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Is Fructose Making People Fat?
Date:1/1/2013

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan.1 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that fructose, a simple sugar found naturally in fruit and added to many other foods as part of high-fructose corn syrup, does not dampen appetite and may cause people to eat more compared to another simple sugar, glucose.

Glucose and fructose are both simple sugars that are included in equal parts in table sugar. In the new study, brain scans suggest that different things happen in your brain, depending on which sugar you consume.

Yale University researchers looked for appetite-related changes in blood flow in the hypothalamic region of the brains of 20 healthy adults after they ate either glucose or fructose. When people consumed glucose, levels of hormones that play a role in feeling full were high.

In contrast, when participants consumed a fructose beverage, they showed smaller increases in hormones that are associated with satiety (feeling full).

The findings are published in the Jan. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association .

Dr. Jonathan Purnell, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, co-authored an editorial that accompanied the new study. He said that the findings replicate those found in prior animal studies, but "this does not prove that fructose is the cause of the obesity epidemic, only that it is a possible contributor along with many other environmental and genetic factors."

That said, fructose has found its way into Americans' diets in the form of sugars - typically in the form of high-fructose corn syrup - that are added to beverages and processed foods. "This increased intake of added sugar containing fructose over the past several decades has coincided with the rise in obesity in the population, and there is strong evidence from animal studies that this increased intake of fructose is playing a role in this phenomenon," said Purnell, who is
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