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Mice who drank fructose-sweetened water gain 63% more than with sucrose-sweetened soft drink
Saturday, September 03, 2005 2:41 am Email this article
Mice give a fructose drink gained 63 percent more weight in two months than mice given either water, a sucrose-sweetened soft drink or a diet soft drink according to a fascinating new study from the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal, Germany.
Mice were randomly assigned to be given one of the following four drinks. They could consume as much or as little as they desired.
- water with 15% fructose
- a popular soft drink with 10% sucrose (table sugar) which I assume was the European version of Coke
- a popular diet soft drink, which I assume was “Coke Lite” which is sold in Europe, was sweetened with the artificial sweeteners cyclamate, aspartame (Nutra-Sweet), and saccharine (Sweet-N-Low), or
15% fructose used to imitate fructose-sweetened soft drinks in the U.S.
“The concentration of fructose dissolved in water in the fructose group was chosen as 15% to imitate the highest amount of fructose in U.S. brands of fructose-sweetened soft drinks, which are higher than the European soft drinks because of the use of high fructose corn syrup instead of sucrose,” they noted.
Standard diet; allowed to eat as much as they wanted
The animals were given a standard diet and allowed to eat as much of a as they wanted.
Mice given the fructose drink did NOT consume more calories than the sucrose group or diet soda group
Interestingly, mice in the fructose group did not consume more calories than mice in the sucrose group or diet soda group.
Mice in the fructose group consumed a total of 1045 calories compared to 1066 calories for mice in the sucrose group and 1052 calories for mice in the diet soda group versus 991 calories for mice in the water group.
Mice given water consumed 5 percent fewer calories than any other group
Note that the mice given water consumed 5 percent fewer calories than mice in any of the other groups.
The lesson here is that eating foods that taste sweet, regardless of whether they are sweetened with sugar or artificially sweetened, tend to increase calorie intake.
Mice given the fructose drink gained 62-77% more than any other group
Mice given either water, sucrose-sweetened soft drink or the diet soda, all gained a similar amount of weight, however, the group given the 15% fructose drink gained 62-77 percent more weight than the other groups.
- the group given water with 15% fructose gained 20.8 percent
- the group given a popular soft drink with 10% sucrose (table sugar) gained 12.8 percent
- the group given a popular diet soft drink containing an artificial sweetener gained 12.1 percent, and
- the group given water gained 11.7 percent
Mice given the fructose drink gained twice as much body fat as mice given water
Mice given the 15% fructose drink gained twice as much body fat as the mice given water, and 30-40 percent more than those given the sucrose-sweetened soda or the diet soda.
- the group given water with 15% fructose gained 10.5 percent body fat
- the group given a popular soft drink with 10% sucrose (table sugar) gained 7.9 percent body fat
- the group given a popular diet soft drink containing an artificial sweetener gained 7.4 percent body fat, and
- the group given water gained 5.4 percent body fat
Diet soda group had insulin levels more than twice as high as any other group
Also of importance is that the mice given the diet soda had insulin levels that were more than twice as high as in any other group.
Insulin levels in the diet soda group were an average of 5728 pg/mL versus 2655 for the water group, 2744 for the fructose group, and 2772 for the sucrose group.
The diet soda, which I assume was “Coke Lite” which is sold in Europe, was sweetened with cyclamate, aspartame (Nutra-Sweet), and saccharine (Sweet-N-Low).
The elevated insulin levels were thought to be caused by the artificial sweetener cyclamate, which is not longer sold in the U.S.
Elevated insulin levels like that in the diet soda group could be devastating on long-term health.
Drug that lowers insulin levels the most potent anti-agining substance known according to one scientist
Ward Dean, M.D., an original thinker who I have the utmost respect for, believes that metformin (Glucophage), the diabetes drug that lowers insulin levels, “is one of the most promising anti-aging, life extending drugs available”.
Dr. Dean has said that Russian gerontologist Vladimar Dillman believed that the drug phenformin, a stronger cousin to the metformin (Glucophage), was the most potent anti-agining substance known.
The lesson to be learned from this is that elevating insulin levels is likely to lead to an increased risk of disease and death, but lowering insulin levels is likely to reduce the risk of disease and lower the risk of death.
Conclusion: Fructose increases body fat and may be partly responsible for increase in obesity
“In summary, dietary fructose consumed with beverages promotes adiposity [body fat] and the risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mice,” the authors concluded.
“In view of the impressive rise in worldwide fructose consumption over the last two decades [largely from high-fructose sweetened soft drinks], fructose is, therefore, likely to represent one causal factor for the rapidly increasing number of obese patients,” they continued.
“To our knowledge, this study shows for the first time prospectively that a causal relationship between exposure to fructose-sweetened beverages and an increase in fat mass exists.”
“We also report that the fructose-induced increase in fat mass is mainly based not on an increased amount of ingested calories but more likely on the specific energy and sugar metabolism of dietary fructose of dietary fructose on plasma lipids in healthy subjects,” they concluded.
(They also noted that in previous research they had found the fructose sweetened beverages cause different hormonal changes in the body than glucose-sweetened beverages, which may be part of the reason for the increase in body weight and body fat.)
Graph shows immediate weight gain with 15% fructose
The graph is very telling. The animals given the 15% fructose drink gained weight within a few days and remained heavier than the other animals for then entire study.
The animals given water sweetened with 10% sucrose gained slightly more weight than those given water, but not nearly as much as the group given the 15% fructose-sweetened water.
Jurgens H, Haass W, Castaneda T, Schurmann A, Koebnick C, Dombrowski F, Otto B, Nawrocki A, Scherer PE, Spranger J, Ristow M, Joost H, Havel P, Tschop MH. Consuming fructose-sweetened beverages increases body adiposity in mice. Obes Res. 2005 Jul, 13(7):1146-56.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Dipl. oec. troph. Hella S. Jürgens
Dept. of Pharmacology
German Institute of Human Nutrition
14558 Nuthetal, Germany
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On Aug 24, 2005 at 9:41 am Randy Smith, MD wrote:
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I would have guessed the opposite result based on the impact on blood sugar of sucrose and fructose. I guess anything sweet should be spit out immediately.
On Aug 24, 2005 at 9:55 am Larry Hobbs wrote:
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I got a copy of the study and so I am going to update this article with more detailed information from the study as well as show the graph.
I'll move it to the top of the front page when I do so people don't miss it.
It may not translate exactly to humans because research from 25 years ago found that humans have 90-99% less of the enzyme that converts carbohydrates to fat.
But none the less, still very interesting.
Please feel free to share your comments about this article.
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