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Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Posted by silversword 9A (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 27, 09 at 15:44

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average.

"Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply," said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies.

In the first study, researchers found detectable levels of mercury in nine of 20 samples of commercial HFCS. The study was published in current issue of Environmental Health.

In the second study, the agriculture group found that nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury. The chemical was most common in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments.

The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common. The contamination occurs when mercury cells are used to produce caustic soda.

"The bad news is that nobody knows whether or not their soda or snack food contains HFCS made from ingredients like caustic soda contaminated with mercury. The good news is that mercury-free HFCS ingredients exist. Food companies just need a good push to only use those ingredients," Wallinga said.

More information

The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and amp; Disease Registry has more about mercury and health.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, news release, Jan. 26, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mercury


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

I don;don't how this is herbalism related. Perhaps this would go better in the hot topics forum.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Herbs can become contaminated by lead in the soil, which often happens near houses that are old enough to have been painted by lead paint in the past.

I think the post highlights the pervasiveness of toxins in our environment.

Many of us are interested in such matters on this forum.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

True, heavy metal contamination (including mercury) can be a problem for users of herbs, for instance Ayurvedic herbal products.

What would be important to know about high-fructose corn syrup is if it is used in herbal products, and whether its mercury content is just a trace amount, or is high enough to pose any health problems. Lots of things are "toxins" in high doses, but harmless at low levels.

Speaking of which, thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative that used to be in most vaccines) has been blamed for neurodevelopmental problems, but that claim has been overturned by many studies, including one released today.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

If you read the post it credited mercury contaminated costic soda with the effect, not lead in the soil.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

I was posting it rather to talk about how we could use herbs to remove mercury from our diets and how our diet can lead to poor health. I think most people on this forum agree that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) should not be a part of our diets, but for those people who drink a lot of soda or otherwise ingest HFCS this could be an issue. Since this was not formerly known, many people could be avoiding fish while drinking soda and thinking they are avoiding mercury.

It's my opinion that diet and herbs go hand in hand and a true herbal approach to health focuses on everyday nutrition as much as remedies. After all, prevention is better than treatment after the fact.

All of the herbal remedies and supplements given below can be very natural means to eliminate the toxic materials accumulating in the body. These supplemental compounds can also be used in the treatment of aluminum toxicity and the toxic effects of radiation exposure. The toxic metals are eliminated by these supplements from the body as they act like extremely powerful chemical oral chelators; elimination of the toxicity is though the urinary system.

Detoxification is carried out by using wheat and barley grass; these green foods contain large amounts of the helpful organic substances chlorophyll which aids in the cleansing of the human body. The other supplemental herbs which can be used in the treatment of heavy metal toxicity include the kelp-seaweed, the green alfalfa grass and the widely available green food spirulina. These green food supplements can help prevent the body from absorbing too much of the radioactive materials such as the metals mercury, cadmium and manganese, and other common heavy metals like barium, tin and strontium-90 which are found in domestic environments around industrial regions of the world.

Supplemental use of the vitamin C is also strongly suggested for all patients, this nutrient helps protect the body from the deleterious effects of accumulated toxins and aids in the complete elimination of the toxic substances from the body-it is also very useful against heavy metals in the human body. People suffering from a case of poisoning from heavy metals tend to have very little vitamin C levels in their bodies-supplementation of the vitamin is important to correct this imbalance in the levels of the nutrient within the body of the individual.

As the tolerance levels for the metal varies from one individual to another, dosage levels must be reduced immediately when the stools lose consistency and a diarrhea like state exists. Supplemental use of the mineral selenium and the vitamin E which have excellent antioxidant properties must also be done along with the supplements of vitamin C, all of these nutrients taken together will serve to combat the worst effects of toxicity and the deleterious damage done inside the organs. The use of supplemental zinc is suggested if the metal cadmium is the cause for the toxicity, the presence of high levels of the metal cadmium in the body often leaches zinc away form the body-supplements of this essential mineral should work to correct the imbalance.

