A new study released this past week has once again linked the consumption of processed foods to health complications, giving food safety advocates even more cause for concern. The April 10th publication of the Clinical Epigenetics Journal reported a link between high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and autism in the United States. According to the study, the rise in autism rates "is not related to mercury exposure from fish, coal-fired power plants, thimerosal, or dental amalgam but instead to the consumption of HFCS.”
The study, led by former FDA toxicologist and whistleblower Renee Dufault, found that a deficiency of zinc, triggered by the consumption of HFCS and other processed foods, interferes with the body’s ability to eliminate toxins such as mercury and pesticides.
High fructose corn syrup has long been suspected of having an adverse impact on health and has been purportedly linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and liver disease. The fructose-laden ingredient has even been reported to facilitate the growth of cancer cells.
Dufault made news in 2009 with another study (which was referenced in these new findings), also linking high fructose corn syrup to mercury. Many HFCS proponents and some in the autism community will immediately (and predictively) discount these new findings, but regardless, they still warrant further research.
With autism rates now at a mind-blowing 1 in 88, there are many who are desperately looking for a definitive cause and a silver bullet theory. Whether or not there is something to these new findings remains to be seen, but we must not give up on our quest for the truth.