Fructose, a simple carbohydrate, is found in most fruits. It can also be found in processed forms as high fructose Corn syrup in a variety commercially prepared foods. Over the past few decades, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in fructose intake and high fructose syrup (HFCS). A higher intake of HFCS has been linked to obesity, metabolic disorders, and other conditions that can be caused by poor lifestyle choices. High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar, liver disease, and gout have all been linked to excessive consumption of HFCS. HFCS can be found in a wide range of processed foods, including sweetened soft drinks, packaged cookies, jams and crackers, ice creams, fruit juices, breads, and cakes.
Fructose is not metabolized the same way as other simple carbohydrates. The substance skips the glycolysis process, which is the normal progression of carbohydrate metabolic processes. Instead, it transforms into fatty acids synthesis as an unlimited source of acetyl CoA. This means that fructose accelerates the accumulation of fat in the body. Numerous studies have shown the negative effects that fructose has on the human body. The effects of sugary diets on rodents has been studied by Dr. Meira Felds of the US Department of Agriculture for many years. Meira Fields discovered that male rats who are fed high levels of sugar in copper were prone to severe liver swelling, heart disease, and other reproductive organ dysfunctions. In contrast, rodents who were fed a diet high in sugar had their pancreas severely weakened, leading to death before they reached adulthood.
These findings are troubling to say the least when one considers the dramatic increase in HFCS in American diets over the past 30 years. Many products containing HFCS are targeted at children. Children who are copper deficient and consume large amounts HFCS often have malformed collagen and elastin, which are substances that strengthen their joints. Although human studies have not been conducted, there is evidence that HFCS intake is directly linked to a variety of health issues.
A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in October 2002 found that subjects who consumed at most 28 percent of their daily caloric intake from simple carbohydrates like sucrose or fructose (the two forms of HFCS) had more calories, higher body fat and hypertension after only 10 weeks. This was compared to subjects who were given artificial sweeteners. Nancy Appleton, PhD is a clinical nutritionist and author who has written numerous books about the dangers of fructose. Excessive fructose consumption can lead to uric acid accumulation in the body, which can lead to heart disease and gout.
Patients with diabetes, stress, or other conditions such as uremia, may also be affected by fructose. These individuals may experience metabolic acidosis, which can eventually lead to death. The liver cannot keep up with the demand for fructose when it is flooded with HFCS because it converts to fatty acids much faster than other sugars. This can cause mal-absorption, which can lead to diarrhea, bowel inflammation, or other types of gastrointestinal distress. Fructose may also interfere with the function and insulin levels of oral contraceptives. Other rodent studies have shown that fructose causes higher calcium levels in rats’ kidneys and prompts the excretion essential minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. Similar results were observed in small-scale human studies.
These studies showed that fructose accelerates excretion of iron magnesium, calcium, copper and zinc. This suggests that the body is deprived of essential nutrients due to excessive fructose consumption. Fructose can cause conditions such as brittle bones, anemia, infertility and deformities of the joints, arteries, heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia and hypertension by stealing minerals from our bodies. Fructose can accelerate aging by interfering in intracellular metabolism. This can cause oxidative damage to cells and cell destruction by the free radicals. This is one of the most obvious signs of aging. It affects the collagen in the skin.
Although no direct link has been established, many of these findings suggest that fructose may play an important role in obesity. Numerous studies have shown that fructose can cause weight gain in subjects who consume large amounts. Scientists believe fructose doesn’t increase the production of two hormones that are essential for long-term regulation of energy and food intake. Other conditions that can be linked to excess fructose intake include kidney disease, retinopathy and mental incapacitation. Scientists don’t recommend eliminating fructose from your diet.
Scientists don’t recommend eliminating fructose completely from a diet. After all, fruits such as oranges, melon, and apples contain some fructose. These foods provide essential nutrients and are vital to a healthy diet. Individuals should be more aware of how much fructose they consume, especially HFCS, and which foods contribute most to their daily intake. The majority of processed sweet packaged foods will have high levels of HFCS. Pay attention to food labels. Do not eat food containing HFCS if it is listed as a first ingredient. Learn how to identify foods high in HFCS. This includes soda, sweetened breakfast cereals and breads, as well as bakery items, snack crackers, and bakery items. It is a smart idea to shop around the perimeter of the supermarket, where the majority of whole foods, such as meats, fish, and dairy products, are stocked. Avoid the aisles that contain cakes, cookies, soft drink, and sugary snacks. It is possible to reduce the amount of HFCS in your diet and minimize potential health risks by choosing wisely.