It only Takes 2 weeks for High Fructose Corn Syrup to Cause Symptoms of Heart Disease

Researchers have found that adults who consumed high fructose corn syrup for just two weeks increased their levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

And that ain’t good.

The Study

Researchers examined 48 adults between the ages of 18 and 40 years and compared the effects of consuming 25% of their daily caloric intake as either:

  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

They found that within two weeks, the participants who consumed fructose or HFCS exhibited increased concentrations of:

  1. LDL cholesterol,
  2. triglycerides and
  3. apolipoprotein-B (a protein which can lead to plaques that cause heart disease)

What Does This Mean to Us?

It means:

  1. If you’re going to consume a whole bunch of sugar, it’s better to go with good old plain table sugar (aka sucrose – a combination of glucose & fructose) than fructose or HFCS.
  2. The USDA recommended upper limit for sugar consumption needs a re-think. Perhaps it should drift down a little closer to the AHA’s 5% recommended figure.
  3. Maybe Coca-Cola et al should spend a few pennies, ditch the corn syrup and go back to using cane sugar
  • The 25% sugar intake was based on the upper limit suggested in the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 
  • This study hasn’t been published yet, so I included a link from EurekAlert.


Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

2 thoughts on “It only Takes 2 weeks for High Fructose Corn Syrup to Cause Symptoms of Heart Disease

  • August 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    There are so many products that contain corn syrup, as a sweetener they are hard to avoid completely. Several soda manufacturers are now offering a version with cane sugar instead of corn syrup.

    I am more concerned with the health effects of aspartame than corn syrup.

  • August 2, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Very interesting post, Doug. It’s definitely disturbing that we now see products with “made with real sugar!” as a health claim.

    I had a friend visiting from Germany who laughed hysterically at such a statement on a product, as if real sugar was something people should be seeking out. The sad thing is that in comparison to HFCS, it really is the better deal. I’ve grown up loving corn-on-the-cob, but the truth is that in many countries, it is considered only as feed for farm animals, not fit for human consumption!

    We’ve got a long way to go to get our food back under control.


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