High Fructose Corn Syrup Debate Gets Murkier
Past studies have condemned using high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a substitute for sugar because it was believed it interferes with leptin, a hormone that tells your brain you've eaten enough. New studies point to some far more disturbing things about HFCS.
According to Dr Robert Lustig, appearing on The Health Report, a significant culprit in the obesity epidemic is fructose. Widely believed to be a good substitute for sugar for diabetics because of it's relatively low impact on insulin levels, fructose has been shown to have other effects that are potentially worse.
Due to changes in food formulation we've gone from consuming about half-a-pound of fructose a year in 1970 to almost 56 pounds a year now. Invented in Japan in 1975 as a substitute for the more expensive sugar, HFCS, which is 90% fructose, is in everything from soda to spaghetti sauce.
Recent studies suggest that part of the problem is that only the liver can process HFCS while the entire body processes sugar. All this work done by the liver depletes phosphate stores and results in increased uric acid production which raises blood pressure and can lead to gout.
Fructose processing by the liver also leads to an increase in LDL Cholesterol (the bad kind).
Another effect Fructose has on the liver is produce a hormone called "Junk One" which blocks insulin reception in the liver causing it to rise throughout the body to compensate. It also leads to what doctors refer to as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
So what is to be done about this? Well, we can stop artificially inflating the price of sugar in this country. This artificial inflation is what makes using HFCS cost effective. We actually have quotas limiting the production of sugar at a cost estimated at over a billion dollars a year to American taxpayers. That doesn't even factor in the indirect costs precipitated by the health care needs from all that fructose.
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