Yale study ties fructose to obesity

Fructose, a sweetener found on many food labels, may contribute to weight gain and obesity because it has minimal effect on brain regions that control appetite, a study by Yale University researchers found.

The research, published…in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to compare the human brain’s response to both fructose and glucose, two types of simple sugars used separately and together to sweeten food.

Researchers have long suspected that increased consumption of food flavored with fructose, a substance sweeter to the taste than glucose, may contribute to the U.S. obesity epidemic. The latest study used brain imaging to measure activity after the sweeteners were consumed. It found that only glucose had the ability to reduce blood flow in areas of the brain that regulate appetite, stopping people from wanting to eat more…

The brain requires glucose as a fuel, Robert Sherwin said. When there isn’t enough in the body, it turns on cells to try to get a person to eat more. Once glucose levels rise, the brain turns those cells off. The study found that fructose doesn’t have the ability to operate that off switch, he said.

Jonathan Purnell, a professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal with colleague Damien Fair, said based on these results people should avoid processed and refined foods and drinks that contain fructose as well as glucose and eat more natural foods to reverse the trend in weight gain.

“It’s not that we are what we eat but what we eat influences what we become,” Purnell said…

Lots of folks talking about the study. It confirms common knowledge among folks who do at least minimal study of nutrition. Still – it’s appropriate to have a legit peer-reviewed source.

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5 comments

  1. Michael Herron

    Sugar is sugar. Fructose is a tiny player in the story of obesity. Just a diversion from calories and excercise.

    • god

      Sorry, but, that’s like saying a rat is just another rodent. Just like a rabbit.

      When one sugar produces results differing from other sugars, then the whole cause-and-effect relationship is altered.

      Increasing knowledge is not a diversion.

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