(Posted Wed. Feb 13th, 2013)

Feb. 13: A new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism adds to an already well-established body of science that high fructose corn syrup and table sugar are metabolically equivalent. Presenting compelling data, the study found that the consumption of both high fructose corn syrup and sucrose (table sugar) at levels consistent with average daily consumption do not increase liver fat in humans.

“This study, like so many others, adds to the body of scientific evidence supporting the safety of high fructose corn syrup when consumed in moderation, just like any sugar,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson. “Our organization continuously pushes for the public dissemination of real information about the crops that we grow and the products they make and for a science-based approach to regulatory efforts. In the case of HFCS, the truth is apparent. Sugar is sugar, whether it comes from corn, cane or beet.”

This finding is significant in that increased liver fat is a leading cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Additionally, increased fat levels in the liver and muscle tissue have also shown to contribute to insulin resistance, a key factor in the development of type two diabetes. By showing that normal consumption of both HFCS and table sugar do not contribute to liver fat, it helps to debunk another myth about HFCS commonly used by the sweetener’s opponents.

“The study’s results are compelling because this is the first study of its kind to test the effects of HFCS and sucrose on liver fat levels in humans using real world conditions,” said Dr. Rippe, who received a grant from the Corn Refiners Association to conduct the study. “Previous studies that sought to find a link between caloric sweeteners and diseases such as type two diabetes and liver disease often subjected individuals to unrealistically high levels of fructose or had subjects consume fructose independent of glucose, which is just not how fructose is consumed in our daily diet. Using real world conditions, we find that HFCS and other caloric sweeteners do not appear to increase liver fat or contribute to insulin resistance.”

Other nutrition experts have come out supporting the study’s findings and calling for a clearer presentation of the facts in public discourse.

“This study seems to confirm what physicians, registered dietitians and healthcare associations such as the American Medical Association have been saying for decades,” said Dr. Mark Haub, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition at Kansas State University. “Not only is it safe to consume caloric sweeteners at recommended levels, it is important for consumers to understand that high fructose corn syrup and table sugar have the same amount of calories and studies like this indicate your body metabolizes them about the same.”

For further information or to obtain a copy of this study, please click here.