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High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Bigger Weight Gain In Rats

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the subsidies-cause-fatter-corn-farmers dept.

Medicine 542

krou writes "In an experiment conducted by a Princeton University team, 'Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.' Long-term consumption also 'led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.' Psychology professor Bart Hoebel commented that 'When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight.'"

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542 comments

In humans too... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604036)

Duh.

HFC (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604038)

That is because HFC is absorbed by the body in the same way that beer and alcohol is. In the liver. HFC also suppresses the satiety (hunger) signal so people tend to eat more.

Re:HFC (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604298)

"That is because HFC is absorbed by the body in the same way that beer and alcohol is. In the liver. HFC also suppresses the satiety (hunger) signal so people tend to eat more."

And yet you don't get the same pleasant after effects with soda that you do with beer and alcohol...hmm.

I think as long as I get some fat, I might as well get a buzz to go along with it!! Screw the cokes....

Re:HFC (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604346)

What do you mean? Are you saying that beer and alcohol trigger the same kind of weight gain that HFC does?

Re:HFC (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604356)

It's actually because fructose bypasses a regulatory step in the carbohydrate metabolism, i can't fill in the specifics, as i failed that part of biochem, but some part of it apparently got stuck. It's seemingly rather old news in the field of biochemistry though.

Re:HFC (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604554)

You do realize that high fructose corn syrup is actually a mixture of fructose and glucose, right? The ratio varies depending on the type of HFCS; many of them are around 50-50 (the two most common are 55% fructose and 42% fructose (HFCS-55 and HFCS-42, respectively). And you know what sucrose breaks down into in the stomach? A 50:50 glucose/fructose mixture.

Its this that makes it somewhat of a stretch to find what could cause a difference (a number of studies find no difference between the two). One theory is that the imbalance between fructose and sucrose, however small, makes the difference. Another is that HFCS doesn't require acid hydrolysis in the stomach, and this somehow affects the results. Another is that people will eat more sweet food when sweetened with HFCS instead of sucrose, although that's questionable and is notwhat this particular study is talking about. But really, the overall evidence is doubtful. The AMA says that it's "unlikely" that HFCS contributes more to obesity than sucrose does.

Re:HFC (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604628)

Sucrose is primarily broken down by enzymes in the small intestine.

Re:HFC (5, Informative)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604582)

I am a (stressed out) med student studying for a GI physiology exam. Sugars must be broken down in the small intestine to monosaccharides to be absorbed, so sucrose becomes glucose and fructose, lactose (if you're not lactose intolerant) breaks down to glucose and galactose. Glucose and galactose are absorbed via co-transport with sodium via transport proteins. This requires a standing Na+ gradient in the cell, maintained by the Na-K pump, which requires the expenditure of energy. Fructose on the other hand enters the cell by simple facilitated diffusion through the GLUT-5 protein, meaning its transport out of the intestinal lumen requires no energy expenditure. Biochemically it it can enter the glycolytic cycle and is rapidly metabolized in much the same way as glucose.

It's all about the fiber (5, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604476)

All fructose is processed by the liver in the same way as alcohol. That includes fruit juice.

All this changes in the presence of fiber. If you eat a piece of fresh fruit, the fiber in the fruit changes the way the fructose from the fruit is absorbed so it's not such a huge shock to the liver.

The bottom line is that if you eat carbohydrates, you should make sure it's with plenty of fiber. In other words, eat pieces of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, just as nutritionists have been telling us for years. On food labels, I look for a % USRDA of fiber greater than or equal to the % USRDA of carbohydates, or grams of fiber at least 1/10 the grams of carbohydrate. It makes you feel more full with less food and prevents the sugar rush and crash from your liver absorbing the carbs too quickly.

Re:HFC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604576)

Nutrients absorbed by the small intestine have two ways to go. One is in the blood, which goes into the heptic portal system, and into the liver. The other is the lymph, which delivers fatty acids to adipose cells for storage. The fact that you're saying nutrients being absorbed into the heptic portal vein is somehow an exceptional thing about High Fructose Corn syrup says a lot.

