High Fructose Corn Syrup Tricks Your Brain

Your brain works on nerve impulses that travel throughout your body. One of the important alerts comes from your stomach, which tells your brain it’s full. Without this process, we would just keep eating. That’s why it’s important to eat slowly; by slowing down, you won’t overeat by the time your brain figures out it’s full. However, studies are showing that high fructose corn syrup, or fructose in general, can hinder this trigger, allowing people to overeat.

High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. While all types of sugar have the same number of calories, they body metabolizes them different which leads to some sugars being “healthier” than others.

Glucose is the natural sugar that our body needs for sustenance. Fructose is the heavy sugar saturating the American diet. However, doctors are sure that “we eat too much sugar in all forms.”

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While fructose consumption has not been proven to cause obesity, it is suspected to play a role. Consumption of fructose beverages “has risen dramatically since the 1970s along with obesity.”

Now, “a third of U.S. children and teens and more than two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight.”

To investigate the connection between fructose and the brain, researchers looked at the MRI scans of 20 normal-weight young people both before and after they consumed glucose or fructose beverages. They were given two sessions taking place several weeks apart.

Glucose actually turned off (or suppressed) the areas of the brain that operate reward and desire for food. Basically, the desire to eat continues.

Further research is planned for overweight individuals, comparing their reactions with the sugars to those of the normal-weight individuals.

For a healthier lifestyle, doctors suggest cooking more at home and avoid sweetened beverages, or at least control their size and how often it’s consumed.

For more information on the study, as well as an interesting take on the relationship between weight and health and lifespan, you can read the full article here from NBC New York.