The top three high fructose corn syrup dangers
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been used as a sweetener in place of regular sweeteners like table sugar and honey since the late 1980’s. This has been the case despite concerns that HFCS might have negative implications on people’s health. A number of scientific studies conducted over the last few decades now confirm people’s fear that consumption of HFCS leads to health problems. Here are the top three high fructose corn syrup dangers you should be aware of.
1. Danger of developing Type-2 diabetes
Medical studies show consumption of high fructose corn syrup increases the risk of developing diabetes. The liver is the organ that metabolises HFCS. When you consume HFCS, you send a high flux of fructose (a simple carbohydrate) to your liver. High flux of fructose strains the liver and causes problems with glucose metabolism and uptake pathways in the body. When metabolic disturbances and uptake problems occur, chances of developing insulin resistance are very high. Incidentally, insulin resistance is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes, underscoring the dangers of high fructose corn syrup.
2. Danger of weight gain and obesity
A study done by Princeton University found that lab rats gained 300% more fat when fed HFCS than those rats that were fed an equivalent amount of fruit-derived sugar. The study suggests consumption of high fructose corn syrup increases dangers of weight gain and obesity. Professor Barry M. Popkin from the Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explains that HFCS is absorbed more rapidly than regular sugar and does not stimulate leptin or insulin production.
When leptin or insulin are not produced, the signals that control appetite are not triggered which in turn increases the likelihood of overconsumption. Speaking on the dangers of sugar-sweetened drinks and their contribution to the obesity epidemic, Professor Barry M. Popkin states:
"The digestion, absorption and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis [production of fat in the liver]. In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight [to control appetite], this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain. Furthermore, calorically sweetened beverages may enhance caloric over consumption."
3. Danger of liver damage
Like any other food you eat or drink, HFCS is processed by the liver, kidneys and gallbladder. However, consumption of high fructose corn syrup is particularly hazardous to the liver. HFCS increases risk of permanent scarring of the liver, especially when accompanied with a sedentary lifestyle.
Apart from straining the liver with high flux of fructose, consumption of HFCS also causes fat to develop around the liver. This greatly diminishes the ability of the liver to perform its functions properly over time and can lead to other health complications like heart disease.
High fructose corn syrup dangers are real. You really shouldn’t sacrifice your health for genetically modified sweeteners. Avoid consuming junk food and energy drinks that have HFCS. Replace HFCS with regular sugar or raw honey whenever possible to maintain your good health.