America is hooked on fructose, particularly mercury-containing high-fructose corn syrup. With consumption rates continually rising in the United States, researchers have examined the similarities between fructose and its fermentation byproduct ethanol. Linked to skyrocketing obesity rates, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, fructose consumption may be a destructive habit comparable to alcoholism. A number of studies have also established a relationship between excess fructose consumption and the spread of cancer. In fact, cancer cells prefer fructose.
According to Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, as much as 80 percent of all cancers are “driven by either mutations or environmental factors that work to enhance or mimic the effect of insulin on the incipient tumor cells.”
What the research found is that there are definite similarities between the two substances that tie in perfectly with the statements of Lewis Cantley. Both serve as substrates for fat production and subsequently promote insulin resistance. Also, both substances can result in liver inflammation. Excess fructose consumption has even been linked to
- DNA damage
- Altered cellular metabolism
- Increased production of free radicals
both directly and indirectly, creating habituation and dependence. Therefore, it is actually possible to develop a dependence for fructose consumption in a similar manner to that of an alcoholic craving alcohol.
Consuming fructose in excess of 20 grams per day is not advisable by health experts such as Dr. Lustig, the creator of a popular lecture exposing the negative effects of sugar consumption. High-fructose corn syrup, on the other hand should be completely avoided. The mercury that it oftentimes contains is extremely toxic to the body, which is reason enough to scan packages for the ingredient before purchasing. Developing a dependence on fructose will not only lead to obesity and insulin resistance, but it can also promote the spread and growth of cancer cells inside your body.
Researchers are warning that fructose consumption, given its vast nature inside the US and elsewhere, may be the new ‘alcoholism’, and it may bring along some nasty side effects not too far from those experienced by alcoholics.
Thus, fructose induces alterations in both hepatic metabolism and central nervous system energy signaling, leading to a ‘vicious cycle’ of excessive consumption and disease consistent with metabolic syndrome. On a societal level, the treatment of fructose as a commodity exhibits market similarities to ethanol. Analogous to ethanol, societal efforts to reduce fructose consumption will likely be necessary to combat the obesity epidemic.