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    The Issue Is Fructose. Period.
    By Michael Goran | June 7th 2012 10:57 AM | 73 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Michael

    Michael Goran is a professor of Preventive Medicine and Director of The Childhood Obesity Research Center at the University of Southern California...

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    In the last few weeks there has been a sugar tsunami in the media. CBS reported about sugar toxicity. Mayor Bloomberg banned the serving of sugary drinks greater than 16 fluid ounces in New York City. The FDA turned down a request from the Corn Industry to re-name high fructose corn syrup as "corn sugar". And then there is that huge advertising campaign that denies that sweetened beverages are driving the obesity epidemic.

    But lost in this whirlwind of activity are several critical questions that have been overlooked and are critical to the debate. Here's one: Are all sugars and sweeteners really the same and do they have the same effects on the body? The corn industry propounds that sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the same but when our lab at USC took up the question, we found a far murkier and distressing picture.

    Consider, for example, the most common form of HFCS - HFCS 55, which has 55% fructose compared to sucrose which is 50% fructose. Most people think this difference is negligible, but it's 10% more fructose. Yet this assumes that foods and drinks are made with HFCS 55. Our study showed that certain popular sodas and other beverages contain a fructose content approaching 65% of sugars. This works out to be 30% more fructose than if the sodas were made with natural sugar. HFCS can be made to have any proportion of fructose, as high as 90%, and added to foods without the need to disclose the specific fructose content.

    In short: Sometimes we get a double dose of fructose without knowing so--something that no FDA advisory committee would approve if it came to labeling, say, a new prescription drug.

    how the food supply changed in the years immediately after HFCS got cheap small
    The number of food products introduced into the US food market classified as condiments, candy, snacks, and bakery foods parallels the increasing prevalence of obesity, and has increased strikingly out of proportion to new vegetable and fruit products. BMI in kg/m2. (Data are from reference 2 for obesity and from reference 21 for food products). Credit: Am J Clin Nutr March 1, 1999 vol. 69 no. 3 440-447

    New evidence shows that large amounts of fructose are harmful because of the way fructose is metabolized. Fructose is taken up almost exclusively by the liver where it can be re-packaged as fat and produces harmful by-products in the process. Excess fructose consumption has therefore been linked to gout, hypertension, dyslipidemia, fatty liver disease, diabetes, and obesity.

    This high level of fructose consumption may be devastating for infants and children. Studies show a strong link between high sugar consumption and obesity beginning in infancy.

    Why? Because from an evolutionary perspective babies are not programmed to handle fructose, which is not present in breast milk. Lactose, the principal sugar in mother's milk, is made from glucose and galactose. The metabolic process required to handle fructose only emerges later in development.

    Fructose is often called "fruit sugar" and perceived as healthy because it naturally occurs in most fruit. But fructose from fruit is encased in fiber-rich flesh that slows and reduces its absorption in the body and its metabolism in the liver, serving as a sort of antidote to the negative effects of fructose metabolism. The raw fructose in HFCS and normal table sugar is not encased in a friendly fiber flesh, making it more likely to wreak havoc on your metabolism
    Simply banning the sale of large portions of sugary drinks won't work - if consumers want more they can buy multiple smaller servings. Neither will the typical alternative--increased nutrition education. These strategies are doomed for failure because they don't address the root of the problem. While reducing consumption of "added sugars" will likely provide some health benefits, we should first focus on reducing fructose, since it is high levels of fructose coming from HFCS in processed foods and beverages that are the most damaging to our health.

    So what should we really be doing? Perhaps it is time for the FDA to re-examine whether HFCS warrants the federal government's industry-friendly GRAS status it was given decades ago; is it really "generally recognized as safe?" The agency might also define and enforce allowable fructose content--making sure it is really "the same" as sugar by banning any concoction above the natural 50/50 fructose to glucose proportion.

    At the bare minimum we must have food labels that differentiate sugars in the same way as they differentiate fats, with a clear indication of the fructose content.

    There is one simple thing that individuals can do in the fight against obesity and type 2 diabetes: simply reject HFCS. This will have multiple beneficial effects. First it will reduce your risk of obesity and reduce your risk of related conditions like type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, gout and hypertension. It will also force food and beverage manufacturers to re-consider using HFCS and turn to using natural sugar instead. This might increase the cost of foods and beverages, which will in turn force the food industry to re-consider portion sizes and force consumers to purchase and consume less sugary foods.

    That will thus shift the burden of effort for obesity prevention from the individual to the food and beverage industry. That's the right thing to do.
    Obesity. The truth is out there.  Photo: Shutterstock


    The reason pop in US&CA uses corn sugars is political, cane sugar should be cheaper if there were free trade and no corn subsidies.
    I doubt the sugars in grapes and berries are absorbed more slowly. The worse "health advice" is promoting juices over pop. I choose pop with less that 12% sugar, but many fruit juices are higher, over 20% for grapes and oranges. There is no data on glucose:fructose rations on the juice box labels in Canada, should be ban the high-fructose ones?

    I'm embarrassed for all the dupes who buy into this. Anyone who claims to know anything about nutrition and physiology, yet supports this nonsense is simply telling the world that they are full of shit. I mean really... Can't you find something useful to promote? Are you all such losers that you have to lie to make money? Homo sapiens has been eating fructose for longer than we have been homo sapiens. It is no more harmful to a healthy person than water.

