Fructose and dietary thermogenesis

Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Nov;58(5 Suppl):766S-770S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/58.5.766S.


Ingestion of nutrients increases energy expenditure above basal metabolic rate. Thermogenesis of carbohydrate comprises two distinct components: an obligatory component, which corresponds to the energy cost of carbohydrate absorption, processing, and storage; and a facultative component, which appears to be related with a carbohydrate-induced stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, and can be inhibited by beta-adrenergic antagonists. Fructose ingestion induces a greater thermogenesis than does glucose. This can be explained by the hydrolysis of 3.5-4.5 mol ATP/mol fructose stored as glycogen, vs 2.5 mol ATP/mol glucose stored. Therefore the large thermogenesis of fructose corresponds essentially to an increase in obligatory thermogenesis. Obese individuals and obese patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus commonly have a decrease in glucose-induced thermogenesis. These individuals in contrast display a normal thermogenesis after ingestion of fructose. This may be explained by the fact that the initial hepatic fructose metabolism is independent of insulin. This observation indicates that insulin resistance is likely to play an important role in the decreased glucose-induced thermogenesis of these individuals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Fructose / administration & dosage
  • Fructose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Fructose