WASHINGTON, DC – The recent study by the University of Southern California – Keck School of Medicine, which claims fructose consumption ‘leads to smaller increases in plasma insulin levels, greater increases in hunger and desire for food’ compared to glucose, fails to recognize how fructose is consumed in real world settings and provides almost no practical insight.
When we consume fructose in our natural diets, whether from fruits and vegetables or juices and sports drinks, it is almost always accompanied by a corresponding amount of glucose. For example, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is comprised of roughly half fructose and half glucose, and both are metabolized together in the digestion process.
However, subjects in this study were given extraordinary large amounts of pure fructose and pure glucose separately, which almost never occurs outside of a laboratory setting. Also, the amount of sugars given to participants — 75 grams — represents about 15% of the average adult’s daily calories and is an amount only ingested by the highest 5% of the U.S. population.
So, while the study concluded that those who received pure fructose reported feeling less full and more likely to continue consuming calories, it did not take into account real world conditions. In a natural setting people are likely to consume roughly equal amounts of fructose and glucose at the same time, and in this real world scenario this study shows an increase in insulin response and satiety.
Furthermore, these abnormally large amounts of sugars were provided to participants in a single dose whereas normal consumption of fructose and glucose would take place over the course the day.
Studies, such as these, that attempt to demonize one food or ingredient, such as fructose, by creating unrealistic environments do little to educate the public and often lead to misinformation and poor consumer choices.
CRA is the national trade association representing the corn refining (wet milling) industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil, and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein, and fiber.