The reasons to avoid high fructose corn syrup continue to mount. There is little doubt in my mind that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is one of the most toxic chemicals to find its way into our restaurants, supermarkets and even health food stores. It has replaced sugar in many processed foods and has become ubiquitous in the diets of many Americans. It has found its way into beverages, breads, cereals, snack bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. It is being consumed in massive quantities by children, and is contributing to the increasing rates of childhood and adult diabetes and the obesity epidemic. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS. Consumption by teenagers can be up to 80% above these average levels.

We now have another reason to be concerned about the safety of HFCS. The journal of Environmental Health published an article in late January 2009 that identified mercury in nearly 50% of tested samples of commercial HFCS. A separate study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy detected mercury in nearly one-third of 55 popular brand name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled ingredient – including common products by Quaker, Hershey’s, Pepsi, Kraft and Smucker’s.

In the processing of HFCS, many companies use mercury grade caustic soda that is produced in chlorine plants. This leads to a contamination of the caustic soda, and ultimately the HFCS, with mercury. Mercury is toxic in any amount and the body bio-accumulates mercury over time. The challenge for the consumer is that it is impossible to know which companies and products are produced using this mercury containing caustic soda. For this reason, it is important to make a concerted effort to avoid HFCS as much as possible. No quantity should be considered safe.

If you would like to see a list of brand name foods found to have mercury containing HFCS, view the article at the link below “Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup,” by David Wallinga, M.D., Janelle Sorensen, Pooja Motti and Brian Yablon, M.D.

-Allan Sosin, MD

(*The information contained in this article is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or condition. These recommendations have not been reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). No content contained in this article is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never increase, reduce or discontinue any medication or treatment without first consulting your doctor. If you are seeking the advice of a medical professional and wish to make an appointment with one of our doctors, please call our office at (949) 600-5100. Unsolicited e-mail may not be answered and is not a substitute for obtaining medical advice in person from a qualified health professional. If you have a medical emergency, contact your personal physician or local medical emergency service immediately.)

Author's Bio: 

Allan Sosin is the founder and medical director of the Institute for Progressive Medicine. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School and is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Nephrology, the study of kidney disease.

For thirteen years Dr. Sosin ran a private internal medicine practice in Philadelphia. During that time he became increasingly interested in alternative approaches to medical problems including nutrition, vitamin and mineral therapies, chelation therapy, acupuncture, natural hormone replacement therapy, exercise and stress management. He also held the position of Assistant Medical Director at The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, a world-renowned facility for the treatment of brain injured children.

Dr. Sosin is an expert in the use of natural approaches to replace drugs and surgery. He has over 40 years of clinical experience in treating patients with traditional therapies and 15 years experience using alternative methods in combination with conventional medicine. He is a member of the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) and is a certified Defeat Autism Now!® physician. Dr. Sosin has also worked extensively with IV therapy, acupuncture and natural hormone replacement therapy. He has successfully treated thousands of patients with serious medical conditions. Dr. Sosin is the author of two books, Alpha Lipoic Acid: Nature's Ultimate Antioxidant, and The Doctor's Guide to Diabetes and Your Child, and has appeared on both radio and television.