Excessive fructose consumption seemed to increase new onset of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
"This is the first evidence of a role of fructose in raising blood pressure and a role for lowering uric acid to protect against that blood pressure increase in people," said Dr Richard Johnson, co-author of the study and professor and head of the division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension at the University of Colorado-Denver medical campus in Aurora, Colo.
Johnson and co-author Dr Santos Perez-Pozo, a nephrologist at Mateo Orfila Hospital in Minorca, Spain studied 74 adult men, average age 51, who consumed a diet that included 200 grams (g) of fructose per day in addition to their regular diet.
Half of the men were randomly assigned to get the gout drug allopurinol and the other half acted as controls.
After just two weeks, the incidence of metabolic syndrome more than doubled in the men who consumed a heavy fructose diet and took the placebo pill.
The incidence went from 19 percent at baseline to 44 percent at the study's end.
Among men consuming fructose plus allopurinol, virtually no change in the rate of metabolic syndrome occurred - perhaps because the gout drug prevented the blood pressure rise associated with increased fructose consumption.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association's 63rd High Blood Pressure Research Conference.