"The back-to-back, double whammy announcements that PepsiCo is ditching high fructose corn syrup in Gatorade along with the results of a scathing new study from researchers at Princeton make it official -- allies of the controversial sweetener have lost the war," BNET writes.
For years, the Corn Refiners Association has been arguing that HFCS is a perfectly natural product that is equal to other forms of sugar.
Of course, the Corn Refiners Association is not going to go down easily. Currently, they appear to be pretending the problem simply doesn’t exist.
On their Web site, “SweetSurprise.com”, they are still trumpeting an episode of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric that ran a report basically parroting the industry line -- “high fructose corn syrup is just sugar with an image problem.”
However, a Princeton research team has again demonstrated that all sweeteners are NOT equal when it comes to weight gain -- rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.
Making matters even worse, two other recent studies have also linked HFCS to liver disease. (A third found no connection.)
Intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages may increase levels of uric acid, a compound linked to decreased kidney function, and a cross-sectional analysis of data from almost 16,000 people found that the risk of chronic kidney disease increased by over 150 percent in those who more than one soda per day and had high levels of uric acid.
Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center stated: "We found that increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup was associated with scarring in the liver, or fibrosis, among patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)."
The researchers found only 19 percent of adults with NAFLD reported no intake of fructose-containing beverages, while 52 percent consumed between one and six servings a week and 29 percent consumed fructose-containing beverages on a daily basis.
An increase in consumption of fructose appeared to be correlated to increased liver fibrosis in patients with NAFLD. The researchers stated:
"We have identified an environmental risk factor that may contribute to the metabolic syndrome of insulin resistance and the complications of the metabolic syndrome, including liver injury."