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Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Aug;82(2):421-7.

Effect of sucrose on inflammatory markers in overweight humans.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, Centre for Advanced Food Studies, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg, Denmark.



Observational studies have found that dietary glycemic load is positively associated with C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations in healthy humans, which suggests that the type of carbohydrate ingested influences inflammatory activity.


We investigated the effect of a diet with a high content of sucrose or artificial sweeteners on the inflammatory markers CRP, haptoglobin, and transferrin in overweight subjects.


Overweight men and women consumed daily food and drink supplements containing either sucrose [n = 21; body mass index (BMI, in kg/m2): 28.0] or artificial sweeteners (n = 20; BMI: 27.6), predominantly from soft drinks (70%; average approximately 1.3 L/d) for 10 wk.


During the intervention, sucrose intake increased by 151% in the sucrose group and decreased by 42% in the sweetener group, resulting in a 1.6-kg weight gain in the sucrose group and a 1.2-kg weight loss in the sweetener group over 10 wk (P < 0.001). Concentrations of haptoglobin, transferrin, and CRP increased by 13%, 5%, and 6%, respectively, in the sucrose group and decreased by 16%, 2%, and 26%, respectively, in the sweetener group (between-group differences: P = 0.006, P = 0.01, and P = 0.1, respectively). Adjustment for changes in body weight and energy intake did not substantially influence this outcome.


The study shows that in the present group of overweight subjects a high consumption of sugar-sweetened foods and drinks increased haptoglobin and transferrin but had, at best, only a limited influence on CRP.

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