Glucose syrup sources, health risks

Thursday, November 02, 2017 by

Glucose syrup is a type of food syrup obtained by hydrolyzing or breaking apart the glucose molecules that make up starch. By itself, glucose is a simple sugar that’s naturally present in fruits and honey. One of the most common types of glucose syrup is corn syrup, which is syrup made from corn kernels. There are other kinds of glucose syrup made from different types of starchy foods like wheat, rice, and potatoes.

The most frequent use of glucose syrup is in the commercial preparation of foods, particularly sweets. Glucose syrup has been utilized as a sweetener, thickener, and humectant or substance that maintains freshness by retaining moisture.

Harmful effects that can be caused by glucose syrup

Nutritionally, glucose syrup has little to offer. It’s known to be low in calories but contains negligible amounts of vitamins and minerals as well. Glucose syrup is a concentrated source of calories, however, with a single tablespoon providing well over 62 calories and 17 g of carbohydrates in the form of sugar. Because of this, frequent and excessive consumption of glucose syrup can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar over time.

Moreover, glucose syrup can make an individual more prone to developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a liver condition that typically results from there being too much fat stored in liver cells. The liver converts the carbohydrates in glucose syrup into fat, which then gradually becomes a buildup of fat deposits around the liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease itself is a risk factor for other health conditions like type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea.

Corn syrup has similar side effects, though it’s been linked to many more. Specifically, regularly eating corn syrup can significantly increase the risk of a weakened immune system, mood swings, fatigue, and anemia. Certain individuals who are sensitive to corn syrup may even experience bowel problems, headaches, and lightheadedness. Children can be greatly impacted by corn syrup, according to Livestrong.com. Corn syrup can cause them to become more hyperactive and, in the case of children who suffer from corn allergies, develop behavioral allergy symptoms like irritability, anxiety, and fatigue. Furthermore, corn-based glucose syrup has a considerable amount of calories, carbohydrates, and sodium, with a one-tablespoon serving containing up to 70 calories, 17 g of carbohydrates, and 6 mg of sodium.

Glucose syrup should be handled with extra care. Skin that has come into contact with glucose syrup can become red and itchy. Repeated exposure can severely irritate the skin and may even develop into dermatitis which can then become infected. This allergenic effect is believed to be caused by the trace amounts of sulfur dioxide in glucose syrup. In addition to the skin, glucose syrup can irritate the eyes as well. Glucose syrup vapors, meanwhile, can irritate the respiratory system.

Body systems harmed by glucose syrup

Though its effects are gradual, too much glucose syrup can harm the heart and liver. Once these organs have become damaged by glucose syrup, other bodily systems and organs begin to show signs of wear and tear as well.

Glucose syrup has the potential to harm the skin, eyes, and respiratory system too.

Where to learn more

Summary

The excessive and regular consumption of glucose syrup can result in a variety of health problems. These range from high blood pressure to obesity to high blood sugar to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Corn-based glucose syrup can cause many of the above problems as well as others like hyperactivity and even allergic reactions.

Handling glucose syrup in the manufacturing phase can put an individual at risk of skin, eye, and respiratory system irritation.

Sources include:

Livestrong.com 1
Livestrong.com 2
Livestrong.com 3
Reference.com
EarthClinic.com
SugarAustralia.com.au



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