Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, is something we have always eaten, or is it?
A century ago a person ate 15 grams per day, and today we eat 4-5 times that amount.
Given the way the body breaks down fructose, that increase may be contributing to liver and heart disease, reports the September 2011 issue of the Harvard Health Publication, Harvard medical school.
Two recent studies have linked higher intake of fructose with higher chances of developing or dying from heart disease.
The breakdown of fructose in the liver does more than lead to the buildup of fat.
- elevates triglycerides
- increases harmful LDL (so-called bad cholesterol)
- promotes the buildup of fat around organs (visceral fat)
- increases blood pressure
- makes tissues insulin-resistant, a precursor to diabetes
- increases the production of free radicals, energetic compounds that can damage DNA and cells.
None of these changes are good for the arteries and the heart.
Researchers have begun looking at connections between fructose, fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular disease.
An article published in 2010 in The New England Journal of Medicine indicated that people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are more likely than those without it to have buildups of cholesterol-filled plaque in their arteries. They are also more likely to develop cardiovascular disease or die from it.
Higher intakes of fructose are associated with these conditions, but clinical trials have yet to show that it causes them.
Recomendations are still only to limit the amount of sugar you get from sugar-sweetened drinks, pastries, desserts, breakfast cereals, and more.
The human body handles glucose and fructose in different ways. Virtually every cell in the body can break down glucose for energy. About the only ones that can handle fructose are liver cells. What the liver does with fructose, especially when there is too much in the diet, has potentially dangerous consequences for the liver, the arteries, and the heart.
I myself have not eater fruit for 2 years, my body is lacking nothing and I am very healthy. Even if ‘they’ don’t direktly recommend cutting down or out on fruits, that’s what I would do, especially after reading the article in the Harvard Publication.
What do you think?