High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
The below provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. Any treatment protocol should be discussed with a qualified healthcare practitioner ... Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.
Scientists have proved that this cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks can damage human metabolism and is fueling the obesity crisis. It can cause dangerous growths of fat cells around vital organs and is able to trigger the early stages of diabetes and heart disease.
The average consumption of fructose has doubled between 1980 and 1994. Soft drinks and some fruit drinks are a major source of HFCS, It is also found in processed foods like candy, baked goods, canned foods, and frozen meals, but it is also hidden in less obvious foods like peanut butter, egg products, and soups. It can also be found in processed honey (the kind of honey that is mostly available at your local grocery store), which has been heated and pasteurized, and can also contain botulism.
There is significant controversy surrounding the safety of consuming high fructose corn syrup.
Over 10 weeks, 16 volunteers on a 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.
A diet high in fat and in high fructose corn syrup may cause severe liver problems in people with a sedentary lifestyle, according to a study conducted by researchers from Saint Louis University and presented this year at the Digestive Diseases Week meeting in Washington, D.C. Researchers fed mice a diet that was 40 percent fat and high in high fructose corn syrup for 16 weeks. In contrast to other studies, where mice have been fed a regulated amount, the animals in the study were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. They were kept sedentary and prevented from exercising.
"We wanted to mirror the kind of diet many Americans subsist on, so the high fat content is about the same you'd find in a typical McDonald's meal, and the high fructose corn syrup translates to about eight cans of soda a day in a human diet, which is not far off with what some people consume," said Brent Tetri, M.D., an associate professor of internal medicine at Saint Louis University Liver Center. To the researchers' shock, it took only four weeks for the first signs of serious health problems to emerge. "We had a feeling we'd see evidence of fatty liver disease by the end of the study," Tetri said. "But we were surprised to find how severe the damage was and how quickly it occurred. It took only four weeks for liver enzymes to increase and for glucose intolerance -- the beginning of Type 2 diabetes -- to begin." According to Tetri, preliminary research suggests that fructose actually suppresses the body's feeling of fullness, whereas foods rich in fiber activate it. This meant that the mice didn't know when to stop eating, even though their diet was exceptionally high in calories.
High fructose corn syrup is a widely used sweetener, particularly in the United States, where corn is cheap and sugar importation is expensive. "A high-fat and sugar-sweetened diet compounded by a sedentary lifestyle will have severe repercussions for your liver and other vital organs," Tetri warned.
Effects on our Health:
- HFCS is high in calories and low in nutritional value and it leeches micronutrients from your body.
- Obesity: The explosion of products containing high fructose corn syrup is said to have caused America's obesity epidemic.
- Diabetes / Insulin resistance / Pancreas dysfunction: A study presented at the American Chemical Society annual meeting. Researchers from Rutgers University tested 11 soft drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup and detected high levels of compounds that are normally raised in the blood of people with diabetes - reactive carbonyls. These compounds have been linked to diabetic complications such as tissue damage. Reactive carbonyls were not detected in soda sweetened with table sugar.
- High cholesterol and heart disease: In some studies it has been shown that High Fructose Corn Syrup contributes to high cholesterol because it actually scars the internal walls of the arteries. This causes the body to then produce cholesterol to heal the walls of the arteries which is one reason that the plaque builds up on the arterial walls. As the walls are continually scarred this slowly shrinks the opening for blood to flow through making the heart work much harder and eventually wearing the heart out.
- High blood pressure
- Liver damage
- Corn based products have also been shown to increase osteoporosis, tooth decay, anemia, osteoarthritis and more.
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