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Originally published December 4 2008

Study Shows Link Between Fat and Fructose

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The body converts fructose into fat much more rapidly than it does with other sugars, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas and published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Researchers fed a series of three soft drinks in randomized order to four men and two women with an average body mass index of 24.3 and an average age of 28. One drink contained a 100 percent glucose sweetener, another a 50-50 mix of glucose and fructose, and the third a 25-75 glucose-fructose mix. The participants' blood triglyceride and fat synthesis levels were measured immediately after consumption.

While fat synthesis was only 7.8 percent in the 100 percent glucose group, it was found to be 15.9 percent in the 50-50 group and 16.9 percent in the 25-75 group. Likewise, blood triglycerides measured 11 percent higher after participants drank the 50-50 beverage than after the 100 percent glucose, and 29 percent higher after the 25-75 drink.

"Our study shows for the first time the surprising speed with which humans make body fat from fructose," said researcher Elizabeth Parks.

Parks noted that the real-world effects of fructose consumption are probably even more dramatic than those observed in the study, which was conducted on lean, healthy individuals who consumed the beverages after a fast.

The researchers explained the effect by pointing to the body's different ways of metabolizing glucose and fructose. Glucose first goes to the liver, where it can be either immediately burned as energy, stored as glycogen or turned into triglycerides. Fructose, on the other hand, never goes to the liver and instead floods the bloodstream.

Parks cautioned against singling out fructose as "the" cause of obesity, however.

"I think it may be a contributor, but it's not the only problem. Americans are eating too many calories for their activity level. We're overeating fat, we're overeating protein, and we're over-eating all sugars," she said.

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