An Indian Civilizational Perspective

The Harmful effects of Hugh Fructose Corn Syrup

This article details the biological reasons HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) causes health problems when substituted for table sugar (sucrose) in manufactured foods, as is in most foods these days:

  1. Sucrose must be broken down by the body into glucose and fructose in order to be used by the body. HFCS by contrast, has a much higher proportion of fructose. As a result of HFCS use fructose consumption has increased by 26% in the last 30 years.
  2. Glucose and fructose are both used for energy and fat production in the liver. The glucose breakdown pathway is turned off then there is an accumulation of energy and fat, but there is no such feedback mechanism in the case of fructose.
  3. Fructose, unlike glucose, does not effectively shut down the hunger signal, so an individual will not feel sated as easily. This makes it tempting for consumers to over-eat, and benefits fast food producers.
  4. Fructose does not stimulate insulin release as well as glucose and contributes to insulin resistance, which can result in diabetes.

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2 Comments
  1. Lukian says

    quick review of your facts from a biochemist point of view:
    True: sucrose must be broken down before assimilating it in the blood system. Like starch this delays the simple sugar assimilation in the blood.

    HFCS (being Glucose and fructose in similar proportion as sucrose yet in free form) is directly assimilated in the blood stream (without needing digestion). This causes a very high peak of glucose (sugar level) in the blood. The body responds by injecting massive amounts of insulin in the blood to bring blood sugar levels in stasis thinking huge amounts of sugar is in the digestive tract. Like a pendulum, the sugar levels drops rapidly and goes far below normal levels because or the rapid assimilation of sugars the peak was high and slim (a spike).
    To counteract low levels of sugar in the blood the body releases glucagon that releases sugars in the blood stream from our reserves and also fatty acids for energy because when sugar levels are low the body thinks it requires energy to function (like in a marathon). Again since the initial peak was sharp yet slim the pendulum goes the other way, then insulin kicks in, etc. Ying and Yang until all becomes balanced
    It is known that when blood sugar levels drops it causes hunger. During that seesaw effect of eating too much HFCS we tend to be hungry more quickly after eating and during low sugar levels we pump fat in our blood stream and convert sugars to fat. Also being sedentary, the fat becomes pounds.
    This action is so dramatic that for several minutes even hours insulin and glucagon can circulated in the blood at the same time because of the sharp spike and lows of blood sugar levels. Both these hormones are not meant to be in the blood at the same time.

    By the way, recent studies are showing that MSG actually enhances the RELEASE of insulin. This roller coaster becomes worst with foods having lot of MSG added.
    Lukian

  2. Lukian says

    quick review of your facts from a biochemist point of view:
    True: sucrose must be broken down before assimilating it in the blood system. Like starch this delays the simple sugar assimilation in the blood.

    HFCS (being Glucose and fructose in similar proportion as sucrose yet in free form) is directly assimilated in the blood stream (without needing digestion). This causes a very high peak of glucose (sugar level) in the blood. The body responds by injecting massive amounts of insulin in the blood to bring blood sugar levels in stasis thinking huge amounts of sugar is in the digestive tract. Like a pendulum, the sugar levels drops rapidly and goes far below normal levels because or the rapid assimilation of sugars the peak was high and slim (a spike).
    To counteract low levels of sugar in the blood the body releases glucagon that releases sugars in the blood stream from our reserves and also fatty acids for energy because when sugar levels are low the body thinks it requires energy to function (like in a marathon). Again since the initial peak was sharp yet slim the pendulum goes the other way, then insulin kicks in, etc. Ying and Yang until all becomes balanced
    It is known that when blood sugar levels drops it causes hunger. During that seesaw effect of eating too much HFCS we tend to be hungry more quickly after eating and during low sugar levels we pump fat in our blood stream and convert sugars to fat. Also being sedentary, the fat becomes pounds.
    This action is so dramatic that for several minutes even hours insulin and glucagon can circulated in the blood at the same time because of the sharp spike and lows of blood sugar levels. Both these hormones are not meant to be in the blood at the same time.

    By the way, recent studies are showing that MSG actually enhances the RELEASE of insulin. This roller coaster becomes worst with foods having lot of MSG added.
    Lukian

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