New research, which includes a meta-analysis of past research, stresses a link between fructose consumption and increased appetite. The resulting higher food intake that comes from consuming fructose, along with the recent rise in fructose-loaded products, gives reason to believe that fructose is at least partially responsible for rising obesity and type 2 diabetes rates, especially in youth. This is opposed to glucose, which in past research has been linked to decreased appetite.
In past research, a certain signaling pathway in the brain, known as malonyl-CoA, was identified as being responsible for relating fructose and glucose to appetite. Fructose was seen to trigger an increase in appetite, and subsequent food intake, through stimulation of certain regions in the hypothalamus. Glucose, on the other hand, was observed to have the opposite effect, decreasing appetite and food intake.
Obesity and diabetes have been on a tremendous rise in the United States over the past three decades. There are over 20 million diabetics, and that number is expected to continue to grow, and more than 30% of Americans are clinically obese.While there are many reasons for these sad trends, most generally poor diets and sedentary lifestyles, specific chemical interactions, such as those with fructose triggering increases in appetite, could play a large role. The connection with fructose, which is prevalent in many sweetened foods and beverages, obesity and diabetes, is most likely most pronounced in children and adolescents.
Says study author Dr. Daniel Lane, “We feel that these findings may have particular relevance to the massive increase in the use of high fructose sweeteners (both high fructose corn syrup and table sugar) in virtually all sweetened foods, most notably soft drinks. The per capita consumption of these sweeteners in the USA is about 145 lbs/year and is probably much higher in teenagers/youth that have a high level of consumption of soft drinks. There is a large literature now that correlates, but does not prove that a culprit in the rise of teenage obesity may be fructose.”
Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Lane, Daniel. Klinkenberg, Adriaan. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications news release. March 2009.