Many articles have discussed the relationship between fructose consumption and the incidence of obesity and related diseases. Fructose is absorbed in the intestine and metabolized in the liver to glucose, lactate, glycogen, and, to a lesser extent, lipids. Unabsorbed fructose causes bacterial fermentation, resulting in irritable bowl syndrome. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms underlying intestinal and hepatic fructose metabolism is important for the treatment of metabolic syndrome and fructose malabsorption. Carbohydrate response element binding protein (ChREBP) is a glucose-activated transcription factor that controls approximately 50% of de novo lipogenesis in the liver. ChREBP target genes are involved in glycolysis (Glut2, liver pyruvate kinase), fructolysis (Glut5, ketohexokinase), and lipogenesis (acetyl CoA carboxylase, fatty acid synthase). ChREBP gene deletion protects against high sucrose diet-induced and leptin-deficient obesity, because Chrebp−/−
mice cannot consume fructose or sucrose. Moreover, ChREBP contributes to some of the physiological effects of fructose on sweet taste preference and glucose production through regulation of ChREBP target genes, such as fibroblast growth factor-21 and glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunits. Thus, ChREBP might play roles in fructose metabolism. Restriction of excess fructose intake will be beneficial for preventing not only metabolic syndrome but also irritable bowl syndrome.
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