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NewsBites May 2012 Issue

Fructose No Worse for Weight

If you’re worried about fructose making you fat, a new Canadian review of more than 40 studies might set your mind at ease: The naturally occurring sugar seems no worse than other carbohydrates for weight gain. Some research has suggested that fructose, found in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as well as table sugar (sucrose) and foods such as fruit, might contribute to body fat beyond merely adding calories. But the review found no evidence of such an effect. Scientists looked at 31 studies totaling 637 people in which participants consumed the same amount of calories, as well as 10 trials totaling 119 participants that varied calorie intake. Fructose had no effect on body weight in the first set of studies. High doses of fructose did pack on pounds in the second group of studies, but those gains could be due simply to extra calories rather than fructose per se. Cautioning that most of the trials analyzed were short term, researchers called for further study of fructose’s possible long-term effects.

TO LEARN MORE: Annals of Internal Medicine, Feb. 21, 2012; abstract at www.annals.org/content/156/4/291.abstract.

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