High Fructose Corn Syrup: Enemy #2

By David Grisaffi

When you think of sugar you think of sugar cane.  Maybe sugar beets.  Extraction of sugar from sugar cane helped to fuel the colonization of the New World.  When you see a field of corn gently swaying in the breeze, do you think of sugar?  Most of us would be surprised to discover that a large percentage of the sweeteners used in food processing come from corn.  The process for making High Fructose Corn Syrup(HFCS) was developed in the 1970’s.  By the 1990’s the use of sugar had declined sharply.  Today Americans consume more HFCS than sugar by far.

High-fructose corn syrup is produced by adding enzymes to white corn starch.  Simple?  Not really.  First alpha-amylase(1st enzyme) is used to break the cornstarch molecules into polysaccharides.  Next, glucoamylase(2nd enzyme) breaks the polysaccharides into simple glucose molecule chains.  Lastly, glucose-isomersal(3rd enzyme) converts 42% of the glucose into fructose.  After a few more unnatural steps, the syrup contains the 55% fructose that is required to be called High-fructose corn syrup.  The first two enzymes are created from bacteria and fungus.  The third is so expensive that producers will pour the mixture over it and reuse the enzyme repeatedly.  Also, the first two enzymes are both genetically engineered to increase their stability when heated.  As an added treat, the corn used to make the cornstarch is also genetically altered.

A study by the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) wanted to test the effects of HFCS.  They used lab rats.  The males did not mature to adulthood.  They were anemic, had high cholesterol levels, and suffered from cardiac hypertrophy- their hearts swelled, some actually ruptured.  They did not develop testicles a the proper time.  The females were unable to produce live young.  This study combined HFCS with copper deficient rats.  The reason for that is because most Americans have a copper deficiency.

High-fructose corn syrup has been found to cause a large number of health issues in test animals.  The animal’s livers were found to have fatty deposits and evidence of cirrhosis.  They looked like the livers of alcoholics.  It is known that fructose interferes with the heart’s ability to use magnesium, copper, and chromium.  HFCS has been implicated in increased cholesterol levels, the formation of blood clots, and it inhibits white blood cells ability ro fight infections.  Fructose reduces the ability of insulin to find its receptor on a cell.  This is the calling card of type 2 diabetes.  As a result the body is forced to increase insulin production.  Because fructose does not directly stimulate the pancreas to make insulin and the fact that it is metabolized in the liver, it is turned into fat cells more frequently than other sugars.  This can lead to obesity.  The claim that HFCS is based on the fact that soda and drinks that contain HFCS are one of the main sources of calories in the American diet.  Over-consumption of sugars leads to and overproduction of fat cells.  Therefore, HFCS leads to obesity.

The extreme prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup in our food chain is alarming to say the least.  The news is doubly hard on people who suffer from diabetes or yeast problems such as Candida albicans.  With emerging information stacking up that shows the ill effects of HFCS, the only current remedy is to avoid the many products that contain it.  You will find HFCS listed as one of the main ingredients in at least half of the foods in your pantry.  There are several websites that you can reference, and lots of material at your local library, that will give you a list of dozens of foods that are truly HFCS-free.

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