Connect with us

Thai Life

High fructose corn syrup and its effects on health



PHUKET: I moved out of Perth some 20-odd years ago, and apart from short stints back in my hometown I haven’t spent much time there since. Every time I do return though, it is incredible to see the changes the town has undergone, like the ever-increasing pace of life and city growth.

Apparently, these changes are nothing compared to Phuket. My well-established local friends have told me that the island has seen dramatic changes in recent years, one of which is the transformation of a lot of rural farm areas to modern, luxurious resorts and Western conveniences.

One change in Phuket that strikes me is the amount of convenience stores that have popped up, filled with people pushing carts packed with fake, processed and sugar-filled foods.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t escape to the island from a bubble in which these items did not exist.

These types of foods line the aisles of supermarkets all over Europe and Australia. But here it seems as though sugar is everywhere.

This brings me to what I believe is the number one substance that speeds up the aging process: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

HFCS is a modern health plague that has infested our bodies through many processed foods, including: carbonated beverages and other sweetened drinks, baked goods, candies, canned fruits, jams and jellies, crackers, commercial salad dressings and dairy products (with added fruit).


HFCS is an industrial food product, far from any naturally occurring substance. It was invented in 1957 by a pair of researchers named Marshall and Kooi. These clever scientists developed an enzyme called glucose isomerase, which could rearrange the molecular structure of glucose in corn syrup and convert it into fructose. They soon realized that as more glucose inside corn syrup is converted into fructose, the syrup becomes sweeter and sweeter.


Fructose is a component of all fruits, but it is carefully wrapped in fiber and contains many anti-oxidants that reduce its damaging effects. Despite fruit’s ability to lessen those effects, some overweight people and those who suffer from high uric acid levels must stick to low fructose fruits – like berries and citrus – as they are more sensitive to the substance.

However, fructose intake from fruit doesn’t come close to the intake from HFCS, especially in terms of sugar.

The results of excess dietary fructose intake are not limited to the detrimental effects it has on blood sugar levels, metabolism, lipid profiles or liver health.

Excess fructose intake, when combined with amino acids from protein, also encourages the formation of toxic advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are known to promote aging internally. This can lead to serious diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, along with external changes to the skin.

In addition to the formation of AGEs, excess fructose intake promotes aging by dramatically increasing insulin levels.

Dr Rosedale, who believes there are few other ways to accelerate aging faster than eating HFCS, claims that the single marker for lifespan, if there is one, would be insulin – specifically, insulin sensitivity.

Eating HFCS (plus excessive amounts of other forms of sugar and processed grains) increases your insulin levels. This is the equivalent of slamming your foot on your aging accelerator.


Like I’ve said before, my golden rule for diet to remember is: if it hasn’t been around for at least 10,000 years, avoid it. Now, I would like to add a clause to that golden rule: if it comes in a packet, stay away.

For all the sweet-tooths out there, and for those of us who have to have just a little bit of sugar to take away the bite of our morning coffee, here are my three favorite – and safe – sweeteners:

1. Stevia: Stevia is an herb and is widely available in Thailand. Studies have shown that Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, with a glycemic index of zero, making it an attractive option for people managing diabetes and metabolic syndromes.

2. Xylitol: Xylitol is derived from hardwoods and corn cobs and has been used as a sweetening agent in food since the 1960s. It is naturally produced in the body during normal metabolic processes. It has the same sweetness as sucrose, but is much healthier. It is an ingredient in chewing gum, gum drops and hard candies. Xylitol is low in calories and does not have an unpleasant aftertaste. An added bonus is that some research has shown it inhibits tooth decay.

3. Raw organic honey: Honey is different from other forms of sugar because it has a number of health benefits. It can help increase memory, diminish signs of aging and reduce stress.

Honey contains a number of health-promoting antioxidants, as well as the vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-12 and biotin. Along with minerals and amino acids, honey also contains a number of live enzymes that most people don’t receive enough of in their day-to-day diets.

If you can replace the foods you eat that have HFCS with healthier options like the ones listed above, you will eliminate at least one substance that could prevent you from looking younger and living longer.

Craig Burton is a nutritional expert with more than 15 years of experience at the forefront of the health and well-being field. He offers a high-level of expertise in functional training and nutrition, focusing on detoxification, food intolerance and nutrient deficiency. For more information about Craig and his services, visit

— Craig Burton


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok16 mins ago

Woman escapes death after car hit by fallen debris in Bangkok

Crime2 hours ago

Thai paramilitary ranger kills two, injures one after row in bar

Indonesia2 hours ago

Unexplained plane mysteriously sitting in a field in Bali

Sponsored1 day ago

BKFC THAILAND 3: Moment of truth set for September 3

Cannabis3 hours ago

Thailand getting high on cannabis boost to tourist economy

Politics4 hours ago

Anupong: he and Prawit will leave government with PM Prayut

Tourism4 hours ago

Thailand’s economy grows but it still misses China’s cash

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

Bars and clubs in Thailand proposed to open until 4.00 am | GMT

Bangkok5 hours ago

Three bars shut down in Bangkok lacking licenses, Covid safety

Road deaths19 hours ago

UPDATE: Chon Buri police couldn’t find victim of car crash… on the back seat

Protests20 hours ago

‘Democracy Must Go On:’ Protestors have three demands for Thailand’s government

Thailand20 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Opposition to Thailand govt hosting former Sri Lanka president

Bangkok20 hours ago

Bangkok OAP arrested after slapstick armed robbery of gold shop

Phuket21 hours ago

Phuket officials say no human trafficking cases found in island province

Hong Kong21 hours ago

Hong Kong seizes 20 million baht of heroin hidden in Thai kickboxing pads

Crime22 hours ago

Nigerian and Vietnamese couple found dead linked to drug trade

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11