The people are pretty and believable, but the message is a bold lie. “Corn sugar is the same as any other sugar, and your body does not know the difference.” Fructose is not sucrose, and your body does know the difference. Furthermore, it does not metabolize them the same. “Corn Sugar” is the new public relations label that is supposed to avoid the negative image correctly attached to High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Cane or beet sugar, sucrose, has 12 carbons in its molecule. In the body it has to be converted to glucose to make the glycogen stores needed to energize the body. Glucose is a 6 carbon molecule. The body splits the sucrose molecule. The first six become glucose and the second six carbons become fructose, before being converted to glucose. This is a simple process that works fine as long as we ingest sucrose in very modest amounts, and preferable unrefined. Sucrose in its raw form has some nourishment to support its digestion.
Fructose, fruit sugar, has a six carbon molecule that easily converts to glucose, if it is bound to the fruit fibers that produced it. Unbound fructose is a maverick in the body. There is a big difference between eating an orange or an apple and drinking their juice.
Unbound fructose does not metabolize so easily. When it is bound to the fiber of the fruit the process is slow and easy. The fructose unbound from the fiber in the juice is too fast. So fast, in fact that it confuses the body. It converts to glucose before the body can produce the insulin needed to make the energy store. Insulin production is actually shutdown, forcing the body to convert the glucose to fat. There are other confusions with the hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin’s primary function is making fat stores; it also triggers reproductive hormones. Ghrelin is used by an empty stomach to signal the brain, “I am hungry.”
Corn sugar adds to the confusion. High Fructose Corn Syrup is produced by adding synthetic glucose to the corn’s fructose. The 6 molecules of carbon in the fructose plus the 6 carbons in the synthesized glucose may equal the 12 carbons of sucrose, but is not the same thing. When HFCS hits the stomach, the fructose quickly converts to glucose, add this to the glucose in the other half of the molecule and the body is overwhelmed. Unable to make insulin quickly enough for an energy store, the leptin starts making fat. At the same time the stomach is sending a hunger message to the brain. The more HFCS one consumes, there is a stimulation to make fat while the stomach reports hunger. In short, HFCS makes you fat and hungry, and does little to support your energy needs. Obesity began in the United States with the introduction of soda; it hit high gear with the introduction of HFCS, not only in soda, but in everything commercial and sweet. They can call it “corn sugar” or anything they might choose, but your body is not fooled by the slick public relations spin. Probably the only thing worse is diet soda sweetened with aspartame.
After 30 years as a broadcast journalist, Gene Ladd redirected his journey into herbs, nutrition and energy medicine to become a faith and energy counselor. He writes and speaks on the power of thought and the primacy of consciousness.