Fantasizing About Fructose
Everybody knows that fructose is bad for you. It promotes obesity, fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, inflammation, hypertension, bacterial overgrowth, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cancer and numerous other metabolic conditions…at least that’s what people keep saying, over and over.
There are however, some who disagree.
“Few nutrients have received the level of scrutiny in the past 30 years that fructose has. It has been promoted as a unique dietary risk factor, likened to addictive drugs and reviled as a scourge of the modern diet…On closer examination, much of the accusing evidence appears based on confusion…incorrect reporting…extreme experimental designs bearing little resemblance…to actual human use, and emphasis on statistical rather than clinical importance.”
The time has perhaps arrived for us to take a step back and genuinely question where such ideas regarding the potential role of fructose – or sugar in general – in the promotion of disease have arisen from, and the kind of science they are actually based upon.
“Sucrose and HFCS consumption statistics are often incompletely reported or exaggerated to justify research…it is undeniable that HFCS use peaked in 1999 and has been in steep decline for more than a decade…there has been no positive association between HFCS and obesity for 13 y. There is likewise no correlation with other diet-related chronic diseases that have increased over the past decade…”
It is difficult (if not impossible) to determine the impact of sugar – including sucrose and fructose – on health, when the vast majority of calories are being consumed in the form of pure glucose from starchy fibrous grains, seeds, nuts and vegetables, in combination with highly polyunsaturated fats.
“The most striking modification of the US food supply during the 20th century was the >1000-fold increase in the estimated per capita consumption of soybean oil from 0.006% to 7.38% of energy. The increased soybean oil availability produced increases in dietary LA that exceeded changes in all other essential fatty acids.”
Furthermore, well performed studies with potentially important results very often have their findings presented in such a way as to fall in line with the dominant view, disregarding or minimizing their actual significance with regards to the metabolically beneficial effects of sugars such as fructose and sucrose.
“…historical sugars intake trends are incompletely or incorrectly represented and are seldom presented alongside comparable fats and oils or cereal grains intakes for perspective…energy from flour/cereal products and added fats increased disproportionately in comparison with caloric sweeteners, accounting for >90% of the increase…”
There is still however, a significant quantity of meaningful and logical physiological evidence and explanation – including well performed experimental results and data – showing the harmful effects of the polyunsaturated fats (and the protective role of sucrose and fructose) in relation to the development of the above mentioned (and many other) disease states.
“We are amassing tremendous amounts of data gathered at great taxpayer expense that has proved to be of little value to public health policymakers…Is it time for granting agencies and journal editors to require more physiologically relevant experimental designs and clinically important outcomes for fructose research? I think it is.”
In the meantime, a certain degree of healthy skepticism in relation to study outcomes – and a closer examination of the methods and approaches used in order to prove hypotheses – might help to provide a clearer picture with regards to the causes of a variety of conditions and diseases.
“1 conclusion stands clear: fructose is safe at typical intake levels but can produce adverse metabolic effects when abused—as is true of most nutrients. It turns out that the largest abusers of fructose are not American consumers, but research scientists…It is only when researchers hyperdose human and animal subjects with fructose in amounts that exceed the 95th percentile by 1.5- to 3- and 4- to 5-fold, respectively, that adverse effects are provoked.”
Have you experimented with a diet providing the majority of your calories and nutritional requirements from a combination of protein from milk cheese and gelatin with sucrose and fructose found in sweet ripe juicy fruits, juices, white sugar, and honey?
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Image: The Buffalo News
Artist : Adam Zyglis (Editorial Cartoonist)