Queue . . . (3, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604042)

Queue Corn Lobby response in 3 . . . 2. . . . 1 . . . .

Re:Queue . . . (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604106)

Glad to oblige! This story was posted on Science Daily yesterday. They included the following:

Editor's Note: In response to the above-mentioned study, The Corn Refiners Association issued a statement titled "Gross Errors in Princeton Animal Study on Obesity and High Fructose Corn Syrup: Research in Humans Discredits Princeton Study" (http://www.corn.org/princeton-hfcs-study-errors.html). This link is provided for information only -- no editorial endorsement is implied.

Re:Queue . . . (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604328)

Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] covered this a few days ago, and their analysis (as opposed to the publicity blurb the university made up) said the study basically came out a wash. Some groups saw gains, some didn't, but there was no clear pattern.

I'm in the "HFCS should be avoided" camp at the moment, but this study doesn't really prove anything.

Re:Queue . . . (5, Informative)

smaddox (928261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604652)

Sugar in general should be avoided. Fructose, which is the bad half of sugar and HFCS, is the culprit. It can only be processed by the liver, and during processing it wreaks havoc on the body's systems for controlling hunger, satiation, insulin, etc.

Take the time to watch this talk by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology [youtube.com] . It might save your life (by extending your life).

Re:Queue . . . (1)

jwilcox154 (469038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604692)

Excellent point. The problem imo is not HFCS as much as it is the amount of sugars we do consume. We Americans are way too addicted to sweet and fatty foods. The result of that addiction is the obesity epidemic here in America. As for soda it doesn't matter whether it uses HFCS, cane sugar, or even beet sugar as soda carries no additional nutrients beyond simple carbohydrates. That is why soda is never good for anyone. Recently I made a drastic cut to my sugar intake and lost at least 30 pounds over a period of 2 1/2 months as a result.

Re:Queue . . . (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604430)

That's actually a fair response, AFAICT. I haven't been able to find the paper in question, but I had the same questions. If the rats had free access, how did they control for the amount consumed? Apparently, they didn't.

Re:Queue . . . (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604564)

They track the amount in the container when they refill it. They make the assumption that the fluid removed from the container ends up in the rat.

Re:Queue . . . (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604566)

If the rats had free access, how did they control for the amount consumed?

Your criticisms may be apt but I would like to point out that after listening the evil shroud surrounding HFCS I decided to do an experiment with myself to see if eliminating HFCS from my diet while eating the same as I always have would cause me to lose or gain weight.

And I had to make sure only to buy things at Trader Joes since my local grocery store carried but one loaf of bread with no HFCS in it and it was hilariously marked up as some organic bullshit.

The problems didn't stop there. HFCS is quite literally everywhere. It's a preservative, a sweetener, everything. It got to be really ridiculous. After about a month of the whole charade my weight was about the same but I had been having wild cravings of ketchup (no, I wasn't pregnant). After satisfying this with some baked potatoes and french fries here and there loaded with ketchup, it dawned on me to inspect the label of my Heinz ketchup bottle. Fucking HFCS. Seriously? Upon returning to the store the "organic" ketchup is ridiculously expensive.

Due to government subsidies and advanced food science, you cannot control your intake of HFCS. It's bloody impossible in today's America. I don't know how to fix this but you can be damned sure the Corn lobby likes it this way. I'm not saying it's as evil as trans fats or bad cholesterol but holy hell is it pervasive and uncapitalistically inexpensive!

Re:Queue . . . (1)

serbanp (139486) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604722)

Yeah, what can one expect when a BIG business is threatened? spout out more horse manure, that's what. The rebuff was posted the same day the controversial article was published.

Can you find the BS data in their statement (which I'm quoting here): "In comparison, adult humans consume about 2,000 calories per day from all dietary sources"? I highly doubt anyone would become obese eating food amounting to 2000 calories per day. Scumbags.

Re:Queue . . . (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604118)

It's "cue".

Re:Queue . . . (2, Funny)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604178)

He could be lining up a series of responses!

Re:Queue . . . (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604248)

He could be lining up a series of responses!

I've been playing Pokemon lately so I immediately pictured this as a Pokemon attack. "Enemy's SHINX used QUEUE! Enemy's SHINX could be lining up a series of responses!"

Re:Queue . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604694)

He could be lining up a series of responses!

I've been playing Pokemon lately so I immediately pictured this as a Pokemon attack. "Enemy's SHINX used QUEUE! Enemy's SHINX could be lining up a series of responses!"

What's SHINX? I haven't played Pokemon since around 2000 and back in my day we had 150 Pokemon and we liked it.

Corn Lobby Response submitted... (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604174)

Playmate of the month standing in Iowa cornfield in cutoffs and a red-checked shirt tied around her breasts. She looks into the camera, smiles and says "There's nothing sweeter..."

HFCS sales triple the next week.

Madison Avenue kicks Princeton's butt every time.

Re:Corn Lobby Response submitted... (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604262)

Playmate of the month standing in Iowa cornfield in cutoffs and a red-checked shirt tied around her breasts. She looks into the camera, smiles and says "There's nothing sweeter..."

If they want to slather her naked body with HFCS and offer me the chance to lick it off, then we can talk. Until then... :)

Re:Corn Lobby Response submitted... (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604408)

Now, now, this commercial airs in primetime. That's why we posted the red-band trailer at www.syrupy-goodness.com. :-)

Re:Corn Lobby Response submitted... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604550)

Why give her the shirt and cutoffs? A lot of ads these days would just go with showing her nude with some strategically placed corn stalks to ward off the censors.

Re:Corn Lobby Response submitted... (4, Funny)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604660)

Yep, I can see that commercial too.

Soft focus. Sunrise. Dew on the stalks. A ladybug rouses from slumber. Woman in her natural beauty walks barefoot through soft rows. A newborn baby is cradled in the arms of a woman who has, I promise you, never given birth.

The cutline/voiceover -- "Corn syrup. Made from nature. As natural as Hollywood breasts."

What! (1, Flamebait)

Script Cat (832717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604196)

That it's EXACTLY THE SAME as regular sugar and IT'S FINE in moderation!

Re:What! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604234)

Nope. They compared water + HCF to water + sugar. The amounts used were moderate.

Re:What! (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604368)

Except that both types of sugar are poison. Yep, that granulated, bleached sugar you put in your coffe is poison. Nature didn't intend for your body to endure sugar spikes like that. Poison, poison, poison.

Switch to brown sugar, it's much better for you.

Honey is best, of course. Get yourself a beehive, and enjoy sweetness as nature intended.

Re:What! (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604424)

Switch to brown sugar, it's much better for you.

And it goes great with patchouli! [rolls eyes]

Re:What! (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604452)

Please - the sucrose content difference between white and brown sugar is marginal. The sugar spike difference between the same amount of white and brown sugar is not noteworthy. Brown sugar, however, contains at least some vitamins and minerals that get lost in the raffination process. That's what makes it better. And, of course, in terms of vitamins, honey is indeed best.

Re:What! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604454)

Honey is damn near the same thing as HFCS.

Re:What! (1)

Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604470)

Switch to brown sugar, it's much better for you.

You do know that in many cases the "brown sugar" you buy at the store is just white sugar mixed with a little molasses, right?. Unless you specifically buy the significantly more expensive stuff, it's not any healthier for you.

Re:What! (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604492)

So honey is better because exactly what? Because it consists of 20% water, 70% glucose and fructose, 10% saccharose and maltose?

Re:What! (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604506)

Honey and table sugar have almost the same glycemic index (62 vs 64) so I have no idea what you are prattling on about. Now agave nectar, that's a good alternative (index of 30).

Not as bad as something else (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604044)

HFCS is bad, but not NEARLY as bad as Crystalline Fructose, which makes an appearance in beverages like Vitamin Water. Do some google searching on it...it's much harder to break down in your liver than HFCS.

http://www.thefitshack.com/2007/03/28/what-is-crystalline-fructose/ [thefitshack.com] for some examples.