    Gerhard Adam
    Homo sapiens has been eating fructose for longer than we have been homo sapiens. It is no more harmful to a healthy person than water.
    Yeah ... we can tell from all the left over Pepsi bottles and Gatorade found at the old Neaderthal sites.  However, before you make such arbitrary pronouncements you might actually read the article and find out why fructose in fruit is processed differently than the same extract in soft drinks.

    But then ... you know all about nutrition.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Yeah, I do know "all about nutrition". Especially this subject. Get a clue friend. You really just make yourself look ridiculous.
    The body doesn't care if it gets fructose from an apple or a Pepsi. There is no monitor sitting in the small intestine to picking out which sugar molecule comes from fruit, honey, or soft drinks.
    They're all the same to your gut.
    Honestly, since you clearly don't have even the most basic understanding of the subject, why would you make a fool out of yourself in public?

    Gerhard Adam
    There is no monitor sitting in the small intestine to picking out which sugar molecule comes from fruit, honey, or soft drinks.
    ... and this is what comes of reductionist thinking.  Your point might have a modicum of truth IF the number of molecules were the same between those two sources.  In addition, since those molecules aren't "free" in the same manner, then absorption may make a difference.
    The body doesn't care if it gets fructose from an apple or a Pepsi.
    I couldn't help but consider this argument as comparable to claiming that water can't cause drowning because, water is necessary and your "body doesn't care if it gets water from a glass or a lake".  While true, one can definitely appreciate the significance of context.

    Mundus vult decipi
    The fact that you make straw man arguments doesn't do anything for your cause. It is clear that you really don't know anything about the subject, and simply have some kind of issue with me.
    Do you realize how incredibly sick that this makes you? I mean really, you're willing to put yourself out in public and make a fool out of yourself, just because you have a personal issue with someone that you don't even know, but who clearly is much better educated on the subject than you?
    Now shock me and say something that shows that you have even the most basic understanding of the subject.
    So far, you have contributed nothing of value, as usual.

    WOW Charles u r certainly ignorant! U mean truly u don't think the body knows the difference between real sugar and manufactured sugar? U need to do some research and educate yrself!!!

    Man, ya just can't fix stupid. Did you actually read what you just wrote? Seriously? I hope to God that no one is depending on you for information, because you are dangerous.

    This isn't about any of your comments here, but I wanted you to get notified, and it does sort of relate to Fructose.
    One of the comments in this thread was that fructose was used in place of cane sugar because it's cheaper.
    We've talked about how IMO the less the Government is involved in the country the better, while I take from your comments, you disagree.

    Here's an example of government involvement that leads to unintended consequences.
    If Wiki is correct (and I have no reason to believe it's not), fructose is less expensive because of government involvement.
    The government subsidizes growing corn, making cheap corn starch abundant.
    They also have tariffs on sugar imports, jacking up the cost of sugar, as well as quotas on growing cane sugar and sugar beets(which might make sugar less expensive, unless it also fixes the price of said sugar to encourage farming of it). So we have Gov legislating more expensive sugar, then legislating the size of the drink you can buy (if you believe this science of this article) because of it. And the worse part is it will take writing more laws and treaties to undo the laws and treaties that caused it. More Government, Yeah!

    BTW, pepsi makes a smaller amount of pepsi (throwback) made with real sugar, sells it for the same price, it tastes different, and neither version makes me crave sweets. But I suspect to completely switch over would be expensive, and or make procurement of adequate sugar a problem. And it's a competitive business, being more expensive would impact market share.......
    Never is a long time.
    This is a very perceptive comment. Corn farmers have gotten nearly half of all farm subsidies for the past 2 decades, making corn starch and hfcs very cheap. Sugar is produced under supply control to stabilize prices but Mexican sugar is duty free and the US is the world's largest importer of sugar. Still the price of refined sugar is usually slightly above the price of hfcs and most products that can be made with liquid sugar are made with hfcs instead. The farm bill that passed the Senate as well as the one passed out of the House Committee on Agriculture would terminate "direct payments" to farmers, much of which has gone to corn farmers who also rotate with soybeans. If the farm bill does get enacted, it may increase the market price of corn and make hfcs less competitive. Even if it does not, the drought in the corn belt may have a great effect on corn prices. Given the risk of fatty liver disease and diabetes linked to hfcs, FDA should revoke the GRAS for hfcs.

    Sorry, Charles, but you aren't as correct as you purport yourself to be. Since you had your mind made up before reading this article, you failed to truly READ the article and consider the information it presents. Your argument that we have been eating fructose for longer than we have been homo sapiens is only partially correct. The sugars in fruits are not the same as in processed foods, nor are they in the same concentrations as in processed foods. That is the game changer. If it was solely just using non-concentrated fruit juice to sweeten a food, and keeping the same ratio of sugar per serving as it would be if you were just eating fresh fruit, then your argument would stand. But, you are comparing apples to oranges (pun intended) by simply stating that we have been eating fruit for many millennia, so it is the same as eating the highly processed foods we eat today. I would extend the same suggestion to you as you extended to those that might take some or all of this study seriously: educate yourself, and stop buying into everything that you are told. Do some research yourself. Read articles and/or studies from multiple sources (and not just those that agree with your already preconceived ideas of what is true). Exercise your mind and do some critical thinking of your own. Now, put down your sticky bun or Twinky, and grab an apple for a change.

