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High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked With Increase in Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

High-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener found in soft drinks and other processed foods and beverages. A recent study suggests that drinking beverages that contain low, medium, and high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup for just two weeks significantly increases cardiovascular disease risk factors in healthy young men and women.

Participants in the study included 85 people ranging in age from 18 to 40 years. Over the course of 16.5 days they were given high fructose corn syrup that equaled 10%, 17.5%, or 25% of their daily calorie intake or a placebo beverage sweetened with aspartame.  13 of those days were outpatient and 3.5 were inpatient days of intervention testing.

The researchers did hourly blood draws at baseline and during the intervention testing periods in order to measure levels of lipoproteins, triglycerides, and uric acid. All of these are known to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

They found that all three risk factors increased as the amount of high fructose corn syrup consumed increased, even in the 10% group. They also found that the increases were greater in men than in women and that the results were independent of weight gain.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 22, 2015, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Previous studies have found that consuming high fructose corn syrup drinks may be associated with an increased risk of depression, as well as weight gain and a higher risk of gout.

While soft drinks are a common source of high fructose corn syrup in the American diet, it can also be found in many other processed foods. The best ways to limit your high fructose corn syrup consumption is to read the labels on the foods you consume and try to avoid sugary drinks.
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