Obesity and Other Illnesses from Fructose - By: Bobby Castro

A consortium of scientists from all over the world has worked together to publish a study that provides information regarding fructose's ability to cause obesity and diabetes. While the study was performed on laboratory animals, it was found that fructose could be metabolized by an enzyme existing in two forms.

One of the forms of fructose affects fatty liver, obesity and insulin resistance. The other form, on the other hand, provides protection for animals against developing these illnesses in response to sugar.

The studies conducted can provide insights into the cause of the prediabetic condition now known as "metabolic syndrome". This syndrome affects more than one fourth of adults in the United States. The study is entitled "Opposing effects of fructokinase C and isoforms on fructose-induced metabolic syndrome in mice" published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Senior Author of the study and Chief of the Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Dr. Richard Johnson said the findings have are now more significant as there is a better understanding of how fructose leads to obesity, diabetes and other illnesses.

He added, "These studies provide new insights into how fructose may contribute to the development of obesity and diabetes. In particular, the identification of contrasting roles for two enzymes that are involved in fructose metabolism was surprising and could be important in understanding why some individuals may be more sensitive to the metabolic effects of fructose than others."

Other studies found that fructose intake in added sugars like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup is linked to the significant rise in obesity and nonalcoholic liver disease. Increased fructose intake causes indications of metabolic syndrome in laboratory animals and humans. It is known to cause organ fat accumulation and insulin resistance compared to starch based diets where calories are kept on an even keel.

There is further evidence that fructose intake causes symptoms of metabolic syndrome to present itself in humans and animals. This means that comparing two diets of nearly equal calorie levels, where one has more fructose while the other has more starch, would result in greater accumulation of fat around organs and increased insulin resistance.

The study used laboratory mice where it found that fructose metabolizes two forms of an enzyme, namely fructokinase C and fructokinase A. These two forms of fructokinase have two contrasting effects on the body, where one results to fatty liver, obesity and insulin resistance while the other protects against these illnesses in response to the sugar intake.

The authors concluded, "By reducing the amount of fructose for metabolism in the liver, fructokinase A protects against fructokinase C-mediated metabolic syndrome. These studies provide insights into the mechanisms by which fructose causes obesity and metabolic syndrome."

Fructose is one aspect of diets that results in many health issues. One of the primary ones is diabetes.

Bobby Castro is the online editor at the Diabetes Forum, where he has published a number of articles about diabetes news and many other topics.

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