The Doctors Health Press, a publisher of various natural health newsletters books and reports, is reporting on a new study that is attempting to determine if fructose consumption can be linked to weight gain.
As reported in the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin on Wednesay, March 14, 2012 (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/food-and-nutrition-articles/is-this-common-sweetener-to-blame-for-our-health-problems), the study comes courtesy of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and reviewed more than 40 published studies on whether the fructose molecule itself causes weight gain.
Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits, vegetables and honey. But the food-manufacturing industry uses it in ways that can make a food quite unhealthy.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin reports that researchers found 31 trials that looked into this question. In them, participants ate a similar number of calories—but one group ate pure fructose and the other ate non-fructose carbohydrates. In these studies, the fructose group did not gain weight. That finding flies in the face of society’s pattern of thinking about fructose and obesity.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin also reports that in 10 other studies, one group consumed their usual diet, while the other added excess calories in the form of pure fructose to their usual diet or a control diet. Those who consumed the extra calories as fructose did wind up putting on more pounds. But the researchers note that this could be explained: one calorie is simply the same as another.
Participants in the studies ate fructose in the form of “free crystalline” fructose, which was either baked into food or sprinkled on cereals or beverages. The studies did not, notably, look at high-fructose corn syrup. This form is actually only 55% fructose, along with water and glucose.
Researchers said the majority of studies they examined were small, and larger more well-designed studies are needed to sort out exactly what impact fructose has on our figures.