April 20, 2009
Fructose Sweetening Increases Intraabdominal Fat?

First off, you are better off just drinking water. But fructose sweetening of beverages might be worse than glucose sweetening.

In 2005, the average American consumed 64kg of added sugar, a sizeable proportion of which came through drinking soft drinks. Now, in a 10-week study, Peter Havel and colleagues, at the University of California at Davis, Davis, have provided evidence that human consumption of fructose-sweetened but not glucose-sweetened beverages can adversely affect both sensitivity to the hormone insulin and how the body handles fats, creating medical conditions that increase susceptibility to heart attack and stroke.

In the study, overweight and obese individuals consumed glucose- or fructose-sweetened beverages that provided 25% of their energy requirements for 10 weeks. During this period, individuals in both groups put on about the same amount of weight, but only those consuming fructose-sweetened beverages exhibited an increase in intraabdominal fat. Further, only these individuals became less sensitive to the hormone insulin (which controls glucose levels in the blood) and showed signs of dyslipidemia (increased levels of fat-soluble molecules known as lipids in the blood). As discussed in an accompanying commentary by Susanna Hofmann and Matthias Tschöp, although these are signs of the metabolic syndrome, which increases an individual's risk of heart attack, the long-term affects of fructose over-consumption on susceptibility to heart attack remain unknown.

Also see my previous posts Liquid Calories Key To Weight Loss, More Evidence For Fructose Obesity Link, and "Fructose Consumption May Lead To Obesity". However, do not let the fructose-fat link dissuade you from eating fruits. Fruits are beneficial.

But avoid fruit juice.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 April 20 11:11 PM  Aging Diet Weight Studies

back40 said at April 21, 2009 1:26 PM:

Sugar (sucrose) metabolizes to 50% fructose and 50% glucose. HFCS is 55% fructose and 45% glucose.

Dave said at April 21, 2009 3:31 PM:

Exactly; no soft drinks are sweetened with pure fructose (or pure glucose, for that matter). From the study:

"Foods and beverages in the US are typically sweetened with sucrose (50% glucose and 50% fructose) or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is usually 45%–58% glucose and 42%–55% fructose, rather than pure glucose or fructose. We have reported in a short-term study that the 23-hour postprandial TG profiles in male subjects consuming 25% energy as HFCS (55% fructose) or sucrose were elevated to a degree similar to that observed when pure fructose–sweetened beverages were consumed (19)."

thrill said at April 21, 2009 3:36 PM:

avoid anything sweetened with high fructose corn syrup

ras said at April 21, 2009 4:28 PM:

If both groups gained the same amount of weight, where did the glucose group gain theirs? Not the belly, you made that clear, so where then? Other fat deposits? Muscle? Bone?

Morgan said at April 21, 2009 4:33 PM:

Real easy way to deal with this, but it's a long shot in these times.

Remove price controls on sugar. The end. This is another problem courtesy of special interests and DC's inclination to give them their wants.

Viktor Silo said at April 21, 2009 4:54 PM:

There is a lot of misinformation out there. Here are some general rules:

Fat storage cannot be increased except in the presence of insulin. Fat does not cause an increase in insulin secretion.

Protein causes only small increases insulin secretion via a process called glyconeogenesis. The amount of insulin secretion is minimal because blood sugar is only produced "on demand."

Hard to digest carbohydrates (unrefined starch) also cause a low insulin response because of extended digestion time.

Refined carbohydrates, whether starch or sugar, cause the greatest insulin response by far.

The greater the insulin response, the greater the fat storage.

There are three main areas of stored carbohydrates in the body: in the liver and the muscles in the form of glycogen and in the fat cells in the form of glycerides which form the backbone of triglycerides which is the stored configuration of fatty acids.

Sugar, when digested, breaks down into fructose and glucose.

The glucose goes the blood stream causing an insulin response which drives glucose into the muscle cells. Surplus glucose causes elevated insulin levels which directs the surplus glucose to the fat cells where it is used to make glycerides.

The fructose is directed to the liver where it is used to top up liver glycogen and if any is left over it is converted into fatty acids. These fatty acids are released into the blood stream and, in the presence of elevated insulin levels, directed to the fat cells.

Fatty acids are highly unstable and, so, they hook up with the glycerides in the fat cells to form the stable form of fat we know as triglycerides.

In natural animal products the fat is of the saturated kind. This causes insulin resistance in the muscle cells. This is necessary because the low blood sugar levels of a carnivore diet needs a way of making sure that the brain gets all the blood glucose it needs. The muscle cells will rely on fat for energy almost all the time and use a chemical called ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), which is manufactured within the cell, for its "high octane" fuel when the occasion demands it. BTW, compare the bodies of sprinters with marathoners.

An unknown here is the body's response to powdered protein. I think that it is at least plausible that refined protein powders may cause an elevated level of glyconeogenesis.

Stay away from refined carbohydrates and vegetables that have been cultured to produce a lot of sugar e.g. beets, corn, carrots etc. Stay away from concentrated fats such as vegetable oils and lard and, especially, stay away from the combination of refined sugar and concentrated fats. Bakery products and ice cream come to mind. So does Coke and chips.

What I explained above will explain why.

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