Fructose may increase appetite

January 2, 2013

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that fructose may increase hunger levels.

Kathleen Page and her colleagues at Yale University examined factors that might link fructose and weight gain. Twenty healthy adults underwent two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sessions after drinking fructose or glucose. The researchers then measured changes in blood flow to a region of the brain called the hypothalamus—which regulates the human appetite—after each drink. The researchers found there was a significantly greater drop in blood around the hypothalamus after glucose rather than fructose ingestion.

“Glucose but not fructose ingestion reduced the activation of the hypothalamus, insula, and striatum-brain regions that regulate appetite, motivation, and reward processing,” wrote Page.

The researchers concluded that “increases in fructose consumption have paralleled the increasing prevalence of obesity, and high-fructose diets are thought to promote weight gain and insulin resistance. Therefore, fructose possibly increases food-seeking behavior and increases food intake.”