The objective of the current study was to explore our hypothesis that average consumption of fructose and fructose containing sugars would not increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the metabolic syndrome (MetS). A randomized, double blind, parallel group study was conducted where 267 individuals with BMI between 23 and 35 kg/m² consumed low fat sugar sweetened milk, daily for ten weeks as part of usual weight-maintenance diet. One group consumed 18% of calories from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), another group consumed 18% of calories from sucrose, a third group consumed 9% of calories from fructose, and the fourth group consumed 9% of calories from glucose. There was a small change in waist circumference (80.9 ± 9.5 vs. 81.5 ± 9.5 cm) in the entire cohort, as well as in total cholesterol (4.6 ± 1.0 vs. 4.7 ± 1.0 mmol/L, p < 0.01), triglycerides (TGs) (11.5 ± 6.4 vs. 12.6 ± 8.9 mmol/L, p < 0.01), and systolic (109.2 ± 10.2 vs. 106.1 ± 10.4 mmHg, p < 0.01) and diastolic blood pressure (69.8 ± 8.7 vs. 68.1 ± 9.7 mmHg, p < 0.01). The effects of commonly consumed sugars on components of the MetS and CVD risk factors are minimal, mixed and not clinically significant.
Keywords: cardiovascular disease; fructose; high fructose corn syrup; metabolic syndrome; sucrose.