Obesity contributor? Fructose — a commonly used sweetener — disrupts our immune system, study shows

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Fructose is a type of simple sugar that makes up 50% of table sugar. It is found in sugary drinks and sweeteners, and it’s not news that consuming an excessive amount of fructose is unhealthy. However, understanding the impact of fructose on the immune system of people who consume it in high levels, has been limited until now.

The new study demonstrates that fructose causes the immune system to become inflamed and that process produces more reactive molecules which are associated with inflammation. This inflammation can go on to damage cells and tissues and contribute to organs and body systems not working and may lead to disease.

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The findings also provide a better understanding of how fructose is related to diabetes and obesity.

“Research into different components of our diet can help us understand what might contribute to inflammation and disease and what could be best harnessed to improve health and wellbeing,” said Nick Jones, PhD, lecturer, biomedical sciences, Swansea University’s Medical School.

“Our results have highlighted the metabolic plasticity of human monocytes in response to fructose exposure and have elucidated the metabolic mechanisms supporting fructose-induced inflammation,” concluded the researchers.

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