Toxic effects of mercury poisoning can be treated using the homeopathic remedy known as Mercurius, symptoms induced by dental fillings of amalgam include many sorts of gum disease and gum bleeding, the toxic effects of the mercury can also lead to the formation of abscesses in the mouth, it can cause mouth ulcers. Patients often complain of recurring and persistent sore throat, such patients also tend to suffer from colitis and women may suffer frequent miscarriages. Another excellent homeopathic antidote to treat mercury toxicity is the remedy known as Hepar sulph., this remedy can be used in the treatment of frequently developing abscesses in the mouth, it can also be used in the treatment of bronchitis and other pulmonary infections induced by the presence of high levels of mercury, such infections typically lead to the giving off of thick and yellow pus. Each symptom must be studied and treatment should use the appropriate homeopathic remedy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mercury and Herbs


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

In order to consider whether herbs have a role in "detoxification", several things have to be considered: 1) are the substances believed to be "toxins" present in high enough concentrations to have any health significance (metals like arsenic are ubiquitous in the environment and don't cause harm at low levels; while even water, table salt and other common items are toxic in high enough amounts), 2) do the "detoxification" regimens succeed in removing these substances, and 3) if so, do any health benefits result?

The overwhelming evidence-based answer in the vast majority of instances is: no.

As this article indicates, the idea of "toxins" pervading our bodies is not a modern one. One 19th-century proponent of this idea was Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who popularized enemas for supposed health purposes (a popular movie was based on his theories). Enemas are still popular, but the "detox" movement encompasses all sorts of therapies and devices that would've made Kellogg's head spin - including foot baths, "cleanses" of the liver, kidney and gallbladder, ripping out perfectly good dental fillings for fear of the minute amounts of mercury present in them etc. A vast array of products and services get sold and people spend a lot of time "cleansing" and "detoxifying" to no purpose.

"(Footbaths) are only the tip of a detoxification iceberg. There is a whole industry selling detoxifying skin patches, diets, fasts, saunas, herbal mixtures, colon cleansers, and other bogus remedies. Even bottled water has jumped on the bandwagon. "Detox with Evian: Evian spreads quickly through your system and facilitates the elimination of waste and regenerates the body from the inside out in the easiest, most natural way." Evian is well named; it's "naive" spelled backwards.

People who want to "detoxify" often don't have any idea what "toxins" they're talking about. They may vaguely believe that modern life contaminates us with lots of bad things that we ought to get rid of. It's reminiscent of religious fasting and purification rites. Jewish women go to a ritual bath (Mikvah) that restores them to purity after childbirth or menstruation. Shamans used smoke for purification. American Indians used sweat lodges for purification and sacred ceremonies. It's mysticism, not science.

Our bodies come equipped with livers, kidneys, stomachs, intestines, enzymes, and metabolic processes that deal with toxins efficiently with no outside help. When kidneys fail, we use dialysis. In certain cases of poisoning with large amounts of heavy metals, we may use chelation therapy. In addiction treatment, "detox" is achieved by simply abstaining from drugs or alcohol for a few days. There is no medical evidence to support any other methods or benefits of "detoxification.""

Our organs don't need assistance in getting rid of "toxins" we see in everyday life. What does help is stopping smoking, avoiding excess alcohol, keeping intake of drugs (including pharmaceuticals, supplements and medicinally active herbs) to the minimum required, eating healthy foods, exercising and working for a clean environment.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Eric,

Most people don't keep to the minimum required of anything. They over-eat, over-drink, over-medicate. In the most simplified terms, detoxifying is:

"...stopping smoking, avoiding excess alcohol, keeping intake of drugs (including pharmaceuticals, supplements and medicinally active herbs) to the minimum required, eating healthy foods, exercising and working for a clean environment."

Some take it a bit further and do a fast, or go to the far extreme (which happens with people no matter what they're doing...) which can be unhealthy. But there is nothing wrong with cleansing the body of toxins. All a person has to do is follow your advice. Drink more water, eat fresh, healthy foods, reduce alcohol consumption or stop all together, eat less fatty meat and more vegetables, whole grains and fruits. For most Americans, that would be a major overhaul of their diet and take considerable effort.

