Study: Neither HFCS nor table sugar increases liver fat under ‘real world’ conditions

“Not only is it safe to consume caloric sweeteners at recommended levels, it is important for consumers to understand that high fructose corn syrup and table sugar have the same amount of calories and studies like this indicate your body metabolizes them about the same.”

Media release below.

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New study finds neither HFCS nor table sugar increases liver fat under ‘real world’ conditions

Adds to scientific evidence that the sweeteners are metabolically equivalent

SHREWSBURY, MA — A study published today in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism presented compelling data showing the consumption of both high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sucrose (table sugar) at levels consistent with average daily consumption do not increase liver fat in humans, a leading cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The findings also add to an already well-established body of science that high fructose corn syrup and table sugar are metabolically equivalent.

Increased fat levels in the liver and muscle tissue have also shown to contribute to insulin resistance, a key factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.

The study, conducted by James Rippe, MD, Founder and Director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute and Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida, examined sixty-four individuals who consumed low-fat milk sweetened with either HFCS or sucrose with the added sugar matching the 25th, 50th and 90th percentile population consumption levels of fructose for ten weeks.

The results showed fat content of the liver remained unchanged when the six HFCS and sucrose groups were averaged. Fat content in muscle tissue was also unchanged over the 10 weeks when the six HFCS and sucrose groups were averaged.

“The study’s results are compelling because this is the first study of its kind to test the effects of HFCS and sucrose on liver fat levels in humans using real world conditions,” said Dr. Rippe, who received a grant from the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) to conduct the study. “Previous studies that sought to find a link between caloric sweeteners and diseases such as type 2 diabetes and liver disease often subjected individuals to unrealistically high levels of fructose or had subjects consume fructose independent of glucose, which is just not how fructose is consumed in our daily diet. Using real world conditions, we find that HFCS and other caloric sweeteners do not appear to increase liver fat or contribute to insulin resistance.”

The two largest sources of fructose in the human diet are sucrose (containing 50% fructose and 50% glucose) and HFCS which is present in the human diet in two forms: HFCS-55 (which consists of 55% fructose, 42% glucose and 3% other carbohydrates) and HFCS-42 (which consists of 42% fructose and 58% glucose).

“This study seems to confirm what physicians, registered dietitians and healthcare associations such as the American Medical Association have been saying for decades,” said Dr. Mark Haub, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition at Kansas State University. “Not only is it safe to consume caloric sweeteners at recommended levels, it is important for consumers to understand that high fructose corn syrup and table sugar have the same amount of calories and studies like this indicate your body metabolizes them about the same.”

For further information or to obtain a copy of this study, please visit http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/journal/apnm

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5 responses to “Study: Neither HFCS nor table sugar increases liver fat under ‘real world’ conditions

  1. More than 50 years of research and thousands of studies all debunking the myths of sweeteners (whatever the form of sucrose) as being horrible for us, hasn’t seemed to dispel the pseudoscience out there. The pseudoscience just gets more elaborate and “sciency-sounding”.

  2. The A to Z study comparing Atkins, Ornish, Learn, and ‘the standard good diet from AMA and AHA” demonstrated conclusively that the Atkins diet: a) works better than the others; b) lowers triglycerides dramatically better than the others; c) has better outcomes on blood lipid levels; d) has better outcomes on blood sugar.

    Arguably the biggest medical threat to US citizen health today is obesity — contributing to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Obviously losing weight is the cure, but all diets EXCEPT THE ATKINS (or similar) both don’t work. Atkins eliminates insulin insensitivity which is what causes dieters to BE CONSTANTLY HUNGRY. No one not under extreme duress can tolerate being constantly hungry for long. So they either fail to lose the weight or put it right back on.

    Nutri-Systems has a 98% recidivism rate, meaning 49 of 50 dieters who lose weight on the program put it all right back on. When you consider that not 100% of the people sign up actually stick with the program thru losing material weight, these statistic are probably even more depressing.

    Net/net this article is bogus, because the reality is that sugar in all its forms are the basis for US obesity.

    • All diets except Atkins don’t work? You want to reconsider that?

      • Google “A to Z diet analysis” and decide for yourself.

        Think about it. Why do diets fail (and why is there such high recidivism)? Ans: Simply that all diets leave you hungry (except Atkins) and unless under duress no one will tolerate constant hunger. And why are people on non-atkins diets always hungry? Ans: insulin. Insulin shuts down the body’s fat-burning mode and insists on consuming sugar. Post-prandial sugar overload leads to over-production of insulin which turns suger into fat and it gets stored as triglicerides rather than remain as useable fatty acids in the blood. When the sugar is all used up, there is still an elevated insulin in the blood (esp for those obese folks who have become insulin intolerant) and the body DEMANDS more sugar (read: you become hungry).

        Why do you think that most fat people are poor? Ans: Because their diet is overwhelmingly cheap carb based. And yet they are undernourished — fat and starving.

        • “Why do diets fail (and why is there such high recidivism)?”

          How can you have recidivism if it didn’t originally work?

          “all diets leave you hungry (except Atkins).”

          The objective of diets is to lose weight. Being hungry is a non sequitur.

          You seem obsessed with sugar. The obese people I know don’t eat sugar. They just eat a lot of everything else.

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