HFCS: High Fructose Cancer Syrup

Since I’ve been writing to you about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and how unnatural it is for you, you’ve probably seen the ads by corn growers. They want you to believe it’s the same as any other sugar.

Their newest tactic they’re using is so-called “scientific” research. It claims corn syrup is just fine for you.1 But if you look a little deeper, you’ll find that the people behind the research aren’t exactly neutral scientists.

The research is “supported by an educational grant from the Corn Refiners Association.” And the contributors include an employee of Archer Daniels Midland. It’s one of the biggest corn processors in the world.

Here’s some research they don’t want you to know about.

In a new study, they fed a group of animals a high fructose diet. Within 6 months, 6 of the 10 animals had liver tumors.2

In another study that looked at the link between refined fructose and cancer, the researchers pointed out the many ways fructose directly contributes to cancer risk, including:

  • DNA damage
  • Inflammation
  • Altered cellular metabolism
  • Increased production of free radicals3

There’s also a connection between HFCS and pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is the organ that makes insulin, which breaks down sugar.

When researchers bathed human pancreatic cancer cells in both fructose and glucose, fructose worked just as well as regular sugar to make cancer cells spread quickly. And fructose triggered the expression of a certain enzyme that made both sugar sources more readily available to the cancer cells.4

Other research has suggested that dietary fructose may also boost your risk of developing pancreatic cancer in addition to feeding it. One study found that people with pancreatic cancer had 2.5 times more fructose in their blood than people without it.

Maybe that’s why a new study found that people who take in added fructose have a greater risk of dying from any cause over those who don’t.5

It’s just more evidence that high fructose corn syrup is a dangerous, unnatural substance.

Even the corn they make HFCS from isn’t “natural” any more. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 90% of all corn grown in America as of 2013 is genetically engineered.6 And the enzymes needed to make the high fructose corn syrup are also genetically modified.

Unfortunately, you probably aren’t going to learn much about this from your doctor. Most are still hopelessly ignorant in these areas. They were simply never taught about nutrition and environmental toxins in medical school and instead only learned about drugs and surgery.

Patients tell me all the time that they’ve heard from doctors and even nutritionists that fructose is fine, and it’s natural. After all, it’s in healthy fruit.

But natural fructose is locked inside the fiber of fruit. That means it absorbs into your bloodstream slowly, giving your liver time to release it gradually as glucose, the sugar your body uses for energy.

Corn syrup floods your bloodstream, overwhelming your liver’s processing capacity. Animals given a diet high in HFCS suffer severe cirrhosis of the liver – scarring and dead tissue.

Unfortunately, because it’s so cheap to produce and easy to add to foods, HFCS is showing up in things you might not ever suspect. Stove Top stuffing, Starbuck’s frappuccinos, cough syrup, cottage cheese, baked beans… the list goes on.

Chemically produced corn syrup is one of the best arguments I can think of for eating foods the way our paleo ancestors ate them – as they occur naturally. Or as close as you can get these days.

Anything with cane sugar is going to be better than something with HFCS. Your body is made to be able to handle foods with natural sugar. Just help your body out by choosing foods that, if they have sugar, are low on the glycemic index (GI). You can use my glycemic index chart here.

What’s a healthy GI number? Many raw foods, including greens, meat and nuts have a GI of zero, which is great to shoot for. But try not to eat foods with a GI of more than 50. And if you need to lose a few pounds, avoid foods with a GI greater than 30.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD,

1. White J. “Challenging the fructose hypothesis: new perspectives on fructose consumption and metabolism.” Adv Nutr. 2013;4(2):246-56. 2. Dowman J, et. al. “Development of hepatocellular carcinoma in a murine model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis induced by use of a high-fat/fructose diet and sedentary lifestyle.” Am J Pathol. 2014;184(5):1550-61. 3. Liu H, Heaney P. “Refined fructose and cancer.” 2011, Vol. 15, No. 9 , Pages 1049-1059. 4. Liu H, Huang D, McArthur D, Boros L, Nissen N, Heaney A. “Fructose induces transketolase flux to promote pancreatic cancer growth.” Cancer Res. 2010;70(15):6368-76. 5. Tasevska N, Park Y, Jiao L, Hollenbeck A, Subar A, Potischman N. “Sugars and risk of mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.” Am J Clin Nutr 2014; vol. 99 no. 5 1077-1088 6. Fernandez-Cornejo J, Wechsler S, Livingston M, Mitchell L. “Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States.” USDA. usda.gov. February 2014. Economic Research Report Number 162.