May 24, 2011  |  Today's News

A good number of Illinois corn farmers market their corn to processors who in turn make several corn-based products, including corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. You’ve undoubtedly heard the negative information regarding HFCS. Here’s some more information to keep in your back pocket to combat the mis-information that is permeating mainstream media.

A comprehensive review of research focusing on the debate between High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and other sweeteners presented today finds there is no evidence of any significant variation in the way the human body metabolizes HFCS as opposed to standard table sugar, or any difference in impact on risk factors for chronic disease.

James M. Rippe, MD, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute and professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida, presented a summary of recent research entitled -- "High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sucrose and Fructose: What Do We Really Know?" – at the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) Annual Meeting in New York City. Dr. Rippe was invited to present his findings on a panel focusing on nutrition and cardiovascular prevention, an issue that ASH recognizes as important on the subject of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Based on Dr. Rippe's review of a series of randomized, prospective studies, there is no evidence of adverse impacts from consumption of normal levels of either sucrose or HFCS on weight, ability to lose weight, or increased risk factors for chronic disease, nor were other differences found between the two sugars. Furthermore, a review of current research in this area shows that an individual is no more likely to experience obesity or chronic diseases by consuming HFCS as opposed to other sweeteners such as table sugar.

"While there has been a lot of media attention lately focused on the claims that HFCS is somehow more likely to cause obesity and chronic disease than other sweeteners, the evidence simply does not support those claims," said Dr. Rippe. "Recent research shows that individuals who consumed normal levels fructose have seen no adverse effects on their weight or triglycerides."

Also somewhat surprising, the United States Department of Agriculture has reported that while average daily caloric consumption has risen steadily over the last several decades, along with the rates of obesity and diabetes according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average daily caloric consumption of sweeteners, including HFCS, has actually decreased over the last decade.

In the mid-1970s, the average American diet contained less than 2,200 calories per day. By 2008, that average increased by approximately 500 calories to nearly 2,700 calories per day – a 22 percent jump. By contrast, since 1999 the average of total sugar-added calories consumed per capita per day actually decreased from over 500 calories per day down to just over 450 – a 10 percent decrease. During that same period, there was a dramatic spike in the calories from added fats and a consistently high calorie intake from flour and cereal products.

"In the case of HFCS, while consumption increased steadily over two decades in the United States beginning in the 1970s, it peaked around 1999 and has been declining ever since. Yet, we see the incidence of obesity and diabetes in the U.S. continues to rise or remain steady during that time" said Dr. Rippe. "Meanwhile, we have seen obesity and diabetes epidemics in regions of the world where little or no HFCS is available."



For more information on added sugars, please visit

CRA is the national trade association representing the corn refining (wet milling) industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil, and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein, and fiber.

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