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Concept: Corn syrup


Critics of free trade agreements have argued that they threaten public health, as they eliminate barriers to trade in potentially harmful products, such as sugar. Here we analyze the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), testing the hypothesis that lowering tariffs on food and beverage syrups that contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) increased its use in foods consumed in Canada.

Concepts: United States, Maize, International trade, Corn syrup, Syrup, Free trade, North American Free Trade Agreement, Trade bloc


Abstract The overall aim of this study was to evaluate, from a global and ecological perspective, the relationships between availability of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Using published resources, country-level estimates (n=43 countries) were obtained for: total sugar, HFCS and total calorie availability, obesity, two separate prevalence estimates for diabetes, prevalence estimate for impaired glucose tolerance and fasting plasma glucose. Pearson’s correlations and partial correlations were conducted in order to explore associations between dietary availability and obesity and diabetes prevalence. Diabetes prevalence was 20% higher in countries with higher availability of HFCS compared to countries with low availability, and these differences were retained or strengthened after adjusting for country-level estimates of body mass index (BMI), population and gross domestic product (adjusted diabetes prevalence=8.0 vs. 6.7%, p=0.03; fasting plasma glucose=5.34 vs. 5.22 mmol/L, p=0.03) despite similarities in obesity and total sugar and calorie availability. These results suggest that countries with higher availability of HFCS have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes independent of obesity.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Glucose tolerance test, Body mass index, Fructose, Sucrose, High-fructose corn syrup, Corn syrup


Cross-sectional studies have linked intake of high fructose corn syrup sweetened beverages with asthma in school children.

Concepts: Cross-sectional study, Starch, High school, Fructose, High-fructose corn syrup, Corn syrup, Sweeteners, Syrup


The incidence of obesity has increased dramatically over the past several years, and in parallel, so has the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Numerous studies have demonstrated that both obesity and T2D are associated with lower cognitive performance, cognitive decline, and dementia. Intake of dietary fructose has also increased. In fact, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) accounts for as much as 40% of caloric sweeteners used in the United States. Given the increase in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), characterized by an age-related decline in memory and cognitive functioning, in this report we review the effects of obesity on cognitive performance and the impact of high fructose intake in promoting cognitive decline. The paper then considers the effects of omega-3 fatty acids (FAs), which have been linked to promising results in cognitive function including ameliorating the impact of a high-fructose diet.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Obesity, Omega-3 fatty acid, Cognition, High-fructose corn syrup, Corn syrup


A recipe was created to improve the tissue-mimicking ™ bovine serum albumin (BSA) polyacrylamide hydrogel (PAG) reported in our previous study (Choi MJ, Guntur SR, Lee KI, Paeng DG, Coleman AJ. Ultrasound Med Biol 2013; 29:439-448). In that work, the concentration of acrylamide in TM BSA PAG was increased to make its attenuation coefficient the same as that of a tissue. However, this increase made the PAG stiffer and less homogeneous. In addition, the increase in acrylamide caused a significant increase in temperature over the denaturation threshold of BSA during polymerization, which required forced cooling so that the PAG did not become opaque at room temperature after polymerization. To eliminate those shortcomings, we substituted the increased acrylamide with a viscous polysaccharide liquid (corn syrup). The concentration of corn syrup was optimized to 20% (w/v, tested in the volume of 50 mL), so that the acoustic properties of the PAG would be close to those of human liver. The improved TM (iTM) BSA PAG constructed in this study had a speed of sound of 1588 ± 9 m/s, an attenuation coefficient of 0.51 ± 0.06 dB cm(-1) at 1 MHz and a backscattering coefficient of 0.22 ± 0.09 × 10(-3) sr(-1) cm(-1) MHz(-1). The density and acoustic impedance were 1057 kg/m(3) and 1.68 MRayl, respectively, and the non-linear parameter (B/A) was 5.9 ± 0.3. The thermal, optical and mechanical properties were almost the same as those of the BSA PAG (Lafon et al.2005). Experimental verification indicated that the thermal lesions visualized in the proposed iTM BSA PAG by high-intensity focused ultrasound were highly reproducible. In conclusion, iTM BSA PAG was proven to eliminate TM BSA PAG shortcomings effectively and is expected to be a promising test phantom for clinical high-intensity focused ultrasound device.

