Press Releases

CRA Statement on Study on the Effects of Fructose on Liver Disease

Statement by Corn Refiners Association President and CEO John W. Bode on the Recent American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Study on the Effects of Fructose on Liver Disease

CONTACT: David Knowles (202) 534-3494

WASHINGTON, DC – “The authors of the recent Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) have failed to prove anything about human consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other sugars. The flawed study proves nothing about the cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in humans under real world conditions.

“The AJCN study fails to reproduce anything close to resembling real world conditions for consuming fructose. The non-human primate subjects were fed pure fructose amounting to close to a quarter of the total calories consumed. This is over three times the average amount of fructose consumed from all sources in the human diet and twice the 95th percentile level in humans.

“Additionally, the authors studied primates, not human beings. Primates have different body functions than humans. This is why the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee only considered studies conducted with humans to be viable for developing policy.

“Furthermore, HFCS and sugar are composed of roughly equal parts fructose and glucose. Under no real world condition do people consume fructose alone and at such high levels. This fact alone calls into question the credibility of the study.

“Finally, it should be pointed out that the majority of human studies looking at the possible link between HFCS and NAFLD using real world conditions, such as the recent study published in Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism, have concluded that the consumption of table sugar or HFCS was not shown to increase liver fat or ectopic fat deposition in muscles.

“This is consistent with the American Medical Association conclusion that HFCS has no unique characteristics that lead to obesity or obesity-related disease.

“The problems of obesity and obesity-related diseases such as NAFLD are a serious health issue that continues to plague our nation. However, attempts to demonize one food or ingredient without appropriate scientific research only lead to confusion among consumers and inhibit the development of real solutions.”


The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining (wet milling) industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.

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