Monday, May 16, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Leaky Gut...Fascinating.

A fellow E.H. and facebook friend posted an article about 5 reasons why high fructose corn syrup could kill you.  Since I am pretty well versed in why HFC is so horrible for us, I didn't pay much attention until today. I took a moment to read it and read something that I haven't read before. It shocked me that I hadn't actually heard of this before but then again, the corn growers like to keep this under wraps. It answered a few questions for me that have been going on in my head.

The question: "Why does it seem like everyone is developing a leaky gut giving way to gluten and casein intolerance's?" 

Leaky gut leads to all sorts of problems in the body. Most autistic children have leaky gut. Probably most kids on the ADD/ADHD spectrum as well. Look at many other autoimmune diseases and you will likely see the same pattern. Why has this skyrocketed in the last few decades? 

I want you to take the time to read the whole article here but take a quick read at the paragraphs below about HFC and a leaky gut, taking special notes at the section highlighted in red. This is an article by Dr. Mark Hyman. Read the whole article here.

HFCS and cane sugar are NOT biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body.
High fructose corn syrup is an industrial food product and far from “natural” or a naturally occurring substance. It is extracted from corn stalks through a process so secret that Archer Daniels Midland and Carghill would not allow the investigative journalist, Michael Pollan to observe it for his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The sugars are extracted through a chemical enzymatic process resulting in a chemically and biologically novel compound called HFCS.
Some basic biochemistry will help you understand this. Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together – glucose and fructose in equal amounts. The enzymes in your digestive tract must break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed into the body.
HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, not in a 50-50 ratio, but a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio in an unbound form. Fructose is sweeter than glucose. And HCFS is cheaper than sugar because of the government farm bill corn subsidies. Products with HFCS are sweeter and cheaper than products made with cane sugar. This allowed for the average soda size to balloon from 8 ounces to 20 ounces with little financial costs to manufacturers but great human costs of increased obesity, diabetes and chronic disease.
Now back to biochemistry. Since there is there is no chemical bond between them, no digestion is required so they are more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which affects 70 million people. The rapidly absorbed glucose triggers big spikes in insulin – our body’s major fat storage hormone. Both these features of HFCS lead to increased metabolic disturbances that drive increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and more.
But there was one more thing I learned during lunch with Dr. Bruce Ames. Research done by his group at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found that free fructose from HFCS requires more energy to be absorbed by the gut and soaks up two phosphorous molecules from ATP (our body’s energy source). This depletes the energy fuel source or ATP in our gut required to maintain the integrity of our intestinal lining. Little “tight junctions” cement each intestinal cell together preventing food and bacteria from “leaking” across the intestinal membrane and triggering an immune reaction and body wide inflammation.
High doses of free fructose have been proven to literally punch holes in the intestinal lining allowing nasty byproducts of toxic gut bacteria and partially digested food proteins to enter your blood stream and trigger the inflammation that we know is at the root of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia and accelerated aging. Naturally occurring fructose in fruit is part of a complex of nutrients and fiber that doesn’t exhibit the same biological effects as the free high fructose doses found in “corn sugar”.
The takeaway: Cane sugar and the industrially produced, euphemistically named “corn sugar” are not biochemically or physiologically the same.
3. HFCS contains contaminants including mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA
An FDA researcher asked corn producers to ship a barrel of high fructose corn syrup in order to test for contaminants. Her repeated requests were refused until she claimed she represented a newly created soft drink company. She was then promptly shipped a big vat of HFCS that was used as part of the study that showed that HFCS often contains toxic levels of mercury because of chlor-alkali products used in its manufacturing.(i) Poisoned sugar is certainly not “natural”.
When HFCS is run through a chemical analyzer or a chromatograph, strange chemical peaks show up that are not glucose or fructose. What are they? Who knows? This certainly calls into question the purity of this processed form of super sugar. The exact nature, effects and toxicity of these funny compounds have not been fully explained, but shouldn’t we be protected from the presence of untested chemical compounds in our food supply, especially when the contaminated food product comprises up to 15-20 percent of the average American’s daily calorie intake?

It is interesting to me that since children with Autism usually have leaky gut and mercury, why in the world aren't we talking about HFC

Get it out of your house! Stop drinking soda. Stop it! (Are you listening, Dan?) Look at labels and control your health. At least do it for your little ones. Please?

