Sugar, Uric Acid, and the Etiology of Diabetes and Obesity
The intake of added sugars, such as from table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup has increased dramatically in the last hundred years and correlates closely with the rise in obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Fructose is a major component of added sugars and is distinct from other sugars in its ability to cause intracellular ATP depletion, nucleotide turnover, and the generation of uric acid. In this article, we revisit the hypothesis that it is this unique aspect of fructose metabolism that accounts for why fructose intake increases the risk for metabolic syndrome. Recent studies show that fructose-induced uric acid generation causes mitochondrial oxidative stress that stimulates fat accumulation independent of excessive caloric intake. These studies challenge the long-standing dogma that “a calorie is just a calorie” and suggest that the metabolic effects of food may matter as much as its energy content. The discovery that fructose-mediated generation of uric acid may have a causal role in diabetes and obesity provides new insights into pathogenesis and therapies for this important disease.
Fructose-induced weight gain and metabolic syndrome
Experimental studies from the 1950s showed the peculiar ability of fructose to induce insulin resistance in laboratory rats. Today, fructose intake has been shown to induce all features of metabolic syndrome in rats, as well as oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, fatty liver, microalbuminuria and kidney disease (rev. in 1). Similar findings can be shown when animals are fed sucrose or high-fructose corn s Continue reading