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Posts Tagged ‘GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME

Interesting Information: Food is the Best Medicine – YouTube

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Interesting Information:  September 25, 2013

Friends sent me this video of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who is a Russian/British neurosurgeon and nutritionist who is on the cutting edge of understanding the importance of the relationship of gut integrity to being healthy.  I’ve written about her GAPS work many times on this blog.  She is a heroine of mine.

Get a cup of coffee or tea, pull up a chair, and treat yourself to 45 minutes or so of real wisdom.  This woman cured her child of autism and has a clinical practice in Britain where she has cured so many people sick with neurological diseases or food allergies.

There are other, longer videos of her speaking on utube if you want to go further, for longer.  But this video is a very good start if this topic is new to you or if she is new to you.

Enjoy!

Food is the Best Medicine – YouTube.

Written by louisaenright

September 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Books: Internal Bliss

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Books:  October 12, 2011

Internal Bliss

The GAPS folks–Gut and Psychology Syndrome–have a cookbook out that helps those needing the GAPS diet–which is likely most of us these days–learn how to cook without using grains, sugars, and starchy vegetables.  You can order the main GAPS book and this new cookbook together on the GAPS diet web site:  http://www.gapsdiet.com/.  Or, you can order the cookbook alone.  The original GAPS book also has a lot of menus and recipes.  The main GAPS web site, which deals more with the GAPS problem at large, is  http://gaps.me.

I have written about the GAPS history and program in Mainely Tipping Points Essays 31 and 32, available on this blog.

Written by louisaenright

October 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Mainely Tipping Points 32: Fiber Menace

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Tipping Points 32:  Fiber Menace

FIBER MENACE

One of the most striking things I’ve discovered while researching food and health issues over the past few years is how often strong personalities (usually males with a fervent belief system and either money or political power) drastically change what we think is healthy to eat.  Science refuting belief is ignored, obfuscated, or denied.  And, when industry becomes involved, the changes are permanently cemented into cultural truth.  Such is the case with our current practice of overeating fiber.   

Konstantin Monastyrsky, in FIBER MENACE:  THE TRUTH ABOUT FIBER’S ROLE IN DIET FAILURE, CONSTIPATION, HEMORRHOIDS, IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, ULCERATIVE COLITIS, CHROHN’S DISEASE, AND COLON CANCER (2008), identifyies Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) and John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) as agents of dietary change.  Graham, a Presbyterian minister who undoubtedly held the anti-body dictates of Calvinism, “prescribed a high-fiber vegetarian diet” to control lust” (1).  Graham believed men should not have sex until after they were 30 and then only once a month.  He believed white bread caused constipation and recommended “Graham” flour made from coarsely ground wheat.  Graham died alone, and Monastyrsky notes that Graham’s “abrasive, irritable personality” was likely a “manifestation of acute protein deficiency and unstable blood sugar” (1-2).

Kellogg, writes Monastyrsky, was a prominent physician, a celebrated surgeon, a successful entrepreneur, an author, a charitable man, and a health reformer.  Kellogg had a profound impact on the American diet since “he had the resources, the forum, the charisma, the conviction, and the authority to deliver his message over a long, long period of time and to lots and lots of people” (2).  Kellogg, like Graham, was obsessed with chastity and constipation.  He “never made love to his wife.”  To remedy masturbation, he “advocated circumcision without anesthetic for boys and mutilation of the clitoris with carbolic acid for girls.”  He believed constipation caused sexual desire as impacted stools stimulated the prostate gland or the vagina.  He proscribed a coarse vegetarian diet and bran and paraffin oil with every meal—which caused constant anal leakage along with the “decline of libido, functional impotence, and infertility” due to protein deficiencies.  Since he lived to be 91, Kellogg was likely “a typical hypocrite, who didn’t practice what he preached, sex or no sex” (2).

Kellogg’s namesake company is “still minting a fortune by peddling…sugared breakfast cereals fortified with fiber.”  In 2004 alone, the Kellogg Company spent over $3.5 billion just on ` promotional expenditures,’ “ so “no wonder fiber is still on everyone’s mind and in everyone’s stools….” (3).  And so, writes Monastyrsky, “if you believe that the introduction of fiber into the American diet came about as a result of thorough academic research, methodical clinical investigation, and penetrating peer reviews…it didn’t.  It’s actually based on profane sacrilege, fanatical misogynism, medieval prudishness, common quackery, crass commercialism, incomprehensible medical incompetence, and by the legal standards of today, negligence and malpractice” (3). 

