Research also Determines Consuming Caloric Sweeteners in Moderation Does Not Uniquely Increase Risk of Obesity

Shrewsbury, MS  (Food News)  A new article published in Advances in Nutrition found there is no significant metabolic difference between individuals consuming high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose (table sugar).  Furthermore, the article points out that current research shows no unique relationship between consuming HFCS and the rise of obesity rates in the United States.

The article, an extensive review of available sucrose, fructose and HFCS research, also concludes there is overwhelming evidence showing HFCS is nutritionally equivalent to sugar and the human body metabolizes both equally. This opinion is in-line with the American Medical Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, both of which concluded that HFCS is not a unique cause of obesity.

In fact, the article points out consumption rates of HFCS in the US have declined by 14 percent since 1999 while obesity rates have continued to climb.

The article also notes that some recent randomized clinical trials have also suggested there are no adverse effects on total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol or HDL cholesterol when consuming caloric sweeteners containing fructose, such as HFCS and table sugar, in moderation.

“These findings suggest that we must be very cautious when attributing adverse health effects of fructose, HFCS or sucrose at normal, moderate consumption levels,” said James M. Rippe , M.D., Founder and Director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute, and Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida, one of the article’s authors. “More research needs to be done, but what we do know is that consuming all foods in moderation, combined with regular physical activity, is key to maintaining a healthy body.”

The commentary was co-authored with Dr. Rippe by Theodore J. Angelopoulos , Ph.D., MPH Professor and Director, Laboratory of Applied Physiology Department of Health Professions at University of Central Florida.

Dr. Rippe presented his findings at last year’s American Society for Nutrition at Experimental Biology annual meeting in San Diego. The symposium, “Fructose, Sucrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup: Relevant Scientific Findings and Health Implications,” also included presentations by:

  • Penny Kris-Etherton , Ph.D., RD Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, The Pennsylvania State University
  • John White , Ph.D., Founder and President, White Technical Research
  • George Bray , M.D., Chief Division of Clinical Obesity and Metabolism, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Robert Lustig , M.D., Professor, Clinical Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco
  • David Klurfeld , PhD., Program Leader, U.S. Department of Agriculture

HFCS was developed in the mid-1960s as a more flexible alternative to sugar and was widely embraced by the food industry.  The use of HFCS grew rapidly from 1970-1999 where usage peaked.  Since 1999, the use of HFCS has declined while obesity rates have continued to rise. Sucrose is still the dominant sweetener worldwide with over nine times the consumption of HFCS.

Dr. Rippe is a cardiologist and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School.  His research laboratory has conducted numerous studies and published widely in the areas of nutrition and weight management.  He is an advisor to the food and beverage industry and has received unrestricted educational grants from the Corn Refiners Association. He is the Founder and Director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute, and Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida.

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