Health Implications of Fructose Consumption: A Review of Recent Data

A Review of Recent Data

Salwa W Rizkalla

Disclosures

Nutr Metab. 2010;7 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

This paper reviews evidence in the context of current research linking dietary fructose to health risk markers.
Fructose intake has recently received considerable media attention, most of which has been negative. The assertion has been that dietary fructose is less satiating and more lipogenic than other sugars. However, no fully relevant data have been presented to account for a direct link between dietary fructose intake and health risk markers such as obesity, triglyceride accumulation and insulin resistance in humans. First: a re-evaluation of published epidemiological studies concerning the consumption of dietary fructose or mainly high fructose corn syrup shows that most of such studies have been cross-sectional or based on passive inaccurate surveillance, especially in children and adolescents, and thus have not established direct causal links. Second: research evidence of the short or acute term satiating power or increasing food intake after fructose consumption as compared to that resulting from normal patterns of sugar consumption, such as sucrose, remains inconclusive. Third: the results of longer-term intervention studies depend mainly on the type of sugar used for comparison. Typically aspartame, glucose, or sucrose is used and no negative effects are found when sucrose is used as a control group.
Negative conclusions have been drawn from studies in rodents or in humans attempting to elucidate the mechanisms and biological pathways underlying fructose consumption by using unrealistically high fructose amounts.
The issue of dietary fructose and health is linked to the quantity consumed, which is the same issue for any macro- or micro nutrients. It has been considered that moderate fructose consumption of ≤50g/day or ~10% of energy has no deleterious effect on lipid and glucose control and of ≤100g/day does not influence body weight. No fully relevant data account for a direct link between moderate dietary fructose intake and health risk markers.

Introduction

Fructose, a natural sugar found in many fruits, is consumed in significant amounts in Western diets.[1] In equal amounts, it is sweeter than glucose or sucrose and is therefore commonly used as a bulk sweetener.

An increase in high fructose corn syrup, as well as total fructose, consumption over the past 10 to 20 years has been linked to a rise in obesity and metabolic disorders.[2] This raises concerns regarding the short and long term effects of fructose in humans.

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