Thanks for writing about this, Justin. This is a national crisis that receives seemingly zero attention in mainstream outlets. I hate traveling home to North Dakota and seeing how many, young and adult alike, are so clearly sick and destined for a diminished future.

I really admire your writing and work, and want to contribute in my own way however I can. The public policy issues seem like the elephant in the room to me.

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that high fructose corn syrup is not remotely natural due to the high level of processing and the use of at least one genetically modified enzyme required to produce it.

Health controversies remain over some studies implicating elevated blood cholesterol levels, diabetes, and obesity with excessive use of high fructose corn syrup.

In the ’70s, Americans started to replace pure cane sugar with high fructose corn syrup. It is used it in alarmingly vast amounts.

High fructose corn syrup is popular because it is less expensive than pure cane sugar, but only in the United States and Canada due to a system of price supports and sugar quotas imposed since May 1982.

This makes pure cane sugar twice the cost of high fructose corn syrup. Corn is also a government-subsidized crop, furthering incentives.

High fructose corn syrup is not well digested and is basically a non-food. It is a synthetic type of fructose - not a natural food. It is a genetically modified organism (GMO).

Any coincidence that the obesity epidemic in America became evident beginning in the early 1990s?

The claim is high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar are recognized by the body as the same and metabolized the same.

This is just not true. Research shows that high fructose corn syrup enters the body as a monosaccharide, a single sugar, fructose, requiring no further breakdown.

Why is that bad?


Fructose typically is completely metabolized in the liver and stored as fat immediately but doesn’t send any signals to the brain. Fructose metabolism completely bypasses the brain.

On the other hand, refined sugar (sucrose) enters the body as a disaccharide or two sugar carbohydrates, fructose (fruit sugar) and dextrose (glucose). Eventually, through cellular metabolism, it is broken down into glucose, which the body uses as cellular fuel.


Glucose and fructose have very different metabolism and interact very differently with our hormones.

One MRI study measured the activity of fructose and glucose in the brain. Fructose showed almost no reaction at all.

Glucose showed a very calming effect in the satiety region. Glucose also reduces the release of the appetite enhancing hormone, ghrelin, into the bloodstream.

Fructose, on the other hand, just goes straight to the liver instead without any satiating effects on the brain.

The brain is one of the few organs that need glucose as an energy reserve. It cannot process fructose.

Fructose triggers a much stronger feeling of hunger than glucose-rich foods. But with the glucose, we reach a feeling of being full fairly quickly.

Yes, natural foods do contain fructose. But they usually contain fructose and glucose in equal amounts

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Justin - thanks for what you do. I have a quick question for you.

Our family doesn't drink sodas, but we do have La Croix around regularly. I hated it initially, but it grew on me. I'm sure I have several cans per week. In your opinion, relatively harmless or worth cutting out?

Take care!


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