June 3, 2012

HFCS Denied Name Change to 'Corn Sugar'

Score one for those that opposed the name change by 'big corn'!  The Food and Drug Administration on May30, 2012, officially announced the denial of the request of the Corn Refiners Association for the name change from high-fructose corn syrup to corn sugar.  For those desiring to read the technical reasoning the link is here.

I am happy the decision went against the corn industry and kept the current name in place.  Many of us with diabetes know what this does to our blood glucose levels and that we need to avoid products containing this. There are many that believe that HFCS is a large factor in our obesity epidemic. There are studies for and against, and I firmly believe many are agenda driven.

The above being said, apparently the corn industry is thinking about continuing the advertising and doing other questionable activities. I have noticed several products on grocery shelves in the last week that do not list high fructose corn syrup, but definitely list corn syrup. Since I was looking, I checked many of the canned items, and refrigerated foods. Since this was before the FDA ruling, I was surprised to see corn sugar listed on a couple of products. Also seen were corn products, corn byproducts, and cornstarch. I would expect these and admit I was even more surprised to see corn byproducts on an ingredient label with high fructose corn syrup.

Now on to some serious information. This article has put some reality into our problems with high fructose. Even though is is from the animal model, the researchers have declared the findings have relevance for humans. The finding is that diets high in fructose impair cognitive function. Then in the next sentence, they state that if the diet is supplemented with the correct intake of omega-3 fatty acids, the fructose impairment is reversed.

Coauthor Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, PhD, from the UCLA Brain Injury Research Centre, Los Angeles, California, states, "High fructose consumption can induce some signs of metabolic syndrome in the brain and can disrupt the signalling of the insulin receptors and reduce the action of insulin in the brain."

Then he adds, "On the other hand, consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly decosahexanoic acid [DHA], seems to protect against the effect of this high fructose consumption. That was the most interesting thing for us, to find that these changes in the brain that the fructose was triggering, the poor learning and the other molecular changes, could be buffered by omega-3 fatty acids."

The study is published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Physiology.

I am sure we will see more studies on HFCS and more agenda driven studies as the corn industry wants to preserve their stranglehold on the cheap product added to many foods.

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