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Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jul;94(1):112-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.002246. Epub 2011 May 25.

Metabolic responses to prolonged consumption of glucose- and fructose-sweetened beverages are not associated with postprandial or 24-h glucose and insulin excursions.

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Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.



Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been shown to be associated with dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, fatty liver, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. It has been proposed that adverse metabolic effects of chronic consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages are a consequence of increased circulating glucose and insulin excursions, ie, dietary glycemic index (GI).


We determined whether the greater adverse effects of fructose than of glucose consumption were associated with glucose and insulin exposures.


The subjects were studied in a metabolic facility and consumed energy-balanced diets containing 55% of energy as complex carbohydrate for 2 wk (GI = 64). The subjects then consumed 25% of energy requirements as fructose- or glucose-sweetened beverages along with their usual ad libitum diets for 8 wk at home and then as part of energy-balanced diets for 2 wk at the metabolic facility (fructose GI = 38, glucose GI = 83). The 24-h glucose and insulin profiles and fasting plasma glycated albumin and fructosamine concentrations were measured 0, 2, 8, and 10 wk after beverage consumption.


Consumption of fructose-sweetened beverages lowered glucose and insulin postmeal peaks and the 23-h area under the curve compared with the baseline diet and with the consumption of glucose-sweetened beverages (all P < 0.001, effect of sugar). Plasma glycated albumin concentrations were lower 10 wk after fructose than after glucose consumption (P < 0.01, effect of sugar), whereas fructosamine concentrations did not differ between groups.


The results suggest that the specific effects of fructose, but not of glucose and insulin excursions, contribute to the adverse effects of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages on lipids and insulin sensitivity. This study is registered at as NCT01165853.

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