the times. As you can see, there are major differences in how your body processes each one.

The bottom line is: fructose leads to increased belly fat, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome -- not to mention the long list of chronic diseases that directly result.

Out of the six studies on the Corn Refiners Association’s Web site that “Confirm High Fructose Corn Syrup [is] No Different From Sugar,” three were sponsored by groups that stand to profit from research that promotes HFCS. Two were never published, so their funding sources are unclear. And one was sponsored by a Dutch foundation that represents the interests of the sugar industry.

Pepsi funded one study. So did a D.C. based lobbying group that gets their money from food, chemical and drug companies. And the American Beverage Association gave a grant for another.

Anonymous

04/01/2010 - 9:04pm

HFCS should be avoided but it is in everything. If I did not read the ingredients on a product and it is in it, I can taste it - too too sweet. One thing that is overlooked, is the fact that it is a chemical alteration of a corn product. Do you want natural or a product produced in a "lab". Unless you are "God" and created the human body, you really can't figure out how the body uses it or what effect it REALLY has.

Anonymous

04/01/2010 - 7:57pm

Hello Nicci,

I am a woman who has fibromyalgia and sugars are inflammatory foods so I avoid them whenever I can. HFCS is just another sugar that has to be supervised.

Jeanne

Anonymous

04/01/2010 - 7:28pm

I have tried too, but I can't totally stay away from it. I like drinking fountain cokes.I have tried the diet cokes and they taste awful to me so I have just cut down on how many I drink per day. I have lost 10 pounds just cutting back on my drinks. I do like water, but only at night. If anyone could develop a soda that taste good without all the corn syrup I would be eternally grateul to them. Well any suggestions would be welcomed. Laurie

Anonymous

04/01/2010 - 7:27pm

HFCS is a sweetner, period. The fact that it is consistently added to foods along with other sugars seems excessive to me. I mean, how sweet do we need our foods to be, really?! Since I have been following a healthier lifestyle, I find some of the sweets I enjoyed no longer appeal to me. I make a lot of EatingWell recipes and none of them contain extra sweeteners, fillers, fatteners or junk that most processed foods have. I think everyone should learn to cook for themselves rather than buying processed, prepackaged, frozen stuff. Corn products are used for everything from food items to cat litter. Maybe we should think about that as well as the nutrution aspect of HFCS.

Anonymous

04/01/2010 - 6:37pm

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