Fructose-Sweetened Beverages Linked to Heart Risks

New York Times | NICHOLAS BAKALAR | 09/12/09

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Read More: cola, heart disease, high fructose corn syrup, soda

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Some research has suggested that consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, used as a sweetener in a wide variety of foods, may increase the risk of obesity and heart disease. Now, a controlled and randomized study has found that drinks sweetened with fructose led to higher blood levels of L.D.L, or "bad" cholesterol, and triglycerides in overweight test subjects, while drinks sweetened with another sugar, glucose, did not. Both L.D.L. and triglycerides have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study was published online on Monday in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, assigned 32 overweight men and women, whose average age was 55, to groups consuming either fructose-sweetened or glucose-sweetened drinks over a 10-week period. The drinks, specially formulated for the study, contained only pure fructose or pure glucose.

For the first two weeks, the volunteers lived in a clinical research center, consuming a balanced diet high in complex carbohydrates and undergoing various blood tests and measurements of body fat. This phase established baseline measurements for the study.

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