Is HFCS less safe than other sweeteners?
FDA receives many inquiries asking about the safety of HFCS, often referring to studies about how humans metabolize fructose or fructose-containing sweeteners. These studies are based on the observation that there are some differences between how we metabolize fructose and other simple sugars.
We are not aware of any evidence, including the studies mentioned above, that there is a difference in safety between foods containing HFCS 42 or HFCS 55 and foods containing similar amounts of other nutritive sweeteners with approximately equal glucose and fructose content, such as sucrose, honey, or other traditional sweeteners. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that everyone limit consumption of all added sugars, including HFCS and sucrose.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that's no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it's 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons. The AHA recommendations focus on all added sugars, without singling out any particular types such as high-fructose corn syrup.
(FYI -- that daily limit for sugar for men is approximately one 12-oz. can of soda. It's less for women. And that assumes you don't consume ANY added sugars in anything else you eat that day, which is nearly impossible if you consume any processed foods.)
Review article supported by the American Medical Association:
Because the composition of HFCS and sucrose is so similar, particularly on absorption by the body, it appears unlikely that HFCS contributes more to obesity or other conditions than sucrose does. . . . At the present time, there is insufficient evidence to ban or otherwise restrict use of HFCS or other fructose-containing sweeteners in the food supply or to require the use of warning labels on products containing HFCS. Nevertheless, dietary advice to limit consumption of all added caloric sweeteners, including HFCS, is warranted.
You can find plenty more things like this if you look, because there are dozens of studies that back up such a position. After decades of looking, we so far have only a handful of studies measuring significant differences with HFCS metabolism. That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep looking... but it's important to see those Princeton findings in context.