Category Archives: high fructose corn syrup

High-fructose diet in adolescence may be linked to depression later in life

urlDepression and anxiety have become common conditions these days. Millions of highly functional, accomplished people are taking antidepressants to combat the effects of these issues as they battle depressive behaviors every day. We do know that nutrition can play a role in depression. Studies have been conducted that have linked junk food consumption to behavioral health difficulties. New information, however, is pointing to a specific culprit consumed during a specific time period and showing a definite link to the development of depression.

The consumption of a diet high in fructose throughout adolescence can worsen depressive- and anxiety-like behavior and alter how the brain responds to stress, according to new animal research scheduled for presentation at Neuroscience 2014, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

“Our results offer new insights into the ways in which diet can alter brain health and may lead to important implications for adolescent nutrition and development,” said lead author Constance Harrell of Emory University in Atlanta.

Harrell is a graduate student working with Gretchen Neigh, PhD, assistant professor of physiology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine.

Fructose, a sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables but also added to many processed foods and beverages, can promote negative cardiovascular effects. It also stimulates neural pathways that affect how the brain responds to stress, which can have important behavioral effects, including the worsening of symptoms related to depression and anxiety. Such effects are of particular concern during the teen years, which is a critical time for the development of the brain’s stress response.

To determine whether fructose consumption has the potential to create long-term changes in metabolism and behavior during adolescence, Harrell and her colleagues gave both adolescent and adult rats either a standard or a high-fructose diet. After 10 weeks, the adolescent but not adult rats on the high-fructose diet had a different stress hormone response to an acute stressor, which was consistent with their depressed-like behavior. A genetic pathway in the brain that plays a key role in regulating the way the brain responds to stress was also altered.

These findings indicate that consuming a diet high in fructose throughout adolescence may exacerbate depressive behaviors and affect the way the body and the brain respond to stress.

FoodFacts.com is always concerned about nutritional awareness in our teenagers. Unlike younger children, teens spend more time away from our homes and our kitchens. They are more likely to consume junk food containing high-fructose corn syrup on a regular basis. Healthy eating habits begin early. And while we’re not going to prevent teenagers from eating bad food when they’re away from us, the habits we instill early on will influence the choices they make as they get older. Depression is debilitating. We owe it to the coming generations to help them avoid behavioral conditions as much as we can. It’s important to remember that sugar-addicted children become sugar-addicted teens. We need to exercise control over our children’s dietary habits while we can. There’s no room for sugary beverages and processed foods in the diets of small children if we want them to grow into teens who make healthier food choices away from home.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141118141852.htm

More mold found in Capri Sun juice pouches … and more excuses

capri-sun-345A while back FoodFacts.com posted about a problem with Capri Sun juice pouches when a mother noticed a strange substance sitting at the bottom of the drink. Turned out it was mold. The company informed consumers that the mold formed because the juice doesn’t contain artificial preservatives. They also switched out the bottoms of the juice pouches, making them clear so moms everywhere could see inside the pouch, thus helping to alleviate the problem.

Well, the problem is back.

A mom found a giant piece of mold in her daughter’s Capri Sun juice pouch and now video of the disgusting discovery is going viral online. You can check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=951537624859757

Hawaii resident Marty Sunderland said she and her family were taking a trip to the beach and picked up a pack of Capri Sun. But once her daughter opened one, she found some pieces of a slimy brown solid and a disgusting taste.

So Sunderland decided to open the Capri Sun pouch on camera, revealing a giant piece of brown, slimy mold.

Though the find was disgusting, it’s actually not a new problem for Capri Sun. Kraft Foods has been dealing with reports of mold found in Capri Sun pouches for some years now and even instituted a clear bottom on the juice pouches to put customers at ease.
“The reality is, mold spores are literally everywhere,” said Caroline Krajewski, a spokeswoman for Kraft Foods, earlier this year. “Most foods, especially those without artificial preservatives, eventually spoil and get moldy.”

Kraft even addressed the Capri Sun mold issue in its company’s FAQ:

“Why does mold grow in preservative-free juice drinks?”
“Although it’s very rare, it is possible for food mold to grow inside containers of preservative-free juice drinks that are exposed to air. What usually forms is a common food mold, similar to what might grow on fruit or bread. In the past, experts have told us there are no significant or long-term health effects associated with consuming this type of mold.”

