Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University have published evidence that cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk is present in the blood fractions of adolescents who consume a lot of fructose, a scenario that worsens in the face of excess belly fat. Publishing in the Journal of Nutrition, scientists determined that high dietary fructose consumption results in lower levels of cardiovascular protectors such as HDL cholesterol and adiponectin, due in part to how the body metabolizes the fruit-based mega-sweetener at the cellular level.
Excess body fat accumulated around the mid-section, a rapidly growing problem in adolescents, compounds the problem when compared to those with less visceral fat deposits. A wealth of scientifically validated research studies now highlight the importance of eliminating fructose in all its forms from the diet of both adults and children alike to dramatically reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Fructose Metabolism Increases Risk from Metabolic and Fatty Liver Disease
The study detailed an analysis of 559 adolescents, aged 14 to 18 and detailed cardiovascular risk factors including high blood pressure, fasting glucose, insulin resistance and blood inflammatory factors. Excess fat around the midsection was found to exacerbate the identified risk factors, as compared to those with generalized fat right beneath the skin known as subcutaneous fat, where an association was not evident.
Consumption of fructose is higher in children and adolescents, placing them at increased risk for heart disease and metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Fructose or simple fruit sugar is naturally found in fruits and vegetables where it is closely bound with fiber and is slowly released into the blood stream. Many processed food and drink manufacturers use liberal quantities of pure high fructose corn syrup extract that is metabolized through a different pathway as compared to glucose or table sugar.
Fructose is Metabolized in the Liver Where it Causes Metabolic Dysfunction in Excess
One of the study authors, Dr. Norman Pollock noted “Fructose itself is metabolized differently than other sugars and has some byproducts that are believed to be bad for us… there's something in the syrup processing that plays a role in the bad byproducts of metabolism.” The Corn Refiners Association, through a never ending barrage of advertisements, wants you to believe that there is no difference between high fructose corn syrup and regular sugar. Medical research has documented that fructose is processed primarily in the liver where it wreaks havoc, leading to fatty liver disease and even cirrhosis after excessive and repeated exposure.
Parents and caregivers to children will want to dramatically curb or eliminate fructose in the diet by removing processed foods and sugary beverages. Limit fruit consumption and natural fruit juices that can lead to excess consumption of the fruit sugar. It is especially important to read nutritional labels as fructose and high fructose corn syrup appear in many unsuspecting food sources. Nutrition experts recommend limiting natural fructose consumption to no more than 25 grams per day at an early age to minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later life.