There is on-going debate about the nutritional impact of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The Corn Refiner’s Association has published statements by medical and nutritional experts that say there’s no difference between this corn-derived sweetener and natural cane sugar.
It asserts that since it is made from corn—a natural grain product—it is a healthy part of our diet. It attempts to hook us, appealing to our instincts as parents:
“Children’s cough and cold medicines are not effective if they are not taken. High fructose corn syrup makes them palatable and it helps disperse the active ingredients.”
Studies on the toxic effects of HFCS, however, show that even in moderation, it causes obesity, cancer, heart disease, liver failure, dementia, and tooth decay, among other things. Here’s how.
1. HFCS is not metabolized in the body in the same way as cane sugar.
The sugar from corn is extracted through a highly chemical process. During this process, the sugar is broken down into glucose and fructose in a different proportion and form than cane sugar.
Because of the resulting composition of the sugar, the body doesn’t break it down like a natural sugar and it enters the blood stream without being digested, heading straight for the liver.
In addition, the fructose part of HFCS consumes the product in our intestines that protects the lining and can eat holes through it, allowing undigested food particles and bacteria to directly enter the blood stream.