Corn Syrup May Be Even More Toxic Than We Thought

Well, now there's even more incentive to avoid the candy bars (as if SNL didn't freak us out enough already).

Biologists at the University of Utah say that their research shows corn syrup is more toxic than table sugar. At least that's the case for female mice, who had higher death rates and reproduced less frequently.

The research, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, is among the first to differentiate between the effects of the fructose-glucose mixture found in corn syrup and sucrose (or table sugar), said Wayne Potts, senior author of the paper.

The study, which will be published in March in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that female mice fed on a diet containing corn syrup died at a rate 1.87 times higher than female mice on a diet with sucrose. The mice on the corn syrup diet also produced 26.4% fewer offspring than their counterparts on the table sugar diet, according to the paper.

Between 13 and 25% of Americans are estimated to eat diets containing 25% or more of calories from added sugars, like corn syrup. This could mean that humans — particularly women — could face adverse health effects from consuming too much corn syrup.

However, since rodents and humans have such vastly different anatomies, you really can't compare the two when determining the health impact of any food or ingredient, the authors write.

It's probably still a good idea to avoid it, though, as previous research has demonstrated the harmful effects of added sugar.

"So first, reduce added sugar across the board. Then worry about the type of sugar, and decrease consumption of products with high-fructose corn syrup," suggests James Ruff, another author of the study.

In other words, it's time to start cutting down on the Cocoa Puffs — before you actually go cuckoo.

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