How does high-fructose corn syrup affect satiety?

Neal Spruce
Neal Spruce on behalf of dotFIT
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) doesn’t affect satiety (the feeling of fullness) any differently than other sweeteners with calories. Recent studies have compared HFCS’s affect on appetite with other sugars such as sucrose (table sugar) and found no differences.

High fructose corn syrup is produced by processing corn starch, which changes its sugars from glucose to fructose. The sweetener became a popular replacement for table sugar in the 1980s because it is less expensive. When you consider how many products use sweeteners, you can only imagine the financial savings for soda and food manufactures. At the end of the day, with all things equal (calories burned and consumed, meal spacing, type of food or drink, etc.) except the caloric sweetener used in your foods and drinks, there would be little to no affect on your sense of fullness no matter which one you choose.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sweetener that is found in many processed foods, can strongly affect your brain's satiety center -- in a bad way.

Here's how it works: When you eat calories from healthy sources, they turn off your desire to eat by inhibiting production of NPY (a chemical that decreases metabolism and increases appetite), or by producing more CART (a chemical that increases metabolism and reduces appetite). But high-fructose corn syrup, which sweetens our soft drinks and salad dressings, isn't seen by your brain as a regular food.

Because your brain doesn't see any of the thousands of HFCS-containing foods as excess calories or as NPY suppressants, your body wants you to keep eating (which means that even low-fat foods can have extremely bad consequences, calorie- and appetite-wise).
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.