It is actually rather horrifying to me to hear this statement:

"Our bodies come equipped with livers, kidneys, stomachs, intestines, enzymes, and metabolic processes that deal with toxins efficiently with no outside help. When kidneys fail, we use dialysis."

Wait!! So our bodies can "take" whatever we give them, and we shouldn't do anything preventative because we can go on dialysis?

I think it is misleading, disrespectful and ignorant to say that "...in addiction treatment, "detox" is achieved by simply abstaining from drugs or alcohol for a few days."

Look at the studies on cigarette addiction and vitamins for a very simple explanation of why it is necessary to make adjustments to vitamin and mineral intake both when smoking ceasing to smoke cigarettes. With alcohol and the damage to the liver, herbs may be utilized to counteract some of that damage. If someone truly needs to detox from alcohol and drugs a few days abstaining just isn't going to solve the problem.

Mercury in the HFCS is in sweetened beverages, breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS. Consumption by teenagers and other high consumers can be up to 80 percent above average levels.

For those of us who eat those sorts of foods as a part of our regular diet (I personally do not) I think it's time to detoxify our diet!


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

"Wait!! So our bodies can "take" whatever we give them, and we shouldn't do anything preventative because we can go on dialysis?"

No, she's not saying that at all. It's that while we follow a healthy lifestyle our "detoxifying" organs do a fine job without artificial "cleansing". Sometimes kidneys do fail, due to various diseases, and actual toxic waste products build up, necessitating dialysis or renal transplant. It'd be wonderful if "cleansing" regimens could prevent these diseases, but that isn't the case.

And in terms of overcoming addiction to alcohol, for example, the "detox" portion of treatment is relatively brief, compared to the lengthy interventions needed to stay off booze.

I'd still like to know whether the "detectable levels of mercury" in corn syrup have any health significance, or are just something the short-attention span media can point to and say "Omigod! Mercury! Toxin! And now to our next story..." :)


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Well, who is "she"--ie, Harriet Hall? They list no credentials for her.

I suspect she is just a writer that writes articles she thinks will sell.

It is too easy to discount native practices as "sheer superstition" when a little bit of thought would probably get to the core reason of why a practice is recommended.

Jewish people do not eat pork, not because of a crazy religious idea, but because their priesthood discovered the harmfulness of trichinosis came from that.

Sweat lodges and rolling in snow afterward may be a way to rid skin of an overload of staph germs during a season when regular bathing would have been difficult.

People don't often do things repeatedly for no reason whatsoever. The current practitioners may not be aware of the reasons, but if you look into the history of an action and what it actually accomplishes you will discover the method behind the "madness" in many cases. Practices which yield no benefits gradually die out.

For example, chastity started to die out, but then, with the advent of HIV, the idea was reinforced and people are now in many cases abstaining from sex or avoiding adultery again--not because, in many cases, of religion, but because they have realized, through observation of the negative effects of ignoring the precepts, that the precepts have value.

This does not rule out the possibility that some simply make up processes for personal profit, but it is not the first explanation to be satisfied with, except for the mentally lazy.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Well I did shome research, and I ignored all of the information that was just based on the press release and focused instead on the actual study from Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. They found detectable levels of Mercury in a lot of food , but the key is detectable not dangerous. 30-35 parts per trillion of mercury, so if you are eating 100 Pounds of ketchup a day you have a serious probelm with mercury in your diet. Anyone who lives downwind of a coal plant or eats any kind of ocean going fish is going to be getting a lot more mercury from that, or any one of the 100000000 Americans who drink water with higher levels of mercury.

This doesn't mean that its not an issue though. Some people could be getting too much off of this food (if its methyl mercury, ethyl mercury is very easy for your body to take care of), and it would be a good idea for the industry to phase out this manufacturing process, which is why you will all agree that it was very responsible for the industry top phase out this manufacturing process before the big study that exposed the not-quite-a-problem. The Data collection began 4 years ago, before the voluntary and self actualized industry phase out, and only four plants reportedly have not stopped using that process (well, there are a lot of plants, you can't expect them all to move in unison, they are owned and rub by different people).

recaping. Only a little bit of Mercury, the industry was being hyper cautious and took care of the issue before anyone noticed them, and did not media whore about how they did a good thing.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Thanks, brendan. Do you have any links supplying this info?

