Substituting Fructose for Other Carbs Doesn't Up Weight Gain

Free fructose at high doses providing excess calories increases body weight

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence suggests that fructose is unlikely to cause weight gain when substituted for other carbohydrates in diets with similar numbers of calories, but does increase weight gain in hypercaloric diets, according to a review published in the Feb. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

John L. Sievenpiper, M.D., Ph.D., of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis using controlled feeding trials lasting seven or more days. The effect on body weight of free fructose and non-fructose carbohydrate in diets providing similar calories (isocaloric trials) or of diets supplemented with free fructose to provide excess energy and usual or control diets (hypercaloric trials) was assessed. Trials evaluating high-fructose corn syrup (42 to 55 percent free fructose) were excluded.

The researchers included 31 isocaloric trials (637 participants) and 10 hypercaloric trials (119 participants). In isocaloric trials, fructose had no overall effect on body weight (mean difference −0.14 kg; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], −0.37 to 0.10 kg). In hypercaloric trials, high doses of fructose (+18 percent to 97 percent of total daily energy intake) were associated with significant increases in weight (mean difference, 0.53 kg; 95 percent CI, 0.26 to 0.79 kg).

"Fructose does not seem to cause weight gain when it is substituted for other carbohydrates in diets providing similar calories," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the nutrition, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries, as well as Glycemic Index Laboratories.

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