High Blood Pressure and High Fructose Consumption

November 25, 2009 | Comments: None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Nutrition, Uncategorized

Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found all over the Western diet.  Once, the most abundant source of fructose in our diet was from fruit.  Then we started using cane and beet sugars, commonly called sucrose on food labels, which is a sugar composed of two smaller sugars linked together, glucose and fructose.  When sucrose became expensive to use in manufacturing, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was invented.  And then it was put in everything.  Now we eat more fructose as “added sugar” in the form of sucrose and HFCS, than ever before.  How many teaspoons of table sugar did you put in your coffee this morning?  50% of that was fructose.  Have a soda?  55% of that was sugar was fructose.  Go to your kitchen and take a look at the ingredient list on your loaf of bread.  HFCS there?  Thought so.  What about your salad dressing?  Pasta sauce? Yogurt?

A survey analysis presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, California, in October 2009, suggests that a diet high in fructose can lead to high blood pressure.  This study included over forty five hundred people with no prior history of high blood pressure.  Fructose intake was determined by questionnaire and included foods like bread, sodas, candy and other prepared foods, but fruit was not considered due to the high concentration of compounds that have beneficial effects on blood pressure and the fructose present is not an “added sugar,” it is there naturally.  What they found was that fructose intake in the form of added sugars greater than or equal to 74 grams per day, the equivalent to two and a half to three cans of soda, is “significantly and independently associated with higher blood pressure levels in the US adult population with no previous history of hypertension.”

In another study, Spanish researchers found that feeding men 200 grams of fructose per day on top of their regular diet raised their blood pressure significantly after only two weeks.  What they also found was that this was a reversible effect.  Two months after the extra fructose was removed from their diets, most of the participant’s numbers returned to normal.

The American Heart Association suggests that women should eat no more than 25 grams (100 calories) of added sugar per day, or six teaspoons, and men should keep it to 37.5 grams (150 calories) or nine teaspoons. However, on average Americans consume 90 grams (355 calories) or about 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day.  16 grams more that can cause high blood pressure.  Your job?  Read labels.  Know what you are eating.  The more pre-packaged foods you eat, the more likely you are to be eating more added sugar than you think!

Here are links to the studies:
http://www.asn-online.org/press/Renal%20Week-09/1b-Jalal%20abstract.pdf
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_89762.html

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