Normal roles for dietary fructose in carbohydrate metabolism

Nutrients. 2014 Aug 5;6(8):3117-29. doi: 10.3390/nu6083117.


Although there are many well-documented metabolic effects linked to the fructose component of a very high sugar diet, a healthy diet is also likely to contain appreciable fructose, even if confined to that found in fruits and vegetables. These normal levels of fructose are metabolized in specialized pathways that synergize with glucose at several metabolic steps. Glucose potentiates fructose absorption from the gut, while fructose catalyzes glucose uptake and storage in the liver. Fructose accelerates carbohydrate oxidation after a meal. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that fructose may also play a role in the secretion of insulin and GLP-1, and in the maturation of preadipocytes to increase fat storage capacity. Therefore, fructose undergoing its normal metabolism has the interesting property of potentiating the disposal of a dietary carbohydrate load through several routes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Fructose / administration & dosage*
  • Fructose / blood
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin
  • Fructose
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1