ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
CAREGIVING
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Holiday Eating Without the Guilt -- or the Pounds
Antioxidants Abound in Cereals, Popcorn, Whole-Grain Snacks
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
EYE CARE, VISION
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Eat Light - Live Longer
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
The Unmedicated Mind
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Drink Away Dementia?
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
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The High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Debate

Are you confused about high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – What it is and is it really bad for you? With the recent ad campaign by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), many consumers are trying to separate truth from fiction. Two of the television commercials make claims that HFCS is "made from corn, doesn’t have artificial ingredients, has the same calories as sugar and honey, and like sugar, is fine in moderation". There are some elements of truth to these claims. BUT, as presented, the information is misleading and lures consumers to think that there is nothing wrong with HFCS. This supports the consumption of processed foods (containing HFCS), which is strongly linked to the increasing rates of diabetes and obesity in America.

Starting with the basics... Table sugar, the common white stuff, is derived from sugarcane and sugar beets. It is sucrose, which is comprised of equal parts of glucose and fructose (50% each). Many people assume that HFCS is mostly fructose – the sugar naturally found in fruits, vegetables, and honey. This is actually NOT the case. The two types of HFCS are 42-HFCS and 55-HFCS. Basically, both varieties are almost half glucose and half fructose, like table sugar. However, the glucose and fructose in table sugar are chemically bonded but once digested, are broken apart. In HFCS, the glucose and fructose are not bonded and can be thought of as "free sugars". Biochemically, your body cannot tell the difference, and this is why many 'experts' consider table sugar and HFCS to be nutritionally equal and how they each have the same number of calories. But that doesn't mean HFCS is the same thing as table sugar.

Although it is initially made from corn, HFCS is NOT a naturally occurring substance. It is produced by a processing procedure that breaks cornstarch down into glucose. Then some of that is converted into fructose. A synthetic fixing agent fixes the enzymes that are then packed into a column, and the sugar slurry is passed over that column to make the HCFS. Since the synthetic fixing agent does not actually come into contact with the final product, it is not considered to be included or added. The descriptor of HFCS as "natural" basically depends on whose definition you are using. On July 8, 2008 the FDA made a statement in a letter that "high-fructose corn syrup may be labeled natural when synthetic fixing agents do not come into contact with it during manufacturing". It is this definition that allows the CRA to make the claim that HFCS is "natural" and thus does not have artificial ingredients.

HFCS is in most of the processed foods that Americans consume. It is a known fact that rates of diabetes and obesity continue to rise at an alarming rate, and current research has clearly established a link between processed foods and increased risks for these diseases. As an example, data from the Harvard University Nurses' Health Study correlates the consumption of sweetened drinks with raising the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in women. While it is prudent to advocate moderate consumption of HFCS-containing foods and drinks, the CRA does not provide specific guidelines for using in moderation.

In the end, to say HFCS is no different than other natural, artificial, or chemical sweeteners will continue to be debated so long as the FDA's 'definition' remains the same. HFCS is not a whole food like corn, is produced using artificial ingredients, has a different chemical arrangement than table sugar, and has no specific guidelines around moderate use. The CRA's campaign to paint a more positive picture of HFCS essentially encourages the typical American diet – one that is overloaded with processed foods. This is one of the major factors contributing to the diabetes and obesity epidemic. The sheer number of products on our supermarket shelves that contain HFCS makes it almost inevitable. So, please: read labels. Be an informed consumer. And if you decide for yourself and for your family that you’d rather not include HFCS as part of your diet, choose to purchase foods and beverages that do not contain it. Your body (and your family) will thank you for it!