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Fructose may cause type 2 diabetes mellitus?

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By David Liu, PHD

Tuesday Jan 1, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- We all know high intake of sugars is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus.  A new study in Diabetes Care suggests that not all sugars are equally harmful and fructose is more damaging than glucose.

Kaspar Berneis from University Hospital Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland and colleagues conducted the study and found moderately high intake of fructose causes hepatic insulin insensitivity and impairs lipid metabolism.
In the small trial, nine healthy, normal-weight men aged 21-25 years consumed four different sweetened beverages 600 ml per day for three weeks each, 40 grams of fructose per day, 80 grams of fructose, 80 grams of glucose and 80 grams of sucrose per day.
It was found that high fructose intake was linked to significantly lower hepatic suppression of glucose production compared to high glucose intake, 59.4% vs. 70.3 % while fasting glucose, insulin, and c-peptide did not vary by the type of intervention.

Both high and moderate intake of fructose and high intake of sucrose (which contains half glucose and half fructose) led to significantly higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol, compared with high intake of glucose.

The total intake of energy in all subjects was the same as the baseline intake.

The researchers concluded "This study clearly shows that moderate amounts of fructose and sucrose significantly alter hepatic insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism compared with similar amounts of glucose."

This and other studies have suggested that glucose is safer than fructose.  Fructose is found in high fructose corn syrup and sucrose (cane sugar or beet sugar).   Glucose is present in a product called dextrose which is only used by the industry.  

The best sugar food consumers can use is probably maltose, one molecule of which contains 2 molecules of glucose. But maltose is not available as commonly as high fructose corn syrup and sucrose (beet sugar or cane sugar).

Glucose and maltose do not taste as sweet as sucrose or fructose.

The study suggests that diabetes type 2 patients should immediately quit eating fructose (high fructose corn syrup) containing foods and beverages.

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