High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is everywhere: your soda, your ketchup, and even your oatmeal, to help sweeten the food and prolong its shelf life.
But because it offers empty, dangerous calories to our daily diet, the scary compound is on the hot seat after health experts listed it as a primary perpetrator of rising obesity levels in the U.S.
But now, two new reports indicate that those deceptively-sweet calories could be accompanying another toxic ingredient: mercury.
Mercury is a heavy metal that’s particularly virulent to kids and unborn children. Former Food and Drug Administration investigator Renee Dufault, PhD, communicated the facts about tested HFCS samples for mercury in her commentary published in Environmental Health. The spoken-of samples came from three HFCS manufacturers that are big suppliers to the food industry nationwide.
Surprisingly, nearly half of the samples had significant amounts of mercury. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) then tested 55 HFCS-stuffed consumer products, finding mercury in roughly one third of those, too. The IATP reported that mercury could be contaminating HFCS because of an “outdated” manufacturing routine that is still used by some HFCS manufacturers.
Though these are small studies, they offer valid– and frightening– questions. For example, how much mercury is actually getting into your food? Dufault guesses that the mercury levels seen in her testing could mean about 28.4 micrograms of mercury each day for a typical American consumer. Considering the EPA suggests that women of childbearing age and children be exposed to mercury that’s less than 0.1 microgram per kilogram of body weight (or roughly 5.5 micrograms daily for a normal-sized woman), that represents a potentially-serious problem. Regardless, the study authors say more research must be conducted, and tighter regulations of HFCS production must be made.
Always remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.
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