HFCS high fructose corn syrup is responsible for a dangerous epidemic of obesity and diabetes. People under the age of 45 are “children of the corn.” Like Stephen King's thriller, they are reaping the consequences...
food industry’s high fructose corn syrup. They were children or young adults in
the late 70s, 80s and 90s when high fructose corn syrup was introduced to the
American food supply as a cheap replacement for sugar. Now many of them are
struggling with an epidemic of obesity and diabetes, also being referred to as
In a recent chemical analysis of eleven carbonated soft drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), researchers from Rutgers University found very high levels of reactive carbonyls.
Reactive carbonyls, which have been linked to tissue damage and complications of diabetes, are elevated in the blood of people with diabetes. A single can of soda, however, has five times that concentration of reactive carbonyls. Old-fashioned table sugar, on the other hand, has no reactive carbonyls.
When people from Iceland visit the United States, the first thing they notice is the number of fat people they see. The average weight of American women (164 pounds) and men (191 pounds) has increased 25 pounds since 1960. We are the fattest people on earth, thanks to Coke, Pepsi and ADM - Archer Daniels Midland - the largest producer of HFCS.
Due to federal agribusiness subsidies, every dollar of profits earned by ADM's corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10. Of the $113.6 billion in taxpayer commodity subsidy payments distributed by the USDA between 1995 and 2004, corn drew $41.8 billion -- more than cotton, soy, and rice combined. What's wrong with this picture? Maybe it's the Iowa presidential primary. Where do the presidential candidates and your congress people stand on corn subsidies? Who sucks up to ADM?
The occurrence of new cases of type 2 diabetes has doubled over the past three decades, according to a report in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation - June 2006. The percentage of overweight children in the United States has tripled since 1980. The epidemic of type 2 diabetes cases across the nation is likely to lead to a substantially higher incidence of strokes among middle-aged adults and newly diagnosed diabetics.
"Most, but not all, of the increase in diabetes occurred in people who were obese - those with a body mass index of 30 or more," according to the National Lung, Heart, and Blood Institute in Framingham, Massachusetts.
A person with diabetes has a 50 percent chance of having a heart attack compared with a risk of 5 percent for people without diabetes or who don’t know if they have a vascular disease. In fact, diabetes puts you at the same risk for a heart attack as a non-diabetic who has had a heart attack and whose risk of another is substantially higher.
More than one out of every three individuals in the United States has diabetes or impaired fasting glucose, a condition that increases the risk of developing diabetes.
The CDC estimates that diabetes costs the United States $92 billion in medical costs and $40 billion in indirect costs.
It is getting difficult to find a food product at the grocery store or McDonalds that is not loaded with HFCS. One 20-ounce bottle of Coke, Pepsi, Mt Dew, Sprite or Dr. Pepper is the equivalent of pouring 17 teaspoons of sugar straight into your body. HFCS is the leading ingredient after carbonated water in these beverages. Women who drink at least one regular soda a day are 85 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who drink less. It also leads to tooth decay.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is found in fruit drinks like Capri Sun, Sunny Delight, Snapple, Hawaiian Punch, Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice and in most energy drinks. It is also found in chocolate drinks like Yoohoo, Arizona Tea, SoBe Beverages, cookies, ice cream, Campbell soup, Heinz Ketchup, Ragu, Aunt Jemima Syrup, Hershey's Syrup, Breyers Yogurt, Kraft Barbecue Sauce, Smucker's Preserves and some breakfast cereals.
High fructose corn syrup masquerades under the name of crystalline fructose in Glaceau Vitamin Water and some energy drinks. Naive teenagers guzzle this "poison" because they think it is good for them. Then they go on a diet and wonder why they are still gaining weight.
Have you seen the new commercials on TV for Capri Sun? The ad suggests that Capri Sun is now healthy for you because they have added antioxidants. As long as they continue to sweeten Capri Sun with HFCS, they are lying to you.
People who use HFCS as a sweetener increase their triglycerides 32 percent relative to people who use mostly sugar, according to University of Minnesota professor John Bantle. The body metabolizes high fructose corn syrup differently than sugar. It blunts the body's ability to recognize when it is full and increases a person's appetite.
High Fructose Corn Syrup puts people at risk for metabolic syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Having just one of these conditions — increased blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels — contributes to your risk of serious disease. In combination, your risk is even greater."
There is a a rise in uric acid in the bloodstream that occurs after fructose is consumed. The temporary spike of HFCS blocks the action of insulin, which typically regulates how body cells use and store sugar and other food nutrients for energy. If uric acid levels are frequently elevated, over time features of metabolic syndrome may develop, including high blood pressure, obesity and elevated blood cholesterol levels.
Research by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that high fructose diets shorten the life span of laboratory mice from the normal two years to a mere five weeks.
