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Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Nov;72(5):1128-34.

Effects of dietary fructose on plasma lipids in healthy subjects.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, the General Clinical Research Center, the Division of Biostatistics, and the School of Public Health, the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.



About 9% of average dietary energy intake in the United States comes from fructose. Such a high consumption raises concern about the metabolic effects of this sugar.


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of dietary fructose on plasma lipids.


The study was conducted in the General Clinical Research Center at Fairview-University of Minnesota Medical Center. The participants were 24 healthy adult volunteers (12 men and 12 women; 6 of each sex were aged <40 y and 6 of each sex were aged >/=40 y). All subjects received 2 isoenergetic study diets assigned by using a randomized, balanced crossover design. One diet provided 17% of energy as fructose. The other diet was sweetened with glucose and was nearly devoid of fructose. Each diet was fed for 6 wk. Both diets were composed of common foods and contained nearly identical amounts of carbohydrate, protein, fat, fiber, cholesterol, and saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. All meals were prepared in the metabolic kitchen of the General Clinical Research Center.


The responses to the study diets differed by sex. In men, the fructose diet produced significantly higher fasting, postprandial, and daylong plasma triacylglycerol concentrations than did the glucose diet. The daylong plasma triacylglycerol concentration after 6 wk of the fructose diet was 32% greater in men than the corresponding concentration during the glucose diet (P: < 0.001). The fructose diet had no significant effect on fasting or postprandial plasma triacylglycerol concentrations in women. The fructose diet also had no persistent effect on fasting plasma cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol in either men or women.


Dietary fructose was associated with increased fasting and postprandial plasma triacylglycerol concentrations in men. Diets high in added fructose may be undesirable, particularly for men. Glucose may be a suitable replacement sugar.

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