Concepts: Liver, Starch, Serum albumin, Acoustics, Bovine serum albumin, Solution, Corn syrup, Polyacrylamide


The American public is increasingly concerned about risks associated with food additives like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). To promote its product as safe, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) employed two forms of straw-person arguments. First, the CRA opportunistically misrepresented HFCS opposition as inept. Second, the CRA strategically chose to refute claims that were easier to defeat while remaining ambiguous about more complex points of contention. We argue that CRA’s discursive contributions represented unreasonable yet sustainable use of straw-person arguments in debates surrounding health and risk.

Concepts: Starch, Food additive, Argumentation theory, High-fructose corn syrup, Corn syrup, Sweeteners, Fallacy, Syrup


Recent attention has focused on fructose as having a unique role in the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases. However, because we rarely consume fructose in isolation, the major source of fructose in the diet comes from fructose-containing sugars, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, in sugar-sweetened beverages and foods. Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages has been consistently linked to increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in various populations. Putative underlying mechanisms include incomplete compensation for liquid calories, adverse glycemic effects, and increased hepatic metabolism of fructose leading to de novo lipogenesis, production of uric acid, and accumulation of visceral and ectopic fat. In this review we summarize the epidemiological and clinical trial evidence evaluating added sugars, especially sugar-sweetened beverages, and the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and address potential biological mechanisms with an emphasis on fructose physiology. We also discuss strategies to reduce intake of fructose-containing beverages.

Concepts: Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus, Glucose, Metabolic syndrome, Fructose, Sucrose, High-fructose corn syrup, Corn syrup


Consumption of added sugar has increased over recent decades and is correlated with numerous diseases. Rodent models have elucidated mechanisms of toxicity, but only at concentrations beyond typical human exposure. Here we show that comparatively low levels of added sugar consumption have substantial negative effects on mouse survival, competitive ability, and reproduction. Using Organismal Performance Assays-in which mice fed human-relevant concentrations of added sugar (25% kcal from a mixture of fructose and glucose, modeling high fructose corn syrup) and control mice compete in seminatural enclosures for territories, resources and mates-we demonstrate that fructose/glucose-fed females experience a twofold increase in mortality while fructose/glucose-fed males control 26% fewer territories and produce 25% less offspring. These findings represent the lowest level of sugar consumption shown to adversely affect mammalian health. Clinical defects of fructose/glucose-fed mice were decreased glucose clearance and increased fasting cholesterol. Our data highlight that physiological adversity can exist when clinical disruptions are minor, and suggest that Organismal Performance Assays represent a promising technique for unmasking negative effects of toxicants.

Concepts: Male, Reproduction, Female, Sex, Sugar, Fructose, High-fructose corn syrup, Corn syrup


Public health recommendations call for a reduction in added sugars; however, controversy exits over whether all nutritive sweeteners produce similar metabolic effects.

Concepts: Nutrition, Carbohydrate, Sugar, Honey, Fructose, Sucrose, Corn syrup, Sweeteners


Excess fructose consumption is hypothesized to be associated with risk for metabolic disease. Actual fructose consumption levels are difficult to estimate because of the unlabeled quantity of fructose in beverages. The aims of this study were threefold: 1) re-examine the fructose content in previously tested beverages using two additional assay methods capable of detecting other sugars, especially maltose, 2) compare data across all methods to determine the actual free fructose-to-glucose ratio in beverages made either with or without high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and 3) expand the analysis to determine fructose content in commonly consumed juice products.

Concepts: Enzyme, Starch, Fructose, Sucrose, High-fructose corn syrup, Corn syrup, Sweeteners, Syrup