To answer eibren, "Harriet Hall, MD, also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired Air Force flight surgeon and family physician who writes regularly for Skeptic, Skeptical Inquirer, www.sciencebasedmedicine.org and other skeptical publications. See her website www.skepdoc.info for further information and links to her book, Women Arent Supposed to Fly, and other articles." Link.

People have held a lot of illogical ideas and prejudices over history. While some of the most ridiculous (i.e. alchemy, putting people to death for witchcraft) died out after many years, others (i.e. homeopathy, "detoxifying" our bodies) continue despite a lack of evidence supporting their use.

The idea that we are intrinsically evil, sinful or "toxic" and must be continually purified/purged through external manipulation has a powerful hold on the psyche for many people, and has a psychological/religious (rather than scientific) basis.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

The Study Go to table 3 on page 14. I made a typo, it was 30-350 PPT, sorry

The Wiki page indicates that the food safety level is 1 PPM (that's 1000000 PPT) for a 6 OZ portion per week, and that's with a wide safety buffer.

I got the information about the phase out from a podcast called SGU hosted by a harvard neurologist by the name of Steven Novella but I don't know to link to the iTunes store.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

The "evil" comes from the non-natural hold that thinking and the desire to have power and control over the rest of nature has on mankind, and is due to the results of that on nature and the human organiam, not to any other measure (the true "fruit of the tree of knowledge"--Erich Fromm gives a good explication of this in a book he wrote about the nature of "evil").

Please don't discount things you don't understand, Eric; if you wish to lead yourself astray, fine, but you may adversely influence others who are more accessible than you.

I assume that you are not familiar with the writings of CG Jung, and, therefore, the psychological validity of alchemy--not to mention that it was also the beginning of chemistry, just as psychology was of religion.

If you neglect the twig, you miss the branch.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

We understand that sort of thing, its that the people who claim that magic works don't. Things like conformation bias come into play, and if a treatment or modality works we should see some effect on the level of problems in the populations being treated, in short I just said that if it works we should see the effect of it working.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Seems to me that the desire for "power and control over nature" is exemplified by the often harsh "cleansing" and purging that people have undertaken since antiquity to eliminate imaginary toxins and sinfulness.

Alchemy provides a valid example of how eager people were to engage in magical thinking, and how destructive this urge was (many practitioners of alchemy bankrupted themselves in the search for the "philsopher's stone"; a few con men profited from the delusions of the gullible). There's a parallel here as regards some forms of alternative medicine, though probably not the one of which you were thinking.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

The placebo effect only works with those that have faith in it, and you know that.

You will never have a "study" population suitable to test many of these things, if that is all there is to them...but you also don't want to take this away from people that have nothing else.

You can drive away charletains without putting down a spirit of inquiry and optimism.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

I don't reject placebos - if the disorder involved has been properly diagnosed, if known effective treatments aren't panning out, and if the supposed placebo is safe and doesn't cost a lot.

Promoting the idea that people are full of imaginary "toxins" that need to be eliminated is not justifiable, since there is no such medical condition that needs to be addressed by "cleanses", enemas and purges. The vague symptoms that these regimens are supposed to fix can be addressed by proper diet, exercise and other lifestyle adjustments that don't rely on shaky placebo effect.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Eibren, well said! "You can drive away charletains without putting down a spirit of inquiry and optimism."


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Actually, a spirit of inquiry is what "charletains" (I think you mean charlatans) most fear. They thrive on gullibility and appeals to unthinking prejudices.

Speaking of inquiry, it was recently reported that high-fructose corn syrup is no more likely than other sugars to cause obesity.

"New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle, PhD, tells WebMD that attempts to label one sugar worse than another misses the point that Americans are eating way too much sugar, no matter what the source.

