Beverages and juices made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contain 50 percent more fructose than glucose - a blend that calls into question claims that sugar and HFCS are essentially the same.

"We found what ends up being consumed in popular beverages is neither natural sugar nor HFCS, but instead a fructose-intense concoction that could increase one's risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease," said Michael Goran, director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center (CORC) at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC).

"The human body is not designed to process this form of sugar at such high levels. Unlike glucose, which serves as fuel for the body, fructose is processed almost entirely in the liver where it is converted to fat," he explained.

Goran's analysis of beverages made with HFCS showed a fructose to glucose ratio of 60:40 - considerably higher than the equal proportions found in sucrose.

The research also showed that ingredients on some product labels do not represent their fructose content.

"This suggests that these beverages might contain HFCS which is not disclosed on their labels," Goran noted, adding that it is important to have a more accurate understanding of what we are actually drinking.

The study was published online in the journal Nutrition.


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