January 14, 2015   |   Jonathan Schoenfeld
January 13, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) The debate between high fructose corn syrup and table sugar may have hit a crossroad. A study on mice at the University of Utah indicates that the fructose-glucose mixture found in high fructose corn syrup is more toxic than sucrose or table sugar at human-relevant doses.
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. Biologists Wayne Potts and James Ruff lead the research and concluded that high fructose corn syrup increased mortality and infertility rates in female mice.
“Female mice on the fructose-glucose diet had death rates 1.87 times higher than females on the sucrose diet. They also produced 26.4 percent fewer offspring. The new study found no differences in males on the two diets in terms of survival, reproduction or ability to compete for territory. But Potts said a 2013 study showed male mice were a quarter less likely to hold territory and reproduce on the fructose-glucose mix compared with starch. That, combined with the new findings, suggests sucrose is as bad for males as high-fructose corn syrup,”
The study also showed that regardless of sex, there was no difference in food intake, weight gain, and glucose tolerance between the two diets. This indicates that whatever is causing the difference in mortality and reproduction in females it has to happen at the point or before absorption. While the two sugars are similar, they absorb in the body differently because sucrose is a mixture of bonded molecules of glucose and fructose, while high fructose corn syrup is a combination of non-bonded molecules of glucose and sucrose. Ruff says that the health issues are possibly related to microbial makeup within the gut.
“We speculate that the different sugars could favor different microbes in the guts of mice. Other research has shown differences in bacterial communities in the gut to be associated with metabolic diseases in rodents and in humans. It’s possible one form of sugar causes more bacteria to get across your gut than another.”
Its estimated that 13 to 25 percent of americans have a diet that include 25 percent or more calories in the form of sugars. Ruff says that in the American diet 44 percent of sugars added are in the form of sucrose, 42 percent are in the form of high fructose corn syrup, and the remaining 14 percent include honey, molasses, juice concentrates, and agave-(all of which combine glucose and fructose in the form of dextrose). Despite that, high fructose corn syrup only makes up about 8 percent of added sugars worldwide. For more of our articles on high fructose corn syrup click here.