"People who eat a lot of sugary foods or processed foods that probably contain hidden sugars are going to take in too many calories," she says. "That is why it is important to read food labels."

Also - while some apparently think the name "high fructose corn syrup" may sound scary (it's high in fructose!), it's not very different from other common sweeteners.

"HFCS contains about 55% fructose and 45% glucose, compared to about 50% fructose and 50% glucose in table sugar (sucrose), honey, and most sugars derived from fruit concentrates."

Lastly, there's been no showing here (or anywhere, from what I can see) that minute amounts of mercury present in HCFS have any health significance whatsoever. Maybe an inquiring mind can locate such evidence, if it exists.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

I think HFCS is typically a bit higher in fructose than that.

For those of you who don't know your body turns all glucose into fructose before it burns it or turns it into fat or amino acids or nucleic acids or anything else with the exception of glycogen. The transformation back and forth happens rapidly between glucose-6-phosphate and fructose-6-phosphate and requires no energy to do. Fructose is slightly sweeter so an item with the same relative sweetness will have significantly fewer calories of embodied energy.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Around the world some people can thrive on what they find to ingest.
Ascribing dis-ease to "toxins" has it's challengers. (My favorite scientist's quote is : "...aggregation of toxic particles....")
Xeno- (prefix for foreign) is the root of "xeno-biotic", any substance made up of (metal,drug,herbal alkaloid, etc.) component that did not originate in the body ("endo-biotics" are the opposite).
With the help of an enzyme, the body performs process of "glucuronidation" to facilitate transport of xeno-biotics for excretion. (I am purposely glossing over sulfation & methylation processes.)
Some of the 1st glucuronidation occurs in the intestinal mucosa. (This is one
reason why a mix of food, drug &/or herbs binding sites may interfere with their respective efficacy .)
Most glucuronidation is accomplished in the liver & is why it is considered the major de-toxification organ. (I am purposely skipping discussing other functional sites where this is achieved.)
The liver glucuronide conjugates (bio-synthesized compounds) are a way to protect it against the accumulation of bile & process of dealing with the xeno-biotics entering it.
The liver's xeno-biotic glucuronide conjugates are ideally then fluid enough to pass along for eventual urinary excretion. (Urine is a very significant elimination pathway.)
Some of these liver conjugates are also excreted with the bile. (Nausea is a common drug side effect since these xeno-biotics end up in the bile to irritate the intestine. Observe those with gall bladder removed &/or shunts who are usually free of biliousness.)
O.K., there is one big problem to discuss.
Bacterial populations in the intestine can secrete enzymes that cleave apart the glucuronide conjugates in order to feed on it's components. Then the xeno-biotic factors are once again loose in the system.
(However, the body will repeat this process that it does/did, barring major organ failure or a genetic mutation.)
In many cases of simple illness, there are relapses, which if you observe carefully, will show a cyclical pattern. The period of these individuals' cycle is sometimes corresponding to the die-back & repopulation sequence of their gut's bacterial colony.
It is this longer than 24 hour phase that confuses many health fad advocates & self-diagnosis via the internet.
For dietary "purists" it is common to become convinced there is something one should not eat (as in: "'twas doing great until I tried some ...").
For the "purger" it is common to become absolutely convinced a problem got into one when they ate/breath/drink/did (as in: "something must have
been in that ...").
A body has self-regulating mechanisms & untimely purgative remedies can induce physiological weakness.
Pardon this posting tangent.
As for HF corn syrup the excess is the problem; ditto mercury.


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quote correction

Sorry, previous quote should be:
"...aggregation of toxic proteins ...." (not word particles)


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Hi GJ,
"As for HF corn syrup the excess is the problem; ditto mercury."

I'm in complete agreement with what you said there. I eat fish often, and a lot of times they are the larger fish. I'm not running around screaming about mercury in fish, nor did I intend to create a fuss about it here. I think it is important to know though, however minute the dose of mercury so that one may make informed decisions about what is being consumed. Sure, a little mercury will not do harm. But for someone eating a lot of swordfish the danger increases.