    That's really funny. Of course I read the article. That's why I called it out for the rubbish that it is. You just go on believing fairy tales, if you want.

    Put more succinctly, Charles, you're an idiot...

    Eating maybe, a couple pieces of fruit here & there when we could get it. Not distilling fructose and adding it to each and every item we consume. Unsurprisingly, when you start adding carbohydrates the body can't even "see" metabolically (that's right, fructose is "invisible" to the metabolic system; the body basically doesn't even know it's been consumed and doesn't count it toward total caloric consumption and will continue to consume until it has consumed sufficient "visible" calories, such as glucose, protein & fat).

    Effectively, the ONLY thing fructose does in the body is get processed by the liver into ATP and once ATP has reached its "too much" point it's converted into fatty acids and sent out into the blood. Basically, fructose converts (with minimal step(s) in between) directly to blood fat, which then gets stored, generally as visceral fat (y'know the type associated with fatty liver disease, central adiposity, obesity, diabetes, heart disease).

    But, please, don't let actual facts cloud your off-base ideological rant...


    Glucose? Not a problem. The body sees it, regulates it an moreover USES it metabolically...

    As the title states: The Issue *is* fructose. Period.

    A few pieces of fruit? Not a problem. Generally speaking. There's a ton of fiber vitamins and minerals and only a couple grams of sugar, half of which is glucose.

    Sodas and juices? Bigger problem. No fiber, most of the vitamins and mineral have been stripped out of juices. In sodas, there's pretty much NO nutritional value and the proportion of fructose vs glucose is from slightly to extremely elevated. Over-consumption *is* a problem. And, again, whatever the fructose portion of the drink (or candy bar), it's basically invisible to the body. It's free body fat. The body packs it in and still feels hungry because none of the appetite/satiety controls have been triggered by its ingestion or processing in the body.

    Read "Sweet Poison" by David Gillespie or "The Sugar Fix" by Richard Johnson and get a little grounding before you go running your mouth about things you pretty clearly don't understand properly.

    LOL! That's what I get for trouncing on your religion, huh?
    The problem is that people are fat lazy and ignorant.
    Of course this is what I keep saying, but you're all too fat lazy and ignorant to get it.
    Typical mob mentality.
    You want to blame some scapegoat for your personal weakness.
    BTW, I've not only read both the books you listed, but have used these books as examples of the junk "science" endemic to this subject.
    I can't imagine how frustrated you must be to find someone who really is informed and who completely disregards your religious views.
    It must really suck to be you.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...but you're all too fat lazy and ignorant to get it.
    Well, to paraphrase Ron White:
    "I can lose weight, get motivated, and get educated.  But you can't fix STUPID!" 
    Mundus vult decipi
    I guess you're doomed then... BWAAAAAA HAAAAA HAAAA!

    Gerhard Adam
    I don't think there's anything quite so trite as a predictable retort.  You didn't disappoint.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Glad I could brighten your day. Why would I give you anything but what you want?
    Look, I know that you have all kinds of personal issues, and I hope you get the therapy that you need, but you don't really mean anything to me, and your personal issues are irrelevant to me, other than as an excuse to slap you around.
    If you don't like it, don't make yourself such an easy target.
    Maybe you should keep to commenting on hat rolling or something that you're qualified to comment on.

    Charles, it's quite telling that instead of debating the scientific data, you rely on knee-jerk reactionism. You have zero validity to your points, and offer zero data other than anecdotal horseshit.

    The science is very clear. HFC's do not break down the way that glucose does. This is an indisputable fact. And HFC's result in junk fat, which leads to obesity, diabetes and other maladies. Which is shown in study after study after study. To ignore the every-growing mountain of empirical data is pure denialism.

    It's quite telling that you're just another ignorant dupe. One doesn't "debate data". Data can't be debated. It is what it is. What is debated is the context in which it is significant. This is what you morons don't seem to get. That's all right. It really doesn't matter to me that you are complete losers that are simply following a cult. I'll be just fine over here in the real world. In the mean time, I'm happy to point out just how stupid you guys really are. Its like shooting ducks on a pond.
    BTW, of course "fructose doesn't break down like glucose". The fact that the liver processes pentose differently than glucose is irrelevant. So what? We've been doing it for longer than we have been a species.
    Everything you people write just proves that you don't understand anything about this subject. You're just parroting what you read in some guys book. Really, you couldn't be more ignorant...

    If you want to quibble with the Princeton study of HFCS compared to sugar, go ahead.

    I think this study is more fact based than your simple 'opinion'.

    HFCS does cause organ damage and causes people to put on MORE weight, all calories being equal, than cane sugar. You must be working on HFCS being 'renamed' to "corn sugar".. HAHA

    Yes, we've been eating fructose for longer than we've been humans. We've also been consuming ethanol for longer than we've been humans; that doesn't make it harmless at any level of intake. The issue of course is, of course, the quantity.

    You'd have to eat quite a bit of fruit to get the amount of fructose in just one 20 oz soda, let alone the supersized, Big Gulp servings routinely available today. A single 20 oz Pepsi has 69 g HFCS. It is usually claimed that this is 55% fructose, or 38 g; if Dr. Goran's study is correct, it is actually 65% fructose, or 45 g fructose. A navel orange contains 6 g of fructose; a medium apple contains 12 g; a pear has a bit under 10 g and a cup of grapes about 12.5. That's STILL note quite 45 g, and it's a lot of fruit: for most people, it would be several snacks, spread out over the course of the day -- vs. a 20 oz soda, which many people routinely down a over lunch, and then have another between meals, etc.

