It’s pretty well established that high-fructose corn syrup isn’t a good ingredient to consume in high quantities, but some new research is pointing to just how dangerous regular consumption of it can be.The study, published in the journal Science, shows a connection between frequent consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and rapid growth of colon cancer. There is still a lot of research to be conducted on the matter, including taking a further look at how high fructose corn syrup affects humans instead of mice, but the results certainly warrant a discussion.
Chemically, high-fructose corn syrup is not much different than regular sugar. There are some differing opinions on how the body processes the two differently, but it is clear that consuming too much of either ingredient isn’t good for your health. Both sugar and high-fructose corn syrup contain an element called fructose, which occurs naturally in fruits and veggies. While it’s not bad for you when consumed in whole foods, fructose does pose a problem to your health when heavily processed and concentrated to create high-fructose corn syrup. Your body doesn’t digest high-fructose corn syrup properly, meaning it stimulates the body to create and deposit extra fat in your body, leading to higher rates of obesity, inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
You can find high-fructose corn syrup in a majority of processed or canned foods. You're most likely to find it in soda and candy, which are both obvious sources of extra calories. However, high-fructose corn syrup can also be found in more surprising places like bread, canned or jarred fruits, salad dressings, and condiments. Even though these products might seem like an important part of your diet, there are some easy substitutions that can be made to lower your intake of high-fructose corn syrup. Choose naturally flavored sparkling water instead of soda, or add fresh fruit to water. You can substitute salad dressing for oil and vinegar and even sweeten plain yogurt with fruit on your own.
The recent study that was published in the journal Science studied a group of mice who were given water sweetened by high-fructose corn syrup. When compared to a control group of mice who received unsweetened water, the rate of colon cancer growth, both in size and speed, was notably different in the mice who consumed the high-fructose corn syrup. Even when the mice had the equivalent of only 12 ounces of high-fructose corn syrup sweetened drink, which is equal to one can of soda, they were shown to have accelerated cancer growth. The study warrants further examination to understand how the findings correlate to humans as well.
The bottom line is that you should limit your intake of products that contain high-fructose corn syrup or regular sugar as they tend to be empty calories with no nutritional value. These foods can be avoided completely or easily substituted, like eating fresh fruit instead of canned. If you have any questions or want to know how your diet and GI system is affected by these foods, make an appointment with Carolina Digestive Health Associates today.