The fructose it is a simple carbohydrate found in fruit and honey. This component is absorbed from the intestine and passes into the liver, where it is rapidly metabolized to glucose.
However, fructose is also present in most of the processed foods, in carbonated drinks, in candy or in smoothies.
Consumed naturally it is not harmful, but ingesting it in high quantities through industrially manufactured products can become a health problem.
So much so that it can lead to an imbalance in our body’s metabolism and cause various diseases.
This is what highlights a study from the University of Shanghai published in Chinese Medical Journal.
Sugar: A vicious cycle
One characteristic of sugar is that the more you eat, the more you crave; leading to a vicious cycle to avoid.
The refined sugar (or sucrose) is structurally composed of two simple forms of sugars called “Glucose” and “fructose.”
Although these sugars are structurally similar to each other, are metabolized through different pathways in the body.
Therefore, if we eat abundantly fruit in the form of juice or processed products, such as jams or pastries, we should limit your consumption.
And it is that in the study they attribute to fructose the increasing increase in various metabolic disorders such as diabetes, the disease of fatty liver waves heart diseases.
What are the effects of excess fructose on the body?
The researchers explain that most of the fructose that we eat is absorbed by the cells that line the intestine, called GLUT5 and GLUT2.
It is there that fructose is redirected to transform into glucose through a process called “gluconeogenesis.”
However, this reaction requires decomposition of a molecule called «ATP», The main source of energy in cells.
Therefore, an excessive intake of fructose can lead to depletion of ATP in cells.
This would activate another path of transformation that can lead to a uric acid build-up in the blood and joints, increasing the risk of developing gout.
Experts further explain that the activation of this pathway can also trigger a increased levels of “bad” cholesterol and abdominal fat.
“These findings may help the development of new diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic strategies for metabolic diseases, ”says Professor Weiping J. Zhang, lead author of the study.
Greater caution in diabetics
The patients diabetics, although they can consume fructose, they should be very careful because their intake in excess can produce resistance to the insulin.
Fructose, when metabolized in the liver, does not need the action of insulin to transform, therefore, diabetics tolerate it better.
However, it has been shown that consumption in high amounts and for a long time makes the body increases its resistance to insulin.
This can cause visceral fat to grow, which directly increases the chances of suffer from diabetes.
To avoid this, it is recommended limit fructose intake, follow a balanced, healthy and varied diet indicated by a specialist and avoid sedentary life.
If we focus on food, some of the fruits with a very low fructose content are the coco, the avocado, the apricot and the papaya.
In the case of dried fruits, the almonds, the hazelnuts, the pinions, the peanuts and the chestnuts.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.