The Truth About Fructose

In addition to this information on fructose, you may download the Calorie Control Council's "Fructose and Health Effects Q& A" here.

 

Metabolic Syndrome/Cardiovascular Disease

  • Fructose and Clinical Outcomes Study Speculative

    Findings presented in a review study titled “A systematic review on the effect of sweeteners on glycemic response and clinically relevant outcomes” examining the efficacy of sweeteners in relation to clinical outcomes is restrained with regards to positive findings and full of speculation, not supported by scientific evidence…
  • Methodological problems invalidate sugars differences

    In a recent paper, Le et al. (1) reported finding differences between the two most commonly used sweeteners in the US, concluding that “compared with sucrose, HFCS [high fructose corn syrup] leads to greater fructose systemic exposure and significantly different acute metabolic effects.”  Evidence in support of this conclusion was unconvincing, however, due to significant deficiencies in the experimental design…
  • Signaling out fructose in liver and heart disease is not scientifically justified

    A recent article published in Harvard Heart Letter recommended that readers cut back on fructose.  Though the article adequately summarized how the body handles fructose, “especially when there is too much in the diet” or when researchers “give the liver enough fructose,” it did not state clearly enough that these observations were observed largely in test subjects consuming highly exaggerated versus normal fructose exposures…
  • Calorie Control Council Response to Jalal et al. “Increased Fructose Associates with Elevated Blood Pressure”

    Jalal et al. investigated whether increased fructose consumption from added sugars is associated with an increased risk for higher blood pressure levels in U.S. adults without a history of hypertension. The researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2003-2006) involving 4,528 adults. Jalal et al. reportedly found that an increased fructose intake of >74 grams/day was “independently and significantly associated with higher odds of elevated blood pressure levels” 1…
  • “Fructose as cause of metabolic syndrome is poorly supported” by White

    In a recent paper, Perez-Pozo et al.1 concluded that high doses of fructose raise blood pressure and cause features of metabolic syndrome, and that fructose may therefore have a role in the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Their conclusion is poorly supported and should not be used to inform the public debate on fructose for three reasons…

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Diabetes

  • Study on Sugar Availability DM Prevalence Should Be Interpreted with Caution

    The findings in a study published on diabetes prevalence and sugar availability did not show that sugar causes diabetes. The study showed weak results and had numerous limitations.  According to the Calorie Control Council President, Dr. Haley Stevens, “The Basu et al study, which was not able to show cause and effect, contradicts numerous studies that have shown that the amount of fructose typically consumed in the human diet is not associated with an increased risk for diabetes.”…
  • “Weak Association between Sweeteners or Sweetened Beverages and Diabetes” by White

    The recent article by Montonen et al. (1) fails to demonstrate that a higher intake of fructose, glucose, and sweetened beverages (but not sucrose) may increase type 2 diabetes risk because 1) the authors do not acknowledge the fundamental compositional and metabolic similarities between monosaccharide (fructose 1 glucose) and disaccharide sucrose, and 2) their conclusion regarding diabetes risk of sweetened beverages vs. sucrose is inconsistent with the dominant use of sucrose in caloric beverages outside the United States and in Finland…

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Body Weight

  • Fructose Not Associated with Increased Body Weight, According to Review

    The article “Effects of Fructose vs. Glucose on Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Brain Regions Involved With Appetite and Reward Pathways” is of very little practical value. This study showed increases in the blood flow to some parts of the brains’ of a small number of people, not that fructose causes weight gain as has been suggested…
  • New Study on the Role of Fructose and Weight Gain Is Not Applicable to Real Life

    The article “Effects of Fructose vs. Glucose on Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Brain Regions Involved With Appetite and Reward Pathways” is of very little practical value. This study showed increases in the blood flow to some parts of the brains’ of a small number of people, not that fructose causes weight gain as has been suggested…

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Plasma Lipids

  • “Fructose study fails to show real world significance” by White

    We are writing to express concern that the conclusion of Havel and coworkers (1) in their manuscript titled, “Endocrine and Metabolic Effects of Consuming Fructose- and Glucose Sweetened Beverages with Meals in Obese Men and Women: Influence of Insulin Resistance on Plasma Triglyceride Responses” is not relevant to real world human diets. The authors concluded that “over consumption of dietary fructose may exacerbate the adverse metabolic profiles in obese individuals, particularly those with existing insulin resistance and may therefore increase the risks for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease”; but their experimental design, in which 30% of calories are fed as fructose in comparison to glucose, was highly artificial…

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Metabolism

  • “Therapeutic Interventions for Fructose-Induced Fatty Liver Disease are Premature” by White

    In their recent article, Vos and McClain paint a grim picture of dietary fructose, likening its effect to alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis and liver injury and thereby ‘‘defining targets for therapeutic interventions.’’ The case for such interventions is unsupported, built as it is on inappropriate extrapolation of highly exaggerated diets to the human condition, and decidedly premature for two reasons…
  • Calorie Control Council’s Response to “Is fructose bad for you?”