There is, writes Monastyrsky, no scientific proof that high-fiber diets are healthy or aid constipation (13).  And a major text for gastroenterologists (ROME II) notes that “`there is little or no relationship between dietary fiber intake and whole gut transit time’ “ (114-115).

Indeed, there are reams of studies demonstrating that anything but “minor quantities of fiber from natural, unprocessed food” upsets the whole digestive chain in ways that leads to the problems listed in FIBER MENACE’s title (13).  Worse, many reputable studies show that high-fiber diets do not provide protection from the second largest cancer killer in the U.S.–colon cancer–and are probably a cause of it–information which has been largely ignored (180-187).  And, studies show that “carbohydrate intake…[is] positively associated with breast cancer risk.”  Yet, health authorities continue to insist that we eat more fiber, avoid meat and animal fat, eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink a lot of water (185).     

But, let’s back up for a moment.  Monastyrsky received medical training and a  pharmacology degree (1977) in Russia (Ukraine) before emigrating to the U.S. in 1978, where he embarked on a very successful career in technology, primarily on Wall Street.  Then, after years of eating a high-fiber vegetarian diet, he became very ill with diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, hemorrhoidal disease, and anal fissures.  He returned to his medical training and research skills to heal himself and  learned that his life-threatening condition often takes decades to develop. 

According to Monastyrsky’s web site (www.gutsense.org), he is a certified nutritional consultant and an expert in forensic nutrition, a new field of science that investigates the connection between supposedly healthy foods and nutrition-related disorders, such as diabetes and obesity.  Treatment is through nutritional intervention.  He’s written two best-selling books in Russian and FIBER MENACE and GUT SENSE in English.  His work is highly respected by the Weston A. Price Foundation and is a fit with other work denouncing the overeating of carbs, the loss or lack of gut flora and fauna (disbacteriosis), and the need to eat nutrient-dense foods for health—such as Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME and Gary Taubes’ WHY WE GET FAT.

Monastyrsky explains the “evolutionary functions of each digestive organ” and notes that each organ specializes in a specific food group.  The mouth macerates and masticates flesh for we are “canine-wielding predators”; the stomach ferments and digests proteins; the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine) mixes chyme (a thick liquid without any solids that arrives from the stomach) with enzymes and absorbs water; the gallbladder uses bile to break down and assimilate fats; the jejunum and ileum (the last two sections of the small intestine) complete digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and absorb “their basic components (amino acids, fattly; acids, monosaccharides); and the large intestine recovers remaining water, nutrients and electrolytes, converts “liquid chyme to semi-solid stools,” and expels them (8-9). 

If this process is disturbed by an overabundance of indigestible fiber, the system struggles.  Malabsorption, where needed nutrients are not absorbed, occurs, which leads to malnutrition and disease.  Constipation and/or diarrhea occur, as does bloating and gas.  The stretched digestive system—a condition worsened by drinking water that makes fiber swell–begins to need more and more fiber to function.  The delicate tissues of the normally narrow anal canal are torn and scarred by too-large stools.  The lack of appropriate fats further compounds these disease conditions by causing stool impaction.  Intestines “bloated from inflammatory diseases caused by indigestible fiber” create hernias (28).       

Monastyrsky warns that a lot of fiber is hidden in fake processed foods under obscure names, like “cellulose, B-glucans, pectin, guar gum, cellulose gum, carrageen, agar-agar, hemicellulose, inulin, lignin, oligofructose, fructooligosaccharides, polydextrose, polylos, psyllium, resistant dextrin, resistant starch, and others.”  These factory made ingredients are derived from wood pulp, cotton, seaweed, husks, skins, seeds, tubers, and selected high-yield plants that aren’t suitable for human  consumption without extra processing” (18). 

So, what constitutes constipation?  Monastyrsky notes that mainstream medicine does not recognize constipation as the very serious condition that it is until it is too late and more extreme digestive conditions have developed.  If you’re not experiencing twice-daily easy and complete stools–Monastyrsky describes in detail what a healthy stool should look like using the UK’s Bristol Stool Form Scale—you might want to read FIBER MENACE. 

WARNING:  Monastyrsky warns that one must wean off fiber very gently or one will set off unintended consequences, like increased constipation.  To heal a damaged digestive tract, the GAPS diet, from GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME, is excellent—www.gapsdiet.com. 

