New Study Suggests HFCS Linked To Diabetes

Uh-Oh. This can’t be good.

Science Daily — Researchers have found new evidence that soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may contribute to the development of diabetes, particularly in children. In a laboratory study of commonly consumed carbonated beverages, the scientists found that drinks containing the syrup had high levels of reactive compounds that have been shown by others to have the potential to trigger cell and tissue damage that could cause the disease, which is at epidemic levels.


In the current study, Chi-Tang Ho, Ph.D., conducted chemical tests among 11 different carbonated soft drinks containing HFCS. He found ‘astonishingly high’ levels of reactive carbonyls in those beverages. These undesirable and highly-reactive compounds associated with “unbound” fructose and glucose molecules are believed to cause tissue damage, says Ho, a professor of food science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. By contrast, reactive carbonyls are not present in table sugar, whose fructose and glucose components are “bound” and chemically stable, the researcher notes.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the first study that has determined that the differences between HFCS and cane sugar are not inconsequential. Adjust your perspectives accordingly.

I’m not going to say this is the smoking gun, as I’ve yet to find any transcripts of the symposium. But if the findings of Chi-Tang Ho are true, it’s a fairly big deal.

And not to toot my own horn or anything, but way back in 2005, I noted the difference between the “bound” and “unbound” molecules.

But there is a difference between sugar and HFCS. Sugar is a naturally occurring substance. The glucose and fructose that make up sugar are comprised of bonded molecules. HFCS, a man-made product, is comprised unbonded molecules. Stating that HFCS is the same as sugar is the same as saying that cake batter is the same as cake.

Toot! Toot!

Of course I didn’t know that this difference could lead to the upswing in diabetes, so I’m no Nostradamus. But back to HFCS…

The biggest issue surrounding HFCS over the past generation was not that it was bad for us. The problem was that there was little to no evidence to prove that it was bad (or good) for us. Apparently that has started to change.

So what’s the total evidence against High Fructose Corn syrup so far? It doesn’t affect the appetite any differently than cane sugar, but it does seem to increase the risk of diabetes.