    Moreover, these are modern, domesticated fruits, the products of thousands of years of selective breeding, which are known to be much higher in total sugar and fructose in particular than the wild fruit that we consumed as early humans (let alone our nonhuman primate ancestors). UC Berekeley's Dr. Katharine Milton, whose career work is in the "dietary ecology of Primates, including human ancestors and modern humans", reports (Nutrition 1999 Jun;15(6):488-98) that "Cultivated fruits ... have been artificially selected so that they offer sucrose (and fructose ) rather than glucose as their principal sugar reward. ... But, in addition, wild fruits differ in other respects from their cultivated counterparts. These include a high content of roughage — woody seeds, fibrous strands — as well as higher average protein levels, higher levels of many essential micronutrients (discussed in following sections) and, at times, considerable pectin." Our early human and nonhuman ancestors would really have had to consume massive amounts of fruit to get even a single 20 oz soda's worth of fructose, let alone a Big Gulp's worth.

    Aside from the sheer Calories, fructose at such doses has dysregulating effects on the neuroendocrine regulators of energy balance and metabolism, and can also be toxic to the liver:
    Lustig RH. Fructose: metabolic, hedonic, and societal parallels with ethanol.
    J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Sep;110(9):1307-21.

    Big Fructose (BF) profits from the markets you create if you consume even moderate amounts of fructose from BF Seed Division. You eat the seeds (fructose molecules). The seeds result in appetite control dysfunction so you are hungry all the time and eat more of everything. You and profits of BF Seed Division get FAT. Besides obesity, eating fructose triggers genetic predispositions to many other diseases and disabilities. Over the years you are willing to give BF Repair Division more money than most make in a lifetime just to feel a little better. Crazy as it sounds this seed (fructose molecules) is bankrupting nations. Big Fructose’s Clandestine Division makes sure it remains profitable for universities, government officials, media controllers and health advisors to keep you believing. One… it’s your fault if you are fat or unhealthy. Two… fructose in moderation or in fruit is naturally healthy. Three… fructose per serving on food labels is not necessary.

    Should we give up on sucrose to, which of course splits up to one part glucose, one part fractose?
    Yeah sugar makes you fat, but its also the key molecule for running the brain. Mums a diabetic who checks her blood sugar every 4 hours and writes it down in her diary. Its we glucose the main part of her metabolisinm works on, fractose goes in fat cells. Mama has had silver her and been fat since i can rembember. A Mum with that was a pin up beauty would have been bad for my sexual psychology. Most old and middle people seem quite happy being a little overweight. But if want to be a sportsman/woman try Mitochrondrial energy optimiser from the life extension foundation, which might be rated a cheat at the olympics and a real booster in old age.
    BDOA Adams, Axitronics
    Also i've never seen a fat fruit bat
    BDOA Adams, Axitronics
    This reminds me of an article I read recently on Real Clear Science, namely The Diet Debacle.  The idea is that if one eats a ‘balanced’ plate, the liver is having to deal with three different sources at once, and tends to lay down fat.

    It sounds quite plausible, but the fact that it comes from Robert Lustig, an anti-fructose campaigner, does make me wary.  Campaigners always do.

    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Michael Goran
    This article was written by me (Michael Goran) at USC not Lustig. I am a scientist and not a campaigner.
    I now see that there is ambiguity as to my intention, but I was fishing for comments concerning “The Diet Débâcle” which I picked up on Real Clear Science.
    To be precise, the perceived similarity was in the mention of fructose, not “guilt by association” with the campaigner.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    OK fellow Trojan - fructose very very important - of course, but your message becomes somewhat suspicious by almost claiming that if we ban fructose, sedentary couch potatoes will magically transform. What you call "natural sugar" in fruit for example occurs nowadays at concentrations that were never before natural for any fruit - hell even citrus fruits are sweet nowadays! Fat people love excuses. You just gave them another one: "It is the fructose they put in everything, what can I do about it?"
    sedentary couch potatoes will magically transform.
    Well, since it appears that Hank has been infected with a computer virus, how long before we see the emergence of Couch Potato Blight (Phytophthora botticelliae)?
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Or, better yet, maybe switch to glucose as a sweetener instead, so the body "sees" the ENTIRE sweetener content of the drink.

    Fructose is "invisible" to the body's metabolic system. If it doesn't "see" the 13g of the 25g of sweetener, it may well try to find an extra 13g of "calories" from a source it can actually "see."

    If we swung the other way and used glucose as a sweetener we'd avoid the "invisible calories" problem altogether.

    And studies have shown that fructose-based drinks lead to diabetic / obesity type problems whereas glucose-based beverages DO NOT.


    So you would then eliminate artificial sweeteners as well?
    Never is a long time.
    Some perhaps, but not all for the same reason...

    See David Gillespie's "Sweet Poison" for a rundown on why fructose specifically is such a problem. He also points out that a number of other sweeteners (of the artificial variety) may pose their own risks, though the science is often less clear-cut on those. If only because few or limited studies have been done on them over the long term.

