In a study to be published next month in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers at GHSU's Georgia Prevention Institute followed 559 adolescents and their consumption of fructose, a sugar commonly added to foods and drinks as high fructose corn syrup. ...
In measuring their fat, those with higher fructose consumption added more visceral adipose tissue, often found in the abdomen and around the organs. Those students had higher resting blood pressure and levels of c-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation. They had lower levels of HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol thought to be protective, and adiponectin, which promotes insulin sensitivity and is anti-inflammatory. Those factors put them at greater risk for developing cardiovsascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Unlike previous studies, the researchers also looked at sucrose, or table sugar, in the diet, which breaks down into fructose and glucose, said author Vanessa Bundy, a first-year resident physician in pediatrics at GHSU.
“We think that they were missing a huge component of fructose in the diet by not accounting for the fructose that comes along in the form of sucrose,” she said.
The sweetener has been increasingly added to food and drinks since the 1970s, and there has also been a monumental increase in obesity over that period, but there still needs to be proof the two are connected, said study lead author Norman Pollock, an assistant professor of pediatrics at GHSU and the institute.
“Even though it is parallel, we still have to provide the data,” he said.