The Harmful Effects Of High Fructose Corn Syrup

high fructose corn syrupIt’s no secret that high fructose corn syrup is detrimental to your health.  Unfortunately, it’s also no secret that it has replaced other forms of sugar in a disturbingly large number of manufactured foods.  Even worse is that most high fructose corn syrup is made from genetically modified corn.

Since the late 1980s, high fructose corn syrup has replaced regular table sugar, honey, and similar sweeteners in practically everything.  Prolonged consumption of HFCS is now the topic of much debate and we are learning that it can cause long-term damage to the body.

A number of studies conducted over the past few decades indicates that consumption of high fructose corn syrup is connected with a wide range of health concerns.  Here are a few of the more important health dangers of high fructose corn syrup you should know about:

High Fructose Corn Syrup And Diabetes:

Originally considered beneficial because of its slow absorption rate and modest rise in blood sugar compared to glucose, fructose was considered beneficial to diabetics.  Fructose, however, actually promotes diabetes. Insulin induces cells to uptake glucose by binding to the insulin receptor on the cell membrane.  Fructose has been shown to decrease the affinity of insulin for its receptor.  Therefore, cells must pump out increasingly more insulin in order to uptake the same glucose load.  Type-2 diabetics already exhibit a decreased affinity of insulin for its receptor.  Adding fructose to the diet, particularly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, magnifies this effect.

High Fructose Corn Syrup And Mercury:

An FDA researcher asked corn producers to ship a barrel of high fructose corn syrup in order to test for contaminants.  Her repeated requests were refused until she claimed she represented a newly created soft drink company.  She was then promptly shipped a big vathigh fructose corn syrup of high fructose corn syrup that was used as part of the study that showed that high fructose corn syrup often contains toxic levels of mercury because of chlor-alkali products used in its manufacturing.(i)  Poisoned sugar is certainly not “natural”.

When high fructose corn syrup is run through a chemical analyzer or a chromatograph, strange chemical peaks show up that are not glucose or fructose.  What are they?  Who knows?  This certainly calls into question the purity of this processed form of super sugar. The exact nature, effects and toxicity of these funny compounds have not been fully explained, but shouldn’t we be protected from the presence of untested chemical compounds in our food supply, especially when the contaminated food product comprises up to 15-20 percent of the average American’s daily calorie intake?

High Fructose Corn Syrup and High Blood Pressure:

If high fructose corn syrup can cause obesity, it can also basically screw up many other important functions of the body.  As you gain weight, you’re going to be putting more strain on your heart and your circulatory system.  As a result, high fructose corn syrup can cause your blood pressure to skyrocket.

If you want to avoid high fructose corn syrup, try eating more organic foods or foods that are grown and not processed.  Fruits and vegetables, for instance, contain natural sugars that can be digested easily by the body.  Stay away from processed foods to avoid the harmful effects of high fructose corn syrup.

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Osteoporosis:

high fructose corn syrupThe fructose in high fructose corn syrup is not the same as fructose in fruit.  It is chemically altered and the body doesn’t even recognize it as a food (just scary!).  Also, it is almost always made out of genetically modified corn.  It has been shown to increase osteoporosis, tooth decay, anemia, osteoarthritis, as well as many factors that can pose harmful effects to your health.

Regardless of what the corn industry says, research is pointing to more and more health-related problems of consuming food manufactured with high fructose corn syrup.  If you’re concerned about increased risks for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high triglycerides, and liver disease, you might want to limit the amount of products you eat with high fructose corn sweeteners.  When you look at labels on food products, the ingredients are listed by the amount the product contains. Consequently, start examining the labels, and you may be able to reduce your risk of consuming high fructose corn syrup.

Thanks for Reading!!!




(i) Dufault, R., LeBlanc, B., Schnoll, R. et al. 2009. Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: Measured concentrations in food product sugar. Environ Health. 26(8):2

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Category: Challenge, Diet, Good Fats, Healthy Foods, Healthy Snacking

About the Author ()

Originally born and raised in Woburn Massachusetts (love my Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins!) I made my trek northward to the beautiful state of Maine back in October 2003 after marrying my college sweetheart. We began a family in 2004 and I am happy to say that we have 4 happy, healthy, beautiful children that bring an amazing amount of joy to our lives! I am also a type 1 diabetic. Diagnosed back in 2006 (out of the blue), at a routine doctors visit. Diabetes has single handed-ly been the biggest obstacle that I have faced in my life. At the time I had no idea of what a roller coaster ride I would be in for, I mean really, what's a couple finger sticks a day and a couple shots of insulin for food...this will be easy, I got this! Well 2 ER visits later, I quickly found out that this was no joke, and if I wanted to see my little ones grow up, this was something that I needed to take seriously! Little by little as we began to digest all of the information that was being thrown at acting insulin, short acting insulin, lancets, test meters, test strips, ketone sticks, carb counting, food groups, glucagon emergency kits, insulin pumps, glucose monitors...OMG, my head was spinning like a top!! After a couple of crazy years, I can happily say that I am well controlled and feel absolutely amazing! Not to be lost in all of this either is the amazing support of my wife. She has been my rock! She has been with me every step of the way, from 2am finger sticks to helping me change out a failed pump in the middle of a crowded restaurant. She truly is an amazing wife and mom and I can't imaging my life without her love and support- love you babe!

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