    We are writing in response to an article authored by Harvard Health Letter appearing on the MSN.com Health & Fitness website entitled, “Is fructose bad for you?” The article was last updated on 05/2007. The article makes a cursory attempt to be objective, admitting that the data on fructose and HFCS is not conclusive…
  • Calorie Control Council Response to “A Sweetener with a Bad Rap”

    Your July 2 article, “A Sweetener with a Bad Rap,” stated the following: "Studies have shown that the human body metabolizes fructose, the sweetest of the natural sugars, in a way that may promote weight gain. Specifically, fructose does not prompt the production of certain hormones that help regulate appetite and fat storage, and it produces elevated levels of triglycerides that researchers have linked to an increased risk of heart disease."…

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Uric Acid/Gout

  • Calorie Control Council Response to “New insights into the epidemiology of gout”

    The recent article by Michael Doherty [1] lists three dietary risk factors for gout: higher intakes of red meat, beer and fructose. Benjamin Franklin’s celebrated meaty diet and love for Madeira wine [2] aptly illustrates a historical recognition of meat and alcohol as legitimate risk factors for gout. The addition of fructose to this list by Doherty is completely unwarranted, however, because it lacks adequate justification and proof in real-world diets…

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Other

  • Fructose Does Not Cause Lower Academic Performance in Children

    The review article, “The emerging role of dietary fructose in obesity and cognitive decline” by Lakhan and Kirchgessner has serious limitations. Although the authors concluded that fructose is associated with cognitive decline and potentially contributes to “lower academic performance in adolescents”, these conclusions are not warranted…
  • Calorie Control Council Response to “Calorie-sweetened beverages and fructose: what we have learned 10 years later”

    Bray & Popkin (with Nielsen) drew attention to high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in a 2004 commentary (author ref. 1).  Though primarily supported by correlation with obesity, their HFCS hypothesis nevertheless had two important consequences:  (1) their unproven hypothesis was widely accepted as fact; and (2) omitted sucrose—similar to HFCS in composition, sweetness, calories and functionality—was unwittingly positioned as a 'healthy' sweetener alternative.  In a recent paper (1), Bray and Popkin present a new fructose-based hypothesis that is no better supported than the first…
  • Role of Fructose and Low-Calorie Sweeteners on Gut Microflora is Speculation

    An article “Gut Microbial Adaptation to Dietary Consumption of Fructose Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar Alcohols: Implications for host-microbe interactions contributing to obesity,” fails to show that fructose and low-calorie sweeteners contribute to obesity. The authors hypothesized that consuming fructose or low-calorie sweeteners could disrupt the environment where food is digested and that could lead to metabolic disorders and obesity…
  • Calorie Control Council Response to Stephan et al. “Increased fructose intake as a risk factor for dementia”

    In a recent paper, Stephan et al. speculated that high fructose intake is a risk factor for dementia and that increasing consumption of fructose in the U.S. population could lead to greater dementia risk. Their premise is weakened, however, by outdated references to fructose intake and functional properties, and by a reliance on supporting evidence gathered under extreme experimental conditions unrelated to typical human fructose exposure…
  • “More on Mice and Men: Fructose Could put Brakes on a Vicious Cycle Leading to Obesity in Humans” by Livesey

    The role played by dietary fructose in the ‘epidemic’ of obesity has recently been debated in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association following the earlier review by Lustig in which fructose is argued to have a prominent role in the causation and perpetuation of obesity. These warrant comment because the arguments do not represent the literature in humans on this topic and literature is cited inaccurately, particularly in regard to my own work…
  • “Significance of differential effects of glucose and fructose on brain food signaling is uncertain” by White

    The Mini Review by Lane et al. adequately describes the differential effects of glucose and fructose on the AMPK/malonyl-CoA signaling system and, thereby, feeding behavior. The review presents a misleading view of sugars effects, however, by displaying ignorance of contemporary sweetener composition and consumption, and failing to place the differential effects of fructose and glucose in proper scientific perspective…
  • Calorie Control Council Response to “Stealth Calories”

    In reporting the effect of fructose on insulin, leptin and ghrelin, you acknowledge the criticism of these studies based on the use of pure fructose but fail to mention that in addition, excessive levels of fructose were tested. Such prejudicial conditions are well known to provoke metabolic disturbances and do not reflect the diet of anyone on Earth…

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