Popular wisdom to the contrary, the body cannot tell the difference between sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). That was the consensus of a panel of scientists at the 2012 American Society of Nutrition (ASN) conference on experimental biology, held April 21-25 at San Diego, CA. They examined fructose, sucrose and HFCS, describing relevant scientific findings and health implications.

ASN assembled the panel to respond to the “sugar is toxic” allegation put forth by a group of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, in the Feb. 2 issue of Nature, an article that claimed sugar fuels a global obesity pandemic. One of that study’s researchers spoke on the panel, which included viewpoints from both sides of the issue.