Sucrose vs high fructose corn syrup
by Bret Bevens, PDT Sports Writer
There is a lot of noise about how carbohydrates cause obesity and more specifically sugar and even more specifically high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). But that’s probably too specific because there is no molecular difference between sucrose and HFCS. Still to try to prove that there is no difference between sucrose and HFCS even when that’s not physically possible was a recent study reported in the Nutritian Journal.(1) These investigators took 247 overweight and obese people between the ages of 25 and 60 and put them on a calorie restricted diet containing various levels of sucrose and HFCS by adding it to skim milk as part of the diet. There was no relationship between the weight lost by these study subjects and the type of sugar, sucrose vs HFCS, or the amount of sugar consumed.
These findings are going to be hard to sell to Dr. Ludwig, however, because this study was supported by the Corn Refiners Association. Even though they found that sugar, whether or not it’s from corn, doesn’t impede weight loss, that finding could still be influenced by the self interests of the corn refiners. HFCS is cheaper than sucrose from sugar cane or sugar beets because of complicated farm economics. They don’t want us to stop eating sugar.
Remember that sucrose is a disaccharide composed of the 2 monosaccharides, glucose and fructose. There’s another school of thought that says that it’s the fructose that’s bad. That fructose is the culprit in obesity would also appear to be refuted by this report. But that’s a subject for past and future articles.
1. Lowndes J, et al. The effects of four hypocaloric diets containing different levels of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup on weight loss and related parameters. Nutr J. 2012 Aug 6;11(1):55. [Epub ahead of print]
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