High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is found as one of the main ingredients (i.e.: in the top four) in soft drinks, low-fat salad dressings, and almost all fast and processed foods.
It is in beer, pasta sauces, protein bars (I was surprised when I read that on one of my protein bar’s ingredients), convenience foods, bakery items, and loaves of store bought bread. I have touched on HFCS in two of my previous posts (one and two).
Today I have compiled a list of five, specific health dangersassociated with the intake of HFCS. Two of the five are not only health dangers, but also relate to our weight and beauty.
1. Research has found that diets high in fructose can accelerate the aging process. The fructose interferes and alters the metabolic process in our cells, which causes oxidative damage. The fructose breaks down collagen (based on studies done on rats), and plays a larger part in this breakdown than glucose does.
2. For women using oral contraceptives, fructose interacts with them and actually elevates insulin levels in the body. If the level of insulin in the body is high, it can lead to high blood pressure. High insulin levels also contribute to the retention of sodium, which in turn leads to water retention. This can also attribute to high blood pressure, and even congestive heart failure.
3. Fructose causes a deficiency in copper in our bodies and inhibits its metabolism. When we are deficient in copper, this leads to: “bone fragility, anemia, defects of the connective tissue, arteries, and bone, infertility, heart arrhythmias, high cholesterol levels, heart attacks, and an inability to control blood sugar levels.”
4. If your motivation comes more so from weight loss, HFCS contributes to weight gain since it stops our brain from getting the signal that we are full. HFCS increases the production of ghrelin (the hormone of hunger) and inhibits the production of leptin (the hormone of satisfaction). Actually, this whole topic of hormones, high fructose corn syrup, and weight gain is extremely interesting – I encourage you to check out YOU On A Diet for more info.
5. “HFCS can be manufactured to either contain equal amounts of fructose and glucose, or up to 80 percent fructose and 20 percent glucose.” Fructose and glucose are metabolized differently in the body. “Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body, however all fructose must be metabolized in the liver.”
When the fructose is dumped directly in the liver to be metabolized, this creates fatty deposits and results in a “fatty liver”. The liver also develops cirrhosis, a disease that is normally seen in alcoholics. A person who has not had a alcoholic beverage in their life, but who eats a diet high in HFCS ends up having a liver that is similar to that of an alcoholic.
There have been studies done on today’s children and found that they actually have fatty livers because of all of the HFCS they are ingesting. Most of this is ingested in the form of soda and fruit juices as they contain HFCS.
I obtained this information from an
article written by Bill Sanda (BS, MBA), as well as the book YOU On A Diet (HFCS, ghrelin, and leptin) and the DVD “Super Size Me” (fast food, most of it contains HFCS, fatty livers of today’s children). I highly recommend either if you would like further information on these topics.
Update 2014: For some reason the article written by Bill Sanda is no longer available online. I do have a link to it in my Ebook, “What’s In That Food You’re Eating?“