5 Health Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup

High-Fructose Corn Syrup in Soda

Since the late 1980s, HFCS has replaced regular table sugar, honey, and similar sweeteners. Prolonged consumption of HFCS is the topic of debate and, like other genetically modified products, may be bad for your health. A number of studies conducted over the past few decades indicate consumption of HFCS is connected with some health concerns.

1. Significant Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity

A study conducted by Princeton University [1], found that rats that were fed HFCS gained fat 300% more quickly than those fed an equal (or slightly larger) serving of fruit-derived sugar.

2. Increased Risk of Developing Type-2 Diabetes

Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup can lead to a huge increase in the likelihood of developing diabetes [2]. This life-long condition can be avoided in most cases. Excessive amounts of soda, energy drinks and junk-food aren’t worth losing a foot or going blind for.

3. Hypertension and Elevated “Bad” Cholesterol Levels

High-fructose doesn’t just make your body fat, it also makes your heart fat. There is a strong link between the irresponsible consumption of high fructose corn syrup and elevated triglyceride and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels [3]. Together, these can cause arterial plaque build-up and lead to heart problems including hypertension, heart disease, and even stroke.

4. High Fructose Corn Syrup and Liver Damage

This is a big one. Like anything else you eat or drink, your liver, gallbladder, and kidneys, processes HFCS. And it’s especially destructive to your liver. When combined with a sedentary lifestyle, permanent liver scarring can occur [4]. This greatly diminishes the organ’s ability to process out toxins and, over time, can lead to an expansive range of other negative health concerns. Another study suggests that HFCS may also cause fatty liver [5].

5. Mercury Exposure from HFCS

Did you know high fructose corn syrup is often loaded with alarmingly high levels of mercury? One study found mercury in over 50% of samples tested [6]. Mercury exposure can result in irreversible brain and nervous system damage – especially in young, growing bodies. Way too many foods aimed at children are LOADED with high fructose corn syrup!

Alternatives to High Fructose Corn Syrup

The dangers of high fructose corn syrup are both numerous and severe, if it’s in your diet, remove it. Some estimate more than one-third of the American food supply has been polluted by this trash. I urge you to read product labels and avoid those with HFCS. Replace HFCS with raw honey for sweetening needs.

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

  1. Hilary Parker. A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain. Princeton University. 2010 March 22.
  2. American Chemical Society. Soda Warning-high-fructose corn syrup linked to diabetes, new study suggests. ScienceDaily 23 Aug. 2007.
  3. Jennifer K. Nelson R.D.,L.D. What is high-fructose corn syrup? What are the health concerns? Mayo Clinic. 2012 September 27.
  4. Duke University Medical Center. High fructose corn syrup linked to liver scarring, research suggests. ScienceDaily. 23 Mar. 2010.
  5. Laura G. Sánchez-Lozada, Wei Mu, Carlos Roncal, Yuri Y. Sautin, Manal Abdelmalek, Sirirat Reungjui, MyPhuong Le, Takahiko Nakagawa, Hui Y. Lan, Xuequing Yu, Richard J. Johnson. Comparison of free fructose and glucose to sucrose in the ability to cause fatty liver. European Journal of Nutrition. 2010 February. vol. 49 issue 1, pp. 1-9.
  6. Dufault R, LeBlanc B, Schnoll R, Cornett C, Schweitzer L, Wallinga D, Hightower J, Patrick L, Lukiw WJ. Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar. Environ Health. 2009 Jan 26;8:2. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-8-2.

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  • KIM

    HEY DR. GROUP!
    DOES THE MERCURY COME FROM THE WAY THEY ALTER THE CORN GENETICALLY TO BASICALLY ADD PESTICIDES BEFORE IT’S GROWN?

  • Trina

    Are the fumes from the high fructose corn syrup dangerous? My husband had to go into the “sugar ” tank the other day @ work. He was only in there for a short (less than 10 minutes) time and came out feeling very sick. He is better now but he was feeling very strange and nausious for a couple of days. So I was wondering if this was coincidence or not.

  • Dr. Edward Group

    Hi Trina!

    I would definitely say it is dangerous. I do not have any proof of this, but breathing small airborne droplets of HFCS cannot be healthy for you. Your husband may want to do a chemical and heavy metal cleanse.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Mae

    hi all!
    I think all kinds and types of sugar taken in excess is bad, high sugar content in our system (i.e. blood that circulates our system, from kidneys,liver heart etc) causes such diseases mentioned in this article. Ones health always depends on what and how much you take. Just balance your diet and drink a lot of water.

