June 18, 2015

Uh, what about high fructose corn syrup?

It's nice that trans fats are being removed from the American diet. We've only known of the dangers of trans fats for, oh, about 30 or 35 years now. So it's just about time for Americans to notice; we're right on schedule. (I've always said it takes 30 years for anything to work its way into the American mind. We're a tad slow here, but still in the mental ballpark.) So, good. We're finally tackling that one.

But what about high fructose corn syrup? We added it to our diets and almost immediately, we became morbidly obese and very, very stupid. It was one big, double-barreled wave of change, powered by fructose. So...has it been about 30 years since we began to walk down this idiotic path? Well, it's getting close. But apparently we don't care. It remains in just about every food product on our market shelves. We still haven't noticed that this "food innovation" is ruining the country's health.

But maybe this will wake a few people up: (bolding is mine)
A new paper by Krek and his team member Peter Mirtschink describes a further, more troubling side effect of fructose. The researchers have discovered a previously unknown molecular mechanism that points to fructose as a key driver of uncontrolled growth of the heart muscle, a condition that can lead to fatal heart failure. Their study was recently published in Nature.

When a person has high blood pressure, the heart has to grow as it is harder to pump the blood through the circulatory system. These growing heart muscle cells require a considerable amount of oxygen. However, since not enough oxygen is available to adequately supply the increased growth, the cells switch to an alternative energy supply. Instead of drawing energy from fatty acids, they rely more on an anaerobic process called glycolysis—literally, the 'splitting of sugars'. If the heart muscle cells can access fructose in addition to glucose, this can set off a fatal chain reaction
So, are you ready to ditch all foods that have high fructose corn syrup in them? Might be a good idea, huh? Mind you, this science story doesn't even hint at the fat-and-stupid thing. But if we fear high fructose corn syrup because of heart disease, and wipe it from our supermarkets, that will take care of not only heart attacks but, yup, fat and stupid. I'd love to see the country regain its brain power. Slimming down wouldn't hurt either. I'm just saying.

Don't eat this stuff, kids. Seriously.

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