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New weight loss strategy: Get rid of fructose?

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Fructose from food and how our body makes fructose could be obesity culprit.

New research suggests our body turns carbohydrates into fructose, which might be the real reason we are becoming obese when we eat high-glycemic carbohydrate foods, combined with the fructose we are consuming. Focusing on low-glycemic index foods and eliminating or cutting back on fructose could help with weight loss.

Researchers say it may be fructose manufactured by the body, combined with fructose consumption, that is the culprit for insulin resistance and obesity.

The finding, published in the journal Nature Communications, shows mice convert glucose into fructose in the liver.

Miguel Lanaspa, PhD, and Takuji Ishimoto, MD who conducted the study suggest fructose is not as 'safe' as believed for helping us manage our weight.

High fructose corn syrup and table sugar (sucrose), have been implicated as risk factors for obesity and insulin resistance. The current finding shows the reason may be from fructose.

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Richard Johnson, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the division of renal diseases and hypertension at the School of Medicine and senior author of the paper, said in a press release: "Our studies provide an understanding for why high glycemic foods may increase the risk for obesity and insulin resistance.

He adds it’s because our body’s convert glucose into fructose to cause weight gain. It isn't only about the number of calories we consume.

Fructose is found in corn-syrup, honey, sweetened foods and beverages. Half of sugar is fructose.

Fructose is considered a low-glycemic sugar Johnson said. "Ironically, our study shows that much of the risk from ingesting high glycemic foods is actually due to the generation of fructose…”

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Updated January 12, 2014