Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Get Your Sugah Here!

Over at the LRC blog, Karen De Coster has fully bought into the latest bit of paranoia circulating there, namely, that there is something significantly different about taking your sugar as fructose rather than as sucrose and fructose is the result of a government plot, calling high-fructose corn syrup an "awful poison."

Well, let's have a look at Wikipedia:

"Fructose (also levulose or laevulose) is a simple reducing sugar (monosaccharide) found in many foods and is one of the three most important blood sugars along with glucose and galactose. Honey, tree fruits, berries, melons, and some root vegetables, such as beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and onions, contain fructose, usually in combination with sucrose and glucose."

So, also avoid those "awful poisons" such as berries, melons, beets, parsnips, and onions, please!

Wikipedia continues:

"Studies that have compared high fructose corn syrup (an ingredient in soft drinks sold in the US) to sucrose (common cane sugar) find that they have essentially identical physiological effects. For instance, Melanson et al (2006), studied the effects of HFCS and sucrose sweetened drinks on blood glucose, insulin, leptin, and ghrelin levels. They found no significant differences in any of these parameters.[13] This is not surprising since sucrose is a disaccharide which digests to 50% glucose and 50% fructose; while the high fructose corn syrup most commonly used on soft drinks is 55% fructose."

So, De Coster's "awful poison" has nearly identical effects to the good stuff she wants in soft drinks instead! And anyone who had any idea of the chemistry involved in digesting sucrose could have predicted as much -- it breaks down into the exact "awful poison" De Coster is freaking out about! Ah, to be blissfully untethered from reality!


  1. I expect this from a former London School of Economics tower-sniper like yourself, Gene. You probably want to pretend that high-fructose corn syrup played no role in the smearing of Doctor Paul either.

  2. Oh, no, I recall that day when Dr. Paul emerged from one of the debates positively drenched in high-fructose corn syrup!

  3. Sidney9:19 PM

    Sweet man, sweet.

  4. Brian N.9:38 PM

    "I love watching you froth like that." --Frank Zappa

    That goes for both of you.

  5. Anonymous11:10 PM

    Did he graduate from the LSE?

  6. Sidney1:10 AM

    No he stayed for about two weeks before he reached the conclusion his family missed him. But he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express, once.

  7. Sidney1:54 AM

    He also left LSE because he realized the LRC blog uploaded quicker from the states.

  8. Anonymous4:39 AM

    "Did he graduate from the LSE?"

    Yes, he did -- MSc in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences

  9. Wikipedia is where you get your opinions on health? Funny. Stick with economics. I highly recommend Weston Price as a good place to start if you want to know how unhealthy is corn syrup.

  10. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Dr. Callahan do you spend all your time whining about ad hoc blog posts on LRC, or do you ever attempt anything worthwhile?

  11. "Wikipedia is where you get your opinions on health?"

    When Wikipedia is citing numerous articles published in medical journals, sure. And, in any case, when I look at the site you recommend, the articles I find seem to claim that fructose is not really better than sucrose (too much of either is bad), not that fructose is "poison" while sucrose is cool. So, the very site you point me to backs what I found on Wikipedia.

    Maybe you should stick to software.

  12. "Dr. Callahan do you spend all your time whining about ad hoc blog posts on LRC, or do you ever attempt anything worthwhile?"

    Dear anonymous, do you spend all of your time whining about my whining, or do you...

  13. Well to be fair to De Coster, she didn't claim sucrose was 'cool', just that it was less bad than fructose.

  14. Anonymous8:44 AM

    Well, given that fructose is an 'awful poison' and she voices no such complaint about sucrose, it's 'cool' by comparison, innit?

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