 

Mainely Tipping Points 31: I Feel It In My Gut

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Mainely Tipping Points 31

I FEEL IT IN MY GUT

 Some of you might remember that I got into researching and writing about food issues because suddenly I developed food allergies that caused me to pass out with little or no warning.  I suffered dozens of unpleasant food-related allergic episodes; experienced several rescues from our local emergency crew; underwent one trip to the hospital; endured a growing list of problem foods; and still negotiate with friends and family who are scared to feed me.

So, rejoice with me when I tell you that I’ve had a breakthrough—one that could impact also your health.  I discovered that the root cause of my food allergy problems was a malfunctioning gut—something that likely affects many Americans.  It isn’t that I am allergic to specific foods, but that foods I was eating were not being contained properly within my digestive system.  Because my gut had been perforated by out-of-control opportunistic microbes that live in my gut, undigested food particles were leaking through the gut walls and were being attacked as foreign invaders by my body—which explained the growing list of “problem” foods.

My breakthrough began with an article by British physician Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride: “Food Allergies:  A Holistic Approach,” in the journal WISE TRADITIONS, summer 2010, 26-34, which is available at www.westonaprice.org.  In addition, Campbell-Mcbride has published the very comprehensive GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME, which she revised and expanded in November 2010.  And, there is an excellent web site with information on the well-credentialed Campbell-McBride; the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, or GAPS, diet; and resources:  http://gaps.me.  Here’s a site listing the recommended/forbidden foods:  http://www.gutandpsychologysyndrome.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/GAPS-Diet-Foods.pdf.  But, it’s a good idea to read about how to manage the diet on the main GAPS web site. 

Campbell-McBride got into the GAPS arena because she has an autistic son, so the web site is targeted to people with serious neurological issues.  However, the GAPS information is really important for anyone with either allergies (all types) or any gastrointestinal issues.  For instance, Campbell-McBride explains that food allergies/intolerances are symptoms of underlying digestive problems and that other symptoms most commonly include pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, indigestion, and urgency.  But, symptoms can also include “migraines, fatigue, PMS, painful joints and itchy skin” as well as “depression, hyperactivity, hallucinations, obsessions and other psychiatric and neurological manifestations” (27). 

In GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME, Campbell-McBride explains that if opportunistic gut microbes become too prevalent and too powerful in a struggling gut, in addition to harming the lining of the gut, they begin to produce toxic wastes of their own.  These toxins affect the brain; they create behavioral problems and can cause or intensify neurological disorders like autism, schizophrenia, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and depression (41-48). (Additionally, I’ve read that some cancer researchers are looking at the relationship of these opportunistic microbes, like the yeast candida albicans, and cancer.)   

Gut dysfunction is caused by ongoing poor nutrition and by not having normal gut flora.  Gut dysfunction causes malabsorption, which, in turn, causes malnutrition and other disturbances in the incredibly delicate chemical balance of a healthy body.  Poor nutrition includes highly processed foods like white flour, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, and complex carbohydrates from grains and starchy vegetables—all common components of the Standard American Diet (SAD).   

Dr. Thomas Cowan, an MD homeopath, revealed in a recent newsletter that Current TV, Al Gore’s television network, is planning to produce a documentary about the GAPS diet which will suggest that it could be a factor in healing many of our country’s chronic health problems (http://fourfoldhealing.com/2011/03/18/march-17-2011/).  And articles about the importance of having a healthy gut microbial community are appearing in mainstream magazines on a regular basis.  For instance, a January/February 2011 article in “Discover” magazine noted that Jeffrey Gordon of Washington University in St. Louis, who is studying the importance of gut microbes, called the gut microbes a community that is “`an organ within an organ.’ “  The article notes that “the mix of microbes inside you affects how you metabolize food and probably has substantial impact on your health” (51). 

In “Food Allergies,” Campbell-McBride explains that flora and fauna imbalances can begin at birth since a new baby has a sterile gut and picks up the mother’s microbes during her/his passage down the birth canal.  If the mother has microbe imbalances, the baby will be born with them.  If the baby does not pass through the birth canal, as in a Caesarean birth, the baby struggles with the abnormal development of not only gut flora, but other microbe populations within the body, which leads to malnutrition and illness.  And, to behavioral and neurological issues. 

