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Study: High-Fructose Diets May Raise Blood Pressure

Added Sugar May Be Linked to Hypertension Risk

Study Flawed, Critics Say continued...

As a result, “the authors miscalculated the number of beverages represented by 74+ grams of fructose/day,” the trade group states. “This actually represents four 12-oz sodas (not 2.5), an amount consumed by only the top 5% of consumers [in the study]. Thus, the risk of hypertension from fructose is not a matter of concern for the overwhelming majority of Americans.”

Another weakness of the study is that it relied on asking participants to recall what they ate and drank in the past.

Maureen Storey, PhD, senior vice president of science policy for the American Beverage Association, a trade group in Washington, D.C., also has concerns about the findings. The new studyfurthers the confusion and misunderstandings about high fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened beverages,” she says in a written statement. This study fails to show a link between soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages and high blood pressure.”

George Bakris, MD, president of the American Society of Hypertension and a professor of medicine and the director of the Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago, says fructose should not be singled out in terms of its role in raising blood pressure.

“It is not the fructose itself, it is all sugars that are deleterious,” he tells WebMD. “Sugar is the bad guy and lack of exercise is the bad guy when it comes to causing obesity and hypertension. It is not any one thing. Don’t gain weight and your blood pressure won’t go up.”

The study was first presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology in October 2009.

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