More bad news about High Fructose Corn Syrup: a recent study on HFCS makes it pretty clear – HFCS is linked to gout. And another gout study unfortunately links the incidence of gout in women with beverages consumed.
Yes, that’s right. The incidence of gout was increased in WOMEN. In years gone by, it was always MEN who had gout, rarely women. But now, gout is one more thing that women have to be worried about.
When HFCS is metabolized in your body, it follows the pathway of fructose metabolism. There are basically three important things that happen to HFCS when it is broken down.
First, a phosphate is added to it called fructose-1-phosphate. Then the fructose-1-phosphate is split into two compounds. One of these compounds is called an advanced glycation endproduct, or AGE. These AGEs are linked with every known degenerative disease.
The more HFCS you consume, the more your body’s stores of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) are depleted. When your body stores energy, it stores it in little molecules such as ATP. Think of them as little batteries of energy ready for your body to tap into them whenever you need energy. But once you start consuming high fructose corn syrup, these batteries of energy are depleted. This is why you get fatigued after eating too many foods with HFCS. Sugar-sweetened soda is one of these foods.
Once the ATP levels are depleted, large amounts of uric acid are released in the body. And since the definition of gout is the presence of large amounts of uric acid, whenever these large amounts are circulating in the blook, presto – just like that, you have gout.
The same thing happens when you consume high amounts of fructose. And the research is careful to explain that even when women consumed ‘safe’ orange juice or apple juice, the fructose in the juice was enough to increase their risk of getting gout. In one large prospective study of women, only drinking two servings or more of orange juice daily increased risk of gout by 240%.
Alarmingly, just one serving per day of sugar-sweetened soda resulted in an increased risk of gout by 74%. Increasing the soda to 2 servings daily resulted in an increased risk by 240%. Diet soda, meanwhile, did not increase the risk of developing gout.
What exactly is Gout and why is it so harmful to your body? Gout is a disease characterized by having very painful joints. But it’s not just the pain that concerns health care professionals. The uric acid that accumulates in your joints actually eats away at your joints throughout the body, eventually destroying them. As you can imagine, Gout isn’t a fun disease to have. Without your joints working as they should, you will have less mobility and soon disability.
The increased risk of Gout in women is just one of the more recent discoveries that have been made concerning HFCS. Add it to a very unpleasant list of potential side effects, one that includes obesity, diabetes, increased risk of heart attack and heart disease, and anemia, to name but a few. To learn more about the side effects of HFCS, remember to consult your health care professional, who can help steer you down healthy food choices. Also, check out our post on HFCS here, where you can learn about some sweet, healthy alternatives.
Source: JAMA, 2010 Nov 24; 304(20):2270-78.