High fructose corn syrup and PR spending

Talking Gas Bag

Talking Gas Bag/Wind bag

It seems that several “nutritional” gas bags have written articles how there isn’t that much difference between HFCS and sugar — that what counts is how much “sugar” in total you eat. These gas bags give a seemingly well reasoned defense of High Fructose Corn Syrup or they simply call it “fructose”.

Not one of these gas bags has mentioned that approximately 1 person in 20,000 have HFI (Hereditary Fructose Intolerance). It is probably assumed that this is only a problem for pediatricians to spot in babies — MDs sometimes miss the Forrest for the trees. In other words looking for single food allergies when there is a genetic intolerance made worse by a synthetic sugar.

The problem is that for some people Fructose is highly toxic — because some people don’t have a specific gene which clues the liver to produce the enzyme necessary to digest fructose — either the synthetic (man made) HFCS or the naturally occurring fructose (for example fructose found in fruit, tomatoes, legumes, carrots, most breads and corn, etc.)  The name for this genetic disease is called Hereditary Fructose Intolerance or HFI. 

Fructose intolerance is a hereditary condition due to a deficiency of liver enzymes that metabolise fructose. Not to be confused with fructose malabsorption, a deficiency of fructose transporter enzyme in the enterocytes, which leads to abdominal bloating and diarrhea. the deficient enzyme is Fructose-1-phosphate aldolase, this means that the fructose cannot be further metabolised beyond fructose-1-phosphate. This traps phosphates; which are needed to phosphorolyse glycogen phosphorolase to carry on to make glucose. therefore glucose cannot be made through the breakdown of glycogen nor from gluconeogenesis, resulting in severe hypoglycaemia. If fructose is ingested, vomiting, hypoglycaemia and evetually kidney failure will follow.

Not one of these nutrition experts or gas bags has mentioned that approximately 1 person in 20,000 have HFI. It is probably assumed that this is only a problem for pediatricians — who sometimes miss the big picture and tests for food allergies rather a genetic basis for this “allergy”. There is research which has traced this disease (or missing gene) to Switzerland and/or Germany. The Internet search engines are top heavy with paid links in support and defense of HFCS compared to a search I did for HFI a few years ago. Propaganda works — even if 1 out of 20,000 will suffer and/or die from HFI.

Fructose malabsorption is similar but not life threatening like HFI (mostly due to liver failure according to published research). The liver treats HFCS as a toxin according to published research.

Boston University is the main research lab for HFI.

It would seem that the High Fructose corn syrup manufactures are working hard to re-education Americans that HFCS in nearly every processed food product is just like real sugar. For many people this is a lie that can kill them. Many HFI sufferers have learned to avoid sweet food.

It would seem that since environmental toxins (found in air, water and food) take a toll on our livers that avoiding HFCS is a no brainer. Why? Because a high intake of HFCS requires the liver to work overtime producing the enzyme necessary to digest HFCS. At present the only known “cure” for HFI is to avoid all food that contains fructose. If HFI or Fructose malabsorption is suspect it is recommended to keep a food diary (log of what you eat). For people with suspected food allergies a food diary is one of the best ways to take charge of your own health. Fructose has been linked to weight gain in rats in a Princeton study. The HFCS manufactures use the same PR firm as does the First Lady. Hummm she’s lecturing about fat kids and there seems to be a link between HFCS and overweight Americans and she isn’t lecturing on eliminating or at least reducing HFCS in American’s diets. Strange … very strange.

So this is my public service for the week — read labels and get the word out. It is a good practice to read food labels anyway — know what you are eating and learn what chemicals are in your food.


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