Bottle-fed babies, continues Campbell-McBride, “develop completely different gut flora than breast-fed babies,” which predisposes them to “asthma, eczema, other allergies and other health problems.”  Many modern practices harm our gut flora and fauna.  Antibiotics damage the “beneficial species of bacteria in the gut, leaving it open to invasion by pathogens that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics.”  Contraceptives, too, “have a serious damaging effect on the composition of gut flora” (28-29).  I suspect the array of drugs many of us take daily damage gut microbes.     

Campbell-McBride’s GAPS diet is predated by the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) developed by pediatrician Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas and his son, Dr. Merrill P. Haas, both of whom followed in the footsteps of colleagues working with celiac disease and other digestive disorders.  Campbell-McBride notes that Haas et al discovered that “patients with digestive disorders could tolerate dietary proteins and fats fairly well.”  But, complex carbohydrates from grains and starchy vegetables—often craved by patients–made the problem worse,” as did sucrose, lactose, and other double sugars.  Some fruits and vegetables were “not only well tolerated…but improved…physical status.”  Haas cured over 600 patients with his SCD diet.     

Campbell-McBride describes the “something terrible” that happened next—celiac disease was “defined as a gluten intolerance and a gluten free diet was adopted,” but the new diagnosis “excluded a great number of various other gut problems….”  Haas’s SCD diet was forgotten and “all those other gut diseases, which didn’t fit into the category of true celiac disease, were forgotten as well” (32).  Meanwhile, the food market has  heavily invested in gluten-free products.     

Elaine Gottschall was a mother who, when all else failed, took her very sick child to Haas in the early 1950s.  When Haas cured Gottschall’s daughter in two years,  Gottschall became a biochemist and dedicated her life to helping children like her daughter by promoting Haas’s SCD diet.  Her book BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE is both interesting and useful as it contains recipes, though some use artificial sweeteners. 

Here’s what Gottschall wrote about this bizarre turn of medical history after one report was published in 1952 in the British medical journal “Lancet” :  “A group of six faculty members of the Departments of Pharmacology and of Pediatrics and Child Health of the University of Birmingham, after testing only ten children, decided that it was not the starch (carbohydrate) in the grains that so many had reported as being deleterious, but it was the protein, gluten, in wheat and rye flours that was causing celiac symptoms” (36).  Six physicians and 10 children were all it took to create a new “scientific” understanding.  

Both Campbell-McBride and Gotschall agree that the gluten-free diet does not work permanently and that Haas’s SCD diet does.  Campbell-McBride updated the SCD diet and called it the GAPS diet as her clinical practice continues to prove the connections between food, the gut, and the brain.  (There are American physicians working also in this arena.) 

Much of what we’ve learned is healthy lives in the GAPS diet:  bone broths; nutrient-dense whole foods like good fats, good meats, eggs, cheeses, and cultured dairy like yogurt and kefir; appropriate vegetables and fruits; probiotics; and fermented foods.  It is interesting that the GAPS work is a fit with Gary Taubes’ critique of the role of starchy and sweet carbohydrates in WHY WE GET FAT.  And Campbell-McBride’s work is supported and encouraged by the Weston A. Price Foundation. 

So, if you feel you have digestive or food allergy issues, follow your gut! 

Turkey Tracks: Elaine Gottschall’s Muffins

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Turkey Tracks:  January 9, 2011

Elaine Gottschall’s Muffins

Since reading about the 1980 USDA food guide that changed the scientifically recommended guidelines for grains from 2 to 3 servings to 9 to 11 servings AND since realizing that my own food allergy problems are related to gut dysfunction, I censor grains in my diet.  I wrote about this USDA debacle in some of my Mainly Tipping Points essays which I have posted on this blog.  Along the way, other reading showed me a whole new way to get a bread-like product with ground nut “flours.”   

In the 1950s, Elaine Gottschall was, at first, a lay person with a seriously ill child when she discovered Dr. Sidney Haas’s work on gut dysfunction in the 1950s.  She adopted his Specific Carbohydrate Diet, now called the GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), and cured her child.  Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, among others, has discovered the connection with gut dysfunction and neurological disorders, like autism, ADD, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, depression, and schizophrenia, and is having a lot of success helping those impacted.  Dr. Joseph Mercola has a book called the NO GRAIN DIET.   

Anyway, this nut-muffin or nut bread recipe is from Gottschall’s book BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE.  It’s delicious and very filling.   Two of these muffins hold me for hours. 