    But anywho... It's pretty clear that fructose bypasses appetite control systems AND converts almost directly to fat. And since it's basically invisible to he appetite control system, you get the double whammy of the body still thinking it's hungry despite having been "fed" and may continue to consume even more calories. In that regard other artificial sweeteners MAY have a similar problem (being "invisible" to the metabolism, thus the body still being hungry). However, if they don't ALSO have the problem of converting directly to vast quantities of fat, then it's perhaps not as much of a problem if at all, since the invisible calories aren't necessarily converting into fat or other byproducts that directly impact obesity / diabetes, etc.

    As with so many things, "it's more complicated than that" WRT the 'invisible calories' problem. Yes, artificial sweeteners may not suppress appetite, but if they don't add calories that go directly to fat, and the calories we *DO* inevitably eat (glucose, fat, protein) are the one that DO get counted by the body, it's a wash. The body is good at regulating the 'calories' it can "see." The problem seems to largely be that one of the things contributing 'calories' to the diet (fructose) is 'invisible.' So, we've eaten the calories, they've gone to fat (and other bad things like raised LDL, raised uric acid, etc. hence implications in heart disease, gout and other things), but it slid under the radar of our metabolic system. That metabolic 'stealth' seems to be a big part of the problem.

    But, Gillespie probably explains it a lot better than I can.

    Or you can watch Lustig's "Sugar: the Bitter Truth" on YouTube.

    Heck, watch the whole Fructose playlist... :)


    Probably more than you ever wanted to know. ;)

    I've also been of the mindset that sugar is sugar - I don't see how Big Sugar with its bleached, white product can claim health superiority. But I recognize that a different structure can have different effects.  Looking at the related articles, there seems to be a split. HFCS does make foods cheaper but the solution to that is not Big Brother goofiness like that crazy mayor banning Big Gulps, just ban HFCS and be done with it.  Nothing makes me crazier than big government claiming 'it is for the children' when it is about command and control and criminalizing choices because some stupid people choose poorly. So just ban the stuff, then at least there is transparency.
    I disagree *slightly*...

    Rather one would pretty much have to ban "fructose-containing" sugars.

    *To a degree* sugar is sugar is sugar. The article quibbles over 50/50 vs 45g/55f ratios (or higher fructose ratios).

    When the ratios are approximately equal, then yes, I'd say "sugar is sugar." But let me put it another way: common table sugar is basically "just as bad for you as HFCS." Sure, it's got fractionally less fructose. But on the balance it's still 50% fructose!

    One of the problems with things not being well-labeled (I agree 100% that sugars need to be broken down just like types of fat) is that manufacturers have taken advantage of consumer ignorance and the "demonization of HFCS" to make rather outrageous health claims about their products. Take for instance bread products. Look at a shelf of breads at your local grocery store. I did the other day. It was kind of disgusting.

    What you'll see is that MOST breads still use HFCS. Then you get a few brands that are riding the anti-HFCS craze and claiming "no HFCS! only pure cane sugar!" or some similar rot.

    The problem is the amount of sugar hasn't changed, really, when it comes right down to it. Only the FORM of the sugar has changed. So, rather than HFCS a lot of breads now list several different forms of sugar: raisin puree, can sugar, invert sugar, brown sugar, molasses, etc.

    But the end result is the same: several grams of sugar per slice of bread. It really doesn't matter whether your 3 grams of sugar come from HFCS, sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, raisin puree, the song and dance lads to the same result: 3 grams of sugar, 50% of which is metabolically invisible fructose.

    Some people will claim that sucrose is much better because the glucose and the fructose are bonded together to form the disaccharide fructose. But what is one of the first things that happens in digestion? Sucrose is broken down by acids into: glucose & fructose. So, again, how is this any different, really? Basically it's not.

    So there's this red herring war going on debating between whether sucrose or HFCS or honey or agave (70%+ fructose?! But it's "all natural" *cough* and a complete 'industrial byproduct') is healthier. It's about like asking which is healthier arsenic or cyanide. I mean both are deadly when you get enough, but which one kills you slightly faster?

    So while they're off debating amongst themselves and trying to rebrand HFCS as "corn sugar" (and getting shot down), the more important question is being skillfully overlooked. Which is healthier: fructose or glucose?

    The clear winner is glucose. The body uses it for just about everything. The body "sees" it metabolically when ingested. It's what the body runs on for the most part, unless carbs aren't available and then the body goes into ketosis and burns fat instead.

    So, it seems to me that simply banning HFCS is wholly insufficient. manufacturers would just return to sucrose. Or raisin puree or molasses or some other equally ~50/50 glucose/fructose blend.

    What we need is a paradigm shift entirely away from fructose. COMPLETELY. Ban fructose. ALL OF IT. As an additive anyway. Shift to glucose-based sweetening. Sure, in the short term, maybe it will hurt a bit on product sales. But, then again, maybe it won't? Perhaps tastes will change as fructose is phased out of the market and people will realize glucose actually TASTES BETTER. Sometimes taste is a matter of or even a reflection of opinion.

    Isn't "corn syrup" (as opposed to the HF variety) actually usually a glucose syrup? Maybe we should start rebranding that as HGCS and putting that into foods in place of HFCS, see if that doesn't alleviate some of the obesity epidemic by getting the invisible empty calories out of the food chain... :)

    Of course, one still wouldn't want to consume massive quantities of glucose, sine spiking glucose leads to spiking insulin and a blood sugar crash or a blood sugar yo-yo effect... But at least the body DOES have a system for glucose regulation.

