A recent study claims that fructose has the same effect on the body as glucose and may even have a beneficial effect on health. Currently, the issue of sugar and its effect on health has become a topic of discussion. That is the case fructose, a simple sugar found in honey, vegetables and fruits, and serves as the base of syrup used in many prepared dishes. For many, fructose is one of the substances that directly contributes to the development of obesity, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases, because the body does not metabolize it like glucose. However, a recent study, published in the journal Current Opinion on Lipidology last February, refutes the truth of this claim and claims, instead, that fructose produces the same effect in the body as glucose and, even more, that it can even have a beneficial effect on health.
Led by Dr. John Sievenpiper, from St. Michaels in Toronto, Canada, a group of experts updated the research conducted on the subject up to August 2013, based on records from various government agencies – Medline, Embase, Clinical Trials, among others. Their research focused on the role of fructose on body weight, cardiometabolic risks, lipid, triglyceride and uric acid levels, as well as blood pressure, glycemic control and fatty liver markers.
Along with the idea that fructose is harmful to health, some are in favor of replacing it with glucose. However, according to Sievenpiper, “there is no evidence to confirm that fructose is more harmful than glucose. In a clinical sense, nothing would justify substituting one for the other.” Entitled Fructose vs. Glucose and Metabolism: Do Metabolic Differences Matter?, the study concluded that fructose did not affect insulin production, levels of adiposity in the circulatory system, or markers indicative of fatty liver disease at levels higher than glucose.
Furthermore, researchers have found that fructose offers benefits that glucose does not, as it is able to positively influence weight control, glycemic control and blood pressure, which does not happen with glucose. After all, as Sievenpiper warns, “high consumption, not the type of sugar, causes obesity and diabetes.”
Source: John L. Sievenpiper, et.al. Fructose versus glucose and metabolism: do metabolic differences matter? Current Opinion in Lipidology, February 2014, Volume 25.