Food and Behaviour Research

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29 January 2015 - Medical News Today - Added fructose is a principal driver of type 2 diabetes

Recent studies have shown that added sugars, particularly those containing fructose, are a principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes, even more so than other carbohydrates.

Clinical experts writing in Mayo Clinic Proceedingschallenge current dietary guidelines that allow up to 25% of total daily calories as added sugars, and propose drastic reductions in the amount of added sugar, and especially added fructose, people consume.

Worldwide, approximately one in ten adults has type 2 diabetes, with the number of individuals afflicted by the disease across the globe more than doubling from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million in 2008. In the United States, 29 million adults (one in eleven) have type 2 diabetes and another 86 million (more than one in three) have pre-diabetes.

"At current levels, added-sugar consumption, and added-fructose consumption in particular, are fueling a worsening epidemic of type 2 diabetes," said lead author James J. DiNicolantonio.

The net result of excess consumption of added fructose is derangement of both overall metabolism and global insulin resistance say the authors. Other dietary sugars not containing fructose seem to be less detrimental in these respects. Indeed, several clinical trials have shown that compared to glucose or starch, isocaloric exchange with fructose or sucrose leads to increases in fasting insulin, fasting glucose, and the insulin/glucose responses to a sucrose load. This suggests that sucrose (in particular the fructose component) is more harmful compared to other carbohydrates," added Dr. DiNicolantonio.