6

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High Fructose Corn Syrup Worse than we Thought?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 20, 2012 at 1:28 AM

In this interview, (from 41:29 to 43:36), Dr. Peat suggests a mechanism by which HFCS may be more harmful than sucrose, based on this meeting abstract. Note that these links do not offer much substance to support this theory, though it seems plausible.

I have transcribed the relevant part of the interview below (some editing for clarity):

Peat: "A study at UCLA that came out last summer analyzed [high fructose corn syrup]. They chemically tested it and found that it contained just the amount of fructose and glucose that it was claimed to have. [However, upon hydrolyzing it, they] found that it contained polysaccharides (starch-like material) containing 4 to 5 times the amount of calories that the original sugar had...These polysaccharides aren't easily digested by our human enzymes and are likely to feed bacteria lower in the intestine that produce fermentation products (including lactic acid), which are responsible for causing the intestine to increase its already great production of seratonin and to cause it to be absorbed into the circulation in quantities enough to affect behavior. Anxiety, for example, is increased in animals in proportion to the fermentation of these starch-like molecules. I suspect that the starchy materials in the corn sweetener are pretty directly related to increased exposure to seratonin."

This runs counter to the prevalent notion that high fructose corn syrup is identical to sucrose. Thoughts?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 20, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Nah, just too vague to be meaningful. I'd actually be surprised if polysaccharides present in HFCS aren't accounted for in calorie counts. If anything, polysaccharides in HFCS actually lower the effective calorie content. I'd be interested in seeing how much of HFCS is actually indigestible polysaccharides.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:31 PM

Fructose malabsorption is the problem, not fructose. Normal folks digest fructose fine.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:00 PM

Matt, you're right. This is probably all wild speculation.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 20, 2012
at 11:57 AM

I want a real study, not an abstract to a meeting presentation.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on May 20, 2012
at 11:32 AM

Since HCFS-55 has essentially the same sugar profile as honey, does this apply to honey as well?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 20, 2012
at 11:13 AM

@Kasra - I thought fructose was a major FODMAP. Fructose malabsorption and all that.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 20, 2012
at 11:12 AM

Where's the study?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 20, 2012
at 11:08 AM

Okay, how do you pronounce "Cthulu"? Because now I want to say to people - "Oh, no thank you, I don't eat the spawn of Cthulu."

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on May 20, 2012
at 03:57 AM

Ah ha ha, +1 for the Old Ones reference. Plus, it's an excellent metaphor.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:04 AM

I would make the distinction that the negative effects of HFCS come primarily from the hidden FODMAPs and their tendency to disrupt gut flora. I don't agree with the sucrose/fructose phobia.

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3 Answers

6
6869a1f2294b3a717a53645589a91d18

(1689)

on May 20, 2012
at 05:03 AM

The presence of glucose increases the absorption of fructose. 58% malabslorb 50 g of pure fructose. Sucrose (50% fructose, 50% glucose) is typically absorbed fine 3). High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is somewhere inbetween the high absorption of sucrose and the low absorption of pure fructose:

20% of healthy patients and 30% of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients malabsorb 95 grams of HFCS-55 4). HFCS-55 is the purported sweetener for soft drinks in the U.S.. This amount and type of fructose would approximate the daily U.S. fructose intake 5) (adolescent intake is higher 6)). IBS afflicts 7% to 15% of western populations 7). This is a small study, but other toxic foods such as wheat and Polyunsaturated fats are likely candidates for increasing fructose malabsorption.

Although HFCS-55 (55% fructose) is the purported sweetener of soft drinks, in laboratory analysis the mean fructose content of soft drinks is 59% 8), with Coke, Pepsi and Sprite having 65% fructose 9).

Malabsorbed fructose goes to feed gut microbes and promotes pathogen development: Mice fed ad lib 30% fructose, but not mice fed 30% sucrose, experienced significantly higher endotoxin, more fatty liver, inflammation and fat peroxidation in the veins transporting blood from the gut to the liver. Antibiotics markedly reduce liver fat accumulation 10). 'Fatty liver' is very common, afflicting over 30% of Americans 11). Fatty liver is an aspect of metbolic syndrome and likely contributes to the overall disease state of a person. Pathogen involvement (inspired by things like malabsorbed fructose)) likely contributes to fatty liver (see http://flare8.net/health/doku.php/diseases#microbes3 ).

Gut microbes are a highly significant factor in health for more reasons than described here (for more generally see http://flare8.net/health/doku.php/diseases).

Of rats fed ad lib and either 8% HFCS or 10% sucrose, caloric intake was the same but HFCS rats ???gained significantly more body weight??? 14).

Source @ http://flare8.net/health/doku.php/when_fructose_is_bad

5
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:43 AM

As it was already, I pretty much assumed that it was the worst possible thing you could put into your body.

It doesn't change my "thoughts" on it, insomuch as it reinforces them...

Except now I may start referring to HFCS as "Cthulu's Ejaculate", because really... can you get any more evil than that?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:04 AM

I would make the distinction that the negative effects of HFCS come primarily from the hidden FODMAPs and their tendency to disrupt gut flora. I don't agree with the sucrose/fructose phobia.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 20, 2012
at 11:13 AM

@Kasra - I thought fructose was a major FODMAP. Fructose malabsorption and all that.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:31 PM

Fructose malabsorption is the problem, not fructose. Normal folks digest fructose fine.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on May 20, 2012
at 03:57 AM

Ah ha ha, +1 for the Old Ones reference. Plus, it's an excellent metaphor.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 20, 2012
at 11:08 AM

Okay, how do you pronounce "Cthulu"? Because now I want to say to people - "Oh, no thank you, I don't eat the spawn of Cthulu."

2
5cd8441bd01fc10816085bfc092477c4

(925)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:44 AM

that crap is the devil, I tell ya. Not only that it is killing our bees too. Farmers spray nicotine-based pesticides on corn crops, and then commercial beekeepers feed their bees HFC. That is what is causing the honey bee die off.

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