I encourage all of my patients to read the label on food products thoroughly. Ideally, there won’t be much to read; meaning that you are not consuming packaged, processed foods. Also, anytime there is a long list of ingredients, especially when you cannot recognize them, it’s probably detrimental to your health. Now let’s discuss high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). We’ve all heard of HFCS, related to how it affects blood sugar (thus health) adversely. But wait, there’s more that I want to share about it.
In case you are not familiar; Wikipedia provides a very technical good definition: “High-fructose corn syrup (HCFS) – called isoglucose in Europe and glucose-fructose in Canada – comprises any of a group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert its glucose into fructose and has then been mixed with pure corn syrup (100% glucose) to produce a desired sweetness”. Wikipedia goes on to say: “In the United States, HFCS is typically used as a sugar substitute and is ubiquitous in processed foods and beverages, including soft drinks, yogurt, cookies, salad dressing and tomato soup”.
I tell people to avoid processed foods and HFCS because of the blood-sugar imbalances they usually result in. Regulation of blood sugar is key to any health concern. OK, so your blood sugar is quite stable, you say. For example, you don’t get dizzy when standing from a seated position; you don’t have anxiety or panic attacks without an emotional cause; you don’t get irritable or light-headed if you skip meals; you don’t crave sugars and starches – several common signs of blood sugar imbalances. Therefore, you may feel it’s OK to consume HFCS; at least every now and then.
Well, there’s one more caveat about the problems associated with HFCS. It just so happens that it may contain mercury. That’s right, HFCS and products that contain it have been found to contain the toxic, heavy metal mercury. The journal Environmental Health published a research article that says this about the testing of samples of HFCS: “The samples were found to contain levels of mercury ranging from below a detection limit of 0.005 to 0.570 micrograms mercury per gram of high fructose corn syrup. Average daily consumption of high fructose corn syrup is about 50 grams per person in the United States. With respect to total mercury exposure, it may be necessary to account for this source of mercury in the diet of children and sensitive populations.” Additionally, another study reports that the “Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy detected mercury in nearly one-third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled ingredient -including products by Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft, and Smucker’s”.
Enough said! I’m as surprised as you are and glad that I don’t consume it either. Here is a good website that lists foods containing HFCS.
Be careful and please read labels!!!
Dr. Robert D’Aquila – NYC Chiropractor – Applied Kinesiology