Re:Not as bad as something else (5, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604188)

Sorry, but that blog seems to be a wee bit on the crackpot side of things. The body does not really care how the fructose is administered - when it arrives in the intestine, it is in solution anyway, so no difference whether it comes crystalline or as HFCS. The effect should be the same. The problems that are pointed at in that post are probably true, however. Fructose triggers a lower insulin response than glucose, so the hunger persists despite caloric intake. Also, fructose is metabolized mostly, if not only, in the liver, which causes stress on the organ.

Usual table sugar - sucrose - is a disaccharide made from one molecule of fructose and one of glucose. The glucose part triggers the insulin production, which signals that you have taken in calories. So, if you use normal sugar instead of HFCS, your body knows that you got energy way faster. That seems to be the main obesity mechanism associated with HFCS.

Re:Not as bad as something else (2, Interesting)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604448)

I wonder how this study would work if they included caffeine (an appetite suppressant) with thee HFCS, as is the case with many soda drinks. Would the effects cancel each other out, blunt the weight-gain, or have no affect?

Re:Not as bad as something else (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604484)

Good question - but then, caffeinated sodas with HFCS and sucrose have the same caffeine content, so in practice, that effect should cancel out, and sucrose+caffeine is still better than HFCS+caffeine.

Re:Not as bad as something else (2, Interesting)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604502)

I'm curious about what you've said about fructose. During glycolysis, glucose-6-phosphate and fructose-6-phosphate are freely interconverted via glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, and the remainder of the glycolytic cycle takes place using the fructose isomer, converting it into the bisphosphate and proceeding to chop it up and produce NADH and ATP. glycolytic pathway. [wikipedia.org] That takes place in every cell in the body that is engaging in aerobic metabolism. As such, I'm not sure how you can say that fructose is only broken down in the liver. Could you explain that?

I'm not arguing with your conclusions, and think satiety suppression is probably a major factor in why HCFS seems to result in problems, but it's not apparent to me that stress on the liver is an issue.

Re:Not as bad as something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604630)

Not only is fructose broken down in the liver, but the liver converts it to TFA's and VLDL.

I posted a link to this in a previous comment but it's not getting modded up so I'll post it again.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM [youtube.com]

Basically, eat sugars containing fructose if you want to induce rapid onset of Atherosclerosis, among other chronic diseases and die!!!

Re:Not as bad as something else (4, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604640)

You are right on the mechanism. However, there is another step. There is a liver-only fructokinase, which has a way higher Km than the hepatic glucokinase - so basically all fructose in the bloodstream is pulled by GLUT2 into the liver and retained there by phosphorylation through the hepatic fructokinase. The glucose also enters the liver via GLUT2, but is phosphorylated way more slowly, so a significant amount is not retained hepatically by the phosphorylation reaction. The additional liver stress and the main metabolic difference results from the fact that the subsequent metabolizing of F6P in the liver is insulin independent.

Hope that suffices for starters. For more details, I'd have to break out the literature... and I am stressing my own liver with a decent red wine way too much for that at the moment ;)

Re:Not as bad as something else (3, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604684)

Cough... brainfart. Not the F6P metabolism - which is obviously the normal glycolytic path, but the fructokinase reaction in the liver is insulin independent, in contrast to the usual glucokinase-catalyzed first step of glycolysis.

Re:Not as bad as something else (1)

sulliwan (810585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604538)

HFCS is not only fructose, it's also part glucose. 55/45 is the most common mix according to Wikipedia. There is very little difference between HFCS and table sugar: both make you fat.

Re:Not as bad as something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604540)

Studies? Or is this just common knowledge?

Re:Not as bad as something else (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604724)

"Usual table sugar - sucrose - is a disaccharide made from one molecule of fructose and one of glucose. The glucose part triggers the insulin production, which signals that you have taken in calories. So, if you use normal sugar instead of HFCS, your body knows that you got energy way faster. That seems to be the main obesity mechanism associated with HFCS."

