Dangerous High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
This article highlights dramatic facts about High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) that everyone must know.
In the 1970s it was discovered that HFCS was not only far cheaper to produce, but is also about 20% sweeter than table sugar. Since then the food industry began switching their sweeteners from table sugar to high-fructose corn syrup. Today, over 50% of sweeteners used by food and beverage manufactures are made from corn, and the number one source of calories in America is soda, in the form of HFCS.
Many scientific studies indicate that consuming high-fructose corn syrup is the fastest way to destroy your health.
In our food sugar can hide in thousands of forms under thousands of names. But fructose, in form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or in crystalline fructose, is the worst of the worst!
Excessive fructose consumption is a major contributor to insulin resistance and obesity, early stages of diabetes and heart disease, high blood pressure and elevated levels of “bad” cholesterol, non-alcoholic fatty liver and cardiovascular disease, depletion of vitamins and minerals, and even gout.
However, don’t take us wrong: fructose itself is not poison; it is the GIGANTIC AMOUNT of it we consume on regular basis (especially with soft drinks) that makes it dangerous.
There are two main reasons why overconsumption of fructose is so harmful for our health:
- Fructose is metabolized in the body in a much different way than glucose. Glucose can be easily used by every cell, whereas the entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on the liver.
- People are consuming fructose in enormous amounts.
In the ingredient list HFCS may be hidden under different names such as glucose-fructose, isoglucose and glucose-fructose syrup. It is made from corn starch that has been processed by glucose isomerase to convert some of its glucose into fructose.
It has been known for years that cancer seems to have a sweet tooth. Back in 1931, the Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, first discovered that tumors and cancers both use sugars to “feed” themselves and/or to increase in size. In order to proliferate, cancer cells seem to prefer feeding on fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS); the reason is that HFCS is being metabolized by cancer cells most quickly and easily. Obviously, high-fructose corn syrup is considered the main culprit.
Nearly all corn syrup is made from genetically modified corn, which comes with its own set of risks. GM maize (corn) strains are now in wide use in multiple countries. GM maize has not passed the test of time and raised great concern with respect to health effects, impact on other insects and impact on other plants via gene flow. Although it’s not completely clear how it affects human health, but it’s a proven fact that when in the late 1970s HFCS became a sucrose replacement for honey bees in the United States, bees started dying. Since then HFCS has been investigated as a possible source of bee colony collapse disorder.
As if the negative metabolic effects are not enough, there are other issues with fructose that disprove its safety. In the process of HFCS making, the corn starch solution is acidified to begin breaking up the existing carbohydrates, and then enzymes are added to further metabolize the starch and convert the resulting sugars to their constituents of fructose and glucose. A chemical used to separate corn starch from the kernel was previously manufactured using a process that included mercury. A few studies found that there were traces of inorganic mercury in some foods. Crystalline fructose, a super-potent form of fructose the food and beverage industry is now using, may contain arsenic, lead, chloride and heavy metals.
Carbohydrate metabolism is very diverse and complex and we are not getting into the biochemistry of it; just want to highlight some major differences about how the body handles glucose and fructose.
After absorption in the large intestine to the blood, 20% of glucose goes to the liver, and the other 80% can be used by any cell in the body, including your brain, for energy. But with fructose the situation is different: 100% of it goes to the liver making the metabolic burden there. In the liver, fructose is turned into free fatty acids, very low density cholesterol – VLDL (“bad” cholesterol), and triglycerides. 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. A long list of by-products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout, are formed during fructose metabolism in the liver.
Please remember that high-fructose corn syrup is not equal to table sugar. It is not “natural” and safe like the food and beverage industry is scrambling to convince you. Today you can find HFCS not just in soft drinks and juices, but also in salad dressings and ketchups, and virtually in every processed food.
The fastest way to improve your health
One of the best and fastest ways for anyone who fights overweighting is to normalize your insulin response by limiting (ideally, eliminating) your intake of refined sugars and fructose. With the insulin level normalized, your body can finally be able to correct many problems on its own; in fact, it has a phenomenal capacity for self-healing.