Impact of dietary sucrose on adiposity and glucose homeostasis in C57BL/6J mice depends on mode of ingestion: liquid or solid

Mol Metab. 2019 Sep;27:22-32. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2019.05.010. Epub 2019 Jun 4.


Objective: Although it is widely accepted that obesity results from an imbalance of energy intake and expenditure, the mechanisms underlying this process and effective strategies for prevention and treatment are unclear. Growing evidence suggests excess consumption of sugar may play an important role, yet we showed previously in mice that consuming up to 30% of calories as sucrose in the diet had no impact on weight regulation. Since in humans consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been widely implicated, we investigated whether the mode of ingestion (solid or liquid) had different impacts on body weight regulation and glucose homeostasis.

Methods: Dietary sucrose was delivered in solid (as part of a standard pelleted rodent chow) and liquid (in drinking water) to C57BL/6 mice for 8 weeks. Body weight, body composition, energy intake and expenditure were monitored, as well as glucose and insulin tolerance tests. Expression of sweet taste receptors on the tongue, and glycogen and fat contents of the liver were also measured.

Results: Consumption of sucrose-sweetened water, but not equivalent levels of solid sucrose, led to body fat gain in C57BL/6 mice. Glucose intolerance was positively correlated to body fatness, rather than sucrose intake.

Conclusions: Our data support the suggestion that consumption of liquid sucrose may be an important contributor to dysregulation of body weight and related metabolic syndromes.

Keywords: Dietary sucrose; Glucose tolerance; Insulin sensitivity; Obesity; Sweet taste receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Beverages / analysis
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Sucrose / metabolism*
  • Energy Intake
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Sweetening Agents / metabolism*


  • Dietary Sucrose
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Glucose