HFCS and Insulin Resistance

From the article:

A new study in mice sheds light on the insulin resistance that can come from diets loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener found in most sodas and many other processed foods. The report in the March issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, also suggests a way to prevent those ill effects.

The researchers showed that mice on a high-fructose diet were protected from insulin resistance when a gene known as transcriptional coactivator PPARg coactivator-1b (PGC-1b) was “knocked down” in the animals’ liver and fat tissue. PGC-1b coactivates a number of transcription factors that control the activity of other genes, including one responsible for building fat in the liver.

“There has been a remarkable increase in consumption of high-fructose corn syrup,” said Gerald Shulman of Yale University School of Medicine. “Fructose is much more readily metabolized to fat in the liver than glucose is and in the process can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease,”

Okay, there’s a fair amount of science in there. And I should remind everyone that other science findings in the past were found later to have made improper assumptions. So, as with all things science that I mention on this site, use this information has additional evidence rather than the Holy Grail.

Additionally, there seems to be some misunderstanding (whether through the reporter or through Dr. Shulman) surrounding HFCS. HFCS is not pure fructose. Rather it is “mixed” with glucose at varying percentages. There are other questions (as yet unanswered) the differences between bounded and unbounded sugar molecules play any role in how the body reacts to sweeteners. So in other words, when it comes to the above, caveat emptor.

But what does the above mean if true? If the Wikipedia article on Insulin Resistance is to be believed:

Symptoms of IR:

1. Fatigue.

2. Brain fogginess and inability to focus. Sometimes the fatigue is physical, but often it is mental.

3. High blood sugar.

4. Intestinal bloating. Most intestinal gas is produced from carbohydrates in the diet. Insulin resistance sufferers who eat carbohydrates sometimes suffer from gas.

5. Sleepiness. Many people with insulin resistance get sleepy immediately after eating a meal containing more than 20% or 30% carbohydrates.

6. Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight. For most people, too much weight is too much fat. The fat in IR is generally stored in and around abdominal organs in both males and females. It is currently suspected that hormonal effects from such fat are a precipitating cause of insulin resistance.

7. Increased blood triglyceride levels.

8. Increased blood pressure. Many people with hypertension are either diabetic or pre-diabetic and have elevated insulin levels due to insulin resistance. One of insulin’s effects is on arterial walls throughout the body.

9. Depression. Because of the deranged metabolism resulting from insulin resistance, psychological effects are not uncommon. Depression is said to be the prevalent psychological symptom.

In other words, if the findings in the article are true, then HFCS can play a role in any of the 9 symptoms of insulin resistance. My question – does cane sugar provide similar results?

h/t to Jack @ Fork & Bottle