The producers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) seem scared. A slew of bad press – not to mention dozens of scientific studies – may finally be damaging their profits. So they’ve come up with a new way to ensure HFCS remains part of the American diet. And protect their revenue stream. The big plan? Rename HFCS to distance their product from the harm that it does. And they’re petitioning the government to help them.
But a new name won’t change the product itself. It won’t change the fact that HFCS is a big part of the modern obesity epidemic in the U.S. It won’t alleviate the roll-on health risks that come from obesity… such as diabetes and heart disease.
Smart consumers should choose this moment to kick the HFCS habit… and we’ll tell you how.
Industry in Trouble
For the last four years the Corn Refiners Association has worked to fix the image of the sweetener. They’ve spent about 30 billion dollars on a massive ad campaign. The idea: to counter scientific claims linking HFCSs to obesity. That campaign tried to position the sweetener as a natural ingredient made from corn.
But after four years and billions of dollars… the CRA have given up and opted for a new plan. With dozens of food manufacturers dropping the sweetener from their products… the CRA are desperate. Now, they’ve turned to the FDA for help.
They’re currently petitioning to get a name change for the sweetener. And put some distance between it and the scientific studies that incriminate it.
They want to start calling the ingredient “corn sugar.” Their argument? To ease consumer confusion about what it actually is.
The problem is… the product won’t change at all. It will do the same damage to your health.
So what exactly is HFCS?
Cloying Truth about HFCS
HFCS is a recent invention that came out Japan in the 1960s. The sweetener appears in many juices and food. The sweetener hit America a decade later.
The makers were well pleased with their invention. That’s because HFCS is different than regular corn syrup or old-fashioned sugar. For one thing, it’s much sweeter. It’s also easy to blend with other foods. Further, it has a longer shelf life. Even better, it’s cheaper to produce.
Because of those factors, HFCS is now a major part of the American diet. But while HFCS is a manufacturer’s dream, it’s not nearly so good for the people consuming it.
“High fructose corn syrup is definitely bad for you,” says Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. “It is the major driver of the obesity epidemic.”
Dr. Weil is a Harvard Medical School graduate. He’s spent 40 years establishing and leading medical institutions in the U.S. He won international acclaim before he’d even graduated from Harvard when he conducted the first clinical study on marijuana. During his career he has:
- directed studies for the National Institute of Mental Health
- served on the faculty at Harvard’s Botanical Museum
- and founded the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson
He is currently the Program Director for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.
“HFCS contains 14-percent fructose,” says Dr. Weil. “That’s much more than regular corn syrup. It has disruptive effects on metabolism, because the body doesn’t utilize fructose well. Humans have never before consumed it in such quantity.”
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms this. It showed that U.S. consumption of HFCS skyrocketed by over 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990.
The study estimated that we consume over 300 of our daily calories from HFCS.
And the corn industry’s own statistics confirm this. They say the number of people drinking sodas loaded with HFCS shot up by 135 percent between 1980 and 2000.
But just because HFCS is part of our modern diet doesn’t make it safe. It’s a key element in obesity. And that can lead to diabetes and heart disease.
“HCFS promotes weight gain,” says Dr. Weil. “It doesn’t trigger the process by which the body tells us it is full. What’s more, HFCS elevates triglycerides.”
The truth is… HFCS will play havoc with your biology. It does this in at least three ways:
- (1) It metabolizes into fat more quickly than all other sugars. This leads to obesity.
- (2) It blocks hormonal signals from insulin, leptin, and ghrelin. This increases appetite. Spikes blood sugars. And leads to insulin resistance… a key factor in diabetes.
- (3) It produces triglycerides. Triglycerides are blood fats… and they increase your risk of heart disease.
HFCS also contains unbound fructose in huge amounts. This interferes with how your heart uses minerals like magnesium, copper and chromium.
Set against all this bad… are no benefits at all. HFCS contains no beneficial enzymes, vitamins, or minerals. Plus, it absorbs vital micronutrients from your body.
