Consuming Fructose-sweetened, Not Glucose-Sweetened Beverages Increases Visceral Adiposity

The Journal of Clinical Investigation published a small but fascinating study in 2009 that showed the stark differences between those who consume a lot of fructose (found as a sweetener in most beverages and processed foods) and those who consume glucose found in vegetables. The main finding is that eating and drinking too much fructose makes you dangerously fat.

Authors Kimber L. Stanhope, Jean Marc Schwarz, Nancy L. Keim, Steven C. Griffen, Andrew A. Bremer, James L. Graham, Bonnie Hatcher, Chad L. Cox, Artem Dyachenko, Wei Zhang, John P. McGahan, Anthony Seibert, Ronald M. Krauss, Sally Chiu, Ernst J. Schaefer, Masumi Ai, Seiko Otokozawa, Katsuyuki Nakajima, Takamitsu Nakano, Carine Beysen, Marc K. Hellerstein, Lars Berglund, Peter J. Havel
Institution Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California
Publication Name The Journal of Clinical Investigation
Publication Date May 2009

Studies in animals have documented that, compared with glucose, dietary fructose induces dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. To assess the relative effects of these dietary sugars during sustained consumption in humans, overweight and obese subjects consumed glucose- or fructose-sweetened beverages providing 25% of energy requirements for 10 weeks. Although both groups exhibited similar weight gain during the intervention, visceral adipose volume was significantly increased only in subjects consuming fructose. Fasting plasma triglyceride concentrations increased by approximately 10% during 10 weeks of glucose consumption but not after fructose consumption. In contrast, hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL) and the 23-hour postprandial triglyceride AUC were increased specifically during fructose consumption. Similarly, markers of altered lipid metabolism and lipoprotein remodeling, including fasting apoB, LDL, small dense LDL, oxidized LDL, and postprandial concentrations of remnant-like particle–triglyceride and –cholesterol significantly increased during fructose but not glucose consumption. In addition, fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels increased and insulin sensitivity decreased in subjects consuming fructose but not in those consuming glucose. These data suggest that dietary fructose specifically increases DNL, promotes dyslipidemia, decreases insulin sensitivity, and increases visceral adiposity in overweight/obese adults.

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