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Beware of the Dangers of Fructose

The dangers of fructose are not as well known as sucrose (table sugar) or maybe even aspartame because it may not be as high profile. An even bigger reason is that fructose is associated with fruit. We all know that we should be eating more fruits and vegetables.

Fructose is a fruit sugar. Fruit is composed of varying amounts of fructose, sucrose, and glucose (See Your Health & Wellness- week of July 12, 2007.) Sucrose which is ordinary table sugar breaks down into glucose and fructose upon digestion. Glucose, also known as dextrose, is blood sugar.

The glycemic index for fructose is low (19.) For glucose it is high (96.) Because of its very low glycemic index, fructose has no negative impact on blood sugar. But it is dangerous in other ways.

Commercially produced fructose is not the same as the natural fructose found in fruits. Excessive fructose consumption has been found to lead to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high triglyceride (chemical form of fat) levels.

Researchers at the University of California at Davis (UCD) did a fructose study. They wanted to assess the risk of heart disease in 23 overweight adults ages 43 to 70 years old. The results were that the fructose group saw their insulin sensitivity decrease and their low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol rise.

And to add insult to injury, the study subjects gained an average of 3 pounds. The glucose group were not similarly affected. This study epitomizes the dangers of fructose.

A fall in insulin sensitivity can lead to prediabetes, and prediabetes can lead to full-blown diabetes. The opposite of insulin sensitivity is insulin resistance. The more sensitive a person is to insulin, the better. LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol.

Fructose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and crystalline fructose are all equally dangerous. John Yudkin, MD., PhD., professor emeritus at Queen Elizabeth College in London, England said this, "people should avoid it (fructose.)" Dr. Yudkin is also an expert on the health effects of sugar.

Although the consumption of sucrose has gone down, the consumption of fructose and high fructose corn syrup has steadliy increased. They are much cheaper to produce than processing cane sugar or beet sugar. Sugar is hidden in countless commercial products.

The use of fructose as a commercial sweetener dates back to the late 60s and early 70s. The Finnish Sugar Company was the first to develop a method of synthesizing fructose from cane and beet sugar and some vegetables.

It has also been determined that fructose interferes with the body's absorption of copper. This trace element is necessary for the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells. This makes the dangers of fructose even more critical.
Did you know this?

More on HFCS...

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