The EPA estimates that 0.021 milligrams per day in food or water is probably not harmful to the average sized adult. But since they say "...the average-sized woman should limit her exposure to 5.5 micrograms a day of methylmercury, the kind found in fish; if that same woman regularly ate corn syrup contaminated at the highest level detected in the study0.57 micrograms per gramthe researchers estimated that she could end up consuming an amount of mercury that is five times higher than the EPA's safe dose." (http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/health/chi-mercury-corn-syrupjan27,0,2801323.story)

Again, I agree that over-indulgence in sodas is more likely to be harmful than the potential mercury in the drink, but that changes when it is a pregnant woman, a child, or someone with high levels of mercury already in their diet. Knowledge gives us the power to make informed choices about what we put in our bodies.


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RE: Credit where credit's due

Brendan wrote... "Some people could be getting too much off of this food (if its methyl mercury, ethyl mercury is very easy for your body to take care of)"

It is elemental mercury, and there is no established "safe dose".

Brendan also wrote:
"Only a little bit of Mercury, the industry was being hyper cautious and took care of the issue before anyone noticed them, and did not media whore about how they did a good thing."

Actually, it was then-senator Barack Obama who introduced legislation that forced plants to phase out the use of mercury inducing technology or shut down entirely. This was after reading a 2005 Tribune series about mercury hazards. Four plants, in Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia are still not in compliance and one in Wisconsin has vowed to be in compliance by this year.

I think it is more accurate to say it is our President, rather than the corporations, who did not "media whore about how (they )did a good thing."


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

You are correct on the legislation, and was simply wrong.

However as for the .57 uG per gram level that cannot be the regular level, that has to be an outlier, no HFCS manufacturer would be spending that much on mercury, and thats not something that they found in this study at all. That was the lit review, they were talking about other studies. And the type of mercury is not mentioned, so it is dishonest to use the exposure levels for methyl mercury to condemn the product (although I will agree that that batch should have been destroyed) and the next two paragraphs in the study said basically the same thing.

In any case this is all Moot because the knowledge is out of date, because it is a process that has been discontinued.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

While the first study was based on information gathered by the FDA in 2005, the The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), a non-profit watchdog group did a second study that was based on products that were purchased, from store shelves, in the fall of 2008. The second study found that nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury.

As I said in my post above: four plants are currently using the "mercury-cell" technology that can lead to contamination.

According to the Environmental Health study, "it is imperative that public health officials evaluate this potential source of mercury exposure, as HFCS is presently ubiquitous in processed foods and therefore significantly consumed by people all over the world. Mercury in any form either as water-soluble inorganic salt, a lipid-soluble organic mercury compound, or as metallic mercury is an extremely potent neurological toxin."

Mercury is toxic in all forms. I'd hardly say this topic is moot.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

The second study uses data from before the phase out, the phase out is *almost* complete, and while they found detectable levels in a little less than a third of the samples they are all orders of magnitude lower than what the biggest eaters would need to eat to get the levels of the most toxic form of mercury that are not recommended for the most sensitive individuals. When you use the real products that actual people eat from the time when the problem was still widespread and assume everything is worst case scenario you are still orders of magnitude from a problem.

Also Everything Everything is toxic in all forms. its all about dose. The most important variable, and a variable you seem happy to write off.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Ok, it's out of date. Good thing we found out about it after the problem is already solved.

Comparing "everything" to mercury and saying it's all toxic depending on dose is both true and ridiculous. Yes, water can kill you... but drinking water in moderation over time will not kill you. Toxicity is different when one speaks of things like mercury, which can build up in the system and cause problems in the long run. I personally would rather err on the side of caution where mercury is concerned.

I am concerned about dose. Personally I consciously limit my mercury intake. Not knowing there is a potential source of mercury in my food that could have been avoided and not being informed is gross negligence in my opinion. For me, any dose of mercury should be evaluated if possible.