  • Cherie

    Please clarify how mercury gets into the HFCS picture.

  • Dr. Edward Group

    Hi Cherie!

    Thank you for your question! This is a very common concern.

    Here is a report published on WebMD that discusses a study done by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). They found detectable levels of mercury in 17 out of 55 tested products rich in high-fructose corn syrup. Items it was found in included BBQ Sauce, Oatmeal Bars, Chocolate Syrup, Pop-Tarts, Jelly, Ketchup.. Here’s more information about it on The Washington Post & Natural News.

    I hope this provides you clarification. Have a great day!

    ~Dr. G

  • KamikaziFly

    While watching out for HFCS don’t forget to watch out for aluminum and arsenic! Arsenic is always spotted as Methyl. In pharmaceuticals arsenic is sometimes used as an agent to bypass the liver. I don’t know why they have it in DiGiorno pizza and Eye Drops though!!!

    I found aluminum on the label of every pizza and cookie dough at the store! I suppose it makes the crust rise fluffier.

    How much poison is ok with you?

  • martina

    corn starch sugar is very bad

  • Ashley

    Great list. I’ve been telling my husband to lay off of the sodas because of the Corn sugar dangers. Gonna email him this article right now! :)

  • Dina

    Great list! It’s good to see a list of HFCS dangers with studies to back it up. Gonna forward this to all my friends and family.

  • Johnny

    A few months ago, I went through my pantry and refridgerator and looked at the ingredients of everything in them. If it had HFCS or artificial sweeteners, it went straight into the garbage. You’d be surprised at how much stuff I through away. HFCS seems to be in everything these days… and then we wonder why people are so fat.

  • Deionoid

    Its sugar….get, it?! Sugar…S-U-G-A-R… too much of it is bad for you in many ways, and it does not matter at all if it is cane or corn based. All this garbage about how sugar from cane is preferable to sugar from corn is laughable. Expert testimony? give me a break.

  • Deionoid

    good idea…but don’t stop with HFCS, you should also warn them of the disasterous health effects of exposure to hydrogen dioxide!

  • Deionoid

    OOOOOH…..just like dihydrogen monoxide, I guess

  • Ryah

    Do you know how it’s made? The process of produing HFCS is so frightening that I can’t even begin to tell you what kind of toxins it’s produced with. You can’t even touch it while your making it. It’s Harmful to touch it! that’s insane? and we’re consuming it? suger is a lot better because it isn’t made with things equivelnt to rat poison.

  • dooberheim

    Sucrose has to be broken down in the small intestine before it can be absorbed by the body. The resulting broken down sugar is almost exactly HFCS. There is very little difference chemically or nutritionally once sucrose is hydrolyzed in the intestine.

    HFCS causes weight gain and resultant disease the same way that any high calorie food does- by piling on the calories. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it as a food. We just eat way too much of it.

    DK

  • susan jacobson

    It’s not corn syrup that people are complaining about here. its they High Concentrate Corn Syrup. And yes, some people are having problems with the consumption of it, because its in everything and we don’t realize it until we start not feeling well. Its in bread, its in crackers, soda of course, salad dressings…etc. Its been replaced as a sweetner in cookies. Eating a any number of these items in a given day has made me, My parents and my sister all in different households in different cities so ill, that you can’t even imagine. As of the last two weeks I read every label of everything I buy. I will no longer purchase soda from a restaurant. I know its the HFCS because I didn’t have it for a week ate Oreos not realizing they had HFCS in them now and was back to square one. There is a difference!

  • Mina

    Table sugar is a high fructose caloric sweetner. Avoid all fructose not just HFCS. This includes, yes, WHOLE FRUIT and FRUIT JUICE. I saw a quacker oats granola type “health bar” that said “no HFCS” But when I read the ingredients there were about 4 different kinds of sweetners including concentrated fruit juice which is loaded with fructose.

    HFCS isn’t a special kind of fructose. It is a sweetner with 55% fructose and 45% glucose (usually). Sugar is a sweener with 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Avoid both.

  • michael

    Whole fruit. As in a banana or apple does not contain HFCS.

  • Shisalion

    Table sugar is also known as sucrose, a nonreducing crystalline disaccharide made up of glucose and fructose, found in many plants but extracted as ordinary sugar mainly from sugar cane and sugar beets. The term “high fructose” is usually assigned to manufactured sweeteners such as “high fructose corn syrup.”

