Effects of high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose on the pharmacokinetics of fructose and acute metabolic and hemodynamic responses in healthy subjects

Metabolism. 2012 May;61(5):641-51. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2011.09.013. Epub 2011 Dec 5.


It is unclear whether high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which contains a higher amount of fructose and provides an immediate source of free fructose, induces greater systemic concentrations of fructose as compared with sucrose. It is also unclear whether exposure to higher levels of fructose leads to increased fructose-induced adverse effects. The objective was to prospectively compare the effects of HFCS- vs sucrose-sweetened soft drinks on acute metabolic and hemodynamic effects. Forty men and women consumed 24 oz of HFCS- or sucrose-sweetened beverages in a randomized crossover design study. Blood and urine samples were collected over 6 hours. Blood pressure, heart rate, fructose, and a variety of other metabolic biomarkers were measured. Fructose area under the curve and maximum concentration, dose-normalized glucose area under the curve and maximum concentration, relative bioavailability of glucose, changes in postprandial concentrations of serum uric acid, and systolic blood pressure maximum levels were higher when HFCS-sweetened beverages were consumed as compared with sucrose-sweetened beverages. Compared with sucrose, HFCS leads to greater fructose systemic exposure and significantly different acute metabolic effects.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00661947.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Area Under Curve
  • Beverages
  • Biological Availability
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Fructose / pharmacokinetics*
  • Fructose / pharmacology*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sucrose / pharmacology*
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Uric Acid / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Triglycerides
  • Uric Acid
  • Fructose
  • Lactic Acid
  • Sucrose

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00661947