Dietary free sugars have received much attention over the past few years. Much of the focus has been on the effect of fructose on hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL). Therefore the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of meals high and low in fructose on postprandial hepatic DNL and fatty acid partitioning and dietary fatty acid oxidation. Sixteen healthy adults (eight men, eight women) participated in this randomised cross-over study; study days were separated by a 4-week wash-out period. Hepatic DNL and dietary fatty acid oxidation were assessed using stable-isotope tracer methodology. Consumption of the high fructose meal significantly increased postprandial hepatic DNL to a greater extent than consumption of the low fructose meal and this effect was evident in women but not men. Despite an increase in hepatic DNL, there was no change in dietary fatty acid oxidation. Taken together, our data show that women are more responsive to ingestion of higher amounts of fructose than men and if continued over time this may lead to changes in hepatic fatty acid partitioning and eventually liver fat content.
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