Hide this
Previous Article Next Article
 

Corn is Making the U.S. Unhealthy

April 04, 2009 | 76,009 views
Share This Article Share

corn, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose, HFCSPundit George Will has joined the ranks of those who have noticed that the U.S. government’s treatment of corn is wrecking the health of Americans.

Ever since Nixon, government policy has been to sell large quantities of calories as cheaply as possible -- especially calories coming from corn. Now, a quarter of the 45,000 items in the average supermarket contain processed corn, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

The result?

Rates of chronic diseases like cancer and Type 2 diabetes are much higher today than they were in 1900. Type 2 diabetes is a $100 billion a year consequence of, among other things, obesity related to a corn-based diet. Four of the top 10 causes of American deaths -- coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer – have well-established links to diet as well.

Making matters worse, by now you may have seen “crystalline fructose” as an ingredient in beverages.

If you’ve been wondering what it was, it turns out that crystalline fructose “is produced by allowing the fructose to crystallize from a fructose-enriched corn syrup.” This information is from the sugar producers themselves. So, it is made from corn syrup, and not only corn syrup, but “fructose enriched” corn syrup. Sounds like another name for high fructose corn syrup.

Fructose and glucose are metabolized differently in the body. Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body, but all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. When a diet includes a large amount of fructose, then it creates a fatty liver, and even cirrhosis. Crystalline Fructose contains a 99.5 percent minimum of fructose assay, which is an even higher percentage of fructose than regular HFCS!

Another ingredient of crystalline fructose is arsenic. Additional chemical compounds that make up crystalline fructose are heavy metals, lead, and chloride.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

As I’ve stated on numerous occasions already, the number one source of calories in the United States is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). I find that so amazing, it bears repeating. The average American consumes about 12 teaspoons of it every day, though the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) estimates that teens and other “high consumers” may consume 80 percent more than that.

Most of this is consumed in the form of sodas, but that’s not the only source of HFCS. This dangerous sweetener is also in many processed foods and fruit juices, so to avoid it you really must focus your diet on whole foods and, if you do purchase packaged foods, become an avid label reader.  

And now, you’ll need to put yet another item on your list to look for -- a new version for HFCS: crystalline fructose, which is even worse for your health than HFCS.  

I didn’t think it was possible, but they’ve managed to do it. 

How High Fructose Can Destroy Your Health  

George Will is absolutely right when he says that high fructose corn syrup is wrecking the health of Americans.

Until the 1970s, most sugar was sucrose derived from sugar beets or sugar cane. But sugar from corn, especially high fructose corn syrup, is now more popular because it is much less expensive to produce.

It also contains nearly twice the fructose of the sugars that came before it.

Research has clearly linked it to the rise in obesity and metabolic syndrome, as it is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar. Adding insult to injury, because most fructose is consumed in liquid form, its negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified.

Just like other sugars it disrupts your insulin levels, and elevated insulin levels are going to  increase your risk of nearly every chronic disease known to man, including: 

 

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Premature aging
  • Arthritis and osteoporosis 

 

You name it, and you will find elevated insulin levels as a primary factor.

There’s also new evidence that HFCS in particular increases your triglyceride levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It also harms organs like your liver and pancreas, leading to bone loss, anemia, and heart problems, just to name a few.

Says Dr. Andrew Weil:

“Your body doesn’t handle large amounts of fructose well. You can maintain life with intravenous glucose, but not with intravenous fructose; severe derangement of liver function results. There’s also evidence that a high intake of fructose elevates levels of circulating fats (serum triglycerides), increasing the risk of heart disease. I never use fructose in my home.”

I avoid HFCS like the plague as well, and if you care about your health, so would you.

If you haven't yet read the amazing scientific analysis on fructose in one of my favorite nutritional journals, I would strongly encourage you to do so as it will open your eyes to some of the major problems with this sweetener.

What Could be Worse than High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Enter “crystalline fructose,” a high-octane variety of HFCS.

Whereas regular HFCS contains 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose, crystalline fructose is at minimum 99 percent fructose, which could only mean that all the health problems associated with fructose may be even more pronounced with this product.

In addition to that, crystalline fructose may also contains arsenic, lead, chloride and heavy metals -- a laundry list of things you want to avoid at all cost. Especially if you have children, as all of these contaminants can impact your child’s development and long-term health.

(Regular HFCS has also recently been shown to be widely contaminated with mercury, another heavy metal that carries significant health risks, especially for children. In one study, almost half of tested samples of commercial HFCS contained mercury. It was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient.)

Don’t be Deceived by Healthy-Sounding Drinks

One popular product containing crystalline fructose is Vitaminwater. Folks, please do not make the mistake of believing Vitaminwater is a healthy product simply because it has “vitamin” and “water” on the label.

According to the Cleaner Plate article linked above, many people report feeling less than stellar after drinking Vitaminwater, citing after-effects like headaches, stomachaches, and most frequently, diarrhea.

Your best bet for your primary fluid replacement is just pure, fresh water. Your body does not need anything added to the water to make it any “healthier” than it already is.

Remember, the food industry spends about $40 billion a year on advertising, with the intention of brainwashing you to believe that junk food is somehow good for you and your kids. And the beverage industry is part of that pack.

The more informed you are and the smarter you shop, the healthier you and your family will be.


[+] Sources and References