    Still better to go for complex carbs and fiber, and of course protein and a tiny bit of fat, to regulate blood sugar and keep it lower / even rather than spiking and crashing.

    OK, so the proportion of fructose is different -- but I didn't see anywhere (did I miss it?) that the amount of fructose is higher -- I thought HFCS was used so a smaller weight of it (saving money) produced the same amount of "sweetness".

    WE HAVE A WINNER!!! This is just one of the many holes in this faux theory that never gets examined.

    Gerhard Adam
    Yes, you appear to have missed it.  The presumption is that HFCS is 55% fructose.  However, the lab results indicated that it was often significantly higher than listed on the label.
    Results showed that the total sugar content of the beverages ranged from 85 to 128% of what was listed on the food label. The mean fructose content in the HFCS used was 59% (range 47–65%) and several major brands appear to be produced with HFCS that is 65% fructose.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Look at you! Throwing around numbers like you actually know what they mean. Yeah, lets see...a coke may have up to 10% more fructose than what is labelled!!!!!!!! Run for the hills!!!!!! That means in a Coke that has 39 total grams of sugar (that's just over a tablespoon ), "could" have and extra 1/3 teaspoon...or not, and more than half of that 1/3rd teaspoon may be fructose!!!!!!!!!.
    Of course none of that has anything to do with respecting an individual's right to make their own choices, let alone reality, but you people have to be protected from yourselves...right?

    Gerhard Adam
    The problem Charles, is that you don't respect people's choices.  You don't have any respect for others opinions or views.  Instead you think it's perfectly fine that foods are mislabled so that a valid choice can't be made.  You think it's perfectly fine that you throw around irrelevant insults so that you can intimidate or try to force your opinion down people's throats.

    You're the worst sort of individual to be talking about "rights", since you are among the first to deprive everyone of them.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I gave up HFCS after being diagnosed with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It seems that bacteria can ferment fructose faster than the digestive tract can absorb it. The byproducts produced by the bacteria can then wreak plenty more havoc...

    I don't suppose it ever dawned on you to get your intestinal flora and fauna in balance? Thanks for providing an example of what I'm talking about. Instead of fixing the problem, yopu decided to treat the symptoms. Classic.

    I guess I didn't make my question clear: How many grams of HFCS are used compared to the number of grams used in the same drink when ordinary (not HFCS) sugar was used? Example (not trying to be realistic) : if old Coke 10 gm of sugar before switching to HFCS, but now uses 5 gm of HFCS "sugar", then there would LESS total weight of HFCS in the drink even though the percentage is higher, even at 65% fraction. Hope this is clearer.

    I think Charles is a corporate shill. It shouldn't surprise me then, that his quaint 'wisdom" and oversimplification of the facts cloud the issue. It also explains his complete rejection of empirical facts coming from an institution of higher learning.

    Note his replies. Every one places the blame on someone or something else. "It couldn't possibly be this ubiquitous, manufactured chemical that is harming us, so let's talk about something else."

    Either that or he's so bored he has to play the antagonist, or he's schizo. It's laughable, either way. I have a mission in life to educate on the evils of addictive, processed foods. He is merely an annoying
    buzzing fly that will soon pass.

    Gerhard Adam
    No, unfortunately Charles simply believes that everything is a left wing conspiracy.  Everyone is out to deprive us of our natural rights, whether it be in denying us the "free energy" that is available [i.e. Russian abiotic oil supplies], or in promoting our dependence on the biosphere by supporting evolution, or now, of course, in trying to intimidate us into fighting about fructose.

    Nutcases like that never see the inconsistency in their arguments.  They claim to be all about rights while they routinely deny everyone their individual rights/opinions.  Everyone is a dupe, except for them.  Everyone blindly follows some authoritarian figure, except for them. 

    Of course, scratch the surface a little and you'll quickly see that their only problem with authority is that THEY aren't in charge.  They're the worst sort of hypocrites and their ignorance is both, willful and self-serving.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The simple fact is, if we continue on the same path that we have been on for the last forty years we will just keep getting fatter and sicker. I very much recognize the responsibility of the individual to make wise choices but if we as a nation tolerate this stuff being crammed in consumers faces at every stopping point in their day, should we be shocked that the consumer will be influenced by their environment? Don't we owe it to ourselves to change the environment that we have created. I challenge everyone to, just for one day examine how much HFCS you and your family are eating? You will be surprised to find it's in bread products, processed meats, baked goods, almost all sauces and ketchups, yogurts, pudding, all jelly and jam, all soda's, many juice drinks and sports drinks, ice cream, cereal, chocolate milk, miracle whip, 90% of all foods bought in convenience stores an gas stations. Sorry to say this is just the tip of a very large iceberg. It doesn't take long to figure out that IF there is a negative effect from this processed sweetener then we "AS A NATION" will see this effect in a big way by the sheer volume we are consuming. If it's so much the same as granulated sugar then why can't you purchase HFCS on the shelf at your local grocery?
    I'm not fond of government regulation. But a run away train can't be contained by one individual. It needs a larger force to restrain it until the conductor can regain control. We need to take some drastic measures. If banning big gulps is all one man can do, then I applaud him because at least he is doing something which is more than I can say for those governmental agencies that are suppose to do what's in the best interest of our nation but have only followed the best interest of their own wallets.

