As an anthropologist I have know how corn can LOWER the life expectancy of an individual while increasing populations. When the maya switched to a corn-based diet, their teeth quality and average skeleton age went down. (but it was easy to grow and store so it allowed for cities….but I digress) ..I have long been suspicious of high fructose corn syrup and how it inches its way into everything we eat. I see it in cereal, pop, yogurt, pizzas, lean cuisine for fucks sake. It’s in sauces, in katschup…its shows up at restaurants (Chilies ribs for one) and just about every single prepared food under the sun. well, a new study at Princeton university has found what may be the trigger for the obesity epidemic.
A Princeton University research team has shown that not all sweeteners are created equal. Rats with access to HFCS gained MUCH more weight than those with access to cane sugar, even if the total caloric intake was exactly the same. In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term use of HFCS also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the belly (and we all know the dangers of OMG BELLY FAT) and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.
Humm….maybe it IS big agribusiness selling us chemicals in everything that we eat making us fat……. sort of like I thought all along (thank GOD my dad had a degree in chemistry and hated it as well…thank GOD growing up we thought Katie had corn allergies… wait a second…maybe the fact my little sister NEVER got HFCS until well into her teens as we thought she had a corn allergy. We never had anything prepared…dad made almost everything from scratch. Maybe I ended up fat because I DID eat HFCS until about 7 when we found her corn allergy. but i digress…..
“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”
The results were published online in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, the researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute reported on two experiments investigating the link between the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and obesity. the results were released on march 18th.
The first study gave rats HFCS water in one group, and cane or table sugar-water in another group, in addition to regular rat chow. The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas.
The second experiment — the first long-term study of the effects of high-fructose corn syrup consumption on obesity in lab animals — monitored weight gain, body fat and triglyceride levels in rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup over a period of six months. Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet.
These rats aren’t just getting fat; they’re demonstrating characteristics of obesity, including substantial increases in abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides,” said Princeton graduate student Miriam Bocarsly. “In humans, these same characteristics are known risk factors for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer and diabetes.” In addition to Hoebel and Bocarsly, the research team included Princeton undergraduate Elyse Powell and visiting research associate Nicole Avena, who was affiliated with Rockefeller University during the study and is now on the faculty at the University of Florida. The Princeton researchers note that they do not know yet why high-fructose corn syrup fed to rats in their study generated more triglycerides, and more body fat that resulted in obesity.
High-fructose corn syrup and sucrose are both compounds that contain the simple sugars fructose and glucose, but there at least two clear differences between them. First, sucrose is composed of equal amounts of the two simple sugars — it is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose — but the typical high-fructose corn syrup used in this study features a slightly imbalanced ratio, containing 55 percent fructose and 42 percent glucose. Larger sugar molecules called higher saccharides make up the remaining 3 percent of the sweetener. Second, as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized.
In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year.
“Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic,” Avena said.
Some interesting food for thought…and it DEFINATELY will make me shop more on the OUTSIDE of the store as opposed to the inside.