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Fructose: friend or foe?

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This thread is inspired by the "HFCS: Friend or foe" thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/694361). Hopefully it can serve as a place to share information about the known and unknown effects of fructose consumption on human health.

Is there a safe or even beneficial quantity of fructose that we should be eating? How much is too much? Is there a significant difference between eating sucrose and eating 1:1 glucose:fructose? What would happen if we replaced all sucrose and HFCS with glucose?

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  1. To get things started:

    Hepatospecific effects of fructose on c-jun NH2-terminal kinase: implications for hepatic insulin resistance
    http://ajpendo.physiology.org/cgi/con...

    High Dietary Fructose Induces a Hepatic Stress Response Resulting in Cholesterol and Lipid Dysregulation
    http://endo.endojournals.org/cgi/cont...

    A causal role for uric acid in fructose-induced metabolic syndrome
    http://ajprenal.physiology.org/cgi/co...

    The increase in human plasma antioxidant capacity after apple consumption is due to the metabolic effect of fructose on urate, not apple-derived antioxidant flavonoids
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/ent...

    The role of fructose in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and the metabolic syndrome
    http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journa...

    Antibiotics protect against fructose-induced hepatic lipid accumulation in mice: Role of endotoxin
    http://www.jhep-elsevier.com/article/...

    Orange juice or fructose intake does not induce oxidative and inflammatory response
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17...

    The conversion of glucose and fructose to fatty acids in the human liver
    http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrie...

    De novo lipogenesis during controlled overfeeding with sucrose or glucose in lean and obese women
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstr...

    Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans
    http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385

    Dietary Sugars Stimulate Fatty Acid Synthesis in Adults
    http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/a...

    Metabolic Effects of Fructose and the Worldwide Increase in Obesity
    http://physrev.physiology.org/cgi/con...

    Soft drink consumption and obesity: it is all about fructose
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19...

    Fructose ingestion acutely elevates blood pressure in healthy young humans
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18...

    Apologies for the rodent stuff... make of it what you will.

    1. It's all about dose. Keep your sugar dose down, and you'll be fine. I.e., keep your glucose, fructose, sucrose (glucose covalently linked to fructose), and maltose (glucose-glucose) dose down, and you'll be fine.

      1. Fructose is just is a naturally occurring monosaccharide found in fruits and honey.

        I love me my fruits. If it's dangerous, then I'll live dangerously.

        1 Reply
        1. I think the reason we find HFCS scary is that it is in EVERYTHING, including things we would not think of as sweet and things that we would not put sugar into in the first place. Add to the list modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrogenated oils and you wonder what you are eating.

          These ingredients (which are perfectly edible, though we have come to question the wisdom of consuming these in quantity) proliferate because the food industry needs to be as efficient as possible in order to feed the growing number of mouths in this country and abroad. Last I checked, they weren't making more farmland, so the pressure is to do more with what we have.

          That means more fertilizers (derived from petrochemicals and potash, both rapidly dwindling resources), more herbicides, more pesticides, more genetically modified plants, and more heavily medicated livestock.

          Welcome to the future, everybody.