Posted on Feb 25, 2016, 6 a.m.
Drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup significantly increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease, even when consumed for as little as 2 weeks.
Drinks that are sweetened with low, medium and high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup have been shown to significantly increase several risk factors for cardiovascular disease, even if they are only consumed for as little as 2-weeks. Kimber Stanhope, a research scientist at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, and colleagues investigated the effects of consuming beverages containing high-fructose corn syrup on blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides and uric acid – all of which are known risk factors of cardiovascular disease. A total of 85 participants, aged 18 to 40-years, were placed in 4 different groups for the 15-day long study. Participants were assigned to consume beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup equivalent to 0%, 10%, 17.5% or 25% of their total daily calorie requirements. Participants in the 0% control group were given a sugar-free beverage sweetened with the artificial sweetener aspartame. Results showed that risk factors increased in line with the dose of high-fructose corn syrup. With even the participants who consumed the 10% dose exhibiting increased circulating concentrations of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides compared with their concentrations at the beginning of the study. Results also showed that men appeared to be more greatly affected than women, and that increased cardiovascular risk was independent of body weight gain. "These findings clearly indicate that humans are acutely sensitive to the harmful effects of excess dietary sugar over a broad range of consumption levels," concluded Stanhope.
Stanhope KL, Medici V, Bremer AA, Lee V, Lam HD, Nunez MV, Chen GX, Keim NL, Havel PJ. A dose-response study of consuming high-fructose corn syrup-sweetened beverages on lipid/lipoprotein risk factors for cardiovascular disease in young adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Apr 22.[Epub ahead of print]