Adulteration of honey with high fructose corn syrup

Adulteration of honey with high fructose corn syrup is estimated to contaminate a half of the commercial product found in supermarkets.

The three most adulterated foods in the world are honey, dairy products and olive oil; all are of high value requiring time, skill and energy to prepare.

Unscrupulous bottlers adulterate raw honey with a variety of additives that are very difficult for the layperson and even beekeepers to detect. HFCS is one of the worst offenders.

Adulterated honey

If there is an obvious separation into two layers then obviously avoid that company in future.

The most simple test is to open the bottle and smell the contents. If it's natural honey you will be greeted by the incredible scent from a million flowers. It is unmistakable.

Adulterated and processed honeys are equally unmistakable; sickeningly sweet, flat and completely lacking in any bouquet.

The real problem is that we no longer take the time to savour our food; the subtleties are lost when we are watching TV or are otherwise distracted.

High fructose corn syrup

In general highly-processed foods which would include adulterated honey, induce a hyperimmune response and systemic inflammation. We overreact to pathogens and the whole body begins to ache.

The cytokine storm of Covid-19 is typical of that overreaction; the lungs and other organs become highly inflamed.

HFCS is sweeter and cheaper to produce than sugar; it has become ubiquitous in the modern industrial diet, added even to savoury foods like pizzas. We don't even know that it has been used most of the time.

And it's much easier to produce than honey obviously; in effect it is used to adulterate many foods. It has been strongly fingered in the alarming increase in diabetes, obesity and malignant tumours of the colon.

High fructose and gout

It has been noted in the literature that a high intake of fructose-rich industrialized food raises serum uric acid levels. The biochemistry is complex but the net result is gout.

High dietary fructose  >>  fructose 1-phosphate  >>  DHAP

                                      (fast)                                    (slow)

>> That results in a build up of fructose 1-phosphate

>> and a decrease of intracellular PO4 ions  >>  that limits ATP formation

>> and causes raised uric acid levels; and gout.

There is nothing simple about biochemistry; as has been said we are "fearfully and wonderfully made."

The point is that adulteration of honey with high fructose corn syrup raises the spectre of gout; which in itself is an independent risk factor of rheumatoid arthritis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes.

The fructose from HFCS causes a much greater rise in serum uric acid than that from honey or an apple. 

It's rarely stated by researchers whether they are using commercial honey or that which is completely unprocessed; they do not appear to know that there is such a difference.

Absorption of glucose and fructose

Absorption of both glucose and fructose occurs in the small intestine but in very different ways.

  • Glucose has an active transporter and so it is very rapidly absorbed; it has a high GI.
  • Fructose on the other hand only has a passive transporter which is rapidly overwhelmed; instead the sugar passes through to the large intestine where it accelerates the growth of "high-grade" malignant tumours. This explains the alarming trend for younger people to succumb to colorectal cancer; the rate is expected to double by 2030. It was already the second most common fatal neoplasm.

Honey of course also has large amounts of fructose; for this reason we strongly recommend only small amounts daily. Unlike HFCS it has not been connected to malignant tumours; but still just to be safe until the research is more specific we recommend no more than perhaps 5 tsp per day.

Nor has fruit which also contains large amounts of fructose been connected to neoplasms; if anything it helps to prevent serious disease, in part because of the soluble fibre like pectin that supplies nutrients to the microbiome.

It's speculative why natural products containing fructose like unprocessed honey and fruit do not have the same negative implications for the body as do synthetic compounds like corn syrup.


Scientists have found that HFCS negatively affects the microbiome and consequently the integrity of the intestinal mucosa; with increased bacterial infection of the lining of the gut. It has been implicated in inflammatory bowel disease[2].

There are powerful reasons why all persons should on a regular basis be enjoying fermented foods that support the microbiome. The simplest is perhaps kefir which can be prepared at home in less than five minutes at minimal cost; that of a cup of milk.

Both the number and the diversity are important. The great disadvantage of taking probiotics in supplements is that whilst increasing the weight of bacteria, viruses and yeast cells, simultaneously it greatly decreases the diversity; avoid them. The negatives have a bigger impact than the positives; as with almost all supplements in fact.

"Let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."

Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC)

General discontent with our food

There are three groups of people in regard to our food sources.

  • Those who will simply eat whatever is put in front of them; they don't know or care whether it is nourishing or not.

"Those who know not, and know not that they know not, are fools."

- Persian proverb

  • Those who know that a particular dish is not healthy, but eat it regardless; not just on high and holy days but regularly.

"Those who will not hear must feel."

- Dutch proverb

  • Those who are developing a generalised discontent with what is being dished up by the so-called industrial diet; they are turning to alternate sources of food from farmers' markets and growing much of it themselves.

"Eat your own food; have a positive outlook and be kind to people; and smile."

- Blue Zone proverb.

Adulteration of honey with high fructose corn syrup is just one small part of the deceit of large food companies that extract the best parts of grains, vegetables and fruit; and add many noxious chemicals.

Honey runny vs crytallisedNatural honey, only to be had if you know the source.

Bees kept in villages and towns, far from commercialised agriculture produce the best honey. There is diversity of plant sources and a far smaller likelihood of contamination with the ecocides used by most farmers.

"Keep your own bees, grow as much of your nosh as you possibly can and do your level best to avoid all refined food."

- Bernard Preston


Natural honeycomb

I do acknowledge that the most natural form is honeycomb; including all the beeswax which is the only proven treatment for fatty liver disease.

Unexpectedly steatohepatitis is caused by chronic overconsumption of refined carbs not lipids, producing prodigious amounts of glucose that the liver cannot cope with.

So going on one of the ketogenic diets which eschew all forms of carbohydrate is really the only true cure; but many people oddly would rather die than give up sugar and starch. Fatty liver disease is terminal.

I don't believe in diets. None of them deliver on their promises as we all know only too well. Yet Modified Banting[3] does have its merits; if a programme is not sustainable don't even bother making a start. You are wasting your time and it will only get depressed.

Natural honeycomb is almost unobtainable; or at least it will be extremely expensive.

honeycomb in frame capped

It takes 7kg of honey to make 1kilogramme of beeswax; some say 10.

Adulteration of honey with high fructose corn syrup

Adulteration of honey with high fructose corn syrup is not uncommon.

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  • Investing in long-term health
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  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
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  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
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  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
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  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
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