Americans love sugar. According to the USDA, each of us consumes more than 150 pounds of added sugar every year (or about 50 teaspoons daily), making the United States the largest consumer of sweeteners worldwide.
So where does most of this sugary goodness come from? Mainly from heavily processed snack foods, baked goods and soft drinks all loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. HFCS is a highly refined sweetener made from corn starch, and one that is widely used by food manufacturers because it is inexpensive to produce and transport.
The problem, experts say, comes with the health risks associated with HFCS and how it works in the body. Put simply, it affects healthy blood sugar levels and insulin regulation, which helps to explain why a diet high in HFCS has been linked to increased risk of obesity and obesity-related disease. And now scientists have found another reason to caution Americans against the common sweetener.
A recent study found that pancreatic cancer cells use fructose to multiply in the body, which supports previous studies that have linked a high-HFCS diet with higher rates of pancreatic cancer. It has to do with how fructose and glucose—the two main components of HFCS—are metabolized in the body, and scientists found that cancer cells had an easier time metabolizing fructose in order to thrive.
More research is planned to help scientists better understand the relationship between sugar metabolism and increased cancer risk, but experts hope that studies like this one will increase awareness about the dangers of eating too much sugar.
A study published recently in the British Medical Journal revealed some eye-opening facts about statins—mainly that the highly-touted cholesterol-lowering drugs end up doing more harm than good when taken as directed.
Statins work by blocking cholesterol production in the liver, which in turn causes the liver to create a type of protein that helps eliminate bad cholesterol (LDL) from the body. Unfortunately, results of the study—which included more than 2 million participants—show that statins help only a very small percentage of those who take them, but that twice as often they result in serious health problems, including liver damage, acute kidney failure, extreme muscle weakness and cataracts, as well as an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Not only that, but statins, like all synthetic drugs, are chock full of chemicals that can wreak havoc on the body and overall health.
Omega-3s: A Natural Alternative to Statins
Decades of research regarding the natural health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids has shown that a diet rich in Omega-3s helps prevent a wide range of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure, prompting experts like the American Heart Association to recommend between 1 and 4 grams (1,000-4,000mg) of combined EPA and DHA daily for people with known heart problems.
Because the standard American diet is severely lacking in beneficial Omegas, a daily Omega-3 supplement can help provide safe and effective natural support for a healthier heart. In addition, fish-derived Omega-3 fats have been shown also to improve brain, eye, and immune function, as well as promote healthy skin, bones, joints and mood.