High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a common sweetener in sodas and fruit-flavored drinks and it is made by adding enzymes to corn syrup in order to convert some of the glucose to fructose, or "fruit sugar." Therefore, HFCS is 'high' in fructose compared to the pure glucose that is in corn syrup. Many controversies have risen due to this, however, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that HFCS is better than other types of sweeteners. Research suggests that the increase in HFCS consumption can be a contributing factor to obesity, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, kidney stone formation, gout, and might also be a contributor to the sudden upsurge in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fructose is more rapidly metabolized in the liver, therefore flooding metabolic pathways and leading to increased triglyceride synthesis and fat storage in the liver. This can cause a rise in serum triglycerides, which elevates cardiovascular risk. Increased fat storage in the liver may lead to an increased incidence in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and this is one of several links between HFCS consumption and obesity as well as the metabolic syndrome. HFCS can be found in baked items, condiments, salad dressing, crackers, bars, cereal, processed meats, and sauces. It was introduced into the market when fat became 'bad' in the 1980s therefore forcing manufacturers to invent something new to add flavor to foods by taking out the fats and bringing in high-fructose corn syrup which is a cheaper form of sugar. Consumption of HFCS has increased more than 1,000 percent since 1970. Research has shown that sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and sugar are addicting: Just like some drugs, they release endorphins, dopamine and serotonin which trigger the pleasure area of the brain. .
Research has also shown that HFCS is chemically similar to table sugar, however, it is still unclear whether the body handles high-fructose corn syrup differently than table sugar.