New research released from Rippe Lifestyle Institute and the University of Central Florida shows no difference between table sugar and high fructose corn syrup on weight gain or any changes in risk factors for metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. Abstracts for the two studies are the first to provide longer term prospective data exploring the effects the normal consumption of fructose has on metabolic parameters in humans. Flavored milk sweetened with table sugar or alternatively high fructose corn syrup were consumed by the subjects in both studies with no differences found.
"This research provides compelling evidence that sugar from corn, or high fructose corn syrup, is indistinguishable to the human body from table sugar," says James Rippe, MD, an author for both studies. "This research provides important findings for the question: Is high fructose corn syrup safe? Yes. Are products sweetened with table sugar healthier? No. This research demonstrates that sugar sweetened products are no healthier than those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Both forms of sweeteners are safe and equally healthy in moderation. Erroneous press reports suggesting a difference between these two sugars - or that consumption of one or the other is more likely to lead to certain disease – are unfounded."
The double blind studies were presented at ENDO 2010: The 92nd Annual Meeting and Expo of the Endocrine Society. Both placed 63 overweight and obese individuals on a weight-stable American Dietetic Association (ADA) exchange diet for 10 weeks. Subjects were required to consume either sucrose (table sugar) or high fructose corn syrup (both in the form of sweetened low-fat milk), with the added sugar comprising either 10 or 20 percent of their daily calories. Measurements of body mass, body composition, waist circumference and fasting blood samples were obtained at the start and finish of the 10-week intervention. Significantly, all parameters remained in the normal range during both pre- and post-testing.
Made up of roughly half parts glucose and fructose, both sugar and high fructose corn syrup have the same number of calories and are metabolized by the body the same way. In fact, both the American Medical Association and the ADA have affirmed the nutritional equivalence of high fructose corn syrup to table sugar. Confirms Rippe, "These two studies show the importance of personally managing sugars in one's diet by eating a variety of foods, balancing calorie intake with calorie expenditure, and consuming all sugars in moderation."
The studies were funded by an unrestricted educational research grant from the Corn Refiners Association.
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.