• Scientists link fructose with childhood insulin resistance
    Bristol scientists find fructose linked with childhood obesity

News & Views

Scientists link fructose with childhood insulin resistance

Jun 22 2010

Scientists at the University of Bristol have uncovered an intriguing link between fructose consumption and the sensitivity of fat cells to insulin.

Among adults, short-term consumption of fructose raises fat cells' sensitivity to insulin, improving the body's ability to store glucose sugars in the muscles as glycogen.

However, among younger test subjects, the scientists saw insulin sensitivity drop, making the body less able to store the energy in its muscles and more likely to retain it as fat.

Georgina Coade, lead author on the study, says: "Our results suggest that high levels of fructose - which may result from eating a diet high in fructose - throughout childhood may lead to an increase in visceral obesity."

This can in turn lead to heart disease and the onset of Type 2 diabetes; however, it is unclear why the effect of fructose reverses in older people.

Ms Coade suggests that there may be a link with the times in childhood when fat is forming, providing a point for comparison in future research.

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