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Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2010 Jul;65(7):729-38. doi: 10.1590/S1807-59322010000700013.

Fructose and cardiometabolic disorders: the controversy will, and must, continue.

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  • 1INSERM U, INSA Lyon, Villeurbanne, France.


The present review updates the current knowledge on the question of whether high fructose consumption is harmful or not and details new findings which further pushes this old debate. Due to large differences in its metabolic handling when compared to glucose, fructose was indeed suggested to be beneficial for the diet of diabetic patients. However its growing industrial use as a sweetener, especially in soft drinks, has focused attention on its potential harmfulness, possibly leading to dyslipidemia, obesity, insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome and even diabetes. Many new data have been generated over the last years, confirming the lipogenic effect of fructose as well as risks of vascular dysfunction and hypertension. Fructose exerts various direct effects in the liver, affecting both hepatocytes and Kupffer cells and resulting in non-alcoholic steatotic hepatitis, a well known precursor of the metabolic syndrome. Hepatic metabolic abnormalities underlie indirect peripheral metabolic and vascular disturbances, for which uric acid is possibly the culprit.Nevertheless major caveats exist (species, gender, source of fructose, study protocols) which are detailed in this review and presently prevent any firm conclusion. New studies taking into account these confounding factors should be undertaken in order to ascertain whether or not high fructose diet is harmful.


Diet; Fructose; Hypertension; Metabolic syndrome; Triglycerides; Uric acid

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