HFCS contains glucose in nearly the same proportion as table sugar. The "main obesity mechanism" of HFCS is the same as table sugar.

Re:Not as bad as something else (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604220)

No. Crystalline fructose is no more harmful that HFCS (aside from the trace heavy metals, which I haven't seen verified). Once ingested, it dissolves, and behaves like any other source of fructose.

The link you provide confirms this.

Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604114)

High Fructose Corn Syrup is bad for you. If you do want to loose weight, don't ingest any. Cut out wheat as well. Enjoy meats and vegetables.

Patriotism and Elections (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604128)

Well, that isn't going to matter as long as Iowa and the corn farmers have the political power that they do.

If there is one good thing about the new "Obamacare" bill, it's that unhealthy things will cost the government money. The downside is they will now have one more reason to regulate.

Re:Patriotism and Elections (2, Informative)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604276)

Well, would your libertarian streak be OK with just not subsidizing so damn much corn, then?

(The government already is interfering with the system. It's just making us sick thanks to the economic incentives.)

Re:Patriotism and Elections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604316)

Just like now, they will regulate where there is not enough popular opposition.

Every detail of our lifestyle will be a potential cost under healthcare. Cigarettes will be surely be regulated out of existence, but alcohol will remain as too many people would oppose such regulation. Mandatory helmets for bike riders and motorcyclists will come to pass. But I suspect maths that would show car riders might benefit from helmets and have a collective cost, but anyone who proposed such a rule would be laughed out of power.

So in the end, we will have a totally political selection of what healthcare costs we will regulate and I suspect corn subsidies will survive.

From the institute of Duh? (0)

JayTech (935793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604132)

It's pretty much common knowledge that cheaper substitute ingredients are almost always unhealthy. Did we really need scientists to tell us about it? Next they'll be spending federal funding to study how diet soda is making us fatter...

Re:From the institute of Duh? (4, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604240)

It's pretty much common knowledge that cheaper substitute ingredients are almost always unhealthy.

I distrust "common knowledge, especially this bit. Bear in mind that if you find a case where the cheaper alternative is more healthy, people would pretty much go with it and you'd never think about it as it's a no-brainer. The trouble with that is that it tends to bias your perception, as you've shown and can easily keep you from examining a new option because it is cheaper. (In fact, this has been found to be the case: people won't buy products they think are too low in price even when the quality is as good or better. I wish I had my source handy for that.)

Re:From the institute of Duh? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604524)

It was shown with some mineral waters in Germany.
A company selling mineral water was trying to increase their revenue, and when they increased the price, the demand for their water actually rose.

Re:From the institute of Duh? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604284)

You realize that the only reason regular sugar is more expensive is that is has government price supports?

Cheaper substitutes almost always unhealthy? At least you said 'almost' or I'd be posting a dozen counterexamples.

Re:From the institute of Duh? (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604590)

Cheaper substitutes almost always unhealthy? At least you said 'almost' or I'd be posting a dozen counterexamples.

That's arguably the single most misinformed and inane statement I have ever read in my entire existence. I said arguably though, so you know, I might be wrong and stuff.

Re:From the institute of Duh? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604306)

It's not just that cheaper means less healthy. It's that cheaper tends to mean newer. And newer foods tend to be unhealthy to at least some subset of the population. Some groups still haven't even become accustomed to milk or refined bread.

Question to Americans (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604136)

So, how's that unregulated capitalism thing working out for you ?

Re:Question to Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604254)

The reason corn syrup is relatively cheap is because of import tariffs on sugar and subsidies on corn. That's not real capitalism.

Re:Question to Americans (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604274)

Good question! Regulated capitalism (in the forms of import quotas on sugar and subsidies on corn) are why HCF is used instead of sugar.

Avoid eating HFCS fed rats (4, Funny)

Ranger (1783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604144)

Problem solved.

