High-Fructose Corn Sugar (HFCS): It’s A Sticky Situation

By Dr. Daniel Fazio


Experiments conducted in the 1950’s and 60’s resulted in the discovery of a chemical process used to produce a powerful new sweetener. By 1970 this newly developed product found its way into the U.S. food supply.  The production of this product, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is accomplished by exposing corn starch to an acidic solution which liberates corn sugar (dextrose).  Next enzymes are introduced which help convert the corn sugar into fructose.  The devil is in these details.  Fructose is a sugar found naturally in fruit.  Present in relatively low concentrations when consumed in a whole fruit form, the digestion and assimilation of fructose by our body is slowed by dietary fiber and aided by vitamins and natural enzymes found in the fruit.  This is how fructose is meant to be consumed.  On the other hand when HFCS is consumed our body is shocked with a syrupy solution we would never normally encounter in nature. HFCS is found in high concentrations in soda, juice drinks and condiments.  Due to its relatively low direct cost, thanks to the government subsidy to corn growers, it is also found in nearly every prepared food on the market. A growing body of literature and independent research studies are demonstrating that the metabolism of HFCS differs from that of other sugars implicating it as a contributing factor in insulin resistance, type II diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease and more…  The dramatic increase in obesity seen in our society is positively correlated to the increase in consumption of  HFCS in our diet.  The metabolic insult of HFCS is doubly dangerous because in addition to being a direct contributing factor to the obesity epidemic, it disturbs the normal signaling which occurs between the endocrine system and the brain to signal satiety (fullness).  This lack of a satiety signal cannot be overlooked when considering the implication of HFCS in the obesity of our society, most notably our children.  Type II Diabetes, effectively a disease of excess,  is being diagnosed more than ever in our youth.  It’s time for a change. Read labels, eat whole fruit instead of juice, shop at grocers which don’t allow HFCS in any of their products, talk to school officials and stop drinking soda.

Maybe the corn growing /manufacturing industry could concentrate on producing biodegradable substitutes for petro-plastics instead of contributing to the greatest public health disaster in modern history.  Just a thought, Happy Earth Day.

W.A.K.E.    U.P.  For more information contact Roots of Wellness Chiropractic at 636-227-4442 or