High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
By: Dr. Eileen Psencik
What have you heard of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)? Before taking a stand for or against HFCS, how about looking at the facts! Ads have begun emerging stating HFCS is safe in moderation and there is no difference between it and sucrose (table sugar). If you haven’t seen these ads, you’ll likely see one. The ads are funded by the Corn Refiners Association, which is funded and dependent on the success of HFCS. As a consumer, you should be aware exactly what you, your family, and loved ones are eating on a regular basis. Chances are you are consuming several products a day that contain HFCS and may not even be aware of it.
In 2010, Princeton researchers found that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain.
- Rats with access to HFCS gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar (sucrose), even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
- Long term consumption of HFCS led to an increase in abdominal body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats known as triglycerides.
- These same characteristics in humans are known risk factors for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Bocarsly ME, Powell ES, Avena NM, Hoebel BG. “High Fructose corn syrup causes characteristics of obesity in rats: increased body weight, body fat and triglyceride levels.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 Nov;97(1):1001-6.
A 2008 study confirmed increased fructose intake is associated with obesity.
- The study provides the first documentation that high-fructose diets can induce leptin resistance and subsequently predisposes the development of dietary obesity.
- A leptin-resistant state disrupts normal energy homeostasis, favors positive energy storage, and thus obesity.
Stanhope KL, Havel PJ. Endocrine and metabolic effects of consuming beverages sweetened with fructose, glucose, sucrose, or high-fructose corn syrup. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Dec;88(6):1733S-1737S.
Another article posted in 2008 in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This article has some great facts about HFCS, though the article itself stands on the notion HFCS is no different than sucrose. It states that worldwide, <10% of the sweetener used is HFCS. The United States primarily uses HFCS because it’s abundance of corn and advanced refining technology
HFCS can disrupt your digestive system and bloating may occur in your ileocecal valve (ICV). I know we have all heard the Doctors talk about that. So when you come in make sure you listen to their instructions on how to improve ICV and help your digestive system!