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High fructose intake from added sugars: An independent association with hypertension

Date:
November 11, 2009
Source:
American Society of Nephrology
Summary:
A diet high in fructose increases the risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension), according to ne research. The findings suggest that cutting back on processed foods and beverages that contain high fructose corn syrup may help prevent hypertension.

A diet high in fructose increases the risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension), according to new research. The findings suggest that cutting back on processed foods and beverages that contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may help prevent hypertension.
Credit: iStockphoto/Travis Manley

A diet high in fructose increases the risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension), according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, California. The findings suggest that cutting back on processed foods and beverages that contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may help prevent hypertension.

Over the last 200 years, the rate of fructose intake has directly paralleled the increasing rate of obesity, which has increased sharply in the last 20 years since the introduction of HFCS. Today, Americans consume 30% more fructose than 20 years ago and up to four times more than 100 years ago, when obesity rates were less than 5%. While this increase mirrors the dramatic rise in the prevalence of hypertension, studies have been inconsistent in linking excess fructose in the diet to hypertension.

Diana Jalal, MD (University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center), and her colleagues studied the issue in a large representative population of US adults. They examined 4,528 adults 18 years of age or older with no prior history of hypertension. Fructose intake was calculated based on a dietary questionnaire, and foods such as fruit juices, soft drinks, bakery products, and candy were included. Dr. Jalal's team found that people who ate or drank more than 74 grams per day of fructose (2.5 sugary soft drinks per day) increased their risk of developing hypertension. Specifically, a diet of more than 74 grams per day of fructose led to a 28%, 36%, and 87% higher risk for blood pressure levels of 135/85, 140/90, and 160/100 mmHg, respectively. (A normal blood pressure reading is below 120/80 mmHg.)

"These results indicate that high fructose intake in the form of added sugars is significantly and independently associated with higher blood pressure levels in the US adult population with no previous history of hypertension," the authors concluded. Additional studies are needed to see if low fructose diets can normalize blood pressure and prevent the development of hypertension.

Study co-authors include Richard Johnson, MD, Gerard Smits, PhD, and Michel Chonchol, MD (University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center). Dr. Richard Johnson reports a conflict of interest as the author of "The Sugar Fix." The authors report no other financial disclosures.

The study abstract, "Increased Fructose Intake is Independently Associated with Elevated Blood Pressure. Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2006)," (TH-FC037) was presented as part of a Free Communications Session during the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition on Oct. 29 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.


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The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Nephrology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society of Nephrology. "High fructose intake from added sugars: An independent association with hypertension." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029211521.htm>.
American Society of Nephrology. (2009, November 11). High fructose intake from added sugars: An independent association with hypertension. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029211521.htm
American Society of Nephrology. "High fructose intake from added sugars: An independent association with hypertension." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029211521.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

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