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September 24, 2017

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The sweet taste of danger in eating

By contrast, fructose not only has no impact on ghrelin, but also interrupts leptin. So you don't feel full after consuming food sweetened with fructose in the same way you would if you consumed glucose. This then leads you to eat even more.

In addition, the more fructose you consume over time, the more sensitized to it your system becomes. This means that habitual consumption of fructose sees your body over-responding to it, so you feel even less satiated, which leads to even greater overeating and thus obesity.

Dr Johnson's own published studies show that fructose tends to lead to raised blood pressure and elevated blood levels of uric acid, fats and sugar. Habitual consumers are more likely to develop obesity, hypertension and diabetes as well.

Moreover, fructose is metabolized differently from glucose. While glucose, the simplest sugar, can be used by every cell in the body as an energy source, fructose — a far more complex sugar — has to be broken down by the liver first.

While the liver processes only 20 percent of all glucose consumed, the organ has to process all fructose ingested. This metabolic process in the liver leads to many waste products - not only uric acid, but also bad cholesterol as well as free fatty acids.

The free fatty acids then become converted into triglycerides, which are stored in the liver as fat. Thus, over-consumption of fructose also predisposes one to fatty liver, which can end up scarred, leading to even liver failure.

U.S. residents should be very concerned, especially about their soft drinks, what with 75 percent of all fructose produced being used in their sodas.

According to The World Sugar Market, fructose dominates only in the U.S. and Japan because of the "favorable pricing policies and attractive tax structures" in these countries. Set-up production costs are so high that fructose is unlikely to replace sugar elsewhere. That is, unless the government steps in, as it has in Taiwan and South Korea.

In China, because Pepsi Cola and Coca-Cola have gone into the market in a huge way, they have set up plants to make fructose for their own use there. Elsewhere in Asia, however, sugar is still largely the sweetener used in soft drinks.

In the European Union (EU), very onerous fructose quotas mean that it has remained a bit player. The EU accounts for just 3 percent of the world's fructose consumption. On health grounds alone, we should emulate the Europeans.

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