Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup That Bad?
High fructose corn syrup is a popular ingredient in sodas, fruit flavored drinks and most processed foods. It has become a staple alternative to cane sugar in many foods and beverages, but is it safe? There has been much controversy and debate over the health effects from long-term usage of high-fructose corn syrup. So far, research has yielded mixed results about its adverse consequences.
High consumption of added sugar in any form can lead to numerous health problems, including weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition and increased risks of heart attacks. While the health concerns of excess sugar consumption may seem obvious, what about the specific case of high-fructose corn syrup? Should we go out of our way to exclude it from our diet, even in moderate consumption?
High-fructose corn syrup and cane sugar are not biochemically identical – cane sugar is a naturally occurring ingredient, whereas high-fructose corn syrup is an industrial product, and is processed differently by the body than naturally occurring sugar . Sometimes high-fructose corn syrup is produced from genetically modified corn .
A study at Princeton University  found that rats from two test groups, one that consumed high-fructose corn syrup and another standard table sugar, yielded different results in the rats’ obesity -- even with the same caloric intake. The group of rats that consumed high-fructose corn syrup experienced abnormal weight gain – particularly in the abdominal region – and also elevated triglyceride levels. Along with high quantities of HDL, otherwise known as bad cholesterol, high triglyceride levels can cause arterial blockage and may increase the risk of heart disease, hypertension and even strokes.
Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes . An increased risk of diabetes was observed from the metabolic profile in the study of rats that were given sugar-sweetened beverages, exhibiting impaired glucose and insulin homeostasis.
Long-term liver damage has been cited as a side effect to consuming high-fructose corn syrup . This is particularly risky to individuals who live a sedentary lifestyle. Excess consumption can also result in a fatty liver .
One indirect health concern pertaining to high-fructose corn syrup is the contamination of mercury . Mercury cell chlor-alkali products are used in the manufacturing of high-fructose corn syrup, which may leave a trace of the toxic heavy metal in its products, which can be up to 0.5micrograms/g of corn syrup. When you consider the average consumption of corn syrup as being around 50g per day, this could lead to a dangerous build up of the heavy metal in the body’s system.
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In light of the obesity epidemic of recent decades, it is clear our sugar intake has increased drastically, including our intake of artificial sweeteners. There are many who believe that artificial sweeteners are the solution to our obesity epidemic, but are they really a lesser evil?
Did you know that aspartame was initially developed as a medical treatment for stomach ulcers?  This means your tabletop sweetener or that can of diet coke you’ve just consumed was originally intended to be a prescription drug.
Aspartame and saccharine are the most common artificial sweeteners encountered on a daily basis, and they can usually be found in your breakfast cereal, diet sodas, tabletop sweeteners and more. While they may well be low in calories, what is the price you pay for the alternative? Medical studies have indicated a possible connection between aspartame and migraines , and headaches . Sucralose, an active compound in many commercial sweeteners on the market, has also recently been found to trigger migraines .
Depression can also manifest from the consumption of artificial sweeteners. Regular dosages of aspartame have been found to decrease serotonin levels, which is the main cause of depression in the brains of mice . Individuals suffering from mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, are advised against the regular consumption of artificial sweeteners, since they are more sensitive to the adverse effects of aspartame .
There have been numerous studies and discussions about the carcinogenic properties of artificial sweeteners. Whether aspartame or saccharine causes cancer is the subject of much debate, with numerous studies yielding inconclusive results. One Argentinean study  cites aspartame usage as the main cause of urinary tract tumors. Others suggest the FDA re-evaluate their position on the safety of aspartame in light of recent studies on animals, linking cancer risks to artificial sweetener consumption .
Additional health risks may be caused by the consumption of artificial sweeteners. One possibility is that the long-term intake of aspartame may impair the liver’s antioxidant status and could lead to liver injury . Those suffering from fibromyalgia should also be cautious with their aspartame intake, since it may induce a curable but chronic pain .
Many switch over to artificial sweeteners for weight loss purposes. However it may be the sweeteners themselves that contribute to obesity. With the rise of the obesity epidemic correlating with the use of artificial sweeteners, studies have been conducted to ascertain whether there is a link. Some theories postulate that sweeteners such as aspartame induce hunger cravings, causing us eat more and therefore gain weight, but results thus far have been contradictory and inconclusive .
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Chiropractic Care for Allergies
When most of us sneeze, we put it down to a cold or even allergies, and our first thoughts are to pop an antihistamine pill – not to call a chiropractor! But did you know that a chiropractor could help you overcome your allergy problems? Most people associate chiropractors with back and neck issues, and while it’s true that chiropractors can help with such health conditions, they can also help the body achieve optimum health by ensuring the spine is correctly aligned.
