Fructose and Metabolic Syndrome

Fructose is a key factor in the development of metabolic syndrome [See]

Fructose Impairs, Fish Oil Helps Brain Function
There are more reasons now to avoid fructose, or fruit sugar. A University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) study on rats by Rahul Agrawal and Fernando Gomez-Pinilla has shown that a diet high in fructose slows the brain, hampering memory and learning — and that omega-3 fatty acids can counteract the disruption. The study found that high sugar consumption impaired cognitive abilities and disrupted insulin signalling by engaging molecules associated with energy metabolism and synaptic plasticity; in turn, the presence of docosahexaenoic acid, an n-3 fatty acid, restored metabolic homeostasis.

A growing body of literature suggests that free fructose can also affect neuronal systems. High-fructose intake may on the one hand affect central appetite regulation by altering specific components of the endocannabinoid system. On the other hand, it appears to impact on cognitive function by affecting phosphorylation levels of insulin receptor, synapsin 1, and synaptophysin.

  • Rahul Agrawal, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla. ‘Metabolic syndrome’ in the brain: deficiency in omega-3 fatty acid exacerbates dysfunctions in insulin receptor signalling and cognition. The Journal of Physiology. May 1, 2012;590:2485-2499. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.230078. [Full Text]
  • Katrien Lowette, Lina Roosen, Jan Tack, Pieter Vanden Berghe.
  • Effects of high-fructose diets on central appetite signaling and cognitive function. Front. Nutr., 04 March 2015 | [Full Text]