High fructose corn syrup is, unfortunately, one of the top four ingredients in soft drinks, low fat salad dressings and nearly all types of fast foods and highly processed foods. HFCS is also found in beer, pasta sauce, protein bars, bread, convenience foods, frozen foods, and, well, pretty much every type of food we routinely eat. Even more alarming is that the corn which is being grown to produce the vast amounts of high fructose corn syrup made largely from genetically modified corn--which comes with its own set of dangers. High fructose corn syrup is currently manufactured to either contain equal amounts of fructose and glucose, or over eighty percent fructose and twenty percent glucose. While glucose is metabolized by every cell in the body, fructose is metabolized solely in the liver. More and more common are those who have never drunk alcohol, yet end up with cirrhosis of the liver-or fatty liver-- due entirely to the massive amounts of high fructose corn syrup in our diets.
How HFCS Can Lead to Infertility
Highly processed sugars such as high fructose corn syrup lead to a spike in blood sugar when consumed, which in turn causes your body to flood itself with insulin. When a person is consuming HFCS on a regular basis, their body will stop responding to insulin which leads to infertility. Because being overweight or obese can significantly impact your ability to get pregnant, then the fact that HFCS have been shown to contribute to weight gain is of great importance. The chemical makeup of high fructose corn syrup stops our brains from getting the signal that our tummy is full. HFCS also increase ghrelin production, which is also known as the "hunger hormone," and prohibits the production of leptin, which is commonly known as the "satisfaction hormone." If your diet is full of high fructose corn syrup, then you may also be overweight. Anything which alters the way your normal hormones respond also alters the way your reproductive system works-or doesn't work.
Avoiding HFCS and GMOs
In short, while it is almost impossible to completely avoid GMO foods and the high fructose corn syrup which is a by-product of the GMOs you can become a diligent label reader, and buy organic whenever possible. Shop at farmer's markets and be aware that as of yet the US manufacturers are not allowed to label a product as 100% organic if it has been genetically modified. By the same token, animals fed GMO food are not allowed to be labeled as 100% organic in the supermarket.
Other Negative Effects of High Fructose Corn Syrup
Research has shown that diets which contain high amounts of high fructose corn syrup can actually accelerate the aging process by interfering and altering our body's normal metabolism, causing a breakdown of collagen, which normally keeps our firm and elastic. The high insulin levels caused by HFCS can, in turn, lead to high blood pressure, and cause the body to retain sodium and water, possibly leading to congestive heart failure, especially in the elderly or infirm. HFCS literally sucks the copper from our bodies, leading to fragile bones, anemia, high cholesterol, heart attacks, infertility and a breakdown of connective tissue.
HFCS Affects Male Fertility
A long-term study has shown that the quality of male semen has steadily deteriorated over time, and that the probable origin of that change is exposure to synthetic chemicals in our food and environment which alter normal hormones. While there has been some push to regulate the GMOs and HFCS in our foods, there is considerable resistance from the companies such as Monsanto who make billions each year from the sale of their genetically modified corn and soy. Men who are actively trying to conceive should severely restrict their consumption of high fructose corn syrup and watch out for all environmental toxins.
Both male and female fertility can be significantly compromised by our chemical-laden diets, and in order to both conceive a healthy baby, and become more healthy ourselves, these chemicals should be avoided whenever possible.