“The photo I saw looks like a worm. How could you say it’s mold?”
“In some cases when people think they have found a “worm” inside a Capri Sun pouch it was actually mold. The mold takes the form of a straw, which can then be mistaken as a worm since it is long and thin. While this is not a common occurrence, it can potentially happen because the product is free of artificial preservatives.”

Capri Sun juice pouches are sold in packs in the grocery store. Moms don’t have the opportunity to pick up an individual pouch and check the bottom pane for signs of mold. That’s the first issue we can see. There are more though.

Kraft does seem to be using the mold problem to emphasize the idea that Capri Sun doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives. And while that’s nice, it also may lead consumers to believe that the product is natural. And it really isn’t. Even the 100% juice pouches contain more than 100% juice. There’s natural flavoring in every one of them. And while that technically allows them to call the product natural, we know it really isn’t. The Roarin Waters options contain natural flavors and high fructose corn syrup, as do the original Capri Sun flavors.

And lastly, we do have a problem with some of the statements on the FAQ page. Let’s start with the idea that Kraft is telling their customers that it’s safe to consume the mold. We don’t know anyone who would willingly consume mold, and we bet they don’t either. On that same FAQ page, they’re inferring that some of the pouches allow air in which is why there’s mold growth so moms should “gently squeeze the pouch to check for leaks.” If they find a leak, they should dispose of the pouch. After they’ve purchased it. Kind of convenient for Kraft. They sell the pouches in packs. You can’t check anything before you purchase it. So if there’s a leak or you look through the clear panel on the bottom and see mold, you’re throwing away the money you’ve spent on the product. No where on the FAQ page does it offer consumers a refund for wasted product. Honestly, it just seems like a better idea of purchase a different product.

http://www.inquisitr.com/1588975/mom-finds-mold-in-daughters-capri-sun-juice-pouch-posts-disgusting-video-of-her-discovery/#gPemurk6IFuOMsHT.99

Can you walk off the negative health effects associated with high-fructose corn syrup?

Pouring a glass of colaWe all know the details of the controversies surrounding high-fructose corn syrup. We all remember the “corn sugar” commercials that tried to convince us that “sugar is sugar.” And we know that just about everyone in the FoodFacts.com community remembers the angrily disputed research linking high-fructose corn syrup to obesity, diabetes and even cancer. There have been some attempts by manufacturers to remove it from a variety of products, but for the most part, high-fructose corn syrup is still a far too popular ingredient in far too many common products, including — and most especially soda.

We’re pretty comfortable with the idea that the consumption of high fructose corn syrup puts people at risk for developing a variety of health problems. But the risk drops substantially if those people get up and move around, even if they don’t formally exercise, two new studies found.

The problem with the sweetener is that, unlike sucrose, the formal name for common table sugar, fructose is metabolized primarily in the liver. There, much of the fructose is transformed into fatty acids, some of which remain in the liver, marbling that organ and contributing to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

The rest of the fatty acids migrate into the bloodstream, causing metabolic havoc. Past animal and human studies have linked the intake of even moderate amounts of fructose with dangerous gyrations in blood sugar levels, escalating insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, added fat around the middle, obesity, poor cholesterol profiles and other metabolic disruptions.

But Amy Bidwell, then a researcher at Syracuse University, noticed that few of these studies had examined interactions between physical activity and fructose. That was a critical omission, she thought, because movement and exercise change how the body utilizes fuels, including fructose.

Dr. Bidwell sought out healthy, college-aged men and women who would agree to drink soda in the pursuit of science. They were easy to find. She gathered 22.

The volunteers showed up at the university’s physiology lab for a series of baseline tests. The researchers assessed how their bodies responded to a fructose-rich meal, recording their blood sugar and insulin levels, and other measures of general and metabolic health, including cholesterol profiles and blood markers of bodily inflammation. The students also completed questionnaires about their normal diets and activity levels and subsequently wore an activity monitor for a week to gauge how much they generally moved.

Then half of the volunteers spent two weeks moving about half as much as they had before. The other 11 volunteers began moving around about twice as much as before, for a daily total of at least 12,000 steps a day, or about six miles.

After a rest period of a week, the groups switched, so that every volunteer had moved a lot and a little.