    Oh yeah, let's blame everything but what is responsible. The problem is that you are too lazy to get off your fat ass and exercise. More importantly, you are too lazy to actually cook your own food.
    None of what you wrote matters if you just take responsibility for yourself. But of course, we can't have that can we? You and your kind are incapable of actually making informed decisions and acting on those. You have to have a movement to protect you from yourself. Typical herd mentality. You guys just keep proving my point. You are too worthelss to actually be allowed to live. I'm hoping that as many of you as possible actually die from this stuff so that the rest of us can get on with our lives.

    Gerhard Adam
    You are too worthelss to actually be allowed to live. I'm hoping that as many of you as possible actually die from this stuff so that the rest of us can get on with our lives.
    ... and so we get to the crux of Charle's agenda.  This is what makes a truly despicable human being.  Unfortunately, I've run into too many of his type before.  They cry for independence but they cry harder if they ever get it.

    It would be ironic if it weren't so pathetic, but you can be assured that Charles lives with no problem, dependent on the "herd" for his livelihood and his survival.  He has every opportunity to truly go live an independent life, but he won't do it.  Just like he feels compelled to engage with the "herd" on the internet.  His mouth always gets the better of him and he never has the nerve to live the life he claims he wants.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Charles, If your are working for lobbyist you may want to tone it down a little because you are so vile that you have become irrelevant to the discussion. And God Bless You!!!

    Charles, I'll see after your quadruple bypass, or after the GI doc takes out part of your colon. Or your gallbladder. Keep it simple stupid. Eat fake foods and you die. Period.

    You're really funny. I'm 52 years old, and I do stone work for a living. My resting heart rate is 74 bpm. My BP is 78/120, and I lift more than 5 tons of stone, wood and earth every day. Oh, and I drink a couple of 2 liters of Coke a day.
    I also grow most of my own food, and I don't really care what they sell at the corner store.
    You see, I'm informed, and I';m not a slave. I can make informed choices without requiring the government to save me from myself.
    It is weak minded morons like you and those who are part of your cult that will be dead long before me.
    I'll be happy to put my physical ability against anyone you know, and I'm quite sure that I could crush you with my little finger.
    So go sell your ignorance somewhere else.

    Look stop responding to the paid HFCS trolls like Sifer above --> HFCS is metabolized differently by the liver that is the big take away --> completely different from glucose / sucrose / mono fructose --> HFCS is a complex fructose which means the body reacts completely different when exposed --> Learn the science and voice the science!
    Ignore the proponents on the payroll of HFCS!

    Talk about paid shills. How much are you getting paid to tell people that you're stupid, or a liar?

    A question:
    At present, there is lots of lovely rhubarb in the market.  Also I like to cook red cabbage with Bramley apples.
    Both of these require adding quite a bit of sucrose, and if one makes crumble, there is fat (usually butter) goes into the topping.
    The Lustiger article makes the sugar-fat combination sound particularly dire.
    Now I am not prone to obesity, for most of my life it has been more an issue of keeping my weight up.  However, if I have to abandon stewed fruit, this will remove one of my favourite foods.  I don’t really go for fresh fruit, but get my five-a-day by eating lots of vegetables.

    So Michael Goran in particular, and readership in general, how would you advise?

    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    The whole "sugar is poison" lie goes back top Kellogg and several other crazies back in the late 19th century. They saw sugar, and the ability to actually enjoy one's food as some kind of sin. The current fructose craze is nothing more. It is a cult that isn't based on a single piece of scientific evidence. Likewise the fat scare. Some poor sheep posted that the diet should only contain a "small amount of fat". Seriously... None of these dupes know the 1st thing about actual nutrition .
    If we got all the essential fats that the body needs, it would mean that our diet is about 30% fat. This should include as many monosaturated fats as possible. That means red meat and butter, in addition to olive and some nut oils.
    Without these, the nervous system musculature, and endocrine systems do not function properly.
    That''s why we have a population of fat, deranged eunuchs writing about HFCS.

    Robert, I'm confused. Why exactly do rhubarb or red cabbage with Bramley apples require adding ANY sucrose, let alone "quite a bit" of it?

    I'd advise you to enjoy these fruits & veg without it :-\

    I find them excessively sour.

    And I don’t have a sweet tooth.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Red cabbage -- too sour? Really? Do you have a problem with other cruciferous vegetables? I don't find red cabbage sour in the slightest -- mildly sweet, in fact.

    But all right -- fair enough. First, I doubt you add the equivalent of even one 20 oz soda, in any event ... As I noted in an earlier comment, "a single 20 oz Pepsi has 69 g HFCS. It is usually claimed that this is 55% fructose, or 38 g; if Dr. Goran's study is correct, it is actually 65% fructose, or 45 g fructose." So you would have to add somewhere between 17 and 21 teaspoons of table sugar to these dishes to take in that much fructose.

