Archive for High-fructose corn syrup

Fructose metabolism

Posted in Food, Health, Nature with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2012/06/12 by rmolby
High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup (Photo credit: Food Thinkers)

This post is part of my health research on my own weight and health problems. Part of fixing my health issues is learning how the human body processes or digests food and food-like substances; there is a single word describing this process: metabolism.

Anyway, in relation to the previous post, the first thing I was interested in is how the human metabolism deals with simple carbohydrates, like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), honey, and sugar, etc/.

So the way I understand it, when we digest plain sugars, such as sucrose (white table sugar) or honey, they pass through the stomach almost unchanged and go into the small intestine where the enzyme sucrase splits the sugar into its glucose and fructose component.

HFCS on the other hand, being a man-made product, doesn’t have strong bonds between the glucose and fructose molecules, and can be broken down easily in the small intestine.

The now available glucose is absorbed by the intestine, and transported directly to the blood as energy source, and all excess glucose is sent to the liver to be processed into glycogen. At the same time that glucose level rise, so do insulin levels, when a certain threshold of glucose is reached the hormone ghrelin drops off, signaling to the brain to stop consuming carbohydrates.

Fructose on the other hand is also absorbed by the small intestine, but to a lesser extend and using a slightly different process, and very few tissues in the human body are able to utilize fructose. What fructose is not absorbed by the small intestine is sent on to the large intestine to be fermented there into hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

What fructose is absorbed by the small intestine is transported directly to the liver to be processed by fructokinase, using phosphate, and is further metabolized into different compounds.

The metabolism of fructose at this point can lead to glycogen synthesis as well as fatty acid and triglyceride synthesis. Glycogen is the first compound that is produced, once the liver has a sufficient level of glycogen, it will begin to produce triglycerides, and finally, fatty acids.

Hence, when we consume anything that contains fructose, whether it be honey, sugar or HFCS, our triglyceride and fatty acid levels rise.

The triglycerides are then incorporated into very low density lipoproteins (VLDL, the “bad” cholesterol), which are released from the liver for storage in both fat and muscle cells.

During the entire process of metabolizing fructose, the hormone ghrelin never goes down in level or intensity, so the brain does not get any indication to stop consuming carbohydrates, causing us to continue to consume carbs, which gives us more fructose, which causes more triglyceride and fatty acid, still not dropping ghrelin, and cycle continues.

So there we go, fructose makes us fat, and it doesn’t matter if it comes from HFCS, honey or sugar. So the generalization we hear, sugar is sugar appears to be reasonable after all. The only difference is that HFCS absorbs into the intestine faster than sugar or honey, because it does not have to be broken down into glucose and fructose by the enzymatic process.

Is sugar toxic?

Posted in Food, Health, Nature with tags , , , , , , , , on 2012/06/06 by rmolby
Image representing New York Times as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

Well, this sux, I posted the article I just spent one hour writing, and it’s all gone… reason unknown. So, I will try to recreate what I typed but it will not be the same as what I had written before.

Even though I have not had much time to devote to blogging or such, I was able to spend some quiet time in the mornings reading a little on the (slow AT&T air card driven) internet. One such article is by Gary Taubes, titled Is sugar toxic? and published in 2011 on the NY Times web site.

Even though there hasn’t been much time to devote to the blog, I felt I needed to mention the article so you, my readers can read the article, as well, and let the information sink in.

Over the next few weeks I plan to making a series of posts addressing some of the subjects mentioned in the article, and if you have any interest in reading more on a certain subject, leave comments on this post or any subsequent ones, and if they relate to my own needs, I will further research them and publish my findings in additional posts.

What has prompted me to post this is that I am overweight, I have the typical male “beer gut” (also known these days as the “wheat gut”), but after reading Gary’s article in the NY Times, I’m think we should call it “fructose gut!”

I want to say that anything I mention here on my blog about my health, and what I am doing to repair my body and restore my health is only for me. It is not medical advice, and if you decide to try anything I do, please connsult your health practitioner first.

I am by no means a health professional, but I can read, and my comprehension level of these subjects is quite good, since I grew up eating healthy, semi-organic back in Germany during my childhood, and have only descended to my current health state after moving to North America, and especially these last 10 years or so.

So, talk to your doctor or nutritionist, but do your own research, don’t trust anyone, everyone has their own slant on health, and only you really know how you feel, even your health practitioner can only guess what you feel. It’s your body, take care of it and it will take care of you.

Separation & Gardening

Posted in Gardening, Horticulture with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/11/08 by rmolby

About a year and a half ago I separated from my now X live-in partner in Norman, OK. She had slept around with someone else and was sloppy covering her tracks, and it turned into a separation that was emotionally rough on me.

In the process, I lost 10 years worth of organic garden preparation and planning, and 10 years of soil building. This was a major blow to me, since I am big on eating as natural or organic as possible, and the garden was a major source of fresh food for me, contributing to my good overall health at the time.

The next stage of my life involves one of my former co-workers, now my lovely wife. I worked in the IT group, and she was the property manager for the organization before I joined the IT group. We had know each other for 8 years, when she was laid off due to reorganization of the support team.

We continued to  go out on the occasional lunch, and over time our relationship grew to a point where we decided to become engaged and set a marriage date in early 2010.

Because the X took my garden along with the house we used to live in, I am having to start all over building soil, raised beds, compost, and all the other things that go along with having an organic garden.  Due to the fact that our household budget is limited, progress has been slow, and in this part of the metro there is less opportunity for me to pick up discarded material I can pick up for free, so I am very frustrated with the slow progress.

The only thing I was able to save from my old garden was a few buckets of good soil  to fill two 4’x4′ beds, my 5 chickens and a few of my gardening tools. I guestimate that I lost around $2000 worth of gardening and woodworking and general tools, and $2000-3000 worth of soil and soil amendments, in addition to who knows how many hundreds of dollars of other long term sustainability supplies I had accumulated.

Anyway, as you can imagine, my frustration level is pretty high, and my health has been declining because I have not been able to grow any fresh food for me to eat, and as much as I love my family, our diet is atrocious!

There isn’t much fiber in our diet, other than corn in the form of chips, way too many trans-fats and other processed food stuffs, and a scary amount of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) , the biggest contributor to the modern American health issues, EVER!!!

So,  somehow I have to squeeze more out of the budget so I can get my winter garden put in place. This should allow me to build up the soil in those raised beds by adding shredded paper and kitchen scrap to the bed and letting the chickens “process” it all into a nice fluffy humus.

In order for that to happen I need to come up with enough money to build/replicate my portable chicken coop that I was not able to bring with me from Norman. This will allow me to move the chickens from bed to bed about once a month or so.

In a way I am glad I didn’t get to bring the old coop, because it was heavy and cumbersome to move. I will try to build the new coop in such a way so that I can move each module on it by myself even if that means that it takes me 2 hours to disassemble and reassemble the coop.

I think I will use the  shelving angle iron you can buy at Home Deport to assemble a base frame, and then make nest box and feeder attachments that connect to the frame using bolts and wing nuts. I hope to make it all fully modular so I can attach the modules to any of the 4 sides of the coop so I can configure the coop in many different ways.

I will then use the same angle iron frame configuration to build open air cages to place over empty, weed overgrown beds and connect them to the coop and let the chickens completely strip the weed beds to the soil, tilling in their poop while they scratch for bugs, worms and weeds. Then, when the bed is bare, I will move the cages down one bed, along with the coop.

The bed that had the coop on it should then be completely filled with light, fluffy humus and be ready for vegetables that need hot fertilized soil.

Anyway, there is much work to do, wish me luck in getting it all done before spring starts.

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