Today we are going to discuss the second part of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). In the Last episode we discussed that the majority of HFCS is made with mercury and that mercury is bad for Brain development as mercury is toxic to the body. I had a lot of correspondences from doctors and the general public who said, “I had know idea that there is mercury in HFCS, I just thought it made you fat because of the sugar. They are correct, that excess sugar, specifically in the form of HFCS, can add on extra pounds. However, there is more to the story than just excess sugar, which results in excess calories that is causing the extra weight gain.

Can you guess what the other detrimental chemical is that makes HFCS so unhealthy?

It is Atrazine.  Atrazine is the main fertilizer used in the production of corn. Since production of HFCS uses cornstarch, can you guess where the Atrazine is going to show up? In the HFCS.

The epidemic of Obesity in American has been well documented, and it correlates very well with the increase consumption of sugar as you see in the graph. I would like to remind you the majority sugar in takes in the US are in the form of HFCS. However, what are not well documented are the health effects of Atrazine exposure from HFCS, and I would like to shed some light on this subject for you.

Atrazine has been shown to decreased basal metabolic rate, increased body weight,  increase intra-abdominal fat and increase insulin resistance (which leads to type II diabetes) without changing food intake or physical activity level (PLoS One. 2009;4(4):e5186 ).

Just look at the trends of Atrazine exposure and the trends of obesity.  Can you see the correlation? Atrazine has also caused frogs to become hermaphrodites; with both male (testes) and female (ovaries) sex organs. Additionally, it causes frogs to have other birth defect such as extra or missing limbs.

The Environmental protection agency says that 3 ppb of Atrazine is safe in our drinking water. But I would like you to note that it only takes 0.1 ppb to cause a frog to become a hermaphrodite. Atrazine has also been show to affect our immune system. The research shows a decrease in the immune system at 6.5 ppb of Atrazine, which is not much higher than what is deemed safe in our drinking water, and when you add the HFCS consumption to that 3 ppb… all of a sudden we decrease our ability to fight viral infections. Chew on that as you eat your holiday sweets during flu season.

Lastly, Atrazine affects our hormones. This journal article says, “We present the evidence that endocrine disruptors (like Atrazine) have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostate cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology. Results from animal models, human clinical observations, and epidemiological studies converge to implicate endocrine-disrupting chemicals EDCs as a significant concern to public health.

With the information I have presented to you I hope you realize that HFCS is not just “Corn sugar,” and the body can tell the difference. HFCS effects go beyond just being a sugar as it has devastating effects on our body.

Until next time, take care and God Bless

Dr. Ryan Bentley