Overweight Hispanic-American children who consume lots of sugary foods and drinks show signs of pancreatic beta cell decline - a forerunner of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the University of Southern California came to that conclusion after studying 63 overweight Hispanic children, ages 9 to 13, all without diabetes. The team tracked the children's eating habits and also took blood samples before and after giving them sweets.
Beta cells in the pancreas create insulin in response to sugar obtained from food. When beta cells start to function less effectively, they produce less insulin, leading ultimately to diabetes. The USC team found that about 40 percent of the sweets consumed by the children in this study came from sugary drinks such as soda or sweetened juices.
If you compare the population of non-diabetics to diabetics, the average life span is 10 years less. There are many complications that occur with diabetes. They include coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, blindness, kidney disease and loss of sensation in the hands and feet.
Older people may have something to worry about also. The leading theory about the cause of Alzheimer's Disease implicates insulin. Insulin concentrations in the brain drop significantly in early Alzheimer's and continue to fall as the disease worsens, suggesting that Alzheimer's Disease may be Type 3 diabetes. Researchers found that insulin is not just produced in the pancreas, but also in the brain.
If you wish to prevent diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, the prudent thing to do is to read the label of food items and beverages before you buy them at the store. If you see High Fructose Corn Syrup or crystalline fructose - Don't Buy It!
One tip is to try an ethnic grocery store - such as an Asian or Latino food store, if you have trouble finding HFCS free foods that you like. The American food industry doesn't give two "toots" about your health.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, MD "Immediate action is needed to address this problem on a societal level. The time for blaming the victim, for putting the entire responsibility of the obesity epidemic on a gluttonous population is over. The science is clear, and we have the means to save lives and millions in health care dollars.”
Question of the decade: Why doesn't the FDA approve stevia as a sweetener? Stevia was introduced in the 1970s in Japan and accounts for over 40% of the sweetener market there. It is also commonly used in South America. Only 24 percent of Japanese aged 15 and older are believed to be overweight, compared to over 65 percent of adults in the United States.
In 1991, at the request of an anonymous complaint, the FDA labeled stevia as an unsafe food additive. It is truly absurd that the medical establishment and government watch dogs in the U.S. are so myopic as to believe that if a product has not been scientifically proven safe inside the borders of the U.S., then it is dangerous until proven otherwise. What's wrong with this picture?
According to Dr. William Dietz of the CDC (Center for Disease Control), in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics, "Consumption of excess calories can produce weight gain. The high fructose content of sugar-sweetened beverages may promote hepatic lipogenesis, and the reduced insulinogenic response may decrease the inhibitory effects of these sugar-sweetened beverages on food intake. In addition, significant weight gain may occur when carbohydrates are consumed as liquids rather than as solids."
Soft drinking teens pile on pounds and obesity
According to a study released
March 6, 2006, the number of overweight children is on the rise worldwide and by
the end of the decade the number of overweight children will have caused a
strain on our health system as they age. It is estimated that just under half of
the children in North and South America will be overweight by 2010, up from
about 28%. In Europe, about 38% of the children will be overweight, compared to
Dr. James said researchers had analyzed reports from 1980 to 2005 as well as World Health Organization data. They found data for trends over time covering school-age populations in 25 countries and preschool-age children in 42 countries.
In the drinks study, a team at Boston's Children's Hospital monitored the weight of 103 teenagers, putting half of them on unsweetened or artificially-sweetened drinks and letting the other half continue to consume sugary drinks. They concluded that a single 330ml can a day of sweetened drinks could lead teens to put on 1 pound every three or four weeks.
Diabetes Risk Factors
As a footnote, a new Italian study suggests Aspartame (NutraSweet) causes cancer in rats at levels currently approved for humans.
The Dangers of Corn Oil
A study at the San Francisco VA Medical Center demonstrates that omega-6 fatty acids such as the fat found in corn oil promote the growth of prostate tumor cells in the laboratory.
Working with human prostate cancer cells in tissue culture, researchers identified for the first time a direct chain of causation: When introduced into prostate tumor cells in culture, omega-6 fatty acid causes the production of cPLA2, which then causes the production of the enzyme COX2. In turn, COX2 stimulates the release of PGE2, a hormone-like molecule that promotes cell growth.
What's important about this is that omega-6 fatty acids are found in corn oil and most of the oils used in bakery goods, which means that if you're eating a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids, it's possible that you're turning on this cancer cascade, which has been shown to be a common denominator in the growth of prostate, colorectal, and some breast cancers.
The study points out that 60 years ago in the United States, the dietary ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, a beneficial fatty acid, was 1 to 2. Today, the ratio is 25 to 1. Over that same 60 years, the incidence of prostate cancer in the U.S. has increased steadily.
This is one more reason it is important to pay attention to the fats that you are eating. Substitute olive oil whenever possible, and take omega 3 fish oil capsules daily. Remember, always be good to yourself.
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