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Corn Syrup: Still Bad For You

Posted by bmagnus On March - 24 - 2010

We’ve talked about high fructose corn syrup before. Back in December, research was published showing that HFCS consumption was associated with visceral fat and “signs of food-processing abnormalities linked to diabetes and heart disease.” This week, we have not just one, but two new studies showing that high fructose corn syrup doesn’t belong in your diet.

First, researchers at Princeton University set out to see if industry claims that HFCS is no different from sugar when it comes to obesity. What they found is this:

Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

That’s right: rats who ate HFCS got fatter than those who ate plain sugar, even though they ate the same number of calories! Since HFCS accounts for 40% of sweeteners used in the United States, this is very likely a big part of what is making us bigger.

As if that isn’t bad enough news, an unrelated study showed that HFCS is associated with liver scarring. Among adults with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, over half consume HFCS 1-6 times per week. Only 19% consumed no HFCS. Since roughly 30% of Americans have some signs of NAFLD and there is no cure, prevention is the only solution. In a small minority of patients, the condition can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.

While the corn syrup industry has railed against the second study, they have made no reply to the first. Regardless, evidence is stacking up that corn syrup is not part of a healthy diet.

One Response to “Corn Syrup: Still Bad For You”

  1. […] Just the other day, we were talking about research showing that high fructose corn syrup — HFCS — can cause scarring of the liver in patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and that many NAFLD patients consume HFCS regularly. Today we have news about something that is good for your liver! […]