The not-so-sweet truth about sugar -- a risk choice?

Nov 22, 2010
This is Richard J. Johnson, M.D., of the division of renal diseases and hypertension at the University of Colorado. Credit: American Society of Nephrology

More and more people have become aware of the dangers of excessive fructose in diet. A new review on fructose in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) indicates just how dangerous this simple sugar may be.

Richard J. Johnson, MD and Takahiko Nakagawa, MD (Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, University of Colorado) provide a concise overview of recent clinical and experimental studies to understand how excessive amounts of , present in added sugars, may play a role in , diabetes, obesity, and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Dietary fructose is present primarily in added dietary sugars, honey, and fruit. Americans most frequently ingest fructose from sucrose, a disaccharide containing 50% fructose and 50% glucose bonded together, and (HFCS), a mixture of free fructose and free glucose, usually in a 55/45 proportion. With the introduction of HFCS in the 1970s, an increased intake of fructose has occurred and obesity rates have risen simultaneously.

The link between excessive intake of fructose and is becoming increasingly established. However, in this review of the literature, the authors conclude that there is also increasing evidence that fructose may play a role in hypertension and renal disease. "Science shows us there is a potentially negative impact of excessive amounts of and high fructose corn syrup on cardiovascular and kidney health," explains Dr. Johnson. He continues that "excessive fructose intake could be viewed as an increasingly risky food and beverage additive."

Concerned that physicians may be overlooking this health problem when advising CKD patients to follow a low protein diet, Dr. Johnson and Dr. Nakagawa recommend that low protein diets include an attempt to restrict added sugars containing fructose.

Explore further: Physician/Pharmacist model can improve mean BP

More information: The article, entitled "The Effect of Fructose on Renal Biology and Disease," will appear online on November 29, 2010, doi:10.1681/ASN.2010050506

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User comments : 6

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1 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2010
Maybe these scientists could take a lead in recommending natural alternatives like Xylitol, stevia and others and suggest to people to ask for them and governements to put a heavy tax on sugar which could then subsidise more expensive but healthy alternatives.
not rated yet Nov 23, 2010
Not to mention that HFCS is metabolized like ethanol in the liver.
not rated yet Nov 23, 2010
Not to mention that HFCS is metabolized like ethanol in the liver.

This is a specious claim. The reader is intended to draw the conclusion that alcohol is dangerous to the liver because of the way it is metabolized and since fructose shares a very small part of its metabolic pathway with alcohol it is therefor damaging to the liver by the same mechanism.

This is not true. Alcohol is dangerous to the liver because one of the metabolites is acetaldehyde.
not rated yet Nov 24, 2010
CBC News - Health - Sweetener may aggravate liver disease
The daily consumption of high-fructose corn syrup might aggravate liver damage
in people who suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a US ...
Please read............
not rated yet Nov 30, 2010
The November 29 study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology incorrectly suggests that consumption of ‘excessive’ fructose in the American diet may play a unique role in high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and chronic kidney disease. It is important to note that the authors’ hypothesis, drawn largely from rat and epidemiological studies rather than human trials, fails to take into account studies conducted with human subjects consuming table sugar and high fructose corn syrup at typical intake levels consistently return normal range values for important metabolic markers like serum glucose and insulin; triglycerides and uric acid; and for measured feelings of hunger and satiety.

Consumers can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup onlive at Sweet Surprise.

Audrae Erickson, Corn Refiners Association
not rated yet Nov 30, 2010
Re-read some comments from previous articles. I am not a lab rat and have noticed the difference in our HFCS free livestyle, that's why we don't buy products with HFCS in the ingredient label. I note that this is getting easier as more food producers are going back to sugar.

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