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High Fructose Corn Syrup: Harmful or Not?

High Fructose Corn Syrup:  Harmful or Not?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a hidden source of sugar in a plethora of foods.  Opponents of HFCS uphold that ubiquitous use of the product is to blame for the rocketing rates of diabetes and obesity.  European countries have even banned widespread production of HFCS due to health concerns.  But HFCS is big business in other countries, including the US and Canada.

Chiropractors are concerned about the indiscriminate use of the term “natural.”  The HFCS marketing campaigns focus on promoting the product as “natural” because it is derived from corn.
However, HFCS is synthesized by scientific technology called enzymatic processing.  The product made its debut in the late 1960s when scientists developed a process that transformed dextrose (glucose) from corn meal into a mixture of fructose and glucose.  This process is not natural, rather it is one developed in the laboratory that involves multiple chemical processes.
The Food and Drug administration does not regulate the use of the term “natural,” so products labeled as such may still contain HFCS.
A major component to the controversy is that researchers disagree on whether or not the body processes HFCS in a significantly different way than it processes table sugar or sugars in fruits and vegetables.
To read more on this debate, pick up this week’s copy of the Optimal Health University at your next appointment.

Dr. Barbara Smith
Chiropractor and Health Education

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