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High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked to Cancer

high fructose corn syrupIs High Fructose Corn Syrup the same as regular sugar? There’s been a contentious debate over High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) for some time now. Those who defend the stuff say that sugar is sugar. Others have been more skeptical about a the mix of fructose and glucose that is used in soft drinks, bread and seemingly everything that Americans eat.

Some critics go so far as to blame HFCS for America’s recent obesity epidemic. Now a new report strongly suggests that HFCS is linked to pancreatic cancer, according to Reuters.

In a University of California Los Angeles study found that pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate.

Their findings, published in the journal Cancer Research, supports previous studies which have linked fructose with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest types of cancer.

“These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation,” Dr. Anthony Heaney of UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and colleagues wrote.

Of course, too much of any kind of sugar is not only bad for weight, but also contributes to diabetes, heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

Researchers grew pancreatic cancer cells in lab dishes and fed them both glucose and fructose. They found that tumor cells thrive on sugar, but metabolized fructose and glucose differently.

“I think this paper has a lot of public health implications. Hopefully, at the federal level there will be some effort to step back on the amount of high fructose corn syrup in our diets,” Heaney said in a statement.

Between 1970 and 1990, U.S. consumption of high fructose corn syrup jumped 1,000 percent, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. I can only imagine the numbers have increased dramatically over the past 20 years.

Are you concerned about high fructose corn syrup? Do you try to limit it in your children’s diets? I try to avoid it whenever possible, but the stuff is in almost everything!

photo: flickr/bbaltimore

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