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Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Date:9/24/2009

pressure (the first number in a reading of, for instance, 120/80) and three points in diastolic blood pressure (the second number). The men taking allopurinol along with their high-fructose diet had only a one-point increase in systolic pressure.

The study results appear to confirm the belief that fructose raises blood pressure by increasing uric acid levels, Johnson said, but he stressed that the finding is preliminary.

"Clearly we need additional trials," he said. "We need larger population-based trials to see if there is a causal relationship."

In the United States, one in three adults has high blood pressure, which was the cause of death or a contributing factor in about 319,000 U.S. deaths in 2005, according to the heart association.

The second study scheduled for presentation at the heart meeting found that the timing as well as the amount of fructose that's consumed affected blood pressure. The study was done on mice.

For the study, the mice, who slept during the day, had either unrestricted access to fructose-enriched water or access restricted to either daytime or nighttime hours. Monitors were implanted in the mice to measure their blood pressure.

All the mice consumed large amounts of the sweetened water, said Mariana Morris, assistant vice president for graduate studies and chairwoman of the pharmacology and toxicology department at Wright State University's Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, who led the experiment.

The mice that consumed fructose continuously or at night had an increase in blood pressure, with a spike at night, when they were awake. The pattern was reversed in mice that consumed fructose in the daylight hours -- high during the day and low at night. The reversal in the day-night rhythm "is similar to the pattern seen in human diabetics," Morris said. This suggests that the timing of fructose intake is important in cardiovascular pathologies, she said.


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