Research Shows Fructose at Normal Levels Does Not Impact Blood Pressure or Uric Acid; University Study Spanned Ten Weeks and 267 Adults

ATLANTA (February 27, 2015) — A new randomized controlled trial, the gold standard of clinical research trials, has concluded that fructose does not increase blood pressure (BP) or uric acid (UA) levels at normal consumption levels, calculated to be the average amount consumed by the American population.

About the Study Design

The study, titled “Fructose Containing Sugars Do Not Raise Blood Pressure or Uric Acid at Normal Levels of Human Consumption,” and a commentary on the study were recently published in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension. Overweight and obese men and women (267 individuals in total) participated in the blinded, randomized controlled trial designed to understand the relationship between consuming normal amounts of fructose and potential changes in blood pressure and uric acid.  A control diet where the added sugar was from glucose was compared with the same amount of fructose from three different sugars that contain fructose.   For ten weeks, the participants consumed one of four dietary interventions.

  1. 9% of weight-maintenance calories provided by added glucose in milk (the control diet); or
  2. 18% of weight-maintenance calories provided by added HFCS in milk;
  3. 9% of weight-maintenance calories provided by added fructose in milk;
  4. 18% of weight-maintenance calories provided by added sucrose (table sugar) in milk.

Results: Diet Type did not affect BP or UA

Due to the increased energy and protein intake, participants in all groups had an average two pound weight increase.  However, the diet type did not affect resting blood pressure or fasting uric acid concentrations.  The authors concluded that, “The findings from this randomized controlled trial suggest that fructose-containing sugars do not raise BP or uric acid at average levels of human consumption. This study adds to the expanding literature that at normal human consumption levels of fructose-containing sugars there are no increases in either BP or uric acid.”

What other researchers had to say about the study

Dr. Mark Houston and Deanna Minich, PhD commented on the study and stated that, “Overall, this is a valuable study with several salient takeaways. It will be important for future studies to investigate whether qualitatively different fructose-containing foods, for example, sugar-sweetened beverages compared with fruit, provoke different responses in BP in acute and chronic settings. Fructose by itself may not be the sole issue. The bigger issue might be whether the fructose-containing food is nutrient dense, how much of it is eaten, for how long of a duration, and in what dietary pattern context. Furthermore, lifestyle factors need to be accounted for in order to obtain a complete picture of all the variables involved in BP.”

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