They’re at it again… attacking your health. But they are very clever at it.
The story starts with two mothers at a backyard picnic… The first mom pours an artificial drink into plastic cups for their kids playing outside. The second mom expresses concern about giving their children anything sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
“I guess you don’t care what your kids eat,” the concerned mother says. “That contains high fructose corn syrup. You know what they say about it…”
The other mother replies with a condescending smirk, “What? That it’s made from corn, contains no artificial ingredients, and like sugar it’s fine in moderation?”
The worried mom looks embarrassed and changes the subject.
This is one of the new commercials from the manufacturers of HFCS. Their new campaign tries to wipe out any concern you may have about their dangerous product. The basic message is: “Hey… you heard wrong. HFCS is natural and wholesome. Don’t listen to the naysayers… this stuff is good for you.”
These folks are worried. Their artificial sweetener makes BIG money. It’s already in thousands of different products. But people are catching on… HFCS is bad news. And it’s anything but natural.
HFCS is a food processors’ dream sweetener. It’s cheap to produce, easy to transport and store, and blends readily into nearly every kind of food or beverage, from ketchup to beer. It’s everywhere. Check the ingredient labels in your kitchen and I’ll bet you’ll find it in a majority of foods.
What’s more, it’s a cash cow for the taxpayer-subsidized US corn growers’ market.
But the “worried” mom’s fears were more than justified. There are clinical studies proving HFCS’s toxic effects.
One animal study found that a diet high in HFCS resulted in elevated levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (which can cause hardening of the arteries and heart attack), lower levels of superoxide dismutase—your body’s number one antioxidant powerhouse—and deficiencies of iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
That means HFCS can wreak havoc on your immune system, diminish bone and muscle strength, make you impotent, and increase your risk of certain kinds of cancer, including prostate and colon cancer.
Nature’s source for fructose is fruit (that’s why it’s called fructose). It’s not as easy for your body to process as glucose, the sugar that comes from starches. Only the liver can metabolize it.
But because it’s contained in the fiber of the fruit, fructose normally absorbs into your bloodstream relatively slowly, giving your liver time to digest it. In fact, fructose breakdown is 40 percent slower than glucose breakdown, in part because every cell in your body can convert glucose into energy on its own, without help from the liver.
HFCS literally floods your bloodstream, overwhelming your liver’s processing capacity. This can lead to liver damage not unlike the kind that afflicts alcoholics. Animals given a diet high in HFCS suffer severe cirrhosis of the liver—scarring, dead tissue, and poor liver function. Their livers look a lot like those of hardcore alcoholics.
As if that weren’t bad enough, HFCS also robs your body of critical nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants. We’ve known about this for years. Because it keeps your liver from functioning properly, HFCS causes a number of serious mineral deficiencies that can have a cascading effect on your health.
This commercial’s just another example of agribusiness trying to make big profits at the expense of your health. The word’s getting out about the true dangers of this product, so they’re getting nervous—and trying to fool the public.
Anything sweetened with cane sugar is better than HFCS (check the label). You might also consider adding stevia to your favorite sweet foods and drinks, since it’s a natural sweetener that’s completely safe and easily metabolized.
But if you’re looking for a better thirst quencher, drink water. It’s not as exciting as a pre-packaged, sickly sweet fruit juice – but your body needs it! A lot of people are dehydrated and don’t even know it.
By the way, HFCS is not a “natural” product. Several of the enzymes needed to make HFCS are genetically modified. You would never find this kind of sugar in a natural setting.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1 Ivaturi R., Keys C. “Mineral balances in humans as affected by fructose, high fructose corn syrup and sucrose.” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 1992. 42(2):143-151.
2 Fields, M. Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine. 1984. 175:530-537.