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News Flash! The HFCS Monopoly is Finally Cracking…

April 17, 2010 | 85,648 views
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high fructose corn syrup, HFCS, sugar, fructose, pepsi, kraft"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."

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

THIS is the kind of mainstream news I’ve been hoping for!

And YOU are a contributor to this success. Turning the tide on the commercial use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) definitely required more than a few studies to prove its dangers. It also required continuous pressure from consumers like you.

Now, finally, PepsiCo has realized the way to keep its market share is to yield to consumer demand and honor people’s health by removing high fructose corn syrup – an ingredient that is in large part responsible for the out-of-control obesity epidemic in the US, and across the world.

According to BNET, Con Agra is also removing HFCS from Hunt’s ketchup, and Kraft is taking it out of its Wheat Thins. Snapple drinks will also become HFCS-free.

I hope, and sincerely believe, that this is just the beginning.

There’s still a long way to go to make a real dent in this problem, considering the fact that HFCS is used in literally thousands of food products, including items you’d never suspect to be loaded with added sugars.

Getting HFCS out of all infant formulas and baby foods should be a no-brainer, for example.

Same Amount of Calories IN, Different Amount of Weight Put ON…

The primary scientific argument that HFCS defenders have is fatally flawed. While HFCS has about the same amount of fructose as cane sugar, what they fail to mention is that the fructose in HFCS is in its “free” form and not attached to any other carbs.

The fructose in fruits and in cane sugar is bonded to other sugars which results in a decrease in its metabolic toxicity.

Additionally, Science Daily quotes Professor Hoebel, a specialist in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction, as saying:

"Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests.

When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board.

Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."

People who have struggled with their weight for years; examining their diets, avoiding fat and counting calories, yet not getting anywhere and wondering what they’re doing wrong, you need to pay very close attention to this issue.

In many cases the primary culprit may be the excessive intake of hidden sugar in the form of corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup, which is a main ingredient in countless processed and pre-packaged foods.

It’s extremely easy to consume high amounts of HFCS on a daily basis, especially if most of your foods are processed in any way, or if you drink sodas or any other sweetened beverages such as ice-teas and fruit juices.

As discussed earlier this week, even seemingly “health-conscious” beverages like Vitamin Water, Jamba Juice and Odwalla SuperFood contain far more added sugar and/or fructose than many desserts!

It’s time to realize that dietary fat does not make you fat. Fructose does.

In fact, HFCS will not only pack on extra pounds faster than other ingredients, including other sugars, it promotes a particularly dangerous kind of body fat, namely adipose fat.

This is the fat type of fat that collects in your abdominal region and is associated with a greater risk of heart disease.

For an in-depth review of just how different fructose and HFCS really is from regular sugar, please read through this recent article and watch the lecture given by Dr. Robert Lustig.

If you have not yet taken the time to see it, you owe it to yourself to do so. It’s a real eye-opener!

HFCS Implicated in Liver Damage

I’ve written extensively about the numerous dangers of HFCS on many occasions through the years, so for more information, all you need to do is enter the search terms “fructose” or “high fructose corn syrup” in the search engine at the top of this page.

However, one of the latest health problems that have been linked to HFCS consumption is liver damage. Above you’ll find links to four studies related to HFCS and liver disease – three of them confirming a link, and a fourth that did not.

Science Daily writes:

"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)," said Manal Abdelmalek, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology at Duke University Medical Center.

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.

"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," Abdelmalek said.” [Emphasis mine.]

These findings confirm those from a previous study published in 2008 in the Journal of Hepatology, which concluded that “the pathogenic mechanism underlying the development of NAFLD may be associated with excessive dietary fructose consumption.”

The findings of a third study, published in this month’s issue of Kidney International, also support this hypothesis.

After following up on nearly 16, 000 people over the course of three to nine years, the risk of chronic kidney disease increased by over 150 percent in those who consumed more than one soft drink per day. However, the researchers were careful to mention that their longitudinal analyses did not support the theory that HFCS-sweetened soda consumption induced renal damage.

Getting Back to Basics Means a Return to a Lower Sugar Diet

I’ve been warning about the health hazards of HFCS for years, and I’m pleased that this issue is finally starting to get the attention it deserves within the medical and scientific community.

Science Daily quotes Dr. Abdelmalek as saying:

"Our findings suggest that we may need to go back to healthier diets that are more holistic.

High fructose corn syrup, which is predominately in soft-drinks and processed foods, may not be as benign as we previously thought."

Amen, to that.

There is nothing benign about the fructose consumption inherent in our modern diet. It is literally supercharged with fructose in every bite and every sip, and we’re seeing the consequences of this type of eating in our skyrocketing obesity rates; in our rising heart disease rates, and inexplicable cases of non-fatty liver disease.

Fortunately, there is a way out of this evil circle, and that is a return to a more holistic diet based on whole foods, along with physical exercise and safe sun exposure.


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