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Fructose May Not Induce Weight Gain?

By Editor, March 17, 2012

According to a review and meta-analysis carried out by David Jenkins of the University of Toronto and his colleagues, fructose is no more a culprit in weight gain than other carbohydrate types. While fructose was associated with weight gain when taken in high doses, it wasn't proven if the excess weight was due to the fructose intake or an overall high calorie intake. In fact, according to a recent trial conducted by George Bray of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in La., extra calories do lead to an increase in fat, no matter what the diet composition.

However as some studies suggested that fructose was more lipogenic than other carbohydrates, Jenkins and colleagues decided to conduct some meta-analysis of trials to find out what effects fructose had on the body weight. Their research consisted of 637 patients undergoing 31 isocaloric trials involving equal energy consumption between the groups and 119 patients undergoing 10 hypercaloric trials where at least one group consumed excess energy.

 

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In order to isolate fructose effects, Jenkins excluded trials involving administering fructose as sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup. As a result, they found out that fructose did not affect body weight in the isocaloric trials; even in diabetic and normal weight patients. Though there was a weight loss of about half a kilo in the five trials of obese patients, three of these trials had a negative energy balance. Moreover, there was significant heterogeneity in the included studies. They however found that in the hypercaloric trials, high doses of fructose led to significant weight gain of about half a kilo. This weight gain was however attributed more to the excess calories and not specifically the fructose intake.

This study thus proved that energy was an important factor in understanding these analyses. They also mentioned that it was difficult to isolate the contributions of excess energy, fructose contribution and its 'interaction with the body weight increasing effect of fructose in hypercaloric trials'. Their research was limited because the study was small, of low quality and was not generalized. Most of the people enrolled in the trials were younger and middle-aged men and not older women.

 

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