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Eating High-Fructose Corn Syrup Worse Than Sugar

The high-fructose corn syrup industry and its advocates, like The Corn Refiners Association, have lobbied hard to convince us that their product is not bad for us. Just like the tobacco industry, they would argue that the world was flat until the cows came home… if it meant making a buck (or a few billion of ’em).

Take an ad like this one for instance, brought to you by The Corn Refiners Association:

“You know what they say about it?”

Well for one, researchers at Princeton have just shown that all things being equal in calories, high-fructose corn syrup makes you gain more weight than regular table sugar. The study was conducted on rats, with one group eating high-fructose corn syrup and the other table sugar, both with the same calorie count. The rats that ate the high-fructose corn syrup “gained significantly more weight” than the sugar-eating rats.

The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks.

Over the long-haul, consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also leads to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the belly. Not to mention that is increased the circulation of triglycerides.

“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.”

This is not an advocacy of sugar, which can be addictive. The researchers say that sugar has similar effects on the brain as some drugs.

(via: Kottke.org, Princeton.edu)

March 24th, 2010