Although fruit juices are a natural source of sugars, there is a controversy whether their sugar content has similar harmful effects as beverages' added-sugars. We aimed to study the role of fruit juice sugars in inducing overweight, hyperglycaemia, glycation and oxidative stress in normal and diabetic animal models. In diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, we compared the effects of four different fruit juices (4-weeks) with sugary solutions having a similar sugar profile and concentration. In vitro, the sugary solutions were more susceptible to AGE formation than fruit juices, also causing higher postprandial glycaemia and lower erythrocytes' antioxidant capacity in vivo (single intake). In GK rats, ad libitum fruit juice consumption (4-weeks) did not change body weight, glycaemia, oxidative stress nor glycation. Consumption of a matched volume of sugary solutions aggravated fasting glycaemia but had a moderate impact on caloric intake and oxidative stress/glycation markers in tissues of diabetic rats. Ad libitum availability of the same sugary solutions impaired energy balance regulation, leading to higher caloric intake than ad libitum fruit juices and controls, as well as weight gain, fasting hyperglycaemia, insulin intolerance and impaired oxidative stress/glycation markers in several tissues. We demonstrated the distinct role of sugars naturally present in fruit juices and added sugars in energy balance regulation, impairing oxidative stress, glycation and glucose metabolism in an animal model of type 2 diabetes.
Keywords: fruit juices; glycation; hyperglycaemia; natural and added sugars; oxidative stress.