Contact: Leslie Stein
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Fructose-sweetened drinks increase nonfasting triglycerides in obese adults
PHILADELPHIA (February 12, 2009) –
Obese people who drink fructose-sweetened beverages with their meals
have an increased rise of triglycerides following the meal, according
to new research from the Monell Center.
triglycerides after a meal are known predictors of cardiovascular
disease," says Monell Member and study lead author Karen L. Teff, PhD,
a metabolic physiologist. "Our findings show that fructose-sweetened
beverages raise triglyceride levels in obese people, who already are at
risk for metabolic disorders such as cardiovascular disease and
Triglycerides are manufactured by the body from
dietary fat and are the most common form of fat transported in blood.
Although normal levels of triglycerides are essential for good health,
high levels are associated with increased risk for atherosclerosis and
other predictors of cardiovascular disease.
In the study, published online by the
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,
Teff and her collaborators studied 17 obese men and women. Each was
admitted two times to the Clinical and Translational Research Center at
the University of Pennsylvania. On each admission, the subjects were
given identical meals and blood was collected from an intravenous
catheter over a 24-hour period. The only difference was the sweetener
used in the beverages that accompanied the meals; beverages were
sweetened with glucose during one admission and with fructose during
Blood triglyceride levels were higher when
subjects drank fructose-sweetened beverages with their meals compared
to when they drank glucose-sweetened beverages. The total amount of
triglycerides over a 24-hour period was almost 200 percent higher when
the subjects drank fructose-sweetened beverages.
fructose increased triglyceride levels in all of the subjects, this
effect was especially pronounced in insulin-resistant subjects, who
already had increased triglyceride levels. Insulin resistance is a
pre-diabetic condition often associated with obesity.
can cause even greater elevations of triglyceride levels in obese
insulin-resistant individuals, worsening their metabolic profiles and
further increasing their risk for diabetes and heart disease," said
Fructose and glucose are forms of sugar found in both
table sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup. Both fructose and
glucose are present in lower concentrations in many fruits and
vegetables. Although fructose tastes much sweeter than either glucose
or sucrose, it typically is not used alone as a sweetener.
work will seek to determine how much fructose is needed to cause an
increase of triglyceride levels when it is combined with glucose in
beverages. Additional studies will explore the metabolic and health
effects of long-term fructose intake.
addition to her appointment at Monell, Teff serves as Associate
Director for Translational Research at the Institute for Diabetes,
Obesity & Metabolism, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
contributing to the study were Peter Havel from the University of
California, Davis and his colleagues Kimber Stanhope, Nancy Keim, and
Bethany Cummings; Sean Adams, Ryan Grant, and Tamara Dunn from the USDA
Western Human Nutrition Center; Joanne Grudziak from Monell; and
Raymond R. Townsend from the University of Pennsylvania.
The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent
nonprofit basic research institute based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Monell advances scientific understanding of the mechanisms and
functions of taste and smell to benefit human health and well-being.
Using an interdisciplinary approach, scientists collaborate in the
programmatic areas of sensation and perception; neuroscience and
molecular biology; environmental and occupational health; nutrition and
appetite; health and well-being; development, aging and regeneration;
and chemical ecology and communication. For more information about
Monell, visit www.monell.org