An article on high fructose corn syrup. If you read most of the way through it, you will see a paragraph from a pediatric G.I. who blames too much sugar on the bloating, cramping and diarrhea that he sees in children. It seems that fructose might be the worst kind of sugar. Table sugar is a combination of fructose and glucose, but with slightly less fructose than high fructose corn syrup (50% vs. 55%). If I may make a supposition here, what do IBSers all seem to have problems with? Fruit. What's fruit sugar? Fructose. What if it's the sugar, not the fruit itself that makes us worse? What if we're weird and our intestines can't handle high levels of sugar like normal people? Or maybe we're not weird. Instances of IBS seem to be on the rise. Part of that is certainly due to a better understanding of bowel disorders and diagnosing, but I think part of it is probably due to other environmental factors. Most doctors blame it on lower amounts of fiber, but a lot of people here eat as much fiber as they are supposed to daily and yet have only limited success. What if sugar is the culprit? There have been some small studies that show bad bacteria live on sugar. So maybe if we aren't screwing-up our intestines with sugar, we're making them a breeding ground for bad bacteria. darned either way, it seems.
How high fructose corn syrup is made. Note the addition of bacteria AND a fungus. Wonder how many people are allergic to high fructose corn syrup because of that fungus and don't know it?
Personally I have been trying to cut out a lot of my sugars just because I want to lessen my sweet tooth. The more sugar you consume, the more you want of it. That goes for artifical sweetners too. Now that I'm learning more about the problems sugar can cause, I am even more interested in lessening it. Some doctors think that it's the number one cause behind hyperactivity and ADD in children and adults. While most people can handle some amount of sugar without effect, some people seem to not be able to handle it even in small amounts. Cut out all sugars and previously unruly children suddenly become well-behaved.
I don't have ADD, nor have I ever been hyperactive ("lethargic" is a better term for me!), and my IBS problems aren't so bad I can't control them with medicine, so I'm not a good candidate for an informal study here, but maybe someone else will try it and let us know if cutting out sugars improves their bowel function? Be forewarned that everything contains high fructose corn syrup nowadays. Salad dressing, ketchup, bread, you name it. To go sugar free one pretty much has to go organic. Processed foods are pretty much out--fresh-made everything is in. I've given up a lot of processed foods and am eating more organic things and while food tastes better than ever before and I now look forward to meal times because I look forward to good-tasting food, my grocery bill has doubled. Strange that food that takes extra processing would be more expensive than food that just takes a blending of a few ingredients, but that's the way it is. If you really think about it, food shouldn't be cheap. It ranks right up there with having a roof over your head, but is more important than having a car. 80 years ago or so, food was something like 40%-60% of a family's budget. Now it's 10-20%. We spend more money on clothes, shoes and car payments and less money on decent, un-processed food. But with me being something of a penny-pincher, it has been hard not to be cheap with the groceries. It does take some getting used to. But being able to do a happy dance when I go to eat my lunch does make it worthwhile!