It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard anyone say anything positive about fructose, whether as a standalone sweetener or partnered with its pal, glucose in sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup. Many people picked up on past studies of fructose and wrongfully tried to demonize high fructose corn syrup, so we suppose it’s only karma that a comprehensive new review reveals fructose still does not contribute to obesity (when, like everything else, it is consumed in moderation).
Researchers used the same strict evaluation guidelines employed by the FDA for testing potential health risks posed by food ingredients. And they concluded that fructose had “no negative effect” on body weight even when test subjects consumed the highest doses of pure fructose. Researchers also say moderate intake of pure fructose “may even be beneficial.” (We’re a little skeptical—it is sugar, after all—but it’s a nice jab at the fructose-will-fatten-us-all doomsayers.)
These findings, published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, support what different scientists discovered in a related 2008 review:
“[T]here is no evidence that ingestion of normal amounts of fructose is associated with an increase in food intake or body weight (compared to other carbohydrates), when it is not consumed in caloric excess. This is true for both normal weight people and people that are overweight or obese."
[C]onsumption of fructose does not increase triglycerides, body weight, or food intake in either normal weight or overweight/obese people.
Our guess is that it's only a matter of time before these positive fructose findings are maligned and distorted by fructose-phobic fear mongers and those in the media who consistently fail to report on the distinction between pure fructose and high fructose corn syrup.
On the bright side, it's always nice to see one universally helpful piece of advice that keeps on appearing in studies like these: Eat sugar in moderation—whichever kind you choose to consume.