What Is The No. 1 Driver of Diabetes and Obesity?

There has been a difference of opinion about the causes of diabetes and related illnesses. The blame has rested on the American diet. What is claimed to be conclusive evidence recently surfaced in a scientific study. Read on about what may be the best smoking gun to date.

Cause Of Dramatic Rise Of Type 2 Diabetes Discovered

A recently published paper in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings  claims to show for the first time that, calorie for calorie, added sugars — especially fructose — are more damaging to the body’s metabolic systems than other carbohydrates and are more likely to lead to type 2 diabetes and obesity.


Though experts have often said that diabetes and fructose are closely related, the first studies proving this have been released to the public, and the first findings point towards the theory that added sugars, particularly fructose, might be the leading cause behind type 2 diabetes.


When it comes to type 2 diabetes, added fructose may actually be the main cause. Scientists have discovered that added sugars, particular those containing fructose, are a principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes.


In a study, featured in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers raised doubts over current advice that allows consumption of up to 25 per cent of total daily calories as added sugar.

Almost all packaged foods currently have sugar added in some form, which usually includes fructose. But it is found in abundance in fruit juice concentrates and fizzy drinks. Medical experts are also recommending eating less processed food and replacing it with more fresh fruit and vegetables as the key to better health.

Lead author Dr James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, said: “At current levels, added-sugar consumption and added-fructose consumption in particular are fuelling a worsening epidemic of Type 2 diabetes.”

“Most existing guidelines fall short of this mark at the potential cost of worsening rates of diabetes and related cardiovascular and other consequences,” write the authors in a news release. “Limiting consumption of foods and beverages that contain added sugars, particularly added fructose, may be one of the single most effective strategies for ensuring one’s robust future health.”


In the United States, one in 11 adults has type 2 diabetes, while another one in three has pre-diabetes. In a new study, clinical experts propose drastic reductions in the amount of added sugar, and especially added fructose, people consume. Specifically, they wish to reduce the current dietary guidelines for added sugars from 25 percent of total daily calories to just five percent.

“There is no need for added fructose or any added sugars in the diet; reducing intake to five percent of total calories… has been shown to improve glucose tolerance in humans and decrease the prevalence of diabetes and the metabolic derangements that often precede and accompany it,” wrote the authors in their study.

Conversely, whole foods that contain fructose (e.g., fruits and vegetables) pose no problem to your health, and scientists believe they may even be protective against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Other dietary sugars not containing fructose also seem to be less detrimental to your health.


MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD Associate Editor BMJ Open Heart Cardiovascular Research Scientist Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart InstituteJames J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, Associate Editor BMJ Open Heart, Cardiovascular Research Scientist, Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. DiNicolantonio: We performed a comprehensive literature review comparing the isocaloric exchange of added sugars (sucrose, also known as table sugar, or high fructose corn syrup) versus other types of carbohydrates (such as lactose found in milk, glucose, starch, or dextrose).  Our main findings were that “a calorie isn’t a calorie,” i.e., that added sugars are more harmful than other carbohydrates even when matched for calories for promoting pre-diabetes and diabetes and the related morbidity and mortality associated with these diseases


They conclude that at “an individual level, limiting consumption of foods and beverages that contain added sugars, particularly added fructose, may be one of the single most effective strategies for ensuring one’s robust future health.”


Source: DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH, Lucan SC. Added Fructose A Principal Driver of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Its Consequences. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2015.



photo source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetic_diet

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