  • Jan

    There is a big differrence between sugar and HFCS, High Fruitose Corn Syrup is a chemical (subsidized by our Gov’t) that our bodies have difficulty breaking down. It is in so many products. We will all end up with Diabetes. It is NOT safe, eat regular sugar. HELLLOOOOO…

  • Jamie Frater

    1. Debunked here: http://www.foodpolitics.com/

    2. Flawed study – they claim that because HFCS sweetened soda contains a chemical also found in people with diabetes that it can cause diabetes – this is a case of post hoc ergo propter hoc (which is also used in many anti-smoking studies btw).

    3. This item again relies on the flawed study referred to in item 1.

    4. The study referenced found that rats fed either sugar or HFCS had the same reaction – increased fatty livers compared to rats fed no sweetener at all. This proves nothing in relation to HFCS and is, in fact, consistent with those who claim they are equally bad.

    5. Study is correct – it did find traces of mercury which are derived from the processing but recommends that it be accounted for in our daily diet – not excluded. We consume trace amounts of mercury in many foods – it is a naturally occurring poison that humans can’t totally avoid.

  • Tony Phylactou

    I had my first gout attack about 10 years ago.
    At the beginning I was having attacks every 6 months. Then gradually I was getting them
    every 3 months, then every month and eventually every week.
    It started at my big toe and then it was moving sometimes in my knees,and generally all
    around my joints, in my feet.And the pain was agonising.
    I have tried all the cures you can imagine.I tried ACV, lemons, drinking a lot of water, but
    to no avail.I tried water fasting, juice fasting,baking soda, again without success.
    I almost gave up meat, limiting it to only once a week ,gave up alcohol completely,again
    no success.
    I was living on vegetables, lots and lots of fresh fruit, milk ,cheese beans and so on .My
    eating habits could not be healthier ,or so I thought.But my gout was worsening.
    Then I decided to increase the amount of fruit I was consuming, thinking that if some fruit
    is healthy, more fruit will be more healthy.Some days I was eating fruit only ,others over 10
    portions a day.
    And alas my gout instead of improving it became chronic ,it was there all the time.
    I was desperate I did not know what to do.
    And then one day accidentally I read an article about fructose,which is contained in fruit in
    large quantities.It said that it increases uric acid, in a matter of minutes.
    Fructose is also present in table sugar, and in HFCS, which is used in soft drinks.
    I put two and two together and realised what I was doing wrong.
    I stopped eating fruit and all other sugars, for a period of 3 weeks,and by magic I saw a
    dramatic improvement.Pain was gone, swelling was gone, I was fine.
    I re introduced fruit again in my diet but reducing them to 1 or 2 a day, and my gout completely
    disappeared.
    I do eat more meat now, and occasionally have an alcoholic drink, and thank God everything
    seems to be fine.
    Fructose was my enemy.

  • David

    Beware of the negative hype regarding “high fructose corn syrup.” There is no evidence that fructose in itself is more damaging than any other form of ADDED sugar (e.g., sucrose). HFCS happens to be a common form of added sugar. You may have concerns about the corn industry and genetic engineering. Fructose itself is a simple and easily digestible form of sugar. Note that the sugars in honey are fructose and glucose, so you can detect the con spin in blogs like this one. Adding honey to your diet is adding fructose!

  • brad

    sounds like you must be a lobbyist fir adm

  • Joan Richardson

    I do get migraine headaches from eating High Fructose. It took me quite awhile to figure it out and now that I have, I no longer get the headaches and have become a “label reader”.

  • mmm

    the problem with HFCS is the genetically modified corn that they use…eww

  • M

    Wow this guy is so dense, he didn’t realize he f’d up his own joke, the tard meant “dihydrogen monoxide” not “hydrogen dioxide!” Dihydrogen monoxide is water. Someone thinks they’re smart, yet not so it seems.

  • Cheryl

    Good thing you figured this out. I too had migraines for many years. I started on wholefood supplements that brought my body back to balance; no migraines three week after i started eating them.

  • Wideawake

    Me too. I get a headache immediately after eating HFCS..I go to great lengths not to eat it. I suspected it was because the HFCS was made with GMO corn.
    I suffered from migraine my whole life and I never put 2 and 2 together until I got really sick back in 2005-2006 from some really strong antibiotics and it destroyed my stomach. Doctors kept giving me garbage that didnt help. I was so sick, so I started researching everything on the stomach. After some natural remedies I was back to myself in a few weeks, after a year of going to doctors. then I started watching for triggers to my migraines and sure enough I found quite a few and HSCS was one of them.