So the next question is… why is HFCS so bad?
Creating a Chemical Compound
HFCS is so bad because it’s a chemically created product. It’s usually made from genetically modified corn. These corn crops are sprayed with billions of pounds of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Those corn kernels are then soaked to extract corn starch. After this, chemical enzymes are used to turn the glucose in the starch into fructose.
“It’s manufactured through a complex series of industrial chemical processes,” says Dr. Kenneth J. Storch, M.D.,a specialist in obesity medicine. He’s the director of the Atlantic Health System of New Jersey and the President of the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists.
“We are only beginning to understand the [problems] of substituting HFCS for refined sugar,” he says.
He points to a chemical analysis of sodas by Rutgers University in 2007. That study showed that the free monosaccharides in HFCS convert to harmful carbonyl compounds not found in natural foods. This makes it more addictive than sucrose.
“Fructose is [linked to] numerous problems, including elevated blood fats,” he says. “We have not learned the lesson of hydrogenated vegetable oils. Those cheap, unnatural oils caused heart attacks and death. They were used for decades before the evidence of harm became impossible to refute.”
Scientific Evidence against HFCS
Plenty of evidence shows the extreme dangers of HFCS. In the last decade alone, study after study reveals its dangers. This research shows it causes fat cell growth around vital organs. And triggers the early stages of diabetes and heart disease.
Scientists at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland studied the effect of fructose on children with a predisposition for diabetes. They published their results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
They took 24 healthy kids. Sixteen had diabetic parents; eight did not.
They began the study by feeding all the kids a normal diet. Halfway through, they switched the diet so that 35 percent of their calories came from HFCS.
They expected the kids with diabetic parents to be affected by the HFCS diet. But not the regular kids. The children with diabetic parents began the study with higher levels of triglycerides and lower levels of insulin sensitivity.
But by the end of the study all the kids had higher triglycerides. Their insulin sensitivity was significantly decreased.
The purpose of the study was to show the effects of HFCS on kids with diabetes. Instead it showed that the sweetener affects everyone.
Their research showed it increased blood levels of triglycerides by 110 percent in the children of diabetics. But HFCS also increased triglycerides in kids with healthy parents by over 50 percent.
They also found that both groups had increased fat deposits in their liver. Those deposits were increased by over 75 percent. They noted this massively increases your chance of heart disease.
That’s because your body turns fructose into fat very quickly. Usually, when sugar enters your liver, it is stored, burned, or turned into fat. But fructose is different. It skips this process and turns it straight to fat. That increases your triglyceride production. And research shows that raised triglycerides increases your risk of heart disease.
Similar findings were gleaned by several other independent studies.
In one study, researchers in Philadelphia looked at how high-fructose drinks affected obese people. They split their participants into two groups. One group enjoyed a high fructose drink with dinner. The other group had a glucose-sweetened drink with dinner.
The high fructose group saw their triglycerides soar. In fact, their triglyceride levels were 200 percent higher than the other group. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Further studies revealed fructose decreases signals from three critical hormones. These hormones are insulin, ghrelin, and leptin. And they control blood sugar levels, appetite, and fat storage. They tell you how much you need to eat and when to stop eating. They also tell your liver whether to burn or store glucose.
Over-eating is one consequence of your body losing touch with these signals. Insulin resistance is another. The study concluded that fructose “leads to obesity and diabetes.”
The University of Toronto also investigated HFCS. They fed it to Syrian golden hamsters – which have a fat metabolism much like ours. In just weeks, the hamsters suffered raised tr
Ian Robinson is a member of the Natural Health Dossier independent research team. The Natural Health Dossier newsletter scours the world for the most crucial, cutting-edge discoveries made by the best doctors and researchers in natural and alternative medicine.
Natural Health Dossier was originally developed from a series of private research briefs prepared for a reclusive millionaire. The newsletter continues to challenge established beliefs and evaluates new ideas in order to dispel mainstream myths about diet, exercise, nutrition, health and healing, aging, pain relief, and more.
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