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September 10, 2015

Fructose Intolerance 101

From Wikipedia, on fructose: Honey, tree fruits, berries, melons and some root vegetables, such as beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips and onions contain fructose, usually in combination with glucose in the form of sucrose. Fructose is also derived from the digestion of granulated table sugar (sucrose), a disaccharide consisting of glucose and fructose. Crystalline syrup and high fructose corn syrup are often mistakenly confused as the same product. The former is produced from a fructose-enriched corn syrup which results in a finished product of at least 98% fructose. The latter is usually supplied as a mixture of nearly equal amounts of fructose and glucose.

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) –comprises any of a group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert its glucose into fructose and has then been mixed with pure corn syrup (to produce a desired sweetness. In the United States, HFCS is typically used as a sugar substitute and is ubiquitous in processed foods and beverages, including soft drinks, yogurt, cookies, salad dressing and tomato soups. The most widely used types of high-fructose corn syrup are: HFCS 55 (mostly used in soft drinks), approximately 55% fructose and 45% glucose; and HFCS 42 (used in many foods and baked goods), approximately 42% fructose and 58% glucose.

Note: No doubt that many individuals will develop more gas, bloat or uncomfortable bowel function if they consume large amounts of fructose. The human intestine has a limited ability to absorb fructose. If there are excessive intestinal bacteria in the small bowel (“SIBO), sugar fermentation leads to more GI symptoms. There is also evidence linking the increased fructose in out diets, along with other carb sources, to obesity, fatty liver and the variety of metabolic syndrome health complications—high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack and stroke, liver cirrhosis. A low carb approach to diet, best example of which is the Mediterranean diet, seems to reduce all these health risks. Exercise allows the body’s insulin to work efficiently and counteracts effects of excess carbs and fructose.