  • Wideawake

    and I eat Sugar and it never bothers me, so I know when they compare HFCS to sugar and say its the same… Its hog wash..only HFCS bothers me, I bet its because its made with GMOs. Soy gives me heart palpitations, and soybean oil will make me immediately throw up within less then 3 minutes. My body reacts right away if something is bad.

  • Robert

    HFCS, is made up of Parts, Fructose being one of them, and that is what you say is so bad, that is what is in the Fruit, All Fruit.

  • Robert

    We don’t care how it is made, and that may make you sad, but chemically it is the same once it is in the body. so if you are fat, you eat to much sugar, no mater where it comes from.

  • Jane

    HFCS and Fructose are completely different. The argument is made that they are the same. HFCS is a chemical process with the final product not found in nature AT ALL. Just because it uses Fructose as it’s sweetening agent, doesn’t mean its a safe alternative. Natural Fructose, found in fruits, berries, and honey are tied up in those fibers, allowing for the body to easily digest the product. In addition, in order to get the same amount of sweetness found in a can of soda compared to eating fruits, you would have to eat something in the range of 95 oranges to get the same amount found in 1 can of soda! Or 12 cups of honey compared to a can of soda. Incredible. This HIGH level of fructose in the soda – compared to what is found naturally in nature is dangerous. In nature, we would NEVER be able to consume as much fructose that our body could not handle.

    Also, as the ads say, “Its ok in moderation” is difficult to do when HFCS is found in EVERYTHING we consume. It’s in Ketchup (doesn’t need to be there), Mayo (again, no need for it be in there), bread (not needed), just about any ‘juice’, and countless other products. If we didn’t read the labels, and we just continued to buy products as normal, we would be consuming unhealthy levels of HFCS without our knowledge, and by the corn growers association own admission to much is dangerous. And that is where the problem begins… it’s in EVERYTHING we consume.

    Lastly, if your going to use honey as a sweetener, buy local and/or organic if possible. The honey industry has been affected by a global conspiracy in falsely selling a honey like substance (made with food coloring and HFCS) as real honey. Over 95% of all the major producers of honey were affected. They could not keep up with the demand, and searched globally for product. What they came across was a German corporation which bought fake honey from China and sold it as real honey. The U.S. State Department filed criminal charges against the German company and it’s executives for fraudulently deceiving U.S. companies (of course, no mention of the U.S. population was in the law suit – we only went after them because U.S. corporations were hurt). So stay away from commercial honey companies – those owned by Kraft, Best Foods, etc. They fake honey is still a problem in our country. The lawsuit only slowed the process. It didn’t stop it. Just google FAKE HONEY and do your own research!

  • Nick

    Sure, fructose is a naturally occurring and metabolizable sugar. However, it’s important to point out the biochemical and physiological differences. For starters, most sugars found in natural foods are disaccharides (two sugars chemically linked together) which requires your body to work harder to actually absorb the sugars from he gut. The process of making HFCS removes this barrier for our body, and no is not a good thing. huge spikes is readily processible fructose, as provided by even a small soda, signals the immediate production of fat, among other deleterious things.

  • UK TV Watcher

    Spoken like a true paid up lobby member of the American food industry that uses the population as mules for its terrible food. Well done lads now they are all so obese you can hand them over to the drug industry who will do them over on drug based treatments to get rid off the fat. Oh the land of the free!

    Next time you are in France have a look for a fat person, not many matey!

  • Kelly Thompson Turk

    Dr. Group, I agree with everything you said – but I really wish that people who recommend Xylitol as an alternative sweetener would add the caveat that it is DEADLY poisonous to dogs. Thanks!

  • not fooled

    I have studied the HFCS controversy and have come to the conclusion that this website is nothing but a fear mongering blatant attempt to sell products with the use of junk science. If you take the time to check peer reviewed research on HFCS then you will find most of the information on this website is bunk.

  • Mary

    um, HDL is good cholesterol. LDL is the bad kind..

  • RonaldElrod

    The problem I have with the whole HFCS debate is the fact that people are believing the lies that it is SO bad for you. The body can NOT tell the difference between sugar and HFCS. Think about it like this, if HFCS is taken out of everyday foods, it will have to be replaced with something else. Chances are, the ingredient that replaces it will be far less healthy than the HFCS.

  • RonaldElrod

    It isn’t wise to avoid all sugar, because the body needs a certain amount of sugar, diet or no diet.

  • RonaldElrod

    What people are failing to realize is, that the body breaks down all sugar the exact same way, I repeat, they are metabolized the EXACT SAME WAY!!!

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