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Fructose Linked to Obesity

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PHILADEPHIA, Pa., Jun 07, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. researchers report drinking beverages with fructose, a naturally occurring sugar used in soft drinks, triggers hormonal responses that may favor obesity.

Fructose consumption has increased by 20 percent to 30 percent in the past three decades, experts estimate, a rate of increase similar to that of obesity.

Researchers at the University of California at Davis gave 12 normal-weight women standardized meals that contained the same amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein. One meal included a drink sweetened with fructose and another offered the same beverage sweetened with an equal amount of glucose, another naturally occurring sugar used by the body for energy.

Researchers found lower levels of insulin and leptin, which scientists have linked to increased appetite and obesity, in the women following meals with the fructose drink.

Levels of ghrelin, a hormone thought to trigger appetite that normally declines after meals, did not decline as much after meals with fructose drinks. Fructose also resulted in a long-lasting increase of triglycerides, fatty molecules in the blood that indicate risk for cardiovascular disease.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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