A new, preliminary imaging study that compares the effects of fructose and glucose on the brain has found differences that may explain why diets high in fructose may be behind the obesity epidemic.
Upon examining brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of adult volunteers, study authors from the Yale University School of Medicine found ingestion of glucose but not fructose, led to higher levels of hormones that produce feelings of fullness and satiety.
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In an accompanying editorial, Jonathan Q. Purnell and Damien A. Fair of Oregon Health & Science University, say the study supports the idea that when fructose enters the human brain, it changes the neurobiological pathways that control appetite in a way that makes you want to eat more.
They suggest the study adds to the mounting evidence, from “epidemiologic, metabolic feeding, and animal studies”, that show:
“… advances in food processing and economic forces leading to increased intake of added sugar and accompanying fructose in U.S. society are indeed extending the supersizing concept to the population’s collective waistlines”.
Purnell suggests people should cook more meals at home and limit their intake of processed foods containing fructose and high-fructose corn syrup.
He also advises drinking less sugar-sweetened beverages. You don’t have to cut them out altogether, but just control how much and how often you drink them, he says in an interview reported by the Associated Press.
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