Throughout, they also consumed two fructose-rich servings of a lemon-lime soda, designed to provide 75 grams of fructose a day, which is about what an average American typically consumes. The sodas contained about 250 calories each, and the volunteers were asked to reduce their nonfructose calories by the same amount, to avoid weight gain.

After each two-week session, the volunteers returned to the lab for a repeat of the metabolic and health tests.

Their results diverged widely, depending on how much they’d moved. As one of two new studies based on the research, published in May in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, reports, after two weeks of fructose loading and relative inactivity, these young, healthy volunteers displayed a notable shift in their cholesterol and health profiles. There was a significant increase in their blood concentrations of dangerous very-low-density lipoproteins, and a soaring 116-percent increase in markers of bodily inflammation.

The second study, published this month in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, focused on blood-sugar responses to fructose and activity, and found equally striking changes among the young people when they didn’t move much. Two weeks of extra fructose left them with clear signs of incipient insulin resistance, which is typically the first step toward Type 2 diabetes.

But in both studies, walking at least 12,000 steps a day effectively wiped out all of the disagreeable changes wrought by the extra fructose. When the young people moved more, their cholesterol and blood sugar levels remained normal, even though they were consuming plenty of fructose every day.

The lesson from these studies is not that we should blithely down huge amounts of fructose and assume that a long walk will undo all harmful effects, said Dr. Bidwell, who is now an assistant professor of exercise science at the State University of New York in Oswego. “I don’t want people to consider these results as a license to eat badly,” she added.

But the data suggests that “if you are going to regularly consume fructose,” she said, “be sure to get up and move around.”

The study did not examine how activity ameliorates some of the worst impacts of fructose, but it’s likely, Dr. Bidwell said, that the “additional muscular contractions” involved in standing and taking 12,000 steps a day produce a cascade of physiological effects that alter how the body uses fructose.

Interestingly, the young people in the study did not increase the lengths of their normal workouts to achieve the requisite step totals, and most did not formally exercise at all, Dr. Bidwell said. They parked their cars further away from stores; took stairs instead of elevators; strolled the campus; and generally “sat less, moved more,” she said. “That’s a formula for good health, in any case,” she added, “but it appears to be key,” if you’re determined to have that soda.

FoodFacts.com still thinks that avoiding high fructose corn syrup AND soda is really what makes the most sense. What is striking here is that keeping our bodies moving can have such a tremendous effect on our health — and how that effect can be achieved with small efforts. Staying active can sometimes appear daunting — getting to a gym and exercising for a certain period of time each day can seem constricting and time consuming for some. But our bodies seem to appreciate increased activity in even the most basic of forms. Regardless of our dietary habits, it’s in our best interest to get moving and stay moving!

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/10/drink-soda-keep-walking/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Do we really know what’s in the soda we’re drinking?

Melting honeyIt would be an understatement to say that FoodFacts.com dislikes soda. There are a myriad of reasons. Suffice it to say that we aren’t fans of chemical concoctions with no nutritional value. So of course, when we read new information regarding the overall nastiness of soda we do feel a responsibility to share it with our community. Today we read some new information that gives us all yet another reason to stay away from falsely flavored bubbly liquid.

Soda consumers may be getting a much higher dose of the harmful sugar fructose than they have been led to believe, according to a new study by the Childhood Obesity Research Center (CORC) at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), part of Keck Medicine of USC.

In the study, published online June 3, 2014 in the journal Nutrition, Keck School of Medicine researchers analyzed the chemical composition of 34 popular beverages, finding that beverages and juices made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew and Sprite, all contain 50 percent more fructose than glucose, a blend that calls into question claims that sugar and HFCS are essentially the same.

“We found what ends up being consumed in these beverages is neither natural sugar nor HFCS, but instead a fructose-intense concoction that could increase one’s risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease,” said Michael Goran, Ph.D., director of the CORC and lead author of the study. “The human body isn’t designed to process this form of sugar at such high levels. Unlike glucose, which serves as fuel for the body, fructose is processed almost entirely in the liver where it is converted to fat.”

The Corn Refiners Association, a trade group representing HFCS producers, has long argued that HFCS is only negligibly different than natural sugar (sucrose), which is made up of equal parts of fructose and glucose. Goran’s analysis of beverages made with HFCS, however, showed a fructose to glucose ratio of 60:40 — considerably higher than the equal proportions found in sucrose and challenging the industry’s claim that “sugar is sugar.”

The research also shows that the ingredients on some product labels do not represent their fructose content. For example, Goran’s team found that the label on Pepsi Throwback indicates it is made with real sugar (sucrose) yet the analysis demonstrated that it contains more than 50 percent fructose. Sierra Mist, Gatorade and Mexican Coca-Cola also have higher concentrations of fructose than implied by their label. This suggests that these beverages might contain HFCS, which is not disclosed on their labels.

The research team purchased beverages based on product popularity and had them analyzed for sugar composition in three different laboratories using three different methods. The results were consistent across the different methods and yielded an average sugar composition of 60 percent fructose and 40 percent glucose in beverages made with HFCS.

Americans consume more HFCS per capita than any other nation and consumption has doubled over the last three decades. Diabetes rates have tripled in the same period. Much of this increase is directly linked to sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks.

“Given that Americans drink 45 gallons of soda a year, it’s important for us to have a more accurate understanding of what we’re actually drinking, including specific label information on the types of sugars,” said Goran.

According to this very revealing analysis, we really may not know what’s actually in the soda millions of Americans are drinking every day. And while the study doesn’t state that manufacturers aren’t being completely upfront about their ingredients, it certainly calls the items listed on the labels into question. FoodFacts.com truly hopes this analysis gets the press it deserves. In the interest of transparency, we hope our community shares this post.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604093954.htm

More bad news about fructose

FoodFacts.com knows that most in our community understand that added sugars have been playing a key role in obesity and insulin resistance. We also understand that most grasp the concept that the majority of added sugars like fructose and sucrose are not getting into our diets from our own sugar bowls. Instead, they are coming to us in the vast variety of processed foods and beverages available in our grocery stores, retail food establishments and quick serve restaurants.

Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have recently reported that the cause of obesity and insulin resistance may be tied to the fructose your body makes in addition to the fructose you eat. Numerous studies suggest that the risk from added sugars may be due to the fructose content.

But in the study published in the Sept. 10 edition of Nature Communications, the team led by researchers at the CU School of Medicine reports that fatty liver and insulin resistance may also result from fructose produced in the liver from non-fructose containing carbohydrates.

The study, whose first authors are Miguel Lanaspa, PhD, and Takuji Ishimoto, MD, reported that mice can convert glucose to fructose in the liver, and that this conversion was critical for driving the development of obesity and insulin resistance in mice fed glucose.

“Our data suggests that it is the fructose generated from glucose that is largely responsible for how carbohydrates cause fatty liver and insulin resistance,” said Lanaspa.
Richard Johnson, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the division of renal diseases and hypertension at the School of Medicine and senior author of the paper, said: “Our studies provide an understanding for why high glycemic foods may increase the risk for obesity and insulin resistance. While some of the weight gain is driven by the caloric content and the effects of stimulating insulin, the ability of high glycemic foods to cause insulin resistance and fatty liver is due in part to the conversion of glucose to fructose inside the body.

“Ironically, our study shows that much of the risk from ingesting high glycemic foods is actually due to the generation of fructose, which is a low glycemic sugar. These studies challenge the dogma that fructose is safe and that it is simply the high glycemic carbohydrates that need to be restricted.”

FoodFacts.com notes that we’re ingesting fructose on a fairly consistent basis due to the high levels of the sweetener in our food supply. In addition to that, our bodies are producing even more as glucose in converted to fructose. And that may very well be adding fuel to the already raging fire of the obesity epidemic.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130910142341.htm

Are we subsidizing the obesity crisis?

FoodFacts.com is always interested in new information that helps us gain better insight into the skyrocketing obesity epidemic. We have great concern about the availability and nutritional quality of the processed foods and beverages in our grocery stores and fast food chains and are constantly offering education regarding the ingredients being used in our food supply. Obesity is a real problem in our society – one that affects the health and well-being of millions in our population.

Today we found information we want to make sure everyone in our community is aware of. A new report released by the U.S. PIRG (the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups) reveals that one billion dollars of federal tax money is subsidizing ingredients used in processed foods and beverages. We are financially supporting commodity crops used for additives like high-fructose corn syrup with enough tax dollars to effectively purchase 20 Twinkies every year for every taxpayer in our nation. By contrast, subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy each of us just one half of an apple each year.

These subsidies are part of the Farm Bill that expires in September. Both the Farm Bill approved by the U.S. Senate and the one that passed the House last Thursday would continue these subsidies.

The report indicates that as the obesity epidemic continues to grow each year, our food policy seems to be subsidizing the food and beverage products that are helping to fuel it. Between 1995 and 2012, American taxpayers spent more than $290 billion in agricultural subsidies. 75 percent of the subsidies go to just 3.8 percent of farmers. The subsidies mainly support a few commodity crops, including corn and soybeans. Among other uses, food manufacturers process corn and soy crops into additives like high-fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil – two of the ingredients that add excess sugar and fat to processed products.

Some of the report’s findings to take note of:

• Between 1995 and 2012, more than $19 billion in tax dollars subsidized four common food additives – corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and soy oils. At $7.30 per taxpayer per year, that would buy each taxpayer 20 Twinkies.

• Outside of commodity crops, other agricultural products received very little in federal subsidies. Since 1995, taxpayers spent only $689 million subsidizing apples, which is the only significant federal subsidy of fresh fruits or vegetables. Coming to 26 cents per taxpayer per year, that would buy less than half of one Red Delicious apple.

So as childhood obesity continues to rise and the obese population experiences a plethora of weight-related health problems, our tax dollars continue to support the ingredients that keep consumers coming back for more sugary and fatty food choices. FoodFacts.com finds this quite confusing. While we understand that research points to obesity as a complex problem with many contributing causes, it’s no secret that processed foods contain too much sugar and fat. And yet we’re actually supporting the very ingredients that play a role in the current epidemic. As a community of nutritionally-aware individuals, we can continue to do our part by remembering our own commitment to quality food choices, fresh ingredients and sharing knowledge. You can download the report here for the complete information it contains.

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2013/07/16

New Study Links Fructose to Liver Damage

There’s been so much news about added sugars and obesity recently. FoodFacts.com has been encouraged by the incredible number of studies being released talking candidly about the affects of excess sugars in our diet. Today, we found new information we wanted to share with our community regarding a new potential problem surrounding fructose. Fructose is already fairly controversial for a number of reasons, the primary concern being High Fructose Corn Syrup and its prevalence in our food supply.

A new study coming out of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has shown that fructose quickly caused liver damage in animals.

Previously, these researchers had studied monkeys who were allowed to eat an unlimited low-fat diet with added fructose for seven years. They compared them to a control group of monkeys who were fed a low-fructose, low-fat diet for the same time period. The monkeys consuming the high-fructose diet gained 50 percent more weight than those in the control group. They developed diabetes at three times the rate of the control group … as well as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The researchers were then left with the question of what caused the liver disease. Did it develop because of the weight gain, or was it linked to the fructose?

This new study was designed to answer this important question. Researchers worked with ten middle-aged monkeys of normal weight who had never consumed fructose. They were split into two groups based on similar body shapes and waist circumference. For a six week period, one group was fed a calorie-controlled diet with 24 percent fructose. The other group consumed a calorie control diet that contained a minimal amount of fructose (about half a percent).

In other ways, the diets were identical. Both contained the same amount of fat, carbohydrates and protein. Only the sources of the nutrients were different. For the high-fructose group, the diet contained flour, butter, pork fat, eggs and fructose. The control group’s nutrients were derived from healthy complex carbohydrates and soy protein.

At the end of the six week period, researchers measured the biomarkers for liver damage through blood samples as well as examining the bacteria of the intestines. They were surprised to see how quickly the livers of the high-fructose group were damaged and how extensive the damage actually was. Intestinal bacteria migrated to the liver very quickly, causing damage on a fairly immediate basis. It appeared that something connected to the high fructose levels was causing the intestines to react less defensively. The bacteria leaked out at a 30 percent higher rate.

While the researchers chose to study fructose because it is the most common added sugar in our diets here in the U.S., it is important to note that they cannot state conclusively that fructose was the cause of the liver damage. They do acknowledge, however that the high levels of added sugar caused bacteria to leave the intestines, enter the blood stream and damage the liver. The same thing might happen with high levels of added dextrose (another simple sugar found in plants).

There are plenty of unanswered questions regarding the fructose in our food supply. It is, without doubt, the sugar we consume most. There are studies that point to many different health problems that it may be linked to. This particular study joins the list. FoodFacts.com is especially interested in the rapid rate in which the liver damage seems to have occurred in this research. When this new information is added to the other possibilities, we’re more convinced than ever that added sugars should be avoided in food products as much and as often as possible.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619164437.htm

New study involving brain imaging links fructose consumption to obesity

FoodFacts.com has been dedicated to bringing our community news that educates us all on the obesity epidemic and its possible causes. Today we learned of a new study that provides further insight into these issues in some new and innovative ways.

New research published this past week in the Journal of the American Medical Association has explored the differences between fructose and glucose on the human brain. Fructose is most commonly found in the U.S. food supply as high-fructose corn syrup. This highly-processed ingredient is commonly found in thousands of products in our food supply. Fructose on its own can also be used as a sweetener in a variety of products. This new study coming out of Yale University suggests that any type of fructose may be a contributor to obesity because it affects the regions of the brain that control appetite differently than glucose. This study is actually the first that compares the brain’s response to both types of sweeteners.

The research relied on brain imaging to actually measure activity after the sweeteners were consumed. It showed clearly that glucose reduced the blood flow in the areas of the brain that regulate appetite, thereby satisfying their appetites and stopping them from eating more. Results seem to suggest that food and drink containing fructose might actually cause people to eat more than they would normally, after consuming different foods containing different forms of sugar.

Glucose is used by the brain as fuel. If there isn’t enough glucose, the brain will activate certain cells that try to encourage you to eat. When glucose levels increase, the brain turns the cells off – signaling that you don’t need more food. Fructose doesn’t seem to send the same messages to the brain, so those cells stay turned on, so to speak. There’s no ending message that tells you to stop eating.

The study focused on 20 healthy adults through the usage of MRIs (magnetic resonance images). There was a “significantly greater” reduction of blood flow in the rain areas regulating appetite after consuming glucose than there was after consuming fructose. Glucose is the main type of sugar in our bloodstream. It’s the most important source of energy for our cells. Glucose is derived from fruits, vegetables and starches. Fructose most commonly comes from sugar cane, beets and corn. It’s most often used because it is far sweeter than glucose and can help processed foods and beverages hold their sweetness over long periods of time and even after freezing. This is one of the main reasons that the use of high-fructose corn syrup is so popular among manufacturers of processed foods, sodas and juices.

The researchers are suggesting further studies that would test the effects of glucose under more common conditions where the participants are eating and drinking typical foods together with those containing fructose to gain greater understanding of the effects of the sweetener on the appetite-controlling areas of our brains. FoodFacts.com will follow this story and bring our community any updates as they become available. In the meantime, stay vigilant and read the ingredient lists for every product you consider for purchase.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-01/fructose-tied-to-obesity-as-study-shows-it-doesn-t-cut-appetite.html
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/254512.php

So if it’s just like sugar, why do the countries using the most High-Fructose Corn Syrup have 20% more incidences of Type 2 Diabetes?

FoodFacts.com learned about the results of a new study today that focuses on High-Fructose Corn Syrup. We keep thinking about those “corn sugar” commercials. They claim that sugar is sugar and your body doesn’t know the difference between regular cane sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup. The claim never seemed to make sense to us because High-Fructose Corn Syrup is a heavily processed sweetener. A new study coming out of both the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Oxford is finding evidence that repudiates that claim.

It appears that countries whose food supplies contain the highest amounts of High-Fructose Corn Syrup also have higher levels of Type 2 Diabetes amongst their populations In fact the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes is 20 percent higher in these nations. That’s a significant percentage and worth the attention of consumers everywhere.

The results of this research join many other studies that have linked health problems with the consumption of High-Fructose Corn Syrup. “HFCS appears to pose a serious public health problem on a global scale,” said principal study author Michael I. Goran, professor of preventive medicine, director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center and co-director of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. “The study adds to a growing body of scientific literature that indicates HFCS consumption may result in negative health consequences distinct from and more deleterious than natural sugar.”

The research studied reports from 42 different countries. The U.S. boasts the highest consumption of HFCS – 55 pounds per year, per person. Hungary comes in second – at 46 pounds. Japan, Canada, Mexico, Slovakia, Korea, Bulgaria and Belgium also consume high amounts of High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Serbia, Germany, Portugal, Greece and Finland come in at the lower end of the HFCS consumption scale. The countries consuming the least amounts include Australia, China, Denmark, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

The analysis of these reports discovered that those countries with the highest consumption of High-Fructose Corn Syrup had a level of prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes of 8% compared to 6.7% in those countries whose population consumed the lowest amounts. It clearly suggests a link between HFCS consumption and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

The research suggests that the association between HFCS and Type 2 Diabetes most likely stems from higher levels of fructose in the food products made with High-Fructose Corn Syrup. While both Fructose and glucose are found in sugar in equal amounts, HFCS has a larger amount of fructose. That’s what makes it sweeter while also giving processed foods longer shelf life, and a more attractive appearance, especially when used in baked goods.

Unfortunately, the United States is the largest consumer of HFCS. In the late 90s, High-Fructose Corn Syrup accounted for 40% of all sweeteners and was the main sweetener used in soft drinks sold in this country. Since then, other countries like Mexico have been gaining ground in their consumption because the U.S. has been increasing its exports of HFCS.

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the world’s most serious health problems. It’s a major cause of death and often proves difficult for people to manage. While further study is required to prove a conclusive link between High-Fructose Corn Syrup and this chronic illness, FoodFacts.com is thrilled to see the association between the two being made so plainly by this study. High-Fructose Corn Syrup isn’t sugar and the assumption that your body will process it like sugar is, thankfully, coming closer to being proven false. This is an issue we will continue to follow and provide updates on.

In the meantime, read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/253284.php

High Fructose Corn Syrup … at the center of another controversy

FoodFacts.com has been aware that there’s been an ongoing fight between sugar producers and corn refiners here in the U.S. Back in 2011 sugar refiners and farmers filed a false advertising lawsuit against corn refiners. It was focused on the concept that the corn refiners were misleading consumers by promoting High Fructose Corn Syrup as the nutritional equivalent of sugar. We’re sure most of you remember the ad campaign, trying to position HFCS as “corn sugar,” claiming that as far as your body is concerned “sugar is sugar”.

And now, the corn refiners have filed a counter claim in the state of California. They’re accusing sugar producers of conducting a campaign maligning High Fructose Corn Syrup. They claim that the Sugar Association is falsely accusing HFCS of contributing to obesity and health problems in the population. As an example of this campaign, the Corn Refiners Association has pointed out an article on the Sugar Association’s website which quotes Dr. John McElligott claiming that “your body does not recognize High Fructose Corn Syrup as a sugar, so the pancreas does not react with a burst of insulin as it would with sugar or sucrose.” The CRA is arguing that this statement is false and misleading.

FoodFacts.com doesn’t actually take sides in most arguments. We’ve always felt that our job is to inform consumers and provide enough information to our community to make the intelligent decisions that fit their lifestyles. After reading more about this however, we did want to bring it to your attention and cite some other information that does, in fact, contradict the claims of the Corn Refiners Association. In a blog we posted a few months back, we discussed a study from the Norwegian School of Veterinary Medicine. It explored the results of feeding both mice and salmon diets of genetically modified foods. That study linked GMO-based diets to increases in obesity in both the mice and salmon populations involved.

So although we don’t know if the animals and fish involved in the study received any HFCS in their GMO-based diets, we DO know that High Fructose Corn Syrup in our food supply is, most likely, GMO. And even though the conclusion of the study we blogged about called for further research before any definitive statement could be made, we most certainly can say that the remarks quoted on the Sugar Association’s website weren’t misleading at all. In fact, the statement made was based on the ongoing research focusing on the effects of genetically modified ingredients in our food supply. Our own conclusion is that it’s highly possible that the Corn Refiners Association is still trying to make High Fructose Corn Syrup more acceptable in the minds of consumers. Only this time, they’re trying to do that by contradicting the increasing body of research that does not support their own claims.

FoodFacts.com invites you to read more:
http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/On-your-radar/Natural-claims/Sugar-and-corn-giants-trade-insults-as-high-fructose-corn-syrup-row-heats-up
http://blog.foodfacts.com/?p=6024&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=106