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Corn Syrup May Trigger Diabetes

A study appearing in the journal, Cell Metabolism showed that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was partially responsible for causing insulin resistance, which, in turn, can lead to diabetes. The study goes on to say that diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the last 10 years because of the increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup sweeteners. Several studies over the past few years have also come to this conclusion.

grocery store shelves with corn syrup products

In 2007, a similar study was conducted where researcher Chi-Tang Ho, PhD, Professor of Food Science at Rutgers University tested 11 different carbonated beverages containing HFCS and found “astonishingly high” levels of highly-reactive compounds called “carbonyls” in the beverages. These carbonyls are believed to cause tissue damage.

High fructose corn syrup is found in most sodas and many other processed foods, including breads, cereals, sauces, and even some dairy products. Food companies use HFCS because it’s inexpensive, easy to transport and keeps foods moist. It has become so popular, that most Americans consume over 60 pounds per year. Dr. Gerald Shulman, Associate Director of the Yale Diabetes Endocrine Research Center says that “because the liver more readily metabolizes fructose into fat than it does glucose, high fructose consumption can lead to … insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.”And Amy Tenderich, a well-known author and diabetes consultant says that scientific evidence tells us “the body processes the fructose in high fructose corn syrup differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function.”

In the latest USDA Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption report, total use of corn sweetener consumption increased a shocking 387 percent between 1970 and 2005. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the use of high fructose corn syrup increased 10,673 percent in the U.S. during that same time period! The dietary guidelines of the study suggest that Americans on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet limit their consumption of added sugars to 8 teaspoons per day. The results of the study showed that Americans actually consumed upwards of 30 teaspoons per person per day in 2005.

The above studies lead us to the conclusion that high fructose corn syrup has no nutritional value and can be directly harmful to your health. Despite strident attempts to defend it by the sugar industry, these studies clearly show how detrimental its effects can be. If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to monitor glucose and insulin levels. One doesn’t necessarily have to eliminate fructose from the diet, but you need to be aware of how much you’re consuming. A little fructose in natural fruits is fine – it only becomes a problem when consumed in the form of high fructose corn syrup. If you do have it once in a while, make sure it’s listed low down on the ingredient list of whatever it is you’re eating.

Diabetics and people at risk of developing it must learn to drastically cut back on their sugar and high fructose corn syrup intake by being aware of the ingredients in products they are consuming.

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