As anyone who has seen the documentary film "Super Size Me" has learned, sugar has become "the new fat". Research continues to show that excess sugar, especially in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, causes more metabolic and liver problems than fat. High-fructose corn syrup is found in nearly every processed food and drink. This post contains two excerpts from a fascinating piece.
by Bill Sanda
Source: The Weston A. Price Foundation
For many years, Dr. Meira Fields and her coworkers at the US Department of Agriculture investigated the harmful effects of dietary sugar on rats. They discovered that when male rats are fed a diet deficient in copper, with sucrose as the carbohydrate, they develop severe pathologies of vital organs. Liver, heart and testes exhibit extreme swelling, while the pancreas atrophies, invariably leading to death of the rats before maturity.
Sucrose is a disaccharide composed of 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. Dr. Fields repeated her experiments to determine whether it was the glucose or fructose moiety that caused the harmful effects. Starch breaks down into glucose when digested. On a copper-deficient diet, the male rats showed some signs of copper deficiency, but not the gross abnormalities of vital organs that occur in rats on the sucrose diet. When the rats were fed fructose, the fatal organ abnormalities occured.
Lysl oxidase is a copper-dependent enzyme that participates in the formation of collagen and elastin. Fructose seems to interfere with copper metabolism to such an extent that collagen and elastin cannot form in growing animals--hence the hypertrophy of the heart and liver in young males. The females did not develop these abnormalities, but they resorbed their litters.
These experiments should give us pause when we consider the great increase in the use of high fructose corn syrup during the past 30 years, particularly in soft drinks, fruit juices and other beverages aimed at growing children, children increasingly likely to be copper deficient as modern parents no longer serve liver to their families. (Liver is by far the best source of copper in human diets.)
"The bodies of the children I see today are mush," observed a concerned chiropractor recently. The culprit is the modern diet, high in fructose and low in copper-containing foods, resulting in inadequate formation of elastin and collagen--the sinews that hold the body together.
Soft Drinks In the Schools
High fructose corn syrup is the primary sweetener used in soft drinks, now readily available to children in school vending machines. The soft drink industry increased US production from 22 to 41 gallons of soft drinks per person a year between 1970 and 1997.
Teenagers and children, the industry’s main targets, are among the largest consumers. In the past 10 years, soft drink consumption among children has almost doubled in the United States. Teenage boys now drink, on average, three or more cans of soda per day, and 10 percent drink seven or more cans a day. The average for teenage girls is more than two cans a day, and 10 percent drink more than five cans a day. A typical 20-ounce Coke contains zero fat, zero protein and 67 grams of carbohydrates, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup.
There are an estimated 20,000 vending machines in schools nationwide, according to the National Automatic Merchandising Association. The USDA collected data on vending machines in schools and reported that 88 percent of high schools, 61 percent of middle schools and 14 percent of elementary schools have food or beverage vending machines for student use. Thirty-four percent of high schools and 15 percent of middle schools permit students to use school vending machines at any time, and 6 percent of elementary schools allow students to use vending machines during lunch. (continue reading and references... these statistics are from 2004)
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
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