Press Releases

Statement by the Corn Refiners Association on the Recent Article in the Journal Open Heart on the Effects of Sugar Consumption on Cardiometabolic Disease

December 15, 2014

CONTACT: David Knowles
(202) 534-3494

WASHINGTON, DC – “The recent article in Open Heart examining the effects of a high-sugar diet on cardiometabolic diseases — such as heart disease, high blood pressure and hypertension — offers a highly subjective and incomplete review of the current literature and may lead to misinformation about sugar consumption that will only serve to raise fear and confusion among consumers.

“Currently, there is no scientific link between sugar consumption and high blood pressure. Recent research has not shown a causal relationship between sugar consumption and diseases that trigger high blood pressure – such as diabetes and liver disease.

“There are multiple established and known risk factors for high blood pressure including cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity and an inactive lifestyle. Claiming one ingredient (sugar, sodium, etc.) is the root cause is counterproductive and not backed by the majority of available science.

“Also, contrary to the authors’ conclusions, there is virtually no molecular difference between naturally occurring fructose found in fruit and vegetables and the fructose in “added” sugars. Almost all caloric sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), table sugar and honey, are composed of roughly half fructose and half glucose.

“Finally, this article relies on numerous studies that use animal subjects (e.g. rats) to bolster the authors’ claims. However, the physiological and psychological differences between humans and rodents are so diverse that you simply cannot compare the two when determining the health impact of any food or ingredient.

“This is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies animal-based studies as having low evidentiary value and has concluded that consuming sugar/HFCS in moderate amounts is safe for humans.

“While the authors correctly point out that there are now serious doubts about the long-held view that sodium increases blood pressure in a harmful way, this development alone should cause hesitation before any rush to find a substitute food ingredient to blame or demonize, especially based on such incomplete and questionable scientific research.”


The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining 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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