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Not All Food Sources of Fructose-Containing Sugars Raise Risk for MetS

Adverse link between sugar-sweetened drinks and MetS does not extend to other sources of fructose-containing sugars

sugar bowl

TUESDAY, July 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The adverse association of sugar-sweetened beverages and incident metabolic syndrome (MetS) does not extend to other major food sources of fructose-containing sugars, and yogurt, fruit, 100 percent fruit juice, and mixed fruit juice all have a protective association with MetS, according to a review published online July 9 in JAMA Network Open.

Zhila Semnani-Azad, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 prospective studies that included 49,591 participants. The studies were prospective cohort studies of one year or longer that investigated the association of major food sources of fructose-containing sugars with incident MetS in participants without MetS at the start of the study. The authors aimed to elucidate the role of other food sources of fructose-containing sugars in the development of MetS.

The researchers found an adverse linear dose-response association for sugar-sweetened beverages, an L-shaped protective dose-response association for yogurt and fruit, and a U-shaped dose-response association with protection at moderate doses for fruit juices, both mixed and 100 percent. The results showed that the adverse association of sugar-sweetened beverages with incident MetS does not extend to other food sources of fructose-containing sugars and that some had a protective association. Honey, ice cream, and confectionary had no association with MetS.

"The protective and neutral association in our results highlight two important considerations," the authors write. "First, the small beneficial effects of some foods might be driven by catalytic doses of fructose intake. Second, the food composition is important. Sugar-sweetened beverages are without beneficial nutrients and thus offer an unchecked source of fructose-containing sugar, whereas in other foods (e.g., yogurt), nutrients other than sugars (e.g., polyphenols, minerals, and fiber) may offer protection that might overcome harms from added sugars."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the food and nutrition industries.

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