by Mike Barrett
High-fructose corn syrup is just one food ingredient, among many others, that virtually every health advocate will tell you to avoid. The Corn Refiners Association (CRA), a large organization that represents the corn refining industry, continues to assert that high-fructose corn syrup is completely safe and perfectly ‘natural’, but many health experts and research results couldn’t disagree more. One contribution high-fructose corn syrup is making to our society is a startling increase in obesity rates. Scientists have repeatedly proven that heavily altered (and often genetically modified) form of fructose, used in thousands of food products and soft drinks, can negatively impact human metabolism and is contributing to the growing obesity epidemic.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup Alters Human Metabolism
For quite some time, high-fructose corn syrup was thought to be perfectly healthy by some individuals, and the ingredient rampantly consumed in high amounts internationally. But research shows that high-fructose corn syrup changes human metabolism, and is actually metabolized much differently than other sugars. HFCS is a highly processed product that contains nearly the same amount of fructose and glucose. Sucrose, however, is a larger sugar molecule that is metabolized into glucose and fructose in your intestine. High-fructose corn syrup metabolizes to fat in your body much faster than other sugars, resulting in increased fat gain. Since the fructose is consumed in liquid form, the negative effects on human metabolism are even greater.
“…Over 10 weeks, 16 volunteers on a strictly controlled diet, including high levels of fructose, produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs. They also showed signs of food-processing abnormalities linked to diabetes and heart disease. Another group of volunteers on the same diet, but with glucose sugar replacing fructose, did not have these problems”, reported scientists from UC Davis.
In addition, 100% of fructose that’s consumed is taken up by the liver, while only some of glucose passes through the liver, and is then excreted. This results in increased fat deposition in the abdominal cavity and increased blood levels of triglycerides — both of which are risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
Further showing how the human metabolism is damaged, one study found:
“To assess the relative effects of these dietary sugars during sustained consumption in humans, overweight and obese subjects consumed glucose- or fructose-sweetened beverages providing 25% of energy requirements for 10 weeks. Although both groups exhibited similar weight gain during the intervention, visceral adipose volume was significantly increased only in subjects consuming fructose…and [fructose-sweetened beverages] decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight humans.”
Some individuals claim that high-fructose corn syrup is safe at low levels, but even if that were remotely true, the ingredient is still found in thousands of mainstream and corporate-owned food and beverage products in high doses. It is in these high doses that it has also been found to contain mercury, an element that is highly damaging to the human body. Sugar itself is highly over-consumed today, causing a multitude of health issues, but turning the natural form of sugar into high-fructose corn syrup causes further damage to human metabolism and the liver.