February 13, 2012
Fructose Does Not Increase Blood Pressure?

Fructose a bane of our existence and a cause of high blood pressure? A meta-analysis finds a drop of blood pressure from fructose consumption. But the meta-analysis was for fairly short intervention periods.

TORONTO, Ont. Feb.13, 2012—Eating fructose over an extended period of time does not lead to an increase in blood pressure, according to researchers at St. Michael's Hospital.

A new study has found that despite previous research showing blood pressure rose in humans immediately after they consumed fructose, there is no evidence fructose increases blood pressure when it has been eaten for more than seven days.

In fact, researchers led by Drs. David Jenkins and John Sievenpiper observed a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure – the measure of blood pressure when the heart is relaxed between contractions– in people who had eaten fructose for an extended period of time.

"A lot of health concerns have been raised about fructose being a dietary risk factor for hypertension, which can lead to stroke, cardiovascular disease, renal disease and death," said Vanessa Ha, a Master of Nutritional Sciences student and the lead author of the paper. "However, we wanted to determine whether fructose itself raised blood pressure, or if the apparent harm attributed to fructose was simply because people are eating too many calories."

Sorry, I do not find this convincing. 4 weeks? People develop high blood pressure over decades.

In the systematic review and meta-analysis, Ha and colleagues pooled the results of 13 controlled feeding trials which investigated the effects of fructose on blood pressure in people who had ingested fructose for more than seven days.

The 352 participants included in their analysis ate an average of 78.5g of fructose every day for about four weeks. The U.S. average is an estimated 49g per day.

I'm still eating lots of fruit every day since high fruit and vegetable consumption are correlated with healthier outcomes. That could be (and probably is) due to other compounds in fruits aside from fructose.

Until detailed mechanisms of harm from different types of diets are worked out the best one can do is follow diets that are associated with greater health in large population studies. The Mediterranean Diet appears to be most beneficial. Perhaps some form of paleo diet is even more beneficial. But I don't think we know enough to say.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2012 February 13 10:20 PM  Aging Diet Heart Studies

hamerhokie said at February 15, 2012 1:03 PM:

To me it's highly related to how you get your fructose. You can get it via fruit, and you can get it via foods that are sweeted with HFCS. Big difference there.

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