Countries that use large amounts of high fructose corn syrup have higher rates of type 2 diabetes

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 27 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7994

Re: Countries that use large amounts of high fructose corn syrup have higher rates of type 2 diabetes

A life-long search for sweetening agents for diabetics has made people conduct research on many agents, including high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS was considered to be a better sweetening agent than others. But studies conducted with HFCS as an oral agent that compared it with an equal amount of glucose load given in an oral glucose tolerance test proved that it had a high glycemic index and the glycemic effect was around 75% taking into consideration the levels of insulin and C-peptide measured along with blood glucose in fasting, 30, 60, 90 and 120 minute samples (personal unpublished results).

Fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion from pancreatic β cells. Its consumption through foods and beverages containing fructose produces smaller postprandial insulin excursions than does consumption of glucose-containing carbohydrate. Because leptin production is regulated by insulin responses to meals, fructose consumption also reduces circulating leptin concentrations. The combined effects of lowered circulating leptin and insulin in individuals who consume diets that are high in dietary fructose could therefore increase the likelihood of weight gain and its associated metabolic sequelae. In addition, fructose, compared with glucose, is preferentially metabolized to lipid in the liver which may be the cause of its obesogenic effect. Therefore one cannot categorically say that HFCS consumption is solely responsible for the increase in the number of diabetics. Diabetes is a multifactorial disorder of insulin resistance.

Grundy SM. Multifactorial causation of obesity: implications for prevention. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;67(suppl):563S–72S.

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 November 2012
dhastagir s sheriffd
Faculty of Medicine, Benghazi University
Benghazi, Libya