Yet another study — the latest of several — suggests that corn-based fructose could be associated with increased fat. What’s more, the findings indicate that drinking too many soft drinks could be one reason why Americans are gaining weight.
In this latest research experiment — from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and published in the July 2005 issue of Obesity Research — mice were allowed to freely consume water, fructose-sweetened water or soft drinks. The mice who went for the fructose water and soft drinks gained weight — despite that fact that they ate less calories from solid food..
Matthias Tschöp, M.D., associate professor in UC’s psychiatry department and a member of the Obesity Research Center at UC’s Genome Research Institute, found that consuming fructose appears to affect metabolic rate in a way that favors fat storage.
At first glance, you’d expect weight loss because fructose cut back on appetite.
"We were surprised to see that mice actually ate less when exposed to fructose-sweetened beverages, and therefore didn’t consume more overall calories,” Dr. Tschöp pointed out.
The shocker was that even though they ate less, the mice "gained significantly more body fat within a few weeks.”
The new data and previous research on humans led by University of California at Davis endocrinology researcher Peter Havel, D.V.M., Ph.D. and co-authored by Dr. Tschöp suggest that the liver metabolizes fructose differently than other carbohydrates. This is another factor that could contribute to increased fat storage.
Earlier work from Dr. Havel and Dr. Tschöp discovered that several hormones involved in body weight regulation, including leptin, insulin and ghrelin, don’t respond to fructose as they do to other types of carbs like glucose.
The researchers admit that "further studies in humans are needed to determine if high-fructose corn syrup in soft drinks is difrectly responsible for the current increase in human obesity."
Consider yourself warned: For the sake of your health, it’s wise to stop consuming foods and drinks laden with corn-based fructose. Need help quitting sweets? Join my online KickSugar group or find out about my coaching program.