A high intake of refined carbohydrates, particularly the monosaccharide fructose, has been attributed to the growing epidemics of obesity and type-2 diabetes. Animal studies have helped elucidate the metabolic effects of dietary fructose, however, variations in study design make it difficult to draw conclusions. The aim of this study was to review the effects of fructose beverage consumption on body weight, systolic blood pressure and blood glucose, insulin and triglyceride concentrations in validated rat models. We searched Ovid Embase Classic + EmbaseMedline and Ovid Medline databases and included studies that used adolescent/adult male rats, with fructose beverage consumption for >3 weeks. Data from 26 studies were pooled by an inverse variance weighting method using random effects models, expressed as standardized mean differences (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Overall, 10%–21% w
fructose beverage consumption was associated with increased rodent body weight (SMD, 0.62 (95% CI: 0.18, 1.06)), systolic blood pressure (SMD, 2.94 (95% CI: 2.10, 3.77)) and blood glucose (SMD, 0.77 (95% CI: 0.36, 1.19)), insulin (SMD, 2.32 (95% CI: 1.57, 3.07)) and triglyceride (SMD, 1.87 (95% CI: 1.39, 2.34)) concentrations. Therefore, the consumption of a low concentration fructose beverage is sufficient to cause early signs of the metabolic syndrome in adult rats.
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