High fructose corn syrup is composed of the simple sugars glucose and fructose, both of which can be found in fruit, but in the case of HFCS it is altered to increase the fructose. The ratio of fructose to glucose in fruit is usually 50/50, but the ratio in HFCS is generally 55/45 (and as high as 80/20), making it sweeter—and more toxic.
High fructose corn syrup is obtained from corn stalks by means of a chemical process which produces a chemical compound. Because HFCS has been processed chemically, your body can’t break it down and metabolize it the way it can with table sugar, and instead the high amount of fructose is delivered straight to your liver and turned immediately to fat. Glucose, on the other hand, is used by every cell in the body for energy and is burned up upon consumption.
Fructose contains nothing of value—no vitamins, minerals or enzymes—and it even goes one step further and depletes the body of its nutrients. Unlike natural sugars, HFCS is made up of unbound fructose, which impedes crucial minerals from getting to the heart, among many other dangers.
Read on to find out how high fructose corn syrup further may impact your health:
Elevates Triglycerides and LDL
Studies by the National Institutes of Health indicate that high fructose corn syrup raises triglycerides and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) significantly. Elevated levels of triglycerides can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
Contributes To Heart Disease
Unlike glucose, consuming high fructose corn syrup raises the concentration of uric acid. Uric acid is a compound that is created when the digestive system breaks down food and beverages and is then eliminated through urine. If your body produces too much it can cause illness, and is specifically an indicator of heart disease.
As reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, between 1970 and 1990 the consumption of HFCS rose more than 1,000 percent. It’s no coincidence that the obesity epidemic in this country rose substantially during that same period: between 1950 and 2000 obesity rates rose by 214 percent. HFCS, or fructose in general, converts directly to fat rather than be used for energy like glucose. Yes, fruit contains fructose, but the other nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants, in fruit work to counteract the effects of fructose. HFCS does no such thing.
Increases Risk of Cancer
While it’s widely known that cancer cells thrive on glucose, research done by UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center now finds that fructose also feeds cancer cells, particularly in the pancreas, allowing them to proliferate much more rapidly. And the fact that we consume such large amounts of fructose further increases the risk of cancer because fructose destroys the intestinal lining, allowing toxins into the bloodstream and causing inflammation, which is a known factor that leads to cancer. Consider this: the average American consumed 39 pounds of fructose annually in 1980, and by 2009 half of all Americans were consuming 180 pounds of sugar (most of which is HFCS) annually.
Leads To Diabetes
Studies show that the occurrence of type 2 diabetes is 20 percent higher in countries that consume the greatest amounts of high fructose corn syrup. Comparatively, those nations with lower consumption of HFCS have lower rates of type 2 diabetes.
Causes Fatty Liver
According to Mercola.com, fructose is the biggest cause of a fatty liver, which means that the liver can no longer break down fat, and so it accumulates on the liver. This causes inflammation, which can lead to diabetes, heart attacks, cancer or liver failure.
Inhibits Immune System
High fructose corn syrup has a negative impact on the immune system because when it sabotages normal liver metabolism, it also elevates blood sugar and causes inflammation, thereby inhibiting the immune system. Normally, the immune system is able to suppress 16 bacteria, but after consuming fructose or glucose, it can only suppress 9-10 bacteria, and stays in a weakened state for up to five hours.
Ages You Faster
Research has shown that when rats are fed fructose, they exhibit a change in their cellular metabolism which causes oxidative damage—i.e. a faster aging process. Sugar in general has this effect, but fructose is a much more powerful inflammatory agent.
We are consuming frightening amounts of high fructose corn syrup, which is always found in chemicalized or processed foods, further adding to illness, disease, and an overall lack of well being. One simple thing you can do to reclaim your health is to cut out all high fructose corn syrup from your diet, which means you will have to diligently read ingredient labels. To satiate your sweet tooth, replace HFCS products with fresh fruit, raw honey, or stevia.
The articles on this website are not to be construed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.