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Fructose-Sweetened Beverages Do Not Promote Systemic Inflammation



sharma-obesity-beveragesThere is little doubt that increased consumption of fructose-sweetened beverages can be a substantial source of extra calories, thereby potentially promoting weight gain.

That said, fructose has also been implicated in non-caloric metabolic effects including promoting insulin resistance and systemic inflammation.

Now a study by Jessica Kuzma and colleagues from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, specifically addresses the hypothesis that fructose-sweetened beverages can promote systemic inflammation.

For their study, they randomised 24 otherwise healthy participants to three 8 day periods during which participants consumed 4 daily servings of fructose-, glucose-, or HFCS-sweetened beverages accounting for 25% of estimated calorie requirements while consuming a standardized diet ad libitum.

During the study subjects consumed 116% of their estimated calorie requirement while drinking the beverages with no difference in total energy intake or body weight.

Neither fasting plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein or IL-6 changed during the study.

Furthermore, there were no consistent changes in measures of adipose tissue inflammation or in intestinal permeability.

Overall, the researchers conclude that consuming an excessive amount of fructose, HFCS, and glucose derived from SSBs consumed, at least in the short term (8 days), does not appear to promote systemic inflammation in otherwise healthy adults.

Obviously, this study does not address the issue of wether or not overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can promote obesity or whether cutting out such beverages has any other advantages short of lowering caloric consumption.

@DrSharma
Edmonton, AB

3 Comments

  1. What do this short-term studies in “healthy” people contribute to the understanding of obesity?

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  2. From the authors ” …it is also possible that the markers we chose to study do not change that much within this relatively short time period”

    They only had the diet for 8 days, is that really enough to measure changes in CRP and IL-6 ?

    In addition, I thought it was beneficial to compare to the Cox et al (2011) which demonstrated after 10 weeks the visceral adipose tissue increased with fructose bev, not glucose, which makes it possible that visceral adiposity is the culprit and not the metabolism of fructose itself.

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