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High Fructose Corn Syrup: The Silent Killer
The fact that we did not add additional sugar to our favorite dish or drink does not mean there is no sugar in the food you consume. You may be surprised these sugars come .
Everyday food such as processed food, ketchup, soya sauce, condiments, salad dressing, canned soup, fruit juice, jam, yogurt, ice cream, breakfast cereal, soft drinks, sodas, baby’s milk powder contains high amount of sugar in the form a sweetener. The most common sweetener used in market is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is derived corns.
High fructose corn syrup, invented by Yoshiyuki Takasaki in 1966, is not found in nature but is biochemically manipulated in laboratories to mimic the properties of sugar. It contains twice as much amount of sugar as normal sugar.
Since the cost of high fructose corn syrup is very low compared to normal sugar, food manufacturers often use it as a means to save production costs.
Studies reveal that there has been a significant increase in the incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, hypertension and obesity and one of the root causes is overconsumption of high fructose corn syrup.
Research published by the American Endocrinology Society found that high consumption of high fructose corn syrup for two consecutive weeks can increase blood LDL cholesterol level and the risk of heart diseases.
What are the negative effects of high fructose corn syrup?
1. Our body metabolize high fructose corn syrup differently normal sugar. This syrup gets converted into visceral fat which accumulates in different parts of the body and conditions like fatty liver can result. On the other hand, normal sugars get converted into glycogen that are stored in liver and muscles for future use.
2. An animal study show that the group of mice that are fed high amount of high fructose corn syrup are more obese than the group of mice that are fed normal sugars. In addition, these mice also develop resistance to leptin, the hormone that controls satiety, which explains their overconsumption behavior in the experiment.
3. Consumption of high fructose corn syrup does not stimulate secretion of insulin while consumption of natural sugar such as glucose does. When you consume glucose, insulin is secreted to help mobilize sugars into the cells so cells can use them as fuel. When there is no secretion of insulin, the body will not be aware that there is sufficient amount of sugar in the body, therefore, it will signal the brain to continue to look for food, resulting in overeating.
4. High fructose corn syrup is not as absorbable as glucose or natural sugar found in fruits. The partially absorbed high fructose corn syrup will undergo fermentation in the large intestines producing the noxious gas known as methane. This explains why some people tend to pass a lot of gas while some people don’t.
In summary, high fructose corn syrup can be harmful to your body. It is important that you read the food labels on your items before walking over to the cashier. If your food items contain high fructose corn syrup (corn syrup, fructose syrup or maize syrup), it is best to find a better alternative. Go for natural sugars!
Obesity and other related diseases are no longer rare conditions nowadays and often the cause is what we choose to consume. Like the old saying, prevention is better than cure!
Credit: Health Brings Wealth Magazine Issue: 11,
Bangkok Association of Regenerative Health and The Study of Obesity
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