High Fructose Corn Syrup

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The Impact of High-Fructose Corn Syrup on Health: Exorbitant Consumption Perhaps the most polarizing issue regarding high-fructose corn syrup is its impacts on human health. I believe that health is truly the greatest wealth and that it is in the best interests of an individual to carefully make decisions regarding what one should eat. Therefore, it is necessary for me to understand the underlying health risks associated with high-fructose corn syrup consumption. The consumption of high-fructose corn syrup peaked in 1999, but since then it has been steadily declining (White, Foreyt, Melanson, & Angelopoulous, 2010). A potential reason for its decline in consumption may be attributed to the increasing knowledge of science that society has …show more content…
The issue in the United States is the fact that individuals are consuming an exorbitant amount of fructose- 1 g of fructose provides roughly 4 calories of energy, so if we multiply the average amount of fructose consumed by adults by 4 calories, it equals roughly 218.8 calories. This number is just south of 10% of 2195 calories that are consumed on average in the United States, but it is important to realize that this number of calories is coming from fructose alone and not taking the consumption of glucose into consideration. Furthermore, the amount of fructose being consumed by adolescents is disconcerting; roughly 291.2 calories of energy is derived from fructose- this forms approximately 13.3% of an adolescent’s total energy which strays away from the guideline set by the World Health Organization. The consumption of HFCS products is only exacerbating the amounts of fructose consumed on average per day. There are 3 types of HFCS syrups: HFCS-42 (42% fructose content), HFCS-55 (55% fructose content) and HFCS-90 (90% fructose). Furthermore, these syrups are used primarily for soft drinks and processed foods (Ruiz-Matute, Weiss, Sammataro, Finely, & Sanz, 2010). An unprecedented amount of these products is being consumed, and it raises the …show more content…
One way that mercury is contaminated with HFCS is by the usage of caustic soda to produce it. Much of HFCS is produced using caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) which is produced by a mercury cell process. Additionally, the caustic soda is contaminated with roughly 0.2ppm-0.3ppm of mercury (Wallinga, Mottl, Yablon, & Sorensen, 2009). A pilot study was conducted by Dufault, et al. (2009) that analyzed the mercury content in HFCS from three different manufacturers. As much as 0.570 micrograms of mercury were found in a single gram of HFCS. Furthermore, the article states that the average consumption of HFCS in the United States is roughly 50g. Consequently, the mercury content found in the samples analyzed becomes significant, especially when it is being consumed by individuals who are more sensitive to mercury poisoning than the average population. Scientific knowledge has enhanced our knowledge regarding mercury exposure and its detriments to human health: blurred vision, deafness, paresthesia (nerve tingling), vision loss, comas and in some cases, death, can all be attributed to the exposure of mercury (Bolger & Schwetz, 2002). The presence of mercury in a food additive that is consumed on such a widespread level poses a significant health risk for many

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