sharing knowledge; enhancing wellbeing.
At this point, I’d guess that everyone knows about the controversy around high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Because the government subsidizes corn, farmers are incentivized to grow this crop (which is nearly entirely genetically modified) and can provide it to the people at a relatively low cost. HFCS is made by converting the starch into a sugar that is generally considered to have an almost similar chemical composition as regular table sugar (sucrose). This is considered to be true, despite the fact that while the Corn Refiners Association (click on the link to find out just how much corn dominates our products from the (naturally biased) people who bring you this beloved crop!) claims that HFCS is tested at about 55% fructose, and sucrose is 50% fructose, some samples of HFCS detect a composition of up to 90% fructose! So, why should you care about this? Many reasons… like the fact that HFCS is implicated in obesity, ADHD, diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, liver disease, insomnia, anxiety, and more! And now, you can add autism to the list…
Most of the scientific literature currently supports the connection between autism and mercury. And, it’s not only what the children are eating, but what their parents (before the child was a twinkle in the parent’s eye, so to speak) eat as well – through macroepigenetics (a term used to describe the consequences of the consumption of the current food supply and environmental exposure on body metabolism, and gene expression and functioning). So, what does this have to do with HFCS, you ask? Independent researchers, curious about the dangers of HFCS, recently looked at the levels of mercury in the not-so-sweet-anymore-substance. What they found was quite shocking. One study found that nearly 50% of samples tested were contaminated with mercury, while another found that nearly 1/3 of 55 samples were contaminated. The levels of mercury detected were considered 3 times higher than the daily recommendation for women (think about how much higher it is for the developing child’s brain… or the infant brain where the blood brain barrier – the lovely mechanism that protects our brains from toxins, like mercury – is not yet fully formed! And, for the record, if you take a look at the ingredients in the standard recommended infant formula, a main component is HFCS). Of note was the fact that the following HFCS-containing products proved to have the highest amount of mercury contamination: soda, dairy products, salad dressings, and condiments.
While biased researchers continue to attempt to figure out what’s safe for you and your family, my intuition tells me that savvy readers like you already know the answer… It’s up to you to make the best choices for you and your family, shape the market by purchasing quality products, and helping to protect others by sharing this information with anyone and everyone. Together, we can demand that high-quality products that are stocked on our store shelves… and protect our bodies and minds!