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Does fructose promote over-eating?

17 December 2014

A recent report released from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting in Arizona suggests that the human brain responds differently to two kinds of sugar, glucose and fructose.

Preliminary studies indicated that fructose heightens the response of brain reward circuits to food cues, promoting feeding behaviour. Fructose ingestion produces smaller increases in circulating satiety hormones than glucose ingestion as glucose promotes satiety (feeling fuller for longer). 

Kathleen Page at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and her colleagues in the department of Psychology extended the work further studying 24 research volunteers both male and female, 16 to 25 years of age. The volunteers were given a beverage containing either glucose or fructose then asked how much they wanted to eat when provided with images of high- calorie food during fMRI scans of their brains. The results indicated that hunger and motivation to eat was greater after consuming the fructose drink compared to the glucose drink.   Consumption of fructose could promote overeating compared to glucose and could be an area of health concern.

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