High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is in the news again, and again we have more bad news to talk about.
In the past I have blogged about heavy metals being found in high fructose corn syrup, and now there is research saying that it is worse for you than sugar. I know I have written many blogs on sugar so I won't go into the health hazards of it in this blog. Rather, we will focus on high fructose corn syrup.
Lets talk a bit about HFCS, and its history. It was first introduced into the US food system in the 1970s as the cost of cane and beet sugar were becoming more cost prohibitive. HFCS comes from “dent” corn which is a breed that is not consumable until it becomes HFCS. The corn is cleaned, soaked, ground, washed, dried, milled, and then turned into cornstarch. This is then made into the liquid corn syrup (glucose) which then undergoes an enzymatic process, and is turned into fructose.
The research, funded by the National Institute of Health and the Natural Science Foundation, that looked at the health effects between the fructose-glucose found in HFCS vs. the sucrose of table sugar was done at the University of Utah. Female mice were fed diets with 25% of calories coming from fructose-glucose, or sucrose. It was seen that the mice fed the higher levels of fructose-glucose died at a rate of 1.87 times higher than the mice fed the table sugar. These mice also had 26.4% fewer offspring. Male mice fed these diets did not seem to have any differences in lifespan and/or reproductively, however it was suspected that this is because neither form of sugar is good for the male mice.
This research was refuted by the Corn Refiners Association for lack of scientific merit, and was said to misrepresent the effects of eating HFCS. I know I am not a mouse of course, but if HFCS can have these effects on mice then I don’t feel as though I want to be a long term test subject used for researching the effects of HFCS on humans. Also, I am seeing more patients who are sensitive to corn these days, and with a lot of the corn being genetically modified I choose to keep HFCS out of my diet asking that you do the same for you and your family.