The Corn Refiners Association is now labeling high fructose corn syrup as fructose. Packing on products such as General Mills Vanilla Chex cereal now states the product contains no high fructose corn syrup, while the ingredients list contains the simple word, "fructose." This fructose is actually a manufactured sugar called HFCS-90, and is made up of 90% pure fructose. High fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, contains 42% or 55 percent fructose. Health issues relating to free fructose include diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, and liver failure.

The Corn Refiners Association states,
"...HFCS-90 is sometimes used in natural and 'light' foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label [anymore], they will state 'fructose' or 'fructose syrup."
What is the difference between sugar and high fructose corn syrup?

Fructose is a simple sugar, or monosaccharide. It occurs naturally in fruits and in sugar. High fructose corn syrup is a manufactured sugar. It is produced by a secret chemical process involving extracting sugar from corn stalk. The extraction process involves a complex chemical enzymatic process. While cane sugar is made of half glucose and half fructose, HFCS is made of 55% fructose to 45% glucose. In natural sugar, two sugar molecules are bound together and are broken down in the digestive tract. With HFCS, there are no chemical bonds between the fructose and glucose molecules, so the fructose is released more quickly into the blood stream, triggering blood sugar spikes.

Health conditions that can be caused by high fructose corn syrup

High fructose corn syrup consumption has been linked to numerous health issues, including damage to the DNA, diabetes and blood sugar imbalances, and immune suppression. Even moderate use of high fructose corn syrup can lead to heart disease, obesity, dementia, decaying teeth, cancer, and liver failure. Because the fructose goes directly to the liver, it triggers lipogenesis, causing liver damage and fatty liver, a condition usually associated with alcoholics. The glucose triggers high blood sugar and releases insulin quickly, leading to increased appetite, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. HFCS absorbs phosphorus in its chemical conversion in the body, which can lead to phosphorus imbalance or depletion. Phosphorus is needed to make ATP in our digestive system. The ATP is an energy source for the body, and is also used to prevent leaky gut syndrome. Free fructose contributes to leaky gut syndrome, a condition when holes in the lining of the intestines enable bacteria and food to go directly into the bloodstream. Leaky gut syndrome leads to increased pain, risk for heart disease, cancer, obesity, and any autoimmune diseases caused by inflammation.


About the author

Talya Dagan is a health advocate and health coach, trained in nutrition and gourmet health food cuisine, writing about natural remedies for disease and nutrition and herbal medicine. You can follow her blog at