    Second: instead of adding sugar, you can make rhubarb sweeter by cooking it, and sweeten either of these foods by adding other fruits, which will give you extra sweetness along with fiber and valuable nutrients, and likely the amount you'll need to enjoy it will also entail much less intake of total fructose (free + in sucrose). As I also noted in an earlier comment, "A navel orange contains 6 g of fructose; a medium apple contains 12 g; a pear has a bit under 10 g and a cup of grapes about 12.5. That's STILL note quite 45 g, and it's a lot of fruit." Give it a try!

    To the Poster named Charles
    Ok, lets put the fructose /glucose ratio aside, how do you like Mercury, Hydrocloric acid and Sodium hydroxide in your soft drinks?
    I worked in the sugar processing industry for many years, hydrocloric acid is used to depress the Ph level of raw liquid sugar to get the molecules to break apart, and then caustic soda ( the active ingredient in drain cleaner) is used to bring the Ph back up to stop the reaction.
    Mercury is present because of the way HCL is made.
    These are not listed because they are labeled as "processing aids"
    Maybe you should read some more and see how HFCS is made, I have been there and done that.

    Jeff....Little buddy...you're an idiot. If you knew anything about chemistry, then you'd know just what a moron you look like posting this.
    Guess what little buddy? I know this is going to blow your tiny mind, but your stomach is filled with HCL. that's right little one. Your stomach is filled with concentrated hydrochloric acid.
    Now, since you never took chemistry, let me explain what happens when you combine HCL and NaOH (caustic soda to morons). The H (that's hydrogen) from the HCl joins with the OH (oxygen and hydrogen) of the NaOH, and forms H2O (that's water). The Cl (that's chlorine) joins with the Na (that's sodium), and forms NaCl, otherwise known as sodium chloride...or SALT!
    So, just as with all acid/base reactions, we are left with inert salts and water.,
    Just how stupid do you feel righ5t now? Come on...I can do this all day.
    BTW, I can';t read any more, I've already read it all. That's why I know that you and your kind are idiots

    After reading the comments I do believe that HFCS is the perfect food for... trolls. Have all you like, Charles! It is good for people like you!

    Oooooooohm, can't deal with the facts, so the "t" word comes out. Guess what sweetie, cult members deserve no respect. People that lie, deserve no respect. I refuse to coddle morons and call them out for what they are. That's not beinmg a "troll". You have been informed. Deal with it or don't the choice is yours. But then, I'm happy to give you a choice. The morons I've been writing against don't respect choice, so who's the troll?
    Wait, don't answer that. I know, you're incapable of being intellectually honest to do so.

    Gerhard Adam
    Charles, you are simply too stupid to engage properly.  You reside amidst the benefit of all these people, and yet you shit in your own nest.  You have no respect for anyone, despite depending absolutely on them for your survival.  You're the worst kind of stupid.

    As I said before.  Your "stone-work" is meaningless if you're dependent on the individuals in society to make a living.  The government to provide your protections and ensure even something as simple as property rights.  You brag about drinking two liters of soda, but that doesn't demonstrate independence.  It simply means you're just another dumb-ass consumer. 

    You think you're so intelligent and informed?  Hah ... you're just another whiney ass bully that thinks running their mouth is the same as living the life they claim to desire.  You're a chicken-shit loud-mouth. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Lol, my big headed friend, What of the remaining Mercury?

    HEY, ADMIN...

    Why hasn't this Charles Sifers guy been blocked from the comments section yet?

    What unwelcome, inane posts from a self-impressed, blissfully ignorant blowhard.

    Gerhard Adam
    No point since he hasn't continued commenting.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Thanks for clearing up the dangers of fructose. Before I read what was written here I thought fructose was harmless since it was found in fruit. Hence the nickname fruit sugar aka fruit sugar. Now I know how harmful it can be. IE taken up by the liver and metabolized as fats and other harmful substance. On the contrary how the sugar found in fruit is rendered if not completely harmless, far less harmful because of other components in the fruit. That reminds me of how certain parts of different herbs can be toxic but when combined with other parts of the herbal the isolated phytochemical is rendered harmless. A possible example is the Indian species of Calumus. Despite a carcinogen being present in the plant there's been few if any cancers in the Indian population who ingest Calumus Sci name Acorus Calumus aka Sweet Flag. Yes I agree people can buy more of any substance as opposed to larger containers. However one large container is almost always cheaper than two smaller containers that equal the amount of the one larger container and many among us love or need to save money.

    Does EVERY debate/discussion of EVERY topic have to devolve into name-calling? Couldn't people simply debate the merits of an article instead of launching immediately into abuse of the author's intelligence? Damn! I'm sick of reading junk like this!

    Life's too short for all this argument. Come on guys, surely there's better things to do than rant and rave? Personally, I will read the literature, and make up my own mind. As for my view on HFCS.......it doesn't matter what I think.

    Of course it matters. If we all agreed on everything, there wouldn't be any need for more than one of us.  If the topic were not scientifically unclear, there would be no debate.  No one debates whether or not you will fall to earth if you jump off a building, for example.

    But metabolism and sugar are not clear so people tend to wave studies that affirm what they want to believe - if you want to believe HFCS makes you fatter than the same calories in bleached, white table sugar, there is a study for that. And studies for the opposite too.

    But just like in politics, where 45% of people are entrenched, that middle ground is how changes get made and people can be convinced.
    It seems Mr.Charles just crying for attention...trying so desperately feed his lonely ego.....and replaying to his comments does it perfectly ....congratulations to everybody who helped him to feel satisfaction :) :)