And yes, I know mercury is in the air... etc. It still does not make this information negligible.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Methylmercury is 100 times as toxic as Ethylmercury, which does not build up in the body over time. Methyl mercury is also cleared by the body, just not as rapidly. Erring on th side of caution is a good idea, which is why the EPA and FDA set levels that are typically an order of magnitude or more lower than the best guess for what will cause problems in the overwhelming majority of people.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Chelation to remove mercury from the body is not without serious risk to certain individuals. The chelation agent has potential side effects.
Cilantro leaf = the herbal remedy for elevated mercury level, via elimination
Mercury less than 10 ng./mL of blood is considered clinically unremarkable, ranging upward the toxic level occurs at 50 ng./mL.
Neuro-pathological symptoms can have many causes & in the absence of current blood mercury data endless speculation can be counter-productive.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Am I suprised? Noooooooooo!! There's traces of mercury and all kinds of poisons in our house paint, food, water, etc.
We live in a culture full of toxins. So what do we do? Go live in a cave and eat grass? Nope, even today it would all be tainted! The body has ways of dealing with these.
Unfortunately, a study on NEWBORNS found a variety of nasty stuff. What we CAN do is buy organic or grow it, take herbs to help our liver, and know this is the result of the industrial revolution and greedy companies who could care less what they use, or where they dump it. Take care of you and your family the best you can. This is the toxic dump we've inhereited- try not to contribute to it and SPEAK OUT! Let's hold rallies and protests and regardless of the outcome the public and private sector will know we are FED up, and want CHANGE.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Why do you think your liver needs an herb to help it? The liver doesn't even remove Mercury.


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Cilantro reduces Mercury

Cilantro's reduction of blood mercury levels in a recent USA case:
(a) May 2008 patient mercury tested in USA laboratory at 15ng/ml;
(b) Nov 2008 retest of mercury in same USA lab gone up to 30ng/ml;
(c) Nov 2008 immediate inclusion of once daily cilantro sprig leaves, in the quantity
sufficient to liberally cover a piece of sandwich bread, & concurrent
restriction of fish variety consumed to only salmon +/- 2 times a week
(d) Mar 2009 follow up test at same USA lab showing mercury down to 10ng/ml


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Regarding the last post:

Where did this apparent case report come from?
What lab tested for mercury (there's a lot of shoddy mercury testing out there)?
How much fish was this person eating, and was that blamed for his supposed high mercury levels?
Did the restriction on fish consumption cause the reported drop in mercury levels?

There are various websites reporting that cilantro removes heavy metals from the body, most quoting an alt med practitioner named Omura. However, I can find only one paper by someone of this name dealing with mercury and cilantro, published in an acupunture journal, having something to do with Chlamydia infection and featuring one of the most bizarre and incomprehensible research abstracts I have ever read. Among other things, Omura invented something called the Bi-Digital O-Ring test, which he claims he used to find Chlamydia in patients:

"The Bi-Digital O-Ring Test (BDORT), characterized as a form of applied kinesiology,[2] is a patented alternative medicine procedure in which a patient forms an 'O' with his or her fingers, and the diagnostician subjectively evaluates the patient's finger strength as he/she tries to pry them open with his/her own fingers."

According to the Wikipedia page on BDORT, proponents allege that they can use it to diagnose ailments including heart conditions, cancer and infection. Omura says that skilled users (such as himself) can make diagnoses in patients over the phone without having seen them (a neat trick). Given all this, the quackometer readings are off the scale, and one's confidence in his published findings on cilantro tends to be shaken. :)

If there's any valid clinical evidence that cilantro is effective in lowering mercury levels in humans, I'd appreciate someone posting it.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Hi eric,
Try cilantro for mercury sometime appropriate.
NYC Doctor of patient is old medical lecturer & his lab reputable NYC operation.
Yes, patient was consuming some type of fish almost daily for an extended period of months.
True, nobody can say whether switch to only salmon 2x/week would account for this drop in mercury levels all by itself, irregardless of cilantro.
As for the BDORT - I know nothing of this, nor discussed it.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

The Mercury that an individual would pick up from this corn syrup is orders of magnitude lower than the "Success" levels seen in those studies, just to put things into perspective.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

brendan: i suggested herbs for the liver, because that is the best detox for lots of poisons in the body. A healthy liver helps your body deal with daily environmental and diet stessors. Blood cleansers are good also, like red clover blossom. I always suggest liver herbs, as excess yang or yin in the liver will also cause health problems. I'm talking about overall health.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Hi novice 2009, here's a thread for you with lots of information debunking the idea that our livers (and other organs) need any help "detoxing" from "daily environmental and diet stressors".


