Corn Syrup

The Problem with High Fructose Corn Syrup

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

The next time you see that commercial where the two people are trying to figure why high fructose corn syrup is problematic, here’s somethings YOU can think about…

Table sugar is made up robust chemical bond that connects fructose and glucose; it’s a natural product with a natural bonding that makes it very strong. High fructose corn syrup, which is made up of an artificially processed combination of fructose and glucose has no such chemical constituency. The two sugars aren’t bonded. And that means it’s is fructose is free and easily absorbed by liver which doesn’t really know how to handle kind of fructose load. High Fructose Corn SyrupThe net result is a too horrible words that when it comes to your health and longevity that you don’t want to hear together “fatty liver”.

High fructose sweeteners have another unpleasant quality. While all sugars can make you fat, fructose-fat may be specific for the belly. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers showed that volunteers who consumed fructose sweetened beverages experienced significantly higher accumulations of fat within the abdomen even though they and their glucose drinking experimental colleagues gained the same amount of total weight.

Got gout? Well, it turns out one of the ways the the liver handles all that excess fructose ends up creating the uric acid crystals that wreak so much havoc in millions of big toes around the country. And uric acid doesn’t just cause the grief of gout. It associated with high blood pressure and kidney disease too.

And if that’s not enough, there’s recent literature that suggests that even though fructose doesn’t raise insulin, it may increase insulin resistance. In article published earlier this year in Diabetes Care, fructose consumers were more likely to have depotentized insulin than glucose consumers.

Perhaps the worst thing about high fructose corn syrup is a particularly distressing feature it shares in common with most common sweeteners, artificial and “natural”. They make you want to eat more. In the book ‘Salt Sugar Fat” by Michael Moss, there’s an interesting and revealing vignette about how surprised researchers were to discover that sweetened beverages more hungry not less. And now it turns out that fructose may be particularly culpable. Two papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007 showed that pure glucose decreases food intake while fructose had the opposite effect fructose increased it .

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Toxic

55 Pounds of High-fructose Corn Syrup

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

The average American consumes 55 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup each year topping a list of 42 countries according to a paper published in the journal Global Public Health. Second highest consumption according to the report occurs in Hungary (46 pounds) fructose, followed by Slovakia, Canada and Bulgaria. And, according to the article, the countries with the highest consumption suffered significantly increased prevalence for diabetes independent of ordinary sugar intake and diabetes. And, the health disaster monster that the large intake of high fructose corn syrup represents has long tentacles that ultimately affect every system of the body.

Corn SyrupOne example involves fructose’s relationship with the amino acid tryptophan. Fructose can complex with the important mood enhancing amino acid tryptophan. This makes tryptophan unavailable to the brain when that happens BIG trouble can follow! Tryptophan is mega-mega important for mood and wellbeing. It gets turned into melatonin and serotonin which are arguably the two most important chemicals in the brain. You can think of tryptophan as natural Prozac and for many people fructose will be blocking it from access to the brain.

Here’s where it gets really interesting from a biochemical perspective. The brain has an appetite area, that initiates hunger sensations and a satisfaction area that shuts these sensations down. And it uses tryptophan to determine which center will be activated. All day long it is scanning the blood for this important amino acid. When tryptophan levels rise, activity in the satisfaction center is turned on and hunger ceases. Low tryptophan levels on the hand stimulate brain activity in the appetite or hunger center. If fructose is complexing with tryptophan, preventing it from getting into the brain it will take ingestion of a lot of tryptophan for the brain to to activate satisfaction centers vs. the “go get us a Coke or an ingestion apple or some other kind of sugar” center.

If you find yourself unable to stop eating AND you’re ingesting lots of high fructose corn syrup, or table sugar, which is 50 percent fructose, you may want to try switching sweeteners. Especially if you are dealing with diarrhea, loose stools, gas cramping or bloating after ingesting processed foods, fruits or fruit juices. Stevia and xylitol are probably the best choices you can make, and I like to use coconut water which a bit expensive, but can provides electrolytes and vitamins not available in other sweeteners. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to add a little daily supplemental tryptophan to your supplement program. You can use 200mg of 5HTP daily or 500-1000 mg of tryptophan. Take it at bedtime, though, it may make you drowsy.

Article cited:
Goran, M., Ulijaszek, S. and Ventura, E. (2012). High fructose corn syrup and diabetes prevalence: A global perspective. Global Public Health. Published online Nov. 27, 2012.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Nutrition