Identification of Inflammatory and Disease-Associated Plasma Proteins that Associate with Intake of Added Sugar and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Their Role in Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Nutrients. 2020 Oct 14;12(10):3129. doi: 10.3390/nu12103129.


It has been suggested that high intake of added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) increase the level of circulating inflammatory proteins and that chronic inflammation plays a role in type 2 diabetes (T2D) development. We aim to examine how added sugar and SSB intake associate with 136 measured plasma proteins and C-reactive protein (CRP) in the Malmö Diet and Cancer-Cardiovascular Cohort (n = 4382), and examine if the identified added sugar- and SSB-associated proteins associate with T2D incidence. A two-step iterative resampling approach was used to internally replicate proteins that associated with added sugar and SSB intake. Nine proteins were identified to associate with added sugar intake, of which only two associated with T2D incidence (p < 0.00045). Seven proteins were identified to associate with SSB intake, of which six associated strongly with T2D incidence (p < 6.9 × 10-8). No significant associations were observed between added sugar and SSB intake and CRP concentrations. In summary, our elucidation of the relationship between plasma proteome and added sugar and SSB intake, in relation to future T2D risk, demonstrated that SSB intake, rather than the total intake of added sugar, was related to a T2D-pathological proteomic signature. However, external replication is needed to verify the findings.

Keywords: added sugar; inflammation; inflammatory proteins; proteomics; sugar-sweetened beverages; type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Proteins
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proteomics*
  • Risk
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Proteins
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • C-Reactive Protein