Wednesday, June 8, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Promotes Obesity and Poor Health

Fructose has been implicated as a driving force behind a number of chronic illnesses including metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Scientists have theorized that the fruit-based sweetener derived most commonly from corn is a primary mechanism that has fueled the obesity epidemic.

Fructose and its evil twin high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are used as inexpensive sweeteners in many processed foods, condiments, baked goods and snacks. Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University publishing in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism demonstrate that fructose reacts differently than glucose in the brain causing chemical alterations that lead to increased body weight and obesity.

Brain Response to Fructose is Different Than Glucose
Researchers working with animal models know that the brain responds differently to a variety of different foods consumed, and that these responses have a strong influence on total calories eaten at each meal. Using new functional MRI technologies, scientists are able to examine electrical and chemical brain patterns that occur in response to consumption of different food groups (macronutrients such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins) and nutrients (from vitamins, minerals and antioxidant-rich polyphenol compounds).

The study involved pre and post meal MRI scans of nine individuals receiving an infusion of fructose, glucose or a saline solution. Researchers found no difference in brain activity in the hypothalamus, an area known to regulate food intake. Activity in the cortical brain control areas showed the opposite response from the sugar infusions. Activity was inhibited with the fructose solution and activated in the presence of glucose.

Fructose Does Not Cause Satiety Similar to Other Macronutrients
The cortical areas activated are important to determine how we respond to food taste and smell. The study showed that when glucose is consumed, a normal satiety response is triggered in the brain so we register caloric intake and can react with a satiety response. Fructose has virtually no effect on this automated feedback system we rely on to provide the `full` signal so we stop eating before over consuming.

The study authors found this to be conclusive evidence that fructose and its derivatives are a significant causative agent responsible for the rampant obesity plague affecting people around the world. In conclusion they write "For consumers, our findings support current recommendations that people be conscious of sweeteners added to their drinks and meals and not overindulge on high-fructose, processed foods."

HFCS has been slowly creeping into the processed food supply over the past 40 years. Health-minded consumers and scientists have theorized that it should be blamed for a contributing role in overweight, morbidity and chronic disease. The best way to avoid high fructose corn syrup is to avoid all processed foods in favor of a raw, natural diet focused on vegetables, lean protein and healthy monounsaturated fats. Your reward will be a healthy, sustainable weight and dramatically lower risk of metabolic disease.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Excellent information! I found the site very easy to use, and the information just enough to send me out to do further research. Please keep up the good work

Acids Reflux