Original Contribution

European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 1-9

Comparison of free fructose and glucose to sucrose in the ability to cause fatty liver

  • Laura G. Sánchez-LozadaAffiliated withDivision of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation, University of FloridaDepartment of Nephrology, INC Ignacio ChavezDivision of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Email author 
  • , Wei MuAffiliated withDivision of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation, University of Florida
  • , Carlos RoncalAffiliated withDivision of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation, University of Florida
  • , Yuri Y. SautinAffiliated withDivision of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation, University of Florida
  • , Manal AbdelmalekAffiliated withDivision of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Duke University
  • , Sirirat ReungjuiAffiliated withDivision of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation, University of Florida
  • , MyPhuong LeAffiliated withDivision of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation, University of Florida
  • , Takahiko NakagawaAffiliated withDivision of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation, University of Florida
  • , Hui Y. LanAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine and Therapeutics, Chinese University of Hong Kong
    • , Xuequing YuAffiliated withDepartment of Nephrology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University
    • , Richard J. JohnsonAffiliated withDivision of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation, University of Florida

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Abstract

Background

There is evidence that disaccharide sucrose produce a greater increase in serum fructose and triglycerides (TGs) than the effect produced by their equivalent monosaccharides, suggesting that long-term exposure to sucrose or fructose + glucose could potentially result in different effects.

Aim of the study

We studied the chronic effects of a combination of free fructose and glucose relative to sucrose on rat liver.

Methods

Rats were fed either a combination of 30% fructose and 30% glucose (FG) or 60% sucrose (S). Control rats were fed normal rat chow (C). All rats were pair fed and were followed for 4 months. After killing, blood chemistries and liver tissue were examined.

Results

Both FG-fed- and S-fed rats developed early features of metabolic syndrome when compared with C. In addition, both diets induced hepatic alterations, including variable increases in hepatic TG accumulation and fatty liver, an increase in uric acid content in the liver, as well as an increase in hepatic levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) measured in liver homogenates.

Conclusions

Diets containing 30% of fructose either as free fructose and glucose, or as sucrose, induce metabolic syndrome, intrahepatic accumulation of uric acid and TGs, increased MCP-1 and TNF-α as well as fatty liver in rats. It will be relevant to determine clinically whether pharmacological reduction in uric acid levels might have a therapeutic advantage in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Keywords

Non-alcoholic steatosis Metabolic syndrome Sucrose Fructose