As a medical professional, I’m shocked and frustrated by the non-food products that will kill us. High fructose corn syrup is one of them. There is no polite or better way to phrase this: high fructose corn syrup is poison. The effects of high fructose corn syrup are long-term and destructive.
Corn syrup causes almost every chronic disease we suffer from. Obesity, diabetes, and even fatty liver disease are caused in part by high fructose corn syrup. The worse news is that corn syrup is found everywhere. Odds are anything you pick up at the grocery store that isn’t fresh produce will contain high fructose corn syrup. We need to actively look out for corn syrup in the food we buy and shun it.
Here’s what high fructose corn syrup is, why it’s a problem, and how you can avoid it.
A Quick Guide to High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup 1 is derived from GMO corn and has a different chemical structure than natural sugars found in fruit. Corn syrup is a problem both because of the amount we consume and the nature of corn syrup.
We now eat far more fructose, a large component of high fructose corn syrup, than we used to. So much more that we are essentially running an uncontrolled experiment on humans with fructose consumption. The average American consumes 55g of fructose a day, almost 4 times more than we did five generations ago. Think about any major chronic disease. We already know that our consumption of fructose is correlated with almost all of them.
The Effects of High Fructose Corn Syrup on Your Body
Effect of high fructose corn syrup #1: Your liver will stop functioning normally
Let’s get into some chemistry here. Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of glucose and fructose molecules chemically bound together. High-fructose corn syrup is also made of glucose and fructose, with one difference: the molecules aren’t chemically bound together. That means the body doesn’t break down the corn syrup before sending it to the liver. The fructose in the corn syrup causes the liver to produce triglycerides, a type of fat which accumulates in the liver. Fatty liver disease is now a leading cause of liver damage in America and affects 70 million people.
Effect of high fructose corn syrup #2: It makes you overweight and gives you diabetes
High-fructose corn syrup causes insulin resistance, a proven cause of diabetes. Another problem is the lack of leptin production. Corn syrup doesn’t trigger the production of the leptin hormone, the messenger that tells your brain you’re full. Without leptin, we don’t realize we’ve had enough food and we keep consuming empty calories.
Effect of high fructose corn syrup #3: Mercury poisoning
Corn syrup tends to be mixed with other problematic chemicals. A 2009 study found significant mercury contamination, a highly toxic heavy metal, in 50% of the corn syrup sampled. Heavy metals such as mercury attach to our cells and displace the good metals needed to produce energy. Heavy metals are also neurotoxic, meaning they are harmful to our nerves and brain. Remember the saying “Mad as a Hatter”? That was a case where mercury was used to make the felt that was used in hat making.
Effect of high fructose corn syrup #4: Damages cell structures and artery walls
When your body processes high fructose corn syrup, it produces triglycerides, uric acid, and free radicals. All of these are problems. Too much uric acid can damage our artery walls and cause gout. Free radicals cause inflammation, a proven cause of chronic disease and chronic pain. If you suffer from long-term discomfort, inflammation is likely a cause of it. If you consume corn syrup, you are promoting disease.
If High-Fructose Corn Syrup is So Bad, Why is it Everywhere?
Corn syrup is cheaper than other forms of sugar because of corn agricultural subsidies. Replacing other sweeteners with corn syrup cuts costs for food companies. Sweeter foods are more addictive and profitable and encourage overeating.
Alternate Names for High Fructose Corn Syrup
Had some ketchup recently? How about chocolate milk, or even whole-wheat bread or crackers? Check the labels of even healthy-sounding food products. High fructose corn syrup is used in an overwhelmingly large range of products, from crackers to ketchup to chocolate milk and is even found in processed meat. If the product label contains “high fructose corn syrup” or any of these names, put it back on the shelf.
- Corn syrup
- Maize syrup
- Glucose syrup
- Glucose/fructose syrup
- Tapioca syrup
- Dahlia syrup
- Fruit fructose
- Crystalline fructose
Chew on this
Lots of sugar in any form is a problem and the effects of high fructose corn syrup are especially dangerous. Read the food labels, shop well, and live well.