Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup


High fructose corn syrup is part of what is now an epidemic of diabetes in America, affecting more than 25 million people, with another 79 million in a prediabetes state of health.

Diabetes occurs when we consume something that causes a rise in our blood sugar levels, then our body releases insulin to balance out our blood sugar levels again.  Diabetes is the result of this happening so much that it wears out our bodies ability to produce more insulin, and so it stops completely.  Without this balance of insulin we will die.  That is why diabetics have to inject themselves with insulin.

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Photo by Vjeran Lisjak
Diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of limbs, heart disease, kidney problem including renal failure, and nerve damage.  When severe it can lead to amputation of limbs.

High fructose corn syrup is sugar made from corn (probably all genetically modified).  The largest amount of high fructose corn syrup consumed comes from soda.

According to WebMD high fructose corn syrup has been causing an increase in diabetes, high blood glucose levels, and high triglycerides ( a type of artery clogging fat).  The Mayo clinic has also linked high fructose corn syrup to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and high blood pressure

High fructose corn syrup is commonly found in soda, most sweets, some juices, many processed foods, some packaged lunch meats, crackers, chips, salad dressings, bread, ketchup, and fast food.

The Washington Post has stated that half of all commercial HFCS contains mercury.  The mercury enters through contamination that occurs during manufacturing.  In one study, detectable levels of mercury were found in 9 of 20 samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup. 

Mercury can cause adverse reactions like behavioral problems, effects on memory, attention, language skills, and fine motor skills.  It may also cause damage to the brain and nervous system.

Corn 1For others there is the concern of food allergies.  Corn is a common allergen, and not everyone who is allergic is aware that they are allergic, and that it’s causing them health problems.  Symptoms of a corn allergy can be fatigue, crying, irritability, anxiety, night waking, and crankiness.  These symptoms can also come from other causes.

Finally, childhood hyperactivity can easily be caused by an over consumption of sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup.  In some children high fructose corn syrup has caused them to become more destructive in their behavior, and reckless in manner, according to the Livestrong.com website. 

The good news it that high fructose corn syrup can be easily avoided by reading ingredient labels.  


If a product has high fructose corn syrup in the label, simply purchase an item that doesn't have it listed instead.  Only buy juice that has a label reading 100% juice.

High fructose corn syrup increases your chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, mercury exposure, hyperactivity, destructive behavior, and many other health concerns!

So why if HFCS is so concerning to our health is it still used in food?  It’s cheaper to use in the short run, however of much higher cost to our health in the long run.


Sources:
http://www.effectsofdiabetes.org/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/222893-the-effects-of-corn-syrup-on-childrens-behavior/
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/mighty-appetite/2009/01/high-fructose_corn_syrup_meets.html


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