A study from the University of California  found that signals from the nervous system may influence the function of the immune system. While our immune system is there to fight against viruses, disease and infection, and helps to keep the body performing at its peak, it also works to dispel foreign contaminants that enter the body. When we sneeze because of an allergy, it’s because our body detects the presence of a foreign object in the system, such as dust, mites, pollen, etc. and it produces chemicals to neutralize and expel the allergens. These chemicals are known as histamines. In the case of allergies, the immune system overreacts to the presence of the allergens in the body.
A chiropractor may help by removing the nerve interference from compressions in the spine, and as a result the immune system is able to function optimally once more.
Most traditional treatments for allergies, such as antihistamines, only deal with managing the symptoms and don’t eliminate the cause. The safety of anti-allergy medication is under debate, the long-term use of antihistamines or combined with other medication may cause cancer. A study conducted in lab rats with brand name anti-allergy medication found that cancerous tumors in the rats grew much father with the intake of antihistamines .
A chiropractor treats the patient by releasing the stresses on the patient’s nervous system, which as a result causes the immune system to work more effectively and as a consequence allergies are thereby reduced. Patients with misaligned spinal vertebra may have pinched nerves, which apply pressure and stress the system. Once the trapped nerve is released, the nervous system in general is free from stress and the body can then work more effectively to neutralize the allergy-causing chemicals found in the body.
Spinal health is as beneficial to the body as is good nutrition. A Bellevue chiropractor can help the body to achieve optimal health and can help to improve the quality of life.
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From Simply Gluten Free magazine, September-October 2016
6 ounces bacon, diced small
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup dried golden raisins
3 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°
In an oven safe 12-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve the bacon drippings in the skillet. Add the Brussels sprouts to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until they start to brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, tossing at least once. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F, stir in the pine nuts, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the reserved bacon, golden raisins, and cheese. Serve warm.
Advances in Chiropractic and Technology
What if I had told you 40 years ago that you would be able to see a dentist with no pain? Or, if that one day a doctor would be able to perform surgery by watching a TV? You most likely would have laughed at me! Now that we are in the year 2010 all of these things and so much more are a reality. Even in the field of chiropractic technology is advancing patient care.
Technology and computers now allow a select number of chiropractors to deliver the chiropractic adjustment in a comfortable upright position with out any other quick movements or jerks involved. This technology is called the Proadjuster. The Proadjuster is advanced computer and engineering technology that is being used by a select number of chiropractors today to treat musculoskeletal pain.
Chiropractors have always diagnosed joint fluidity, motion and or rigidity which is one of the major causes of pain in the back and neck, as well as headaches, sciatica and even TMJ. The Proadjuster uses the advancement of the piezeoelectric sensor to achieve this same diagnosis, but with extreme precision and accuracy. This allows the doctor to find out specifically find out what is wrong with you and exactly how your treatment needs to be delivered.
The next step is for the Proadjuster system to take the information that was gathered by the piezeoelectric sensor send it through its complex computer system for interpretation. This interpretation is used to find the perfect treatment that is needed to correct the dysfunction in your body and spine.
With the use of the same diagnostic tool the doctor can then deliver a treatment based on the computer determination. This treatment is an oscillating force which is uninterrupted until the piezeoelectric sensor feels the joints mobility increase. This is an extremely comfortable process in which I have even had a few patients fall asleep during. In every field it is important to utilize the advances in technology. The Proadjuster has allowed chiropractic to advance as technology advances.
One question that I hear all the time from my patients is "how does my wife or husband know if they should be seeing a chiropractor?" There are multiple ways to know if you should be seeing a chiropractor and not all of them have to do with pain and discomfort. I have developed a test for the neck to determine if you are a candidate for chiropractic care called the "head turn test".
Try turning your head as far as you can to the left and to the right. The first thing that you want to look for is if either of these motions are painful at all. The second thing that you will want to look for in this test is if on one side or the other (either right or left) you can turn further than the other side. Normal range of motion (or being able to turn your head to the right and the left) is being able to turn your nose parallel with your shoulder. Is there pain on these movements or are any of them reduced?
If there is any pain or if one side or the other is unable to turn as far as the other side this can be a possible sign that there is something wrong in the bones of the neck. From the time that we are born our necks go through a lot of abuse. From the actual birthing process, falling while learning how to walk, to the many injuries that we get through life, the neck is vulnerable to being injured.
A doctor of chiropractic is trained specifically in diagnosing the causation of why you might be experiencing pain or reduced range of motion. Most often, in my patients, this type of neck is caused by bones and joints of the neck getting stuck in a position that is out of its neutral position. This type of condition is most prevalent in cases of whiplash, and poor ergonomics.
Dysfunction like this can lead to problems such as headaches, shoulder pain, pain in the neck, or even arm and hand pain. If you are one that has no pain, but their necks motion is restricted it may be a sign that trouble is on its way, and getting a quick check up by your Bellevue chiropractor would be a good idea.
Dr. Michael Weir