Study proves: This type of sugar causes colorectal cancerA recent study confirms the harmful effects on health of corn syrup, also known as isoglucose, which can promote colorectal cancer, among other things. Despite the high risk, the sugar type is still used in many food products.
There are some good reasons to keep your hands off sugary foods. Not only because excessive sugar consumption promotes obesity, but because it has also been shown to increase the risk of many diseases.
A study conducted on mice reveals that beverages and foods containing the sugar concentrate isoglucose (corn syrup) increase the risk of cancer – with the intestine being particularly at risk.
American study published in the journal 'Science' shows that specially bred mice develop larger tumors when given corn syrup mixed in their drinking water. The amount was equivalent to one can of soda pop for humans.
Corn syrup promotes tumor growth
The animals were given corn syrup with a high fructose content – a sweetener commonly used in the U.S. When used in beverages, the sugar concentrate consists of about 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.
Because the mice were genetically bred with a distinct susceptibility to colon cancer, the animals developed tumors even when they consumed only water.
"That's why we couldn't show that fructose syrup causes new tumors," explains the study's lead author, Dr. Marcus Goncalves. "However, it became clear that the tumors became much larger with additional sugar consumption."
Researchers suspect that ingestion of the corn syrup isoglucose increases both fructose and glucose levels in the gut, which when paired accelerate tumor growth.
According to the researchers, supplementary studies are still needed to be able to transfer the results directly to humans. However, they are already warning of the health effects.
"If you have colon cancer and then you eat high fructose corn syrup, you're feeding your tumor by doing that," Goncalves notes.
This is what isoglucose is all about
The tricky thing about harmful isoglucose: It belongs to the category of fructose-glucose syrup and is therefore counted among the fruit sugars.
Fructose, however, is considered by many people to be a "good" sugar and is often associated with healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables – if it occurs naturally in small amounts, it does not harm anyone.
Artificially added fructose, on the other hand, is even more unhealthy than refined white sugar. Large amounts of fructose block the feeling of satiety. Promote obesity as well as serious diseases.
Isoglucose can be used in any way
For a long time corn syrup was used, especially in the USA. With the abolition of the so-called sugar quota at the end of 2017, however, fell an extensive system that has regulated the European sugar market to date.
Since then, manufacturers have been allowed to use as much isoglucose as they want in foods. Isoglucose is attractive for the food industry because it is very cheap to produce.
In Germany, corn syrup is labeled as fructose, fructose-glucose syrup or glucose-fructose syrup in foods containing more than five percent fructose. These designations can quickly become confusing for consumers.