Peer Reviewed

Added fructose driving the rise in diabetics

Consumption of foods and beverages containing added sugars, particularly added fructose, is a major factor behind the dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes, contends a study.

Worldwide, approximately one in ten adults has type 2 diabetes, with the number of individuals afflicted by the disease across the globe more than doubling from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million in 2008, the study noted.

“At current levels, added-sugar consumption, and added-fructose consumption in particularly, are fueling a worsening epidemic of type 2 diabetes,” said lead author James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in the US.

For the study, researchers examined animal experiments and human studies.

Data from recent trials suggest that replacing glucose-only starch with fructose-containing table sugar (sucrose) results in significant adverse metabolic effects.

“The totality of the evidence is compelling to suggest that added sugar, and especially added fructose (usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar), are a serious and growing public health problem,” the authors noted.

While fructose is found naturally in some whole foods like fruits and vegetables, consuming these foods poses no problem for human health, they pointed out.

Indeed, consuming fruits and vegetables is likely protective against diabetes and broader cardiometabolic dysfunction, the authors explained.

Dietary guidelines should be modified to encourage individuals to replace processed foods, laden with added sugars and fructose, with whole foods like fruits and vegetables, they proposed.

The study appeared in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.


DiNicolantonio, James J. et al. Added Fructose, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2014.12.019

more recommended stories