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

>> Why do you think your liver needs an herb to help it? The liver doesn't even remove Mercury.

More pseudo-scientific misdirection. Where is your proof?? The live does indeed demethylate mercury, which renders the mercury less toxic. Although the liver is generally second to the kidneys in detoxifying mercury, it is important ... and mercury can cause liver problems.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Wow - you mean the human body can actually metabolize and get rid of mercury present in sub-toxic amounts, without outside "help" from supplements and fasts? That's food for thought! ;)

Found a comprehensive resource on mercury, its presence in the environment and real and imagined hazards from exposure. It might help put the fooferaw over high fructose corn syrup into perspective.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

The liver does metabolise one form of mercury to another, however it is the kidneys that remove it from the system.

The fact that Mercury can cause liver problems is a complete red herring (Pseudoscientific misdirection?), Mercury can cause Neurological problems too, that doesn't mean that the spine is removing it.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

There is no doubt that the kidneys are important to removing mercury. However, you seem to be implying that the liver does not do the same; that is quite unproven, and a growing body of evidence claims just the opposite. You might want to google a phrase like "biliary secretion of mercury."

Measurements in humans have shown that the amount of mercury eliminated in the stool can be equal to the amount from the kidneys. Four possible mechanisms were proposed in that study, including via the bile.

Another study in humans correlated the amount of mercury in bile, and its deposition in gallstones with increasing exposure to mercury.

Experimentally, it has been shown that tying the gallbladder shut, or reducing glutathione stores in the liver reduces clearance of mercury by the body.

It has also been shown that demethylation of mercury by the liver can lead to inorganic mercury accumulation in the liver.

As far as herbs go, there is some evidence that garlic can protect somewhat against mercury - possibly by increasing glutathione.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

It hasn't been proven that you can't make icecream in your left big toe nail either. Yes the liver runs mercury through the bile, into the intestine, which is where the mercury was absorbed in the first place (yes thats right, all that mercury in your system came in through the same path that the liver is dumping mercury out at the start of). In any case there is still no evidence that any herb is necessary or sufficient to increase the efficacy of this process.

The second stud you mention has nothing to do with mercury excretion.

The third study is the only one you should have mentioned, because its the only one that actually leans in the direction you want to go.

The fourth study is one I would count against you.


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

>> The fourth study is one I would count against you.

Don't be a goof, brando! If the liver functions normally and demethylates mercury, it will lead to inorganic mercury (which is less toxic, and less soluble). Maybe that gets excreted with the bile, maybe it forms an stable complex with selenium, maybe it just hangs around and irritates the liver ... but regardless, are you suggesting that the liver should NOT demethylate mercury and make it less toxic?


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

Mercury isn't going to accumulate in the liver if the liver is actually getting rid of it. Mercury that stays in the liver is mercury that stays in the body, doing damage, to the liver...

I'm not saying that the liver does not demethylate mercury, I'm saying that "The liver doesn't even remove Mercury."


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RE: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

>> Mercury isn't going to accumulate in the liver if the liver is actually getting rid of it.

Again, you are making sweeping pseudoscientific statements that ignore what is known. The fact that the body tries to eliminate something doesn't mean it is 100% successful.

We agree that the kidneys are ordinary one route of mercury elimination - do you deny that mercury also accumulates there? Aren't various forms of mercury rather clingy, don't they tend to associate with various molecules in the body and stay there?

You might want to brush up on the basic science of how the kidneys deal with mercury here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Comparative evaluation of the protective effect of selenium and garlic against liver and kidney damage induced by mercury chloride in the rats.


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