Do you know why high-fructose corn syrup is bad for you?

March 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Here’s an explanation that might cause you to pause before you reach for that can of diet soda or granola bar or practically anything else on the shelves at your local grocery!

For many years, Dr. Meira Fields and her coworkers at the US Department of Agriculture investigated the harmful effects of dietary sugar on rats. They discovered that when male rats are fed a diet deficient in copper, with sucrose as the carbohydrate, they develop severe pathologies of vital organs.

Liver, heart and testes exhibit extreme swelling, while the pancreas atrophies, invariably leading to death of the rats before maturity.Sucrose is a disaccharide composed of 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. Dr. Fields repeated her experiments to determine whether it was the glucose or fructose moiety that caused the harmful effects. Starch breaks down into glucose when digested.

“On a copper-deficient diet, the male rats showed some signs of copper deficiency, but not the gross abnormalities of vital organs that occur in rats on the sucrose diet. When the rats were fed fructose, the fatal organ abnormalities occured.

Lysl oxidase is a copper-dependent enzyme that participates in the formation of collagen and elastin. Fructose seems to interfere with copper metabolism to such an extent that collagen and elastin cannot form in growing animals–hence the hypertrophy of the heart and liver in young males. The females did not develop these abnormalities, but they resorbed their litters.

These experiements should give us pause when we consider the great increase in the use of high fructose corn syrup during the past 30 years, particularly in soft drinks, fruit juices and other beverages aimed at growing children, children increasingly likely to be copper deficient as modern parents no longer serve liver to their families. (Liver is by far the best source of copper in human diets.)

“The bodies of the children I see today are mush,” observed a concerned chiropractor recently. The culprit is the modern diet, high in fructose and low in copper-containing foods, resulting in inadequate formation of elastin and collagen–the sinews that hold the body together.

BINGEING ON FRUCTOSE

Until the 1970s most of the sugar we ate came from sucrose derived from sugar beets or sugar cane.  Then sugar from corn–corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, dextrine and especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)–began to gain popularity as a sweetener because it was much less expensive to produce. High fructose corn syrup can be manipulated to contain equal amounts of fructose and glucose, or up to 80 percent fructose and 20 percent glucose.

Thus, with almost twice the fructose, HFCS delivers a double danger compared to sugar.(With regards to fruit, the ratio is usually 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose, but most commercial fruit juices have HFCS added. Fruit contains fiber which slows down the metabolism of fructose and other sugars, but the fructose in HFCS is absorbed very quickly.) In 1980 the average person ate 39 pounds of fructose and 84 pounds of sucrose.

In 1994 the average person ate 66 pounds of sucrose and 83 pounds of fructose, providing 19 percent of total caloric energy. Today approximately 25 percent of our average caloric intake comes from sugars, with the larger fraction as fructose. High fructose corn syrup is extremely soluble and mixes well in many foods. It is cheap to produce, sweet and easy to store. It’s used in everything from bread to pasta sauces to bacon to beer as well as in “health products” like protein bars and “natural” sodas. . . . (continue reading)


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2 Responses to “Do you know why high-fructose corn syrup is bad for you?”
  1. Juliann Russo says:

    Why do you say it will give us pause when reaching for DIET soda? Diet drinks don’t have sugar or HFCS. The artificial sweeteners may be harmful, but that isn’t what this story covers. Am I missing something?

  2. Charmaine says:

    You read The Weston A. Price Foundation? I’m impressed. ;) Indeed, we’ve been avoiding HFCS as much as possible for a few years now. And watch out for the possible name change to “corn sugar”. http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/the-fda-may-change-high-fructose-corn-syrup-name-to-corn-sugar.html

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