Thursday, August 6, 2009

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup an “Addiction?”

Working part time in a successful bariatric weight loss clinic as an Educator I was recently given the opportunity to read an interesting medical abstract by Dr. Robert Lustig, (The Bariatrician, 2009, Volume 24, No. 1, pg. 10). Dr. Lustig is a neuroendocrinologist and member of the Endocrine Society Obesity Task Force. He states that HFCS acts metabolically similar to that of ethanol, a central nervous system toxin derivative, after consuming alcohol.

Without even realizing it, (or maybe they know somehow?) the food manufacturers of HFCS have developed a quite “legal” addictive substance adding to our obesity epidemic. The fructose in HFCS apparently has a direct effect on the central nervous system in the hedonic (pleasure producing) pathway of the brain similar to alcohol. It impacts the central nervous system signaling addiction like cravings to the individual consuming HFCS. But instead of intoxication which you may normally experience from alcohol you have over consumption of a food or beverage that contains HFCS. Dr. Lustig states that HFCS should be regarded as “alcohol without the buzz.”

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