Use organic nuts if you can.  AND, you REALLY DO NEED paper muffin cups.  (Don’t use foil as it will be aluminum toxic.)  The recipe makes about a dozen muffins–more if you add bulky items like banana.

2 1/2 cups ground nuts.  (You can buy nuts already ground at co-ops and stores specializing in nutrient-dense whole foods.) 

 1/4 cup melted butter, or yogurt, or small amount of fruit juice, or pure apple butter (enough to moisten well)

1/2 cup (or less) honey

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

3 eggs

Additions:  1/3 cup dried fruit, and/or grated lemon/orange rind, and/or flavoring (almond, vanilla).  Fresh blueberries are nice.  For a banana version, add two mashed, ripe bananas and an extra egg.  For coconut, add dried/unsweetened coconut for part of the flour.

For nut bread, add one extra egg (4 eggs) and put into well-greased 1-quart baking dish.

Mix all together and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

Gottschall’s book has many good recipes.  But, she wrote it at a time when we did not know how dangerous artificial sweeteners are.  Don’t use them.  Some of my essays cover artificial sweeteners as well. 

 

Mainely Tipping Points 17: High Fructose Corn Syrup

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Mainely Tipping Points 17

High Fructose Corn Syrup

 Despite the food industry’s attempt to tell us so, all food calories do not have the same impact on our bodies.  Nor are all sugars equal.  Most sweeteners are formed from three different sugars (sucrose, glucose, and fructose), and each has a different impact on the body. 

 Sugars are carbohydrates, and, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride in GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME (2004), all carbohydrates are made of tiny molecules, called monosaccharides, or monosugars.  Glucose and fructose are monosugars, so do not need digestion.  They enter the gut directly.  Sucrose is a disaccharides, or double sugar, and it and other double sugars (lactose from milk and maltose from starches) require “quite a bit of” digestive work in a healthy body to reduce them to absorbable monosugars.  Unhealthy bodies harbor these undigested sugars in the gut, and an unfortunate chain of disease begins as these sugars feed “pathogenic bacteria, viruses, Candida and other fungi,” which themselves begin to produce toxic substances that “damage the gut wall and poison the whole body” (79-81).        

Most sweeteners have different sugar compositions.  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is typically 42-55 percent fructose and 45-55 percent glucose.  Honey is 50 percent fructose, 44 percent glucose, and 1 percent sucrose.  Only raw sugar is 100 percent sucrose  (“Sugar by Any Other Name,” NUTRITION ACTION HEALTH LETTER, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Jan/Feb 2010, page 4).  But, as Sally Fallon Morell and Rami Nagel explain in WISE TRADITIONS (Spring 2009), the type of fructose in HFCS is not the same as fructose from fruit and our bodies do not know how to process it into energy (“Worse Than We Thought,” 44-52).

Industry creates HFCS from corn starch, which largely comes from genetically modified corn.  For an amusing, but serious explanation of how HFCS is made, take a look at the movie KING CORN (2007).  A not-so-funny fact surfaced recently according to Morell and Nagel :  nearly 50 percent of samples of commercial HFCS contained mercury, which was found also in nearly one-third of “55 brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient” (47).

 Fructose in fruit, report Morell and Nagel, is “part of a complex that includes fiber, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.”  The fructose in HFCS is a free, unbound fructose with an important chemical difference.  Most fruit fructose is D-fructose, or levulose, but HFCS fructose is L-fructose, an artificial compound which has “the reversed isomerization and polarity of a refined fructose molecule.”  Thus, the fructose in HFCS is “not recognized in the human Krebs cycle for primary conversion to blood glucose in any significant quantity, and therefore cannot be used for energy utilization.”  Instead, HFCS, like all refined fructose sweeteners” is “primarily converted into triglycerides and adipose tissue (body fat).”  

Indeed, report Morell and Nagel, a new study published in the “Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, “found that obese people who drank a fructose-sweetened beverage with a meal had triglyceride levels almost 200 percent higher than obese people who drank a glucose-sweetened beverage with a meal.”  Chronic, high triglycerides, remind Morell and Nagel, cause increased insulin resistance, inflammation, and heart disease (47).