RE: Eating HFCS Rats (Obligatory Quote) (4, Funny)

tarsi210 (70325) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604370)

Clark: Where's Eddie? He usually eats these goddamn things.
Catherine: Not recently, Clark. He read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

Eating the rats would be healthier (3, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604422)

Yeah, I know you're snarking, but seriously, healthy rat meat would have a lot more nutritional value than the caloric equivalent of soda pop.

As for rats raised on high fructose corn syrup, they actually have nice marbled flesh. Fries up real good, and smells like cola on the grill.

Its the subsidies that are the problem (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604150)

Stop giving our tax money to farmers to over-grow corn and lower the price to the point where corn syrup is cheaper then sugar. Problem solved.

This would also solve the hemorrhagic ecoli problem in cattle farms by making grass cheaper then corn husks for feed.

Re:Its the subsidies that are the problem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604258)

Actually, government subsidies that make corn cheaper are only half the problem; they're just making the corn syrup cheap.

Government price supports for sugar are the other half -- trade barriers that stop us from importing cheap sugar from places like brazil that would love to sell it to us make sugar expensive.

Re:Its the subsidies that are the problem (1)

Cidolfas (1358603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604320)

Don't forget to remove sugar tariffs that allow domestic corn producers to maintain a monopoly on the US sweetener market!

Re:Its the subsidies that are the problem (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604358)

Yup, that would be good. However, US farmers CAN grow sugar cane in lots of places within our borders. They just dont because they cant compete price wise with corn.

Interesting (2, Interesting)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604154)

So soft drinks and sweet foods are worse for you in the USA than other places where they are more likely to be sweetened with cane or beet sugar? Did the sugar cane industry have anything to do with the research?

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604200)

Yes. They also taste worse.

This has been known for a long time. And it's the HFCS people who have the lobbying money.

Re:Interesting (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604214)

probably not. the reason you're more likely to get stuff with hfcs here is because the sugar industry lobbies for increased tariffs on import sugar in order to artificially inflate the price, coupled with subsidies for farmers. i was once at a luncheon event in dc for a congressman from iowa, and across from me at the table was a sugar lobbyist. wonder what he wanted... hmmm...

Re:Interesting (3, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604216)

Other way round - the corn lobby pushed HFCS over sucrose in the US. The metabolic differences between the two are long known from impartial studies.

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604344)

The sugar industry had something to do with the problem. Specifically, pushing for import quotas in the early 80s that increased the price. As a result, manufacturers switched to corn syrup and the candy industry moved to Canada and Mexico. The jobs lost from the candy industry most likely outnumber the jobs saved by the import quotas.

Don't eat sugar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604168)

There's a great video explaining this I found a while ago.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM [youtube.com]

Bottom line: don't eat sugar, specifically fructose. It's turned directly into VLDL in your liver.

Skepticical: Study Results are inconclusive (5, Informative)

axjms (167179) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604204)

Arstechnica.com covered this same study the other day. Their writeup is better than mine would be so why don't you read their article? http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/03/does-high-fructose-corn-syrup-make-you-fatter.ars [arstechnica.com]

The abridged version of the abridged version is that this study does not conclusively prove much of anything.

Re:Skepticical: Study Results are inconclusive (1)

adiposity (684943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604300)

I was just about to mention this. I'm not sure the title here is warranted, namely that it "causes" weight gain. That's a fairly unqualified conclusion.

Re:Skepticical: Study Results are inconclusive (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604322)

That's two articles I didn't read on the same thread!

i mentioned this before (1, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604212)

in a comment a few months ago and everyone dismissed me as a lunatic, now here is some more newer scientific documentation and evidence backing it up, HFCS is bad.

Re:i mentioned this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604514)

This evidence isn't particularly good.

The group that gained weight was ~10 rats. They were all females. Also, one group that had access to HFCS didn't gain weight.

Don't forget correlation is not causation! (3, Insightful)

guspasho (941623) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604224)

What, no "correlation is not causation" tag? I thought this was Slashdot's response to question the validity of any and all scientific research reported here.

Re:Don't forget correlation is not causation! (2, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604636)

Thanks, I came in here looking for some idiot to post that overused phrase. Now I'm happy to find out that the only post to mention it so far was satire.

