Diets rich in fructose, carbohydrate derived from fruit and vegetables, may lead to a significant weight gain, physical inactivity and body fat deposition, suggests a new research. Many soft drinks and processed baked goods contain high-fructose corn syrup. The researchers designed this study based on the intake of fructose by adolescents in the US.
"Our study suggests that such levels of fructose can indeed play a role in weight gain, favor fat deposition, and also contribute to physical inactivity," said Justin Rhodes, professor of psychology at University of Illinois in the US. "The link between increases in sugar intake, particularly fructose, and the rising obesity epidemic has been debated for many years with no clear conclusions," lead author of the study Catarina Rendeiro from University of Illinois said.
So the researchers studied two groups of mice for two-and-a-half months: one group was fed a diet in which 18% of the calories came from fructose, mimicking the intake of adolescents in the United States, and the other was fed 18% from glucose.
"The important thing to note is that animals in both experimental groups had the usual intake of calories for a mouse," Rendeiro said.
They were not eating more than they should, and both groups had exactly the same amount of calories deriving from sugar, the only difference was the type of sugar, either fructose or glucose
The results showed that the fructose-fed mice displayed significantly increased body weight, liver mass, and fat mass in comparison to the glucose-fed mice.
Remarkably, the researchers also found that not only were the fructose-fed mice gaining weight, they were also less active.
"We do not know why animals move less when in the fructose diet," said Rhodes.
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports