Does fructose promote obesity?

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry

Author: Malin Karlsson; [2009]

Keywords: fructose; obesity; sugar; fruit; glucose;

Abstract: Today the largest source of fructose can be found in soft drinks, desserts and candies where it serves as a sweetener together with glucose. Fructose is not metabolized the same way as glucose and does not stimulate production of several key-hormones such as insulin, leptin and ghrelin, regulating energy balance. Because of these differences it might be asked whether there is a connection between the increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a common used sweetener, and the epidemic-like increase in obesity throughout the world. Several studies indicate that fructose gives rise to more deleterious metabolic effects than glucose, consequently leading to obesity. At the same time no differences between HFCS and sucrose has been shown indicating that HFCS are not likely contributing to the development of obesity as believed. The biggest use of fructose is in the form of HFCS, suggesting no reason to worry. Instead we should focus on our total consumption of sugar, try to stay away from soft-drinks and candy, and continue to eat adequate amounts of fruit. However, further investigations needs to be done to fully understand and determine the metabolic effects of prolonged consumption of fructose.

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