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Fructose itself has no impact on heart disease: study

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Wrong habits may cause sleepless nights
Wrong habits may cause sleepless nights

Toronto – Fructose, naturally found in fruit, vegetables and honey, is the sugar often blamed for the obesity epidemic and doctors the world over warn against having an excess of it.

A new research has shown that fructose does not itself has any impact on an emerging marker for the risk of cardiovascular disease known as post-prandial triglycerides.

“This is more evidence that fructose has adverse effects only insofar as it contributes to excess calories,” said John Sievenpiper, researcher in the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre of St. Michael’s Hospital here.

Sievenpiper conducted a meta-analysis of existing studies on fructose and its impact on the level of triglycerides, a fat found in blood, after eating.

“Fructose doesn’t behave any differently than other refined carbohydrates. The increases you see are when fructose provides extra calories,” added Sievenpiper.

Testing for these triglycerides – in addition to the standard testing for blood glucose levels – is becoming more common for people trying to determine their risk for cardiovascular disease, said the study published in the journal Atheroclerosis.

Fructose is a simple sugar that together with glucose forms sucrose, the basis of table sugar. It is also found in high-fructose corn syrup, the most common sweetener in commercially prepared foods.

Glucose also comes from starches like potatoes, our bodies produce it and every cell on the face of the earth has glucose in it. Fructose, however, is not. Humans don’t produce fructose and throughout evolutionary history have never consumed it except seasonally when fruit were ripe.

Glucose and fructose are metabolised very differently by the body.

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