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Study Finds High Fructose Corn Syrup Similar To Table Sugar: HFCS and sugar similar in composition, sweetness, satiety and metabolic effects
CONTACT: Jennifer Phillips
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A recent study published in Nutrition Today contradicts the theory that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a major cause of obesity. The report also highlights the fact that the effects of pure fructose have been confused with the effects of HFCS and many of the negative assumptions about HFCS are based on this confusion.
The study by Marilyn Schorin, PhD, RD, FADA, reviewed existing literature concerning HFCS, particularly HFCS’ effects on body weight and appetite. This report is the second of two HFCS studies published in Nutrition Today. Part 1 published in November/December 2005 reported on the composition, consumption and metabolism of HFCS and found no difference in any of these factors between HFCS and table sugar. This most recent report is one of several recently published studies finding HFCS no different from table sugar.
Dr. Richard Adamson, senior scientific consultant for the American Beverage Association stated, “This study comes on the heels of other recent studies that demonstrate HFCS is similar to table sugar in terms of the body's physiological and hormonal responses and in terms of hunger and satiety. Based on these findings HFCS is unlikely to have a unique effect on obesity. While critics have attempted to suggest that HFCS is handled differently in the body and plays a prominent role in causing obesity, these recent studies show HFCS is no different than ordinary sugar.”
A study made public at Experimental Biology 2006 by Dr. James R. Rippe, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine showed similar affects of beverages sweetened with HFCS and table sugar on various hormones. Thus, no difference was found associated with appetite and hunger, nor between their effects on blood glucose, insulin, leptin or ghrelin following consumption of beverages sweetened with HFCS or table sugar.
Also reported at the meeting was a study from the University of Washington by Dr. Martine Marie Perrigue and co-workers concerning HFCS and hunger and satiety profiles following consumption of soft drinks sweetened with table sugar or HFCS. The study revealed no significant differences between beverages sweetened with either ingredient.
High fructose corn syrup is a common liquid sweetener similar to sucrose in sweetness that has been enjoyed by consumers since the 1970’s when it was first introduced into the food supply. Full calorie soft drinks and other beverages, such as ready-to-drink teas, in the U.S. today are sweetened mainly with HFCS. High fructose corn syrup is made from corn whereas sucrose comes from sugar cane or sugar beets and is composed of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose in a ratio of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. High fructose corn syrup also is made up of the two simple sugars glucose and fructose and differs only slightly from table sugar in the ratios of the two simple sugars. The HFCS used in beverages is called 42 HFCS or 55 HFCS, meaning it is 42 percent fructose or 55 percent fructose, with the remaining percentage being mainly glucose. Thus, HFCS essentially has the same composition as table sugar. “The weight of evidence from all of these studies shows that there are no health consequences from the use of high fructose corn syrup compared with table sugar,” Dr. Adamson said. “Obesity is a troubling phenomena present in countries all over the world, including those in which the consumption of HFCS is minimal. All foods and beverages, including beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or table sugar can fit in a balanced and healthy lifestyle.”The literature review was supported by an unrestricted grant from the American Beverage Association and the Corn Refiners Association.
The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.