WHAT!? Cheaper isn't healthier? noooooo (1)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604236)

You want cheap, you got cheap. Angus beef is also low quality beef. Suckers.

Gatorade switching... (3, Informative)

ftobin (48814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604252)

Gatorade in the past has had high fructose corn syrup, but over the past several months have begun phasing in a sucrose/dextrose blend. I've actually begun switching from Powerade to Gatorade because of this, even though it's 15% or so more expensive.

Re:Gatorade switching... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604456)

Gatorade used to not use HFCS a few years ago. I noticed when they switched to using HCFS and contacted their customer relations department. Here's the response I got from Gatorade:

To:
  Subject: RE: Gatorade Thirst Quencher , REF.# 026139934A
  Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 12:58:35 -0500

  RE: Gatorade Thirst Quencher , REF.# 026139934A

  Bertrand:

  Thank you for contacting us about the High Fructose Corn Syrup
  (glucose-fructose syrup) in Gatorade Thirst Quencher. The important
  thing to know is that our formula has not changed. Gatorade contains
  the same scientifically proven blend of three carbohydrates -
  glucose, sucrose and fructose - in specific ratios.

  The glucose and fructose in Gatorade are essential functional
  ingredients required for rapid fluid absorption (an important
  component of hydration) and effective energy delivery. High-fructose
  corn syrup is glucose and fructose, and the body handles these sugars
  in the same way it handles the glucose and fructose provided by
  fruit.

  By way of background, carbohydrate sources do not contain only one
  type of sugar. For instance, table sugar (sucrose) is actually about
  50% glucose and 50% fructose.

  In the US, the term "High Fructose Corn Syrup" applies to both HFCS
  55 which is used in virtually all soft drinks (55% fructose with the
  remainder primarily glucose), and HFCS 42 used in Gatorade (42%
  fructose and the remainder primarily glucose.) In formulating
  Gatorade we use the HFCS 42 together with sucrose to create a blend
  that is appropriately sweet to encourage drinking, contains glucose
  for immediate use by the body, and yet does not contain too much
  fructose which, in large quantities, can cause intestinal distress.

  For weight maintenance, nutritionists agree that a sugar is a sugar
  and that it doesn't matter what your sugar source is. It just
  matters how much you consume. Many experts agree that HFCS has been
  unfairly demonized as a culprit in the obesity epidemic with no
  credible body of scientific research to support this notion.

  The Gatorade formula is continually tested by research scientists
  around the globe and proven on the world's best playing fields. We
  conduct ongoing research through the Gatorade Sports Science
  Institute to explore ways in which we can continue to deliver the
  best products, with the most effective ingredients, to our consumers.

  We hope this information helps you to make a more informed decision,
  Bertrand.

  Gina
  Gatorade Consumer Response

  Original Message:

  Hi. I just wanted to let you know that I am very disappointed in your
  Gatorade product since you started using high-fructose corn syrup as
  one of the ingredients.I used to specifically buy Gatorade rather
  than Powerade because of the fact that the later always contained
  HFCS. But now I will be avoiding both products.
  Thanks
  Bert R
  EMAIL*MESSAGE*END

If you want to rehydrate, why not drink water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604728)

It's worked for tens of thousands of years, with no weight gain, and it actually rehydrates you, instead of causing insulin shock from too much sugar.

How does this compare to regular corn syrup? (2, Interesting)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604296)

Does anybody know of research that compares this to regular corn syrup (i.e., that which has not been "treated" to convert some of the glucose into fructose to bring the sweetness to table-sugar levels)? I'm just curious if it's corn syrup in general or if there's something peculiar to HFCS.

In any case, I think people need to realize that neither table sugar nor HFCS is "good"--they're both concentrations of sweetness far greater than those found anywhere in nature, and they are purely empty Calories. Avoid them both and eat whole foods as much as you can--and, of course, get some exercise. (If only you could put that into the US healthcare bill!)