If you analyze health problems today and why they are out of control, it is my strong belief that a leaky gut is at the center of it all. Why? Well, the stomach was engineered amazingly to filter out the garbage that our world gives us. It has a protective lining that would protect us from heavy metals, toxins, etc. Now, take that away with the way we eat and add in the punched holes in the stomach and you have a gateway for disaster. Now, vaccines that contain harmful ingredients can be absorbed instead of filtered. Top that off with the overuse of antibiotics that further destroy the lining and we don't stand a chance. My emails are overloaded with women telling me about the health problems they and their children have mostly regarding the gut and the allergies related. It breaks my heart. Really. It is so out of control. Since so many other countries ban HFC in their country, or at least don't use it widely, the disease rate and Autism rate is minuscule compared to here. Our options?

Stop buying it so they will stop using it in our foods. Cook it yourself so you know what is in your food.  Educate yourself. 

My bandwagon for the day.


Cindy Sage said...

Amen sister!

Anonymous said...

this article just made me one year old got breast milk until he turned 1 but after that we tried to change to cow milk only to find out he's allergic to it so for the last 11 months we've been using toddler formula because that doesn't give him diarrhea and has plenty of protein vs almond/coconut milk because he will not eat enough of other high protein foods like chicken, meat, eggs, etc.
We eliminated Corn Syrup from our diets about a year ago, I never thought of checking his formula, I would've never imagined that horrible ingredient would be used in formula, it is and I've been giving it to one of the most important people in my life, damn formula manufacturers, it's all about the money, why do they want people to think it's about our babies' health and well being, I'm beyond infuriated right now.

Laura said...

Here is my question. We see a ton of research about leaky gut and the causes, but what I don't see are any studies talking about time to heal and if it is possible to fully "fix" the lining in your digestive system. I have eliminated gluten, casein, eggs, soy and a few other things and I have no way of knowing if my lining will ever heal. Have you seen anything?

kami said...

Laura, I agree - it's so hard to know if the gut is healing because it's not something you can see or measure very well.

Shari, what do you think about casein intolerance...what are some symptoms? My son suffered from seizures in the past and he is gluten/corn free but is now dealing with moderate speech delay. I don't see any allergic tendencies in him with dairy and he doesn't consume a whole lot of it but I wondered what some things to look for might be.

Shari Goodman said...

Healing a leaky gut takes a long time, especially if you have dealt with issues for a long time. It also takes scrupulous work; you can't half do it. My son is 6 1/2 and we have done everything since he was 2. He is much better but we are still not done yet! You look at symptoms to disappear and allergies to clear up along with good stools. Testing gives you more of an accurate idea of where you are. My son used to have eczema , runny stools, anger issues, no desire for food, etc. He now has firm stools, no eczema, much less allergies, pretty stable moods, etc. We are getting there. You need to remove allergens and add in probiotics to name a few things. It can be done but most give up before they see any results. The harder you hit it, the quicker you will heal! It absolutely can be done and in most cases, you can have a normal diet again. Controlling yeast is one of the most important things as well.

As for the Casein, the issue isn't just intolerance, it is an enzyme problem. Like Gluten, casein is a protein and when you have a leaky gut issue or don't have the enzymes needed to break down the proteins, they are absorbed in to the body as a drug. It is a literal opiate to the brain. I always tell people to do dairy and gluten. Many times an allergy test will tell them they aren't allergic to dairy or wheat but we aren't just talking about allergies here. It is a protein problem that causes so much turmoil in these kids. Many times with speech issues, you are also looking at a B12 methylization issue and heavy metals. Gluten and Casein are the first attack but getting the B12 shots and fixing the underlying chemical problems are also key. Yeast also goes hand in hand with gut issues.

So complex. Sooooo frustrating!

Anonymous said...

I know this will sound ridiculous to you but please list items that have HFCS in them that should be avoided besides soda.I can think of the obvious things, but what are some of the ones people look over or don't realize? I have a child who I think has a leaky gut. I am not sure where to start and how to help her. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated-
Thanks so much & love your blog!

Shari Goodman said...

High Fructose is in EVERYTHING! The only thing I could tell you is read labels. Many companies are getting on the bandwagon and removing it but you have to just read to make sure. It will always be listed. Usually if it isn't a natural type product, it will have it in it, even bread and juices! Just read and you will soon figure out what products you like has it in. If you need specifics on what to buy, let me know. Email me anytime!

Walter said...

Get your facts straight. The kernels are used, not the stalks. High fructose corn syrup is bad enough without spreading false information.
Even if you don't believe the wikipedia entry, ask yourself why farmers would grow corn to the full ear stage when the stalks are brittle and have little food value, when they could just harvest it at the green stage and get more sugars.
Check your information.