High Fructose Corn Syrup: Another Link in the Chain to Type 2 Diabetes

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In a recent chemical analysis of eleven carbonated soft drinkssweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), researchers fromRutgers University found very high levels of reactive carbonyls.

Reactive carbonyls, which have been linked to tissue damage andcomplications of diabetes, are elevated in the blood of people withdiabetes. A single can of soda, however, has five times thatconcentration of reactive carbonyls. Old-fashioned table sugar, onthe other hand, has no reactive carbonyls because its fructose andglucose molecules are "bound" and therefore stable, unlike the"unbound" molecules of HFCS.

According to lead researcher Chi-Tang Ho, PhD, carbonation increasesthe amount of reactive carbonyls in sodas containing HFCS. Non-carbonated beverages containing HFCS had only one-third as manyreactive carbonyls as carbonated beverages. Oddly, adding aningredient found in tea called epigallocatechine gallate (EGCG)lowers the level of reactive carbonyls. When enough EGCG was addedto carbonated drinks containing HFCS, reactive carbonyls werereduced by half.

In response to Dr. Ho, who presented his findings at a meeting ofthe American Chemical Society, the American Beverage Associationcalled it a stretch of the imagination to extrapolate his labanalysis to the occurrence of diabetes in humans.

Source: EurekAlert; American Beverage Association; AmericanChemical Society

Editors Note: With kids getting type 2 diabetes in record numbers,isn't it time to lobby the soda companies to remove HFCS from alldrinks (and foods)?

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