Nancy Appleton and G. N. Jacobs, in WELL BEING JOURNAL, reported that two published studies (2010) from Princeton University demonstrated that HFCS causes obesity in rats The researchers think that HFCS is more fattening than sugar because it is not bound to anything, which, in turn, allows it to be processed in the liver into fat—substantially abdominal fat—a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  Sucrose is” metabolized by insulin from the pancreas and is more readily used as an energy source.”  Additionally, HFCS bypasses the body’s ability to create satiety, or feeling full (“High Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity,” WELL BEING JOURNAL, Sept/Oct. 2010, 9-10).  Morell and Nagel note that since all fructose is metabolized in the liver, the livers of test animals “fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrhosis, similar to problems that develop in the livers of alcoholics (48).”

Rats aren’t humans.  But epidemiologist Devra Davis in THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WAR ON CANCER (2007) notes that industry has been very adept at both decrying and promoting animal studies:  “Where animal studies on the causes of cancer exist, industry faults them as not relevant to humans.  Yet when studies of almost identical design are employed to craft novel treatments and therapies, the physiological differences between animals and humans suddenly become insignificant” (xii).  So, Davis argues, dismissing animal studies is a type of reasoning that is both “morally flawed” and “ignores one simple fact:  the same basic structure of DNA is found in all mammals (8)”  Davis writes that she has witnessed in her professional life “the maturing of the science of doubt promotion,” or “the concerted and well-funded effort to identify, magnify and exaggerate doubts about what we could say that we know as a way of delaying actions to change the way the world operates” (xii).  Thus, “treating people like experimental animals in a vast and largely uncontrolled study,” while ignoring data from animal studies showing direct cause-and-effect data, is ”morally indefensible” (8).

Morell and Nagel report that HFCS entered the market in the early 1970s, but the FDA did not grant it GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status until 1996, “after considerable pressure from the industry” (mainly Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill) as negative research begin to emerge.  Nevertheless, “HFCS represents the major change in the American diet over the last forty years” as it has replaced more expensive sugar in most soft drinks and is “increasingly replacing sugar in baked goods, bread, cereals, canned fruits, jams and jellies, dairy desserts and flavored yoghurts.”  This substitution is occurring despite research showing that while refined sugars have “empty, depleting, addictive calories,” HFCS is “actually worse for you” (44-45).

 The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI) notes that industry has added so many sugars to processed foods that “the average American swallows 350 to 475 calories’ worth of added sugars each day,” all of which are empty calories (“Sugar Overload,” NUTRITION ACTION HEALTH LETTER, Jan/Feb 2010, 3-8).  Dr. David A. Kessler, a former FDA commissioner, in THE END OF OVEREATING (2009), focuses on how industry has added sugar, salt, and bad fats to processed foods, which is changing a pattern where “for thousands of years human body weight stayed remarkably stable” (3). 

The HFCS story gets worse.  A team of researchers at the University of California Los Angeles Jonsson Cancer Center released a study on 2 August 2010 revealing that pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate.  Dr. Anthony Heaney said that tumor cells thrived on glucose, but used fructose to proliferate.  He specifically referred to Americans’ use of refined fructose consumption.  Our use of HFCS has increased 1000 percent between 1970 and 1990 (Maggie Fox, “Cancer Cells Feed on Fructose, Study Finds,” 2 Aug. 2010, Reuters).         

HFCS can cause high blood pressure.  A study from the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center recorded the eating habits of over 4,500 adults to determine that amount of HFCS each was consuming.  Those consuming “more than 74 grams of HFCS (the equivalent of 2.5 servings of soft drinks) exhibited `significantly increased risk of developing hypertension.’ “  Indeed, “the study concluded that HFCS consumption can raise blood pressure in adults with no history of hypertension, independently of any other causes” (“High Fructose Corn Syrup = High Blood Pressure, WELL BEING JOURNAL, March/April 2010, 6).   

 Connections are being made between HFCS and gout.  Fructose increases uric acid, and uric acid causes gout.  A study of about 46,000 men who got “at least 12 percent of their calories from fructose” were” twice as likely to be diagnosed with gout” (“Sugar Overload,” NUTRITION ACTION HEALTH LETTER, Jan/Feb 2010, 7). 

 I found much more information showing that HFCS is a dangerous product that is causing humans significant harm.  It’s also likely that industry knows how dangerous it is, but uses it anyway because it is sweet and cheap.  Remember that industry is legally organized to behave this way.  What you can do is to eat nutrient-dense, organic, local foods to maintain your health.