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Fructose The Sweet Sugar Of All

Jun 21, 2008
Fructose is a natural, simple sugar commonly found in fruits and honey. Fructose is the sugar found naturally in fruits. Man-made fructose is used as a sweetener in many foods, including baby food and drinks.

Fructose supplements given within one hour of birth increased the concentration of plasma fructose, whereas supplements given at 96 hours after birth had little effect on the sugar concentrations. The effect of lactose supplements also changed with maturity.

Fructose is used as a substitute for sucrose (common sugar) because it is less expensive and has little effect on measured blood glucose levels. Often Fructose is consumed as high fructose corn syrup which is corn syrup (glucose) which has been enzymatically treated, by the enzyme glucose isomerase, to convert a portion of the glucose into fructose thus making it sweeter.

Fructose is metabolized differently from other sugars. A fructose load leads to accumulation of fructose-1-phosphate in cells, which may partially deplete intracellular ATP levels in susceptible individuals.

Fructose occurs naturally in foods, such as apples and pears, and as Rao pointed out, people have been eating it for generations. However, what has changed in recent decades is that many people in the United States eat vastly more fructose and in a purer form rather than mixed with other sugars.

Fructose is commonly called "fruit sugar" because it is the main sugar in many fruits. However, fructose is now produced from corn syrup, which is derived from corn.

Fructose differs in several ways from glucose, the other half of the sucrose (sugar) molecule. Fructose is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract by a different mechanism than that for glucose. Fructose is a natural sugar found in many fruits and vegetables. Table sugar, or sucrose, is half fructose and half glucose.

Fructose and other sugars are carbohydrates, an important source of energy for the body. Fructose-fed subjects lose minerals. They had higher fecal excretions of iron and magnesium than did subjects fed sucrose. Fructose is a different story. It "appears to behave more like fat with respect to the hormones involved in body weight regulation," explains Peter Havel, associate professor of nutrition at the University of California, Davis.

Fructose does not stimulate insulin release and it does not directly increase blood glucose levels. As such, a high fructose diet would result in lower elevation of blood glucose as well as less insulin release.

Fructose, along with glucose, occurs in fruits, honey, and syrups; it also occurs in certain vegetables. It is a component, along with glucose, of the disaccharide sucrose, or common table sugar. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. It is also known to raise triglycerides significantly.

Fructose malabsorption occurs due to the body's lack of fructase, an enzyme normally produced by the small intestine. In IBS patients, there is evidence to suggest that more rapid small intestinal transit could deliver unabsorbed nutrients to the colon and hence lead to an increased gas production, causing pain and diarrhea.

Fructose Malabsorption is not to be confused with Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI), a condition in which the liver enzymes that break up fructose are deficient. In patients with fructose malabsorption, the small intestine fails to absorb fructose properly. Fructose is a simple sugar commonly found in fruits and honey.
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