In a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah, corn
syrup was found to be more toxic to female mice than table sugar. The study was
published online in a scientific journal on Monday. Though "added sugar" found
in foods has always been considered harmful, the study has revealed that corn
syrup found in many of the processed foods may be toxic to such an extent that
it reduced the life span and fertility of the experimental mice.
Mr. Wayne Potts, biology professor at the University of Utah and the senior
author of the paper says that, the research was funded by the National
Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and is one of the
first to differentiate between the effects of the fructose-glucose mixture
found in corn syrup and sucrose or table sugar. The study is to be published in
the print edition of the Journal of Nutrition in the month of March.
When the researchers fed sugar in doses proportional to what many people eat
to the mice used for the experiment, about 25 percent of corn syrup, it was
found that the mice died at the rate of 1.87 times higher than female mice on a
diet in which 25 percent of calories came from sucrose. Though, the fructose
and glucose level found in both corn syrup and sucrose are roughly the same, in
the case of corn syrup, they are present separate molecules known as
monosaccharide. But, sucrose is a disaccharide compound, formed when fructose
and glucose bond chemically.
Also, according to the research, the mice on the corn syrup diet produced
26.4 percent fewer offspring than their counterparts on the diet containing
added table sugar. Mr. Potts further added that male mice given either corn
syrup or sucrose diets showed no differences in lifespan or reproduction for
reasons that were not immediately clear. He added that it is possible that both
forms of sugar may be bad for male mice.
Mr. Potts added that the results gathered through the study suggests that
humans, especially women, could face adverse health effects due to too much
corn syrup in their diet, mainly in the form of many processed food products
available today. The study also states that about 13 to 25 percent of Americans
are estimated to eat diets containing 25 percent or more of calories from added
The study, however, was not well received by the Corn Refiners Association
in the U.S., which said the research lacked scientific merit and also the
effects of corn syrup have been misrepresented by the researchers. In a
statement, the association said that, "The physiological and psychological
differences between humans and rodents are so diverse that you simply cannot
compare the two when determining the health impact of any food or ingredient."