Photo: Nafmo on FlickrThe long-running, contentious debate over the dangers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may be approaching a conclusive end -- one not likely to please those sensitive souls over at the Corn Refiners Association.
While there has been extensive evidence that fructose is harmful to human health and associated with metabolic diseases like diabetes and liver problems, the fact is that plain old table sugar is itself 50 percent fructose. HFCS does have a higher concentration of fructose at 55 percent but it's close enough to table sugar that most experts continue to dismiss claims that HFCS is on its own more dangerous. And certainly the claim that the introduction of HFCS in the '80s directly led to the current obesity epidemic continues to be a highly controversial view.
A massive missing piece in this debate has been an absence of research directly comparing the effects of HFCS and table sugar (as opposed to pure fructose and glucose sugars, which is typically how the research has been conducted). Thanks to a group of researchers at Princeton, however, that missing piece may just have been found (via Science Daily):
A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.