High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked to Kidney Stones: 5 Facts to Know

High-fructose corn syrup, or HFCS for short, is a man-made sweetener commonly used in processed foods. It’s included in many foods that one would least suspect, like bread, crackers, pasta sauces, and even pickles. Groups like the Corn Refiner’s Association and companies dependent on High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) continue to market it as a safe, almost “natural” product. The truth is becoming increasingly clear, however, with studies showing the immense health issues that arise from its long-term consumption. Considering that the the majority of people today consume a diet primarily based on processed foods, it’s somewhat challenging for most people to eat it in moderation.

HFCS and Kidney Stones: What’s the Connection?

Recent research points to the fact that increases in kidney stone occurrences in men, women, and even children appear linked to regular consumption of HFCS. Research indicates HFCS encourages formation of two of the four kidney stone types, both of which are highly avoidable. Here are 5 facts you need to know to protect yourself and your loved ones against HFCS-induced kidney stone formation.

1. Eating Fructose Increases the Risk of Kidney Stones

Don’t be fooled by industry-fueled marketing campaigns — fructose consumption increases the risk of kidney stone formation. The National Kidney Foundation website states “eating too much fructose correlates with increasing the risk of developing a kidney stone.” [1] What’s more, a study evaluating data of over 200,000 people determined those who consumed the most refined fructose had a much greater chance of developing kidney stones. [2] Only the refined fructose showed the correlation, with the non-fructose carbohydrates showing no relation to kidney stones.

2. Drinking Soda Dramatically Increases Kidney Stone Formation

Keeping hydrated is an important part of avoiding kidney stones. Drinking soda to hydrate only does more damage. Sugar-sweetened sodas contain refined fructose from HFCS to make them sweet. A study from Harvard found those who regularly drank soda had a 33% greater risk of kidney stones. [3] Another study found drinking cola encouraged the formation of calcium oxalate (one type of kidney stone). [4] The study authors recommended avoiding colas as a way to reduce kidney stone risk.

3. Fructose Can Metabolize Into Oxalate

Some individuals are naturally predisposed to oxalate stones and will convert fructose into oxalate at a faster rate. This increases the amount of oxalate in the blood which can mix with calcium in the kidneys.

4. Increases Risk of Uric Acid Stones

Manufactured fructose increases the amount of uric acid excreted in urine; natural fructose from fruit does not. [5] High levels of uric acid, or hyperuricemia, encourages kidney stone formation and gout. Researchers have specifically noted elevated levels of uric acid caused by HFCS have been directly linked to metabolic syndrome, a condition identified by obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and renal failure. [6][7]Make sure to avoid fruit juices and sodas containing HFCS, corn syrup, …read more

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