HEADLINES Published February26, 2016 By Beatrice Asuncion

New Kind of Natural Sugar Might See the End of Fructose Use

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(Photo : Spencer Platt / Getty Images News)

Obesity is one of the most daunting problems the United States is facing at present. According to recent data, over 20% of the country's residents are considered overweight and in three states namely Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi, 45% are obese.

Amongst the leading explanations for the rising cases of obesity in the states is the liberal use of high fructose corn syrup in everyday meals. Most processed food manufacturers opt to use high fructose corn syrup in their products since it increases its shelf life and is relatively cheaper than using natural sugars. Because of this high fructose corn sugar is not only present in cookies and sodas but is also used in condiments, sauces and other frozen foods.

Fortunately, researchers have been knee-deep in trying to solve the country's obesity problem and high fructose corn syrup abuse. In fact recently, doctors from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis published what could be a viable substitute for high fructose.

In the team's paper published in Science Signaling just this week, the scientists claim that consuming Trehalose would block the effects of high fructose. Trehalose is a natural sugar that is found in some plants and fungi most recognizably in shiitake and oyster mushrooms.

According to the doctors from St. Louis, trehalose prevents glucose from high fructose corn syrup from getting to liver cells which stores them into fat. Furthermore, the natural sugar signals these liver cells to break themselves down to dispose of excess fat in a process called autophagy.

Dr. Brian Debosch, lead scientist for the recently published academic paper, has since gushed about their findings. He concludes that running human trials on the benefits of trehalose is relatively low risk especially considering how it is already present in foods consumed by the majority of the population.

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