Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Tougher on Arteries

Switching to beverages with glucose might be preferable, experts say

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SATURDAY, June 23, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- The type of sugar in a sugary drink may impact how healthy -- or unhealthy -- it is for arteries, a new study suggests.

Fructose-sweetened drinks are more likely to provoke the development of fatty artery deposits in overweight adults than glucose-sweetened beverages, researchers say.

Kimber Stanhope, of the University of California at Davis, and colleagues compared the results of drinking fructose-sweetened beverages versus glucose for 10 weeks in overweight and obese adults.

Participants ate a balanced diet with 30 percent fat and 55 percent complex carbohydrates. Thirteen of the participants also consumed glucose-sweetened drinks, while 10 drank fructose-sweetened drinks.

The researchers found that 9 weeks later, 24-hour post-meal triglyceride (blood fat) levels went up after 2 weeks of fructose-sweetened drink but went down in those who consumed glucose-sweetened drinks.

Those who drank fructose-sweetened drinks also had a boost in fasting blood concentrations of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and other measures. Those levels were unaltered in those consuming glucose-sweetened drinks, however.

The findings were scheduled to be presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, in Chicago.

The bottom line, according to the researchers: "Persons at risk for developing metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease should avoid over-consumption of fructose-containing beverages."

The ADA notes, however, that consumption of fructose-sweetened beverages has gone up by 135 percent in the United States over the past four decades.

More information

There's more on eating right to prevent diabetes at the American Dietetic Association.

SOURCE: June 23, 2007, presentation, American Diabetes Association, annual meeting, Chicago

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