Friday, October 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sugar debate: Local researcher weighs in on fructose study

sugar research, 6/1/12

Dr. Jean-Marc Schwarz, a researcher and professor at Touro University in Vallejo, studies the metabolic effect of fructose. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page B10 | January 19, 2013 |

FAIRFIELD — Fructose – it seems as if it’s in everything we eat and drink today.

It’s in our energy drinks, cereals, desserts and sodas.

Fructose itself is a naturally occurring monosaccharide, or, simple sugar, found in many plants. It’s a nutritionally important carbohydrate, yet in recent years researchers have argued that fructose is one of the leading causes of diabetes.

Researchers and dietitians dispute that it isn’t necessarily the fructose found in fruits and other plants that are harmful – with the exception of people with diabetes – it’s the added sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup that are cheaply produced and provide little nutritional value.

A recent study by Yale School of Medicine researchers now argues that consumption of fructose may cause overeating.

The study finds that when another monosaccharide glucose is consumed, it suppresses brain activity that promotes a desire to eat. Fructose, by contrast, is allegedly found unable to suppress that desire.

Dr. Jean-Marc Schwarz, a researcher and professor at Touro University in Vallejo, has been studying the effects of fructose for the past 20 years. While he’s skeptical to accept the Yale study point-blank, he acknowledges that it has merit.

Schwarz studied the metabolic effect of fructose and how it differs from glucose.

The way they are metabolized is a key difference, Schwarz said. Most glucose remains in the bloodstream as energy, while excess glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen, or stored energy. When there is excess fructose, the liver converts it and stores it as fat.

This is why, Schwarz said, drinking a large sugary soda, for example, creates a “tsunami effect” in the liver.

“The liver is very overwhelmed and has to break down the fructose,” he said.

With the popularity of the ingredient, Schwarz focused much of his research on the effect of high fructose corn syrup. He compared the consumption of high fructose drinks to that of force feeding a duck to fatten it for foie gras.

Whether or not fructose intake actually causes overeating, Schwarz said limiting fructose intake is essential either way.

“Reducing sugar consumption is a good idea,” he said. “It stays in the liver . . . it may not be perceived by the brain . . . We do not have a full understanding yet.”

The threat of fructose and overeating may be plausible, but Sharon Martin, a dietitian with NorthBay Medical Center, is more worried that Americans are regularly substituting high-fructose foods over whole, nutritious foods.

“By consuming a processed beverage or food, we miss out on many vitamins, minerals, fiber and other components important in maintaining our health,” she said.

There are some ways people can reduce fructose consumption without going hungry, Martin said.

Replacing sweetened beverages and drinks with unsweetened or naturally sweet foods and drinks is one simple way to cut sugar intake. Choosing water over soda or fruit over cake can save hundreds of calories.

Martin also suggests reading the ingredients label, in addition to the Nutrition Facts Label, carefully before buying. The ingredients are listed in order of amount, the first being the most plentiful ingredient.

And if you’re eating out, ask for nutrition information on the meals.

“If you don’t see it, ask,” she said.

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or hahsan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • RichJanuary 19, 2013 - 10:52 am

    What an excellent article. Heather---keep writing articles like this!!! Diet is a major contributing factor in health outcomes and great articles like this help get the word out about what people can do for their own benefit. I hate soda drinks and I won't allow my kids to drink them. Same with energy drinks and HFCS laden sports drinks. I make my kids dilute their fruit juice with 50% water. I purchase fruit juice with no sugar or HFCS in it. I use honey as a sweetner in tea or in fruit salads or breakfast cereal. Check the ingrediants in the foods you buy. Both shredded wheat and grape nuts don't have sugar in them. Kids diet's are critical to their development and advancement and there are too many parents who allow this kids to eat sugary cereals, foods and soda / sports drinks. I don't believe in banning sugar or HFCS. Education, knowledge and responsible free choice is the answer.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Real estate agent pens, produces movie

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
 
Dad finds passion creating set pieces for son’s shows

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Neighborhood candy hunts of the past

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Vintage Fair on tap at McBride Senior Center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Candy from sky highlights North Texas Street event

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

California eyes $500 billion in water spending

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Judge approves Stockton’s bankruptcy plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Marine wants new charges in Iraq war crime tossed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Roseville officer accused of criminal threats

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Poll: Democrats leading in all statewide races

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Man charged with murder in SWAT officer shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Teen arrested in threat at Sacramento school

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Police make arrest in slaying of Oakland mom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Retrial in assault case over stray cat feeding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Missing California hunter roasted bugs, lizards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Pilot identified in California jet crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Lawsuit: Surgical gowns let diseases pass through

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Fearing Ebola? Doctors say get a flu shot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Questions, answers about California’s Ebola policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Maine in standoff with nurse over Ebola safeguards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Relatives suspected poisoning in family’s deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Pair convicted in secret $1.6 M Navy silencer deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Guard troops sent to site of Hawaii lava flow

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Terminally ill woman may postpone taking her life

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Man’s own dog helps police bust him on drug charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Israel closes Jerusalem holy site after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Fearing uprising, Iraq militants hunt ex-police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Vatican admits Sistine Chapel frescoes ‘whitened’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Death penalty sought for trooper ambush suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 31, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
 
Man’s prosecution unwarranted

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

Are we safe now?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 18 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Oct. 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My husband sends texts filled with ‘dirty talk’ to an old flame

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 31, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Jorge Garcia makes the most of ‘Hawaii Five-O’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Week in preview Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Monica Potter wants to save her show ‘Parenthood’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Jake Gyllenhaal, tightly coiled and creepy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Exhibit on Paul Simon’s life to debut at Rock Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
PBS touts 2013-14 ratings growth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reality TV show ‘Big Brother’ to debut in China

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
‘The View’ now under ABC News as further revamping

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Review: ‘Sleep’ a decidedly average psych thriller

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Oct. 31, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

Winter’s wife has blues listening to his new album

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Galway Kinnell dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

 
 
Benicia fends off Vanden, 35-21

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B7 | Gallery

New dynasty: Giants capture 3rd title in 5 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sonoma Raceway to host IndyCar Series finale in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Warriors exercise options on Barnes, Ezeli

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Mack making impact for Raiders even without sacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Bye week helps 49ers Vernon Davis’ recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Prep football capsules: Week 9

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

.

Business

Not so sweet: Chocolate prices are set to rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Apple CEO publicly acknowledges that he’s gay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment | Gallery

FTC accuses Gerber of false claim on baby formula

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Robert Louis Wright

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Oscar Lee Vezeau

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9