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Metabolic Syndrome Health Center

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Fresh Take on Fructose vs. Glucose

Study Shows More Insulin Resistance With Fructose-Sweetened Beverages

Fructose and Glucose Study continued...

Over a 10-week period, the men and women drank either glucose- or fructose-sweetened beverages, totaling 25% of their daily calorie intake, either in an outpatient setting (eight weeks long) or highly controlled inpatient setting (two weeks long).

Both the groups gained weight during the trial, but imaging studies revealed that most of the added fat in the fructose group occurred in the belly, while most of the fat gained by the glucose group was subcutaneous (under the skin).

Belly fat, but not subcutaneous fat, has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

The fructose group had higher total cholesterol and LDL "bad" cholesterol, plus greater insulin resistance, which are consistent with metabolic syndrome, while the glucose group did not.

The research appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Study on High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is Under Way

Havel acknowledges that the study does little to answer the question of whether the body processes high-fructose corn syrup differently from table sugar or other sweeteners.

His research team is in the early stages of a study that will address the issue. The investigation will compare the metabolic effects of fructose, glucose, table sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup in normal-weight and obese men and women.

Cardiologist James Rippe, MD, who is a consultant for the Corn Refiners Association, says there is no credible scientific evidence that high-fructose corn syrup is a bigger cause of obesity or chronic disease than any of the other sugars used in processed foods.

He points out that while high-fructose corn syrup is used almost exclusively to sweeten soft drinks in the U.S., this is not true in many other parts of the world.

Rippe is a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida.

"Obesity and diabetes are on the rise in places where they don't use high-fructose corn syrup, such as Mexico, Europe, and Australia, just like in the United States," he says.

Tschop says whether the sweetener is high-fructose corn syrup or something else, it is clear that Americans are eating too much sugar.

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