Weight gain linked to high fructose corn syrup
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - November 29, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - People who consume products with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may end up in worse shape than ever compared to those who take sugar.

The reason: this popular sweetener that has replaced sugar in many processed foods and beverages significantly contributes to weight gain than other sweeteners.

This comes from Princeton University researchers who found that rats which consumed HFCS gained more weight than those that took table sugar. This happened even when the rodents’ overall caloric intake was the same. 

But that’s not all. Aside from gaining weight, the lab animals also had abnormal increases in body fat particularly in the abdomen following the long-term consumption of HFCS.

Their triglyceride levels were also higher. Increased triglyceride levels in the blood have been linked to heart disease. These findings appeared in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.

“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” according to psychology professor Bart Hoebel who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction.

“When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they are becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight,” he added.

Researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute were studying the link between HFCS consumption and obesity when they came across these findings.

In the first study, the research team found that male rats given water sweetened with HFCS and a standard diet of rat chow gained more weight than male rats that took water sweetened with table sugar or sucrose together with the standard diet.

The amount of sugar in the sucrose solution was similar to the ones found in soft drinks while the HFCS solution was half as concentrated as most sodas.

The second experiment studied the effects of HFCS consumption on obesity in lab animals. It monitored weight gain, body fat and triglyceride levels in rats that consumed HFCS in six months.

Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rodents that ate a HFCS diet exhibited symptoms of a dangerous condition known as the metabolic syndrome as well as abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly.

Male rats doubled in size and animals with access to HFCS gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet.

“These rats are not just getting fat; they are demonstrating characteristics of obesity, including substantial increases in abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides. In humans, these same characteristics are known risk factors for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer and diabetes,” said Princeton graduate student Miriam Bocarsly, a member of the research team.

BART HOEBEL BIOCHEMISTRY AND BEHAVIOR DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY AND THE PRINCETON NEUROSCIENCE INSTITUTE DIET FAT HFCS MIRIAM BOCARSLY PRINCETON UNIVERSITY RATS SUGAR WEIGHT
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with