Re:How does this compare to regular corn syrup? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604384)

From a biochemical standpoint, the important factor is fructose content and nothing else. Glucose does have less adverse effects than fructose.

Original article? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604390)

Does anyone have a mirror of this article? My institution doesn't subscribe and I'd really like to get a look at it.

My main question is this: They allowed rats free access to either HFCS or Sucrose water. Rats with HFCS got fatter than sucrose rats. Does this represent a difference in consumption by the rats? Or are they consuming the same amount of sugar either way, and HFCS just causes more obesity.

Given that sucrose is just glucose and fructose (the components of HFCS) linked by a water molecule, I would strongly doubt the second case. The first case is a pretty trivial result. But without reading their actual methods, who really knows? I couldn't find a preprint on the authors site, and google scholar is no help either. Any help?

Re:Original article? (1)

daemonc (145175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604616)

From TF summary:
"even when their overall caloric intake was the same."

Simple solution (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604412)

Switch the rats to diet soda. Now were is my grant money?

And people wonder why they charge so much (1)

JasonStevens (1574841) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604438)

for imported softdrinks that contain cane sugar. Because HFC SUCKS!

FOOLS! Drink the refreshing beverage . . . (4, Insightful)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604458)

. . . that nature INTENDED you to drink.

Coffee.

Re:FOOLS! Drink the refreshing beverage . . . (2, Funny)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604624)

Coffee is only good in the Irish variety.

give me more of that (4, Insightful)

Jodka (520060) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604472)

Cane sugar is far more efficient to produce than corn sweetener but is primarily produced in tropical and subtropical regions outside of the United States . The agribusiness lobby in in the United States pays off politicians to restrict imports, driving up the price of sugar within the the U.S. to above that of corn syrup. Without import restrictions on sugar, all those products you buy which are sweetened with corn syrup would be sweetened with sugar instead. And cost less.

You can blame the agribusiness lobby and the protectionist whores in the U.S. congress for this situation. It is a clear-cut case of government power expended to benefit he corrupt few at the expense of the many.

Lecture about fructose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604490)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM [youtube.com] Just watched this yesterday. Fructose is proper bad for you, unless you eat plenty of fiber with it(hint: you don't). Sucrose isn't much better for that matter.

Of course it's not the fat - it's the carbs (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604500)

So you've got two things in both sucrose and high fructose corn syrup -> glucose and fructose. The ratio in high fructose corn syrup is slightly more fructose.

There are two things that happen when you eat this poison. #1) the glucose raises insulin levels, which cause fat cells to stop releasing fat back into the bloodstream. #2) the fructose heads to the liver, where it causes the liver to package up more fat to move into the fat cells. The combination of stopping up the bathtub, and putting more water in, makes fat cells fatter and fatter.

Frankly, there probably isn't that much difference between a sucrose diet and a high fructose corn syrup diet. It looks like they found some signal in the noise, but the real killer is carbohydrates. Cut the carbs, and your fat cells stop behaving in a destructive manner (draining your body of calories and storing them away while the rest of your body starves).

Google for "gary taubes berkeley" for a very informative lecture on the subject.

ArsTechnica Claims Research Findings Dubious (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31604542)

The guys at ArsTechinca say that a review of the actual publication shows much more questionable results, with contradictory findings between different groups (12hr and 24hr access to HFCS)and variations between repeated tests cycles. HFCS might be bad, but this research is apparently not the smoking gun. Try not to drink a gallon of softdrinks a day and you'll probably be just fine.

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/03/does-high-fructose-corn-syrup-make-you-fatter.ars [arstechnica.com]

Also, some doctors are over hyping the evidence.

http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/ [alanaragonblog.com]

Can We All Agree..... (2, Insightful)

RobDude (1123541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31604716)

That, from now on, posting that crap about 'Calories in vs. Calories out' is an offense punishable by death.

I've got a list of medical studies that show *what* you eat has a dramatic affect on your body composition; even when the calories are the same.

And yet - I still hear it....all the time....'Calories in vs. Calories out'.

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