Is Fructose Really Just Sugar?

Sugar is just Sugar, right?

Not really, according to the researchers at the Duke University Medical Center.

Increased fructose consumption may increase the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease for the obese and those with diabetes.

What is fructose?

Fructose is a type of sugar that is found in many plants. It is also the sweetest tasting of the most available type of sugars.

Sources with the highest concentrations of fructose are
  1. High Fructose Corn Syrup
  2. Honey
  3. Molasses
  4. And Dried Figs
Fructose is also the most common form of sugar added to many processed foods, candies, sodas and fruit juices.

What is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)?

It is a condition that involves the accumulation of fat in the liver without alcohol abuse. Overtime, NAFLD can lead to more serious health conditions of hepatitis, liver failure and death.

Being overweight is a risk factor for NAFLD along with a family history of fatty liver. And now, the results of this new research suggest that a high consumption of fructose, especially for the obese, is also a risk factor for NAFLD.

Why is Fructose Different from the other sugars?

The researchers at Duke indicate that fructose, unlike other sugars, requires a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in order to be metabolized in your liver. ATP is a molecule in every cell in your body that chemically stores energy. When your cells need energy to do mechanical work, it gets that energy from ATP.

If you consume large amounts of fructose from processed foods, it can deplete the amount of ATP in your liver. This is especially true for the obese and those with diabetes, since they may already have an inability to produce adequate amounts of ATP. With the addition of fructose, their livers can easily be depleted of necessary energy to function properly.

This, in turn, can lead to the development of fatty liver disease and hepatitis.

This is just another reason to avoid processed foods with added fructose, especially if you are obese and have diabetes. Focus on eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and staying away from sweetened juices and sodas to improve your overall health and fitness.

Charles A. Pennison


Duke Health: " Increased Fructose Consumption May Deplete Cellular Energy in Patients with Obesity and Diabetes "
Fatty Liver Diets: " Fatty Liver "
Wikipedia: " Adenosine Triphosphate "
Wikipedia: " Fructose "
" Is Fructose Stealing Energy From Your Liver? "