High fructose intake and the route towards cardiometabolic diseases

Life Sci. 2020 Oct 15;259:118235. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.118235. Epub 2020 Aug 12.


It is known that dietary habits have a strong influence on body metabolism. In the last decades, the dietary habits have changed worldwide, and the consumption of fructose, especially in sugar-sweetened beverages, increased significantly. In this perspective, the present review aimed to summarize the effects of fructose on different cardiometabolic conditions. Clinical, experimental, and epidemiological studies evidenced that fructose can exert several deleterious effects when its consumption is above the recommended amounts. The increased fructose consumption decreases satiety, favoring a positive energy balance, increases adipogenesis, leading to visceral fat accumulation, induces ectopic fat accumulation, especially in the skeletal muscle and liver, leading to insulin resistance, inflammation, and lipid metabolism impairment, increases arterial blood pressure and causes vascular damage. Therefore, increased fructose consumption is linked to the development of alarming cardiometabolic conditions, such as obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular diseases, through several different mechanisms. Further clinical and experimental studies are still necessary to elucidate additional signaling pathways and mechanisms by which fructose is involved in all the mentioned cardiometabolic disorders. Also, the reported findings raise the need for the creation of public health policies aimed to prevent diet-associated cardiometabolic disorders, thus improving the population quality of life.

Keywords: Cardiovascular diseases; Fructose; Hypertension; Metabolic disorders; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Fructose / administration & dosage*
  • Fructose / adverse effects
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup / administration & dosage*
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Sweetening Agents / adverse effects


  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Fructose