High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Controversies and Common Sense

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High-fructose corn syrup is often mischaracterized and misunderstood. This sweetener was introduced into the food supply in the United States in the late 1960s as a liquid sweetener alternative to sucrose and existed in relative obscurity for many years. It carries the designations “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) and “natural” from the US Food and Drug Administration. In 2004, several investigators suggested that high-fructose corn syrup might be linked to the increased prevalence of obesity in the United States. Subsequent human studies have shown no unique link between high-fructose corn syrup and obesity. In composition, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, honey, invert sugar, and concentrated fruit juices are essentially interchangeable, and human studies to date have shown no significant differences in metabolic, endocrine, hormonal, or appetitive responses to these caloric sweeteners. This review explores the metabolic and nutritional effects of high-fructose corn syrup with a particular emphasis on its relationship to sucrose, the sweetener it replaced in many food products. © 2010, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

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American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine