Men and women metabolize fructose differently

June 4, 2008 in Heart Health, Men's Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Men and women metabolize fructose differently

A high fructose diet affects men and women differently, with men being less efficient than women, say researchers from Lausanne University School of Biology and Medicine in Switzerland.

Fructose, a simple sugar naturally found in fruits, is often used to sweeten drinks and sugary foods.

In this new study, 16 healthy young men and women were recruited to follow either a "control" diet or a high fructose diet that included a drink containing 3.5 grams of fructose - the equivalent to several liters of soda per day.

Fasting blood sugar (glucose) and blood fat levels (triglycerides) were measured after six days of being on the diet.

In the men, fructose supplementation caused a five percent increase in fasting blood sugar levels - and a 71 percent increase in blood fat levels. In contrast, women showed a four percent increase in blood sugar - and only a 16 percent increase in blood fats.

Researchers believe the increase in blood fat levels - caused by fructose supplementation - may put young men at an elevated risk for heart disease.  

Women, on the other hand, seemed to metabolize high amounts of fructose with less harmful changes to blood fat levels.

Given these findings, the study author says gender has to be taken into consideration when examining the relationship between nutrition and heart disease.

This study was published in the June 2008 issue of Diabetes Care.

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